Breath Becomes Voice

– A Workshop with Fides Krucker

presented by GoForWords in partnership with The Inner Space and Jackson Yoga

By nature we are connected, emotional beings capable of a wide range of expression. The human voice is designed to communicate. Singing comes from body and soul!


Fides will lead the workshop using simple, embodied exercises to free breath and increase resonance. Participants will engage with sounds that may have been locked away or forbidden – whether mad, sad or glad. The vocal work will feel safe, supported, playful and accessible – and end in song!

Regardless of your relationship to your voice – challenged, curious, passionate, frightened – Fides’ approach can help tease out what is lying under the surface just waiting to be heard.

Date: July 8th, 2017

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Location: The Davis Room @ The Stouffville United Church, 34 Church St S, Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON L4A 1E3, Canada (see map at the very bottom of this page)

Registration Fee: $55.00 plus HST.
(Register below Fides Krucker’s Biography)

____________________________

Fides Krucker


has been an innovative interpreter of vocal music in Canada and abroad for thirty years.

Her company, Good Hair Day Productions, premiered the electroacoustic sexual-catastrophe opera Julie Sits Waiting (Walmsley/Dufort) in 2012, receiving five Dora Nominations. Her all-female collective, URGE (1991 – 2004), broke ground for subsequent generations of interdisciplinary artists; their final work has just been published by Playwrights Canada Press.

With Kazumi Tsuruoka she created the love and disability show CPSalon, adapted by Lawrence Jackman for the NFB film How Does It Feel. Her vocal creation for the technopera 3 Singers (Mott/Ingebritsen) premiered in Krakow and Chicago in the 2014/15 season and was praised for its feminist jolt and heartbreaking beauty.

Fides created the vocal scores for Peggy Baker’s land/body/breath (at the AGO) as well for locus plot’s five dancers and 2016’s Phase Space (receiving a Dora for composition.) She just finished performing and recording the part of a mermaid in the sonic theatre hybrid DIVE. Her recording of the Berio Folksongs with Vancouver’s Turning Point Ensemble will be released this winter. GHDP has two upcoming projects: In This Body, a woman’s journey through the Canadian song book danced by Peggy Baker, Laurence Lemieux and Heidi Strauss (premiering at Canadian Stage in March, 2018) and Three Waters an immersive installation for four singers, pianist, actor/poet, sculptural artist and video artist collaboratively manifesting and inhabiting the unbound oceans and feminine.

Fides teaches and facilitates in the Toronto dance community, for Chicago’s Walkabout Theatre Company, for individuals and groups who identify with disability, and extensively for a wide variety of artists in her home studio. She has a dozen apprentices. Fides is completing a book on voice based on research initially funded by a Chalmer’s Foundation Fellowship. (fideskrucker.com)

PLEASE NOTE: THE WORKSHOP IS NOW FULL. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE PUT ON THE WAITLIST, IN CASE OF A CANCELLATION, PLEASE FILL OUT THE REGISTRATION FORM. THANK YOU.

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A Novel Beginning – With Sue Reynolds

A Novel Beginning

This Spring at Trent University in Oshawa – Starting May 1

 

 
Get a significant start on that novel to carry you through your summer writing!
 
 

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E.L. Doctorow

 

You probably won’t get your entire novel written during this nine week period, but you will develop your characters, their problems, their dilemmas, their transformative arcs, their worlds, and the plot points that will give you a strong framework to finish that fictional book you’ve been promising yourself you’ll write one day.

 

Scope: Monday nights, 7 sessions over 9 weeks

Dates: May 1 to June 26 (Please note – there is a two week hiatus over May 22 (Victoria Day) and May 29.  You will still have assigned work and optional homework, but we will not be meeting.

Time: 7:00 pm – 9 pm – and optional homework

Location:  Trent University in Oshawa, 55 Thornton Road South, Room 110

 

Instructor:  Susan Lynn Reynolds, BSc. Psych.

is a writer, teacher and psychotherapist.  She teaches writing through workshops in the community, at Durham College, and in social service settings. She writes and has won awards for her YA novel, short stories, poems and non-fiction.
 

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Turning your Life into Story… and into publication

An 8 Week Class Facilitated by Sue Reynolds in NEWMARKET

Place: Newmarket Public Library, 438 Park Avenue, Newmarket, ON L3Y 1W1 – LARGE STUDY ROOM
 
Times: 6:45 – 8:45 PM.
 
