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Other Activities


[The workshop] gave a realistic view of potentials of publishing. The instructor is bright and experienced. She certainly is good at balancing down-to-earth realities with the inspirational side of preserving stories.—M. Abel

Your step-by-step approach plus practical examples which offered a concrete hands-on example—very helpful.—workshop participant


Populore owner Rae Jean Sielen and other staff members have offered dozens of workshops through the years. Local publishing and personal history workshop sponsors and hosts have included a retirement community, libraries, an art center, a writers consortium, ALL (an elderhostel-affiliated program), and the state parks system. She has also been an invited presenter at several of the Association of Personal Historians annual conferences. Her workshop offerings have included the following:

  • Introduction to Self-Publishing
  • Small-Scale Publishing
  • Options for Authors
  • Preserving Your Stories:
      One Story at a Time
  • Publishing Your Family or Life Story
  • Keepsake and Family Cookbooks
  • Bookbinding Overview

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"Finely Crafted" presentation:
The Hows and Whys
of Private Publishing
Populore author Kathy Campbell
sharing her writing experiences
with schoolchildren
Populore's History Day display
at the West Virginia Capitol
Populore authors sign books
at Taylor Books reception


I want to congratulate you for a spectacular success in every regard [in your Finely Crafted event]. I believe I am correct in observing that attendees were from 5 to 90 years of age. Now, that's wide-spread appeal!—H. Forbes

A fascinating set of displays and wonderfully knowledgeable people to talk to. Thanks.—entry in event guest book

Special Events

Populore has organized and sponsored various book and publishing-related events including readings (e.g., from our anthologies) and book signings. We have sponsored "Put It In Writing" gatherings, mini-conferences where dozens of people gathered at a regional historical site to write and share their stories and listen to presentations by historians and storytellers. The gatherings were both a part of West Virginia's statewide "Homecoming '96" initiative and a celebration of the joy of preserving one's stories in writing.

Populore was also the initiator and key organizing force for "Finely Crafted: A Celebration of Beautiful Books and Fine Printing" hosted by the Morgantown Public Library. The event offered lectures, exhibits, displays, and demonstrations regarding fine binding and printing, book preservation and conservation, rare books, and more. In response to a newly rekindled interest in book arts in the region, "Finely Crafted" was an opportunity for book arts experts and craftsmen to share their ideas and expertise with each other and the community.

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[I was finally able to get] started on a project that has been in my mind for a few years.— B. Ellis

I have written 2 typed pages of what I called "personal history" and now I know how to do it so much better.—E. Demory


Some of Populore's clients are individuals who wish to write, edit, and/or design their own books, but want the benefit of Populore's experience and expertise in terms of advice along the way. Populore takes on a limited number of coaching projects each year. Typically, these clients are computer savvy and are committed to "Self-Publishing," and doing as much as they can themselves while avoiding significant mistakes.

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Interviewing Services

Perhaps you're interested in being interviewed for personal or family history purposes, but you're not interested in publishing those interviews in book form. Populore can provide and coordinate interviewing sessions and then provide you with audio-taped recordings or CDs of your interview and/or a transcribed copy of the interview (with or without light editing). This can be an excellent way to start if your budget or time is limited and/or if you want to take it one step at a time. The transcript can always be turned into a book later on.

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Video or Multimedia

Video and multimedia presentations are another popular method of personal and family history preservation. Please ask if this interests you—although this isn't our focus, we have ideas and contacts. You might want to consider supplementing a personal or family history book with a video presentation and vice versa.

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Rae Jean [was] completely open to meeting our needs rather than following a pre-set agenda.—H. Lindsay

Book Project Planning/Proposal

Many people who come to us have a definite audience and quantity of books in mind. Many others, however, need help sorting this out. As one of our advisory services, we can help you understand all the options and develop a budget and plan. This can be especially helpful for people who have a story to tell or information to share, but aren't sure about how to approach the publishing part of it—that is, whether to target a "private" or "public" audience.

We do not evaluate the marketability of unpublished, completed, or potential books. We can, however, help you develop different budget scenarios based on how successful you expect it to be in the marketplace.

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