Classes

Want to try to write about your life, but don't know where to start?

These fun online classes are designed to take away the overwhelm of beginning to write about your life. we start with small steps, just two pages at a time Based on the Guided Autobiography Method of Memoir writing, or GAB for short. we help you to recall, write about and share some of the richest, most important parts of our past – the things that have shaped us. We tackle themes like our families, our health, our work. we explore our loves, our fears our joys our challenges and our triumphs. And we do it all in a supportive group.

 

What is in a Class:

  • The course consists of six two-hour weekly sessions. Meetings include instruction on autobiography, some tools and perspectives to inspire your writing, and time to meet in small groups to read your story and receive feedback.
  • In this first hour participants will have a series of writing prompts, and sensitizing questions to help get the memories flowing and ideas for their story that they will write at home.  We also do two or three creative prompts to help with the recollection of stored memory, and to strengthen our writing skills.
  • We will share our observations, and our stories. Participants will come to each class with a written story or narrative based on the individual themes each week (approx 2 pages). These stories build strong memory of your experience of the week’s theme.
  • You will share a recent story with the other class participants and get gentle feedback, too.
  • Your writing will improve, but GAB is not a typical creative writing class, and no writing experience is necessary. Our focus is content, on the experiences being shared and on getting to the heart of the story.
 

These classes are special

Being part of a small group is key. Shared memories spark more memories. We learn we are all survivors and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of things that have happened in our lives. There are opportunities for growth, friendship, validation and learning. Great joy and satisfaction can come from sharing stories with others. I help guide, but the group itself is where the real magic lies

'Our lives may feel routine and monotonous, hardly worth writing about. Yet buried in the details of each individual life is unique autobiographical material that has universal human interest. This is true of people at any age and from any background'.

Jim Birren- Centre for Aging

Adelaide in Person- Fridays 6th November

Online- Tuesday 3rd November

Meet your instructor, Mel

Mel is an accredited Social Worker who has worked with hundreds of people who are reflecting on their life’s journey and thinking about legacy. Mel has witnessed the empowering process of legacy work for both the writer and their families  and how priceless writing your story can be.

As a certified Guided Autobiography Instructor  with the Birren institute and trained in Dignity Therapy,  Mel is able to guide you through the process of starting to write your story without the overwhelm.  She currently lives in Adelaide, Australia and provide services worldwide.

Client Photo
Irene In person workshop particpant

'This was brilliant. Very well organised. Handouts excellent. So much info in 6 weeks'. I have actually started to write and have gained confidence in sharing my story

Client Photo
George In person workshop particpant

'I am having so much fun talking to my family and listening/recording their stories and I'm looking forward to continuing this journey with my family.

Client Photo
Tamra Online workshop particpant

'This was brilliant. Very well organised. Handouts excellent. So much info in 6 weeks'. I have actually started to write and have gained confidence in sharing my story

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time should I set aside each week?

Each in person class is two hours. The writing homework each week will take as long as you choose to spend on it. Usually, students spend about an hour or two writing.

How Many Words Will I Write In Life Writing Workshop?

Participants are asked to write two pages a week ( about 1000 words). You can expect to right at least 6000 works during the course. At the beginning this may seem daunting, but most participants grow in confidence and the exercises and priming we do in class makes this a very easy goal to achieve. Many people will write many more words!

Who is this course suitable for?

This course is suitable for those who want to write their story and do not know where to begin. You are not too old or too young! It is especially suitable for those who are facing a transition like retirement, relationship or career change, birth of children/grandchildren, or life limiting illness. You will be in a group of group of like-minded Storytellers for encouragement and support. This course is not designed to help you publish your memoir for retail sales. You will be sharing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences for you and to leave for your family and loved ones now and for generations to come.

Do I need to be a writer?

Do I need to be a writer? No writing experience is required. The focus of this class is getting started on capturing your story without the worry of writing dos’ and don’ts. Getting words on paper will bring its own confidence and sense of achievement. The purpose of this class is to help you tell your story in your voice, for the people who matter to you. There are no red pens

Is this therapy?

Writing your story can be therapeutic in nature and working with Mel means you have someone who can hold space for you and help validate any hard feelings that may come up. You will also be provided with general self care tools and resources. However, these are not therapy sessions and should not be viewed as such. If things are becoming too much and your feelings are not able to be contained in the process and with the resources you will be provided, you may need to consider additional supports like therapy or support groups as you work through this course. Please let me know if this comes up for you and I can help you find an appropriate local resource for you.

How confidential is this?

We take confidentiality seriously and it is one of our main values that each participant commits to. You share only what you are comfortable sharing. You’ll receive support, structure, and encouragement in the safety of a small group.

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