Dates: Thursday nights, April 27, May 4, May 18, 25, June 8, 15, 22, 29
 
PLEASE NOTE: There are two sessions where there is a skipped break – there is no class on May 11 or June 1.
 
Registration: $220 plus HST
10% DISCOUNT FOR WCYR members (Or other Writers’ Community Members) $198.00 plus HST
 

This 8 week course shows participants how to find the germs of story in personal experience (their own or those of their family and friends) and transform them into short fiction.

Through the study of existing short stories and learning writer’s craft techniques, authors will experiment with their own tales.

Homework can be submitted privately for individual feedback each week.

By the end of the course writers will produce one or two polished stories and, if they choose, “put a stamp on it” – i.e., identify a contest or journal they think is an ideal market for their story and send the piece off.

April 27 — Defining and Exploring the Idea of Short Story
May 4 — Going where there’s a knot
PLEASE NOTE – no class on May 11th
May 18 — the Locus of the Story
May 25 — There comes a moment – Transformation… or not
PLEASE NOTE – no class on June 1st
June 8 — Tied up in a bow or untied shoelaces?
June 15 — Objective Correlative – supportive metaphor and imagery
June 22 — Editing and Refining
June 29 — Put a Stamp on it

 

TESTIMONIAL – From a participant in the last class in Oshawa this winter:
“The class offered a safe and encouraging place to consider story – how to set them down on paper and tell them well. Weekly readings, and discussion of how those readings reflected a theme or aspect of writing which we might bring to our own writing was very helpful. Sue’s assignments, or writing suggestions, really moved the process along. Nothing focuses the mind like a deadline, even a gentle one! The feedback Sue offered was astute and generous. I almost held back participating because of the drive from west Etobicoke to Oshawa, but I’m so glad I registered. It was the highlight of my week. And I’ve got my writing mojo working again!”
~ Kathleen Boyle Hatcher, writer

 

Susan Lynn Reynolds is a writer, teacher and psychotherapist. She teaches writing through workshops in the community, in college continuing education programs, and in social services settings. She writes and has won awards for her YA novel, short stories, poems and non-fiction.
She has been leading writing groups since 1998 and has been certified to lead workshops in the Amherst Writers method since 2002. She is licensed to work with groups doing expressive writing for wellness as well.

She has been leading writing workshops for female inmates at Central East Correctional Centre for 12 years, a program for which she received the June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism.

 

To REGISTER

PLEASE NOTE – THIS CLASS IS NOW FULL.

To have your name added to be notified of the next time the class is offered, please fill out the registration below.

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$220.00 + HST

Registration for Writers’ Community Members




$198.00 +HST

 

Welcome to Writers’ Sanctuary

You may download a PDF copy of this document if you prefer by clicking this link.
 

Welcome Writer!

I’m delighted you’ve made the decision to nurture your creative self by coming to Writers’ Sanctuary.

General Notes to make the day as supportive to the creative process as possible:

What to bring: You will be doing writing on the spot, so please bring whatever writers’ tools you like best to work with: journal and pen, or laptop.

Cell phones: please turn off your cell phone if you can. If you need to leave it on because of child care issues or whatever other complicated situation is happening, please have it on vibrate and if you need to answer it, either go outside or into my office with the door closed to have your conversation. As much as possible, resist the urge to check texts and email. This is your day away from all that!

Clothing: This house has big picture windows looking over the pond and a fireplace as well. Temperatures can fluctuate quite a bit in the main writing space. I recommend you bring layers, from a tank top underneath to something quite warm on top, so that you can shed or cover up and always be comfortable. Also, the house is not airconditioned, so if you’re coming from May to September, it’s good to have options for comfort.

Food: Please let me know if you have dietary issues early in the week before Sanctuary begins so I can be sure to take your needs into account when planning the menu.

Who you will be writing with: There is a community of writers who call themselves Sanctuary Lifers – they’ve been coming for a long time and they say they intend to keep coming. Hooray! Most Sanctuaries have a mix of novice or emerging writers and established Sanctuarians. The long-timers do a wonderful job of anchoring the practice, and always welcome new and emerging voices. It’s an honour and a privilege to witness new or shy writers beginning to discover and believe in their voices on the page.

