Winter-Spring 2023 Workshops

Guided Autobiography I

Offered through Madison College, 10 weeks starting January 25th

You have a wealth of memories and stories. It’s time to capture them in writing.

By using the Guided Autobiography method developed by Dr. James Birren, you will do more than start writing down your memories—you will gain insights into how the events of your life have contributed to the person you are today—and may become tomorrow. Themes include branching points, family history, the role of money, history of one’s life work, health and body, development of sexual identity, ideas about death, spiritual life and values, and changing goals and aspirations. The objective of this course is to produce about 9 thematic autobiographical essays. The emphasis is on self-discovery rather than writing craft. Expressive writing of this nature has been shown to decrease anxiety and isolation and increase self-esteem, energy, and social connection.

When: This 10-week workshop meets Wednesday mornings, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Central, from 1/25/23 through 4/5/2023 (no class on 3/15–Spring Break!)
Truax-Protective Services Room 220
Fee: $205
To register: Click here for a registration form; enter class #63414. Or call 608.258.2301, Option 2.

Start Writing Your Life Story

Offered by the Pinney Library, 6 weeks starting February 7th

The stories of our lives connect generations and communities. Whether you want to share your own life experiences or pass on your family’s stories, this workshop will help you get started and stay motivated.

Each week we’ll discuss aspects of writing from life, including storytelling techniques, organizing your project, and the complications of writing about living people. Suggested themes and prompts will help you write 2-3 pages each week. Each class session includes time to share what you’ve written in a supportive environment. You’ll leave with lots of ideas to keep you writing. Attendees should bring paper and pen/pencils for in-class exercises.

When: This 6-week workshop meets Tuesday mornings, 9:30-11:30 a.m. from 2/7 through 3/14.
Where: Pinney Library, 516 Cottage Grove Road, Community Room A
Fee: Free
Registration opens January 9. Click here to register. 

Creative Writing

Offered through Madison College, 8 weeks starting March 21st

Beginning or advanced writers explore the possibilities of writing for fun and publication by practicing specific writing skills that enhance descriptive language usage, story telling, and exposition, including styles, grammar usage, and imagery.

When: This 8-week workshop meets Tuesday mornings, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Central, from 3/21/23 through 5/9/23 .
Where: Truax-Protective Services Room 220
Fee: $165
To register: Click here for a registration form; enter class #63468. Or call 608.258.2301, Option 2.

Effective Workplace Communication

Offered through UW-Madison Continuing Studies, 2 weeks beginning April 26

Impressions of professionalism include how well and how “correctly” we write.  However, it’s often hard to remember what is proper English style, much less recognize how professional style is changing. This workshop will help you polish your writing skills when communicating with internal and external customers in today’s work environment. Learn techniques that will enhance your credibility and connection.  Review specifics of grammar, document structure, tone, and some often-made mistakes in punctuation Know when to become informal and when not. You’ll learn the most common credibility-damaging errors and tips for avoiding them. You’ll practice applying covered techniques to increase your influence in your own work situations.

When: April 26  +  May 3, 9:00am-noon
Where: Online
Fee and registration details to come.  Please email me.

Guided Autobiography (GAB) Ongoing Group Forming

Already taken GAB I? Want to continue meeting, writing, and exploring what our life stories have to teach us? If you’d like to join an ongoing GAB group, email me.


These meetings are on hold for the time being. Please email me to receive updates as I plan new offerings for reminiscence writers.

Workshops not for you?
Try individualized memoir coaching

I help you write and share your life stories, coaching you as you write a compelling story from your memories. Throughout, I’m at your side to help you get started and stay motivated. Print-on-demand makes it possible to share your story with just a small circle or offer it to the world.

Intrigued? Got questions? I have answers! Let’s talk.