What will be lost when we’re no longer here to tell our stories? Incidental yet important information: insights, personalities, jokes, favorite recipes, genealogies. On a more subtle level, gone will be the living connection between past, future, and present. Creating a memoir is an opportunity to engage in a dynamic process of recollection and integration, one that can deepen and expand our own lives and those of generations to come. Memoirs underscore connection and the singularly human tradition of telling our stories to our closest group. The memoirist can present his or her interior as well as exterior life, with details that allow the reader to dive in. Whether or not it is accompanied by e-books or other technology-dependent media, the printed and bound memoir is an intimate encounter. And it’s easily archival, personally insightful, and important as a document of history and heart. In addition to reflecting on the art and importance
of memoir with examples from her company’s archive, Modern Memoirs President Megan St. Marie will guide participants through a series of writing prompts that will invite them to draw on their own memories and family histories. The goal will be to demonstrate how engaging in memoir writing and life-review work can be a means of fostering self-discovery and deepening familial connections. Participants will be encouraged, but not required, to share their work as time permits.
Megan St. Marie is president and co-owner of Modern Memoirs, Inc., a full-service publishing company in Amherst, MA. She earned her MA in Children’s Literature at Simmons University, where she held adjunct and contract faculty appointments from 2003 to 2020. A sabbatical devoted to writing projects inspired by her Franco American and Irish heritage planted the seeds for Megan’s move to Modern Memoirs in 2019, when she and her husband, Sean St. Marie, purchased the company from founder, Kitty Axelson-Berry. Under the name Megan Dowd Lambert, Megan continues to work as an author, reviewer, and consultant in the field of children’s literature, where her work is rooted in a passion for helping others share and respond to stories. This experience translates into Megan’s commitment to help Modern Memoirs clients create the beautiful books they envision, whether they are memoirs and family histories published under the main company name, or other sorts of books (poetry, essays, microhistories, etc.) published under the imprint, White Poppy Press.