Genre tips

#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Quiet Memoir

The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 articles on a themed topic. It’s supposed to be every day in April except Sundays, but I find that too busy and decided to post mine ‘about’ once a month. Yes, it’ll take me a couple of years. Sigh.

My topic, like the last three times, will be writing genres.

This genre:


Quiet Memoir


a memoir where the story may not be dramatic but the authors voice is

Tipsa to z

  1. Dorothy Rice says, “Memories…are often quiet, more echo than boom, more lingering sense than clamor, more subtext than headline.”
  2. nothing really dramatic, often a bunch of scenes organized around a time frame, family, ordinary events.
  3. The energy in Quiet Memoirs is smaller than other memoirs.
  4. It isn’t an autobiography.
  5. It doesn’t require a traumatic event nor single incident at its center.
  6. Your audience is ordinary people who identify with similar, ordinary challenges.
  7. Show readers, by your example, how to manage ordinary life events, navigate through similar challenges.

Popular Books

  1. Arranging a Dream by J.Q. Rose
  2. Be a Happier Parent or Laugh Trying by Betsy Kerekes
  3. Building a Midshipman by Jacqui Murray
  4. Plunge: One Woman’s Pursuit of a Life Less Ordinary by Liesbet Collaert
  5. PS I Forgive You by D.G. Kaye
  6. Songs of Heartstrings by Miriam Hurdle–memoir in poems
  7. They Call Me Mom by Pete Springer

Here’s a less-than-10-minute video example of Quiet Memoir:

BTW: If the book you’ve written fits into any of these S-Z genres, let me know in the comments and I’ll include you, the book title, and where to purchase it.

Click for complete list of these 26 genres

Click for a complete list of all genres I’ve written about

More Q Genres:

@AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021. 

107 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Quiet Memoir

  1. Pingback: Cheryl’s Homemade Alphabet Soup ~ A Mixture Of Blogging From A to Z Challenge Posts (2022) – ~Plucking Of My Heartstrings~

  2. Hi Jacqui, I suppose I probably have read more of these sorts of stories than I realise, although I think a lot of the books I’ve read are fictionalised memoirs which elements are not historically accurate. I’ve read a few of the books on your like.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You are building a big resource full of genres, Jacqui. When I saw “Quiet Memoirs,” I immediately thought of J.Q.’s which I enjoyed so much. I thought Liesbet’s memoir was much less quiet, because she was living an unusual and adventurous life. Regardless, her “Plunge” was an enjoyable read too. Good luck with the A-Z! You’re braver than I am!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. An insightful blogger commented on one of the lessons we captured from The Expanse, about some folks’ comfort with being told lies, and it made me wonder: are memoirs a way to softly re-write our own tales in our minds?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I hadn’t thought of this as a separate genre. I know I’ve read things similar but I can’t necessarily remember titles immediately. I remember the experience because there was nothing about the story that jumped out at me but it lingered with me for a long time. The Story of Forgetting by Stefan Merrill Block kind of feels like that, although I find the story structure of that book genius. Far from ordinary in some ways and yet gently straightforward and relatable in others, without much overt action. I believe that one is fiction, not memoir, but I have read it twice and still feel like it’s memoir.

    Liked by 3 people

    • If it is your memories, albeit without evidence or proof, I think so. And there are non-fic authors who write ‘creative non-fiction’ that includes elements of fiction stories. It’s complicated, innit.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Like many others, I’ve read some without realizing that was the genre I was reading. I obviously recognized them as memoirs, but I didn’t know there was a subcategory. I liked your response to Liz’s comment.

    Now, I’m curious if there is a subcategory called “noisy memoirs.” 🤣

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes. Memoirs are allowed to have historical/factual mistakes because they are based on a person’s memories. The Quiet Memoir is allowed to be about a ‘boring’ topic, brought to life by the author. Pretty cool genre, I think!


    • I’m not into the ones that try to convince me their lives were extraordinary when usually, they’re self-centered (ooops), but these are a lot more human.

      I loved your question this month, Alex–about audiobooks. I have the same question for myself and will be checking out answers.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the insights, Jacqui. Like others, I had not heard the name of this genre. Serving as my father’s caregiver put me on the path to write and publish a quiet memoir. Post release, I heard only crickets, compelling me to study how to tell a story readers will love.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I wonder whether Isabel Allende’s latest book, Violeta, would fit into this category? It has the feel of a memoir, although it’s written as a letter in which the writer recalls the larger events that swirled around the her life.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Pingback: #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Quiet Memoir — – uwerolandgross

What do you think? Leave a comment and I'll reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.