LifeStory began as a newsletter in 1991, and has been published periodically
    (trying for monthly) ever since except for the period 2000 to 2005, when
    publication was suspended.  The mission of the newsletter/magazine has
    always been and remains to help people write their personal and family
    histories.  

    Charley Kempthorne has been writing since he was 11, when he purchased a
    typewriter with his share of the money he’d earned from the sale of  the family’s
    small wheat crop.  He painted the keys with luminous paint so that he could
    write after lights out.  (It didn’t work.)  He wrote all through high school and the
    Navy.  He edited a newsletter for his ship and even wrote a column for a patient
    newsletter when he was hospitalized in 1962.     

    He  has graduate degrees in writing from the University of Kansas and from the
    famed Iowa Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa.  He began a career as
    a university professor, but within a few years resigned to write full time and to
    raise his young family on a  farm in the Flint Hills of  Kansas.  He and his wife
    supported themselves by starting a painting and papering business.  During
    these years until 1992 most of his writing was done early in the morning in a
    journal.  His journal is now more than seven million words and, printed out, fills
    a double closet shelf.  

    In 1976, while still working as a painter and farmer, he started the first
    reminiscence workshop in the nation in his nearby hometown of Manhattan,
    Kansas.   His very first student, the late Jessie Foveaux, sold the memoir she
    wrote in his class for more than a million dollars.   Any Given Day (Warner
    Books, 1997) details Jessie’s idyllic rural childhood and her later difficult and
    abusive relationship with her husband whom, after eight children, she finally
    divorced.  

    In 1991, with his wife, June, Charley edited and published LifeStory Magazine,
    which ran for 89 issues.  It continues now in a newsletter format. In its early
    days the magazine not only led the movement to write personal histories but
    defined the way to do it.   Syndicated columnist Lucille de View of the Orange
    County (California) Register called it “the bible of the  Memoir Movement.”  
    Charley has taught personal and family history writing through traveling
    workshops in most states of the USA and  in Canada.