It’s In Your DNA: Using Genealogical Research and DNA to Spark Your Writing

Regular $210.00
Member $189.00
June 20, 2022 - August 1, 2022
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Open to All Levels
Online—Live Meeting
Number of Sessions
Day of the Week
6 Week
Class Multigenre Rectangle

Primarily a class designed to generate new work and create connections between writers and their histories and identities, participants will engage in writing exercises and other activities to spark poetry, fiction, essays based on what we know—and don’t know—about our origins. First, we will dive into a hands-on family tree research workshop, connecting our ancestors with the history, countries, and cultures embedded in their family trees and DNA. If participants have family trees and/or DNA tests through, 23andme, or other services, they can bring them along, but these resources are not necessary to participate.

Since reading and writing are so interconnected, we will read and discuss works of fiction, poetry, and memoir inspired by family histories. We will study the content of the work and strategies writers use to mine their family histories for material. Students will generate drafts of written work for class meetings. Instead of a traditional teaching artist–led workshop, students will share work with the group in a supportive discussion focused on further development, clarification, and respect for the work. If students want teaching artist feedback, they may request private written feedback (up to five pages per week) directly from her. The teaching artist would like each student to choose at least one book on family history to read for class; a list of choices will be emailed via the confirmation letter upon registration. There is no class July 4.

Instructions for Accessing This Online Class

In order to access live class meetings, you must have the Zoom application downloaded to your computer. You will also need a WiFi/Internet connection throughout the duration of your scheduled meeting and a computer with audio and video capability. The information to join your Zoom classroom will be provided in your confirmation email upon registration. Please check spam folders if you do not see this email upon registration. For more information on how to use Zoom, please see our training manual here.

Some classes use a supplemental Google Classroom page. Should your teaching artist use Google Classroom, you will be invited to join the classroom via email at least 24 hours in advance of your class (check spam folders if you are not seeing this invitation). Please note that Google Classroom requires a Gmail address to access the Classroom. If you do not have a Gmail account, the email invitation will be sent to the email address we have on file and will prompt you to create a free account or enter an existing account to join the classroom. If we are unable to send an email invitation to your non-gmail account, you will be contacted by a staff member to provide a Gmail address. If you do not have a Gmail account, you can create a free account here. Should you have concerns about this, please contact a Loft staff member at or 612-379-8999. For more information on how to use Google Classroom, please see our training manual here.