Designed for those who want to capture their life stories to leave behind for their families or do a life review for themselves.
You write from the heart on carefully selected themes, such as turning points, family, health, and your chosen work or career. Participating in a small group of six like-minded classmates, you will be encouraged, supported, and empowered to treasure and appreciate your life. You will quickly bond with your class too.
Based on Guided Autobiography, the class is a semi-structured process developed by Professor Emeritus James E. “Jim” Birren, the founding dean of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and an aging-research pioneer considered by many to be the father of modern gerontology.
No writing experience required, and we won’t critique your work. After you share your story with your classmates, you receive only positive feedback.
Dr. Flora Brown is a Certified Guided Autobiography Facilitator and Trainer and part of the Birren Center for Autobiographical Studies. She is dedicated to enriching the lives of adults through writing, sharing and preserving life stories and life experiences.
Drawing from 40 years of teaching junior high through university levels, as well as writing 13 books, she brings her love of stories and belief in their power to all that she shares with you.
We meet online once a week for six weeks. Each class is two hours. During the first hour we engage in stimulating exercises to spark creativity and self-learning; in the second hour you read aloud the two-page story (about 1,000 words) you wrote at home on the chosen theme.
Post your questions 24/7 in the private discussion group, where the teacher and fellow classmates may respond.
This course is not designed to help you publish your memoir for retail sales. Even if you plan to give your stories only to your family, it’s recommended you invest in having your stories professionally edited. It won't change your voice, but it will catch misspellings and word choices your spell checker may miss. We will discuss recommendations for both of these options in class.
I greatly appreciate your teaching style: interesting, fun and comfortable. It has been very beneficial for me to get started on this project that has been postponed for one reason or another. I will always remember you and the wonderful ladies who attended this workshop. We learned and cherished our life stories from one another.
I’ve really enjoyed this workshop experience. You’ve made it interesting and comfortable to be a participant. Although I love to read and I enjoy writing, I have little discipline in doing either so having a specific subject to address and a need to be concise was an excellent learning experience...
Thank you, Dr. Brown, for sharing your time and knowledge with us so patiently and with such good humor.
I’ve appreciated it very much.
Thank you for the workshop. I appreciated your kind, compassionate approach. Coupled with your sense of humor, you created a very relaxed atmosphere.