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Family History Writing Challenge 2017

The Family History Writing Challenge 

 It starts with 28 days and 28 minutes
Feb 1st – Feb 28th

Do You Need The Challenge? 

  Do you have a desire to turn your ancestor’s dry documents into exciting stories? 

 Have you procrastinated for far too long?

 Do you want to start but not sure how?

 Have you been writing sporadically never finishing a story?

 Have you procrastinated writing your stories, not sure where to begin? 

 Do you need some polishing those stories making them more interesting, less of a yawn. 

 Are you overwhelmed and need some support in getting started?

If you checked any of the above questions then you have come to the right place.

It’s time to take up the challenge, commit pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and assemble those family facts into an entertaining and educational family history story. 
The challenge is designed to help you develop long-term writing habits, provide inspiration and offer some educational pointers in your journey to write your family history stories. It’s time to set the excuses aside and make 2017 the year you meet your family history writing goals head on. 

Whom Do I Write About? 

A single ancestor, a surname, a branch of your tree, you pick. ** Hint, it’s always best to start small, begin with a single ancestor and a small timeframe or event in their life. 

You select the ancestor or ancestors, the timeframe, keeping in mind who you feel most prepared to write about in terms of research and interest, and who are you most motivated to write about. Write your stories in the form of family history blog posts, a family history memoir, or narrative stories for a legacy book or as a personal journal. 

How Much Do I Need to Write? 

You pick the amount 250, 500, 1000 words a day whatever you can work into your schedule. Do the math. 

250 words x 28 days = 7000 words, you would be well on your way! 
500 words x 28 days = 14,000 words, this would be an incredible start! 
1000 words x 28 days = 28,000 words, you would be a hero! 

Learn to carve out time to write on a daily basis! Each day I will ask you to sit down and write for a certain length of time. We start with 28 minutes. At the end of our 28 days together you will be writing for 90 minutes a day. Think of how much you can accomplish in that time. Don’t worry we will help you carve out that time and help you make writing a priority in your life.

Where Do I Write? 

Write on your computer, iPad, typewriter, longhand (tough to do a word count). Write in your office, at the kitchen table, the local coffee shop, the lawn chair (if you’re someplace sunny- lucky you), or beside a roaring fire (that would be me). Find a place to call your own.

What If My Writing Isn't Good Enough?  

Very few of us can sit down and shoot out a masterpiece on the first draft. Newsbreak….. most of us take a half dozen passes at it before it is worthy of anyone’s eyes. This is about making a start, it’s about creating a habit. There will be plenty of time to edit your stories later, committing to the daily word count and set amount of time each day is a huge step to making it happen. 

When Does the Challenge Begin? 

The Family History Writing Challenge begins Feb 1st and ends February 28th. You commit 28 days to writing your family history, in the hopes that you will get a running start and you’ll never look back. You’ll create daily writing habits that I hope will stay with you long after the challenge is over. When you join in January, and take some time to get ready to write, we've got four pre-challenge posts for you to help you get organized. 

Where Do I Sign Up? 

Register right here, if you’re a blogger feel free to announce your intentions and goal on your own blog.  No goal is official until you have written it down and shared it. If you prefer to keep it to yourself that’s ok too. I realize some of you are shy, writers by nature are introverts, we appreciate that here. You don’t need to share your writing unless that’s your desire. You can sit quietly back and take all the information in, but of course, if you participate we will be thrilled.  Do can participate on our Facebook page. 

Once you register for the Family History Writing Challenge you not only have access to all our article archives in writer’s resources but you’ll receive our Daily Dose Newsletter.  Each day you’ll receive a motivational message from me, along with a few tips and an informative post and delivered right to your inbox. By registering, you’ll be sure not to miss a thing. 

Why Do I Need the Challenge?

There’s nothing better than having the support and knowledge of a vast community to help you overcome your struggles. We share our wealth of knowledge to help elevate everyone in their journey. Whether it is in our article archives, our daily dose newsletter or through the Facebook Group you have an opportunity to be motivated, educated and inspired at every turn. Utilize these three resources in whatever combination you prefer. 

 What Is Stopping You From Starting?

Let me know, and I will try to help you overcome those obstacles.

Drop me an email at I’ll do my best to address your questions throughout our 28 days of the Daily Dose. 

If you’re still not convinced,  a few of previous year’s participants were kind enough to share their thoughts on the challenge. 

“If you’ve ever thought that you might like to write your family history into a book, but didn’t know where to begin…or if you’ve begun, but need some more assistance from a support group…then The Family History Writing Challenge is where you need to be in February! You will find expert guidance and support from our leader, Lynn Palermo (aka The Armchair Genealogist) and her guest bloggers, as well as a cheering section at the Forum. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and sign up for a great adventure in family history writing! Even if you don’t finish the whole book in 28 days (I didn’t), you’ll get a great start and meet some really swell people along the way!”

“Lynn, you did an amazing job of leading this challenge, encouraging and motivating so many people to take on the sometimes daunting task of figuring out how to take those first steps toward writing. I’ve really been impressed with the organization and diligence it took to put together those daily reminders and mini lessons. I have no doubt many have come out of February into March feeling that writing a family history is within their reach. I read several hundred pages of recently discovered diaries and incorporated parts of their content into several thousand words and got several chapters written or re-written. Thanks so much for your hard work and unfailing enthusiasm for everyone.”

Linda Gartz
Family Archaeologist
“Hi Lynn, I’m very excited about this last month and the progress I have made with my writing.  I have learned so many things that I had never heard of nor had any idea about, that has helped me.  Thanks, Thanks, Thanks,  I plan to keep on writing and letting people know about your blog. I don’t want February to end. Thanks again.”

28 Days. 28 Minutes.
Are you ready to take the challenge?
The Family History Writing Challenge