Each week we share writings about our lives. We look at how the past and major current events shape us. We also do a short spontaneous write based on an in class prompt. We let our “Magic Pens” take over. We also share these brief writes. Each participant’s writings help to create a community narrative. The participants support each other which encourages growth in each person’s writing.
Participants may have many reasons for writing their memoirs. We may gain insight into ourselves. We may want to pass on our history and life lessons learned to family and friends. We may also be recording a personal living history of turbulent times.
We allow a 15-minute chat period starting at 9;15, CLASS BEGINS AT 9:30. Each person reads what they’ve written in the preceding week this allows for five minutes of reading followed by a-5 minutes of comments and suggestions. Since we are writing from our lives, confidentiality is observed, and commentary is positive, respectful. and supportive. We focus on content rather than the mechanics of writing such as grammar. When everyone has read their piece, we move to writing in response to a prompt followed by reading what we have come to call the “Magic Pen.”
Weekly preparation time varies greatly and is determined by how much time will be will needed to read aloud what has been written in the preceding week. We have had several long pieces that exceed the time constraint, and these have been presented in parts to accommodate for that A typical range is 1-3 hours.