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November Newsletter of Personal Essay Writing
Vol. 18, No. 11 November 2018
© 2018 Carol Celeste All Rights Reserved ISSN 2168-7854

* Carol's Comments
* Memoir Quote
* "Groups Have Lives To Share, Too"
* Course Offerings
* Personal Essay Topic to Write About NOW
* "Writing Personal Drama"
* Become a Licensee
* Therapeutic Writing Fact
* Markets
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Keeping track of current time is becoming more difficult than recalling our past life events. By mid-October stores and streets flaunt Christmas decorations to trick us into thinking time is running out for gift shopping with hopes of early buying enhanced with later buying. Rushing at the last minute is tradition for some, but for most of us it leads to stress we'd rather avoid. Anything we can take care of sooner rather than later helps relieve that damaging holiday stress.

Every one has a special person who challenges our gift-giving talents. If you're in that position this year, consider a course at Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow. It makes a unique and unexpected gift for the ones you love. A writing course says you care about them in a very different way than most gifts. You are asking them to record those current and past life events, some of which you may have shared with them, and that you cherish having them in your life.

And if you're looking for a self-improvement project for the new year, remember that writing is good for physical, mental and cognitive health. It won't replace aerobic workout but it complements it. Writing can even be a source of income making it an all around beneficial activity.

Be sure to check out the paying markets for your gems at

Write to heal, write to grow, write to reflect,
Carol Celeste
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Memoir Quote: " Memoir isn't the summary of a life; it's a window into a life, very much like a photograph in its selective composition." William Zinsser, memoir expert, author On Writing Well
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All courses are conducted by email and begin every Friday. Compare the prices to other online personal essay courses and you'll realize the value offered. Meidabistro=$499, Gotham Writers Workshop=$395,$295 and up, Truby's=$449 to name a few. Don't wait another day. To register now or order a course as a gift visit Writing Courses.
These courses are now offered:
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WTH,WTG writers say...

"Oh, the feedback has been the best part. I'm looking forward to signing up for the next course."

"I liked the set-up and the pace of the course. I thought it was excellent."

"This course has taught me to open up to what is in my heart. Not only pain but good feelings. Not just sadness but lots of fun, too."

"I appreciate your comments and suggestions and lessons. I plan on taking more courses with you."

"It made me look at my experiences and begin to understand myself better."
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ARTICLE - "Groups Have Lives To Share, Too"
Groups, like people, have histories to record. A writers group I belong to is part of a statewide organization. When I was editor of our branch newsletter, the state newsletter editor asked each branch editor to submit a brief history about its founding and development. Instead of attempting to do it myself, I asked our immediate past president do the job. John was more than a past president. He chartered our group after years of driving 60 miles through gridlock to meetings of the then closest branch. I realized he knew much more about the early days of our group than anyone else in the club.

I’m glad John took that assignment. As a charter member I knew some of the story, but John hadn’t shared many details before that article. Sadly, just two months after recording the full history of our branch beginnings for posterity, John passed away. If he hadn’t taken that assignment our true beginnings would have been lost forever.

Do you belong to an organization that has become lax in keeping track of its activities? Groups are made up of people and, therefore, experience the same joys and sorrows, successes and failures—and endings--that people do. Expand your writing beyond yourself. Get your group involved so future members will know how things came to be the way they are.

The same can happen with families. We pick up bits of information about our ancestors, not only from the distant past, but from those still living, but everyone has done so much more than we realize. Another way to expand your writing beyond yourself is to record what your elders and even contemporaries can tell you about how your family came to be the way it is, where it is. Writing your own story makes it easier for your relatives to keep track of how you fit in the family picture, but knowing how all the members relate in ways beyond blood, is important, too.

We don't know how much time remains to record personal or group stories. Don't wait another day. Start recording while you can.
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Looking for something to write about? Here's a topic to inspire your inner self to emerge.
Write about the thing that gives you the most joy at this stage of life.
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ARTICLE - "Writing Personal Drama"
In our coverage of different forms for personal writing, we've reached the subgenre of personal drama. Some critics think that all personal essays are filled with drama. In fact, personal essays can deal with any topic, including light-hearted themes, even humor. As a separate category, personal drama has its own set of conventions for content but still needs to meet the requisites of personal essay.

