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Upcoming Workshops

Summer 2018

“First Monday, First Person” 

Join us on the first Monday of every month except for Monday holidays at the  Goodman South Madison Library, 2222 S Park St, Madison, WI. We meet from 6 to 7:45 pm.

Next salons: July 2, August 6. 

Enjoy light refreshments and 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.

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Spring 2017’s workshops, “Start Writing Your Memoir” at the Goodman South Madison branch library and “Flash Memoir Write-In” at Pinney Library, were a great experience for me and, I hope, my students. Thank you, participants and sponsoring libraries! Because of the honoraria I receive from the Dane County Library System, we are able to offer these workshops free to all attendees. Please thank your librarians for all the good they bring to our community.

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Coming Up: Two options for “Flash Memoir”

Memories are frequently more like snapshots than movies. So why not apply the techniques of flash fiction to our own life stories? “Going small” allows us to focus on the moments in which life is truly lived, absorbing lessons that would be hard to find in a larger narrative sweep.

In flash memoir–stories under 1000 or even under 500 words–we challenge ourselves to develop a story concisely, concretely, with crisp precision. Accepting the challenge of creative nonfiction, we work within the boundaries of emotional and factual truth. Short, sharp, and true–No other rules apply.

Flash memoir essays make excellent building blocks from which to begin a longer memoir or life story.

Online: for Story Circle Network

Each week consists of discussion of an aspect of Flash Memoir, delivered via the class Yahoo Group. Students are expected to submit weekly writing exercises and exchange feedback with fellow students.
At the end of this class, students will be able to write with more clarity and concision about their life experiences.

Unit 1: Ground rules of Flash Memoir. Examples. Story-finding technique: Clustering.
Unit 2: From scraps to stories. The secret power of Object Writing is revealed.
Unit 3: Characters and their desires. Find your heroes, villains, and beloved adversaries.
Unit 4: Revision. “Bookends” improve your Flash Memoirs with better beginnings and endings.

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

To register, go here. To learn more about Story Circle Network, follow this link.

Madison: for  Wheelhouse

In the first three sessions, we’ll discuss an aspect of Flash Memoir, followed by quiet time writing together. We’ll finish each session sharing what we wrote with each other or talking about our process. In the final session, each participant reads a Flash Memoir essay for group feedback.

Location: Union South, 1308 W. Dayton St. Parking on-site.

Time/Date: Wednesdays 7:00-8:30pm, September 26-October 17

Fee: $49.50. UW Students/Union Members pay $10 less.

Registration is open now, here’s the link.

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Invite a Workshop to a Library Near You?

Would you like to see my workshops “Start Writing Your Memoir” or “Start Writing Your Family History” presented at a library near you? Tell your librarian about me. I am lining up my Fall 2018 schedule now.

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Guided Autobiography with Sarah White

James Birren’s Guided Autobiography approach 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.

I’m considering offering my Guided Autobiography workshop, based on James Birren’s methodology, later this spring/summer. If you think you might like to participate, let me know–call 608-347-7329 or email me at sarah.white@firstpersonprod.com.

Let’s stay in touch.

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

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To see my workshops for Personal Historians, see this page.

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