According to Portland author Natalie Serber, whether you’re writing memoir or personal essay, we strive to make something beautiful from our experiences.  In telling our stories we reach for those instances when the spark leaps from personal to universal and the reader says, “Yes! It’s the same for me.” Those are the moments when the reader feels connected to the writer, she feels known.  How can we make this swift leap happen more in our creative nonfiction?

In this talk, we’ll look at the duality of the first person pronoun, the primary “I” who tells the story of remembered events, and the secondary “I” who tells the story of the writer’s thinking. Exploring the point of view of the secondary “I,” the narrator who speaks from the present, reflecting and seeking, trying to make sense of the past, forms a bridge with our readers.

This presentation is Tuesday, June 7th. The Portland member meeting of Willamette Writers will be held in the Copeland Room at TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215. The meeting is free to members of Willamette Writers and full time college students under 25. For more information, visit