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Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Write Stuff Genealogy Intensive Returns! Save 30% Now - Build Your Family History Writing Skills


It’s back! The popular family history writing course, The Write Stuff, returns with a new format. 

Recently, The Write Stuff Spring 2017, sold out with more than 40 total participants!
Is writing a family history based on many years of genealogy research one of your “I’ll get to it someday” goals? Are you looking for more than just the standard genealogy report . . . do you want something that you can publish and share with family? Are you interested in crafting ancestor profiles and allowing their stories to “pop” off the page? Then you need to be a part of The Write Stuff – a Genealogy Intensive™ offering.
What Is a Genealogy Intensive™?
A Genealogy Intensive™ is a small group of similarly-minded genealogists with the same project goal—to write and share family stories.  The redesigned course is a self-paced online learning experience with instructional videos and five writing assignments that are interesting, engaging, and collaborative without being burdensome.  Participants are coached by nonfiction author and genealogy educator Lisa Alzo who will be on hand to offer encouragement and facilitate online discussions to lend inspiration, solve problems and help you to make that ever-elusive project a reality.  A private Facebook group serves as your “online classroom” where you can interact with your coach and fellow family history writers to share ideas, seek encouragement, and ask questions at any time of the day or night.  The online platform will also serve as the “workshop” space—an intimidation-free environment where you can post your writing for feedback as well as read and comment on the projects of your fellow writers.  In addition, Lisa will periodically hold live chats in the Facebook group where you can get answers to your questions about writing and publishing.
And the best part is since it is a self-paced, there are no set dates and you can begin the course whenever it is convenient for you!
So, bring your obsession. Bring your ideas, no matter how impossible they may seem. Bring your enthusiasm. Get ready for results. We’re talking action and doing. We’re talking feedback and support. Click here to read more about the Genealogy Intensive™ concept.
If you missed out on previous versions of The Write Stuff (which sold out quickly) then here is your chance! Read below for more information on this revamped, collaborative, results-driven, group coaching environment focusing on writing family history narratives.  Once you make your purchase, you’ll have access to the recordings, handouts, and the Facebook group indefinitely.  In addition, the first 25 participants to purchase The Write Stuff Genealogy Intensive course will receive one (1) free 15-minute personal Skype consultation with your coach Lisa Alzo.
What’s New?
In an effort to constantly improve our products and educational services, we have changed the format of The Write Stuff Genealogy Intensive to make it easier than ever for you to succeed! Key features of our revised program include:
  • No official start or end date! You receive an email with links to all videos and assignments and YOU choose when you start and finish.  However, for you to get the most out of this experience and meet your writing goals, it is recommended that you aim for one lesson and assignment per week (approximately 6 weeks of dedicated work).
  • The private Facebook group is the main hub of activity – you decide how much or how little you want to interact with your coach and fellow writers
  • Periodic Facebook Chats replace the scheduled live GoToWebinar sessions included in previous offerings of The Write Stuff. These Facebook events may be announced in advance or may be impromptu as decided by your coach. Facebook-hosted events will be recorded so you can view them if you can’t attend live.
Testimonials
While our format has changed, our commitment to helping you in your writer’s journey has not. But don’t just take our word for it. Here are some comments from previous Write Stuff students:
Your Write Stuff Seminar empowered me to write my family history.   Your gentle guidance and a supportive group helped me see that I am indeed a writer!  I appreciated the weekly meetings, the prompts, and the opportunity to share my work with others.  And I loved exploring the variety of forms one’s family history might take. You inspired me to express myself and in so doing leave a family legacy.   Thank you Lisa.” – Kathy
Genealogy Intensive gave my family history writing a big boost. From it, I developed the habit of writing every day. Genealogy Intensive led me to understand just how important that is to do. After the class was over, I started a family blog to publish some of that writing and to get it ‘out there’ for others to read. The blog provided other rewards, including increasing their interest and involvement in our family’s history. One of the cousins that I do genealogy work with told me “I love the way you write”. Most importantly, I decided how to write my family history book by choosing a format to use through the storyboarding technique taught in the classes.” – Mary-Angus Yanke
Description
Are you excited about (or perhaps even a little obsessed with) the idea of getting your family history down in writing? Maybe you have self-doubts and fears about how to get started, what to write, and how to put it all together in a compelling way? If so, then this workshop is for you! During this six-week intensive, you will learn the key steps for producing a quality family history narrative from outline to finished product, ways to use “storyboarding” to plot your project, and how to build your writing skills, as well as your confidence as a writer. In addition, you will receive helpful tips, project management tools and a productivity toolbox of resources to help keep you on track.
Through on-line instructional videos, weekly assignments, and collaboration with other participants, you will have access to an instructor with more than 27 years’ experience, who will teach you about key nonfiction writing techniques you can use to produce a “can’t put down” family history that will keep the pages turning for generations. NOTE: While Facebook is not required, participants will reap the most benefits from the collaborative environment by accessing the Facebook Group for The Write Stuff Genealogy Intensive.
Key Goals of the Course
  • Learn writing skills and techniques to produce a quality family history; build on the skills each week.
  • Focus on getting a working draft.
  • Work at your own pace.
  • Receive constructive and helpful feedback.
  • Overcome fears and anxiety about writing.
  • Have fun!
Coach Bio – Lisa Alzo
Lisa A. Alzo is a freelance writer, instructor, and lecturer and has been a genealogist for more than 27 years. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh, and is the author of eleven books, including: Finding Your Slovak Ancestors, Writing Your Family History Book, and the award-winning Three Slovak Women. Lisa has written hundreds of articles and her work has appeared in Family Tree Magazine, Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, APG Quarterly, among others. An internationally recognized speaker, Lisa blogs as “The Accidental Genealogist” blog  http://www.theaccidentalgenealogist.com. For more information see http://www.lisaalzo.com.
 