What you will be writing: As the facilitator, I offer various prompts intended to prime the writing pump. However, this is YOUR writing time. You are always free to ignore my prompt and write whatever you want to be working on. All writers are welcome here – Sanctuarians write everything from life essay and journal entries to long and short fiction, poetry, or scripts and plays. This creates a rich mix of genres that often ends up encouraging writers to experiment with unfamiliar forms and voices. There is no way to do this wrong – you’ll probably hear me say this several times over the course of a day.


On the following pages you will find some notes to orient you so that you know what to expect.

Rhythm of the Day (times are approximate)

Arrival and Parking

Maps and other information about how to get here can be found at this link:
http://inkslingers.ca/inkslingers/contact/location-of-uplands-writing-retreat/

My cell phone number (in case you get lost) is 905-985-8389 and, should I not answer for some reason, you could also call James at 416-435-7372.

Please try and park, if possible, so that no one is blocked in. Sometimes people have to leave before the day is over.

Getting Started

Participants arrive a little before 10:00 so that we’re ready to settle into our seats and begin on time. There is always coffee and tea available and usually some light snacks – fruit, cheese, muffins – in case you were rushing and didn’t get breakfast.
We start with a check-in – generally introducing ourselves to each other and saying a sentence or two about where we’re at with our writing.

Grounding Meditation (5 minutes or so)

Then we do a brief grounding meditation – a couple of minutes of focussing on the breath, on physical presence – to slow our brains down and enter that light trance state from where (in my experience) the best writing comes.

Brain Dump (15 minutes or so)

Next we spend about 15 minutes doing Proprioceptive Writing* (instructions below).
This is the “brain dump” portion of the day. It’s a chance to set down things that are taking up a lot of mental real estate, or to write about what you want to explore or accomplish for the day. You may do the formal Proprioceptive practice, or you are welcome to simply journal. You won’t be asked to share this writing. (And sharing is ALWAYS optional anyway – read more about this under the AWA Guidelines).

Prompted Writing and Reading (10:30 to 1:00)

Most Sanctuaries there will be two sessions of writing and (optional) reading. From about 10:30 – 1:00 I will guide participants (and myself too!) in writing to prompts and then (optional) sharing.

I lead workshops in the AWA Method

developed by Pat Schneider 30 years ago, a method with a long history of supporting writers in discovering and exercising their voices and expanding their abilities with craft in writing.

A larger explanation of the AWA method can be read below, but two of the key principles are:

  1. A high level of confidentiality is maintained to protect writers and their writing.
  2. For first draft writing only what is strong and working in the piece with receive feedback. Questions, suggestions and constructive critique are reserved for later, edited work.

All this boils down to a simple statement: the safety of your psyche and your work is paramount in an AWA workshop. I will be writing along with you, but my primary work is to keep the space safe and productive so you can relax, trust the process and the group, and work on your writing.

Lunch – (approximately 1:00 to 2:00)

Lots of writers say they come to Sanctuary more for the food than for the writing. They’re joking, but I do try hard to make sure that you’re nurtured in body and soul during the day, so I try to ensure that the food is healthy and delicious. If you have special needs regarding your food PLEASE let me know a few days ahead of time – I’ll do my best to incorporate your needs into the menu.

Silent Focused Time (2:00 to 4:00 pm)

At 2:00 pm we enter our 2 hours of silent focus. You may want to expand on something you started in the morning, or you may have brought something to edit. Or you may want to use that time to create new material for a project you’re already engaged with – a novel, new poems for your collection, etc.

If you and another writer want to talk, you’re welcome to outside and chat – either going for a walk, or at least far enough away from the house that you won’t disturb the concentration of the others.

This day is meant to be nurturing time for you. Sometimes what we need for creativity is just a break – or a nap – so feel free to support yourself in whatever way is best for you. There are various soft horizontal surfaces with pillows and blankets for a nap, and Uplands is located on almost 500 acres of land on a dirt road, so there’s the opportunity to get out and enjoy nature as well. When the weather is warm, you are welcome to sit outside and write too.

Final Sharing and Wrap-Up (4:00 to 5:00 pm)

At about 5 minutes to 4:00 I call writers back together. For the last hour each writer has a few minutes to share and receive feedback (if desired) on what they’ve been working on. If you want feedback on a more polished piece or have a specific question about whether or not something is working, this is the chance to get that. Or you may choose to read another piece that you produced in the morning but haven’t had a chance to share yet. Or you may be tired and simply want to listen and comment.

