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Writing for Personal Discovery

In this five-week workshop, we will read selections from published essays and memoirs and discuss how these reflect the writer’s life. Using writing prompts and gentle, encouraging feedback, we’ll find out how to do this on our own. This workshop is designed to inspire beginning writers and those returning to the page after a long break.

We are drawn to stories from real life not only for entertainment, healing or legacy but also for personal discovery. Writing, shaping, telling and listening to these stories is an invitation to make meaning from our lives. What can we learn from the essayists, memoirists and storytellers about the power of creating personal narratives? Join us in this fascinating workshop to find out.

Who:  Writers and aspiring writers, ages 21 & Up.

When: Meets for 5 Monday evenings—April 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 from 6:15-8:45 pm                        

Where: Ice House Gallery Studios, 609 South Blvd, Evanston

Why:  Because there is a writer in each of us that flourishes when we are encouraged to grow!

Cost:   $200

Materials: Please bring a notebook and the writing implements of your choice.

Instructor:  Ellen Blum Barish  

Ellen Blum Barish is a Skokie-based author, editor and writing coach. She teaches writing at Northwestern University and North Park University and at adult education venues which have included StoryStudio Chicago, Off Campus Writers Workshop and Ragdale. Ellen’s essays have been published in The Chicago Tribune, Brevity Blog, Literary Mama, Full Grown People and many have aired on WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. She published a book of essays in 2007 and just completed a memoir. Ellen loves working with writers in her workshops, one-to-one coaching and through her literary publications Thread and Stitch. She was awarded the Individual Artistic Excellence Award by the Skokie Arts Commission in June 2018. For more information, go to