Family Folktales: Write Your Own Family Stories

ABOUT Karen Gonzalez

Karen Gonzalez
Karen has been interested in folktales and folklore for more than two decades. She has facilitated writing classes and workshops for more than fifteen years and is an award-winning fiction and nonfiction writer. Her writing credits include  awards from Farmhouse Magazine (2006), National  More...


42-page 3-workbook introduces reader to folktale themes that exist in every family and offer easy to follow writing exercise, podcast and scrapbooking techniques. Sample folktales are also included.

Originally, folktales were stories created by ordinary people to be passed on orally from one generation to the next. Over time, with the advent of printing and later the Internet, oral tradition has rapidly been replaced by our ability to collect and store the in- formation electronically (e.g., blogs, Web sites, digital media like CDs) or in books, including scrapbooks, workbooks and journals. The difference between researching and recording accurate family histories and writing folktales is that the folk teller (the writer) recounting folktales can focus upon his or her own memories. These rather than genealogy are the stuff of folktales.

“I found the idea of people writing their
own family folk tales intriguing. Once I
started to the read the book, I could see all
sorts of uses for it. The workbook is laid out
in a very simple, easy to follow and easy to
understand manner, and gives the reader
the confidence needed to write. The
suggestions for getting started, using people,
places or things, is just a super idea. I can see
this bringing families together and helping
anyone interesting in writing, getting a good
start. If I had young children, I would
definitely start them on a regular routine of
writing, using this book as a guideline.
The exercises are imaginative, and get
you down to work right away. A lot of
thought has gone into the exercises and the
whole process of writing. The author
cautions against over-thinking and reminds
you of what a folktale is. She even touches
on the possibility of family members seeing
things differently, and how to handle that
eventuality. I can see many people adopting
this as a relaxation technique and I love the
idea of combining it with scrap booking.
What a great way to revitalize what
we have lost, our oral family history!”
Nancy Reid, Big Blend Magazine