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October Newsletter of Personal Essay Writing
Vol. 15, No. 10 October 2015
© 2015 Carol Celeste All Rights Reserved ISSN 2168-7854

Well Art

* Carol's Comments
* Memoir Quote
* Article - "Boost Your Memory by Writing"
* Course Offerings
* Personal Essay Topic to Write About NOW
* Become a Licensee
* Therapeutic Writing Fact
* Book Review
* Markets
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Writing is one of those things that often falls off the calendar. We find time to eat, dress, work, study, all the things we need to do for survival or because someone is watching. But consider the many benefits that writing yields. It may be a matter of survival for some and it really can be fun and satisfying.

Writing heals and keeps us well. Stress is with all of us in some form and chronic stress invites illness and prolongs existing episodes. Writing our stories and reflecting on their meaning, relieves stress and may even lead us to solve problems. Physical and mental conditions are known to improve after dedicated personal writing.

Find a place in your schedule for writing today. To help you remember your writing time, check the article that tells how writing boosts memory.

The book review has tips for keeping readers engaged with what you may think are ordinary tales, and how to lose readers with even the most adventurous experiences.

It's not too early to plan your holiday gift list. Consider honoring special people with a Writing to Heal, Writing to GrowSM online class. Writing personal stories offers life-long rewards and shows how much you care in a unique way. And don’t forget to include the very special YOU in that list! Everyone has stories to tell and everyone benefits from reading about other people's lives and emotions. Plus, we learn while we write. Share the many benefits that so many others have appreciated.

If publication is your goal, find paying markets for your gems below and by clicking on the Paying Markets menu tab. Why not share your stories with the world? We're waiting.

Write to heal, write to grow, write to reflect,
Carol Celeste
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Memoir Quote: "...that first thrill of capturing each moment as it happens, of knowing that, no matter how far distant it becomes in memory, the simple act of writing will keep it forever safe, forever authentic." Kate M. Brown, contributor to Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul
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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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WRITING TO SELL Writing to Sell.
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WTH,WTG writers say...

"Thank you for your helpful comments and the great course material."

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

"Thank you for your guidance without ridicule. That has meant a lot to me."

"This course has taught me to open up to what is in my heart. Not only pain but good feelings."
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ARTICLE - Boost Your Memory by Writing
We all have aging in common. When we reach a certain age, we become anxious about our ability to remember. We can't help wondering if we are in line for dementia, especially if we have a relative with that condition.

Stress is known to cause health problems of many kinds and worry about getting dementia and all the constraints it places on victims certainly can cause debilitating stress. Of the many studies dealing with the health benefits of expressive writing one approaches a new area of study with interesting and encouraging findings.

Cognitive psychologist Akira Miyake, PhD, of the University of Colorado, finds that working memory is malleable and can be affected by expressive writing. In the case of working memory, one of the major disrupters is the invasion of thoughts related to stressful experiences. Dwelling on unpleasant or already past events increases stress and takes our brain’s focus away from the immediate event it needs to address.

One study found that working memory suffered from intrusive negative thoughts, but not from positive ones. North Carolina State University psychologist Kitty Klein, PhD, theorizes that negative events have greater cognitive impact than positive ones.

The clear finding common to the many studies and clinical trials on expressive writing (now numbering well over 200) is that stress harms our health and expressive writing reduces stress. By-products of studies on specific conditions have resulted in additional studies that expand the scope of writing and health. Some studies find benefits in the very act of writing.

For our aging population, writing for better memory offers a comforting and easy way to longer independence and a more fulfilling life.
[Based on research published in APA's Journal of Experimental Psychology: General (JEP: General) Vol. 130, No. 3), [Sept. 2001]and written about in Monitor on Psychology, Vol. 32, No. 8 Sept. 2001].
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Looking for something to write about? Here's a topic to inspire your inner self to emerge.

What is the most daring costume you have ever worn for Halloween and why did you choose it?
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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: "Doctors recognizing that reading, writing can be therapeutic," Dallas Morning News, June 02, 2015, by Elizabeth Hamilton. "Dr. John Harper, a cardiology consultant at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas....teaches his residents that writing about their experiences is a way to release their emotions. 'If you have an experience and you sit down and write about it, you can pour that emotion out,' Harper says. Purging these thoughts and emotions helps to find meaning in what happened — the death or the survival of a patient — and then allows you to move on with your life."
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Book Review ~ Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival by Norman Ollestad
The hook for this book is a small plane crash survived only by the author at age eleven, but the crash tale comprises only a fourth of the book. The rest tells the tale of surviving a pressured childhood.

Fiction writers are counseled to begin in media res, Latin for in the midst of things, and that technique works well to hook readers in memoir or any type of writing. Instead of giving the back story leading up to a defining moment, grab readers' attention with an action scene or a major decision, something to make them want to find out occurred. Ollestad does that by opening with the crash. The rest of the book alternates chapters between childhood events and the crash aftermath dealing with Ollestad's efforts to save himself and his father's girlfriend. His father and the pilot, the others on board, died on impact.

Once you have readers' attention you must keep them interested to the end. Crazy for the Storm struggles with that part of writing in a few ways. While readers expect a story primarily about the crash, what they get is a coming of age tale of a young boy dealing with a father's push toward things he loved on the boy. You might feel cheated by the short shrift given to the crash episode even though there is only so much to say about it. It lasted only nine hours while the rest of the book covered many years, ending with Ollestad's struggle with how to rear his own son. Young Norman wanted to be part of the neighborhood crowd playing football but his father pushed him into excelling in surfing, skiing and hockey. That meant spending hours training and competing for the win. That led to another element of the book that may lose some readers' interest.

While readers love to learn about new things, be careful with language in specialty areas. The descriptions in this book are detailed and vivid but often they come with jargon that requires insider knowledge. You can lose readers by using language they don't understand and also by adding definitions to the text. Both approaches take us out of the story. So does yanking rapt readers from the compelling crash scene into more common family struggles. Some crash chapters take only a couple of pages.

When you structure your stories, keep in mind who will read your work and make sure they will stick with you and fully understand your feelings.
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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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VQR takes nonfiction from 3,500 to 9,000 words. Publishes a variety of topics including some memoir and travel essays. Prefers a world rather than a self-directed attitude but considers all. Pays around 25 cents per word depending on length. Reads June 15 to December 1. Learn more at VQR.

Whole Life Times, a holistic health publication, takes personal essays dealing with a seminal moment in the writer's life for the BackWords section. Pays $100 for 750 words. Learn more and get submission details at Whole Life Times.

Golfwell's annual golf writing competition has no entry fee and pays $300, $150 and $50 in prizes plus publication on the Web site. Maximum word count 700. Multiple entries OK. This is one time when a little fiction is allowed in your personal story "since golfers tend to stretch their stories." Deadline December 3. Find more details at Golfwell's.

Dzanc Non-Fiction Prize awards a $1,000 advance and publication to the winning manuscript. Memoir is accepted. All entrants will receive a copy of the winning eBook. Reading fee $25, deadline December 31. Must use online submission system. Check details at Dzanc Non-Fiction Prize.

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