Sometimes people’s schedules mean that they can’t stay till the end of the day – the group is often smaller by 4:00 than it is in the morning. If you need to leave early, that’s fine. We all have busy lives – that’s why there’s a need for Sanctuary!

_____________________

Here is a quick overview of the AWA Method, designed to keep writers and their work safe.

THE FIVE ESSENTIAL AFFIRMATIONS

  1. Everyone has a strong, unique voice.
  2. Everyone is born with creative genius.
  3. Writing as an art form belongs to all people, regardless of economic class or education level.
  4. The teaching of craft can be done without damage to a writer’s original voice or artistic self-esteem.
  5. A writer is someone who writes.

THE FIVE ESSENTIAL PRACTICES

  1. In the workshop we maintain a non-hierarchical spirit regarding how we treat the writing (e.g. the facilitator is not the “expert” & no one’s writing is treated differently than anyone else’s).
  2. Confidentiality about what is written in the workshop is maintained at all times, and the privacy of the writer is protected.We maintain confidentiality in four different ways
    • We treat all writing as story or as fiction – feedback is offered to the writing not to the life of the person writing. We refer to the “I” voice in the piece as the speaker, the narrator, the character, etc.
    • At all times, writers are free to refrain from reading their work aloud.
    • The work is only open for feedback at the moment it is offered. Once the discussion has moved on to another piece of writing, no one refers back to it again. This means that no one will question or address the writer about their piece afterwards in any way, particularly any way that breaches the contract that all work offered here is fiction.
    • And finally, we don’t talk about any work we’ve heard here to anyone outside of the workshop space.
  3. Absolutely no criticism, suggestion, or question is directed toward the writer in response to first-draft, just-written work. A thorough critique is offered only when the writer asks for it, and only when he or she has distributed work in manuscript form. When work has been offered in manuscript form, critiques are balanced; there is as much affirmation as suggestion for change.
  4. The teaching of craft is taken seriously, and is conducted through exercises that invite experimentation and growth.
  5. The leader writes along with the participants, and reads that work aloud as well. This practice is absolutely necessary, for only in this way is there equality of risk-taking and mutuality of trust.

______________________

Practice of Feedback for On-the-Spot Writing

  1. We are free to write what we want — exercises are offered as a prompt or a jumping off point, not as something to restrict the writing.
  2. We are invited to read. Anyone at any time is free to pass up their turn to read. (Some sensitivity is needed around this – sometimes writers pass because they are intimidated by the voices they have heard and think they won’t “measure up”. In that case we may offer a gentle nudge – but never force anyone– to share.)
  3. We honour the writer and the writing by listening carefully.
  4. Everything shared in this room stays in this room. Confidentiality is key to creating a safe space for each writer.
  5. We treat everything as fiction. In responding, we refer to the narrator/speaker/ main character, not to “the author”, as the voice of the piece.
  6. At this stage, when the writing is unpolished and the author still vulnerable, we do not make suggestions about what might make the piece stronger.
    We respond by giving back to the writer, in words as close as we can to the way the author wrote them, “what stayed with us” or “what was strong in that piece for us”. Sometimes what stays with us will be an emotion or a bodily sensation. That can be offered back as well.
  7. We concentrate on the writing being offered, not on our own similar experiences.
  8. We remember that, while writing is often therapeutic, this is not a therapy group. If the writer begins to cry, as sometimes happens, we do not rush to comfort them – we trust that they are moving through their process as they need to. We breathe and wait until they are able to finish the reading.
  9. We remember that, while other writers may express in their writing sentiments with which we disagree, this is not a discussion group for content. We focus on the craft of the writing.

______________________________

Proprioceptive Writing

is done at the beginning of Sanctuary as both “brain dump” (to unload whatever may be weighing on your mind or calling for your attention, whether you’re aware of it or not) and as exploration.

YOU WILL NOT BE ASKED TO READ YOUR PROPRIOCEPTIVE WORK ALOUD!

This is your place to write anything, say anything. (On the other hand if something comes up that you do want to read aloud, you are welcome to do so when it comes time to share your work.)

