The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & LifeListen to this insightful conversation (aired yesterday, June 9, 2011 on blogtalkradio) between sisters Margaret Roach and Marion Roach Smith on writing memoir. Find out why Marion Roach Smith, author of The Memoir Project, calls memoirists the “cheeky birds of writers.” Margaret Roach, former Martha Stewart executive, wrote a memoir about how gardening saved her after losing her high-powered career: And I Shall Have Some Peace Here. Each sister appears as a character in the other’s book, and it’s quite interesting to hear their take on writing about the same family from different angles, especially since family reactions are a major concern for memoir writers.

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And by the way, Marion Roach Smith, in The Memoir Project, is totally against writing prompts. I tend to agree with her but I’ve found that my students love them, so I do them now and then. They are one reason I like Abigail Thomas’s book Thinking About Memoir. Her prompts make me think of things I would never have dug up otherwise, often good for a standalone piece here and there. I would love to hear your views on writing prompts!