Events of Interest to Family Historians

by Memoir Mentor on July 1, 2008

I just attended a fabulous genealogy conference this weekend, the SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GENEALOGY SOCIETY-sponsored Jamboree—now in its 39th year. With all that experience behind them, the folks in charge put on one of the best-run conferences I’ve ever attended. They thought of everything to keep attendees like me both intellectually stimulated and physically comfortable. The downside—if you can call it that—is that I came home with all kinds of ideas for projects to add to the list of projects I already have on my to-do list! The conference also left me puzzled a bit. Some of those speakers seem to have more hours in their days than I do in mine. Either that, or they never sleep. How do they get so much accomplished? And why am I buried in my to-do list?

While I was there, I picked up a brochure for next year’s SCGS Family History Writing Contest. Some of my students have submitted stories to this competition in the past and have done very well against the competition. It’s always energizing to enter a contest. So polish up one of your old stories, or create something brand new and throw your hat in the ring, so to speak. Here’s what they’re looking for:

  • Non-fiction articles that describe family or local history that capture a family experience or the character of a locality
  • Non-fiction character sketches or memoirs that give a sense of character and personality
  • The best stories will illuminate the era and/or social/historical context of the subject
  • Two categories—long (1000-2000 words); short (under 1000)
  • Entries may be either published or unpublished
  • Cash prizes $25 to $200
  • Submission date—Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, 2009
  • For more details visit the SCGS website—

SCGS will host an Open House to show off its impressive family history library on Saturday, July 12, from 11-3. The address is 417 Irving Drive, Burbank, CA. Refreshments will be served. The Society is interested in developing family history writing skills and sponsors a Writers Group that meets twice a month, on Sundays and Tuesdays. Go to this site to find out more:

THE ASSOCIATION OF PERSONAL HISTORIANS will be hosting its annual conference—Crossroads in Personal History—in Salt Lake City on Oct.29-Nov. 2. Yours truly will present a six-hour pre-conference workshop on personal history writing the day before the conference. Looks like they’ve lined up a group of interesting speakers who will be addressing such topics as

  • Create and manage your own website
  • Personal History as a Business
  • Book Design Tips & Tricks
  • Digital Audio Basics
  • Profession Video Biographies, and much more

You’ll find more information at the APH website: Click on “Annual Conference.”

–Memoir Mentor

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