Welcome to our Spring Seminar Series! Here you'll get what you need to help you record, write, and share valuable family stories with confidence. Whether you're an experienced writer or just beginning your storytelling journey, these classes will motivate you and educate you on the latest writing tools, tips, and tech. We can't wait to share our latest insights.
In addition, we are including TWO great bonuses. One is a pre-recorded seminar on involving youth in storytelling projects.
The other is a full, on-demand course (not just a seminar) on how to make an ancestor video. Video lessons walk you through digitizing methods, storytelling techniques, storyboarding, and the technology to bring it together. Make an easy video your family will love! This popular course sells for $99 on its own but we decided to bundle it free with this seminar series to sweeten the deal.
Small group size
We anticipate intimate group sizes in these classes. That means we’ll have the chance to answer your questions and engage. It will be a wonderful chance to meet you!
Oral History - Why is it important and How-to's for Success
Why is capturing oral history a vital piece of someone's story? What are the how-to's for successful interviews? In this class we'll talk about how to prepare for interviews, the best questions to ask (or not ask) and what to do with oral history once it's complete. We'll discuss the best recording tools and settings, transcription tools, and who you should interview. Also, with technology always changing, we'll give tips on the latest tech tools and the best ways to share your finished projects.
Sensitive Subjects - writing about the hard stuff
Life stories that contain adversity can heal and inspire if you write with empathy and context. But what should you do if there does not appear to be a happy ending? Learn ways to frame these stories to satisfy readers–without going out of bounds. Another delicate area involves situations around trauma, tragedy, or abuse. Should these stories be included or left out? This class will prepare you with important mindsets and thoughtful considerations for times when family stories might open wounds or upset others.
Writing personal and ancestor stories - How to start and actually finish!
Do you ever feel like your story is stuck before you even start writing? This class will offer practical tips on how to start the writing process, stick with it and actually finish. Preparation is key and will ignite your creativity to see it through! We'll discuss what to gather before you begin, what to know and when to let go of certain elements. Then we'll examine the process with your own story or ancestor stories - that of someone living or who has passed on. The process is similar, but also has variations. Lastly, we'll share simple solutions to help you beat writer's burnout and instead stay motivated through the writing journey.
BONUS Youth and Storytelling (This new class recording will be available as a replay):
Oftentimes, when youth hear the words, "family history" their minds turn off. In this class we'll discuss ways that family history can have the opposite effect! Learn how to teach youth that family history is also about stories (not just indexing) and that through their own important stories they can have an impact on the future. Getting youth to tell their stories is a great first step in teaching them the value of family history work and can also instill confidence and resilience. We'll share specific questions that spark great storytelling and ways to help youth enjoy the process.
BONUS Make an ancestor video story
If you want to reach others with your family stories, there is no better way than video. New technologies make the process easy, even for beginners. This video course features easy instructions and tools. This on-demand course was created by popular request and our students have loved it.
You will learn:
- How to write a story that showcases an interesting character
- How to digitize your images
- Where to find additional images in the public domain
- What to include and where to trim your script
- How to put it all together so your family will love the story