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Western Michigan
Genealogical Society
c/o Grand Rapids
Public Library
111 Library Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI
49503-3268
Email - wmgs@wmgs.org
 

WMGS WRITERS GROUP

WMGS WRITERS GROUP
This group meets the THIRD TUESDAY every month from 1:30 to about 3:45 p.m. at the Dominican Center

The Writers Group holds supportive meetings for everyone who wants to learn more about organizing and writing family history. We take time to informally discuss questions relevant to each person’s work, provide helpful, non-judgmental feedback on current or on-going writing projects, discover new research techniques, and have fun making new friends.

Genealogy is more than “names and dates.” An ancestor’s story or a personal memory are even more fascinating and enlightening. But some genealogists don’t know how to begin, while others just need a deadline to kick start their creative juices. The Writers Group can fulfill both of these needs.

STORY A MONTH

Below, you will find a number of writing ideas and prompts to guide you in your writing. You may also pick a topic that is more relevant to your own family history project.

PLANNING ON ATTENDING?

Those who attend are encouraged to bring several copies of a Work-In- Progress (WIP), but it’s certainly not a requirement and everyone is invited to participate in the discussion. We have a suggested topic for each meeting to help kick-start our writing, but if you are working on a family history, a story about how you discovered an ancestor, or an article for the 2020 Writing Contest you’re welcome to get feedback on that instead. This year our topics are focused on more on our personal  history and what we’ve experienced in order to preserve it for our children, relatives and local history.

Members include those who are just starting to write and others who have been working on their genealogy for some time. Everyone is welcome - newbies with fresh ideas, and seasoned vets whose pens have been in the trenches for some time.

If you plan to attend, please let Sister Michael Ellen Carling know you will be there. Call her at 616-514-3231 (home), or 616-514-3340 (office) and her email address is mecarling@grdominicans.org. This gives her an estimate of the number of chairs to set up. She’s also the person to call if you have any questions or need more specific directions.

2020

January
Describe your own or an ancestor’s most unusual job.
 

February
Describe a significant misconception you’ve had (genealogical or otherwise) and how you discovered it.

March
Movies often remind us of our family or one of its members. Write about a movie you saw and how it jogged your memory.

April
Were you the oldest, youngest, the middle child or an only child? Which would you have preferred and why? How did it affect your life.

May
What was the first book you read that really influenced your life? How did it change you or your way of thinking?
 

June
Describe a significant historical event that happened during your lifetime that those born after 2000 will consider past history.
 

July
Families, past or current, interact with animals. Tell the story of an animal that was part of or affected you, a family member or an ancestor.
 

August
As well as antiques, many of receive various tools or items that we still use. They may be used in the kitchen, construction, outdoors, etc. Describe the history of one and how and why it’s used today.

September
Children often read comics, sometimes in magazines or perhaps in newspapers or even on TV. Which ones do you remember? Which did you like or dislike and why?
 
October
What did you do as a child that would be considered dangerous today? Was it considered to be dangerous then or not? How has the definition of “dangerous” changed or not changed since you were a child?
 

November
Every child “really wants” a specific toy for Christmas. Discuss some you really hoped you’d get.
 
December
Our December meeting is always a potluck. It’s a time to share the joys of the season, each others’ company and good food.
 

2021

January
Writers are usually voracious readers. What fictional character did you find was a role model for your own life? How and why?

February
Technology continues to change. What changes have you experienced and how have they affected your life?

Announcing the WMGS 2020 Writing Contest

       ~ A Memorable Trip or Journey ~

Travel is a part of many family experiences and the stories that come from the trips we, and our ancestors have made shape us into who we have become.  Write a story about a memorable trip or journey.

Full description and 2020 contest rules (PDF download)

 

See current calendar

  *Includes Kent County and the counties immediately surrounding; namely Ottawa, Muskegon, Newaygo, Montcalm, Ionia, Barry and Allegan Counties. There is some extension beyond these counties into other areas of the Western Lower Peninsula.


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