Classes

       
Sarah White

Class Title: Start Writing Your Family History
Instructor: Sarah White
Class Term: January 21-February 18, 2019
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Synopsis

The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: tell the story. In this workshop we explore how to write and share stories that reveal your family's formative experiences, values, and life lessons.

Class Description

The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: tell the story. In this workshop we explore how to write and share stories that reveal your family's formative experiences, values, and life lessons.

In this workshop students will learn to locate and write about the struggles and triumphs that show family values in action; how to develop a research plan and conduct interviews; practice writing techniques that will help you bring people and places to life; and bring out the "skeletons in the closet"—to discuss writing ethically about difficult issues and family secrets.

At the end of this class, students will be to conduct research and write with more clarity and focus about their family history..

Instruction/Communication Method: Weekly class session live with instructor, using my Zoom platform. Yahoo group for responding to discussion prompts and exchanging essays for review.

Outline

  • Unit 1: "Finding the Stories"—how to locate and write about the struggles and triumphs that show family values in action.
  • Unit 2: Interviewing for family history and developing your research plan.
  • Unit 3: Writing techniques that will help you bring people and places to life.
  • Unit 4: "Skeletons in the closet"—how to write ethically about difficult issues and family secrets.
An optional session 5 will be offered for student questions/discussion.

Student Skills, Equipment, and Time Required

Basic word processing, use of email, access to Yahoo group. Zoom platform doesn't require any skills.

Time Commitment: 1.5 hour class session, + 2-4 hours outside class to prepare homework.

Tuition/Fees for this course

SCN members: $128. Non-SCN members: $160.

Instructor Bio

Sarah White, a published author and personal historian, has taught memoir writing workshops since 2004. She holds a certificate in Reminiscence and Life Story Work and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Her memoir essays accepted for publication include "Make Love, Not War," Seasons of Our Lives: Summer (Volume 2), Women's Memoirs, e-book 2011, print edition 2018 and "eThe Plunge," My Words Are Gonna Linger anthology, Personal History Press, 2008. She published Write Your Travel Memoirs: 5 steps to transform your travel experiences into compelling essays in 2010. She teaches online and in-person in Madison, Wisconsin. Visit her website & her blog.

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Praise for Sarah's Classes

  • Never thought I would love writing my obituary, but I did! Lots of info in Sarah White's class. —Trudy E., Clarkdale AZ

  • This was my first Story Circle on line course. The instructor Sarah White has set the bar very high. Her use of "appreciative inquiry" feedback was most helpful. I will look for her future courses and definitely consider taking another SC online course. The experience was as usual with Story Circle first class, very well done. Many thanks. —Pat T., Tyler TX

  • Sarah White was everything I could have hoped for in an instructor: lively, engaged, affirming, prompt. I'm afraid she may have spoiled me for any future instructors! —Marilyn P., Waterville ME

  • I learned a lot, it was a morale booster and I appreciated Sarah White's constructive criticism. —Jane C., Austin TX

  • I learned basics of writing travel memoir—techniques for gathering material on the road, finding the story within the story, organizing and writing the memoir. When I leave for vacation next month, I'll be taking what I've learned in Sarah White's course along with me. —Kathy W., Austin TX

  • Although I have a degree in creative writing, I learned a lot from Sarah White's style of outlining and writing. —Elizabeth F., Ogden UT

  • The conference calls were very helpful and satisfying—more of a feeling of a class, camaraderie, etc. Also found Sarah White's comments and suggestions on my writing piece helpful. —Chestelle S., Austin TX

  • Sarah White was informed, organized, and enthusiastic about her subject. When I was unable to submit my main essay on time, she graciously allowed me to turn it in after the deadline and critiqued it as well. Her critiques served not only to teach but also to encourage. I would enjoy taking other classes from her. Everything about the mini-course was excellent. —Kathy W., Austin TX

  • I greatly benefited from Sarah White's instruction and help. I would love to take another course from her. —Mary Ann P., Sugar Land TX

  • Sarah White presented the material in a concise and clear manner, using the conference calls to clarify even further. She provided extensive feedback to me in a format that was easy to follow. Her encouraging manner and helpful suggestions made writing my travel essay exciting. —Joan G., Bellevue NE

  • Sarah White is a master at constructive criticism. Her comments were insightful and spot on. —Janice K., Austin TX