Val Perry (right) and Ann Shaklee (left) present Susana Mueller (center) with a certificate for completing the Life Story Writing class. New classes will begin on Friday, January 19.

One of the most valuable gifts you can pass on to your family is the sharing of your unique life stories with future generations.

After a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bloomingdale Writers Connection (BWC) will again be offering a 10-week Life Story Writing (LSW) class at Bloomingdale Regional Library starting on Friday, January 19 at 10:15 a.m.

The class is for all skill levels and is generously funded by the Friends of the Bloomingdale Library, making it free to participants.

Once completed, you will have written at least nine new life stories and will have an organized writing portfolio to which you may continue to add.

According to Val Perry, who has coordinated these classes for 17 years, “Participants report that taking the life writing class has positively changed their lives. Through writing short stories every week, younger people often find a new life direction, while retired people learn an appreciation for their lives. In addition, if shared, everyone’s life story adds to the history of this area.”

The writing coaches are trained to help writers at all skill levels. The goal of a class participant might be to just leave a legacy of their lives for their families, or themselves, gain some self-direction, or rekindle their past enjoyment of writing to publish a book.

Each class meets for about two and a half hours each week. Many people find the course to be therapeutic because the classes invite them to reflect on their lives and gain new perspectives. A different theme is visited each week. Hands-on activities and group interaction help participants to recall long-forgotten memories.

Susana Mueller, a 2016 participant, said, “I can’t believe it’s been eight years since I took the class and how the 10-week Life Story Writing course at the Bloomingdale Library has enriched my life by teaching me how to tell my life stories. Once the course ended, it allowed me to gather and write with others who have taken the course. The class was a springboard to publishing several books and producing my podcast, Cuban Stories on the Green Plantain.”

According to Perry, “After the class ends, if the participant wishes to continue writing their life stories, free support is available, including monthly writing groups. Over the years, a large community of writers and friendships have formed, resulting in many local families receiving the precious gift of life stories from their loved ones.”

For more information, contact Perry at or by phone (call or text) at 813-653-9591. You can also pick up a brochure in the foyer of the library.

Previous articleFlight To Honor Polk Mission 9 Preparing For Departure
Next articleNew Pastor Reveals Big Things Are Happening At Grace Community United Methodist Church
Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.