"Write what should not be forgotten.” - Isabel Allende
If you have been thinking about beginning to write your life stories or if you have already begun writing memories of your life experiences and would like to continue exploring more ideas, this is the class for you!
Through stimulating writing exercises in a supportive group, we will revisit and write about the important moments in our lives. Topics we will explore include childhood memories, careers, love and family, transformational experiences and personal quests. We will write poetry and prose to capture memories and to discover the richness of our lives – the lighter, humorous moments along with the more difficult experiences we have come through. People of every background will learn from each other’s experiences and inspire each other to keep writing insightful and thoughtful life stories. We will write and share our work during class.
How it works: This is a generative writing workshop. By the end of five weeks, you will have written 10 new pieces in response to prompts and class discussions. During the workshop, students will have time to recall events, and write and share their memories with others in the group. Each 3-hour session includes: a short warm up writing prompt, group discussion, theme-based sample poems or stories by emerging or published authors (including Stanley Kunitz, Sharon Olds, Marie Howe, Mark Doty), a weekly writing prompt, and individual sharing of stories aloud. We will also discuss how to the use literary elements, text structures, point-of-view, and word choice in our writing. I will also share links to literary journals for those who would like to submit their finished pieces for publication. But no pressure!
April 11 to May 9, 2024
Thursdays, 6:00pm-9:00pm EST
Who Should Take This Class?
People over age 50 who have been writing already or who are at a stage when they are ready to start putting their memories on the page. People of every background will learn from each other’s experiences and inspire each other to keep writing insightful and thoughtful life stories.
“This was the best class I've had at the Writing Institute thus far! Cindy creates a wonderful safe space for students all of an older generation. This allowed us to talk about and develop an incredible range of topics from the weekly prompts. She created a safe space that encouraged understanding and supportive responses.” - former student
"As someone who has always loved writing, and who has not had much time to do so lately, diving into Cindy's course was the best experience I could have hoped for. I am a teacher, and I know good teaching when I see it. Cindy was warm and funny and comfortable, but also right on point with her comments and questions. I can't wait to take another course with her." - former student
"I found Cindy Beer-Fouhy's Life Stories class to be a great source of newly generated material. Both the in-class exercises and the longer assignments generated a range of meaningful pieces on different topics that I am including in my memoir-in-progress." - former student
“I love Cindy’s class because I believe it improved my writing, and accomplished that in a community of writing students whom I get the privilege of learning from, in large part because Cindy created such a good context for that exchange.” - former student
"The class “Life Stories: A writing workshop for ages 50+” has been momentous for me. I’ve been carrying all these life experiences in my head that I’ve wanted to write about for years but never been able to. With Cindy’s class, the process has been almost magical — following prompts and assigned reading have allowed the words to flow easily onto paper! The right tone in her class discussions have allowed all of us to participate without hesitation and judgement. I hope to take a few more sessions with Cindy so I can get all these stories out!" - former student