McAlester Public Library begins its free nine-week course in journal, memoir and family history writing this week with a workshop called “Effective and Creative Journal Writing.”
The “Tuesdays with Memories” course is set to begin at 2-4 p.m. Tuesday, June 12 in the Whiteacre Room. Subsequent sessions will be presented by David Beall of the Pittsburg County Genealogical and Historical Society, and “Mr. Archives” Bill Welge of the Oklahoma Historical Society.
The schedule includes: Online Genealogical Research, Introduction to Family Histories, Writing Exercises, Creating Oral Histories, Unusual Research Sources, Preserving Artifacts and Heirlooms, and Interviewing Skills. Participants may attend any or all of the sessions, held every Tuesday through August 7. Registration is not required, but is encouraged to insure a space.
Dr. Jennifer Kidney, a free-lance scholar and poet who has twice been nominated for Oklahoma Poet Laureate, will teach the first class Tuesday.
“Keeping a journal can be an easy way to start writing, continue writing and develop specific writing projects in any genre,” she said.
The program will cover famous and not-so-famous journal writers, their reasons for keeping journals and the methods they used. This workshop will help participants decide what kind of journal would be most useful to them. The workshop will also include brainstorming ideas and writing exercises.
“Although a journal can be an end in itself,” says Kidney, “I hope some participants will complete at least one piece—a poem, short story, or memoir chapter—based on their journals, to share.”
The author of six books of poetry, Dr. Kidney earned her Ph.D. from Yale University. Her most recent book, Road Work Ahead, was published by Village Books in 2012. She does author presentations and writing workshops for libraries, schools and other organizations, and is also an adjunct assistant professor for the College of Liberal Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
She is secretary of the Cleveland County Audubon Society for which she writes an e-mail newsletter, “Bird Notes.” She has won awards for her poetry, technical writing and brownie baking. An avid birder, gardener, and cook, she makes her home in Norman where she tends her quarter acre and keeps house for her three cats and her dog Lizzie.
For more information about this or any other library program, call 918-426-0930.