2016 Pre-Conference Seminars

Two day long, pre-conference seminars were offered on Sunday, October 23, 2016. Stephanie Kadel Taras, Ph.D., presented Starting & Succeeding with Your Personal History Busiess. Patricia Charpenter presented From Transcript to Terrific: Bringing Experiences to Life. Seminar summaries are below.

Starting & Succeeding with Your Personal History Business

Stephanie Kadel TarasStarting a new personal history business? The conference will offer many opportunities for you to hone your skills, but before you focus on craft, take this seminar to learn how to get established and how to build your business for success. The owner of a successful personal history business and an experienced instructor, Stephanie Kadel Taras will discuss business planning, promotion, products, pricing, and operations tailored to the specifics of a personal history business. She'll lead a frank discussion about how to make a living in this field, where to spend your time and resources, and how to make the most of what you already know. Using samples, stories, and group brainstorming, Stephanie will target the needs of the attendees. She'll discuss how a clear vision, purpose, and goals can help with marketing; how a clear focus on products and services will save time and money; how to create a dynamite sample (with a replicable process); and how to get known in your community—and find clients you will love.

Stephanie Kadel Taras, Ph.D., wrote her initial personal history business plan in 2001 and is surprised to discover how relevant it still is to her work today. A former vice president of APH, Stephanie makes a full-time living as a writer through her company, TimePieces Personal Biographies, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She provides telephone coaching to personal history start-ups and has taught this seminar with rave reviews at previous APH conferences. www.timepiecesbios.com

From Transcript to Terrific: Bringing Experiences to Life

Patricia CharpentierIt's good to take an interview transcript, clean up the grammar, format the text, and create an accounting of a person's life. But what if you used that information to set the stage, bring people to life, show rather than tell, add sensory detail, apply tools of good fiction writing to your factual information, and make it read like a novel? It's possible, and in this workshop, you will learn how to transform data into story. Don't yet have a client transcript? No problem, use your own experiences to learn the techniques of good storytelling, which you can later apply to your work.

In this hands-on seminar, you'll work on your story idea throughout the day, learning how to organize, keep track of progress, write about setting, describe people, compose dialogue, and more. Using PowerPoint, lecture, and discussion, Patricia will guide participants as they apply each new lesson learned and watch their writing evolve throughout the day.

Whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned pro who wants to brush up on his or her writing skills, this seminar will help make your written work come to life.

Patricia Charpentier teaches, writes, edits, ghostwrites, and publishes personal and family history. The author of the multi-award-winning book, Eating an Elephant: Write Your Life One Bite at a Time, and a popular speaker and workshop presenter. Patricia offers live workshops and ongoing courses, including programs that utilize videos, one-on-one coaching, group Q&A calls, and more to help people succeed in writing the story of a lifetime. She has also coauthored, edited, and published more than forty personal and family histories. http://www.WritingYourLife.org