The Family History Writing Studio

Speaking Topics

Getting Ready to Write

Writing your family history stories is an overwhelming task.  Many family historians just don’t know where to start. In this one-hour presentation, Lynn will get you ready to write. Attendees will learn how to organize their research, create a workflow, and discover an environment that will help them develop into efficient and productive writers.  Participants learn what kind of family history they want to write, create the perfect writing environment and develop a workflow to stay organized throughout their writing journey.


Fleshing Out Your Ancestor New

How do write about an ancestor you never met?

In this 1-hour presentation, attendees will learn how to use their research along with social history to flesh out their ancestor’s character for writing their family history stories. They’ll find out how to get to know their ancestor like they could have never imagined. This course will give students the knowledge to write their ancestor’s story with confidence.


Putting it All Together 

This full day workshop will help you put together a plan for your family history book and your first story. In the first half of this workshop participants look at the big picture and analyze the options for structuring and sharing their family history stories, what to consider before they begin to write.

In the second half of this workshop,  students look at structuring their first story.  How to find story ideas in their research, the elements of a story, and how to create and use a story map to plan their first story.


Get Them Talking: Learning to Interview Your Family 

We all know that our first step as a new family historian is to talk to the living, and yet, so many are intimidated by this task. In this one-hour presentation learn how to interview your family to help fill in the gaps in your research.  Overcome your fears and your relatives objections to being interviewed. Find out how to create the ideal environment, ask the right questions, and use the right tools to get the job done.


 Affordable Publishing for Family Historians 

Are you worried that you can’t afford to publish your family history book?  Are you concerned you don’t have the skills to make it happen? Today, there are plenty of  publishing options for the family historian. In this one-hour presentation, Lynn guides students through the many choices available; students will see examples, learn the costs of publishing and discover a few tips for managing and keeping those costs down.


Creating a Legacy Family History Book

A legacy family history book is that perfect combination of stories, pictures, documents and pedigree charts. It documents your family history in an engaging and compelling book for all ages. It will be cherished and handed down for generations to come and you’ll be proud to display it on your coffee table. In this one-hour presentation, Lynn takes you inside her legacy family history book. You’ll become aware of the various elements and considerations that go into creating a beautiful legacy family history book that will be a keepsake for generations to come.


Plan Your Own “Who Do You Think You Are?” Experience New

Ready to hit the road, become a family history traveler and plan your own Who Do you Think You Are?  experience.  In this one-hour presentation, you’ll learn to merge vacation time with family history research.  We look at the various elements that go into planning a family history trip that doesn’t just involve endless days in the local archives. While we love those days, learn how to jump off the traditional tourist path and walk in your ancestor’s footsteps.  From pre-planning to packing, apps and websites, tour companies, guides and going it alone, we will give you the tools you need to plan your own “Who Do You Think You Are Experience?”


Breaking Down Brick Walls with Facebook 

If you’re a family historian and not on Facebook, then you’re missing out. Learn how Facebook can advance your genealogy knowledge and research.  Learn how others use Facebook, learn about the various groups that you can tap into to expand your knowledge, maybe even find a distant cousin or two.  In this 45-minute presentation, learn how Facebook can help you break down those infamous brick walls.


Facebook and the Family Historian (3- hour workshop) New 

Part 1 – Learn the basics of Facebook such as activating your page, setting up your profile, managing your settings, uploading pictures, sending Facebook messages, searching, privacy settings and more.

Part 2 – Learn how to use Facebook to advance your Family history research. Find groups, distant cousins, write queries, learn about research techniques and more.


The Family History Story Map – Plotting Your Ancestor’s Story

This one-hour presentation provides you with the tools and knowledge to plan your first family history story. Learn how to plan a story using our Family History Story Map. With this map in hand, combined with a couple of new tools we’ve developed for the family history writer you’ll be armed to create story after story. This presentation takes all the guessing out of what comes next in your story, there is no more writer’s block when you enlist our story map and plot your ancestor’s story.


Crafting Stories for Your Family History Blog New

In this 2-1/2 hour workshop, you’ll learn how to write blog posts that will take your family history blog to the next level.  Find out how to write a family history blog with a purpose, create an editorial calendar, turn your blog into a book. Don’t just write aimlessly, learn to craft stories for your blog that will draw out cousins, entertain family and become that first draft for that long-awaited family history book.


An Introduction to Scrivener for the Family History Writer New

In this one-hour presentation, students get an overview of the popular writing software Scrivener. Students learn how Scivener can help them organize, write and publish their family history stories.

Scrivener for the Family Historian 

In this 3-hour workshop, we take family historians from book idea to print using the popular writing software Scrivener. Learn how to make the most of the software program Scrivener to write your family history stories. Let Scrivener help you become an efficient, organized and productive family history writer.


Armchair Genealogy for Beginners

Learn to find your ancestors online from the comfort of your armchair. This presentation walks the beginner family historian through searching for their ancestors online. Students learn tips and tools to help find and record their discoveries on the Internet. Find out how to know which databases to pay for, how to create an online tree and how to identify an online tree that has your family in it. Learn what’s free, what’s not, where to find learning resources to grow your knowledge of family history. This presentation will help you devise an internet research plan, stay organized and learn to manage the vast world of internet genealogy.


Skeletons in the Closet: Writing about Family History Secrets 

One of the greatest challenges a genealogist can face is getting family members to share what they know about the family secrets.  In this presentation, we cover some of the obstacles a family historian faces in writing about the family history secrets, and we offer you some tips on how to get your relatives to co-operate and embrace the idea of sharing those secrets. We also look at techniques in writing about those secrets. Techniques that are respectable to the living, and the dead and yet still share the family history story.

Writing Family History with Detail and Description 

Writing an engaging family history narrative can be overwhelming- especially if you are new to writing.  In our description workshop, you’ll learn how to bring your family history stories to life through setting, detail and description.  Through examples taken from published family history stories and through your own exercises, you’ll learn to transform the basic facts of your family history research and turn the places and events of their lives into compelling stories on the page.


Plenary Presentations

(Lynn’s Plenary Presentations are moving and emotional,  she has been known to bring her audience to tears.)


Once Upon a Time    (45-minute presentation)

Join the journey as Lynn uses a story from her own family history to close the gap between research and writing a great family history story.  Lynn will leave you encouraged to reach out to your family through story and motivated to write a family history narrative that will garner a lasting and emotional bond between your readers and their ancestors.


Storytelling – A Genealogist’s Definitive Tool

Family history stories are a fundamental medium through which we can entertain, inspire and educate our family about their past. In this plenary address, Lynn demonstrates how the art of storytelling through the written word is the genealogist’s ultimate tool. Lynn illustrates how family history stories should not only provide a legacy to future generations but emotionally engage today’s readers with their history. Lynn will leave you encouraged to reach out to your family through story and motivated to write a family history narrative that has the power to garner a lasting and powerful connection between your readers and their ancestors.



Want to discuss having Lynn speak at your next function.  Don’t see a topic on the list? We can create a variety of topics from one-hour presentations to half-day and full-day workshops. Send us a note and let’s talk.

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