July 24, 2024

H IS FOR HAWK by Helen MacDonald

What Made H Is for Hawk a Best-selling Memoir?

$29.95 – 4 classes are delivered to you via email (includes video and audio links of the class, plus written transcripts)


Helen MacDonald’s H Is for Hawk has all the hallmarks of good memoir—and we intend to cast a light on what she does so brilliantly to help you uncover the gems in your own memoir. From a well-executed arc, to weaving together multiple themes that fluidly intermingle and inform the story, to prose that sings on the page (demonstrating the power of showing through sensual description), H Is for Hawk has it all. Join us on this four-week journey into the heart of the latest memoir sensation. See what all the fuss is about, and pick up some valuable tools along the way.

This class includes the following classes:

Class 1. The Art of Blending
• The definition of experimental memoir and why H Is for Hawk qualifies.
• How to take liberties with point-of-view, and make it work.
• How Helen weaves a tapestry of themes, each one informing the other, and how to track this in your own work.
• Tracking the inner and outer worlds—and inviting your reader all the way in on both fronts.

Class 2. How to Handle Grief in Memoir
• The use of someone else’s story (in Helen’s case, T.H. White’s) to make sense of your own.
• Universal vs. specific grief—why both matter.
• Tracking Helen’s descent into grief to help you understand your own arc.
• The language of grief in metaphor and poetic descriptions that capture the reader, and help you, the writer, understand how language supports theme development.

Class 3. Using Language to Captivate and Wow Your Reader
• The power of imagery and metaphor to deepen descriptive passages.
• Crafting your description to fully envelope the reader in sensual details and help them lose themselves.
• What’s in it for the reader? Universal messages in H Is for Hawk, and how to pay attention to them to become a better memoirist yourself.
• The power of showing vs. telling—complete with concrete examples.

Class 4. The Journey of Personal Transformation in Memoir
How obsession about hawking, her father’s history, the history of Britain, and White’s story create an arc of the story.
• The ascension from grief, and how to help your reader track your emotional arc.
• Land and history as healing metaphors.
• The through-line of transformation across multiple characters (in Helens case, her own, Mabel’s, her father’s, and T.H. White’s)