The Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park is pleased to announce  “Writing Your Family History Workshops” in partnership with Amy Clark. The Workshops will be held on Saturday, June 22, Saturday, July 27 and Saturday, August 24, from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. each day in the Victorian parlor.

Interested in writing about your family, community, or region? Join us for a series of summer workshops on “Writing Your Family History,” led by Amy Clark. Amy is the author/co-editor of two books of nonfiction, Talking Appalachian and Success in Hill Country, and her essays about family, and community have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Salon, Blue Ridge Country magazine, Crab Orchard Review, as well as NPR and several other publications. She is Director of the Appalachian Writing Project at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, where she is Chair of Communication Studies and Co-Director of the Center for Appalachian Studies.


The fee for participation is $10 per workshop, or a reduced fee of $25 for all three workshops (registration required.) Pre-payment and registration for all three workshops includes personalized feedback on the participant’s final manuscript (up to 10 pages.) Writers at all levels are welcome, but the workshops will be designed for those in the beginning stages of drafting. Registration is due by Friday, June 21.


Session 1: June 22

Research and Drafting Your Family History: In this workshop, we will talk about your goals for your writing and meet you where you are in the process. We will discuss: writing from memory and writing from genealogical and local history. In preparation for our next workshop, we will talk about drafting the narrative.


Session 2: July 27

Writing the Family History: In this workshop, we will focus on the elements of place, character development, dialogue and pacing. Be prepared to share your work with others for affirming and helpful feedback.


Session 3: August 24

Revision, Editing, Publishing: In this workshop, we will discuss cutting away what is unnecessary to reveal the best of the writing, common editing problems and how to fix them, and what to think about if you want to try publishing your work.


For more information about these workshops or to register, please call the park at 276-523-1322.


The award-winning Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.


For more information about Virginia State Parks’ activities and amenities or to make reservations in one of the more than 1,800 campsites or 300 climate-controlled cabins, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK or visit