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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 public libraries, yoga and wellness centers, houses of worship, art and nature centers, and as part of professional conferences.  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  examples 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.


I tailor each workshop to the venue and 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.

Sample of Some Poetic License Workshops

The Creative Impulse: Gathering the Sparks, Fanning the Flames

In this workshop you’ll be asked to consider why you write (or want to write), what topics compel you, who your ideal reader (even if only imagined) is, and what impact you want your writing to have for yourself and for readers.  In generating new work (gathering the sparks), we’ll 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’ll explore tools to engage prospective readers (and publishers) and to take writing to a more self-satisfying level.


The Long and Short of It: Crafting Memoir through Vignettes


In this workshop we'll explore writing and organizing short pieces to craft memoir.. We'll consider what to include, what to leave out, structure of individual pieces, and framework of overarching memoir. been said that a novel is like a movie and a poem is like a snapshot. 

This workshop explores what to leave in the frame and what to leave out.


Time as a Port of Entry into Creative Writing

In this workshop, we explore time of day and season of  year as an organizing principal for writing.  Thematically, we’ll consider what things we associate with certain times of the day and certain seasons of the year, what subjects we might we want to write about depending on the time of day or year when we are writing, and what subjects readers might want to read about depending on the time of day or year they are reading. We’ll also explore “tone” or “mood” associated with 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.  For experienced writers, this workshop is designed to freshen your writing and challenge habits of language, syntax, and tone.  For newer writers, this workshop offers a port of entry to approach your writing.

Fresh Takes on Familiar Topics

As writers, we 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. 

Solstice and Equinox Writing Workshops

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. No prior writing experience is required. 

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 artists an embodied, multi-sensory generative experience.  Part of what’s fascinating and inspiring is to see how different the work may be despite participants all working in the same location at the same time. 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.

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.

Positive Focus Creative Writing Workshop

In this workshop, I lead participants in creating a personal “focus wheel” outlining areas of growth for themselves.  Then, we’ll use the focus wheel as a springboard for a piece of creative writing. When held in-person, paper and writing/drawing implements are provided. No prior writing experience required.

Spiritual Journaling

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

Poems as Spiritual Texts

Most of our workshop time will be spent looking closely at and discussing published poetry that has spiritual elements.  We’ll even talk about what we mean by “spiritual.”  This workshop may be structured to include time to experiment with spiritual writing.

Expressive Arts Workshops with Adults with 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 to use by participants outside of workshop.  No prior experience with art or writing needed. This workshop can only be offered in partnership with an organization serving adults with disabilities.


....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

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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