Big news regarding “First ___day, First Person”, my salon for memoir writers

You may wonder where the stories you read on “True Stories, Well Told,” come from. The answer is–many of them, I hear read by fellow reminiscence writers, at the monthly salon I offer. “First Monday, First Person” has been an institution since 2013, convening at the Goodman South Madison Library Branch on the first Monday of every month.

This event means a lot to me! It is my sanctuary, my happy place, where like-minded folks meet in story-space to honor each other’s life paths and lessons learned. I think Jill Ker Conway said it best, in her book When Memory Speaks: Reflections on Autobiography:

“We experience life from a single point of view. We want to know how the world looks from inside another person’s experience. When that craving is met by a convincing narrative, we find it deeply satisfying…. We like to try on new identities because our own crave the confirmation of like experience, or the enlargement or transformation which can come from viewing a similar experience from a different perspective. When we read about totally disparate experience (as in the life of a Catholic priest) it is as though the set designer and the lighting specialist had provided us with a totally different scene and pattern of light and shadows to illuminate the stage on which we live our lives.” Amen!

When the panDAMNic (as our friend Sariah calls it) hit in Spring 2022, we pivoted to using Zoom for our story shares. I loved that the Zoom option makes it possible for faraway friends to be part of our community. And yet, I craved the communion of our in-person meetings.

Lately I have been trying out hybrid options, but the experience suffered both in the room and on the Zoom. At our host library’s request, I’m pivoting again. We will now offer two options–one in person, one online.

Here are the details:

First Monday, First Person, IN PERSON
When: First Monday of every month, except holidays, 6-7:45 pm
Where: Goodman South Madison Library Branch, 2222 South Park Street, Madison.
COVID note: attendees in person must be fully vaccinated.

First Tuesday, First (Zoom) Person
When: First Tuesday of every month, 3-4:45 pm
Where: Online via Zoom:
If Zoom asks to download an app, allow it.
You can also join by phone: dial  312-626-6799.

No advance registration is required for either event.

No matter which you attend, we’ll share and critique writing in the first person with like-minded people. If you have a piece you’d like to read, just let me know in the check-in round. Listeners welcome as well as readers, as always. Free, as always.

Join us in the first week of every month–in person or by Zoom.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact me! or 608-347-7329.

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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