Schedule
(A guideline for working at your own pace)
Topic 1
  • Video: Setting Writing Goals
  • Assignment #1
    1) Outline your family history writing goal. Various tools will be provided to explore different ways to create an outline.
    2) Compose a short elevator pitch (no more than 2-3 sentences) that succinctly summarizes your project. A sample will be provided.
  • Facebook Group: Participants ask questions on assignment; share resources; respond to prompts from instructor.
Topic 2
  • Video 2: Plot, Plan, and Scheme: Storyboard Your Family History Project
  • Assignment #2
    Storyboard your project idea. Write by hand on index cards and then scan them or photograph them to share; or use a program such as Scrivener or Index Card App or StorySkeleton.
  • Facebook Group: Participants ask questions on assignment; share resources; respond to prompts from instructor.
Topic 3
  • Video 3: Tap into Family Treasures
  • Assignment #3
    Tap into Family Treasures: write 500 words using a photo or document or heirloom or keepsake as your prompt. Instructor will provide a sample.
  • Facebook Group: Participants ask questions on assignment; share resources; respond to prompts from instructor.
Topic 4
  • Video 4: Character Development through Oral History and Profile
  • Assignment #4
    Choose one
    1) Write from a memory or an oral history interview (500 words). Instructor will provide a sample.
    2) Write a profile or character sketch of an ancestor of your choice (500 words). Instructor will provide a sample.
  • Facebook Group: Participants ask questions on assignment; share resources; respond to prompts from instructor.
Topic 5
  • Video 5: Shaping Your Story Using Plot and Structure
  • Assignment #5
    Putting it all together. Building on the skills you learned in the previous weeks, and using your outline, write a 1200 word narrative (approximately 2 pages) about your ancestor or family. Instructor will provide an example.
  • Facebook Group: Participants ask questions on assignment; share resources; respond to prompts from instructor.
Additional Materials
  • Bonus Video: Top Ten Tips for Family History Writing
Register
The cost to participate in The Write Stuff Genealogy Intensive™ is $129 per person. A special discounted price of $89 will be available during the early registration period. Early registration ends on Tuesday, February 28th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time! You must use promo code FRUGALGEN at checkout to get this special deal!
Before you register and make payment, please read the Genealogy Intensive™ Terms and Conditions as well as the Participant Policies.
If you’re ready to be a part of The Write Stuff, then click here to register and pay via PayPal*
* You do not need a PayPal account to make payment; you can use a credit card via PayPal.
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
We get it. You’re taking a chance with us on a new, radical format for online genealogy education. If you are willing to do the work and commit to the format of a Genealogy Intensive™, we’re certain you’ll be happy. More than happy. More importantly, you’ll finally get that project done!
If you are not satisfied with the content or format of the Genealogy Intensive™, we’ll gladly refund your money within 30 calendar days from date of purchase.

