Our talented workshop presenters have stacks of books and other publications to offer. Please take a look at the many choices.
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
Due to Coronavirus, we are rescheduling our annual “Our Life Stories” cross-generational writers’ conference to April 17, 2021.
For those who have already registered for this year’s conference, refunds will be made soon. If paid by check, a refund check will be mailed to you. If paid by credit card, a credit will be provided back to that same card.
Although the 2020 Our Life Stories writing conference has been rescheduled to April 17, 2021, the following links to websites, blogs, and podcasts might be of interest to you and inspire you to continue writing. Some of these sites were recommended by two of the scheduled presenters for the 2020 conference as well as the Davis, CA poet laureate.
We hope you will find some of these sites useful. We encourage you to continue writing, perhaps even explore genres you haven’t tried before.
Thank you for your understanding; stay home and stay well!
Our Life Stories Planning Committee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rosanne Bernardy
“Envisioning Our Lives 20/20 Our Life Stories Writers’ Conference”
to Be Held April 18, 2020, at Cosumnes River College
Sacramento, CA: “Envisioning Our Lives 20/20,” a cross-generational writers’ conference, will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2020, at Cosumnes River College (CRC), in Sacramento.
Sponsored by the City of Sacramento’s Hart Senior Center and Cosumnes River College, 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, Emily Bond, Marcus Crowder, Dale Flynn, Jessilyn Gale, Lesley Gale, Bob Stanley, Marie Taylor, and Kate Washington.
The conference runs from 9 to 4:15. The $40 fee includes workshops, lunch, and book sales and signings.
All are welcome. Space is limited. Register early. Registration is required by Friday, April 8. To register, visit the website www.ourlifestories.org. For questions about the conference, call the Hart Center at 916-808-5462, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“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.
Establishing Setting: Using Research Skills to Unlock the Past with Emily Bond
In both memoir and other creative writing genres, we take our readers on a journey into the world of our characters, selves, or loved ones. Make that world rich and real by gathering historical facts and details to describe the environment, events, customs, dress, and habits of the period. Learn how to employ historical research skills to explore the past, and use uncovered facts to establish setting and environment in your writing.
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.
The Four Do’s and Three Don’ts of Using Descriptive Language to Tell Your Story with Marie Taylor
A picture is worth a thousand words! As writers that means we can use descriptive language to portray the people, places, and events of our life. The appearance of our family home, the music we danced to, the fashions we wore, and the sound of the train whistle as it pulled out of town can all contribute to the richness of the narrative. When we understand and use the techniques of descriptive writing, our life experiences come alive. Through discussion and exercises we will explore the four do’s and three don’ts of descriptive writing to enrich our 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.
Large Group Session at the End of the Day: The Mindful Muse with Jessilyn and Lesley Gale
# # #
For more information Tel: 916-808-5462, or e-mail: email@example.com.
Thank you for attending the 2019 Our Life Stories writers’ conference.
Some of you asked for an electronic version of Brianna Renner’s workshop handout on the epistolary form. It is here.
Our 2020 conference will be held at Cosumnes River College on April 18, 2020. Stay tuned for more information.
Thanks to your contributions of information at the 2018 conference, we have compiled a draft list of community resources. You can find a link to the document featuring writing-related readings, workshops, and organizations at: Community Resources.
Thank you for making the 2019 event another great success!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sabrina Stewart
“REVEALING THE TAPESTRY OF OUR LIFE STORIES” WRITERS’ CONFERENCE
TO BE HELD APRIL 13 AT COSUMNES RIVER COLLEGE
Sacramento, CA: “ Revealing the Tapestry of Our Life Stories,” a cross-generational writers’ conference, will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2019, at Cosumnes River College (CRC), in Sacramento. Sponsored by the City of Sacramento’s Hart Senior Center and Cosumnes River College, 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 JoAnn Anglin, Naomi Benaron, Rhony Bhopla, Emily Bond, Traci Gourdine, Ellen Sander, Kakwasi Somadhi, Straight Out Scribes (Staajabu and VS Chochezi), Marie Taylor.
The conference runs from 9 to 4. The $35 fee includes workshops, lunch, and book sales and signings.
