“We tell the story of who we believe ourselves to be with every word,” says Melinda Walsh, who will be guest speaker at this year’s Sept. 27 kickoff luncheon for the annual “Women! A Week-Long Celebration.”

“Sometimes we have stories that don’t work very well for us. Once you realize you’ve made up the story in the first place, it’s easier to restyle,” says Walsh, president of Melinda Walsh Communications.

A veteran of advertising and broadcast production, Walsh refers to herself as a “story stylist,” helping businesses and individuals style their own story “in a way that brings them the life they envision.”

“Once Upon a Lifetime: Being the (S)Hero of Your Own Life” is the name of the presentation she’ll make at the luncheon, which launches 180 activities being held at various locations in the Baton Rouge area through Oct. 6.

Now in its 12th year, the 10 days of programs are presented by the nonprofit Women’s Council of Greater Baton Rouge. The theme this year is “Women Staying Connected.”

The slate of programs will cover topics ranging from career, such as “Get What You’re Worth — Salary Negotiation 101” at 11:30 a.m., Sept. 30, at the River Center library branch auditorium; to health and exercise, such as kickboxing at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 1 at the Paula G. Manship YMCA; to fun activities, including “Glee for Grown-up Gals” at 6:30 p.m., Oct. 1 at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Most of the programs are free, though some have an admission fee.