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Creating a safe container, Arlyn 

introduces participants to simple but powerful tools to dig deeper.   


- Ramaa Krishnan, Founder, Full Bloomed Lotus Center for


Single-session or multiple-session workshops are offered for writers and aspiring writers of all levels, as well as for non-writers wanting to enhance self-knowledge, creativity or spirituality. Workshops may be held in community venues such as libraries, yoga and wellness centers, houses of worship, art and nature centers, and virtually. Expressive arts workshops may also be held in private homes, including to honor personal milestones or to commemorate family events.

Sessions typically include: writing tools, motivation and feedback; reading and discussing  mentor texts by published writers; prompts and time to write; and optional sharing. Some workshops may include group critique, if desired. Certain workshops incorporate simple visual art projects.

For newer writers, workshops offers a ports of entry to approach your writing. For experienced writers, workshops can freshen your writing and challenge habits of language, syntax, and tone. 

I tailor each workshop to the particular interests and abilities of participants. In addition to working on my own, I co-facilitate expressive arts workshops with other artists and educators.

Examples of past workshops for adults:

The Creative Impulse: Gathering the Sparks, Fanning the Flames

I'll guide you to consider why you write (or want to write), what topics compel you, who your ideal audience (even if only imagined) is, and what impact you want your writing to have for yourself and others. In generating new work (gathering the sparks), we consider fresh approaches to well-worn subjects, as well as try out less familiar topics. To develop and hone work in process (fanning the flames), we explore tools to engage prospective readers, publishers, and listeners and to take writing to a more self-satisfying level.

Writing Toward Emotional Healing and Growth

This workshop offers structured approaches to writing creatively to enhance our own emotional healing and growth.  We’ll talk about when it’s helpful to let loose, writing in a stream-of-consciousness style, and when it’s more effective to pare down or reign in our writing and how to do so. This is an inspiring, engaging workshop for which no prior writing experience is required.  We’ll experiment with a number of writing techniques.

Expressive Arts Workshops with Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Cognitive impairments that commonly pose life challenges and limitations can actually be advantageous for creative expression. Guidance for writing and/or art is provided in a relaxed environment where creative expression and conversation are welcomed. Some prompts and techniques will be adaptable for participants to use outside of workshop as well. This workshop can only be offered in partnership with an organization serving adults with disabilities.

The Long and Short of It: Crafting Memoir through Vignettes


In this workshop we explore writing and organizing short pieces to craft memoir. We consider what to include, what to leave out, structuring individual pieces and framing an overarching narrative.

Time as a Port of Entry 

We consider what subjects we (and potential readers) associate with certain times of the day and seasons of the year. We also explore “tone” or “mood” connected to certain times of the day or seasons of the year, including how we might write differently about a subject depending on when we are writing about it.

Fresh Takes on Familiar Topics

Writers are often drawn to topics that have long haunted, delighted, or befuddled us. In this workshop, we explore innovative approaches to writing poems about mothers and other time-honored themes. We’ll discuss what allows for new ways of treating archetypal topics. 

Plein Air Workshops

Writing and art-making outdoors can stimulate creativity in novel ways (pun intended) that differ from our customary experiences creating indoors. Not only does the scene look different, it also feels different, smells different, sounds different, offering writers and other artists an embodied, multi-sensory generative experience. This workshop may be held rain or shine, in urban spots as well as pastoral settings. The workshop may focus solely on writing or incorporate visual art-making as well.

Solstice and Equinox Writing 

As age-old natural markers of time, solstices and equinoxes provide ripe inspiration for writing, especially plein air writing.  These generative writing workshops may be held in September for the autumnal equinox and March for the vernal equinox when daylight and nighttime are of relatively equal lengths, and in June and December when daylight is longest and shortest, respectively, in North America. This workshop can also incorporate visual art making and/or movement. 

Spiritual Journaling

Spiritual journaling is a way to explore being human as we reflect, anticipate, remember, wonder, dream, worry, and wish.  We do some journaling activities together and participants will leave inspired by additional ideas to maintain their own spiritual journals or other forms of spiritual writing.


....and the workshops listed below

Adventures in Creative Writing

Arrivals & Departures: Pathways to New Writing

Breaking Apart the Story

Crafting Memoir from Linked Poems

Cultivating Gratitude Through Creative Writing

Dreams, Wishes & Resolutions (art and writing)

Elegies & Odes: Poetic Responses to Loss

Journaling to Generate Poems & Stories

(Love) Note to Self

Luck, Fortune, Playfulness & Humor

The Masks We Wear (art and writing)

Using Metaphor, Imagery & Creative Writing to Navigate Relationships

Imperfection & Impermanence

Resolution Making Through Writing and Art

Springboards Into Summer Writing

Time, Support & Strategies for Writing

Word Play in Poetry

© 2016 Poetic License, Inc.
P.O. Box 279, Glencoe, IL 60022
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