10 Finalists Announced in the AARP & Huff/Post50 Memoir Contest

By Rita Wilson We are pleased to announce the 10 finalists in our AARP & Huff/Post50 Memoir Contest. We received thousands of wonderful entries. For those who did not make the cut, we hope to reach out to at least some of you in the coming months to see how we might be able to help tell your stories as well. These 10 finalists have until Dec. 15 to complete their memoirs. Soon after, a winner will be announced. Good …

Maya Angelou: Memoirist, Poet and Much More

In 1969, at the age of 41, Maya Angelou, who died on May 28 at age 86 in Winston-Salem, N.C., published I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It was a memoir of her childhood and adolescent odyssey from Arkansas to California, during which she survived a cascade of traumatic events, including being raped by her mother’s boyfriend at age seven and overcoming prejudice to become, at age 16, San Francisco’s first black streetcar conductor. It was the first autobiography by an …

Write Your Memoir to Win a Book Contract

Calling all writers: Could you be the next Frank McCourt, Elizabeth Gilbert or Jeanette Walls – all authors of bestselling memoirs? Here’s your chance to share your life story, win $5,000 and get a book contract.  AARP, The Huffington Post and publisher Simon & Schuster have teamed up to hold a national memoir contest.  “We’re searching for the next great memoir,” said Myrna Blyth, Editorial Director for AARP Media.  “We want to find a gifted writer who can tell a …

The Generation Gap: Sometimes a Great Notion!

Three years ago, magazine writer Katie Hafner’s family was in turmoil. Her mother was 77 and at loose ends, cast adrift by her husband’s incipient dementia (he had moved back in with his family of origin). Her daughter, Zoe, was an impressionable 16 and still reeling from the 2009 death of her father (Hafner’s husband, Matt). And as a 51-year-old widow, Hafner herself was eager to resolve some long-standing conflicts with her mother: abandonment and estrangement, for starters. Wouldn’t housing …

All Hail The Queen of Irreverence!

“Most people think I’m a hard-drinking slut, but really I’m an angel of mercy.” That’s journalist Marion Winik talking about her new book, Highs in the Low 50s: How I Stumbled through the Joys of Single Living. I’ll understand completely if you expect it to contain all manner of lewd behavior. But having written previously about everything from her drug use in early adulthood to her first husband’s death from AIDs complications in 1994, Winik seems to have Toned Things Down …

Now Read This!: A Good Divorce Book Is Hard to Find

Last month I revisited my alma mater, Smith College in Northampton, Mass., to moderate a panel called “Empowering Young People Through Stories.” I know, I know: Where’s the AARP angle? Well, afterward I was approached by a friendly blonde who introduced herself as “Cindy, Class of 1982.” That made her 52, by my reckoning. We started talking books, naturally enough, and it turns out that Cynthia Copeland, as she is known professionally, has written 40 of the things, including Really Important Stuff My …