LAS VEGAS – Everyone has a story, but when it comes to writing it, the challenge can be daunting. For all those who dream of putting their personal histories into words, help is on the way. Writers of Southern Nevada, Inc. has organized “Telling Your Story: The Craft and Business of Memoir Writing,” a one-day conference set for March 5 at the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Five memoir experts make up the faculty for the conference. Linda Joy Myers, author of “The Power of Memoir” and the president and founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers, will present a session on how to create a captivating story drawn from personal experience and develop writing skills that are effective for both fiction and nonfiction.

Best-selling author and biographer Jack Sheehan will discuss the art of interviewing, presenting techniques that are not only useful for getting information from other people, but also in the process of self-exploration.

 Oksana Marafioti, whose memoir “American Gypsy” is due out from McMillan’s Farrar, Straus & Giroux this year, will present a session about keeping track of details and deciding what is important to the story the author seeks to tell.

Mary-Ann Tirone Smith is the author of eight novels and the critically acclaimed memoir “Girls of Tender Age.” Her session, “Why a Memoir is Not an Autobiography,” will cover the difference between a memoir and an autobiography and how to create a compelling narrative voice.

The keynote speaker will be B.J. Robbins, a literary agent who opened her own agency in Los Angeles after a long career in book publishing that included stints with Simon & Schuster and Harcourt. Her talk, “Selling the Truth: The Reality of Publishing a Memoir or Biography,” will focus on the special challenges facing memoirists and biographers in today’s market.

Registration for the conference is $125, but the fee has been discounted to $115 through Jan. 31. For more information and registration, visit

Writers of Southern Nevada, Inc. is a Nevada nonprofit corporation whose mission is to provide education and inspiration for writers.