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the creative family historian

Ancestral Stories

A guide and framework for non-writers to take what they know, believe and have discovered to give voice to your ancestor’s adventures and experiences and bring your family history to life.

what alumni are saying

“Well worth the money.”

Andrea

“Very interesting and helpful.”

FRANCES 

“Great course. Really valuable.”

Kara

Writing your family history stories has
been on your to-do list for a while now.

Just one little thing...

You aren’t confident that your writing skills are up for the task.
Your ancestors were
B-O-R-I-N-G, so there are no exciting stories to tell.
You don’t know where to start or what to say aka The Curse of The Blank Page.
You can start writing anytime…after you nail the perfect story hook first.
You’re busy, busy, busy  and  bombarded by distractions everywhere you turn.
It takes too long; it’s tedious, and you’d rather be researching.

You’ve already tried all the hacks and followed every shortcut.

Let’s face it: writing your family history stories can be D-A-U-N-T-I-N-G.

What if you could craft stories that wouldn’t sound
out of place on a genealogy TV show?

Remarkable stories that would have your relatives wondering who wrote it and if this was really one of the ancestors they thought was D-U-L-L.

Grammar gurus? You don’t need them to tell your ancestor stories like a pro… you have tools and strategies to do the heavy lifting and unlock the storyteller inside you.

Nothing boring to see here because you can transform historical records into captivating tales that transport your reader to the past using the power of story building blocks.

You’re hitting goals with your new secret weapon – the story outline. They’re not just for fiction but a powerful tool to organise discoveries to find the story to keep readers engaged.

Your ancestors’ stories might
start out as wobbly words, but you’ll soon transform them into ones that hook, captivate and engage.

You’re making progress to bring your ancestors to life in short writing sessions because there is always time for important things… even when your life is already full.

Who’s second-guessing every word they write? Not you, because your storytelling system makes crafting your family history stories as much fun as researching them.

Imagine that feeling when you know that you’ve got this.

All without feeling overwhelmed, uninspired or under pressure.

So, what magical wardrobe do you need to wander into to find this portal into family history storytelling?

Meet your not-so-secret storytelling weapon

Ancestral Stories

the non-writer storytelling program for family historians

Bring your family to life, preserve your ancestor’s story and convert your research to engaging anecdotes with confidence, clarity, and easy-to-follow steps for non-writers.

Ancestral Stories is my signature online program that helps you finally convert your genealogy research discoveries into engaging, entertaining and intriguing narratives. It’s helped almost 200 students start writing about the adventures and experiences of their ancestors.

You’ll learn the same storytelling process I use to convert my genealogy research into narratives. It’s a layered process, so each lesson and module builds on the last, enabling you to complete your family history anecdotes stress-free.

This is more than just another course to write your family history stories. Every video and exercise has been strategically crafted to get you creating. You aren’t just practising in this course; you’ll be writing. So, by the time you finish the final lesson, you’ll have also completed the draft of a story.

This course is a game changer

I love the ancestral stories course. My stories are so much better now that I want to redo the ones I have already done.”

Brenda

So, is Ancestral Stories the right program for you?

You want to put together the pieces of your ancestor’s life to write an intriguing story to engage and entertain your readers.

You’ve gathered a stack of facts about your ancestors and want to turn those into something your relatives want to hear.

You understand that writing
family history stories is a time investment, and you’re
ready to make it.

Is that a “heck yes”?
Then, Ancestral Stories will help you achieve your goals.

Ancestral Stories may not be best choice right now if...

You want help organising
and formatting a family
history book.

Check out my book layout program to take you from idea to print-ready PDF — Family History Book Blueprint.

You’re looking for
ready-to use family
history book templates.

Peruse the variety of family history templates in the Template Store.

You’re new to genealogy
and aren’t sure what
your next step should be

Check out the family history resources on our website.

We’re all storytellers here

Hi there, I’m Prudence.

I’m a graphic designer with 25+ years of experience in template and book design. My mission is to help fellow genealogists — like you — bring your family history to life.

I’ve been actively searching for my ancestors since 1990 and working as a graphic designer since 1997. My career has taken me across the globe, and I spent many years specialising in book and multi-volume document production. And that includes producing several family history books for myself and for clients.

In Ancestral Stories, I share everything I know about using research discoveries and storytelling techniques to craft stories that provide an entertaining experience for your reader.

Crafting your family history stories is less about writing and more about compiling what you know in your own words. The story already exists, so your job is to give it a voice by using what you know and have discovered.

what you need is a guide to go from research to story

The Ancestral Stories framework is your roadmap to storytelling success

What you’ll find inside:

The entire framework is laid out for you step-by-step.

Each lesson comes with everything you need to take action immediately.

Multi options to suit your learning style — read at your leisure or watch the videos.

