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November Newsletter of Personal Essay Writing
Vol. 19, No. 11 November 2019
© 2019 Carol Celeste All Rights Reserved ISSN 2168-7854

* Carol's Comments
* Memoir Quote
* "Are You Fooling Yourself?"
* Course Offerings
* "NaNoWriMo for Life?"
* Personal Essay Topic to Write About NOW
* Become a Licensee
* Therapeutic Writing Fact
* Markets
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Once again I have to comment on how fast time is accelerating. If only we could put it on cruise control and have it go at the speed we want, speed we can keep up with. But instead of complaining, I should be grateful to have the time gifted to me.

Wherever you are, chances are your country celebrates Thanksgiving. In the US and Japan it falls in November. In most other nations it occurs in October or around harvest time. But we have reason to give thanks every day of every year, no matter what we are experiencing in life at a given moment.

Among the many things I have to be thankful for are all those who have taken a class over the years that Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow has existed. If Margie hadn't started it, WTH, WTG wouldn't have come into my life. It found me at just the right time as something I could do while caring for an aging mother. It gave me a chance, not only to help myself through preparing sessions and thinking about the writing prompts, but to help others learn more about themselves and improve their writing craft. Thank you to all who have participated.

You are preparing for publication, even when sharing only with close friends. You still want your writing to be the best you can make.

Don't keep your growth hidden inside. 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: "When it comes to memoir, we want to catch the author in a lie. When it comes to fiction, we want to catch the author telling the truth. Tayara Jones, author Silver Sparrow
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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...

"Carol, I'm aware of how I can improve my writing because of your excellent feedback."

"I felt like I had really accomplished something evey time that I turned in one of the essays."

"This course has been very therapeutic for me and I would like to take the next one."

"I have had a few published pieces....You are at least a part of that-probably a nice, big part."
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ARTICLE - "Are You Fooling Yourself?"
Hoax memoirs appear from time to time, stirring up controversy over the honesty of writing in general and of personal writing in particular. Readers and writers enter into a contract; readers promise to buy if writers deliver what the book jacket or article title proclaims. Readers get upset when they fall for a character impersonation no matter how well-written. They don't like to be fooled by "borrowed memories," someone else's memories told as if they belong to the author.

How does this relate to expressive writing, you ask? When we write to heal, grow and reflect, we fill the roles of both reader and writer. We write about ourselves, for ourselves. And, like hoax memoirists, our writer selves can fool our reader selves.

The power of expressive writing comes from honesty about our deep-seated thoughts and feelings. Achieving that honesty conflicts with the powerful human trait of denial. Tough subjects harm us when we avoid facing them, or even recognizing them.

Author/editor Sol Stein offers one way to identify the subjects that need our attention. He says, "Imagine a photo you would under no circumstances carry in your wallet because if you were in an auto accident, you wouldn't want a paramedic looking for identification to find that photo. That snapshot probably represents something you should be writing about."

When we avoid the difficult subjects, we break the contract between our reader selves and our writer selves. We don't allow our expressive writing exercises to deliver the expected benefits when we suppress the truly troublesome parts of life.

If you want to hide it, you need to bare it, honestly, not to the world, but to yourself. We engage in expressive writing to improve our mental and physical health, to resolve insidious life issues, to explore our true feelings and thoughts, to grow as individuals. If you fail to tackle those "shameful snapshots" and still expect your writing to heal, you are fooling yourself.
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Looking for something to write about? Here's a topic to inspire your inner self to emerge.
Write about something you are thankful for now, but weren't when it happened.
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ARTICLE - "NaNoWriMo for Life-writing?"
Are you familar with National Novel Writing Month? Known as NaNoWriMo, this month-long event celebrates 20 years this November. Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow isn't about writing novels, works of fiction. Just the opposite. But perhaps you could find inspiration for your life-writing from the NaNoWriMo model.

The group began when Chris Baty invited 20 friends to join him in novel writing every night for one month. It was more than a pledge to nightly writing sessions. The goal was to complete 50,000 words during that time. It has grown into a big business with auxiliary products, but it still motivates.

Three main committments come with this plan. One is to show up every day which means putting aside other plans. That, of course, means abandoning previous committments, some that may be long-standing. We all know that we have to put in the time if we want to complete our writing projects, but it’s easy to give in to distractions.

The second committment is a significant word- per-day goal. In this case, that means 1,167 words per day no matter what time of day you write. If you fall short any day, you have to work harder the next day, or a collection of days before the end of the month. Meeting deadlines requires discipline and a solid desire to achieve the goals we set for outselves. You can set your own most likely word count for any given day.

The third main committment involves accountability. People sign up for NaNoWriMo and post their word counts for all to see. In 2016, the last year of statistics available, over 384,000 writers participated with about 9% "winning," that is those who complete 50,000 words during the month.

These three committments fit any writing project. Can you commit to spending a month writing your life stories every day? You don't need a formal group to accomplish your goals, and you don't have to try for 50,000 words a month, but you do need discipline. That comes from a sincere desire to put your thoughts and feelings into words. If you can't do it yourself, accountability to someone else may keep you on track. Do you have one or more writer friends to write with? Want more privacy for those personal moments? A class gives you a deadline, accounability and feedback to improve your work. Are you ready to make November 2019 a month of writing your personal essays? Write on!
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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: "Supporting Others Brings Healing to Cancer Survivors" by Christine Rini, PhD et. al. "Although fewer studies have focused upon the effect of an ill person’s giving support to a peer, prior research has established that cancer survivors who help others face treatment experience a range of psychosocial and health-related benefits as a result of peer helping. The current study shows that the survivor's preceding the helping with emotionally expressive writing about his or her own experiences increases the health benefits to the survivor."
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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 or type.

2019 Mona Schreiber Prize for Humorous Fiction and Nonfiction accepts work up to 750 words. Your funny personal stories qualify. Unique, even weird humor is encouraged. Winning entries will be published on the web. Deadline, Dec. 1, fee $5 per entry, no limit. Prizes of $500, $250 and $100 will be awarded. Unpublished work only. Find submission details at: Mona Schreiber Prize.

BuzzFeed Reader looks for a strong voice in personal essays and just about any topic interests the editors. Know why you’re writing about your topic and what you learned from your experience. Prefer 1,500 to 2,500 words. Claims to pay competitive rates. Find sample essay topics and submission details at: BuzzFeed.

The Introspectionist takes creative nonfiction from 100 to 5,000 words. Pay ranges from $25 for short pieces to $100 for up to 2,000 words and $200 for longer features. Accepts article ideas by email only. Do not send completed articles. Find specific instructions and editorial calendar at: The Introspectionist.

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