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Composition Personal Memoir Essay

Writing on the Edge


Writing on the Edge, an interdisciplinary journal focusing on writing and the teaching of writing, is aimed primarily at college-level composition teachers and others interested in writing and writing instruction. It is published at the University of California at Davis and appears two times a year-in spring and fall.

Coverage: 1989-2014 (Vol. 1, No. 1 - Vol. 25, No. 1)

Moving Wall: 3 years (What is the moving wall?)

The "moving wall" represents the time period between the last issue available in JSTOR and the most recently published issue of a journal. Moving walls are generally represented in years. In rare instances, a publisher has elected to have a "zero" moving wall, so their current issues are available in JSTOR shortly after publication.
Note: In calculating the moving wall, the current year is not counted.
For example, if the current year is 2008 and a journal has a 5 year moving wall, articles from the year 2002 are available.

Terms Related to the Moving Wall
Fixed walls: Journals with no new volumes being added to the archive.
Absorbed: Journals that are combined with another title.
Complete: Journals that are no longer published or that have been combined with another title.

ISSN: 10646051

Subjects: Language & Literature, Humanities

Collections: Arts & Sciences XIV Collection

To find a memoir to read, it will probably work better to look at some of the links below, rather than just googling. For your third blog post (finding a memoir online that connects to your chosen theme), you can use any of the memoirs listed below–except the student memoirs listed at bottom of page. I’ll try to add some more links shortly (1/26).

Here’s a favorite of mine, from a wonderful book-length memoir called Without a Map by Meredith Hall:

Killing Chickens“  (this essay would fit the “family” theme)

As you read the essay, pay attention to Hall’s use of sharp images to convey powerful emotion. Think about what the essay is “about,” what universal issues are embedded in Hall’s personal experience. How can you connect to her experiences though you may be no chicken-murderer yourself?

Here’s one that would fit education: Heal McKnight’s “The Hard Part of Community College

And here’s one that would fit health theme: Alissa Nuttig’s “An Appointment with Dread.” And another nice one from the New York Times: Dana Jennings’s “After Cancer, Everyday Miracles.”

You may find some inspiration, in the form of model essays connected to your theme, by browsing through the site This I Believe.

Here are links to some other sites/literary journals that publish memoirs:

The Sun Magazine

Creative Nonfiction

Orion Magazine (this would be a good one to look at for nature memoirs)

Bellevue Literary Magazine (focuses on health-related issues)


Sample student essays

Here’sa great essay that would fit the family theme.

Here’s one the fits a food theme, andhere’s one for sports.