Workshops
“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”
-Rudyard Kipling

Write Your Life Story
Guided Autobiography Workshops

Write Your Life Story Guided Autobiography Workshops guide you through writing short stories from your life based on themes. A new theme is presented each week (a branching point in your life, family, friendships, life work, etc.) along with questions that help “prime” your memories. Other memory prompts and exercises are done in class that helps get your creative juices flowing. You’ll also receive writing tips that help to engage your reader in your story.

The next week you bring your story to the workshop to share in a small group setting where you will receive encouragement and also hear wonderful stories from others in the small group. Often, hearing the stories from others will prompt a memory or story that you can add to your growing list of stories to write. It’s a wonderful experience when someone exclaims, “I forgot I knew that!”

Write Your Life Story Guided Autobiography ONLINE Workshop:

Participate in the workshop from the comfort of your home. 

Jan. 11, 18, 25
Feb. 1, 8 & 15

Cost: $169 includes all course materials
for the six-week workshop

Space is limited to maintain a pleasant experience for participants. Contact 574-298-1254 or email dawnszabo@blueskylifestories.com and secure your spot.

No writing experience is required for this workshop: Yes, this is a writing workshop, but you don’t need to worry about grammar and spelling. There are no red pens! First drafts don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be written. This workshop is about capturing your stories and getting them down on paper. The editing process can come later when you decide whether to print your memoirs in a lovely notebook, a paperback book or even an heirloom quality hardcover book. We can help with everything from light editing to a custom book design and the final printing.

What you will experience in the workshop:

  • You’ll get your creative juices flowing which helps in recalling memories.
  • You will hear inspiring stories from people like you. Some may have experienced life events similar to yours, others may have experiences that are far different. Some will be amazing, others interesting. You may learn something new or think of something from another point-of-view.
  • You’ll share your story in a comfortable small group, and you’ll listen to stories from others.
  • You’ll build friendships as you get to know people in your group.
  • You’ll have at least five short stories at the end of the workshop series.

Participant Expectations

  • Attend every workshop possible. If one must be missed, let the leader know as soon as possible so that materials can be shared with you for the next session.
  • Write a short story (approximately two-pages) each week on the theme provided.
  • Share your story in a small group and find encouragement to keep going!
  • Listen intently to the other members of your group and offer feedback and encouragement.
  • Have fun and possibly learn something new.

Why take a workshop from Dawn?

I have a passion for helping people tell stories from their lives and I want to help you tell yours. I became a Certified Birren Institute Guided Autobiography Instructor so that I could help draw out your stories. I love the theme-based approach developed by Dr. James Birren, who researched and developed Guided Autobiography in the mid-1970s while he was the founding dean of the Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California. I find this method helps people get out of the mold of fact-only details such as names, dates, and events and instead helps them tell an actual story. The memory prompts and priming questions also draw out stories that have sometimes been forgotten, yet are often treasured memories when recalled.

Workshop Details

I offer both in-person and online workshops throughout the year. Check back here or contact me for upcoming events.