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This Holiday, Save the Stories!

Published on December 18, 2012, by in Commentary.

When I recently came across this photo, I was reminded how important it is to save the stories behind the treasures and traditions of our favorite holidays. No matter whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Chinese New Year, or Winter Solstice, you’ll soon be with family. Now’s your opportunity to create fun activities that bring generations together around

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Join me for “Writing Your Family History”: A Wisconsin Historical Society Workshop

1 morning, Saturday December 15, 9:00-noon, Memorial Library Room 126, Library Mall, UW-Madison Campus. Are you ready to write your family history? This class will show you how to prepare, how to write family history, and the various levels of family history projects that will share your hard research work with your family and friends.

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“This Holiday, Save the Stories” — a Family History Workshop

10-11:15, Saturday December 8th, Bolz A, Goodman Community Center Holiday gatherings bring out family stories. And it’s important to save those stories, because your memories are a gift to the future. Children need the stories that bring to life family history, traits and values. Writing those stories down connects extended families across time and space.

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Ron Hoppmann wins Madison Magazine Memoir Contest

Published on November 20, 2012, by in Contest.

  Madison Magazine Memoir Contest Winner Ron Hoppmann was born on Madison’s east side in 1934. He attended Marquette Elementary School and East High School. Ron spent three years active duty in the Marine Corps and went to college in Colorado. Ron says, “I write because I have no choice in the matter.” Since retiring

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Madison Magazine Contest now closed. Next step: select a winner.

Published on November 2, 2012, by in Contest.

Fifty-one entries! That’s how many my Memoir Contest with Madison Magazine drew! The contest closed at midnight 10/31/12. Reading entries now… so many so good, it will be hard to choose… Our judges panel meets 11/12. Shortly after that, the winner will be announced. In the meantime, follow our progress on my blog with Madison Magazine,

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Madison Magazine Memoir Contest deadline extended to 10/31

Published on September 27, 2012, by in Contest.

Not every great story makes it into the news–and that’s why we need to tell our own life stories. One lucky winner will win the chance to work on a memoir with me as a writing partner. The final deadline for the Madison Magazine Memoir Contest  has been extended to October 31, 2012. We’ve already gotten

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Win the Story of Your Life—Published!

Published on August 20, 2012, by in Contest.

Madison Magazine and I  have teamed up to offer one lucky reader the chance to see your life story become a book. All you have to do to enter is write a 500-word autobiographical sketch about a special memory from your life. You could write a scene from your childhood, or describe a memorable event from later in

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Birthing a Book

Published on August 8, 2012, by in Commentary.

On May 28 I got an email from my old friend Seth Kahan. He was in trouble. His manuscript for his second book had been rejected by his publisher. There was a considerable advance at stake if he couldn’t produce a better book. The publisher gave him until July 31. His first book had been a

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Does competition motivate you?

Published on August 1, 2012, by in Contest.

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys the recognition and confidence that comes with winning a competition against worthy peers, you’ll want to know about Wisconsin Writers’ Association contests. The WWA offers several contests suitable for memoir writers: In the Jade Ring Contest, entries that are “Memoir/ Reminiscence: about self and/or family, includes nostalgia.

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Have the time of your life recalling your life

Published on July 16, 2012, by in Commentary.

When the great sportswriter “Red” Smith said, “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein,” he was referring to the agony of turning out a daily column. For memoirists, it’s so much easier—you just sit down, sans deadlines and bosses, choose a vein of memories, and

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