Writing about your family history can be enlightening, exciting, and perhaps even troubling. Kelly Kautz is an expert in turning ancestral history into compelling narratives. In her session, Find Stories In Your Family History, Kelly will share many of the most effective techniques for researching and constructing family histories. She shared her expectations with us ahead of HippoCamp 2017.
Hippocampus: Without sharing any spoilers, what can attendees expect from your session?
Kelly: Whether people arrive with family stories already in mind or just a curiosity about their ancestors’ past, they’ll leave with lots of new ideas, inspiring examples, and tools to aid their research.
Who would benefit the most from your session ?
Some people find traditional genealogy a fascinating way to learn about their roots. Others get bored by the charting of family pedigrees, but love oral histories and other first-hand accounts. I’ve designed this workshop to appeal to both camps. There are as many ways to tell family stories as there are families. So while the focus will be on written works, I’ll also be taking a look at graphic memoir, podcasts, videos and other mediums.
Taking off your presenter hat, what are you hoping to learn as an attendee at HippoCamp?
I’m really looking forward to “Memoirists Anonymous: Turning Trauma into Narrative,” and “Writing and Publishing the Risky Personal Essay.” I’m drawn to tough topics!
Lancaster is an amazing city. What suggestions do you have for those who haven’t been here yet?
Central Market is always a good bet. If you’re willing to travel a few miles down the road, Mean Cup is a great place to relax with a cup of coffee. I also recently discovered Beiler’s, which is right next door to Mean Cup and has the best donuts I’ve ever tasted. Just seeing the big vats of frosting on their counter is worth the trip.
What was the a recent and memorable work of creative nonfiction you read – whether a book or shorter piece? (And what did you love about it?)
I recently read all three books in Susan Branch’s series of illustrated memoirs. They seem like they might be treacly at first glance, but they actually go into some deep topics. I was really sad when I finished the last one!
I’ve committed to blogging every day in 2017, so if you want to see what I’m up to, feel free to visit www.theskeletonclub.com. I also invite people to stay in touch at www.facebook.com/authorkellykautz.
Register for HippoCamp 2017 today to learn more about how to tell your stories!