Newport Beach Library Virtual Programs: Memoir Writing Course from Chris Epting

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Author Chris Epting

By Cole Cronk | Special to the NB Indy

It’s easy to be overwhelmed with online resources, especially in the last year and a half with so many organizations and programs moving to an online format.

However, the Newport Beach Public Library has its own curated list of unique courses so that you don’t have to go through the hassle of searching to find something interesting and relevant.

The Library’s courses and programs include author talks, book reviews, and concert videos. There’s even content for children. Parents can pick up packaged materials from the library and set up the corresponding video for a kid to put together.

One of the most interesting courses I checked out was the “Memoir Writing Workshop” taught by Chris Epting. Epting has written memoirs for musicians, Olympians, and many others.

In the first video, Epting notes that quarantine has left many people with a lot of time to feel nostalgic about the past and look toward the future. This is a great time to start a memoir, because you are already thinking about your life and can transfer those thoughts and emotions to the page.

A clarification that Epting makes is that a memoir is very different from an autobiography. The latter contains an overview of an entire person’s life, while the former is for the most important things. In other words, a memoir is to document the things that made a person who they are. This means that writing a memoir can be as long or as short as you’d like. Years can go by on a single page, or you can spend an entire chapter describing the night you met your partner.

Another note Epting has is the why. Why do you want to write a memoir? He says that people have a variety of reasons. Some people want to make it onto the New York Times Best Seller List, while others want to give their grandchildren a book that will teach them lessons that the author has learned in their life.

Regardless of the reason, what is most important is getting your story out. The process itself can be very therapeutic and profound, especially because of the year of uncertainty and conflict that we’ve all had.

To check out the Newport Beach Public Library’s virtual programming, visit

For the first video in Chris Epting’s three part memoir writing series, visit

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