Addressing 'The Memoir Problem' (Creative Panel)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
NeMLA 2021
contact email: 

Addressing 'The Memoir Problem': Blocked Memories, Documentary Traces, and Hybrid Forms (Creative Panel)

As memoir continues to be a wildly popular genre in our world today, there are many challenges to writing memory and many stakes to publishing a memoir. In many ways, writing a memoir may be a kind of mythical beast for emerging voices. How does one finish a memoir and what marks its timeliness and closure? This forum seeks to interrogate the expectation of a memoir to follow a traditional narrative arc, to expand genre definitions and to highlight cross-genre work. If memory is object-oriented, why do we expect memoir to be plot-driven? How may object or image centric work take a different approach to scene and narrative-telling? Contemporary innovations in creative nonfiction craft, comics, short forms and documentary poetics may reveal how cross-genre work offers a fruitful place to challenge readers' expectations and incorporate other disciplines in writing. Many established and emerging voices, leading this work and creating new platforms for writers, are reclaiming their stories through traumas and against injustices and discriminations. As a space for writers to read their work and share in Q&A, a diversity of voices & styles are sought. Submissions of auto-fiction & auto-theory, somehow "memoir-esque," are also encouraged.

Creative genres may include but are not limited to:

  • Memoir, Memoir-esque, Memoir Plus
  • Creative Nonfiction, Including Creative Nonfiction Comics & Diary Comics
  • Autobiography & Life-Writing
  • Poetry & Experimental/Hybrid Forms
  • Personal Essay
  • Auto-Theory
  • Auto-Fiction

Please submit an abstract of 200 to 250 words describing your proposed creative reading by September 30th, 2020, to the submission page: