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February Newsletter of Personal Essay Writing
Vol. 20, No. 2 February 2020
© 2020 Carol Celeste All Rights Reserved ISSN 2168-7854

* Carol's Comments
* Memoir Quote
* "Help Readers Cope"
* Course Offerings
* "Double Dipping"
* Personal Essay Topic to Write About NOW
* Become a Licensee
* Therapeutic Writing Fact
* Markets
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Do you ever check the Internet for holidays of the month? Commercials selling products don't let us forget about Valentine's Day but every day of the year is a holiday of some sort, somewhere. Many are serious holidays issued by governments, some are promoted to boost product sales and many are just plain wacky. It seems anyone can set up a holiday to commemorate whatever interests them. Beyond the entertainment value, many of these fabricated celebrations give rise to topics for your writing.

You may have an experience with one of the featured celebrations that would make a good personal essay. For February, for instance, have you ever had ice cream for breakfast? That’s one of the events celebrated this month along with days for toothache, umbrella, chocolate fondue and, one I should certainly act on, clean out your computer. One site lists 87 holidays for the month and I'm sure they've missed some. With that many choices you have no excuse for not finding a topic that merits personal thought and writing about your life.

Remember, when you share your life-writing it helps others as well as yourself. The article on page two tells how. The article on twice-read life stories on page three guides you to improve your own writing.

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: "Writing memoir….is about fine tuning the self. Lisa Dale Norton, author Shimmering Images: A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir
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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...

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

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

"I have had a few published pieces in the newspaper, online & won the Writer's Digest contest. You are at least a part of that-probably a nice, big part."

"This class helped me focus on some of the unsolved issues in my life."

"This class helped me focus on some of the unsolved issues in my life."
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ARTICLE - "Helping Your Readers Cope"
We all have days when we fall back on the bed at night and hope the alarm is broken. Life seems too complicated to deal with awake. Too much goes wrong that shouldn't, in our opinion.

Serial mishaps often involve common things that we take for granted because they usually go right. They seem too common, too similar to what the rest of the world experiences to merit an essay. But some of the most poignant, inspirational, appreciated essays deal with stories we can all relate to our own lives. The fact that so many others live through the same ills we do gives us an instant connection.

Readers like to know how other people feel when the same misfortunes that befall them hit someone else instead. The proverbial last straw is seldom an epic event. It is most often the latest in a litany of trivial lapses that challenge our tolerance of life. People like to learn how others handle the common events that turn lives into centrifuges.

The experiences we share help others identify with our plight and give them tips on how to handle, or not handle, their next such episode. By using creative writing techniques, you can turn your life events into suspenseful, educational, must reading for your family, friends and beyond.

Don't think your life is too common to produce valuable personal essays. Every life is unique yet we all participate in the human experience. And remember, personal essays don’t have to be glum. We learn from happy events, as well. Share your life lessons, the good and the challenging, for the joy and education of others. If you aren't sure how, Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow courses will show you. I hope to read your work as a participant in one of the courses soon.
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Looking for something to write about? Here's a topic to inspire your inner self to emerge.
Write about how much time controls your life.
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ARTICLE - "Double Dipping Writers"
Writers receive a lot of advice on ways to improve their craft. One of the most often repeated suggestions is to read as much as you can. And if you write in a particular genre, concentrate on other works in that genre. This is sound advice, but it doesn’t go far enough.

Pleasure readers want to absorb words for their impact, unconcerned with how the author achieved the result. Writers need to analyze what we read in order to develop our skills. To transfer the maximum benefit from reading into your essay writing, double dipping is required.

As you read, or dip into, a personal essay for the first time, do so as a reader. Forget your writing assignments and rules and read for enjoyment, instruction, pathos or whatever the work offers. When you find essays you would like your writing to resemble, double dip (not to imitate but to convey the same reader connection). Give them a second reading, this time paying attention to the structure, word usage, imagery and other devices the author uses to construct that piece you want to emulate. Note how the author conveys the emotions you feel as you read the first time; creates the scene so vividly you can smell the lilac outside the bedroom window, hear the siren approaching as you wonder at its destination, taste the tartness of the chutney that tops the curried lamb; forms a story you cannot stop reading until you learn the outcome.

Gather all the personal essays you can find and read them first to form your opinion. Then double dip those that leave you moved, informed or appreciative of the author's skill. Analyze how the writer uses details to put you in the scene, stirs feelings that make you cry or laugh or pity, teaches you how to cope with an impossibly painful situation.

Then emulate what you learn. Double dipping as you read will help your readers do the same with your personal essays.
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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: An American Psychosomatic Society study found that "'narrative expressive writing' (which involves not just writing about your experiences but creating a meaningful narrative of your experience) helps buffer the effects of divorce-related stress. By writing not just about how you feel but expressing your divorce as a 'story' with a beginning, middle, and end, you can reduce your heart rate and increase your heart rate variability (the latter is a sign of good cardiovascular health). The scientists concluded, 'This is a pretty striking result for just 60 minutes of writing over three days.'"
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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.

World Hum is an online publisher of first person travel stories of 1,500 words max. Accepts completed essays only, no queries. Pay varies, noted on acceptance. Find details and examples including email instructions at World Hum.

The Writer Essay Contest looks for nonfiction work up to 2,000 words. Any topic is fair game as long as it's nonfiction. Prize is $1,000 and publication in the magazine.Deadline March 3, fee $25 or $15 each for up to four entries. Submit online only. See all the details at The Writer.

The Lascaux Review takes creative nonfiction including memoirs, personal essays, humorous perspectives—anything the author has witnessed, experienced, learned, or discovered. No fee, pay varies. Length not stringent but efficient writing is appreciated. Do not write in academic style. Reads submissions all year. Submit online. Learn more about this literary magazine (...caux rhymes with toe) at The Lascaux Review.

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