Spring Seminar Series (Replays)

3 recorded Zoom seminars with Q&A. Includes: handouts, printable tool kits, plus a full bonus course that sells for $99 on its own

Oral history how-to's. Sensitive Subjects. Writing Essentials.

4 seminars
plus "make an ancestor video" course
(the ancestor videos course alone sells for $99)

Class Series Summary

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

Spring Seminar

$49 USD


Dates for live Zoom classes

February 17 - Oral History
February 21 - Sensitive Subjects
February 22 - Writing basics
On-demand: Youth and storytelling
On-demand: Make an ancestor video
Replays will be available for all sessions


noon - 1:15 PM
10:00 - 11:15 AM
4:00 - 5:15 PM
All classes are in Mountain Standard Time.

What's included

- Three live Zoom seminars with Q&A, slides, handouts, and printable tool kits.
- Replays and transcripts, which will be available to you for one year.

Meet your instructors

Rhonda Lauritzen

Rhonda Lauritzen is a professional biographer with multiple published books. She specializes in life stories, collecting oral history, and historical storytelling. She earned an MBA from the University of Utah and was selected as the Outstanding Graduate in her undergrad major. Before she founded Evalogue.Life in 2016, she served as a college marketing director, Vice President, and a corporate CEO. In 2007, her writing journey began with her parents’ family business saga, which became her first book. Since then, she has been hired to help tell the stories of families, cities, and nonprofits. She believes that when you tell your story, it changes the ending. This is why her passion is teaching, coaching, and presenting at conferences.

Rachel Trotter

Rachel J. Trotter is a senior writer/editor at Evalogue.Life – Tell Your Story. She tells people’s stories and shares hers to encourage others. She loves family storytelling. A graduate of Weber State University, she has had articles featured on LDSLiving.com, lds.org, FamilySearch.org and Meridian Magazine. She has been a speaker at RootsTech, Weber State University Family History Conference, Conference on Family History at BYU and the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. She helps people tell and write their life stories and has written six life stories with several more in production. She has also helped several others write their own stories. She and her husband Mat have six children and she recently became a grandma! She and her family live on the East Bench in Ogden, Utah.

Course Curriculum

What Students Say About our Live Classes

"Class started on time. Ended on time. Excellent, useful information shared expeditiously. I loved that both Rachel and Rhonda shared personal examples to make their points, that helped clarify concepts, and it made me feel connected. 😁 Storyboarding concept helped me visualize that the whole book, and even the chapters should have specific elements in a specific order to create a pleasing, satisfying story. There should be a rise and fall of action, conflict, interesting word choices and varying sentence lengths. The storyboarding formula made so much sense in helping me understand the steps and elements I need to focus on to create a well rounded story.”
Dawn, Canada 
"Using what you taught us, I posted photos and short stories about my husband who died thirty years ago. I transferred his voice from cassette to flash drive. I uploaded his voice to FamilySearch. I am amazed at the reticent relatives and friends that appreciate these stories! The process showed me all I've lived through already. I can do this, too. Thank you"
Chris, U.S.A.
"Taking that first step into family story telling, even just dangling your toes over the edge is so so so hard! I wanted to compile histories before the story tellers are gone and their histories lost but just didn’t know where to begin and didn’t want to do it wrong. The tips and tricks I am learning give me confidence to leap. If you aren’t quite ready to start but know you will someday, or if you do this all the time and are looking for ways to better utilize your time and/or improve and develop your process, I think you will find some really useful information here. You won’t regret this!”
Tammy, U.S.A.
"I  finally got a 'hook' for a family history book project I've had on my back burner for years, and have moved forward with it! I loved the length of the sessions and how they were broken up. Inspirational, practical, and actual writing. Time of day was good for me."
Kerry, U.S.A. 
“I thoroughly enjoyed the 'Life Story' class. The storyboard was marvelous and extremely helpful.”
Bryan, U.S.A.
“I had a terrific time in your class. It has provided a necessary means of accountability. I felt inclined to write some life stories but just wasn't applying the chair glue to do it.”
Valarie, U.S.A.
“Thank you for teaching this class. It is making my life better and giving me the encouragement I need to finish my book.”
Stephanie, U.S.A.
"Just wanted to say thanks to Rhonda and Rachel for the great crash course in personal life writing. They're hitting every essential point and it's a joy to follow their presentations. And I need to thank a dear friend for extending this opportunity to me to be in this class. Thanks! "
Colleen, U.S.A.
"I enjoyed every Thursday evening and the personalities of the two of you. You got me thinking again. The ideas for interviewing are most helpful."
"I really enjoyed your class and feel like I was set to go on a journey. I have to confess that I was not sold on the storyboard idea at the beginning of the class, but as I have studied it and learned a bit more, I can see and recognize it not only in books and movies but in real life. Very interesting!"
Santiago, U.S.A. 
"The linking of the various components presented with the very well presented "how to" information gave more confidence that I can move forward in creating my ancestor story. Using the storyboarding/timeline tips with the photos I collected, I was able to use the writing time to develop a much more compelling story."
Chris, U.S.A.
“Thank you for teaching this class. It is making my life better and giving me the encouragement I need to finish my book.”
Christina, U.S.A.
"Information was clearly presented; now it’s a matter of application and crafting my ancestor story. I started writing!"
Kitty, U.S.A.
"Both Rachel and Rhonda have really thought through all aspects of presenting, teaching, coaching, homework, workbooks, etc."
Tanya, U.S.A.
"I finished your course this morning!!! It was SO WONDERFUL! The course AND the feeling of finishing. My review is a glowing one and well deserved."
Nancy, U.S.A.
"I very much appreciated this class. It did orient me to a general understanding for the process of writing a short story or a fat book. I now see that one can learn and develop the skills needed to finish a project sucessfully. More people should know that writers can be self-made."
Jeri, U.S.A. 
"Thank you, you helped me realize I am the hero in my own story." 
Kelly, U.S.A.
"I finished your course this morning!!! It was SO WONDERFUL! The course AND the feeling of finishing. My review is a glowing one and well deserved."
Nancy, U.S.A.

Teaching & Presentation Experience

Organizations that have hired us