Copyright 2017, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Closing the Curtains on 2016! My Year in Review

As we prepare to say farewell to another year, The Accidental Genealogist is ready to close the curtains on 2016 and review highlights from the 12 months, while looking ahead to new goals and more genealogy and writing adventures in 2017!

Image credit: Pixabay, with edits by Lisa Alzo
2016 Highlights

In my end of year post for 2015, "No Looking Back: Why I'm Choosing Myself in 2016," I wrote about how I planned to "choose myself" in 2016 and focus on some specific areas: 
  • Downsizing my physical living space and possessions.
  • Choosing work that fulfills me rather than just taking on any project or doing work for little or no payment, or that doesn't fit my current business model. 
  • Focusing more on my own writing (including more posts to this blog) and self-publishing 
  • Expanding my work inspiring genealogists and family history writers by offering more personalized instruction through online courses and virtual learning experiences. 
  • Making more time for personal genealogy research and for enjoying life.
If I had to give myself an overall grade, I would probably go with A- because I believe that I was successful in each of the areas I listed. I especially tried to make decisions that were good for my business and focus more on my own writing. I made good progress in clearing out personal clutter and moving towards another goal of eventually changing my living space and location (priority item for 2017).  I also expanded my online educational offerings through webinars and online courses. 

Professional Growth and Satisfaction

One thing I learned in 2016 is how much I truly do enjoy helping others learn how to research their roots and share their family stories.  A few of the professional highlights for me included:

Writing, Writing, and More Writing!
Speaking and Teaching

In 2016 I spent a good bit of time on the road and online delivering lectures.


Online Coaching

One of my favorite jobs during 2016 was as a genealogy and writing coach.

  • I worked with aspiring family history writers through two sold out sessions of The Write Stuff Genealogy Writing Intensive online workshop (in partnership with my friend and colleague, Thomas MacEntee over at HackGenealogy).  And we are about to start a new sold out session on 2 January 2017!
  • I joined the team at GenealogyDOTCoach to help coach those who need help starting their genealogy research or breaking down brick walls in their current family history work.
  • There were other projects as well, making 2016 a year with plenty to do!  
Unfortunately, my own genealogy research was mostly put on hold, but I did make time to search some new online record sets and investigate the possibility of connecting with newly found cousins through DNA matches and contact through social media.

Onward to 2017

Image Credit: Pixabay

I am looking forward to taking on 2017.  It promises to be another year of getting to do what I love--writing and genealogy! 

I have several ideas for books I hope to publish.  I will be working on yet another special issue for Internet Genealogy, and will continue to develop online courses and webinars. Travel will once again fit into the mix.I am excited to be a speaker at a number of conferences again. 

I am especially honored to be the Keynote speaker for the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International's 16th Genealogical and Cultural ConferenceOctober 17-21, 2017 (in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA). The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel – Pittsburgh International Airport.  I will also be giving three other talks at the conference.  For more information click here.

Finally, each year I select a "theme" that serves as a guidepost for my personal and professional life.  For 2017 I have selected "Brave/Bravery" as my theme.  I want to be open to new possibilities, try out new ideas and throw a number of things out to the universe and see what happens, and not be afraid to take some risks.  

I would also like to thank all of you who follow this blog.  In June 2016 I celebrated 10 years of writing as "The Accidental Genealogist" - thanks for coming along for the journey!

Wishing you a peaceful and productive 2017!

[Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase I will receive a small commission]

Copyright 2016, Lisa A. Alzo 
All Rights Reserved









Wednesday, December 14, 2016

New Internet Genealogy Special Issue! Organize Your Genealogy Research

Is finally organizing your genealogy research one of your goals for 2017?  

Then you won't want to miss getting a copy of the newest Internet Genealogy Magazine Special Issue: Organize Your Genealogy Research. 

I was pleased to collaborate with my colleague and friend, Denise Levenick, The Family Curator, on the content for this latest issue in the Tracing Your Ancestors series for the magazine. 

This issue goes on sale 1 January 2017, but you can pre-order your copy. Click here

Order on or before December 15, 2016 and get FREE shipping (a $4.50 value).


Below is the information on the special issue from the publisher:

Organize Your Genealogy Research: Tips, Tricks & Strategies

This new edition to our Tracing Your Ancestors series is co-authored by Lisa A. Alzo and Denise May Levenick — two successful genealogy professionals who know that being organized means “working smarter”. Here is some of what you will get in this information-packed guide: Tame Your Inner Packrat; Storyboarding, Timesaving Apps; Creating a Research Plan and Log; S.M.A.R.T. Goals; Top Websites for Organizing Help; Setting Up a Home Archive; Organizing Paper Files; Tips for Organizing Digital Files; Archival Product Resources; How to Archive Family Keepsakes; Choosing Scanners and much more! 

68 Pages. Magazine format. $9.95 + $4.50 shipping.

Click here to order your copy today and start your 2017 off as a more organized genealogist!

Copyright 2016, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cyber Monday Sale - Books and Guides from The Accidental Genealogist

Want to learn how to use Scrivener, get inspired to write about your Fearless Females ancestors, learn to trace your Czech/Slovak roots, or explore your Slovak heritage? Check out my Cyber Monday sale!

Save on the following books and guides. Offers good until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, Monday 28 November 2016.


Slovak Heritage Bundle - The Slovak Heritage Bundle includes Three Slovak Women, 2nd Edition, Baba’s Kitchen, 2nd Edition, and The Polish, Czech and Slovak Genealogy Guide.  You can get a discounted bundle rate of $48 for all three hard copies plus $6 for shipping and handling. Go to http://www.lisaalzo.com/category/books to view products and place your order.

Scrivener for Genealogists QuickSheets (Mac or Windows) - Save over 10% on Quicksheets - printed laminated copies or digital (PDF) versions.  Scrivener by Literature and Latte is a popular combination word processor and project management tool that’s affordable and simple to use. This powerful application seamlessly takes you from idea to outline to finished product.  Go to http://www.lisaalzo.com/category/books to view products and place your order.





















Fearless Females: 31 Writing Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History (Ebook): 
This Fearless Females Ebook (PDF) includes all of the writing prompts from the popular "Fearless Females Blogging Prompts" series, plus bonus prompts and tips for finding your female ancestors.  Save $1.00 off the regular price. Click here to purchase.



These offers are available ONLY for CYBER MONDAY and will expire at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, Monday November 28, 2016!





Copyright 2016, Lisa A. Alzo, All Rights Reserved

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday Special - Save an Extra $10 on The Write Stuff Genealogy Writing Intensive Spring 2017!

It’s back! Our popular family history writing course, The Write Stuff, returns for the Spring 2017 season starting January 2nd! Come join me, Lisa Alzo and my colleague, Thomas MacEntee on a a six-week collaborative, results-driven, group coaching environment focused on writing family history narratives.  And for BLACK FRIDAY ONLY, save an extra $10 on your registration fee!



Is “write up all of my years of genealogy research” one of your goals for 2017? Are you looking for more than just the standard genealogy report . . . do you want something that you can publish and share with family? Are you interested in crafting ancestor profiles and allowing their stories to “pop” off the page? Then you need to be a part of The Write Stuff – a Genealogy Intensive™ offering.

