I offer two levels of guided autobiography:
GAB1 is the basic level developed by the Birren Center for Autobiographical Studies in California and has a strong focus on life review. In sessions held over six weeks, we explore themes like turning points in our life, family, health, and what we consider to be our life’s work. The first part of the roughly two-hour session is devoted to activities to enhance self-awareness, writing skills, and memory; the second for sharing aloud the stories you have written at home in the preceding week.
Those who want to continue gaining benefits from life review and sharing their stories in a small group, but want a stronger focus on writing craft, can go onto GAB2.
GAB2 borrows from the curriculum developed by the Birren Center, but is intended for those who want to take their stories and writing to the next level. In GAB2 we spend the first part of the session learning the core elements of writing memoir and discuss things like story structure, developing strong characters, and what makes good dialogue. In the second part of the session, we tackle themes like love, finding independence, and gaining resilience–themes you will write about at home and then share aloud with your small group the following week.
Completing GAB1 is a prerequisite for GAB2.
Where can you participate in a Guided Autobiography workshop?
I offer GAB online (private and for SFU), and in my home. I also offer short introductory workshops (no fee for these), and special all-day in-person workshops either at my home or in a public venue.
Make sure you are subscribed to my workshop updates newsletter to find out when and where I’m offering GAB.
GAB at (My) Home
This is a great way to do GAB. We gather at my home around my dining room table. It’s a warm and intimate way to share. People bring offerings for tea. Friendships are made; follow-up groups are always in demand.
Now that I live in Courtenay, on Vancouver Island, I will be offering GAB at Home here and anxious to get started but won’t be able to offer anything until earliest this coming fall. Please write to me if you want to be in one of these groups.
The fee for GAB at Home is $229+GST.
Doing guided autobiography online provides an opportunity to be part of a GAB group for people who either can’t attend an in-person session, or prefer to participate from the comfort of their own home. All you need is a computer that has a built in mic and camera. The rest is easy.
Some people think that an online group can’t achieve the same level of trust and mutual support as an in-person group, but those who participate online would disagree. This online course is live and highly interactive. For a glimpse of what it means to participate in an online GAB workshop series, go here.
If you are interested in doing guided autobiography with others in an online group, or want to find out more, please write to me. People who participate online come from a variety of time zones so I build a waitlist and when numbers warrant, we agree on a time that works best for all.
The fee for GAB1 or GAB2 Online is $219+GST.
GAB through SFU
GAB is also offered through SFU’s Liberal Arts and 55+ Program. Look for the workshop series in their catalogue called “Story Catching: Learning From Life.”
Unlike my regular classes, which are limited to 6 people, up to 12 people participate in the SFU online series, but you still share your stories in small groups of no more than 6 people.
The next SFU workshop series will not happen until January of 2020 but a special all day in-person workshop is planned for this fall at SFU Harbourside in Vancouver. Make sure you are on the list for my workshop updates and/or SFU’s list for their program updates. Spaces for these workshops fill very quickly so be sure you register as soon as registration opens.
Don’t forget, sign up for the newsletter to make sure you get the latest workshop updates.