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Seminar to help residents pen their life stories set for Nov. 10

Posted: Friday, Nov 2nd, 2012

Barbara Smith

EVANSTON — Have you ever wanted to write your life story, but just didn’t know where to start? Have your friends and family been after you to “write that story down?”

Evanston’s Serendipity will be sponsoring a one-day memoir-writing workshop, titled “Mining Your Memories,” on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m.

The workshop, taught by Barbara Smith, longtime creative writing teacher, will provide participants with some strategies and ways to get started. Smith has been offering memoir-writing workshops at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs since 1976.

According to Smith, “A lot of people tell me that they would like to get started writing the stories of their lives, for their own satisfaction or for some of their family members, but they just don’t know how to go about it. In this workshop, we will mine our memories and see just what nuggets and surprising gems are to be found.”

In 2006, Smith received the Wyoming Governor’s Arts Award for her contributions in support of the arts in Sweetwater County, as well as for her own writing. She received the award in part for “teaching the people of Rock Springs the value of their stories and the importance in writing them.”

“There isn’t one story in this state, there’s all these stories, and if people can be encouraged to write their stories then all these stories can be heard, Smith said. “I still think we haven’t heard enough of them yet. We need to get those stories written down for future generations.”

In 2008, Smith was named the recipient of the Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing award for nature writing, sponsored by the Wyoming Arts Council and funded by artist and arts patron Neltje. In the past, she has also been the recipient of several writing awards, including the Wyoming Arts Council Literary Fellowship in 1990 and an artist’s residency from the Ucross Foundation.

Smith’s poetry and stories have been published in collections such as Wyoming Fence Lines, Deep West, A Literary Tour of Wyoming, and the three-book series: Leaning Into the Wind, Woven on the Wind, and Crazy Woman Creek. Other publications include the Montana anthology, The Last Best Place, Ucross: The First 10 Years, Letters from Wyoming, and Drive, He Said, an anthology about Americans and their cars.

Interested residents may register for the workshop at Serendipity, 900 Main St., by Tuesday, Nov. 6. For more information, contact Serendipity at (307) 783-7323.

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