Three chances to kickstart your storytelling

Maybe it’s just coincidence. Or maybe it’s a product of changing seasons, or a reaction to the increasingly sordid news stories of the external world. Whatever it is, the next few weeks bring a number of local opportunities to look inward and tease out your own stories — for yourself, for loved ones, and in at least one case, for a little cash. Here are three:

Not all storytelling opportunities are created equal.Finding Your Story … and Legacy,” 6-8 p.m., Tuesdays from Oct. 18 to Nov. 8, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave. As this is a class I’m co-teaching with Ken Guentert of The Publishing Pro, I’ll be brief with the self-promotion. Whether you’re already mulling a memoir project or fear that you have nothing to say, this is a great place to get started. We’ll help with print and audio storytelling, and you can expect a relaxed atmosphere, group brainstorming, and one-on-one coaching.

Pikes Peak Family History Fair, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5, Library 21C, 1175 Chapel Hills Drive. Though it’s being billed as an inaugural event, Tom Nixon and colleagues at the Colorado Springs North Family History Center have organized similar, smaller fairs for a couple of years. And from the sound of it, they really know what they’re doing. Representatives of up to 50 organizations — from museums to DNA testing outfits to the Colorado Mayflower Society — will help people find ways to connect to their past. There’ll be kids’ activities, too. I’ll write more on this event in the next couple of weeks.

Third Annual Kraemer Family Library Storytelling Contest, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 15, Clyde’s Restaurant at UCCS’ University Center, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy. Anyone telling “an original story about … family, generations working together, or anything else that has an intergenerational topic” may enter. You register (and submit a synopsis or theme) ahead of time, but debut your five- to eight-minute story at the event. Cash prizes of $50 to $100 go to the top three storytellers, as named by a panel of judges. One catch: With limited space, priority goes to participants who attend at least one of three Storytelling Workshops. You’ll find info about those on the website.