Write Your Family History - March 2023

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Write Your Family History

There are plenty of reasons why you should write your family history. Whether you’re writing to honor your ancestors, give shape to your research, preserve an interesting story, or show history through the eyes of those who lived it, documenting your findings is a great way to add depth to your research and share it with others. In this 4-week course, we’ll give you the tools to make writing your family history painless.

DATE: March 27, 2023 - April 23, 2023

Discover the Key to Painless Writing

If the thought of writing is a little scary, then we’re here to put your fears to rest. Writing your ancestor’s story can be a rewarding project - and it doesn’t have to be book-length to be meaningful! In this online course, we’ll present you with the steps you need to get your ancestor’s story underway, with great tips and writing techniques that will help you determine your subject and what form it should take. Then, you’ll discover how to create a writing plan that will guide your story and keep you from getting overwhelmed. Finally, we’ll take you through the writing process, from rough draft to publication.

You should take Write Your Family History if:

  • You want to honor and memorialize your ancestors
  • You want to craft a strong story from your research
  • You’re seeking tips for crafting a strong writing plan
  • You want to attract others interested in your ancestor’s story
  • You want to try NaNoWriMo but with your family history instead of a novel

This online course contains five lessons made up of text and video, practical exercises and feedback from your instructor, Sunny Morton, author of My Life and Times and Story of My Life Workbook. Over the course of four weeks, you’ll have explored the different types of writing projects (hint: there's more to writing than books!)

In this course, you’ll learn:

  • Why you should write
  • How to determine your subject and audience
  • What form your project will take
  • Tips for crafting a strong writing plan
  • How to craft a strong outline and rough draft
  • Editing techniques to take it from draft to publication

Course Outline

  • Course Overview
    • Welcome! Start Here
    • Introduce Yourself

  • Define Your Project
    • Subject and Spin
    • Who is the Subject of Your Writing
    • What you’re going to write about them
    • Who You're Writing For
    • What form your writing project will take
    • Discussion Thread: Module 1

  • Plan Your Project: 7 Different Types of Writing Project Examples
    • Book
    • Article in a Genealogy Publication
    • Blog
    • Compiled Family Histories
    • Historical Narratives
    • Family History Memoir
    • Record Transcriptions
    • Test Your Knowledge: Quiz
    • Discussion Thread: Thoughts and Questions

  • Finalize Your Findings, Outline Your Project
    • Finalize Your Findings
    • Perspective and Creativity
    • Outline Your Project
    • Scope of Your Project
    • Type of Outline and Background
    • Filling in the Gaps
    • Permission and Sources
    • Project Deadline
    • Give it a Try / Discussion Board

  • Time to Write!
    • Choosing Your Words Wisely
    • Draft: Just Get It on Paper
    • Discussion Thread: Writing the Draft
    • Constructing the Narrative Plot
    • Finding Your Voice
    • Editing
    • Give it a Try: Exercises to Get You Writing / Discussion Board

  • Next Steps
    • Download the lesson materials
    • Join our Facebook alumni group
    • Survey

*The videos in this workshop are closed captioned.


About the Instructor

Sunny Jane Morton

Sunny Jane Morton is an award-winning writer who has advanced training in genealogy, history, and memoir-writing. She is a contributing editor for Family Tree Magazine and Your DNA Guide; author of Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy and How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records; and a writing coach and course developer for Family Tree University.

How do Family Tree University workshops work?

Take the course at your own pace! 

From the course start date, you’ll be able to log in to view and access your lessons and start interacting on the discussion boards. Your instructor will check in regularly to answer all of the questions and provide feedback. You will have access to your courses anytime, anywhere, with a computer, tablet or smartphone, and can study when it's most convenient for you.

After the course end date, the course will become read-only for one year. You will continue to have access through your dashboard to the materials, but the discussion boards will be closed. The materials are yours to keep. You can download them onto your desktop to access online or offline.

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