All are welcome. Space is limited. Register early. Registration is required by Friday, April 5. To register, visit the website www.ourlifestories.org. For questions about the conference, call the Hart Center at 916-808-5462, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Metaphor in Story with JoAnn Anglin—Workshop attendees will explore how to borrow poetic techniques and tools to add more flavor, variety, and intensity to memoirs and to better convey the mood of a time or place.
Creating Fiction From Our Lives: How We Weave a Tapestry of Imagination, Memory, and Memoir with Naomi Benaron—I am not a firm believer of “write what you know.” I do, however, believe that no matter how far we stray from our own truths, if we look into our “fictional souls,” we will find the beating heart of those memories. The purpose of this workshop is to connect with our personal truths and learn how to weave them into the narrative and spiritual arcs of our stories with courage, honesty, and integrity.
Feminist Ekphrasis: perception, projection, and power dynamic with Rhony Bhopla—Workshop attendees will explore writings surrounding feminist visual art. The focal point will be an examination of gender power dynamics between object, artist, and gazer. This is a generative workshop.
Therapeutic Writing: Confronting Fear, Capturing Memory, and Working Through Loss with Emily Bond—This workshop will explore writing as a powerful self-expressive and reflective tool. Join us as we examine fear, grief, and memory through the lenses of short-essay, fiction, and memoir.
Crossroads: Exploring the Alternate Choice with Traci Gourdine—Explore the art of “would’ve, should’ve, could’ve.” We’ll try out several techniques to organize and beautify, without preaching abstractions, a key turning point in our lives when we had to make a choice that determined the direction of our life. What might have happened had we taken the other road? Who would we be, and where would we find ourselves? This exercise allows us to utilize fiction and non-fiction as we travel down that alternate path in the voice of the person we would have become. Many are surprised with the results; many realize we may have chosen the right path after all. Prose and poetry are welcome.
The Photographer As Narrator with Ellen Sander—Photographs have inspired many classic narratives. Preparing to recognize the moment, capturing transience, and making pictures in all sorts of situations “are things a story writer needed to know,” recalled Pulitzer Prize author Eudora Welty, emphasizing the realization that “Life doesn’t hold still. A good snapshot stopped a moment from running away.” It is the documentation of that decisive moment that preserves memory and rouses creativity, whether instantly or years later. Photographs that inspired great literary works will be introduced and discussed. Workshop participants will explore subtle and artful themes embedded in photographs and consider how their interpretations may infuse and color subsequent story lines.
Your Coming Forth Story Starters with Kakwasi Somadhi—“. . .[Loretha’s] thoughts could travel, revisiting the highs and lows of her life, which she did often.”
–from Coming Forth by Day
Participants will respond to writing prompts designed to bring forth the stories embedded in their lives. Looking for common themes, they will explore how their stories quilt together into a tapestry reflecting the highs and lows of their unique journey. And finally, they will write a bit of fiction or mini-memoir that represents their coming forth stories. * Participants should bring writing tools: laptop, or paper and pen.
The Art of Word Weaving with Dr. VS Chochezi and Staajabu—Join mother/daughter poetry team Dr. V.S. Chochezi and Staajabu, known as Straight Out Scribes, as they describe and demonstrate their unique style of spoken word and how they craft their art.
Remember Me: Seven “Other” Ways to Tell Your Story with Marie Taylor—Birth, school, family, marriage, career—throw in some influence from culture and society, and you have a life story. Or do you? Starting from the cradle to ending in maturity may be a logical way to tell the story of your life, but is it the only way, or the best way? Or could you pick a format and structure for your narrative that better reflects who you are, what you did, what you enjoyed, how you viewed your world? In this workshop you learn seven alternative ways to tell your story, including: vignettes, memoirs, photo journals, themed narratives, and treasure boxes.
# # #
For more information Tel: 916-808-3814, or e-mail: email@example.com.
“Toggling between loss, therapy, the pastoral, illness, the humorously personable, and the darkly familial—at every turn this book surprises, aches, and delights.” -Sam Sax, Author of “Bury It”, 2017 James Laughlin Award winner.
Thank you for attending the 2018 Our Life Stories writers’ conference. Thanks to your contributions of information, we have been able to compile a draft list of community resources. You can find a link to the document featuring writing-related readings, workshops, and organizations at: Community Resources Compiled April 2018.
If you want us to add a group or update the information, please complete the following form: