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SDSU Extension Hosts Free Life Story Writing Workshops via Zoom

BROOKINGS, S.D. – SDSU Extension will host a series of online creative writing workshops in 2023 on life story, obituary, and ancestor writing. The workshops will be taught by Molly Barari, professional writer and South Dakota Humanities Scholar.

The first workshop on life story writing is from noon to 2 p.m. CST on Jan. 24, 2023. On April 1, Barari will lead a workshop on obituary writing from 10 a.m. to noon CST. For the third workshop, attendees will learn about ancestor story writing from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. CST Oct. 5.

“We have seen great interest in these workshops. We find that attendees are eager to write their personal story or the story of a close friend or relative,” said Leacey Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist.

Each workshop is hosted online via Zoom. Brown will offer tech support before each workshop for participants who need help.

Barari and Brown began offering the workshops in 2021 in the Black Hills area, and their efforts have expanded to all South Dakotans via the internet.

Through these workshops, Barari hopes participants will feel inspired to write pieces of South Dakota history that can be passed down as family heirlooms. Capturing those stories is critical for preserving the history of the people, places, cultures, and traditions of South Dakota. By the end of each workshop, participants will have strategies to approach the featured type of writing.

Barari will provide writing prompts to help participants identify the important details of their lives and family histories. For the workshop, participants should have access to a notebook and pen or a writing program on their computer. Adults of all ages are welcome to attend. Barari said the workshop is highly interactive and encourages people to be prepared to write and to share what they have written.

For more information about the instructor, visit

This program is supported by grant funds from the South Dakota Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. For more information, contact Leacey Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist.