Memoir, autobiography, personal essay, creative nonfiction -- much distance between each of those and yet used synonymously for one and the same. Hatrack workshop can be a boon for a writer of those if the facets of story craft are foreground. Those share fiction facets; some distinctions separate the two forms. Memoir writers who come to Hatrack looking for guidance have come at times with goals different from story craft and were disappointed.
One shared facet is drama, if dramatic. One distinction is creative nonfiction invariably entails the true self as narrator; fiction, not the self overtly. Of course, too, the writer self invariably is a presence, overt or covert and anywhere between, no matter the form or genre.
One distinction there is that memoir all but demands a writer thereof realize the form is about notable real-world events, settings and milieus, and personas. Story craft applies there, too, yet the form falls short of drama when more about a historical account than a dramatic story. Fiction invents notable, authentic, not necessarily real-world events, settings and milieus, and characters.
Our host Orson Scott Card's Milieu, Idea, Character, and Event emphasis quotient is recognizable in memoir's essential facets ("M.I.C.E." Characters and Viewpoint, pgs 62-70). Plus, "Three Questions Readers Ask" apply as well (pgs 19-21). So what? Oh yeah? Huh? Respectively, So what, why should I care? Oh yeah, I should make believe this is real? And Huh, what really happens here?
These above are not meant here as promotions of Orson Scot Card's works, nor above others' works and theories, rather, to note noteworthy contributions of our host to story craft and narrative and dramatic theories. These highlight that, as much as different forms and genres may differ, they're also much alike; the similarities are what Hatrack has on offer.