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Reviews of Ina's memoir and writing classes from participants

"I thank you, Ina, for helping me see that I really can write!"
Arabella Bel-Mitchell, member of original writing class, and contributor to "Stories From The Heart," Vol. 1, and Ina's website,, dedicated to the right to same sex NIPtuals for pets

"Ina, your class makes my week!"
Howard Westley, class member in Los Angeles, and prolific writer/contributor to the Stories From The Heart series. Click here to see Howard reading onstage in this video -- great tale about a hairy flying episode in WWII.

"You have a way of getting people to open up that is unique. We were in a room full of strangers and everyone felt comfortable sharing their stories. That's a very rare talent." E. Meyer, Artist and Jeweler, participant in Burbank Library Workshop, Class Member, cover artist for "Stories From The Heart," Vol. 3

"This is a fan letter from that old man with the guitar. I want you to know how much I admire not only what you’re doing with Pawprints (Footprints) but your enthusiasm (and patience) with the participants. You obviously stimulate them to write things they’d never have gotten around to. Your 'Weird Prompts'(TM) are a clever idea—and they do stimulate. (Matter of fact, I was so intrigued I wrote a story on the black-cat prompt when I got home, just for fun.) Thanks for the book; I’m enjoying it. And I was delighted to have a small part in your presentation Wednesday. Congratulations on helping a lot of people have a great deal more fun than they otherwise would. Cheers, Harrison" Harrison Stephens, guitarist and writer

"Ina really opened the floodgates to thoughts that were long buried but not forgotten," Kay Roberts, Actor/Writer/Artist, Student Published in "Stories From the Heart," Vols. 1-3, Los Angeles

"Ina’s able to pull things out of people they didn’t know were there.” Tom LaRocca

"Thank you, Ina for helping our dad get through the pain of losing our mom, and for bringing us closer. We've been anxious to read the stories he wrote about the family and surprised to read about the (fictional) family of Mo the cat. We're glad they're making people laugh."
Family of Earl Boretz, original Footprints Writing Club member who also received one-on-one coaching from Ina

"Makes my week!" Howard Westley, first-time author, "Stories From The Heart," Vols. 2 and 3

"Thanks, Ina. After all these years of scraps of paper, finally magical sense! And seeing myself in print makes me feel complete."Jane Madeline, first-time author, "Stories From The Heart," Vol. 2

“It’s just plain fun!”
Sophie Chudacoff, 94 year old dynamo, writer/fund raiser for City of Hope, student, published in "Stories From The Heart," Vols. 1, 2, 3


Creative Memoir and Fiction Writing Classes

Read Media Review of Ina's writing programs and books.
See new
Offering Memoir and Creative/Fiction Classes, Live or Virtual

Here's how to start a Creative Memoir or Fiction Writing club if you're not in the L.A. area...

Step 1.
Create your group -- yourself and friends who would also like to tap into their creative genies

As few as four people can make a very good start, and up to about ten a good limit. This will allow each member to be able to share stories with the group and get feedback as you begin your writing journey together.  As a rule of thumb, meetings should be held in places where your group can be free of others' ears and eyes, should last about two hours, and be held on a weekly basis.  A regularly scheduled time helps reinforce members' commitment.

Step 2.  Optional, for creative writing: Get yourself and each member (or have the friends get their own) copies of the book Pawprints © Ina Hillebrandt, the offbeat, upbeat best seller that's a proven tool to uncork the muse in us all. 

For memoir writing, get copies of Ina's
How to Write Your Memoirs...Fun Prompts to Make Writing...and Reading...Your Life Stories a Pleasure! the clear, easy to use book that has readers saying, "I didn't know it would be this easy!" And, "At last, magical order out of all those scraps of paper!" See more  about shaping your memoirs and how to set up a group in Pawprints Memoir Writing Clubs.

NEW!!! Try Stories From The Heart, Vol. 3, just published! This book has more imagination tools as well as samples of memoir styles. Plus, you'll find our proven fiction writing tales and story prompts expanded in this volume, to provide you with even more food for thought!

SAVINGS TIP -- offers the books with free shipping on orders of $25 or more!   
Step 3. Consider joining our Virtual Writing Clubs! You'll receive special members-only prompts by e-mail, plus you can send Ina up to 3 questions per month on how to coax creative ideas out of each other, how to motivate yourself and others in your group to stay with it, and other valuable tips. You'll also be eligible to have your stories reviewed for posting, and inclusion in a Pawpress book. Wow your friends!Three month trial period just $10 per person!  Use this button to sign on with a secure payment by check or credit card:

Special for Pawprints Creative/fiction and memoir Writing Club founders: Just send us confirmation that your group has bought at least 6 copies of Pawprints or How to Write Your Memoirs, and you'll receive a free copy of Diving Boards, the really fun-to-use book of titles and first lines for stories!  Scroll down to see how.*

Step 4.  Your first Creative Writing meeting: Go through the Pawprints Table of Contents, and read a few of the stories that appeal to the majority aloud. Have everyone close their eyes, and take a moment to picture what the stories bring up from personal experiences. Then jump into talking about what you just visualized.  Get as vivid as possible. Use these discussions as prompts to begin writing your own recollections of real-life events.

