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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Fearless Females Blogging Prompts Series Returns for 2017!

It's that time again...the special month for you to honor your female ancestors with the Fearless Females blogging prompts series!


Fearless Females Badge courtesy of Denise Levenick

In March 2010, I launched a series of 31 blogging prompts for celebrating and honoring the "fearless females" in our family trees. Many bloggers participated and I was asked if I planned on running them again. I'm happy to say that this series is still going strong and is back for another year.

So, to mark National Women's History Month (beginning Wednesday, March 1), I'm listing the 31 prompts below. 

Also, you can download the free badge above to use on your blog to indicate your participation. [A special thanks to my friend and colleague, Denise Levenick, The Family Curator, who created the original version of this badge especially for me for the 2016 edition of Fearless Females].


The theme for National Women's History Month 2017 is “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business” so it is a perfect time to start writing about those hardworking and trailblazing female ancestors who have informed, influenced, or inspired you!

While I won't be posting individual prompts each day, I will be sharing some of my own favorite posts I wrote for the series. Also, watch this blog for other ideas, prompts, and tips to learn about your female ancestors, as well as special coupons for discounts on books, courses, or other products related to researching your female lines.



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Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month



 You can choose to do some of the prompts, or all of them--there's no pressure--it's meant to be a fun exercise to focus on the women and make sure their stories are told!
  
[Group of young women reading in library of normal school, Washington, D.C.]Library of Congress, (Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer.); REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZ62-100288 (b&w film copy neg.) DIGITAL ID: (b&w film copy neg.) cph 3c00288 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c00288]

Blogging Prompts

March 1 — Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check.

March 2 — Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?

March 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

March 4 — Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one.

March 5 — How did they meet? You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit. Do you know the story of how your parents met? Your grandparents?

March 6 — Describe an heirloom you may have inherited from a female ancestor (wedding ring or other jewelry, china, clothing, etc.) If you don’t have any, then write about a specific object you remember from your mother or grandmother, or aunt (a scarf, a hat, cooking utensil, furniture, etc.)

March 7 — Share a favorite recipe from your mother or grandmother’s kitchen. Why is this dish your favorite? If you don’t have one that’s been passed down, describe a favorite holiday or other meal you shared with your family.

March 8 — Did one of your female ancestors leave a diary, journal, or collection of letters? Share an entry or excerpt.

March 9 — Take a family document (baptismal certificate, passenger list, naturalization petition, etc.) and write a brief narrative using the information.

March 10 — What role did religion play in your family? How did your female ancestors practice their faith? If they did not, why didn’t they? Did you have any female ancestors who served their churches in some capacity?

March 11 — Did you have any female ancestors who died young or from tragic or unexpected circumstances? Describe and how did this affect the family?

March 12 — Working girl: Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home? What did she do? Describe her occupation.

March 13 — Moment of Strength: share a story where a female ancestor showed courage or strength in a difficult situation.

March 14 — Newsmakers? Did you have a female ancestor who made the news? Why? Was she famous or notorious? Did she appear in the social column?

March 15 — Write a six-word memoir tribute to one of your female ancestors.

March 16 — If you could have lunch with any female family member (living or dead) or any famous female who would it be and why? Where would you go? What would you eat?

March 17 — Social Butterfly? What social organizations or groups did your mother or grandmother belong to? Sewing circle, church group, fraternal benefit society or lodge? Describe her role in the group.

March 18 — Shining star: Did you have a female ancestor who had a special talent? Artist, singer, actress, athlete, seamstress, or other? Describe.

March 19 — Have you discovered a surprising fact about one of your female ancestors? What was it and how did you learn it? How did you feel when you found out?

March 20 — Is there a female ancestor who is your brick wall? Why? List possible sources for finding more information.

March 21 — Describe a tender moment one of your female ancestors shared with you or another family member.

March 22 — If a famous director wanted to make a movie about one of your female ancestors who would it be? What actress would you cast in the role and why?

March 23 — Create a timeline for a female ancestor using your favorite software program or an online timeline generator such as OurTimelines. Post an image of it or link to it.

March 24 — Do you share any physical resemblance or personality trait with one of your female ancestors? Who? What is it?

March 25 — Tell how a female ancestor interacted with her children. Was she loving or supportive? A disciplinarian? A bit of both?

March 26 — What education did your mother receive? Your grandmothers? Great-grandmothers? Note any advanced degrees or special achievements.

March 27 — Do you know the immigration story of one or more female ancestors? Do you have any passenger lists, passports, or other documentation? Interesting family stories?

March 28 — Do you remember your mother’s best friend? Your grandmother’s? How and where did they meet? How long were they friends? What activities did they share?

March 29 — Create a free Fold3 Memorial Page or a Genealogy Trading Card at Big Huge Labs for a female ancestor. Some of you may have created your own card back in September 2009 following Sheri Fenley’s post over at The Educated Genealogist. This time, the card is for your female ancestor. Tell us about who you've selected and why and then post a link to what you've created.

March 30 — Did you receive any advice or words of wisdom from your mother or another female ancestor?

March 31 — Pick one female ancestor and write a mini-profile (500 words or less).

BONUS: Take all of your postings and turn them into a memory or tribute booklet for future generations.

Post an entry on your Blog when you have created your tribute. Tell us how you did it (what format, how you printed it or digitized it, etc.).


Copyright, 2010-17, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved

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. 
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!

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