Personal drama doesn't have to mean trauma to most readers, but the writer feels that it is and expresses that angst. The key to reaching readers without sending them to therapy, is to consider how others might respond to your distress. You want to avoid whining, ranting, or sounding like you want pity, while bringing readers into your life.

Here are some key areas of essay to consider when personal drama is involved.

First person: We're talking about personal writing so of course it must be in first person. That doesn't need explanation or special treatment.

Theme: Each personal essay deals with a theme so your drama should be confined to one aspect of trauma. I know life often involves multiple frustrations but dont put them all in one work. If you face more than one drama, use each one as a theme for a different essay. That gives you a silver lining of extra writing material in the cloud of excessive life-drama and spares readers of excessive angst.

Thoughts and Feelings: This is the heart of life-writing. In the case of personal drama, what you think and feel about the things that happen and the people involved will probably be stronger and perhaps nastier than your usual self confronts. Readers expect this in drama, after all, and it may be what attracted many people to read your work. But remember that there are consequences to what we reveal. Keep in mind who will read your work and how the important people in your life might react. You must stay true to yourself, but do so knowing what may result.

Universal theme: While everyone won’t share your exact situation, if you present your life in a thoughtful way readers will relate some aspect of their own lives to your lessons.

Humor: You've heard the expression gallows humor. It softens pain and works well in healing personal drama, for you and for readers. Be yourself and apply humor honestly and you'll draw readers close to you with empathy.
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Looking for extra income while you help people Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow licenses let you set your own hours as a workshop facilitator. All instructions provided. Individuals, facilities and associations may lead these easy-to-conduct therapeutic writing workshops.

Individuals, facilities and associations may license and conduct these easy-to-lead therapeutic writing and discussion programs:
* Writing for Wellness - Why wait until a specific condition strikes to write to heal? Writing helps maintain good health. This four-week expressive writing and discussion course is designed to help adults maintain good health by: reducing stress levels, improving immune system function, working through negative emotional issues, and increasing working memory. Clinical studies indicate that those who are coached in expressive writing show the greatest improvement in stress levels and memory function. Learn more at: Wellness.
* Writing About Cancer - promotes healing and growth for patients and survivors. Visit Cancer to learn more.
* Writing for Personal Caregivers - contributes to stress reduction and coping. Visit Caregivers to learn more.
* Writing for Health Care Professionals - may be eligible for CEUs in your area. Visit Care Professionals to learn more. You do not need to have special education to be a successful facilitator. What you do need is compassion for people, a desire to help others face their demons and heal, and the ability to talk to others in a group setting and market the workshops. All courses promote personal healing and/or growth. Each license comes with lecture material, a step-by-step facilitator guide, handouts and an evaluation survey. Begin your new career helping others. Email Licensing for details.
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Therapeutic Writing Fact
From: Harvard Health blog posted September 14, 2018 by Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH. "When people tell their personal stories through writing, whether in letters to friends or family, or journals for themselves.....they often discover a means of organizing and understanding their own thoughts and experiences. Writing helps demystify the unknown and reduce fears, especially when we share those written concerns with others."
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Contact the source listed for details and to request guidelines. An extensive list of paying markets for personal essays appears at Markets. Writing to Heal,Writing to Grow does not screen or endorse these listings. Submit at your own risk and always check guidelines first. Good luck! If a link doesn't work search for the title.
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Christian Science Monitor Home Forum section takes personal essays that explore how you responded to a place, a person, a situation, an event, or happenings in everyday life. Tell a story; share a funny true tale. The humor should be gentle. Covers a variety of topics. Word count 400 to 800. Pays $75 to $150. Find all you need to know about submissions and more at CSM.

2018 Blurred Genre Contest looks for anything that bends genre and sloughs off convention. Honors work that doesn't quite fit into a conventional submitable category. Deadline November 30, fee $8. Word count 1,000 max. Prizes $500 and $300 plus publication in Redivider journal. Check out all the details for submission at Blurred Genre Contest.

The Sunlight Press takes personal essays from 650 to 1,000 words. Pays only for original, unpublished work (that excludes blogs or any digital form). Pay rumored at $50. Find submission guidelines and procedure plus more opportunities at The Sunlight Press.

Share personal essay markets you know about. Email them to and I'll add them to the website list.
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