Project Memoir
& Project Memoir Petite

MAKE IT WORK

Eight weeks of structured time, creative assignments & specific deadlines to shape, finish or polish your memoir. Craft lessons at your own pace; live-editing & personal guidance to apply the work; hosted Study Halls to get it done.

Project novel was Jan 18-Mar 7, 2024
Project Memoir Petite runs again in Summer 2024
8 Writers

Change your writing life.

Write faster, at a higher level of craft.

Live-editing instantly transforms your work & inspires your revisions.

Assignments tailored to your book give the creative direction you need.

Weekly feedback, hard deadlines & dedicated work time keep you moving to the finish line. Your supportive cohort inspires & cheers you on.

Project Memoir is an MFA year in eight weeks.

Need a smaller commitment? Join Project Memoir Petite for craft lessons, hosted cowriting, and feedback on story and structure.

Personal feedback.
Group support.
Finish faster.

THE EXPERIENCE

Charlotte Wilkins
Charlotte Wilkins
Class Of 2023
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This course is amazing! And the layout of it so far is mind-boggling-ly helpful. Love how clear your directions are and the sequence of watch video/read instructions is so helpful for me, a list maker. I feel like I can do this because it’s so step-by-step which keeps me from being overwhelmed. Who knows, I may actually author a book!
Jane Friedman
Jane Friedman
Publishing Expert & Author - The Business of Being a Writer
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Allison is one of the most gifted writing teachers I know. She’s like a friend privately taking you aside, delivering the honest truth you need, in a way that makes you enthusiastic to keep on going, even when the work gets very hard.
Dr. Heidi Kharbhih
Dr. Heidi Kharbhih
Class Of 2023
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The weekly lessons are amazing, full of writing tips, with clear explanations and practical exercises. Allison’s knowledge and ability to hone in and know your project almost better than you do is astounding. Her guidance is extraordinarily personal, and the community of writers in the group are such a blessing, too. by the end of the course we had each grown in confidence, as we literally saw our improvements week on week.
Karen Fine
Karen Fine
Author - The Other Family Doctor
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I had nearly given up on finding an agent when I decided to rework my manuscript with Allison’s help. After the revisions, an agent who had told me I could resubmit decided to represent me, and my book was acquired by Penguin Random House!
Allison Hirschi
Allison Hirschi
Class Of 2023
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I just told my hubby… this has been the single-most valuable investment I’ve ever made in my writing. I’ve made other good investments (and some not so good), but the value, Allison’s generosity, being in the company of such great writers… just so far exceeded my high expectations. 🙏🏼❤️
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CRAFT LESSONS

Lost in manuscript revisions?

You know it needs more—better—different—but what?
Weekly Craft Lessons give tools & techniques to apply NOW.
Personal editorial feedback lets you know what's working.

Wrestling with too many ideas?

Structural problems? Sagging scenes?
Immediate editorial guidance shapes your book into something you can FINISH.

Is Project Memoir Right For Me?

But not if..

Discover What Makes Your Book Work!

Literary or commercial, traditional publishing or independent—write better with a DESTINATION in mind.

YOUR PLAN

Allison K Williams New Headshot

Allison K Williams

Writer - Editor - Speaker - Coach

I'm excited about Project Memoir.

Why? Because I love editing...and I always over-deliver (#FirehoseMe). This time I'm telling you when you sign up: Project Memoir delivers everything I can give an author ready to work intensely to make big progress in compressed time.

I've been watching Project Runway reruns, and every week, fashion designers who don't quiiiiiiite have enough time or materials "make it work"—with the help of a skilled mentor's personal, tough-love feedback.

Nothing makes us creative like a deadline. Specific, time-limited creative assignments have tremendous power to ignite our creative selves. YOU can use that power to finish your book. And I'm going to help you every word of the way. Next Project Memoir Spring 2025. Next Project Memoir PETITE Summer 2024.

Project Memoir Petite

Need a smaller commitment? We gotcha!
$ 1795 or 3 payments of $665
  • Weekly Craft Lessons
  • Watch at your own pace
  • 3 group Office Hours with Allison
  • Editorial feedback on Synopsis
  • Editorial feedback on Dramatic Arc
  • Twice weekly hosted Study Hall sessions
  • Community support of writers at your level
  • BONUS Path to Publication Bootcamp!
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10 WRITERS

Project Memoir

Your MFA year in 8 weeks.
$ 3595 or four payments of $950
  • Weekly Craft Lessons
  • Watch at your own pace
  • Weekly Group Coaching & Live-Editing session
  • Live-Editing hot seat feedback on 30 pages
  • Weekly feedback on Craft Lessons Exercises
  • Private editorial feedback on 60 pages
  • Editorial feedback on 2 Additional Scenes
  • Editorial feedback on Synopsis
  • Editorial feedback on Dramatic Arc
  • Twice weekly hosted Study Hall sessions
  • Community support of writers at your level
  • BONUS Proposal Bootcamp!
8 WRITERS

Proposal Bootcamp

Focus on selling your book.
$ 425 one payment
  • Advance worksheets to collect your info
  • Memoir proposal template
  • Three days of live classes (4 sessions)
  • Plan & write your actual proposal
  • Access to recorded classes for review
  • Access to recorded classes for review
  • Do YOU need platform? Maybe not!
  • Line up future blurbs
  • Five amazing ways to find the perfect comps
  • Selling the book while you’re still writing it
  • Not just WHAT to do but WHY!
  • Optional add-ons: Query or Synopsis Feedback
MARCH 29-31

Don’t struggle alone.

Writing without deadlines & support is TOUGH!
Live-Editing, Office Hours & hosted co-writing time keep you focused & moving forward.

Your Answers

Although you’ll generate new pages, Project Memoir is focused primarily on revision. At least 60 pages should be drafted before we begin. This can be an early draft or polished work that still isn’t “there” yet. Got more pages? Even better!

Project Memoir:
  • Submit 20 pages every other week for private feedback
  • Submit 10 pages every other week for live-editing
  • Submit additional pages from Craft Lessons exercises for big-picture feedback every week
  • And apply the Craft Lessons to as much of your manuscript as you can.

Project Memoir PETITE:
  • Submit your synopsis for editorial feedback
  • Submit your Dramatic Arcs exercise for editorial feedback and guidance on your story’s arc
  • And apply the Craft Lessons to as much of your manuscript as you can.

Each week includes 8-12 hours of progress:

  • Four 15-minute-ish video Craft Lessons to watch at your own pace.
  • Each Craft Lesson includes a short exercise or focused manuscript work—allow 30-60 minutes per lesson.
  • Project Memoir: Two-hour class with Q&A, coaching & live-editing; you may also be given specific work for your own manuscript between classes. All classes are recorded for you to rewatch.
  • Project Memoir & Project Memoir PETITE: Optional hosted Study Hall sessions, where you’ll be able to work side-by-side with classmates and ask questions about your own work as needed.
  • Project Memoir PETITE: Three, two-hour Office Hours sessions. Office Hours are recorded for you to rewatch.


If you’re a daily worker, allow 1-2 hours/day. Binge workers, allow yourself two chunks of 3-4 hours. (Take breaks!)

At the end of our eight weeks, you will have a solid draft of your memoir, or a solid partial draft plus a framework to finish. You’ll know what will help sell your memoir and why, and how to bring your book into the world.

Craft Lessons are the “lecture” part of class. Each lesson teaches an element of structure, plot, story, scene or voice that you will immediately apply to your book. Watch these short (10-20min) videos at your own pace. You can leave questions on individual lesson videos for Allison to answer.

Craft Lessons are NOT prompts, warm-ups or freewriting.

You’ll be able to access all Craft Lessons at a private webpage, as well as recorded live classes and recorded Office Hours for three months following the end of the course.

Click to watch a sample Craft Lesson

Project Memoir:

  • Weekly big-picture feedback on short assignments including a turning-point scene, your dramatic arc, synopsis, voice/world-building & ending scene
  • Personalized list of writing habits to address in your own work & strengthen your prose
  • Editorial feedback on 60 pages (submitted in 3 sets of 20 pages each), including comments throughout & a few pages of line editing
  • 3 sessions of live-editing per writer, up to 10 pages each time.
  • One-on-one meeting to discuss your writing and writing career.
  • If you complete every assignment on deadline, you’ll get up to 165 pages of feedback.


Project Memoir PETITE:

  • Editorial feedback on your synopsis, with questions and comments to refine your story
  • Editorial feedback on your dramatic arc, with guidance on which arc best suits your story
  • Live-Editing during our three Office Hours sessions; up to 10 pages total per writer.


