Home Upcoming Workshops

Upcoming Workshops

Winter-Spring 2017

“First Monday, First Person”

South Madison Branch Library, 2222 S Park St, Madison, WI

Next salon: February 6th, 6:00-7:45

Share and critique writing in the first person with like-minded people, first Monday of most months. Sign up on arrival to read on a first-come, first-served basis, and receive group feedback. Listeners welcome as well as readers. Free.

Join us on the first Monday of every month except for Monday holidays. Sorry, no salon in January!

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Guided Autobiography with Sarah White

When: February-April, 11:30-1:30 Mondays, starting February 20, concluding April 24. Brown bag lunches welcome. The class is limited to 8 people so each participant has an opportunity to read every week.

Where: Westside Senior Center, 602 Sawyer Terrace, just behind Hilldale off Segoe Road.


About this group:  Guided Autobiography helps individuals find structure and meaning in their lives, and convey it in a written life story. We use themes and priming questions t evoke memories of events once known but filed away and seemingly forgotten.

Writing and sharing life stories with others is an ideal way to find new meaning in life as the uncertainties of the past, and the contradictions, paradoxes, and events of life are put into perspective. Participants typically achieve greater resilience, direction, and appreciation of their lives.

The focus is life review, but we do touch on writing technique as well.

Fee for this workshop: $180 for 10 weeks. Attendees should be able to attend at least 8 of the 10 scheduled sessions, please.

RSVP to save your seat, Sarah White, 608-347-7329, sarah.white@firstpersonprod.com

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Start Writing Your Memoir

When: Tuesday evenings, March 7 to April 11, 6 sessions, 6:30-8:30 pm

Where: Madison Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin Street

The stories of our lives connect generations and communities. That’s a priceless gift, one anyone can create, with guidance.

In this workshop for beginning writers, we will explore different aspects of writing a memoir. Whether you want to share your own life experiences or pass on your family’s stories, this class will help you get started.  We’ll spend eight sessions discussing aspects of writing creative nonfiction, including structuring your stories, conveying the essence of places and events, and dealing ethically with writing about living people.

For each class meeting, students write a few pages on their life experiences. I suggest topics but encourage participants to write on whatever motivates them. Each class meeting includes time to share writing in a supportive environment. To enhance small-group interaction, enrollment is limited to 15. Anyone age 14 to 114 is welcome to participate. Attendees should bring paper and pen/pencils for in-class exercises.  Participants should commit to attending all sessions.

 “I truly enjoyed this class and I think you are a phenomenal teacher. You created a welcoming and opening environment and it was a joy to participate. You have given me tools I will use for the rest of my life as a writer.” – Hayley S.

Fee: Free! Thank your librarians, early and often.

To register: Follow this link.

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UW-Madison Writers’ Institute 2017

I’m honored to have been selected to present several workshops at the 28th annual UW-Madison Writers’ Institute

March 24, 3-4pm: Write Your Travel Memoir. A traveler’s story is just a long string of anecdotes until a writer applies story craft. Discover how writing an essay or memoir about a travel experience offers a spectacular opportunity to practice creative nonfiction writing techniques.

March 25: 9:40-11am: Panelist, The Story of a Lifetime: Crafting Biography and Profile.  We’ll talk about using interviews to bring voices to your story, how to delve into treasure troves of letters and documents to illustrate a life, and how to use what you gather to tell the tale of an influential person or community.

2-4:15pm: Manuscript critiques. Submit your manuscript in advance, then meet with an instructor one-on-one to discuss your material. To submit a manuscript for critique, read more here.

5-5:30: Write for Your Life. Let’s talk about how expressive writing promotes emotional health. In this session you’ll learn techniques to improve your writing—and your overall wellbeing—while keeping yourself safe in even the darkest corners.

The details–

  • Where: UW-Madison campus
  • When: Friday-Sunday, March 24-26, 2017
  • Cost: Early bird registration—$195 for Friday or Saturday/Sunday or $295 combo fee by February 14th, 2017 ($245/$345 after February 14th, 2017). Fee includes instruction, morning continental breakfast Friday and Saturday, afternoon refreshments, and Sunday coffee/tea.
  • For more information: follow this link

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Let’s stay in touch.

If you would like to receive an email when my new schedule appears, let me know at sarah.white@firstpersonprod.com. With your permission, I will add you to my list.

© First Person Productions