The majority of workshop time is spent writing new work. Workshops are tailored to participants' abilities, including those with no prior writing experience.
The Creative Impulse: Gathering the Sparks, Fanning the Flames
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.
Fresh Takes on Mother Poetry Workshop
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 – yes, mothers. We’ll look at a variety of published poems which treat the time-honored theme of mother in fresh ways. 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 are 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.
Plein Air Workshops
Writing and art-making outdoors can stimulate creativity in novel ways (pun intended) that differ from our customary experiences creating while indoors. Not only does the scene look different, it also feels, smells, and 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 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 in which 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 in the coming year. Then, we’ll use the focus wheel as a springboard for a poem or other piece of creative writing. Paper and writing/drawing implements will be provided, although you’re welcome to bring your own or a favorite journal, if you prefer. All you have to bring is an open mind and a creative intention.
Spiritual journaling is a way to explore being human as we reflect, anticipate, remember, wonder, dream, worry, and wish. In this workshop we’ll do some journaling activities and participants will leave inspired by additional ideas to maintain their own spiritual journals.
Expressive Art Workshops with Adults with Disabilities
Cognitive impairments that commonly pose challenges and limitations can sometimes 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. No prior experience with art or writing needed. These workshops are typically held on a recurring drop-in basis or as part of a series of sessions. This workshop can only be offered in partnership with an organization serving adults with disabilities.