Here are the details from the HackGenealogy Website:

What Is a Genealogy Intensive™?
A Genealogy Intensive™ is a small group of similarly-minded genealogists with the same project goal. The group meets virtually over a six-week period. Once a week, participants meet online using GoToTraining (similar to GoToWebinar which is popular with genealogy webinar attendees). There are work assignments that are interesting, engaging, and collaborative without being burdensome. In addition there is an online platform to share ideas, encouragement and ask questions at any time of the day or night. The group is closed, private and led by genealogy educators and authors, two of whom you probably already know: Lisa Alzo and Thomas MacEntee. These “coaches” offer encouragement and facilitate online discussions to lend inspiration, solve problems and make that ever-elusive project a reality.
So, bring your obsession. Bring your ideas, no matter how wacky they may seem. Bring your enthusiasm. Get ready for results. We’re talking action and doing. We’re talking feedback and support. Click here to read more about the Genealogy Intensive™ concept.
If you missed out on the Fall 2016 version of The Write Stuff (which sold out quickly) then here is your chance! Read below for more information on this six-week collaborative, results-driven, group coaching environment focusing on writing family history narratives. Like all of our Genealogy Intensive™ offerings, you’ll have access to the recordings, handouts, and the Facebook group during and even after the classes end. At Hack Genealogy there is never an “upcharge” for a collaborative environment and if you act now, you can register for the Early Bird price!
Note: A minimum of eight (8) paid participants are needed in order for a Genealogy Intensive™ to be successful. If the minimum is not met, your tuition will be refunded in full and you’ll be notified of the next Genealogy Intensive™.
Testimonials
Here is what past students of The Write Stuff have to say:
“Your Write Stuff Seminar empowered me to write my family history.   Your gentle guidance and a supportive group helped me see that I am indeed a writer!  I appreciated the weekly meetings, the prompts, and the opportunity to share my work with others.  And I loved exploring the variety of forms one’s family history might take. You inspired me to express myself and in so doing leave a family legacy.   Thank you Lisa.” – Kathy
“Genealogy Intensive gave my family history writing a big boost. From it, I developed the habit of writing every day. Genealogy Intensive led me to understand just how important that is to do. After the class was over, I started a family blog to publish some of that writing and to get it ‘out there’ for others to read. The blog provided other rewards, including increasing their interest and involvement in our family’s history. One of the cousins that I do genealogy work with told me “I love the way you write”. Most importantly, I decided how to write my family history book by choosing a format to use through the storyboarding technique taught in the classes.” – Mary-Angus Yanke
Description
Are you excited about (or perhaps even a little obsessed with) the idea of getting your family history down in writing? Maybe you have self-doubts and fears about how to get started, what to write, and how to put it all together in a compelling way? If so, then this workshop is for you! During this six-week intensive, you will learn the key steps for producing a quality family history narrative from outline to finished product, ways to use “storyboarding” to plot your project, and how to build your writing skills, as well as your confidence as a writer. In addition, you will receive helpful tips, project management tools and a productivity toolbox to help keep you on track.
Through on-line instructional sessions, weekly assignments, and collaboration with other participants, you will have access to an instructor with more than 23 years of writing experience, who will teach you about key nonfiction writing techniques you can use to produce a “can’t put down” family history that will keep the pages turning for generations. NOTE: While Facebook is not required, participants will reap the most benefits from the collaborative environment by accessing the Facebook Group for The Write Stuff Spring 2017.
Key Goals of the Course
  1. Learn writing skills and techniques to produce a quality family history; build on the skills each week.
  2. Focus on getting a working draft.
  3. Receive constructive and helpful feedback.
  4. Overcome fears and anxiety about writing.
  5. Have fun!
Coach Bio – Lisa Alzo
Lisa A. Alzo
