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Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir
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Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  147 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Everyone has a story to tell. Fearless Confessions is a guidebook for people who want to take possession of their lives by putting their experiences down on paper--or in a Web site or e-book. Enhanced with illustrative examples from many different writers as well as writing exercises, this guide helps writers navigate a range of issues from craft to ethics to marketing and ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by University of Georgia Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Dain Edward
"Everyone has a story to tell. Fearless Confessions is a guidebook for people who want to take possession of their lives by putting their experiences down on paper." –book cover summary

In the summer of 2008, I used a little magic.

Through an unusual set of circumstances, I found myself in front of a roomful of corporate trainers leading a seminar on storytelling. They'd made the invitation thinking that I would discuss how my experience in making films might be useful to them. Instead, after bei
♥ Ibrahim ♥

If I am writing my "confessions" why do I need to go into detail about things as if I am writing a work of a fiction? I don't see the point in turning "memoir" into creative writing that be used in writing novels. In chapter one, the author Sue Silverman, makes sure to tell us that she put on her feet, in red leather Reeboks, on Randy's coffee table.
Question: what good does it do me to know that her shoes were Reeboks and, in fact, they were "red", not pink?! That bores me for sure. Creative wri
It took me a while to get through this book but that was my own fault; not the fault of the author. I would recommend this book for those who are intermediate writers. She has some excellent resources and bibliographic material. I am glad I can now put it on the shelf and refer back to it on occassion.
It's very possible that no one wants to read some confessions.
Renee CK
I am finished with chapter 1 and made myself stop so I can write. William Silverman speaks directly to the fears and doubts that have kept me from moving forward with my work.
I didn't find this book as useful as Shimmering Images: A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoirfor a "how to" but the book is worth its weight in gold for the chapter on confession, which is really a chapter about women's writing being devalued compared to men's writing on trauma. The book in general is about the courage to write, and surely very useful if that is what one is looking for.
Sonya Huber
I'm about halfway through this book, which is a perfect summer read because it's getting me interested in teaching again. After years of using the same text in my creative nonfiction classes, I feel moved to make a switch. I love several things about the book so far. It's clear that Silverman is a good teacher who pays attention to students. I get the feeling this book was written specifically with students in mind, and Silverman pulls that off beautifully. The book is essential a vulnerable acc ...more
Wayne Groner
If you have a troubled past and have been afraid to write about it, this book is for you.

Silverman describes her book as “a step-by-step guide to shaping memory into art, to turning imagery into metaphor – all the elements needed to craft raw experience into a fully formed story.” She speaks from a life filled with desperation.

She grew up with a father who sexually molested her in “houses that felt like prisons.” As an adult, she was in therapy for years learning to cope with her humiliation, em
Lynn Tolson
Fearless Confessions contains chapters that have writing exercises and inserts with tips. Sue also arranged for appropriate articles by other authors, which exemplify what Sue is conveying in the body of the chapter. Sue generously offers examples of her own. I was especially moved by her revealing essay The Pat Boone Fan Club. That is what a memoirist does: revealing life matter that one thinks is individual, yet the emotions are universal. Some confessional memoirs put into words what others a ...more
If you have ever thought about writing your story, but thought:
I can't do that
I don't know how to write
What will my mother say?
I have nothing to say anyway

then this book was written for you.

This book is the antidote for all of the voices that demand silence, be they literary critics or family members. Sue Silverman not only guides the reader through the thorny issues of telling the "truth" in memoir, but she also provides real, practical guidelines for writing better prose, as well as innova
I hesitated to review this book at first because I see that it gets a lot of 5 star ratings, but I think I am not the only one who thought it was "just okay". As another reviewer said, Sue wants us to take our experiences and get creative with them to write memoir. I'm not sure that's what I am looking for.

Sue William Silverman is a survivor and good for her to conquer her problems and heal. I'm just not sure that her style fits my style. While I am contemplating writing my own memoir I think I
Rhonda Rae Baker
This is probably the most important memoir writing instruction and inspiration that I've ever read. Extremely powerful and transforming!

I would recommend this to everyone, whether you are writing your memoirs or not, as even journal writers will find treasures within these pages that shed light on the heart of why we write.

Amazingly straight-forward and helpful in the quest for our authentic self. I'm impressed beyond words and feel so strongly about writing my memoirs that I cannot not write. I
I liked this book for its honesty.
This books is more than just an inspirational kick to motivate the writing of a memoir. I rwoyld suggest this book to someone with no more than an idea for their story.... It will help you draw it out. Many of the chapters push the art of refinement as well, which may be more useful after the first completed draft. I know this is a guide developed to assist people with the writing of a MEMOIR, but the same basic principals apply to writing any work of fiction. I recommend this book to all amatur ...more
Jeff Lacy
An empowering book that teaches one to appreciate, read, study, and write memoir. Written in straightforward, accessible language, it includes examples and writing exercises that are worth the effort. Recommended for the of every, memoirist or no because the book contains many writing reminders such as "The Muscular Sentence," the use of dialogue, metaphor. She also includes a helpful chapter on marketing one's memoirs.
Sue Silverman has written a book that will be used by both experienced and novice writers for years to come. With an exceptionally clear eye and her always encouraging hand, this award-winning memoirist gently guides the reader along the often treacherous terrain of memory and its narrative form. For anyone who has ever thought of writing their own story, this is the first and last book you will ever need.
This is the only book of its nature I'm aware of--Silverman does an excellent job of advising conceptually and practically. Please click here for my review:
Penny J. Leisch
I've learned a great deal from this book. It's like having a friendly, helpful mentor sitting beside me. I read and go back to work on my writing. Then, I read more. This book will be a keeper to come back to again and again. It's one of the best books I've read about writing memoirs.
A thorough and understandable explanation of how to write memoir and how it differs from other types of literary nonfiction. More creative nonfiction writing classes should use this as one of their textbooks.
There is a lot of help here to learn about memoir writing. Much about intertwining story-line and strong topic! A great "how-to". I will read this again and again as I write my own memoir!
I found this book very helpful as I strive to write memoir. I particularly liked Silverman's treatment of the horizontal and vertical plot lines.
I use this for prompts (or to prompt them) for my writing groups, and personal writing sessions.
very good craft information and examples.
Really good practical advice about craft.
Valuable reference for writing.
Kerice Robinson
Kerice Robinson marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2015
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Destiny  Uribe
Destiny Uribe marked it as to-read
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Sue William Silverman's new memoir is The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew. Her other two memoirs are Love Sick: One Woman's Journey Through Sexual Addiction (W.W. Norton), which aired as a Lifetime Television original movie, and Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You (University of Georgia Press), which won the AWP award in creative nonfiction. Her craft book is F ...more
More about Sue William Silverman...
Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You Love Sick: One Woman's Journey through Sexual Addiction The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew Hieroglyphics in Neon Hieronymous Bosch's Illustrated Alphabet

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