Moonshine Ink Associate Editor Melissa Siig has been selected this year to attend the prestigious Squaw Valley Writer’s Workshop.

She will bring to the July workshops portions of her memoir, which was first written as part of National Novel Writing Month last November, a challenge to write 50,000 words in one month.

“I was inspired to write the book, which is tentatively titled ‘Secrets of My Mother’s Wedding,’ after my mother’s third wedding last June, when a series of funny events and family secrets unfolded,” she said. “The book is also a way for me to better understand what happened to my parents’ marriage. They divorced when I was 13.”


Siig has 10 years of experience as a journalist, but writing a full-length manuscript that required some fluency with fiction techniques was nonetheless a challenge for her.

“Even though this is a memoir, I still need to work on character development, pacing, and suspense, all of which is new to me,” she said. “I hope to gain a better grasp of how to accomplish all that, and get some good critique of my book from other writers, and direction.”

Admissions to the Squaw Valley workshops are competitive. This year, for example, 88 writers applied to the non-fiction program, and only 24 were accepted, Siig said.

For those fortunate enough to be offered a spot, Squaw is filled with regular morning workshops where writers learn important lessons about their own work by critiquing the works of others under the tutelage of authors, agents, and book editors.

Siig has worked for Moonshine Ink since 2007, first as a contributing writer and more recently as an associate editor.


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