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?
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.
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
firstname.lastname@example.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.
Describe your own or an ancestor’s most unusual job.
Describe a significant misconception you’ve had
(genealogical or otherwise) and how you discovered it.
Movies often remind us of our family or one of its
members. Write about a movie you saw and how it jogged your memory.
Were you the oldest, youngest, the middle child or an
only child? Which would you have preferred and why? How did it affect your
What was the first book you read that really influenced
your life? How did it change you or your way of thinking?
Describe a significant historical event that happened
during your lifetime that those born after 2000 will consider past history.
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
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.
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?
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?
Every child “really wants” a specific toy for Christmas.
Discuss some you really hoped you’d get.
Our December meeting is always a potluck. It’s a time to
share the joys of the season, each others’ company and good food.
Writers are usually voracious readers. What fictional
character did you find was a role model for your own life? How and why?
Technology continues to change. What changes have you
experienced and how have they affected your life?
Announcing the WMGS 2020 Writing
~ A Memorable Trip or Journey ~
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)