(FPL Press Release, April 20, 2014)
The Ferndale Public Library will be hosting a free memoir writing workshop Wed., Apr. 23 from 7 pm to 9 pm as part of its Ferndale Reads 2014 program celebrating the book Annie’s Ghosts, by Steve Luxenberg.
Presenters Susan Carroll and Gigi VanderWeele – owners of Your Personal Memoir LLC of Pleasant Ridge – will explain the value of preserving family stories, how to get started on a memoir, interviewing techniques and how to self-publish. Participants will practice storytelling and come away inspired to record family stories to be enjoyed for generations to come.
The memoir writing workshop is part of a series of events surrounding the community reading of Annie’s Ghosts, a haunting memoir partially set in Metro Detroit.
VanderWeele, a former Detroit Free Press reporter, and Carroll, a former human resources executive, help individuals or families preserve life stories with beautiful, heirloom-quality hardcover books. Their process involves recording, transcribing and editing family stories and then designing and publishing the books. In the memoir writing workshop they will share their favorite tricks of the writing trade.
“Younger family members and future generations can’t appreciate these family histories unless the stories are documented while elders are still alive,” says Carroll. “These recorded family stories end up being extremely powerful family heirlooms.”
Both VanderWeele and Carroll encourage everyone to sit down with family elders and record their stories.
“It never fails, when we finish a project there are always family members who are shocked by their parents’ or grandparents’ stories,” VanderWeele says. “You may think you’ve heard it all, but until you ask you may be surprised.”
For more information about Your Personal Memoir LLC and its services visit www.yourpersonalmemoir.com. In addition, general information about recording personal histories can be found through the Association of Personal Historians at www.personalhistorians.org.