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Writer hosting free workshop on ‘legacy letters’ at Nanaimo library

Judy Millar to lead workshop at VIRL Nanaimo North branch on Thursday, Nov. 3
A workshop on writing legacy letters will be held at the VIRL’s Nanaimo North branch on Thursday, Nov. 3. (Submitted photo)

A Nanaimo writer is holding a free workshop to help people “mine the experiences of their lives” through legacy letters.

“[Legacy letters] might be a letter to a great-grandchild that you’ll never meet – to be read on his wedding day or graduation. That sort of thing,” said workshop facilitator Judy Millar, adding that even the word ‘letter’ can be misleading, as they need only be a few paragraphs or sentences on reflections. “They’re more interesting than we think, our ordinary lives. They’re actually meaningful to people.”

Millar said she first became interested in the idea after visiting an elderly aunt who died shortly after her arrival. While visiting with her aunt’s family, they shared what her aunt had written that described, for example, what Christmas holidays were like for her as a child, and her experiences dating.

“And I was there with some of her great-grandchildren when some of these were shared and read,” Millar said. “And some of them had never met her, or they only met her as a person in a wheelchair with dementia … And she came alive for them, and they loved it – they treasured those letters.”

From that experience, the writer said she felt compelled to help people mine the experiences of their lives and unearth what they might want to share, such as values and achievements.

“We all want to have a say about our lives and we’re so busy living them, we so seldom take the time to pause and reflect with a bird’s eye view of it all.”

In Millar’s workshop, which will be held at the Vancouver Island Regional Library’s Nanaimo North branch, 6250 Hammond Bay Rd., on Thursday, Nov. 3 from 2-3 p.m., attendees will work through exercises and go over “humorous and moving” legacy letters that will be provided.

Those interested in participating can register online at, calling the library branch at 250-933-2665, or simply drop by the session. Participants are encouraged to bring a writing utensil and notebook.

READ MORE: Nanaimo author Judy Millar wins second place in Vancouver Story Contest

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Mandy Moraes

About the Author: Mandy Moraes

I joined Black Press Media in 2020 as a multimedia reporter for the Parksville Qualicum Beach News, and transferred to the News Bulletin in 2022
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