For the life of course, you’ll have access to these materials PLUS any updates to the core program.

Let’s take a closer look inside the core program

What you’ll find in each module

M1.

The Art of
Ancestral Storytelling

Set yourself up with a strong foundation and the momentum to complete your project. 

By the end of this module, you will understand the following:

  • copyright and your content
  • how to pick your protagonists
  • the importance of writing for the right audience
  • why mindset matters to set yourself up for success.

Tools to support you

  • Video lessons
  • Workbook with exercises
  • Digital tools and resources

M2.

The Five Building Blocks

Learn the five building blocks of storytelling that make it easier to craft your stories.

By the end of this module, you will understand the following:

  • how to create a cast list of all the characters in your story 
  • picking the right story structure 
  • the importance of setting 
  • how to include theme and tone 
  • experimenting to find your style.

Tools to support you

  • Video lessons
  • Workbook with exercises
  • Digital tools and resources

M3.

Your Ancestral Story Blueprint

Create a comprehensive story outline to do the heavy lifting to write your family history.

By the end of this module, you will understand the following:

  • how to develop the foundation  of your story framework 
  • what to include to craft immersive family history stories
  • the details to add to fill in the gaps for a more robust story.

Tools to support you

  • Video lessons
  • Workbook with exercises
  • Other resources

M4.

Writing for Non-Writers
 

Reshape the outline and expand on your ideas to create the first draft of your ancestor’s story.

By the end of this module, you will understand the following:

  • how to use your outline and knowledge as writing prompts
  • spot sneaky obstacles that halt your writing momentum  
  • three different approaches to complete your rough first draft 
  • what story hooks are, how to craft them and why to write them last.

Tools to support you

  • Video lessons
  • Workbook with exercises
  • Other resources

M5.

Editing for Readability
 

Refine and polish your writing to improve the quality to create a well-crafted story.

By the end of this module, you will understand the following:

  • the benefits of using editing apps when self-editing to get objective feedback on your work
  • the four-pass process to break editing into manageable chunks 
  • how to seek feedback from external sources to improve the overall quality of your story.

Tools to support you

  • Video lessons
  • Workbook with exercises
  • Digital tools and resources

Refund Policy

I’m 99.9% sure you’ll love this program, but if you don’t, you can submit a request anytime in the first 14 days to get a full refund.

I want you to get the best value from your purchase, so please reach out to our support team if you have any issues; we’ll be happy to resolve them with you. Click here to email the support team.

Limited-time bonuses

Join now to access these extra resources to support you on the journey to transform your research into stories.

The Minimalist Family History Pages

Canva Template

Customisable template to create shareable pages of your completed stories.

A multi-purpose design with 18 pages (9 unique layouts) plus an 8-page element library with pre-built building blocks that do the work, so you don’t have to.

Canva Basics​

SELF-PACED MINI COURSE​

A beginner-level training in Canva’s most popular formatting features. 

A 14-page instruction guide and five-module video training course on working with images, text, colours, tables and exporting files for print or use online. 

Family History Storytelling Terminology Glossary​

GOOGLE DOCS TEMPLATE​

Terminology starter kit of the most common storytelling and writing-related terms.

Your reference guide to the words and phrases common to writing your family history stories. Use it as a dynamic resource that you’ll grow with your contributions.

The Family History Storytelling Roadmap

printable pdf

The complete fuss-free blueprint of how to transform your genealogy research into stories.

Your step-by-step guide to expedite the storytelling process to achieve results more quickly. Options for different scenarios, including using ChatGPT or the Ancestral Stories framework.

Beta Reader Questionnaire for Family History Stories

GOOGLE DOCS TEMPLATE

A comprehensive questionnaire to gather feedback from your beta readers.

A guide for your beta readers as they evaluate your family history story. It can be used as is or you can add or adjust questions to reflect what you want to ask.

12-Months Access to the Storyteller Facebook Community

Group Support

An online community to connect with other storytellers and get support on your journey.
For students and alums of the Ancestral Stories program who don’t want to tackle writing their family history alone. Get support and accountability from other storytellers, and access to me for Q&As or the occasional workshop.

unlock your inner storyteller

“It is honestly AMAZING!!! So much has clicked for me in terms of how to approach writing out my ancestor stories. Thank you so much for such an amazing and inspiring course!”

Estelle

One more thing, with feeling

Let’s talk support and  accountability

Writing your family history can be challenging when done alone. Say hello to the Ancestral Stories Support Package.

Choose this tier to get additional individualised support and guidance. With this investment, you’ll get the core program, relevant bonuses and extra services, tools and training, so you won’t have to navigate this journey alone.

2x Family History Story Review Sessions

Individualised support

Receive feedback from Prudence on your family history story. Each session includes a review, feedback, and follow-up Q&A. Find out more.

