A Mother’s Story

Ginger Rutland will tell her mother’s story. Eva Rutland’s memoir, When We Were Colored: A Mother’s Story, traces the life of a middle class black woman born in the segregated south before World War II who moves west to California with her husband and four children after the war. Using family photographs that date back to the late 1800s, Ginger will take her audience into a world that began in the Jim Crow South, marched through World War II and the tumultuous Civil Rights era, and ended with the racially blended families Eva Rutland left in her wake.

W o r k s h o p    D e s c r i p t i o n s

Discover your Ancestors: Beginning Genealogy and Library Resources with Beth Daugherty—

In order to start writing about your ancestor, you might first need to gather more information about that person’s life.  This workshop will introduce you to the basics of genealogical research and give you the tools you need to get started.  Also highlighted in this presentation will be the wide variety of free resources the Sacramento Public Library makes available to the family history researcher.  From lectures to databases and more, the library is ready to help!

The Art of "Perhapsing" in Flash Nonfiction with Jacqueline DoyleYou may be working from a photograph, or a family anecdote, or a handful of letters. How do you fill in the gaps of what you don't know? In this workshop we will work on "perhapsing" or imaginative speculation in short form creative nonfiction. Please bring a photograph of a relative or relatives from a previous generation (your grandparents' wedding picture, for example, or a snapshot of your parents when they were younger than you are now, or a portrait of an ancestor, or a picture of a relative you don't know).

Turning Your Research into Compelling Stories with Dale Flynn—Creative nonfiction is very popular now.  We will talk about what creative nonfiction is (how we tell fact from fiction) and how to write it.  In particular, we will look at strategies for turning the dry facts we uncover when we do research into compelling stories that others will want to read.

Memories, Memoirs, and Building the Past with Gerald Haslam— “Everything we write filters through our own lives whether we want that or not, so it’s important to learn to use it to our advantage.” Whether writing for personal use or for publication, you want to start from a base of truth and rigorous observation. Moreover, reflecting on and writing about your life can lead to insight and cull illusion. You might, for example, relate the adventures of your family’s life into larger historical patterns. Become an observer: watch, listen, sniff and exaggerate a little if you must. Give readers life through your personal prism.

Writing Poems from Memory:  Our Stories as a Matter of Craft with Jeff Knorr—In our memories, we all have very rich histories, yet each of us remembers and reconstructs these histories differently.  The process of recalling the events and shaping them into language is one that is both inherently creative and intellectual.  While we may work from our own sense of memory, we may also find ourselves researching personal and family events for the “truth” of the moments we use in our work.  This workshop will offer exercises for accessing memory and offer tools for re-creating them on the page as poetry.

Blogging and Genealogy: Telling Your Family's Story 500 Words at a Time with Ginny McReynolds­—Blogs are a perfect way to share your story with a broad audience, whether it's a general group or specific people you choose. This workshop will introduce you to the tool of online blogging as a perfect way to tell your family's story. In addition to tips for writing compelling blog posts, we will discuss what to include, how to find your audience, and creative ways to add visual elements to your story. We will also look at the basics of blogging, including finding a domain name and a blog host, increasing your readership, and becoming a guest blogger on other sites.

Every Family, Every Person Has a Story with Ginger Rutland—Using key questions as an interviewer, you will have the opportunity to explore some of the most significant events, people, places, and things of someone’s life. Life stories are not always made of earth shattering, headline events, but quiet, personal moments that touched us or made us laugh or cry. What were yours? You will learn the key to unlocking the stories of someone’s life.

Saturday, April 23, 2016
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Cosumnes River College
8401 Center Parkway, Sacramento, CA


Conference Fee - $35.00 (Includes morning refreshments, lunch, workshops, and materials)
Registration Deadline: April 8, 2016. Space is limited.
Late Registration Fees (After April 8): $40

For registration information and additional details:
Telephone - Hart Center at (916) 808-5462
Email - hartcrcwritersconference[at]
Website -


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