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About Us

Welcome to ElderStories, This site is dedicated to showcasing the written word of older adults.

It will post scribblings in all genres; poetry, fiction and creative non fiction.

Many of the stories already posted are about human striving and resilience. They are awesome. What is readily apparent in reading them is the capacity human beings have for growth, enthusiasm and delight regardless of age. Contributors come from all walks of life and people write for all kinds of reasons. They comprise a fraction of the social history of the 20th  Century. 

Some contributors discover their thirst for writing as a result of taking a writing workshop. I often find them totally surprised by their own accomplishments since they never thought of themselves as "writers.". One woman said, in all seriousness, “I feel like a dam has broken.” Many older adults write about their own lives because, they say, they want to record a bit of their history for their children. There are a few who say that they always wanted to “write” but never had the opportunity or the time. Retirement has presented to many who had to postpone the dream of being a writer, the opportunity to tackle some writing projects.

If you wish to attend a workshop in the Chicago area, simply send me an email ( ) There is always one coming up. If you wish to organize a group of 6-10 person at a particular venue, please let me know and I will send you a fee schedule. For example, one will be starting in Chicago on April 13, 2009 but unfortunately it cannot accept further enrollment as membership is limited for maximum satisfaction.

Telephone consultation is also available. Simply indicate what your writing needs are and use the above email address to contact me. There are many rapid changes in our highly technological world. The written word from our older adults will provide future generations a glimpse into what it was like to be on this planet during the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. In a certain sense, this cannon of work can build bridges of understanding and perhaps even pass on a legacy of values.

It is my intension on this site to address writing needs and writing topics as well as stimulate a dialogue with other writers or writing groups. Opinions, happenings and information will be addressed in the Blog. So, look into all the nooks and corners to see if there is something here of interest to you. I encourage you to comment.

About Jo Stewart 

Jo_150.jpgJo Stewart is a woman in her 80s who has had a zig zag training experience and a number of careers.  Her first love has been for poetry, even as a little girl.

 Born in Messina, Sicily at the same time that Mussolini was rising to power, her father who then was working for the U.S. State Department was transferred back to the U.S. in 1932.  Jo arrived in the U.S.A. in December, 1934.  She attended public schools in the Bronx, NYC and prepared for a career in dietetics at Brooklyn College.  In 1949 joined a Catholic Action Organization and in 1951 was appointed as a national organizer out of the Chicago headquarters.  It was during her two year tenure that she met and married her husband, William A. Stewart in 1953 and settled in Chicago.  She raised eight children and rediscovered poetry during these years. She returned to college to earn a degree in English and additionally completed 18 hours toward a masters program in English literature but had to abandon the program due to a family crisis.  She never returned to the halls of academia but wrote every chance she could.  Her bread and butter long term positions were in administration, finally retiring as a Regional Director for the Chicago Department on Aging in 1997.  

Since her retirement, Jo has been totally devoted to writing and encouraging others to do the same.  She attends a life long learning institute, Osher, at Northwestern University in Evanston and she, herself, has facilitated over 25 workshops in memoir writing or poetry and both poetry and memoir. 



Last Updated: 2009-05-15 17:06:41
Updated By: Josephine