Instructor: Joyce Boatright
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Class Term: 08/02/2021 - 08/30/2021
SCN Member: $120
Class synopsisEveryone’s life journey is filled with personal turning points and amazing memories. But how do you develop your talent and your courage to write those stories? Join veteran writing teacher Joyce Boatright to explore the stories of your lives and learn to write stories about your life for your children, your grandchildren, and generations to come.
This is a course for beginning writers who have a strong desire to share their memories but feel they lack the skill to write interesting stories from their lives. The hardest part of writing is to begin. Take the leap and this gentle, inspirational instructor will guide you through your memories to unearth ideas for stories that reveal who you are, what you value, and what you believe. Next, you will learn the basic structure of a story (it is much easier than any English teacher described), so you can turn your memories into interesting tales. You will have the opportunity to practice writing several stories and learn how to preserve them as part of your family’s history,
At the conclusion of this class, participants will 1 have a list of memories ready to be turned into stories, 2) write 2-4 stories from their lives to share with their family and/or friends, 3) become confident in their ability to turn their memories into stories, 4) develop an authentic “writing voice,” 5) learn ways to preserve their life stories/memoirs.
Class communication methodThis class will be delivered via Zoom. Participants will also communicate by email with the instructor and with each other as they desire. (Plus: Any handouts will be sent to participants through email.)
Week One: We will identify why we want to record our life stories so we can remind ourselves what motivates us to write. We will begin exploring ideas by listing the turning points in our lives.
Week Two: We will look at ways writers are blocked from writing—what stops them from beginning or finishing—and how to get around those creative barriers. We will discuss the natural way people tell stories to determine how they are constructed. There will be two writings per week—one in class and one outside of class. In class: We will practice writing fast, ahead of our internal critic and finish our first efforts. Out of class: Between class times, we will refine our in-class writing, or write to a new writing prompt from the instructor.
Week Three: We will continue the creative writing process: triggering memories and writing from our hearts. We will discuss the added value of including “historical artifacts” (pictures of people, travel destinations, family gatherings, etc.) where possible.
Week Four: We will discuss ways to preserve our stories (using acid-free paper, audio recording, computer clouds, etc.) Participants will reflect on what they have learned and how they can continue to grow in their memoir writing skills.
Class time commitmentWeekly Zoom meeting will be 1.5 hours and the weekly out-of-class assignments will take 30-60 minutes.
Joyce Boatright is a veteran teacher, writer, and storyteller. Her work has been published in news magazines, literary magazines, and anthologies, most recently in Real Women Write: Living on COVID Time. Before retirement, Joyce was a freelance journalist and award-winning college professor. Students ranked her skills on RankMyProfessor.com in the superior and excellent range as well as giving her the red hot chile badge for her approachability. Currently, she facilitates women’s life-writing courses for self-awareness and personal development at the Carl Jung Center in Houston, TX, where she is a Faculty Fellow. She writes: “My greatest honor is to guide women in their journey to find their voices and to bear witness to the stories they share.”