Dawn Thurston

9752 Crestview Circle
Villa Park, California 92861

Phone: 714-974-1878

Email: dawn@memoirmentor.com
URL: http://www.memoirmentor.com

Contact between 8:00 am to 8:00 pm US Pacific


"Teacher of the Year," Santiago Canyon College, 2008


* How to write compelling memoirs and family histories
* How to turn genealogy data into an interesting story
* How to use social history and secondary sources to resurrect "recordless" ancestors
* How to tell the truth and remain in the family will!


"Breathe Life into Your Life Story"--This lecture offers ideas and techniques for writing an interesting personal history, one that reveals the real you. This lecture can be adapted from a minimum one hour to multiple days.
"Breathe Life into Your Family History"--This presentation offers an array of ideas and techniques for turning genealogy data into a compelling story (one hour to multiple days)
"It's Your Life Story: Now Put Yourself into It!"--Too many personal histories tell what their authors did, but not who they were. This presentation will show a variety of techniques to help you reveal the real you.
"Truth Telling and Family History: A Fine Balance"--How do you tell the truth about people and events in your life without offending family members? What do you put in? What do you leave out? This presentation will give you the tools to make confident choices you can live with.
"Breathe Life into Your 'Characters': Make Them More than Names on the Page"--Learn how to add the kind of details that help readers visualize the important people in your story--how they talked and felt, how they looked and moved. Fiction writers do this well. You can learn some of the techniques they use to put flesh on the bones of your "characters."
"The Place of Place in Your Family History"--The locations where our ancestors lived their lives shaped who they were to a great extent. Learn how to breathe life into the people in your family history with well-developed settings that re-create the place and era in which they lived and show what it was like to walk in their shoes.

Speaking Conditions:

* Workshops can range from one hour to multiple days
* Will supply laptop and projector
* Will supply master for handouts
* Will develop new lectures upon request
* Will make my book available at lectures

Previous Engagements:

Association of Personal Historians (2011 national conference), Las Vegas, two presentations: "Boot Camp for Life Story Writing Teachers," "Make a Scene: Bring Your Family Histories to Life."
FGS (2011 National Conference), Springfield, IL, Topic: "The Place of Place in Your Family History Narrative."
Jamboree (2011 national conference), Burbank, CA, Topic: "How to Write about Family Skeletons and Other Prickly People."
North San Diego County Genealogy Society, June 2011,Topic: "How to Put Yourself in Your Family History."
Story Circle Network (2010 national conference), Austin, TX, "How to Turn a Ho-Hum Memoir into a Humdinger"


Dawn Thurston has taught life story writing on the college level for 14 years and has helped hundreds of students write and publish their personal histories and family stories. She is the author of Breathe Life into Your Life Story: How to Write a Story People Will WANT to Read, published by Signature Books in 2007, and the family history The Parrett Migration: Their Story is America's Story,and numerous magazine and journal articles. She earned a BA in English from UCLA and an MA in communications. She is a member of the Association of Personal Historians, the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors, and the National Association of Memoir Writers. Please visit www.MemoirMentor.com and www.MemoirMentor.com/blog for more information.

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