Saturday, November 17, 2012

Run-to-the-Roundhouse, Nellie

Pretty soon, Susan Landry and I will be starting a website, Run-to-the-Roundhouse, Nellie, concerned with memoir. We both think that there's room for an on-line journal devoted to a wide-ranging discussion of this genre of writing and have given a good bit of thought to different ways of inviting people to explore it with us.

Run-to-the-Roundhouse, Nellie will feature two published memoirs per issue, with feature a short discussion of why the editors have chosen each book (but not strictly a review) along with 2-3 questions which have been submitted to and answered by the authors. The goal is to introduce readers to books that they might not know about and to further discussion with those authors. There will also be a link allowing the viewer to buy the books.

Though we will function as editors, produce the first two issues and contribute to others, we are eager to have Guest Editors who will add to the discussion and broaden the scope. We are both older, white, straight, basically, though not-quite, middle class, liberal Americans, and, though we've had fairly wide-ranging experiences, we know our limitations. Hopefully, this site will provide a home for a rich and diverse exploration of memoir and the way this genre allows exploration of fascinating and important differences.

You don't have to be a memoir writer to be a Guest Editor, nor to you have to be a professional writer, though we're assuming that you can construct reasonable sentences and are passionate about the memoir you would like to write about. Please send us a proposal with the name of the book and two or three questions that you would like to ask that author. (As you will see in the first issue, our questions are not about the writing process, but about ideas and issues that seem important in the books we're presenting.)  You would have to find the author's e-mail, etc...and no one is paid for this venture, but we think it will offer an important and interesting venue for discussion of the self-revelation (or avoidance of) implicit in memoir.    (There will be a link or links to purchase the books.)

So, the graphics have been finished, an elegant site done by Benjamin Rosenblum. And we have collected most of the additional material for the first issue.

Imagine a home page which has two discussions of memoirs on either side of a rotating gallery of self-portraits, representing another way of self-exploration/examination...   If the reader clicks on an image, she/he will be taken to the Self-Portrait section where a short bio and contact information for each artist will be available.
Any artist who has a substantial body of work in the genre of self-portrait is welcome to submit by sending 3-4 jpgs of the largest possible size.

The Roundhouse Writing section will feature submissions on various for each issue. The first topic is Home Town. The goal is a personal essay on the topic in under 300 words. Please feel free to submit one for our first issue by emailing it in a word.doc to  
Susan is the Managing Editor, but we will both read the entries. You will be contacted if yours is chosen.

We will also have a section called Memoir Writing which is feature essays of up to 800 words (or more if it's a two-part series.) This offers a broad opportunity to express a variety of ideas about memoir as a genre. Please submit your ideas if you would like to contribute to this.

Another section, Comments, will allow readers to make brief comments....since we haven't published yet, this will only become relevant later.

If you are willing to come along on this venture, please feel free to contact us:


  1. A very interesting project and one that I will be following very closely. The concept of the memoir has been somwhat muddled up in recent years with many celebrities jumping on that bandwagon and having their memoir "ghost-written". I look forward to your project.

    Greetings from London.

  2. Bravissimo, you wonderful woman! xo

  3. a correction to my address (as cited in 7th paragraph)...i would like people to send me their writing:

    also, the site itself is called:
    Run to the Roundhouse, Nellie

    the URL (only a draft version--nowhere near final--is up so far) has hyphens for legibility.

    thank you. i feel like the comma police; a completely thankless task :(