Writing Your Family History or Memoir – Spring 2018

family history1Tuesdays, 2/20-3/20, 7-9 p.m.

You have stories. Your family has stories. Some are humorous; some are inspiring; and one or two may just be tall tales. Now is the time to record these stories to pass down to future generations. You may even want to publish a book. You will learn techniques to interview family and friends, making them comfortable to tell their colorful accounts in full detail. Self-reflection and writing exercises will help you write your own recollections in full detail. Once all the stories are collected, you will learn how to organize the writing process and create your personal masterpiece.

LLA 0238, Tuesdays, 2/20-3/20, 7-9 p.m.

Registration: Call (847) 925-6300 or online.

Perhaps you have started (or completed) the arduous task of tracing your family tree. What better way to bring those branches to life than with writing your family’s stories? Whether you want to start with just your own story, your immediate family, a particular point in your family’s history, or delve into the full history, you will find this a rewarding journey. The resulting collection is an ideal gift for weddings, graduations, birthdays or just because, to be treasured now and for generations to come. You may also consider creating a blog with your stories, so that other family members and friends can contribute additional narratives that can lead to more and more chapters. The joy that springs from this project is quite contagious!

You will learn techniques to interview family and friends, making them comfortable to tell their colorful stories in full detail. Self-reflection exercises will help you write your own recollections. Once all the information and tales are collected, you will learn how to organize the writing process and create your personal masterpiece.

We will look at several examples of sharing family history, from traditional formats such as memoirs, family history essays and family cookbooks, to less traditional such as online formats and craft projects. During class, we will explore different writing techniques that will help pull out long-forgotten memories or details. We will work together as a class to practice interviewing techniques and develop reader-centered writing. This helps produce rich stories that will be enjoyed by everyone for generations to come. Working together, we develop a very supportive, collaborative atmosphere. The last class features a potluck, with everyone bringing a favorite dish from his or her heritage or experience.