How Life Writers Works

How Life Writers Works

Life Writers is organized around a monthly schedule although several features of our membership such as buddy groups and the close reading of a published memoir may cover several months.

Each session includes a number of mini-courses covering a variety of life story writing topics with accompanying video lessons, assignments, handouts, and such. Writers can use these materials to cultivate stronger writing techniques.

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Life Writers members read a published memoir, and through teachings, writing exercises, and group discussions, members learn how to read like a writer by identifying and employing techniques used by popular memoirists.

Members are placed into buddy groups of two or three members for three months. Groups change in January, April, July, and October, but at the end of each quarter, you may elect to continue with your current buddies or change to a new group. This group is an important source of support, encouragement, and insight on shared writings. Buddy groups are a core part of Life Writers’ mission to cultivate a thriving writing community.

Life Writers members gather on the fourth Tuesday of every month for live feedback sessions. In private breakout rooms, Life Writers join other members to give and receive feedback on text prepared and shared in prior weeks.

Monthly, we follow the following format. If you would like to print a copy of this information, click here.

    • First Tuesday Write & Read: Join us for an optional First Tuesday Write and Read session where you’ll be given a prompt designed to trigger memories and time to write a response. Afterward, you’ll be placed with one or two participants. Each person will read his/her story and receive first-impression feedback. A library of prompts from previous months is stored here.
    • Every Wednesday – Wednesday Write-In: Need a little dedicated writing time? Then, join our weekly Wednesday Write-In from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET, where you’ll work on your projects with fellow Life Writers. Say what you plan to work on, and then get busy. When time’s up, tell us how you fared with your writing intention.
    • Second, third, and fourth Tuesdays – Book Study: We discuss previously specified pages of the selected memoir on the second, third, and fourth Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m. ET. Replays are stored under the book’s title on the dropdown dashboard menu.
    • Second Tuesday – Member Story Review: As a group, we review and discuss one member’s story in the second half-hour on the second Tuesday of each month following the Book Study at 5:00 p.m. ET. Upload your stories here for possible review. Replays are stored under Member Story Review on the dropdown dashboard menu.
    • Second Tuesday – Inside Life Writers: This session occurs on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. ET, where we orient new Life Writers to the membership, answer questions, and review features of Life Writers with which existing members may not be familiar. Replays are stored under Inside Life Writers on the dropdown dashboard menu.
    • Third Tuesday – Book Craft Class: Patricia teaches lessons taken from the book we’re reading on the third Tuesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. ET, right after our Book Study discussion. Replays are stored under the title of the book we’re reading on the dropdown dashboard menu.
    • Fourth Tuesday – Monthly Feedback Session: Participate in our monthly feedback session on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 6:00 p.m. ET. Stories are submitted one week in advance, and members are grouped with one or two partners who also have stories to review. In the week leading up to the Monthly Feedback Session, you review your partners’ stories and provide feedback that night. No replays are available for this event.
    • Fifth Tuesday – Open Mic Night: These fun events occur when there’s a fifth Tuesday of the month at 5:00 p.m. ET. Members read stories they’ve written, and we cheer them on.

The level of participation in Life Writers is decided by each member. All that is offered is done so with an open hand for members to pick and choose what works best for them.

All live Life Writers events, except for the Wednesday Write-Ins and group-wide feedback sessions, are recorded and once edited and posted, can be viewed at any time.