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September 10, 2022
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Fincastle Library
11 Academy Street
P.O. Box 129

Fincastle, VA 24090
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Loose Threads: Legacy Writing Workshop: Session 1: Beginnings & Goals

Saturday, September 10, 2022

The main reason we write about our lives and the lives of others is to share and reflect on our experience, thoughts and feelings with the world. Life writing is the ever-evolving method that humanity uses to document our own histories. It is a way in which we connect the present to the past and future simultaneously. 

Learn how to capture your experiences and craft YOUR story in this 5-part writing series.

Please call your local Botetourt County Library to register in advance. 

No prior writing experience is required. All you’ll need is a pad of paper, a pen or pencil, an open mind, and a sense of humor. Our guided autobiography workshop provides you with a starting point in telling your life stories. We’ll use proven methods for triggering your memories, and for planning and organizing your project. Group writing offers motivation as well as an interested audience in sharing each other’s journeys. Join us to craft your most precious legacy – the story of your life! 

Session 1: Beginnings & Goals:  

  • Introductions and structure of workshop sessions 
  • Memoir or Autobiography? 
  • Active Listening 
  • Confidentiality and Trust is Job #1 
  • Goals: Course and Personal 
  • A Handful of Story Starters 
  • Theme 1: Life Graph & Major Branching Points 

Suggested reading:

“How might we go about capturing on the page the relationships that have formed us? How do we write about our bodies, their desires and traumas? What does it mean for an author’s way of writing, or living, to be dismissed as ‘navel-gazing’—or else hailed as ‘so brave, so raw’? And to whom, in the end, do our most intimate stories belong? … Melissa Febos has created a captivating guide to the writing life, and a brilliantly unusual exploration of subjectivity, privacy, and the power of divulgence.” 

Karr breaks down the key elements of great literary memoir, opening our concepts of memory and identity, and illuminating the cathartic power of reflecting on the past; anybody with an inner life or complicated history, whether writer or reader, will relate. 


A favorite bit of personal historian advice with respect to sorting through your stuff: Take high-quality photographs of items that hold meaning but perhaps take up too much space or no longer feel relevant to your life; this way you can write about why these heirlooms mattered to you (and your family), where and when they originated, etc.—then, after preserving their history, you can give them away without unnecessary guilt. 

“Why do we want to write and what stops us? How do we fight the worry that no-one will care what we have to say? What can we do to overcome the obstacles in our way? … Intertwined with reflections and exercises, Write It All Down is at once an intimate conversation and an invitation to share your story.” 

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