WHAT MAKES for a good memoir? Something you’ve discovered about life and living, based on your life and living.
Maybe it’s how you became who you are? That takes us to the “turning points” of our lives.

WHY WRITE MEMOIR? It’s two-fold.
TO DISCOVER. When I (and many others) write, we discover “stuff” about ourselves. I’ll be writing along some thread of memory and a whiffle of another but related memory floats by. A SURPRISE. It’s worth exploring how the two threads relate.
TO SHARE. PROVIDING information and perhaps inspiration for others, both family and friends and the broader public.

Those who may want to turn a true story into fiction.
Those who have lived with a secret as long as they can.
Those who want future generations of the family to know more about them.
Those who have made a discovery about significant junctures in their lives,

No. That’s up to each writer.

No. A personal essay is a great form for writing about personal experiences.


“Carmen’s life experience as a reporter, author, activist, lecturer and world class storyteller is invaluable in helping writers find their own stories.”

Kay Dial, Dallas essayist and memoirist, has been a regular participant in Carmen’s Writers’ Circles and SMU classes

Writers’ Circles

When we meet “in person” it looks like this, in my Fort Worth home.

Writers’ Circles meet Tuesdays at 7 pm in person

Wednesdays at 1:30 pm, in-person or zoom.

Thursday night group, 7 pm, ZOOM.

To begin each class, I lead instruction on some element of story or style, then members read their work and receive suggestions. It’s mixed forms, mixed genres: Novels, Short Stories, Essays and Articles, Narrative Nonfiction and Memoir. Occasionally a poet or two or three.

Each Circle session runs for six weeks, then a new one begins for another six weeks. Many writers continue, working on longer writings.

These groups are small, usually 7 or 8 people.

To talk more about how a Writers’ Circle might fit your writing and your schedule, and to register, get in touch with me by phone or EMAIL.

“I’ve been attending the Tuesday Writers’ Circle for over six years, as I have worked on two historical fiction novels. Carmen’s guidance and feedback has been invaluable for my projects, and the group feedback has been a powerful resource also. The weekly meetings keep me motivated and making progress…”          

David Ekstrom

For 14 years, men and women have knocked on the door of my writing place, my home, “Scribblers’ Sanctuary,” nicknamed by early students who made the sign on the front door.

Carol Durham Henderson, Author, It’ll Rain Someday… Always Does,
A Historical Narrative 

“Until I had the good fortune to join with others in Carmen Goldthwaite’s Writers’ Circle (teaching circle), I was one of those writers who scribbled poems on the back of used envelopes, wrote essays without attempting re-writes and dreamed of someday writing a book. And now, four years later, under Carmen’s tutelage, I have completed that long-dreamed-of book – IT’LL RAIN SOMEDAY… ALWAYS DOES.

“And yes, I still scribble on the backs of scrap paper and write the occasional essay. And yet, now have some idea about the worth of those words.”

Carol Durham Henderson, Author

“No matter the form or genre, it’s all about ‘finding your story’ and then sorting through the ways and means to let the story live for the reader. It’s rewarding to help writers do that.”

Carmen Goldthwaite

I speak and teach at writing events – conferences, conventions, retreats, and writing organizations.

Below are a few comments from past events:

“Dear Carmen,
I have to confess that I felt as though I could listen to you all day long!
Thank you for your graceful and classy presence at the conference!”

Houston writer/editor and beautiful poet Sarah Cortez at East Texas Writers Guild Conference

“You alone made the conference worth attending, and I’m looking forward to hearing you again.”

Caleb Pirtle after Northeast Texas Writers conference
East TexasWriters Conference
Weatherford Public Library Genealogical Story Writing
Memoir class at Fort Worth Public Library

Previous events & topics

Storytelling Event at Pioneer Farms – Telling stories of the “little known or long forgotten” women at Pioneer Farms, a living history museum on the northern outskirts of Austin.

Weatherford Public Library – “Weaving Genealogy into Stories” and “Finding Your Story.”

The Texas Writers Guild, Point of View

East Texas Writers Guild conference—Scene & Setting & Point of View

Northeast Texas Writers Organization, Point of View, Description with Movement.

Fort Worth Public Library, Finding the Story & Memoir

Dallas Fort Worth Writers Workshop Conferences 2011 – 2014: Addressing Dialogue, Creative Nonfiction, Finding the Story, Setting Scenes & Description & Movement, Narrative Nonfiction.

Professional Insurance Communicators of America (PICA); “Storycraft”

The Texas Writers Guild, “Creative Nonfiction”

National Novel Writing Month in November (NaNoWriMo), “Dialogue, the Tension Engine of Fiction”

Texas Writers League Annual Agents Convention, “Voice, Suspense & Style,” Austin, TX

Creative Writing department, “Dialogue” and “Story,” Woman’s Club of Fort Worth

Novice writing classes at First Christian, First Methodist and Arlington Heights Christian Church, all in Fort Worth

For more information about me and for downloadable photos, author bio, and resumé, please see: