The Art—and, yes, the Joy—of the Obituary: Online Workshop

“If I don’t write it down, who will know what I accomplished?” asked a participant in my first obituary-writing workshop.

So many people pass through your life—but not one among them will know everything you’ve done, or felt, or valued. Every life story deserves a polished telling, but that seldom happens in the stressful time following a death. With a little planning, you can write a lively, accurate picture of your life suitable for publication when the time comes.


The first meeting of this online class covers the revival of interest in obituaries in America, how to draft an obituary for yourself or a loved one, and other considerations related to your legacy at life’s close. In the second meeting (by teleconference) attendees will read first drafts of their obituaries for discussion and feedback.

The first session takes place Thursday May 23rd and the second on Thursday June 6th. Both sessions meet from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. CDT online via Webex.

Presenting with me will be Sue Hessel, fellow APH member and obituary-writer for four decades, beginning as a newspaper reporter and continuing through her freelance and personal history careers. She also is a certified Guided Autobiography (GAB) instructor.

This class is being offered at a discounted introductory rate as part of the pilot for our new APH-sponsored online education program. As a companion to this workshop, Sue and I will present “Teach Obituary Writing for Fun and Profit” at the 2013 APH Conference.

Fee:  $50 for two sessions. Register at:


About first person productions

My blog "True Stories Well Told" is a place for people who read and write about real life. I’ve been leading life writing groups since 2004. I teach, coach memoir writers 1:1, and help people publish and share their life stories.
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