UPCOMING

WORKSHOPS

Spring/Summer 2024 Workshops

FIRST MONDAY, FIRST PERSON

Next Meeting: June 3

Join me for this free monthly event for reminiscence writers. Sign up on arrival to read on a first-come, first-served basis, and receive group feedback from like-minded people. Listeners welcome as well as readers.

When: First Monday of every month (except holidays), from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Join us in person at the Pinney Library Community Room, 516 Cottage Grove Rd.
Free. No advance registration required. Food and beverages are welcome!

Want to see what kind of stories are shared? Visit my blog, True Stories Well Told

Summer Fun & Games for Writers

In Person, offered through Pinney Library, 6 weeks starting June 26th

We’ll use short writing exercises to trigger your creativity while expanding your writing skills. Practice writing about places, characters, and scenes with short assignments designed to be as fun as they are helpful in finding your voice as a writer. Some writing exercises will take place in class and others will be “Field Trip” assignments between class meetings. We will…

  • Explore capturing characters with telling details.
  • Conveying a sense of place.
  • Dig into “show don’t tell” with action in scenes.

Class sessions include 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.

Who: Open to all fiction and nonfiction writers, ages 12-112.
When: Wednesday afternoons 3:30-5:30, June 26, July 3, 10, 17
Where: Pinney Library Community Room, 516 Cottage Grove Road
Fee: Free
To register: Use this link. Registration opens June 12.

call a librarian at 608-224-7100 or email pinney​@madisonpubliclibrary.org.

Fall 2024 Workshops

Intro to Guided Autobiography

In Person, offered through Madison College, 5 weeks starting September 5

Guided Autobiography (GAB) is a process pioneered by Dr. James Birren. You’ll write on life themes and share your stories in a supportive small group. You are in complete control of what they write and share; no one is pressured to read more than they are comfortable sharing with the group.

By using the Guided Autobiography method, 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.

Guided Autobiography is an international movement; there are over 600 instructors around the world in a connected community. Guided Autobiography workshops are organized around a sequence of themes—topics that are common threads in the fabric of just about anyone’s life. Everyone who has participated in Guided Autobiography is eligible to submit essays to the Birren Center’s annual anthology collections.

In “Introduction to Guided Autobiography,” we cover the first four of GAB’s nine themes: Branching points, family, role of money in your life, and your major life work or career.

When: Thursday evenings 6:30-8:30, September 5, 12, 19, 26, October 3
Where: Truax campus, room TBD
Fee and to register: Details to come.

2024 Farm/Art DTour* Immersive Writing Retreat

“Responding to Experience: Writing the Personal Essay”

In Person, sponsored by Wormfarm Institute, 4-day experience, now in the planning stages

See video clips of the 2022 Farm/Art DTour here

See video clips of the 2018 Farm/Art DTour here

I have enjoyed contemplating my own response to the Farm/Art DTour in past years and want to share that experience with others. Explore your personal response to the site-specific artworks that dot Wormfarm Institute’s Farm/Art DTour through this immersion in a biennial event celebrating the Sauk County cultureshed.

The goal of this retreat is to immerse you in an experience worth writing about, hold space for your reflection on that experience, and guide you toward drafting a personal essay you could develop for publication or personal growth. We’ll soak in sensory experiences as we explore what the Farm/Art DTour offers.

*What’s the Farm/Art DTour? Read a description on the Wormfarm website here, or a blog post here by Linda Lenzke from 2016 on her experience seeing that year’s DTour.

Want to know more? Read an article I wrote about it for the Wisconsin Academy’s “People and Ideas” magazine here.

“The tour always feels very cinematic to me. You’re in this autumn landscape, the rolling hills, the moving car—it’s more than the actual stops. It’s the restaurants and shops on the main streets of the towns, the weather, the landowners and the art installations, the roadside culture stands. They’re all celebrating the creative and cultural economy.” — Sara Daleiden, 2022 DTour artist

Who: Creative nonfiction writers welcome to apply.
When: Thursday October 10-Sunday October 13, 2024.
What we’ll do: Friday and Saturday begin with writing craft discussion and daily prompts (think treasure hunt) for the afternoon’s immersion. We will spend Friday and Saturday afternoons as a group, driving the DTour route and immersing ourselves in a dozen or so site-specific art installations, pasture performances, and more. In the evenings, we’ll cook and reflect together, enjoy private writing time, or who knows–hike the woods? Check out a local supper club? 
Where: We’ll stay at a nature/spiritual retreat center in Sauk County (details to come).
Fee: Estimated to be about $900.
Find out more: Email me to indicate your interest; I’ll keep in touch as the plan come together.

Going Deeper with Guided Autobiography

In Person, offered through Madison College, 5 weeks starting October 17

In this workshop, participants go deeper into the Guided Autobiography (GAB) process pioneered by Dr. James Birren. You’ll write on life themes and share your stories in a supportive small group. You are in complete control of what they write and share; no one is pressured to read more than they are comfortable sharing with the group. We’ll cover several of GAB’s deeper themes: healthy/body, gender identity, experiences/ideas about death, and spiritual life and values.  The GAB method places more emphasis on self-development than writing craft. Participants should have completed “Introduction to Guided Autobiography” or a comparable workshop.

Guided Autobiography is an international movement; there are over 600 instructors around the world in a connected community. Guided Autobiography workshops are organized around a sequence of themes—topics that are common threads in the fabric of just about anyone’s life. Everyone who has participated in Guided Autobiography is eligible to submit essays to the Birren Center’s annual anthology collections.

When: Thursday evenings 6:30-8:30, October 17, 24, 31, November 7, 14
Where: Truax campus, room TBD
Fee and to register: Details to come.

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.