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Teacher Feature: Diane Zinna

At the heart of most memoirs is a grief we’re aching to understand and share with other people. If you can learn to write grief as you have truly known it, you can write anything.

Join Muse teaching artist Diane Zinna for Memoir 1: Tuesday Evenings on Tuesdays, Jul 6 – Aug 10, 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm.

This class will explore how our memories can live on the page as stories of transformation. Through exercises, studies in craft, and close study of short selections from six very different memoirs, you will learn the tools to shape your story and move your readers. You will discuss motivation, description, point of view, dialogue, and story energy. You will look at ways to begin complex stories and ways to provide meaningful endings–even for those stories you may still be living. Students will have the opportunity to workshop part of their memoirs in progress, all in a warm and supportive setting.  

Here’s why Diane Zinna thinks you should take her class:

This will be a great class for any writer who is looking for the confidence to tell their own story. I’m also going to be providing diverse, exciting examples of contemporary memoir structures that might spark inspiration as we go along.

Diane Zinna, posing with a necklace engraved with her first book’s ISBN number


Diane Zinna is originally from Long Island, New York. She received her MFA from the University of Florida and went on to teach creative writing for ten years. She formerly worked at AWP, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, which hosts the largest literary conference in North America each year. In 2014, Diane created their Writer to Writer Mentorship Program, helping to match more than six hundred writers over twelve seasons. Diane lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with her husband and daughter. The All-Night Sun is her first novel.

Who are Diane Zinna’s favorite authors?

  • George Saunders
  • Claire Messud
  • Toni Morrison
  • Louise Erdrich
  • Raven Leilani
  • Julia Phillips
  • Gretel Ehrlich
  • Pam Houston
  • Alison Bechdel
  • Helen Macdonald
  • Lidia Yuknavitch
  • Cheryl Strayed

Read more about Diane Zinna here. Visit her website here. Read an interview about her novel here. Find her on social media @dianezinna

See a full catalog of our Summer classes, workshops, and seminars and register HERE.

***Tuition assistance and flexibility is available to all who request it, no questions asked. Just select the “I want to talk about tuition assistance” box when checking out!