Come Write the Story of YOUR Legacy!

Your Legacy as Memoir...The Essence of a Life

Sunday, July 22 through Friday, July 27, 2018
Boulder, Colorado

Register now for this unique writing workshop in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, with Linda M. Bendorf, Director of Blue Sage Writing, and E.M. (Elizabeth) Sloan, author of When Songbirds Returned to Paris.

Limited to 12 participants 


Jonas Salk asked, “Are we being good ancestors?” U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas captured what it means to leave our footprint when he said, “We are a continuum. Just as we reach back to our ancestors for our fundamental values, so we, as guardians of that legacy, must reach ahead to our children and their children. And we do so with a sense of sacredness in that reaching.”

While you might cherish your great-grandmother’s gold locket and walnut armoire, a written legacy might well be the crown jewel of all bequests. Come write the stories of your legacy. Some call it the story of your soul. Like memoir writing, legacy writing chronicles your most profound—defining—moments and milestones (some joyful, others painful) that inform and perhaps inspire future generations of your fundamental values.

What do you value? How do you add value? What did your ancestors value? What did you stand up for? Who most inspired you? What gift have you shared? What mark do you hope to leave?


In this workshop, you will learn to glean all possible information, through investigative methods, as if solving a mystery. How can you fill in the gaps when pieces are missing?  How do you enter an emotional story without being sentimental or cliché? What do you do when you think there is no more to give? Discover creative devices such as imagination and memory as a means to carry your story. Look intensely at your own photographs and documents as a method to discover hidden meaning. Always ask questions, even if your question is this: “What right do I have to write about this topic?"

We will explore entry points and perspectives as a way to wrestle with this dilemma. Participants will apply techniques to their own artifacts through writing prompts, exercises & more!

Spend a week developing your most significant stories through focused, engaging work, including writing prompts, selected readings, in-class conversation, and one-on-one discussions. This workshop is designed for writers at all levels.

About Your Instructors

Linda M. Bendorf (M.A.T., J.D., University of Iowa) is Director of Blue Sage Writing and an award-winning instructor and private writing coach who inspires novices and seasoned pros alike. She has been an instructor in the renowned University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival for more than two decades. Her essays, features, and poetry have appeared in the Chicago Tribune Media Group’s Triblocal, The University of Iowa’s The Daily Palette, USA Today, Gannett News Service Wire, Des Moines Register, Instructor, The Iowan, and Gather magazine.

Linda lived on the North Sea in England until age four, then grew up in Evanston, Illinois. She and her husband, Carl, recently moved to Colorado’s Front Range.

E.M. (Elizabeth) Sloan teaches The Creative Mind at the University of Idaho, and leads workshops in research through attention to detail from photographs and documents.

Elizabeth has created a number of e-books, designed from her original one-of-a-kind print editions, combining short story elements with images. Elizabeth lives in Moscow, Idaho where she received her MFA in creative nonfiction (2008). Her memoir, When Songbirds Returned to Paris, was nominated for the American Library in Paris Book Award, as well as Award-Winning Finalist in the "Narrative Nonfiction" category of the 2016 International Book Awards.

Sloan's family memoir began from a 100-year old photograph, identified by misleading names and dates. What followed involved a four-year MFA thesis, 12 years of research, international travel, correspondence, translations, serendipitous friendships, and two publishing houses.

"With an innovative narrative structure and lively cast of characters, Elizabeth Sloan’s When Songbirds Returned to Paris weaves a powerful family history set against the backdrop of world war.  Sloan’s impressive research reminds us that with enough digging, remarkable, true stories can rise from the dead."—Buddy Levy, author of Geronimo, Conquistador, and River of Darkness.