Writing Family History Stories with Chat GPT

self-paced mini course

An introduction to setting up your ChatGPT account and using it to write and edit your family history stories. Find out more.

Mindset for
Momentum

self-paced MINI COURSE

Tools to boost your mindset, cultivate confidence, sustain momentum, and help you avoid abandoning your project. Find out more.

Finding Historical Context for Your Family Stories

workshop

Follow-along-with-me workshop as I discover and add historical context to my Story Outline. Plus, brainstorming and Q+A sessions. Find out more.

Using ChatGPT with the Ancestral Stories framework

WORKSHOP

Follow-along-with-me workshop as I use the powerful combo of a Story Outline and ChatGPT to create a rough first draft. Find out more.

Monthly Accountability
& Quarterly Co-working 

Individualised support

12 months of extended support to ask questions and get dedicated time every quarter to work on your stories. Find out more.

I’ll be here to offer guidance and cheer you on every step of the way. 

What other storytellers are asking

Answers To Popular Questions

You will have lifetime access to the training program.

That means you have access to the course materials and resources for as long as the program is actively offered, plus an additional 12 months.

The Ancestral Stories program is self-paced training, so you can make it fit your schedule. The video training for each module will take approximately 60 minutes to watch the video training and another 2 to 3 hours to complete the workbook.

Schedule 30 to 45-minute sessions once or twice a week to put your new skills to work.

You’ll need a research discovery or two to write a story about your ancestors.

Unfortunately, no. Creating a book is a separate project. This program focuses on the strategies, techniques and processes to convert your genealogy research into stories. However, if you need help organising and formatting a book, you might be interested in our Family History Book Blueprint program.

The Story Review is a two-part process to get your family history story reviewed by Prudence.

Part 1:

Turnaround time:
5 to 10 business days

  • Follow the instructions in your email to submit one story of up to 4,000 words.
  • Within 24 hours, you’ll receive a confirmation email that I have your story, and it’s in the queue for feedback. 
  • Your confirmation email will include an ETA for delivery of my feedback.
  • Feedback will be provided in an email and as comments in your story file.

Part 2:

  • Please submit requests for clarification and general questions about my feedback or storytelling within 5 business days after I send you the feedback. 
  • Multiple emails can be sent.

Unfortunately, no. The Story Review process follows the framework of the training. You’ll need to submit both the story and outline together for review. 

If you are seeking editing assistance for stories you’ve written outside of the course or prior to enrolling, we recommend considering the option of hiring an editor or using the Ancestral Stories framework for self-editing your work.

No, you already have everything you need to convert your research into stories. Investing in subscriptions to writing and editing tools is optional and not required to complete this program.

Your investment in the program will vary depending on the tier you choose and the country where you live.

The Core tier is currently AU$195, and the Support tier is AU$345. 

There are payment plans for both tiers.

You can start the course at any time that suits your schedule. It’s a self-paced program that you can complete as it suits your schedule. However, please be aware that the refund guarantee ends fourteen (14) days after the first module is released.

Unfortunately, no. Right now, the only way to get my feedback on stories you craft in the program is through the sessions offered with the Support Package. 

However, the Storyteller Facebook Community can be a great place to request feedback from your peers or look for beta readers. 

At first glance, these may seem to be the same or similar. That’s not the case as you’ll get different things from each. 

The Storyteller Facebook Community is a group support resource where you can connect with other storytellers and ask Prudence questions about the training or tools. As a member, you’ll also be the first to be offered additional workshops, beta test opportunities for new templates, and learn about program changes. This is a good fit for everyone in the program to be able to chat with like-minded people who are also writing their family history stories.

The Story Review sessions are your opportunity to get Prudence to read and comment on your story. Each session is a two-part process. Part 1, story review and feedback. Part 2, questions and clarification. This is a good option for storytellers who want personalised feedback on how to improve their stories.

The Accountability and Co-working sessions are a 12-month opportunity to get individualised support to help you complete the program and continue to craft family history stories. This is a good option for first-time storytellers seeking additional support and accountability to develop positive writing habits. 

Have fun with the process

“This is an excellent course with a lot of important information and excellent ideas for making family stories. Just as important, it’s very motivating. And fun. Highly recommended.”

Janet

Storytelling Made Doable

“The outline is a great way to bring structure, focus, and doability to the process.”

chris

Let’s ask the big question...
is this right for you?

Have you ever wished you could jump on a quick call with the course creator and get an honest answer on whether this is right for you? Me too. So let’s do it.

Either email your question to
[email protected]
or book a free 15-minute Zoom call to chat.

organise what you know

“I can’t tell you how much your workshop has motivated and inspired me… I have been gathering information for each component and it is amazing the directions it has sent me in.”

Gay

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