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June Newsletter of Personal Essay Writing
Vol. 18, No. 6 June 2018
© 2018 Carol Celeste All Rights Reserved ISSN 2168-7854

* Carol's Comments
* Memoir Quote
* "Stick to Your Story"
* Course Offerings
* Personal Essay Topic to Write About NOW
* "Why Write Life Stories?"
* Become a Licensee
* Therapeutic Writing Fact
* Markets
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One problem with writing for an international readership is the matter of seasons. I'm always drawn to begin with comments about the weather or season, but what I experience doesn't fit everywhere. Even in the same country if the landmass is large seasons vary at the same time of year. I'm looking at the beginning of summer but some of you are gearing up for winter. In my area the seasons don’t bring dramatically different weather changes but in some places they surely do. One thing we all have in common, wherever we live, is the benefit of writing our life stories. Every season is a good time to write.

The memoir quote in this issue deals with memoir as the 21st century novel. A book-size work may seem daunting to you, but that isn't the only form your life stories can take. Options abound in both size and content of life-writing. The article on page three may help you decide not only how long a work to write, but what content to include. Reasons for writing about our personal stories differ. They may even differ for us at various times. Give some thought to setting a goal for each of your works and you will find it easier to organize and format the production.

The article on page two gives tips for selecting the details you will include in and omit from your work. Realize that everything you want to say won't fit so careful choice is critical. Details bring readers into your life when well-chosen and lead to lost interest when you chose the wrong ones. Quantity doesn’t improve your work, appropriate details do.

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: "I believe that the memoir is the novel of the 21st century; it’s an amazing form that we haven’t even begun to tap…we’re just getting started figuring out what the rules are." Susan Cheever, memoir author
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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...

"Writing the essays made me aware of how important it is to exercise by writing more."
"I discovered that what I might have thought was a mediocre topic, could be interesting to others if I tie it into some universal truth or lesson that others can relate to."
"Your comments were thorough, thoughtful and helpful."
"You have given me so much information, this course is very informative."
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ARTICLE - "Stick to Your Story"
Every life overflows with stories, yet tackling a complete autobiography dealing with an entire life up to the present, or even a memoir focusing on one aspect of that life, intimidates many would-be life-writers. If that describes you, consider a personal essay. The shorter form and limited subject matter should relieve any anxiety about putting your stories into written words. And a collection of essays may turn into a book later.

Limited space requires special attention in the writing. With longer works we can afford to stray from the topic a bit without losing readers. In short works, however, sticking to the story is crucial.

The opening sets up readers for what’s to come and that's what they expect. Leading your readers astray drags them right out of the story perhaps never to return to any of your writing. But tight writing takes thought. Mark Twain has been quoted as saying that given more time he would have written less. What we exclude is as important as what we include to keep readers tuned in.

Details play a major role in sticking with your story. The details we include should give readers enough description to form their own accurate picture, but not so much that they cast us aside or wonder what the point is and if it's worth discovering by reading on. Details should enhance your story and draw readers into your life. Here are some things to consider.

• Use details that focus on the theme.
• Include what readers need to know about you and the event and omit what they don't need to know.
• Select only one or two details that capture the core of a place, person or event. That will stimulate readers to create a reasonably accurate picture.
• Choose details that convey your feelings about the theme.

Carefully selected details keep readers in the story, where you want them. So, once you decide on a story stick to it.

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Looking for something to write about? Here's a topic to inspire your inner self to emerge.

Write about the most interesting vacation you recall.
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ARTICLE - "Why Write Life Stories?"
People write personal essays for different reasons. It isn't necessary to identify a specific goal before writing, but it might save you work later if you know from the start what outcome you strive to reach. Your goal will guide your approach to the structure and content of your work and help provide a satisfying final product, for you and for your readers, if readers inhabit your plan.

Even if you do put your life stories into the written word you may be missing areas of exploration. How many of these reasons for life-writing have you practiced or considered?

• To share your life with family and friends. The end goal may be to share only with a select few. This is especially true for seniors who realize they are running out of time to pass on the lessons they’ve learned.
• To solve problems. The left brain takes over during the writing process finding answers that have eluded us. You may have learned life lessons and found solutions that others need to know. If you feel inclined to help others, publication is your goal.
• To share a legacy of values and beliefs. Dedicating essays to our spiritual beliefs and behavioral values may influence others to follow our example. This involves sharing our deepest thoughts and feelings, going beyond the events of our lives common to the basic essay.
• To learn about ourselves. One human trait we all share is the tendency to hide from ourselves. Dredging the past often reveals things about ourselves that we have kept in hiding or never even realized. When we work through traumas, illness or even the good times, we delve deep into our souls and discover things we don't usually think about. Memories breed other memories and recall important parts of life that help us today.
• To improve our health. Most people probably don't plan to write their life stories to keep the doctor away, but it's a worthy addition to your motivation list. Life-writing involves self-exploration which leads to better immune system function, lower stress levels and a greater sense of well-being. Hundreds of clinical trials and studies have shown healing results from expressive writing for people battling a variety of physical and emotional challenges.

If you haven't yet started to record your life, think about what you, and those who can benefit from your lessons, are missing. Self-awareness, improved health, deeper spiritual life and helping fellow humans are worthy reasons to start your life-writing journey. If you've started but stopped, what’s keeping you from continuing? That’s a good topic to write about.

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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: Nursing Research 2003;52:401-409. "A systematically tested intervention for managing reactive depression". CE Smith "Chronic disease sufferers and their home caregivers may experience reactive depression in response to both the disease and the burden of care, resulting in social withdrawal, an increase in disability, and a decreased quality of life. Researchers conducted a secondary analysis of data from studies of a journal writing intervention for chronic patients receiving home parental nutrition and their family caregivers.... 73% of the patients and 68% of the caregivers rated the writing as worthwhile to relieve their stress and deal with their 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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Colorado Sate U. Center for Literary Publishing considers personal essays with contemporary themes between 15 and 25 manuscript pages. Pays $200 and two copies of the issue to authors of accepted works. Fee $3 for online submissions, no fee for snail mail. Find samples and more details at Colorado Review.

Go World Travel pays $30 to $40 for true first person travel stories up to 1,600 words. Looks for vivid descriptions and lively anecdotes that show a sense of curiosity and interest in the destination. Learn more and get to know what they like at Go World Travel. 9th Annual Contest or nonfiction and more has a deadline of Sept. 3 and $15 submission fee. Pays $500 plus publication. Word count 5,000 max. Accepts up to three entries at a time with separate fees for each. Learn more about the submission process at

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