• $198.00 – Program Price

Price includes tuition for all six workshops, a nourishing lunch, and coffee and tea.

Date & Time Details: The 6-week workshop begins on Monday, January 7th, with a session every Monday through February 18th except there is no session on January 28th. Each session begins at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 12 noon, with lunch following. Check-in time starts at 9:30 a.m. with your workshop beginning at 10:00 a.m., so plan your arrival accordingly.

Location: Elohee Center

Address: 81 Hobart Lane Sautee Nacoochee, GA 30571

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Program is fully booked

Writing from the Heart: Your Memoir

With Billy Chism

January 7 - February 18, 2019

Program is fully booked

Come ready to write about your life. In our 2 hour sessions (six in all), we will delve into memory and write about what our memories tell us. In a supportive and safe environment, as a group we will share stories and explore the creative process of writing from memory.

We are not looking to create the great American memoir, but as writer Natalie Goldberg reminds us: “We all have a dream of telling our stories…. writing is a path to meet ourselves and become intimate.”

All we need is a pen, paper (or laptop) and the human mind. We want to tell the truth and depict it in detail, but we may learn that sometimes our memory “invents the truth,” as author and writing teacher, the late William Zinsser states in his classic, Writing About Your Life: A Journey into the Past.

We will refer often to Zinsser’s book, and also to Goldberg’s classic, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within.

 In her preface to the 30th anniversary edition published in 2016, Goldberg writes: “What have I learned about writing over thirty years? Many people who want to write are unconsciously seeking peace, a coming together, an acknowledging of our happiness or an examination of what is broken, hoping to embrace and bring our suffering to wholeness.”

Yes, writing can have a therapeutic effect. But we will go beyond that to find meaning in our memories. When we do, we will practice ways to narrate these memories. We will learn to trust ourselves – what our heart tells us – and transfer these thoughts clearly to the page. We will find ways to make these stories interesting to a reader.

Over this six-week period, we are going to take this journey together. My goal is you will continue writing after our time together, and you will trust yourself and your thoughts every time you sit down to write.

Workshop dates are:  January 7th, January 14th, January 21st, (Workshop will not be held on January 28th) February 4th, February 11th, and February 18th from 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon, with lunch after.

The program cost of $198 includes all six sessions and lunch.  Workshops cannot be signed up for individually.

This writing series is limited to 10 participants, so please sign up early to have your space guaranteed.


Billys support and encouragement created the relaxed, supportive environment to get me writing. The subject matter the memoir got me thinking about significant people and events in my life. It also created a unity in the class as we shared simple moments in each otherslife experiences. A delightful workshop in many ways.” – Carolyn Bralley

  “Three things make a top-notch teacher: 1. love for their students, 2. expertise in their field, and 3. ability to share such expertise. This may seem quite simple, but few folks possess all three. Billy has these in spades. His class enabled me to see a life-long goal as possible. I am now writing as opposed to talking about writing for the past 30 years. Blessed be.” – Elizabeth Wells

 Im so grateful to you for opening this door. I dont know when Ill get the stories out, but your guidance has shown me that writing is inspiring, cathartic and fun.” – Denise Hartzell

Billy’s keen instincts for encouragement help writers at any stage of their development. When I enrolled, I was feeling creatively burned out. However, after a few classes, Billy reminded me of how joyful and gratifying writing can be. I since have started a book and give Billy credit for rekindling my desire to write.”  –  Candice Dyer

 If you have an interest in writing your memoir but dont know how to start, this class is for you.” – Strother Randolph

 Writing from the Heart: Your Memoir was designed as a safe emotional environment in which to explore and organize thoughts about ones life. Billy had a well-organized plan. He kept each class moving, with brief in-class writing exercises and discussion. Then hed give us a homework assignment, clear and simple enough to allow each person to bring their own depth to the process of writing. After each session, wed get together over a lovely lunch. Both writers and those who want to write can gain much from this course.” – Ivy Rutzky


Billy Chism
Billy Chism is pleased to return to Elohee to offer a weekend writing retreat. Billy believes Elohee is the perfect location for this writing workshop because the retreat center offers a safe environment for attendees. “It’s important that everyone feel…
Learn more about Billy Chism