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SDSU Extension hosts free life story writing workshops via Zoom

BROOKINGS, S.D. – SDSU Extension and South Dakota Humanities Scholar Molly Barari will host a series of creative life story writing workshops online via Zoom in 2024. 

The first available workshop in the series, obituary writing, is at 11 a.m. MT/noon CST on April 9, 2024. Barari will help participants identify the important details and family histories to include in obituaries. 

“This workshop helped me recently when I had to write an obituary for a deceased loved one,” said Leacey E. Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist. 

The first workshop, memoir/life story writing, is sold out. All workshops are free to attend. 

Through the workshop, Barari hopes that participants will feel inspired to write pieces of South Dakota history that can be passed down as family heirlooms. Capturing the stories is critical for preserving the history of South Dakota’s people, places, cultures and traditions. 

The third and final workshop in the series, genealogy writing, will take place via Zoom at 5:30 p.m. MT/6:30 p.m. CST on Oct. 10, 2024. 

For each workshop, participants should have access to a notebook and pen or a writing program on their computer. Participants should come prepared to write and to share their writing in these highly interactive workshops. All ages of adults are welcome to attend. Workshops will not be recorded.

Barari, who holds a doctorate in education and a master of fine arts in creative writing, began collaborating with Brown in 2021 to offer this workshop. Their efforts have expanded access to South Dakotans living outside the Black Hills region. For more information about the instructor, visit

This program was made possible by the South Dakota Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. 

To register, visit the SDSU Extension Events page and search for “heirlooms”. A link to attend the workshop will be sent following registration. Technical support will be available before the workshop if needed.

For more information, contact Leacey Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist.