Writers’ workshop helps people tell their life stories


Kainoa Nunez

Student, senior citizens and volunteers work on their exercises and assignments in the cafeteria on April 28.

The eleventh annual “Our Life Stories” event on campus invited writers, poets, and published authors to celebrate and learn about the writing element, on Saturday at 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. in the cafeteria and workshops in the business and science classrooms.

The focus of the event this year was centered into three workshop sessions that students and volunteers were assigned to and expressed their knowledge of writing their life story.

“It shows students who are taking creative writing courses the practical application of what they’re learning,” said English Professor Heather Hutcheson.

Hutcheson was one of the main coordinators of this event and is working with the City of Sacramento’s Ethel Hart Senior Center as the Cosumnes River College representative.

The event was generously supported this year by the California Writers Club of Sacramento, according to the conference schedule flyer.

The non-profit California Writers Club Sacramento reaches out to writers of all ages, genders and level of development.

The conference is designed to promote at a low cost for these vulnerable populations of students and volunteers, the creation of memoir through lectures, readings and workshops, according to the Our Stories event website.

As each person was assigned to a workshop, each group had a guest to give a presentation. During their lecture, students were writing for the topic  they were assigned to.

“My first workshop was called ‘Using Research to Unlock the Past’,” Karl Perez, a 21-year-old early childhood education major said. “You need the right resources to acquire good quality and credible information.”

“We bring just anybody that we are interested in at that time, so curent folks and writers to select for next year,” Hutcheson said.

Moor, who was one of the main speakers, presented a lecture called “Writing to History & Culture.”

“We want to learn how to tell our life in a story, but how willing are we going to tell the story the right and truthful way,” Moor said. “Our journeys are our life story.”

From Moor’s perspective, he said he believes that it’s not about getting the right facts about writing or telling your life all at once. “It’s about reading poems, but we’re looking at tools to use,” he said.

“That special person can inspire an entire room, and what it impress me was he immediately started off in a short little story poem format on how we all got here,” Dale Steele, a 66-year-old senior citizen volunteer said.

The event aimed to help students and attendees  improve their writing skills and ensure that they have the tools to write about themselves and others.

“We all have unique experiences that shine a light on what we’ve done to brighten the light in someone else,” Hutcheson said. “We’re more similar than we are different.”