Practices for Proprioceptive Writing:

Write what you hear in your mind. If you want, you can start with the sentence stem: “this is where I am right now…”
Listen to what you write as you write it
Pay attention to each word, each phrase as you write and watch for
“where the energy is”.
Be ready to ask the proprioceptive question: What do I mean by _________?

EXAMPLE:
For instance, suppose you were writing about how your sister in law supports you – and as you’re watching yourself write you feel that little frisson of energy when you hit the word “support”. You would write “What do I mean by support?” and then you would answer that question as you continued to write.

The blank is whatever you “hear” during your session. This is about getting out what you hear and not judging the content. This is personal writing. Explore whatever is inside, then you will be able to expand it creatively afterward should you choose to do so.

When the Proprioceptive part of the morning is finished, I will ask 4 quick concluding questions before we move on to the next section of the day.

Sanctuaries in 2017

Sanctuary writers 635

Sue Reynolds 125

Writers’ Sanctuary
with Sue Reynolds

LEARN MORE ABOUT WRITER’S SANCTUARY WITH SUE HERE

Dates for Autumn of 2017

Sunday, September 17

Saturday, September 30

Saturday, October 21

Sunday, October 29

Sunday, November 19th

Sunday, December 3rd

CLICK HERE TO BE TAKEN TO REGISTRATION PAGE for Writers’ Sanctuary with Sue

 

Register for a 2017 Writers’ Sanctuary Single Day Retreat with Sue Reynolds

Please fill out this form to register for Writers’ Sanctuary

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Please book me for the following Writers' Sanctuary Autumn Date(s):

(To book more than one date, please hold down "CTRL" while you click your choices).

 Sunday September 17 (FULL) Monday September 18 Saturday September 30 (FULL) Saturday October 21 (FULL) Monday October 23 Sunday October 29 (FULL) Sunday November 19th (FULL) Monday November 20 Sunday December 3rd (FULL)

(Please note: if the date you are requesting is WAIT LIST ONLY, you are not required to pay a registration fee unless your WAIT LIST ONLY spot becomes available and you're able to attend. If a spot does not become available, but you have paid already, a full refund will be issued or transferred to another date if you wish.)

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2017 Winter – Turning your Life into Story… and into publication

Facilitated by Sue Reynolds

Place: OSHAWA – Trent University in Oshawa, Room 105, 55 Thornton Rd S, Oshawa, ON L1J 5Y1
Times: 7:00 – 9:00 pm.
Dates: Monday nights, January 30 – March 27 (please note – there is no class on Feb. 20)

This 8 week course shows participants how to find the germs of story in personal experience (their own or those of their family and friends) and transform them into short fiction.
Through the study of existing short stories and learning writer’s craft techniques, authors will experiment with their own tales.

Homework can be submitted privately for individual feedback each week.
By the end of the course writers will produce one or two polished stories and, if they choose, “put a stamp on it” – i.e., identify a contest or journal they think is an ideal market for their story and send the piece off.

Susan Lynn Reynolds is a writer, teacher and psychotherapist. She teaches writing through workshops in the community, in college continuing education programs, and in social services settings. She writes and has won awards for her YA novel, short stories, poems and non-fiction.
She has been leading writing groups since 1998 and has been certified to lead workshops in the Amherst Writers method since 2002. She is licensed to work with groups doing expressive writing for wellness as well.

She has been leading writing workshops for female inmates at Central East Correctional Centre for 12 years, a program for which she received the June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism.

To REGISTER

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Telephone: (required)

Please register me for Turning Life into Story - Spring 2017

Optional Message

Once you've hit "SEND" please use the "Add To Cart" button below to complete your payment.

Registration for Non Members




$220.00 + HST

Registration for Writers’ Community Members




$198.00 +HST

 

Write Around the World – with AWA and me

writing picture 02 sml

Come Experience the AWA Method in Action

Sunday morning,
October 23rd,
10:00 to 1:00
at Trent University in Oshawa,
55 Thornton Road South, Room 116, Oshawa, ON L1J 5Y1

This Sunday participate in “Write Around the World” – a weekend writing event held in support of Amherst Writers & Artists, the organization that trained me to be a writing workshop facilitator back in 2002 and that has trained over 1400 facilitators worldwide. (For more information on the kinds of work AWA facilitators are doing, please click here.)

I will be leading a writing workshop conducted in the AWA method at Trent University in Oshawa on Sunday morning from 10:00 to 1:00. We’ll produce several pieces that morning and participants can choose one to enter with AWA where it will be published on their website. The piece can be one page of poetry or one page of double spaced prose.