Lisa A. Alzo is a freelance writer, instructor, and lecturer with over 20 years’ experience in the field of genealogy. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh, and is the author of nine books, including: Finding Your Slovak AncestorsWriting Your Family History Book, and the award-winning Three Slovak Women. Lisa has written hundreds of articles and her work has appeared in Family Tree MagazineFamily ChronicleInternet GenealogyAPG Quarterly, among others. An internationally recognized speaker, Lisa blogs as “The Accidental Genealogist” blog http://www.theaccidentalgenealogist.com. For more information see http://www.lisaalzo.com.
Schedule
Week 1: 2-8 January 2017
  • Video: Setting Writing Goals
  • Assignment #1
1) Outline your family history writing goal. Various tools will be provided to explore different ways to create an outline.
2) Compose a short elevator pitch (no more than 2-3 sentences) that succinctly summarizes your project. A sample will be provided.
  • Facebook Group
    • Introductions
    • Participants ask questions on assignment; share resources; respond to prompts from instructor (2 prompts each week).
Week 2: 9-15 January 2017
  • Online Session: Introductions, Goal Setting and Review Assignment #1
    9 January 2017 via GoToTraining
    9:00 pm EDT / 8:00 pm CDT 1 Hour, recorded.
    Topic: What do you want to accomplish? What’s important to you? What does writing success look like to you?
  • Video: Plot, Plan, and Scheme: Storyboard Your Family History Project
  • Assignment #2
    • Storyboard your project idea. Write by hand on index cards and then scan them or photograph them to share; or use a program such as Scrivener or Index Card App or StorySkeleton.
  • Facebook Group:
    • Participants ask questions on assignment; share resources; respond to prompts from instructor (2 prompts each week).
Week 3: 16-22 January 2017
  • Video: Tap into Family Treasures
  • Assignment #3
    • Tap into Family Treasures: write 500 words using a photo or document or heirloom or keepsake as your prompt. Instructor will provide a sample.
  • Facebook Group:
    • Participants ask questions on assignment; share resources; respond to prompts from instructor (2 prompts each week).
Week 4: 23-30 January 2017
  • Online Session: Review Assignments #2 and #3
    23 January 2017 via GoToTraining
    9:00 pm EDT / 8:00 pm CDT 1 Hour, recorded.
    Topic: Review Assignments #2 and #3.
  • Video: Character Development through Oral History and Profile
  • Assignment #4
Choose one
1) Write from a memory or an oral history interview (500 words). Instructor will provide a sample.
2) Write a profile or character sketch of an ancestor of your choice (500 words). Instructor will provide a sample.
  • Facebook Group:
    • Participants ask questions on assignment; share resources; respond to prompts from instructor (2 prompts each week).
Week 5: 31 January-6 February 2017
  • Video: Shaping Your Story Using Plot and Structure
  • Assignment #5
    • Putting it all together. Building on the skills you learned in the previous weeks, and using your outline, write a 1200 word narrative (approximately 2 pages) about your ancestor or family. Instructor will provide an example.
  • Facebook Group:
    • Participants ask questions on assignment; share resources; respond to prompts from instructor (2 prompts each week).
Week 6: 6-13 February 2017
  • Online Session: Review Assignments #4 and #5, Wrap-Up.
    13 February 2017 via GoToTraining
    9:00 pm EST / 8:00 pm CST 1 Hour, recorded
    Topic: Review Assignments #4 and #5 and Wrap-Up.
  • Video: Top Ten Tips for Family History Writing
  • Facebook Group:
    • Thank you, good-byes, next steps
Register
The cost to attend a The Write Stuff Genealogy Intensive™ over a six week period is $129 per person. A special discounted price of $99 will be available during the early registration period. Early registration ends on Monday, December 19th!
Black Friday Special: Use coupon code bf2016 at checkout, and save an extra $10! Your final price is $89! Offer good through Friday, November 25th, 2016!
Before you register and make payment, please read the Genealogy Intensive™ Terms and Conditions as well as the Participant Policies.
If you’re ready to be a part of The Write Stuff, Spring 2017 (2 January – 13 February 2017), then click here to register and pay via PayPal*
* You do not need a PayPal account to make payment; you can use a credit card via PayPal.
Money-Back Guarantee
We get it. You’re taking a chance with us on a new, radical format for online genealogy education. If you are willing to do the work and commit to the format of a Genealogy Intensive™, we’re certain you’ll be happy. More than happy. More importantly, you’ll finally get that project done!
If at any time you are not satisfied with the content or format of the Genealogy Intensive™, we’ll gladly refund your money.

Copyright 2016, Lisa A. Alzo and Thomas MacEntee, All Rights Reserved