Annual Event – April 30, 2022

Draft Schedule

8:45am–Conference Opens


9:15-9:45am–Keynote Speaker: Maeley Tom, author of I’m Not Who You Think I Am: An Asian American Woman’s Political Journey

9:45-10am–Q&A and Writing Prompt

10-10:30am–Break, Find Your Breakout Session, and Write

10:30am-12:00pm–Workshop Session 1

12:00pm-12:25pm–Lunch Break and Write

12:25pm–Welcome Back from Lunch

12:30pm-2:00pm–Workshop Session 2

2:00pm-2:15pm–Break (Return to Main Session)

2:15pm-3:15pm–Large Group Writing Activity Open Mic

Workshop Descriptions

Workshop Session 1

The Person I’m Becoming with Lisa Dominguez Abraham

Throughout his long life, the painter Katsushika Hokusai aspired to continual growth as an artist. His goal was to create a painting in which “every dot will be alive.” In this workshop, we will read short pieces from other energized elders and create drafts in which we consider different aspects of our own evolutions.

History and Memoir with Frederick K. Foote

In this interactive workshop participants will explore techniques to weave together history and personal stories. Writers will be inspired to delve into the broader past as they mine their own stories, finding details along the way.

More Than Your Challenges: Writing Difficult Memories with Kate Washington

Memoirs often work with past difficulties or trauma. Writing about challenges you’ve experienced can make for gripping, moving work that’s more than the challenge you began with—but it can also be emotionally difficult. This workshop will explore strategies and resources for writing through painful material and shaping it into work that offers both you and your readers’ perspectives and insights.

Workshop Session 2

Speaking Your Truth: Finding and Sharing Yourself through Oral Storytelling with Lesley Gale

This workshop emphasizes the value of sharing our own experiences and the process of creating and performing personal stories. The facilitator will demonstrate and assist participants in identifying and organizing their own personal stories. Participants will have the opportunity to practice oral storytelling in small groups using techniques for engaging an audience.

Handling Sensitive Topics in Memoir with Kathy Lynne Marshall

You will find dirt under the rug. But just because you uncovered juicy family secrets during your research, should you write about them in a memoir? Should you care who might get hurt? Should you tell the complete truth, only bits and pieces, or ignore the information altogether? Kathy Marshall will focus on several types of sensitive topics commonly encountered during family history research, share how she approached them in her books, and encourage attendees to participate in written exercises which address these important issues.

The Difference Between a Poem with Bob Stanley

In this workshop, we’ll look at how to take a memory and restructure it, or rethink it into a poem. What makes a poem a poem rather than just a description of an event or person?

How do we take informal jottings or diary entries and create “art,” or something approaching it? Using poems by popular contemporary poets (Mary Oliver and others), we’ll explore ways of developing our images and stories into more concise or surprising packages.

I’m Not Who I Thought I Was Retirement Panel with Lora Connolly, Ginny McReynolds, and Kakwasi Somadhi

Participants will discuss how retirement has shaped their lives and writing as well as how they share their work with the world.