There is no fixed cost to this event, but I ask that you either get sponsorship or sponsor yourself. (No donation is too small!) All proceeds will be donated to AWA and you will receive a tax receipt.
 

“Whether your purpose for writing is artistic expression, communication with friends and family, the healing of the inner life, or achieving public recognition for your art —the foundation is the same: the claiming of yourself as an artist/writer and the strengthening of your writing voice through practice, study, and helpful response from other writers.” ~Pat Schneider, founder of AWA, in Writing Alone and With Others

 

Please use this registration form to let me know you are coming.

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Please register me for Write Around the World:

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Input the code: captcha

writing 300

You can use this button to donate, or you can bring cash or a cheque the day of the workshop:

 

This button will open a portal with a donation of 1.00 and a quantity of 1. Change the quantity to the number of dollars you would like to donate, hit “Tab” or “Enter” so the dollar figure adjusts to the new quantity, and then click the yellow and blue Paypal button to go to the Paypal Portal and complete your payment.

Thank you so much!

awa-postcard-for-iowa-presentation-version-1

Write Around the World – with AWA and me

writing picture 02 sml

Come Experience the AWA Method in Action

Sunday morning,
October 23rd,
10:00 to 1:00
at Trent University in Oshawa,
55 Thornton Road South, Room 116, Oshawa, ON L1J 5Y1

This Sunday participate in “Write Around the World” – a weekend writing event held in support of Amherst Writers & Artists, the organization that trained me to be a writing workshop facilitator back in 2002 and that has trained over 1400 facilitators worldwide. (For more information on the kinds of work AWA facilitators are doing, please click here.)

I will be leading a writing workshop conducted in the AWA method at Trent University in Oshawa on Sunday morning from 10:00 to 1:00. We’ll produce several pieces that morning and participants can choose one to enter with AWA where it will be published on their website. The piece can be one page of poetry or one page of double spaced prose.

There is no fixed cost to this event, but I ask that you either get sponsorship or sponsor yourself. (No donation is too small!) All proceeds will be donated to AWA and you will receive a tax receipt.
 

“Whether your purpose for writing is artistic expression, communication with friends and family, the healing of the inner life, or achieving public recognition for your art —the foundation is the same: the claiming of yourself as an artist/writer and the strengthening of your writing voice through practice, study, and helpful response from other writers.” ~Pat Schneider, founder of AWA, in Writing Alone and With Others

 

Please use this registration form to let me know you are coming.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Telephone: (required)

Please register me for Write Around the World:

Optional Message

Input the code: captcha

writing 300

You can use this button to donate, or you can bring cash or a cheque the day of the workshop:

 

This button will open a portal with a donation of 1.00 and a quantity of 1. Change the quantity to the number of dollars you would like to donate, hit “Tab” or “Enter” so the dollar figure adjusts to the new quantity, and then click the yellow and blue Paypal button to go to the Paypal Portal and complete your payment.

Thank you so much!

awa-postcard-for-iowa-presentation-version-1

What AWA Facilitators do

Pen in a 300Here is a snapshot of the reach and power of the AWA Method:

  • Vicki Pinkerton leads writing workshops with the Nuntut Gwit’chen people north of the Arctic Circle.
  • Jill Goodacre writes with First Nation adults and intergenerational survivors who suffer from the legacy of Indian Residential School trauma in British Columbia.
  • Mary Tuchscherer travels to Limbe, Malawi, and writes with teachers and AIDS orphans
  • Aaron Zimmerman offers writing workshops with the incarcerated men at Rikers Island, and in methadone clinics, homeless shelters and afterschool programs in Brooklyn, New York
  • Mary Kim Kaylor leads a writing workshop in a high security hospital with patients and guards in Lake Oswego, Oregon
  • Kate Murphy writes with the blind at the Royal National Institute of Blind People in Northern Ireland
  • Katie McCleary offers workshops with hundreds of teens in Sacramento, California

and of course, I’ve been writing for 12 years with women (and occasionally men) incarcerated in the Lindsay Correctional Centre in Ontario. And here in Toronto the Toronto Writers’ Collective are doing terrific work offering free workshops for the last three years to a wide range of marginalized and silenced populations.