Your registration fee of $1,200 includes:

  • Five days of extraordinary instruction and inspiration (See daily schedule below!)
  • Experienced & passionate instructors who will guide you to creative breakthroughs and your best writing
  • An individual conference and coaching on your manuscript & most pressing questions
  • Opportunity to read aloud at open mic - optional!
  • First Night’s Welcome Dinner at Dushanbe Tea House
  • Closing Dinner & Ceremony
  • Access to the Zen Meditation Room (separate building) for reflection, yoga or writing
  • A mid-week excursion with Colorado Birding Adventures to recharge your creative genius.
Our Workshop Headquarters - Briar Rose Bed & Breakfast CLICK TO ENLARGE

Our daily workshop sessions will be held on site at the highly acclaimed Briar Rose Bed & Breakfast  at 2151 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, Colorado  80302.   Although lodging is NOT included in your workshop registration fee, we are holding a limited number of rooms at the Briar Rose.  Early registrants will have first choice on rooms (each one is uniquely beautiful and most accommodate two (come with a friend!) or even three (come with TWO friends!).  You will make your reservations directly with the Briar Rose (their website and contact information is here.)

 Workshop participants may choose lodging elsewhere in Boulder.  If so, please check the distance from the Briar Rose and be prepared to arrange for your own transportation to and from the Briar Rose for daily workshops and to the Welcome and Closing Dinners.  

Whether staying at the Briar Rose or elsewhere, participants should plan to check in on Sunday, July 22, 2018 and check out on Saturday morning, July 28.

Your Workshop Fee does not include lodging, air/ground transportation to and from Boulder, Colorado and any meals except for the included Welcome and Closing Dinners and Wednesday lunch.



If you have any questions about this unique workshop, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Your Legacy as Memoir: Essence of a Life ~ Workshop Schedule

Sunday, July 22, 2018
3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Workshop /Registration at Briar Rose Bed & Breakfast, Boulder, CO
4:00 - 4:30 p.m. Group Orientation; Receive Course Pack
5:00 p.m.  Opening Dinner at The Boulder Dushanbe Tea House (Dinner included & transportation provided)
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.  Introductory Workshop Session & Writing Exercise

Monday, July 23
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  The Role of Photos
12:00 - 2:30 p.m. Lunch on Your Own & Time for Writing
2:30 - 5:00 p.m. Writing Workshop

  • Best Writing Advice from Renowned Authors & Writers
  • Techniques for Mining Our Stories
  • Strategies to Develop Personal Stories
  • Identifying The Heart of the Story

Tuesday, July 24
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  One-on-one writing conferences - 6 participants (30 min. each)
1:30 - 5:30 p.m. Writing Workshop

  • Favorite Author Excerpts: What Makes Their Writing Strong & Compelling?
  • Wrap-up for Successful Story Mining
  • Entering and Shaping Your Story
  • Techniques for Time Shifts in Your Story

Wednesday, July 25
8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Optional Artist’s Field Trip (Includes transportation and delicious field lunch): Scenic mountain drive to nearby Nederland tucked in the Rocky Mountains just west of Boulder, for Birding & Guided Walk (easy walking conditions), to keep your creative juices flowing and to help clear writing impasses. Delicious Field Lunch & stop at Nederland’s, Nature’s Own, where colors and textures further spark the senses.  Field trip led by Colorado Birding Adventures.
2:00 - 5:15 p.m. Writing Workshop

  • Adding Texture to Your Stories
  • Stellar Revisions
  • Instabooks - Memoir in Miniature

5:30 p.m. Tapas, Words & Wine
Light Dinner, Readings & Open Mic

  • In Which Lizzie & Cecily Meet...A reading by author E.M. Sloan
  • Short Story or Linda M. Bendorf
  • Open Mic - Workshop Participants

Thursday, July 26
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  One-on-one writing conferences - 6 participants (30 min. each)
1:30 - 5:00 p.m.  Writing Workshop

  • Final Steps & Finishing Touches
  • Workshopping Your Writing: Constructive Group Feedback for 6 Writers

Friday, July 27
1:30 - 5:00 p.m. Writing Workshop

  • Final Steps & Finishing Touches
  • Workshopping Your Writing: Constructive Group Feedback for 6 Writers

5:00 - 6:30 p.m. Workshop Closing Celebration & Outdoor Patio Dinner (Dinner Included) Expect surprising exchanges!