A special writing workshop for women

Among the things that make me happy: helping other women find their voices and hearing their stories. That’s why I’m excited about my upcoming workshop, “Your Story, Your Power,” which is based on the book, Your Story Is Your Power: Free Your Feminine Voice, by Elle Luna and Susie Herrick. The free, one-night workshop will be held at the Royal Oak Public Library on Monday, September 24 at 7pm.

I discovered this guide several months ago — and was immediately struck by its timeliness. The authors invite women of all ages to take a closer look at their family history as well as the cultural myths and personal experiences that have inspired, defined, changed, or even limited their life choices.

“If we can truly understand the stories that made us the women we are, including the motivations behind our actions and thoughts, we can take charge of how our future unfolds,” the authors write.

In this informal class, we’ll identify and explore our own key stories. No writing experience is necessary — but please bring your favorite notebook or journal. The workshop is free to the public but space is limited and advance registration is required. For additional details and to register for the class, please visit www.ropl.org

“Details, Details” workshop

Mixed-media art by Cindy La Ferle

Join me at the Royal Oak Public Library on Wednesday, May 2 (7:00 – 8:30 PM) for an evening workshop focusing on how to identify and describe the colorful specifics that editors look for in personal essays, columns, and feature stories. Discover how to make your writing sparkle and stand out from dozens of other submissions. This free program is designed especially for new writers. Registration is required to reserve your space: 248-246-3715 or visit the Royal Oak Public Library web site for more information.

A workshop to jumpstart your writing

“I’ve never met many of my best friends. I’ve read them, as if all their words were letters meant for me. You have no idea who’s waiting for your work. Don’t leave them friendless.” ~Martha Beck

There was a time — before I used a computer — when I wrote my columns and essays in my journals, and later typed them into manuscripts for my editors. Even today, when I’m feeling stuck or blocked, I start scribbling random thoughts in a notebook.

Version 2If you live in the Detroit area, please join me at the Royal Oak Public Library next week for “Write Where You Are,” an evening workshop on how to use journaling prompts to jumpstart your memoirs and personal essays. The prompts will help you recall valuable life lessons and experiences that can be used as material for your memoirs, blog posts, or personal essays.

When and where: April 24, 2017, 7pm in the Royal Oak Public Library Friends Auditorium. This program is free to the public, but space is limited. Please phone the Royal Oak Public Library (248-246-3700) to reserve your space. Copies of my book, Writing Home, will be sold after the workshop at a special discount.

The stories in a name

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Though I have few regrets in my life — and I count my blessings daily — I am sorry I didn’t keep my maiden name or use it professionally when I married my husband 36 years ago. How much are we giving up when we stop using our own names? It’s a dilemma married women face, even now, and I touch on the issue in Michigan Prime this month. To read the column online, click here and flip to page 3.

Artwork by Cindy La Ferle

Memoir night at the library

At the Royal Oak Public Library: It’s All About You: How to Write Your Memoir, Wednesday, July 8, 7:00pm. 

DSCN2101Join me for a summer evening discussion about the craft of memoir. Whether you want to write a personal essay for publication or a book for your family legacy, this talk will help you get started. We’ll work from my favorite “Map of Your Life” exercise, and discuss the secrets of staying out of the editor’s slush pile. New and experienced writers welcome.

Copies of my own memoir, Writing Home, will be available at a discount to attendees. This class is free to the public, but seating is limited. Advance registration required. Please phone the Royal Oak Public Library (248-246-3700) or visit www.ropl.org for details.