Story Matters: Forgiving Your Characters, Empower Yourself

Story Matters: Forgive Your Characters, Empower Yourself 

An Online Class on Forgiveness for Memoir Writers

Instructor: Lisa Ellison, Ed.S
Eight Tuesdays, 9/24/19 – 11/12/19
7:00 PM – 9:00PM EDT
Cost: $250

Registration for this class is now closed.
This class will be offered again in the winter of 2020.
To be added to the waiting list, please send an email to 

Course Description

All memoirs are journeys of transformation. The best ones are told by a narrator who reports the story without placing judgment on it. But how do writers find this place of equanimity when exploring their deepest wounds? They practice forgiveness.

 Forgiveness is a radical act of self-empowerment that helps you release the pain of past experiences. Freed from old stories, you can explore deeper levels of your memoir-in-progress. During this eight-week course, you will learn a model of forgiveness based on the works of Fred Luskin, Desmond Tutu, Brene Brown, and Tara Brach. This approach will help you identify where your scenes fall on the forgiveness continuum and what can help you see your story from a different angle. 

While this course is open to all memoir writers, it’s perfect for memoirists who’ve made substantial progress towards a first memoir draft and want to find ways to deepen their narrative arcs.

This synchronous online course meets for 2-hour sessions using Zoom. Class meetings will include writing exercises, experiential activities, and discussions designed to further your understanding of forgiveness and how it relates to your manuscript. In-class activities will be supplemented with reading assignments and additional writing exercises. 

 Required Text: The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu

 Technology Requirements: Computer with audio and a webcam and access to high-speed internet. All students must download the free version of the Zoom app. 

Instructor Bio

Lisa Ellison is a freelance writer, editor, and writing coach with a background in mindfulness and mental health. She teaches classes in memoir and creative nonfiction as well as experiential seminars for writers on grief, forgiveness, and trauma. Her work is forthcoming or has been published on NPR’s With Good Reason, and in The New Guard ReviewThe Kenyon Review OnlineHuffington PostThe Rumpus, and The Guardian, among others. Lisa runs the Heart Speak advice column for the Moving Forewords memoir collective, She 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. 

What former students have to say about this course:

“I enjoyed the whole process.”

 “So much helpful information. It is perfect. Lisa is a wonderful presenter. Professional and warm.”

“Very organized and well presented with a variety of activities which kept us all engaged.”

 “I enjoyed that we also went through the process rather than just telling us the steps”.

 “The presenter’s gentle, inviting style. It was excellent and I appreciate the opportunity.” 


Refund Policy

If you need to cancel your enrollment for any reason, please send an email to Our refund policy for cancellations is as follows:

3 weeks before the class or seminar start date: Eligible for a full refund.

1-3 weeks before the class or seminar start date: Eligible for a full credit towards a future class or seminar.

Less than 1 week before the class or seminar start date: Not eligible for credit or a refund.

In the event that we have to cancel a class or seminar due to lack of enrollment or another reason, you are eligible for a full refund or credit towards a future class. If your payment was made via PayPal, you will be eligible for a full refund, minus the nonrefundable PayPal fee.

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