Writing Your Memoirs and Family History Course

Capture your family's stories by writing a memoir or family history. And, there's no time like the present to get started. Don't leave it until the memories are lost forever. Instead, learn how to get it all down on paper, organised and transformed into a document or book with this fascinating and inspiring online course.

Course Synopsis

Module 1: Making a Writer Out of You

In this module you’ll learn about setting yourself up as a writer including where and when to write, how to start, equipment you’ll need and how to get organised.

Module 2: Making a Start on your Memoires

Here we discuss why you should write your autobiography, how to judge if it will interest a commercial publisher and tell you about alternative outlets if your memoirs won’t fill a book.

Module 3: Organising Your Research

You’ll find out how to organise your research, hunt out material and tap your memories using the cluster or the dump approach. Then you’ll learn how to choose a theme for your memoirs and think up a title. Multiple-choice exam 1.

Module 4: Planning The Book

In this module we discuss different ways you can approach your memoirs and you’ll learn how to put together an initial synopsis, why it’s important to be selective and objective and what you should reveal. Then we look at how to introduce yourself to your reader, get the style and tone just right and how to avoid the nostalgia trap.

Module 5: The Writing Phase

We’ll show you how to write up your memoirs and tell you why you shouldn’t edit or get second opinions before it’s complete. There are tips and techniques to help you deal with writer’s block, how to revise your manuscript, get feedback from others and deal with criticism. Then you cover how to use a structural survey to give your book a professional finish for publication. Multiple-choice exam 2.

Module 6: Publishing Your Book

Here you’ll learn how to avoid vanity publishers, find a legitimate publisher and decide if you need an agent. Then we discuss the world of self publishing and whether you should choose print, e-book or both. We tell you about print services, e-book formatting, the value of an external editor, designing your book cover and how to get into bookstores and libraries. This module finishes with inexpensive publishing alternatives. Multiple-choice exam 3.

Module 7: Marketing Your Book and Promoting Yourself Online

Here you cover all areas of marketing your book including : generating local interest, writing a press release, publicity interviews, writing articles, social networking, creating an online author presence, viral marketing, promoting yourself in the real world and finding book reviewers. Multiple-choice exam 4.

Module 8: Organising Your Family History Project

You’ll learn about the benefits of compiling a family history and how to choose your approach. We then explore what’s involved in creating a genealogical memoir including how to get information from family members including visits, questionnaires and interviews. Then we’ll show you how to tap into your own knowledge, start the paper trail and go back to old records as well as look at additional sources of information, Internet resources and gleaning information from photos.

Module 9: The Snapshot Memoir

In this module you’ll find out how looking at your family here and now has its advantages. You’ll discover different ways to compile and collect your family’s memoirs, then learn how to prepare a dateline and conduct effective interviews with family members.

Module 10: Assembling Your Material

Here we discuss what to include, or not include, in your project and how to deal with skeletons in the cupboard. Then we talk about how your material should be presented: (i) archives, (ii) genealogy charts, (iii) a webpage, (iv) a book. We give you a few ideas on sharing your finished project with your family and other interested parties. Multiple-choice exam 5.

As you can see, the course covers everything you need to know to produce a well-researched, skilfully written and, most importantly, fascinating account that will be treasured by your family for generations to come.

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Writing Your Memoirs and Family History Course

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The Online Learning Circle Certificate of Completion

Example Certificate

The Online Learning Circle Certificate of Completion will be available for you to download and print out once you’ve successfully passed the five multiple choice self-tests. You’ll need to achieve a mark of 70% or above to pass the exam. However, if you don’t manage it the first time, it’s no problem, just go back, study some more and retake the exam when you are ready. In fact, we are so keen for you to complete the course successfully, you can take the exams as many times as you need to reach the 70% pass mark. Once you’ve achieved the required pass mark, you’ll be given access to correct answers for all the questions so you can see where you went wrong.

Learn How to Publish Your Writing

We know that learning how to publish you work is all part of becoming a writer, even if it's not high on your list of priorities when you start out. So, no matter which of our writing courses you choose, we make sure you have all the information you need for when you're ready to take the publishing plunge.

You’ll learn how to:

  • do your market research
  • present your manuscript
  • approach editors and publishers like a professional
  • protect your copyright
  • decide if you want to self-publish or get paid

Whether you are writing articles, your novel, short stories, your memoirs or your family history you can be confident you'll have professional guidance at your fingertips to give you the best chance of seeing your work published.

By taking this course you’ll gain all the tools to make your project a success. And, it only takes a few minutes to get started.