Topic: What Editors Know About A Memoir That Sells
What Editors Know about a Memoir that Sells opens the back door into the editor’s office. We identify the elements editors seek in memoirs to buy, and discuss dead give-aways that ensure your memoir won’t sell. We cover current trends in the commercial and medium-sized publishing houses.
Presenter: Lisa Dale Norton, Editor
Lisa Dale Norton is an author, memoir editor, and public speaker. She is passionate about layered writing structures that reflect the complexity of life experience, and about the transformative power of writing a memoir. She is a gifted teacher, clear communicator and a pro at creating an environment were learning can happen.
Lisa wrote America’s go-to memoir writing guide, Shimmering Images: A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir, and the literary nonfiction story Hawk Flies Above: Journey to the Heart of the Sandhills, which won comparisons to the writing of Annie Dillard.
Shimmering Images: A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir is short, direct, humorous, and gives readers a step-by-step technique for mining the past and using shimmering image memories to construct a memoir. It’s been a perennial favorite in school systems and continues to sell well after nearly 10 years in the marketplace. Lisa teaches the process of writing from shimmering images in a variety of venues each year.
Hawk Flies Above: Journey to the Heart of the Sandhills combines personal writing with natural history about the Sandhills region of the Nebraska. Lisa uses a return to the Sandhills to put her life back in orbit, but soon discovers the land itself needs healing: the waters of the Ogallala Aquifer are threatened by farming practices. Both books are published by St. Martin’s Press in New York.
Lisa earned degrees from Reed College and the University of Iowa.
Lisa lives in Santa Fe; Venice, Italy; and an 97-year-old writing cabin in the Western Sandhills. In Santa Fe she reads, writes her own stories, advises writing clients and edits their manuscripts, plays the piano, swims, and nurtures her beloved flower garden. Roses, columbine, iris, lilies, clematis, wisteria, and daffodils are just a few of her resident species. In Venice, she memorizes the labyrinth of calli daily as she walks, walks, walks, and takes her dose of gelato at Nico. She is an avid traveler in Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy with the goal of simply absorbing as much language, culture, art and architecture as possible. In the Sandhills, she works on new book ideas, walks the river in summer, rakes leaves in autumn, and annually ponders the wild geese, as they fly south, and then home again.