Free workshop, 'Making Memories into Memoirs,' set for Jan. 4 at Coastal Arts Center

December 20, 2019
Orange Beach Continuing Excellence program logo

A Memoir Workshop, "Making Memories into Memoirs: How to Capture & Convey Your Stories," with Karim Shamsi-Basha will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 4th at the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach. The Orange Beach Continuing Excellence workshop is free to attend but registration is required. 

Click here to register for the Memoir Workshop on January 4th. 

All of us would love to share our life stories with family and friends. This workshop will include readings from best-selling memoirs as well as detailed instruction on outlines and structure. The workshop will include time for writing. Participants will leave with a plan, an outline, and the beginning of your life story. Participants are encouraged to browse through the memoir section of the bookstore before the workshop and read some before the workshop. (This is a hands-on workshop. Bring your computer or writing materials.)

The workshop is sponsored by the new City of Orange Beach Continuing Excellence program for adults and the Alabama Writers' Conclave. 


  • 10-10:30 a.m. - Welcome and introductions where each participant can share a bit of their story. If you have not put much thought into your memoir, you will be inspired after this!
  • 10:30-11 a.m. - Readings from best-selling memoirs and discussion.
  • 11-11:30 a.m. - Writing time: You will write the introduction to your memoir. Karim will be on hand to help walk you through this exciting task.
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. - The group will tackle memoir structure including Mind Maps, Outlines, and Chapter Summaries.
  • 12:15-1:15 p.m. - Lunch on your own.
  • 1:15-2 p.m. - The first step of creating your memoir, the Mind-Map - a collection of thought-balloons of what comes to your mind as you think of your family, history, and story.
  • 2-2:45 p.m. - The second step of creating your memoir is to transform the Mind Map into an Outline. Then we will expand the Outline into Chapter Summaries.
  • 2:45-3:15 p.m. - Writing time. Now that you have an outline and a chapter summary, you can begin writing your first chapter, or you can continue working on your chapter summaries.
  • 3:15-4 p.m. - Sharing stories and discussion. Participants are encouraged to read some of their introduction, outline, chapter summaries, or first chapter.

Karim Shamsi-Basha is a writer based in Birmingham, Alabama. He is on contract with Penguin Random House with two books coming out next year. The first is a children’s book, The Cat Man of Aleppo, about a man in Aleppo Syria who saved all the cats during the Syrian civil war – true story. The second is a Young Adult fictional story of a 15 year-old Muslim boy in love with a Christian girl amid the Syrian Civil war. Karim has been a writer since 2005 and has won numerous awards and honors. His father was the Poet Laureate of Syria in the 1980s.