2022 “Our Life Stories” Virtual Conference

2022 Event Press Release and Information                                               

Contact: Janeen Thorpe

Tel: 916-808-3814

E-mail: hartcrcwritersconference@yahoo.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                      

“Virtual Our Life Stories Writers’ Conference” to Be Held April 30, 2022, on Zoom

Sacramento, CA: “Virtual Our Life Stories Writers’ Conference,” a cross-generational writers’ conference, will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2022.

Sponsored by the City of Sacramento’s Hart Senior Center and Cosumnes River College, with support from ACC Senior Services, the focus of the annual event is the collection and writing of family stories and memoirs.

The conference features a variety of workshops led by experienced and nationally-recognized writers.

Maeley Tom, author of I’m Not Who You Think I Am: An Asian American Woman’s Political Journey, is this year’s keynote speaker.

Workshop presenters include Lisa Dominguez Abraham, Lora Connolly, Frederick K. Foote, Lesley Gale, Ginny McReynolds, Kathy Lynne Marshall, Kakwasi Somadhi, Bob Stanley, and Kate Washington.

The virtual conference runs from 9 to 3:15. The $20 fee includes morning and afternoon workshops and a writing activity for all attendees to end the day.

All are welcome. Registration is required by Thursday, April 28. To register, visit Registration Link or www.ourlifestories.org.

For questions about the conference, call the Hart Center at (916) 808-1590, or email hartcrcwritersconference@yahoo.com.

Workshop Descriptions

Morning Workshops

The Person I’m Becoming with Lisa 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. 

Afternoon Workshops

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.

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For more information Tel: (916) 808-1590 or e-mail: hartcrcwritersconference@yahoo.com.

LEARN HOW TO COLLECT AND CREATE YOUR FAMILY’S STORY AT THIS VIRTUAL WRITERS’ CONFERENCE

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com


The City of Sacramento Hart Senior Center and Cosumnes River College on April 17 will host “Our Life Stories,” a virtual writers conference that features lectures, readings and workshops to help people of all ages collect and create family memoirs.

“This conference is always exciting because of the high level of energy and enthusiasm for writing that the attendees bring,” said Rosanne Bernardy, recreational superintendent with the City’s Older Adult Services, which manages the Hart Senior Center. “It’s fun to see people so interested in working on the craft of writing their life story and eager to learn from the wonderful authors giving workshops at this event.”

Open to the public, the virtual conference will feature presentations from recognized poets, journalists and educators.

Presenters include poet Lisa Dominguez Abraham, poet JoAnn Anglin, journalist Marcus Crowder, educator Dale Flynn, educator Jessilyn Gale, educator Lesley Gale, former Sacramento poet laureate Bob Stanley and writer Kate Washington.

The event is from 10 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and costs $20. People can register online until April 15 or call the Hart Senior Center for questions at 916-808-5462.

“We’re especially excited about this year’s conference because of the historic nature of current events, from the pandemic to politics. It’s so important that future generations have first-hand accounts from family members about the times they lived in,” said Bernardy.

The Hart Senior Center offers resource assistance, virtual classes and workshops to seniors in Sacramento and is a part of the City’s Youth, Parks and Community Enrichment department.

WRITTEN BY PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER

“Virtual Our Life Stories Writers’ Conference” to Be Held April 17, 2021, on Zoom

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                      

Sacramento, CA: “Virtual Our Life Stories Writers’ Conference,” a cross-generational writers’ conference, will be held on Saturday, April 17, 2021.

Sponsored by the City of Sacramento’s Hart Senior Center and Cosumnes River College, with support from ACC Senior Services, the focus of the annual event is the collection and writing of family stories and memoirs.

The conference features a variety of workshops led by experienced and nationally-recognized writers.

Presenters include Lisa Dominguez Abraham, JoAnn Anglin, Marcus Crowder, Dale Flynn, Jessilyn Gale, Lesley Gale, Bob Stanley, and Kate Washington. We will also have a publishing panel, featuring local publishers: MaryEllen Burns, David Covin, Cecily Hastings, and Emmanuel Sigauke.

The virtual conference runs from 10 to 3:15. The $20 fee includes morning and afternoon workshops and a writing activity for all attendees to end the day.

All are welcome. Registration is required by Thursday, April 15. To register, visit Registration Link or www.ourlifestories.org.

For questions about the conference, call the Hart Center at (916) 808-5462, or email hartcrcwritersconference@yahoo.com.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

“New Eyes” with Lisa Dominguez Abraham – “The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust—We all have a life story we tell by touching the same details each time and concluding in a lesson we have engrained into ourselves. In this workshop, we’ll seek surprise by exploring hidden aspects of a familiar story and use them to draft a new poem.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Life: Shifting Perspectives with JoAnn Anglin – Poets often reveal deeper truths about a situation or person by using metaphors and analogies to depict a memory’s different facets in time’s passage, or by shifting the expected focus. JoAnn will show you how to use these techniques in telling your life story.

The People in Our Lives: Details Tell Their Stories with Marcus Crowder – In this workshop, participants will go through a couple of exercises searching for visual descriptive scenes which reveal character and then work on developing one of them in depth with descriptive details.

Writing the Garden with Dale Flynn – For centuries humans have gardened—for food, for solace. And we all have gardens—if only a flowerpot on the sill or a view of the neighbor’s roses. In this workshop we will consider the many ways we look at gardens and the ways we use them in writing. We will look at them as metaphors and as holders of place.

Seven Ways In: Turning Your Attention to a Writing Prompt with Bob Stanley – Finding our way into the mind-set of inspiration can be a challenge in a hectic life.This workshop will give you seven prompts for “quickwrites,” with a goal of helping writers find more prompts for the future. The theory here is the more attempts you make, the more work you eventually produce. When you start creating your own prompts, building your own puzzles to solve, you’ll be more likely to find inspiration in the time you spend writing and revising your poems and stories.

Your Life in Context: Adding Insight to Your Story through Research with Kate Washington – In this workshop, we will discuss how writers can approach situating their own life story in a broader context. We will discuss why writers might want to incorporate research elements to broaden the scope and vision of their memoir, to discuss relevant issues or offer social critique, to include meaningful artifacts or primary sources (such as family history), to create a powerful braided narrative, or as a meaningful counterpoint to personal memories. The workshop, based in part on the workshop leader’s experience writing her forthcoming book, will include examples of personal essays and memoir grounded in research (including a list for further reading); discussion of research methods and how to use and credit sources ethically; a craft discussion on incorporating researched materials artfully; and a brainstorming session for participants.

Publishing Panel with Moderator Cecily Hastings, Publisher Inside Publications; MaryEllen Burns, Publisher, I Street Press; David Covin, Editor and Publisher, Blue Nile Press and Founder Black Book Fair; andEmmanuel Sigauke, Editor and Publisher Munyori and Editor Tule ReviewAmong the items discussed by these local publishers are the following: what they publish, their submission process, other publishers, sources, places, and Contests. They will also offer tips and insights.

The Mindful Muse with Jessilyn and Lesley Gale – Large Group Session at the End of the Day

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For more information Tel: (916) 808-1590, or e-mail: hartcrcwritersconference@yahoo.com.