Organizing a Story Circle:
A Guide for Story Circle Facilitators

The Story Circle Network is actively encouraging women to establish Story Circles in their local communities. If you're interested in writing and sharing your story, this invitation is for you.

A Story Circle is a group of women who come together to read, write, and celebrate the stories of their lives. A Circle may be made up of as few as two or three people, or as many as twenty.

Typically, a Circle meets once a week, or perhaps twice a month. It may have a set number of meetings (say, 6, 8, or 10) or the schedule may be open-ended. The group may be facilitated by the organizer (who often charges a fee for her work), or members may organize the group and take turns leading it.

Many Story Circles have successfully been organized around Susan Wittig Albert's book Writing From Life: Telling Your Soul's Story, which was written specifically for Story Circle work. Members of the group are also invited to become members of the Story Circle Network and subscribe to the Story Circle Journal. If you are a dues-paying member of Story Circle, and are organizing a Circle, let us know and we will be glad to mail you free sample copies of the Journal.

Each meeting of your Circle will probably include a period of writing, a time for voluntary reading, and discussion. Some Circles have chosen to share a meal or refreshments before they settle down to writing and reading. One group has even organized an optional yoga session and a period of meditation.

For an example of what a writing circle does, download Mary Jo Doig's sample workshop booklet.

Many Circles are made up of women who have never met one another, and have responded to a flyer in the mail, a posting in a local library or bookstore, or an invitation from the leader. Other Circles are made up of friends, members of a church, participants in a social organization, or neighbors. Some Circles are led by therapists who incorporate life-writing into the process of therapy. Others are led by ministers and pastors who want to help others find meaning in their life's journey.

If you are interested in organizing and/or facilitating a Story Circle in your area, you may want to read "A Guide for Story Circle Facilitators," by Susan Wittig Albert. This booklet is free for dues-paying members of the Story Circle Network (downloadable from the members-only part of the SCN website), and $6 for non-members. Just email us (at circles at storycircle.org) or snail-mail us your request: Facilitator's Guide, Story Circle Network, PO Box 1670, Estes Park CO 80517-1670 .

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