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August Newsletter of Personal Essay Writing
Vol. 18, No. 8 August 2018
© 2018 Carol Celeste All Rights Reserved ISSN 2168-7854

* Carol's Comments
* Memoir Quote
* "Who Does Writing Help?"
* Course Offerings
* Personal Essay Topic to Write About NOW
* "What is the Best Form for Your Story?"
* Become a Licensee
* Therapeutic Writing Fact
* Markets
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Summer is a rough time for people who like to keep busy. Many groups don't meet during the summer months, leaving us with time to fill. If you're alone, it can be an especially difficult time since the group activities that keep you engaged with your world are on hiatus. There is one activity that can involve you almost anywhere, any time and that, of course, is writing.

We deal with life-writing at Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow, but most of the techniques that make our personal stories interesting and informative for others apply to all types of writing. And writing of any type has shown some of the same benefits that expressive writing practiced specifically to heal blesses us with. We not only heal, we grow through writing and that may take us beyond the realm of writing for therapy.

The first article below gives some insight into what people and what conditions are aided by writing. If you plan to share your stories, the form they take is important. Your readers will get more enjoyment from and learn more about you and themselves if you choose the right form for your goal. The second article begins a series that explains options for life-writing formats and what each requires for optimal results — for your readers as much as for you. Don’t forget them.

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: "People think of essay and memoir as being so heavy.... You can write about silly stuff. Who knows there it will lead?" Steven Church, author of The Guinness Book of Me: a Memoir of Record
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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...

"You have given me so much information, this course is very informative."
"I don't know if it's publication quality, but it was terrific therapy, so it's a winning situation for me either way!"
"I especially like reading the choices and taking a few days to decide which one I want to work on. This is the best online class I've ever enrolled in.” “It was a very wonderful experience for me! Maybe even opened some doors for me."
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ARTICLE - "Who Does Writing Help?"
Medical professionals have conducted numerous clinical trials and studies about the value of therapeutic, sometimes called expressive, writing. They are interested in treating a specific physical or emotional condition so each trial has a distinct population. One of the most studied conditions is cancer and each study deals with a specific form of cancer. But cancer is not the only medical condition investigated. The physical maladies tested with writing therapy are as varied as the parts of the human body. And not all studies deal with physical conditions. Writing has also been tested as a benefit for those facing psychological stresses and traumas. Some trials also deal with normal physical processes and habits that may or may not have physical impact, such as cognitive function, organizing, problem solving, improved mood, faster reemployment, relationships, and many more conditions. Medical professionals are not the only ones who consider writing a positive factor.

I set up Google alerts for the term therapeutic. Every week I receive emails listing numerous occurrences containing of term that posted online. Some of the posts are from medical professionals but more are from the general population of people who write in some form. These are not participants in clinical trials or studies, they are not involved with doctors or therapists, they are people who found writing something of therapeutic value. That wasn’t their intention it was a benefit of writing something they wrote without even thinking about therapy. Some write personal stories, some write songs, some write articles not even related to themselves. The topics vary but the writers’ comments are the same: "I found the experience therapeutic." This confirms that any type of writing is beneficial. What you write about does matter for specific healing, but the act of writing also yields benefits.

So the answer to the title question is, everyone can benefit from writing. Different types of writing offer different benefits depending on your needs and what you write. But even when you aren't aiming for healing, benefits come your way from every day writing.
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Looking for something to write about? Here's a topic to inspire your inner self to emerge.

August is National Inventor’s Month. Write about the invention has most improved your life and how.
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ARTICLE - "What's the Best Form for Your Story?"
When you start to plan a life-writing project, you may think the big challenge is to sit down and fill a page with words. That shows good motivation, but it isn't the first step in composing an effective personal record. Before you approach the actual writing, you need to know what form your life will take. There are several options for life-writing and you will have an easier time with the writing if you choose a form before starting. The umbrella term for personal stories, memoir, involves personal knowledge of the events covered, usually he writer's own life events but not always. If you have good original sources you may be able to write a memoir for someone else, as a ghost writer. Here we’re dealing with our own personal stories. Several formats huddle under the memoir umbrella. Each has its own set of requirements. The work may be short or long, comprehensive or focused. The common factor is you. Let's take a look at some of the more common forms available for your life-writing project. We'll start with the umbrella description.

Memoir may be the umbrella term for life-writing, but as a format it has specific requirements for content. Generally, it will be book length, although it doesn't have to be a long book. Sometimes people think that memoir and autobiography are synonymous. They are not. Memoir deals with a theme, not your life story. It might be a time of life, for instance, the summer you spent at camp or the years you spent in college. Time-of-life memoirs only cover events relative to the selected period of life. You might want to give a bit of background if how you came to be in that place at that time is unusual and would help orient readers, but only if needed and make it brief. Your theme might deal with a hobby. In that case, it would cover many years but only deal with events related to the hobby. It might deal with a relationship with someone. Again, it would cover the years of that relationship but only those things that happen within that relationship. It might relate your experiences with a disease or your religious journey, or battling some demon. The theme may be anything that impacted your life or still does, but it should only contain events and feelings related to that theme. It is not your entire life story. That’s autobiography and we’ll get to that in the next issue.
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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: Medical EXpress November 4, 2015. "In a study of nearly 1,300 returning veterans reporting reintegration problems, those who completed online expressive-writing sessions showed more improvements than peers who had not written at all or who had engaged only in factual writing... Study leader Dr. Nina Sayer points out that the low-tech activity is easily accessed by veterans from all backgrounds. Compared with no writing at all, expressive writing was better at reducing PTSD symptoms. It was also better than no writing for reducing anger, distress, reintegration problems, and physical complaints, and for improving social support."
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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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Dreamquest One Writing Contest has a deadline of September 15. Fee $10. May be on any subject and no word count is given. Pays $500, $250 and $100. Open to everyone everywhere. Learn rules and more details at Dreamquest One. Aims to inspire, motivate and encourage writing without fear of failure or success!

Grit magazine is about rural life, gardening, and urban farming. If one or more of those fits you, share your experience with "self-sufficiency, audacious ingenuity, and pragmatic problem-solving that gave this country its backbone and continues to shape its unique character." Departments and columns 500 to 1,500 words. Features, 1,000 to 2,000. Pay rates vary and are negotiable after acceptance. QUERY FIRST, do not send complete manuscript. Find submission guidelines, how to query and more details at Grit.

Colorado Review considers for publication personal essays with contemporary themes. Reading period is August 1 through April 30. Fee of $3 for online submissions. Send 15 to 25 pages. Pays $200. Find details at Colorado Review.

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