What to expect

With Guided Autobiography Level I you will be surprised how your life will start to take shape on paper in just six weeks. We start with small steps.  Just two pages a week, you can create your Life Story project to remember and record your most significant life events and create a time capsule of your journey for self reflection or for future generations.

“An opportunity to structure my thoughts for writing my stories as my goal is to write a book. Loved the themes, cues, questions and support”.

Anju B Minniapolis

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Each session last 2 hours with a break of ten mins in between. The course will typically run 6 weeks., some will run for 8. The first hour focuses on the theme for the week, Branching Points, Family and 5 others in the course syllabus.

In this first hour participants will have a series of writing prompts, and sensitizing questions to help get the memories flowing and ideas for their story that they will write at home.  We also do two or three creative prompts to help with the recollection of stored memory, and to strengthen our writing skills.

“I loved hearing other people’s stories and the structure pushed me to write each week”

Betsy H. Atlanta

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In hour two, we will share our observations, and our stories. Participants will come to each class with a written story or narrative based on the individual themes each week. These stories can be as long as each participant wishes, however, only the first two pages (approx. 850 words) will be shared and read to the class.  Keeping with this format allows everyone to participate. These stories build strong memory of your experience of the week’s theme.

Over the course of six weeks, with constant weekly practise, your writing will improve, but GAB is not a typical creative writing class, and no writing experience is necessary. Our focus is on the content, on the experiences being shared and on getting to the heart of the story.

Being part of a small group is key. Shared memories spark more memories. We learn we are all survivors and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of things that have happened in our lives. There are opportunities for growth, friendship, validation and learning.

“The GAB class is a great way to understand your own history and life path. Even if you don’t intend to write a full autobiography, this class helps you explore your creative writing potential”.

Suzanna P.  Georgia


For those who feel they wish to continue remembering and documenting their lives, Guided Autobiography Level II is a natural progression.

Still rooted in the curriculum from the Birren Institute this course is intended for those ready to take a deeper dive into the elements of the memoir genre. This course will include more discussion on writing techniques and story structure,while examining more in depth themes such as independence, trust, finding power and discovering talents as some examples. As with the Level I course, each week participants will come prepared with their two page story and share with the class.

Completing Level I is a prerequisite for enrolling in Level II.