How to Write Your Life Story—Even if You’ve Never Written Anything Before

Cost: $495

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You’ve led a fascinating life and have the stories (and scars) to prove it. Now you want to turn those true events into a memoir. But you’re not sure how. This six-week class is designed for anyone who’s ever been told they should write a book, and is finally ready to get started. Instructor Robert Kerbeck, author of the hit memoir, Ruse: Lying the American Dream from Hollywood to Wall Street, will share how he turned a midlife crisis into a career that includes multiple award-winning books; Narratively’s most read story of 2023; and a TV deal with a major Hollywood production company to adapt his own memoir for the screen. All this after never having published a single thing until seven years ago. Each session will include short presentations on issues that arise when writing a memoir, from navigating privacy concerns of others to questioning your own memory. Using in-class exercises and assignments, students will explore issues of point-of-view, setting, place, action and story arc, while getting feedback on their work. We’ll start with a 500-word story from your own life, then build from there, with students submitting up to five new pages of material for review each week. By the course’s end, you’ll have a clear outlook on what stories and parts of your life resonate most with readers, giving you the practical tools and confidence to finish your memoir and get it out into the world.

This class is right for you if…

  • You have a great idea for a memoir but aren’t sure where to begin.

  • You’re looking for a life reboot and are ready for your second act.

  • You’ve already started your memoir and need guidance on how to finish it.

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All Narratively Academy classes are conducted online and accessible to students anywhere in the world.

Instructor Bio: Robert Kerbeck’s memoir, Ruse: Lying the American Dream from Hollywood to Wall Street, is the story of how a wannabe actor became the world’s greatest corporate spy. It skyrocketed into Amazon’s Top 10 books in the Con Artists, Hoaxes & Deceptions and Business Biographies categories, and an excerpt from Ruse was Narratively’s most read story of 2023; the project is currently in development as a TV series with a major Hollywood production company. Frank Abagnale, author of Catch Me If You Can, said, “Kerbeck has mastered the art of social engineering, or what he calls ‘rusing,’ and taken it to a whole new level,” while the New York Journal of Books wrote “Kerbeck’s astounding spy story is fraught with tension.” Robert’s previous book, Malibu Burning: The Real Story Behind LA’s Most Devastating Wildfire, won a Los Angeles Press Club Award, a SoCal Journalism Award, the IPPY Award and the Best of LA Award. His writing has appeared in numerous publications including Narratively, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Magazine, Shondaland and LitHub’s CrimeReads. Robert is also the creator and host of the Soho House Lit Salon where recent guests have included author and Black Bird creator Dennis Lehane, ESPN sports media figure Stephen A. Smith and Maroon 5’s Ryan Dusick. Until seven years ago, Robert had never published a thing.

“Robert Kerbeck’s talent for drawing out the essential elements in others’ stories is extraordinary. My memoir manuscript had been through many workshops and revisions, but it was Robert’s keen editing that helped me polish it into a finished product that was snapped up by a dream literary agency and sold in a pre-empt deal to a top publisher.” —Bridget Crocker, author, The River’s Daughter (forthcoming spring 2025)

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Registration Details: Seats in this class are limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All purchases are final and nonrefundable. After signing up, you’ll receive an email receipt confirming your purchase. Prior to the start of your class you’ll receive an invitation to access the virtual classroom and view all class materials.

Questions? Email us at academy@narratively.com.

MORE: Check out all of our upcoming Narratively Academy Classes here.