Teaching “Why will a former journalist drive weekly 90 miles to writing classes presented by Dawn Thurston? She is a magician at drawing out the precious memories and treasured moments we all have. Writing, not a chore, becomes a satisfying pleasure.“
—Bill McLain

“It’s obvious in her classes Dawn Thurston believes every life has a story and anyone is capable of writing his life story in an interesting and entertaining manner. Overcoming a natural reluctance of students to commit words to paper, Dawn encourages each pupil to share, one incident at a time, their memories of the past. The result is interesting and profitable to the writer and the reader. Her new book will undoubtedly have the same effect on story tellers. Dawn reminds us, as Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, ‘Life is a great bundle of little things.’ The writing of those little things is a joy in Dawn’s classes.” —Pat Milligan

“I have always liked to write but was never good at it.  Thanks to Dawn the stories I now write keep audiences spellbound to the last word. Simply put, Dawn facilitates remembering and writing with practical tools and tips, and provides a safe environment for the students to read their stories and get feedback.” —Jim McClenahan

“Dawn is a superb teacher and role model. Her presentations are engaging and carefully organized. When we’re ready to read a piece of our life story aloud, she nurtures each story, giving positive, insightful suggestions. She doesn’t play favorites, no matter our writing skill level.  Now in my fourth year, I’ve repeated Dawn’s class because I grow as a person and a writer in an atmosphere of respect and encouragement. If I don’t write my life stories, who will?” —Linda Missouriclassroom

“Dawn has a special talent for showing her students how to bring forth stories on their families that, when they started the class, they often didn’t even know they knew. I have participated in Dawn’s writing classes for several years and have consistently learned new ways to make my family members come alive.  A family history can be so much more than boring names, dates and places.  Dawn shows even neophyte writers how to make that happen. You’ve researched your family and you want others to care enough to read about it. With Dawn Thurston as a mentor even inexperienced writers can make this happen. “—Dawn Peck

“Dawn Thurston peppers her classes with ideas for creatively writing a life story.  Among other instruction, she gives wisdom on how to research the Internet for social history to accompany personal history, and demonstrates how one can make a memoir or life story come to life by using personal experiences.” Doris Grace

“I remember when we were young and had ‘Show and Tell’ in school.  But, Dawn teaches ‘Show, Do not Tell.’  You can put on paper the story of your life, but once you have attended Dawn’s class, people won’t just read your story, they will travel along with you.”—Joan Rambo

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tom Murphy October 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I like tripping along thru your really neat informative web site, especially all of this presentation.

As a 4-year student in your classes I managed to write and publish four family history books. One of those is my memoir with a great portion devoted to my life in the military. That in turn has resulted in my being invited to a couple of military organization’s gatherings as a guest speaker. My most recent event was my flying squadron reunion in Las Vegas last week. Thanks Dawn–without your excellent tutoring and motivation to write I would not have the active life that I now have at age 82.

2 Memoir Mentor October 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Thanks, Tom. After 15 years of teaching, I still consider you my most productive student…though a few, like Marvin Blaski and Betty Nelson, are working hard to catch up. I continue to tell students about this man (you) who began my classes writing his stories on a yellow legal pad. When I observed your commitment and output, I suggested you learn how to use a computer. You did. Then you went on to write four family history books and still continue to look for new mountains to climb and people to bless. It was a great moment in my teaching career the day you walked into my classroom. Take care of yourself, Tom.

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