There are many differing opinions of what makes a piece of writing a memoir. This site encourages a very broad interpretation of what can be published:
- Memoir is usually concerned with episodes or events from someone’s life. These can be quite everyday in nature, they don’t have to relate to life-changing or historically important events.
- This site’s byline is every life has many stories. In other words, a memoir doesn’t have to be book-length, but can be quite brief. For example, it may deal with just one incident from someone’s life. We encourage you to contribute short memoirs to this site as this fits well with the online format.
- While a memoir is often seen as focusing on the author’s own life, it may also be focused on another person. In other words, a memoir may comprise the author’s memories of an event from their own life or from the life of someone else they knew personally.
- While a traditional memoir deals only with real events, fictional memoirs use the memoir format but deal with imaginary events from the lives of real or imaginary people.
It’s easy to get started: once you have written a short suitable piece, you can submit it to this site. To prevent spam or unsuitable material being published, all items are approved by the site administrator before they are published.
We suggest you first write your memoir using a word-processor and save it, then copy and paste the text into the submission page.
Image: The writing lesson by Albert Anker (1865)
Mary gazed into the open wardrobe, what to wear she thought. It was ten years since she had left school. Tonight was a reunion dinner with all of her classmates at the posh Queens hotel in town. Having lost her mother when she was ten, money had been very tight. Her father had done his best to bring up Mary and her younger sister Susan, but they never had the trendy clothes their friends had. The long black evening gown she chose to wear had seen many an outing, being her only formal piece of clothing.
After a long soak in the bath makeup was applied carefully and her long auburn hair was brushed until it shone. I dont really want to go tonight she thought. If her best friend Anne had not persuaded her she would not have to face a room full of well dressed elegant people. The door bell rang and Anne was standing there dressed to perfection in a beautiful blue silk evening gown. Her face lit up as she smiled at Mary affectionately, you look nice she said.
The ride into town gave Mary time to ponder on how she looked feeling sick at the thought of entering the opulent dining room. Heads turned as they walked in looking to see who it was. Smiling faced men and women greeted them eagerly and a glass of champagne was pushed into their hands. A man’s voice behind them could be heard saying look at Mary, the ugly duckling has turned into a beautiful elegant swan. As she turned around shyly Tom the boy she had admired from afar was smiling at her warmly. Can I reserve the first dance? he asked walking slowly towards her. This old black dress must not look too bad after all, she thought smiling and nodding her head in acceptance.
The sweet smell of the warm yeast and sugar bubbling up in a well of white flour awakens me to the ritual of a happy Sunday morning. With love and devotion my mum dedicatedly kneads the soft white dough in her worn out brown tureen. Her nimble fingers twisting and turning with the experience of any master chief. Her body swaying in harmony to the clapped out wireless crackling tunes of old in the background. She skilfully captures the air bubbles, gently teasing them into each devoted twirl. With a flowing movement she pummels the white gooey dough leaving her working class imprint on every downward thrust. Masterfully she shapes it into a big soft ball then covers it with a damp tea towel. With her usual efficiency she places it onto the cast iron hob and swings it towards the roaring coal fire where it is left to rise.
The summer always seemed to be hot when I was a child.Mum would pack a bag with sandwiches, pop and flasks of tea and we would head off to the beach. A blanket was spread out onto the golden sand ready for our picnic. Wrapped in towels we quickly changed into our bathing costumes. Dad rolled up his trouser legs and took us down to the waters edge to paddle, shouting with delight as the water lapped at our toes. The white waves drifting in on a sapphire blue sea. The cat and dog steps a popular meeting place were packed with people sunbathing and chatting happily together. Sitting on the blanket we ate egg and tomato sandwiches, which always got covered in sand.Drinking thirstily from the bottles of pop that had turned warm from the heat of the sun. Yet everything tasted wonderful.