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Writing Family Narratives Using Research (in-person class)

April 4, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm EDT

Brendan Wolfe

Instructor: Brendan Wolfe
$150 Members | $165 Nonmembers
Mondays, 3/27/23 – 5/1/23 | 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

In this two-part class we will explore the best practices of traditional genealogical research and then integrate our research into nonfiction writing that even people outside of our families will want to read.

Part 1 will focus on research strategies: how to make a research plan; how to find, log, and analyze sources; and, finally, how to synthesize information in ways that help us to answer our questions. We will practice these new skills and present our own research.

We will also read and discuss a wide range of texts that engage with research in different and interesting ways. We’ll ask how research not only deepens storytelling but guides it as well.

Come to class with one or more projects in mind. Be thinking about what story you are trying to tell and how research might help. What questions do you have that it might answer?

If you’re able to bring to class a laptop that can connect to WiFi, that would be ideal but not required.

In Part 2, we’ll continue our readings and workshop the writing that has come from our research.

Brendan Wolfe is a professional genealogist and the author of three books, including Finding Bix: The Life and Afterlife of a Jazz Legend, about a journey the New York Times kindly noted was “well worth reading about.” His personal essays and reviews have been published in Colorado Review, The Morning News, VQR, and Mud Season Review, among others. For twelve years Wolfe edited Encyclopedia Virginia, and has written numerous historical essays, including “History Writ Aright” and “The Train at Wood’s Crossing,” the latter of which was honored by Bunk magazine as the best historical narrative of 2019. It will be included in an anthology of essays about lynching, forthcoming from the University of Virginia Press. Wolfe lives in Charlottesville with his daughter, Beatrix.

Registration for this class is now closed. 


April 4, 2022
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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Brendan Wolfe


508 Dale Avenue
Charlottesville, 22902 United States
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