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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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Everything Old is New Again for Memoirist with Alzheimer’s

Published on July 7, 2012, by in Commentary, Guest Post.

One of my colleagues in the Association of Personal Historians, Joan Loven, posted to our group’s listserv recently about her work with a client experiencing memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease. Her story speaks to the tremendous benefits of having one’s life story recorded in a book. Joan writes: Do you remember Peter Allen’s lyrics

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Your words outlive you

Published on July 3, 2012, by in Book review, Commentary.

Association of Personal Historians member John Hawkins posted recently the members’ listserv about The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, which his bookclub is reading. “This paragraph leaped off the page for me as an APH member,” John wrote, “since it speaks so directly to the value of what we do. I highly recommend the book, too.” The

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Ever write a letter to “Dear Abby”?

Published on June 20, 2012, by in Commentary.

Me neither. But today a a response I wrote to a “Dear Abby” letter appeared on the Association of Personal Historians Blog. Titled “Dear Abby… May We Offer YOU Some Advice?” it begins, On Monday of this week the popular “Dear Abby” syndicated column published a letter from a reader encouraging seniors to write down their

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Will writing your memoir be good for your health?

In a word–YES!   Past APH President Pat McNees wrote about the beneficial effects of life story and legacy activities in the Geriatric Care Management Journal, Spring 2009, and posted a condensed version of that article on her website. Highlights: Research indicates that health care professionals working with cancer patients near the end of life should

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A Resource for Writers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Published on May 17, 2012, by in Uncategorized.

“Writing is a powerful tool not only for communicating existing ideas but also for discovering new ones.” That sentence appears in the mission statement of the UW-Madison Writing Center, which exists to help University of Wisconsin students, both undergraduate and graduate, learn more about writing and successfully complete course papers, theses, dissertations, and articles for publication.

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