Step 4 alternative - fiction/FAntasy writing.  Get crazy and invent adventures!  No holds barred -- this is your opportunity to create and start a whole new adventure! And by the way, the stories don't have to be limited to being funny -- sometimes poignant or sad moments will also come up, begging you to record them on paper (or computer).  Allow 15-20 minutes to write your tale in the meeting.

STEP 5.  Share stories aloud, as many as you have time for during the rest of the meeting.  Allow each reader to read through the entire piece.  Then, offer questions and suggestions, rather than criticisms, if something doesn't seem to work when you're listening.  Sometimes you will want to work as a group to figure out how to make a sentence or phrase clearer or more compelling.  If you do not have time to finish all stories, continue with the unread pieces the following week.

Step 6, and on A continuing basis:  If you're a member of our Pawprints Writing Club group, you'll get further tips on next steps for your group or individual writing project, plus ideas for insuring the groups' continuing involvement and creativity. 

Anytime inspiration:
  Buy the books or read excerpts from Stories From The Heart, Vols. 1 and 2. You'll see lively, funny, and often off-the wall stories from Pawprints Writing Club members.  And try Diving Boards by Ina, the book of first lines and titles to get you and your group going.  (See pictures on right).  We dare you to not write after going into these short story and creative books!

FREE STUFF:  We have other special creativity enhancers you or your group may also want to use to jump start stories.  Try our free weird prompts on for size, picking one per meeting and seeing where they lead the group.  Get more on a regular basis as a Pawprints Writing Club Member.

*ATTN: PAWPRINTS WRITING CLUB AND MEMOIR WRITING CLUB FOUNDERS:  To get your free book, send us a copy of your groups' book receipts by fax, or scan and paste into an email.  Our email address is  Our fax number is 310-471-5048.  Add country code 001 prefix if you are outside the U.S.A.  If you don't mind a wait, use snail mail.  Our address is, Brentwood Village, PO Box 492213, Los Angeles, CA 90049.

If you live in Los Angeles, come to our free class Monday mornings. Click for de-tails.

New! We offer Fiction/Non-Fiction Writing Classes, Training for Groups! 

FOR SENIOR CENTERS/ COMMUNITY GROUPS/ CORPORATE ORGANIZATIONS:  Ina Hillebrandt, founder and Executive Director of Pawprints Literacy Plus, is available to train your staff. Unique, easy to learn creativity and motivation tips and tools that make it easy to help your adult and senior members and staff to get all the benefits of writing their memoirs -- a heightened sense of well being, enthusiasm for living, knowledge they are creating a valuable gift for themselves and their families. 

Classes also available for your members, residents. 

Both training and classes includes optional book production and design.  For more information on senior living staff and training programs, click the button below:

Staff Training Programs

NOTE TO ALL:  We publish the best short stories on our site -- you may want to submit your own short storiesfor consideration.

Corporate training for creative writing/team building also available from Ina, a Fortune 500 Consultant for 20+ years for clients such as SEARS, VISA, IBM, etc.

For more information on Senior or corporate classes or training, contact us at 310-471-5048, or via e-mail:

Click for more information on Kids' Literacy, Writing and Reading programs, and the  Pawprints Kids Writing Clubs. 

Click here for Memoir Writing Club info.

More reviews by people who have attended Ina's Creative Memoir and Writing Classes

"Thank you Ina. Your work is valuable and has really helped me to write."
Moty Zahavi, first-time author, to be published in the coming "Stories From The Heart," Vol. 4, and a highly talented member of our Senior Moments Productions

"This is a really great class!"
Ed Rosenthal, while working on his memoir of being lost in the wilderness without food or water for seven days. He has appeared, telling this story, on the Discovery Channel's Ultimate Survivor, and more national stories are planned on other networks.

"This class has been a kick in the butt to my writing. Tremendous! It's so motivating because of the process we do here. I can just be freed up to let the words flow. My critic is gone. He's somewhere in the Bahamas. I realize OMG, I've got so many stories to write, and it's not traumatic, the way it used to be. And listening to others telling stories, reminds me of others of my own."
Michael McCarty, Internationally Renowned Storyteller, Recent attendee

Attendees, IWOSC Memoir Writing Workshop led by Ina

"After seeing you do this workshop, I feel I can trust you, Ina. I look forward to working with you."

"I really got my money's worth!"

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