Please note: While you’ll see your cohort’s work  & participate in feedback during Live-Editing/ Office Hours, you will not be reading other writers’ pages outside class for feedback.

There’s power in specific, time-limited creative assignments.

Project Memoir:
  • Weekly Craft Lessons exercises are due Wednesdays by 12noon Eastern Time
  • Pages for Live-Editing are due 1 hour before class begins on Thursday
  • Pages for private feedback are due Sundays by 6PM Eastern Time.
  • You’ll get one “late pass” to turn in work up to 3 days late.
  • Week Five is One-on-One meetings & catch-up time, with no class and no additional lessons. Use this week to spend time on any Craft Lessons you’ve skipped or exercises you want to apply to your manuscript.

Project Memoir PETITE:
  • Set your own calendar deadlines; you’ll discuss your progress during Office Hours.
  • Pages for Live-Editing during Office Hours are due one hour before Office Hours begin.

Project Memoir is about treating your writing like it’s an important commitment worthy of your time & money…because it is.

While most of Allison’s events are open to all who sign up, Project Memoir & Project Memoir Petite will be selected groups. The writers in each cohort will be at a similar stage in their writing journeys & a good fit for mutual support.

Absolutely! I can’t promise Project Memoir will run again, but if so, the group makeup will be different—& possibly a better fit for you! And if you’re working on a novel, applications for Project Novel and Project Novel PETITE are due May 26th 2024. Find out more.

Great! I’ll be familiar with your work. We’ll have some flexibility in assignments—for example, if I’ve already edited your synopsis, you might send in a short scene or your draft query instead.

Some of the lessons will repeat things you’ve learned from me before (at Memoir Bootcamp, Rebirth Your Book, a live event or a webinar) but now you’ll apply them to your whole manuscript.

Payments can be made by PayPal/credit card, Venmo, Zelle, direct deposit, Canadian Interac/eTransfer, or wire transfer.

Payments for Project Memoir can be made as follows:

  • Payment 1 – A deposit of $950, due within one week of acceptance
  • Payment 2 – $950 due Jan 7
  • Payment 3 – $950 due Feb 4
  • Payment 4 – $950 due Mar 3

OR

One payment of $3595 (single payment includes a $205 discount)

Payments for Project Memoir PETITE Summer 2024 can be made as follows:

  • Payment 1 – A deposit of $665, due within one week of acceptance
  • Payment 2 – $665 due June 16
  • Payment 3 – $665 due July 14

OR

One payment of $1795 (single payment includes a $200 discount)

Allison is fully committed to this program & you should be, too! It’s too much time, focus & emotional investment for either one of us to bail out.

  • If you withdraw by Jan 15th and we can fill your place from the waitlist, we’ll refund your payments after a $450 administrative fee.
  • If we can’t fill your place from the waitlist, we are unable to offer a refund. However, given the fragility of our pandemic world, we can discuss alternatives for extenuating circumstances.
  • Craft Lessons will be online videos accessed through any web browser.
  • Weekly classes, Office Hours & hosted Study Hall sessions happen on Zoom.
  • Submit pages in Microsoft Word to see feedback in Track Changes.
  • Project Memoir Petite is for the writers who have less time for class or a lower budget for writing courses.
  • Petite writers go through the same application process and do the same Craft Lessons.
  • They have three group sessions instead of six and more latitude to work at their own pace.


Ready to dive in full speed? Pick Project Memoir.
Worried about overwhelm? Go Petite!

Unsure? Tell me in the application and, if accepted, I’ll pick for you.

Get ready to finish your book.

Eight weeks to a solid draft of your memoir, OR a strong partial draft plus a framework to finish. You’ll know what will help sell your memoir & WHY ...and how to bring your book into the world.

2024 Writing Events

REBIRTH YOUR WRITING
SENTENCE, SCENE & STORY
virtual intensive
Jan 12 - 14, 2024
FLASH DRAFT YOUR BOOK IN A WEEK
Retreat at MISA Santa Fe
March 11-15, 2024
CRAFT AND PUBLISHING VOYAGE
On the Queen Mary 2
with Allison K Williams, Dinty W. Moore & Jane Friedman
April 28-May 5, 2024
SECOND DRAFT: YOUR PATH TO POWERFUL, PUBLISHABLE WRITING
Retreat on Madeline Island in Lake Superior
Sep 16-20, 2024
REBIRTH YOUR BOOK
Retreat in Tuscany
Oct 6 - 13, 2024
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