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Forgive your characters, empower yourself

Five steps that will help take your memoir from personal to publishable

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Course Begins

February 18, 2020 - April 7, 2020


Ready to upgrade your memoir from a series of personal events to a powerful story that transforms lives?

This course will help you prepare your manuscript for publication by giving you the clarity to recognize the universal truths hidden in your personal experience. From there, you can revise your work to include a deeper narrative arc, more meaningful characters, and a trustworthy narrator who reports the story without placing judgment on it.

If you know what happened but not necessarily why it matters, this course will help you find your focus. If you’re preparing to submit your memoir to agents but want to revise it for enhanced market appeal, this course will help you identify missed thematic opportunities for connecting with an audience.

As an added bonus, you'll learn vital skills that can improve any relationship.

What to Expect

  • Weekly group meetings with the instructor. (All meetings will take place on Tuesdays from 7:30 PM EST - 8:45 PM EST via Zoom)
  • Two rounds of content-level feedback on an excerpt of your memoir
  • Self-guided instruction that includes reading and writing assignments, lectures, and videos from experts in the field that will deepen your understanding of forgiveness and its relationship to your book's universal themes.
  • Seven customized meditations designed to support this work.

Required Text: The Book of Forgiving: The Four-Fold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World by Desmond Tutu



"As a mental health counselor, award-winning essayist and editor, and an early student of Brene Brown, there is no better person to teach a course on forgiving real-life characters than Lisa Ellison. Her empathic approach to coaching–coupled with her expert insight into the ins and outs of the forgiveness process–left me in awe of my ability to reckon with the complicated, lovable people who play a role in my story. I walked away from Lisa’s course a changed writer.”

- Dana Mich, writer and founder of the Moving Forewords Memoir Collective

"I almost didn’t take this course. At the eleventh hour a tiny voice from within suggested that maybe, just maybe, I should change my mind. I’m so happy I did. Lisa Ellison guided us in a thoughtful and heartfelt way. She gave so much of herself as she created a safe space for each of us. I now have a much deeper appreciation for the art of forgiveness. Not only do I practice what I learned with other people, I’ve turned that lens on myself. It was exactly what my memoir-in-progress needed to take it to the next level. Self-forgiveness, in my humble opinion, is the most important and the hardest to do."

- Paula Boyland, writer, proofreader, and host of Virtually the Write Time

"Through this class, I found compassion for myself which in turn has greatly improved my writing."

- Fall 2019 Student

Your Instructor


Lisa Ellison
Lisa Ellison

Lisa Ellison is an editor, writing coach, and speaker with an Ed.S in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a background in mindfulness. She has spent the last two decades helping clients and students turn difficult experiences into art and currently teaches courses in memoir, creative nonfiction, storytelling, and mindful writing practices. Students say her strategies and insights have led to creative breakthroughs (see testimonials).Her life story and essays have appeared on NPR's With Good Reason and in Hippocampus Literary Magazine, Kenyon Review Online, Huffington Post, and The Guardian, among others. A member of the Moving Forewords Memoir Collective, Lisa is currently working on Lucky Me, a memoir about how traveling with a heavy metal band into post-Bosnian-War Yugoslavia helped her survive her brother’s suicide.


Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
This eight-week course begins on February 18, 2020 and ends on April 7, 2020.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you'll have unlimited access to course materials for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What kind of feedback will I receive from Lisa?
You will receive written content-level feedback on your manuscript excerpt that will help you see what's working in your story, the places of emotional resonance, areas for further development, and guiding questions that will help you deepen your understanding of what's really happening in your memoir.
Will I need to provide other writers with written feedback on their manuscripts?
An important component of this class is being seen and understood. While you will have the opportunity to read and provide verbal feedback to participants during our in-person meetings, you will not be required to critique manuscript for fellow writers.
What if I can't afford this class?
This class is an investment in you. Over the next eight weeks, you will learn vital relationship skills that will improve your writing and change your life.​ To make it more affordable, I've set up a payment plan. You can also receive 15% off with the code TRANSFORM.
What If something happens or I"m not happy with this course?
Full refunds are available during the first week of this class. There are no refunds after the first week of class has ended. However, I realize that unforeseen circumstances do arise. For refunds or credits based on special circumstances, please contact [email protected]

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