This list is both small and huge: small in representing only a fraction of the people that AWA reaches; huge in that it represents the power of what we do.

We who write together know that as our words arrive on the page, we are deeply connected to who we are and to each other. We also know listening to others and being listened to in return is profound. We gave each other this gift, and AWA made it possible.

To sign up for the workshop on Sunday October 23rd, please click this link and register at the bottom.

If you can’t join us but would still like to support the work we do, you can donate here:

 

This button will open a portal with a donation of 1.00 and a quantity of 1. Change the quantity to the number of dollars you would like to donate, hit “Tab” or “Enter” so the dollar figure adjusts to the new quantity, and then click the yellow and blue Paypal button to go to the Paypal Portal and complete your payment.

Thank you so much!

 

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_________________________
CANCELLATION POLICY:
If we receive your cancellation notice up to five days in advance of the retreat, (for instance, if the retreat is on a Saturday, we must hear from you by midnight on the previous Sunday) you may choose to apply your deposit to a future retreat or receive a refund (minus a $20 administration fee).

If you cancel with less than five days notice, (in the example above, for instance, it would be anytime Monday or later) and your spot cannot be filled from a waiting list, no refund will be made. However, you are permitted to sell or gift your spot for that date to another person. If you do this, please email or call Sue (905-985-8389) right away to provide the contact information of your replacement. Since Sue provides lunch, it is important that she know of any dietary restrictions etc.

NOTE: *If a retreat is cancelled for any reason, such as severe winter weather creates dangerous driving conditions, Sue will email and call all registered participants. In this situation, participants may request a full refund or transfer their payment to a future retreat date.
 

A One Day Retreat Workshop: Your One Wild & Precious Life – the Poetry of Presence

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What is the dance between silent, experienced embodiment and translation of that experience into language?

Having engaged with active thought and language, how do we return to the silence again afterward?
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Your One Wild & Precious Life
– the Poetry of Presence

A One Day Workshop with Tanya Porter and Sue Reynolds

 

“Every moment contains a poem – if you haven’t found the poem you haven’t gone deeply enough into the moment” Ellen Bass

 
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The pond 96On October 1st, 2016 join therapeutic writing facilitator Sue Reynolds and the gifted yoga and meditation teacher Tanya Porter for a day of embodied presence and reflective writing.

A day for you to grow still, to refresh and renew in a beautiful environment.

Through the day we will experience the replenishment and nourishment of (very easy) yoga and meditation.
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Then transitioning from the yin to a more yang state, we will move into reflection and expression of our experience through writing.

A day of deep stillness and profound personal presence to nurture you.

Tanya and Sue were interviewed about this program on Whistle Radio (aired May 24th)

Please click the links below to listen to the program:

Part One

Part Two

 
(Please scroll to the bottom of the page to register)


Date: October 1st, 2016
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Place: Uplands Writing Retreat, between Uxbridge and Port Perry.
Cost: $110.00 plus HST. Delicious lunch provided!
 
Registration form at the bottom of this page
 

The Facilitators:

Tanya Porter
Tanya Porter
founder of The Inner Space, is a classical yoga and meditation teacher with over 20 years of experience. She is also a multi-disciplinary performing artist, educator and holistic energy practitioner specializing in over 25 years of Theatre, Drum, Dance and creative wellness programming for all ages.  Tanya developed Rhythmic Re-framing®, a healing modality that combines meditation, affirmation, boundary work and vibrational healing through drumming.

Questions?

Contact: tanya@theinnerspace.ca

 

Sue Reynolds
Susan Lynn Reynolds
is a writer, teacher and psychotherapist. She teaches writing through workshops in the community, in college continuing education programs, and in social services settings.

She has been leading writing workshops for female inmates at Central East Correctional Centre for twelve years, a program for which she received the June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism.

She leads professional training for Amherst Writers International and the Toronto Writers Collective and is the Executive Director of Amherst Writers Canada.
 

 

 

 

Registration for Your One Wild & Precious Life

 

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Telephone (required)

Optional Message (dietary restrictions, etc.)

After you hit the "Send" button, you will be taken to the payment page.


_________________________
CANCELLATION POLICY:
If we receive your cancellation notice up to five days in advance of the retreat, (for instance, if the retreat is on a Saturday, we must hear from you by midnight on the previous Sunday) you may choose to apply your deposit to a future retreat or receive a refund (minus a $20 administration fee).

If you cancel with less than five days notice, (in the example above, for instance, it would be anytime Monday or later) and your spot cannot be filled from a waiting list, no refund will be made. However, you are permitted to sell or gift your spot for that date to another person. If you do this, please email or call Sue (905-985-8389) right away to provide the contact information of your replacement. Since Sue provides lunch, it is important that she know of any dietary restrictions etc.

NOTE: *If a retreat is cancelled for any reason, such as severe winter weather creates dangerous driving conditions, Sue will email and call all registered participants. In this situation, participants may request a full refund or transfer their payment to a future retreat date.
 

Payment for Your One Wild & Precious Life Retreat Day





Click here to go to Paypal and pay the registration fee of $110.00 plus HST.

We look forward to spending a day with you in deep presence and reflection.

_________________________
CANCELLATION POLICY:
If we receive your cancellation notice up to five days in advance of the retreat, (for instance, if the retreat is on a Saturday, we must hear from you by midnight on the previous Sunday) you may choose to apply your deposit to a future retreat or receive a refund (minus a $20 administration fee).

If you cancel with less than five days notice, (in the example above, for instance, it would be anytime Monday or later) and your spot cannot be filled from a waiting list, no refund will be made. However, you are permitted to sell or gift your spot for that date to another person. If you do this, please email or call Sue (905-985-8389) right away to provide the contact information of your replacement. Since Sue provides lunch, it is important that she know of any dietary restrictions etc.

NOTE: *If a retreat is cancelled for any reason, such as severe winter weather creates dangerous driving conditions, Sue will email and call all registered participants. In this situation, participants may request a full refund or transfer their payment to a future retreat date.

Keep Calm and Write On

Writing to promote tranquility and resilience in an anxious age

Bird tattoos come to life, freedom concept

 

Scope: Thursday afternoons for 6 weeks

Dates: March 24 – April 28

Time: 4 – 6 pm

Call Blue Heron to register: 905-852-4282

$180.00 + HST for 6 classes

 
 
For thirty years psychologists have been researching how expressive writing and other forms of writing can help individuals who are experiencing psychological distress. The outcomes of the research have shown that writing down “what distresses and dismays you” can significantly relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Most of the studies have used a protocol focused on individuals writing alone to specific instructions. But more recently research has shown that writing together can enhance the development of the protective processes of self-esteem, self-efficacy, coping strategies, social support, and cultural connections.

Using the Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) method of facilitating writing workshops, research conducted with youth has shown that writing together promotes connection to self through feelings, reflection, and behaviors, as well as connection to others through learning and empathy. Writing in a group using this specific approach facilitates emotional catharsis, increased self-knowledge, coping strategies, and understanding and appreciating of others.

At the Blue Heron Studio in Uxbridge Ontario, starting March 24th for 6 weeks from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. high school-age participants have the opportunity to explore their experiences through a writing workshop conducted in the AWA method.

Begin Again

Costa Rica

As we set out for our writing and yoga retreat in Costa Rica this year, the excitement began before we even left Toronto. As we found each other in the check-in line at Pearson International Airport, we squealed and hugged, and jumped up and down with the pleasure of meeting friends with whom we had not written for a year or more.

Over the usual wait at the gate and the five hour flight and the van ride to Hatillo, we caught up. One of the questions I always ask at the beginning of a retreat is, “How’s your writing going?”

I ask because I am genuinely curious. But I also ask because I am gauging what the temperature of the workshop will be on the first morning. Where are all these writers at, both as a group and individually?

This trip I got a range of answers that included:

“Life’s been crazy! I haven’t been writing at all.”

“I’m so rusty – I’m afraid there’s not going to be anything in my pen.”

And from the new participant who had never “written” before and who didn’t consider herself “a writer” a frank, “I don’t know what I’m doing on this trip!”

That first morning, as class was beginning, one of the writers showed me the brand new journal she had bought for the retreat – a gorgeous, tooled-leather, hard cover book. She turned to the first blank page and looked up at me with pretend terror on her face. “I don’t know if I can write anything,” she confessed. “I’ve forgotten how to do this.”

I had my own anxieties on this trip; mine were about yoga. It had been 6 months since I was last on the mat and 10 months since I’d done yoga for more than a single day at a time. Lately my body had been feeling very stiff and out of shape. Continue reading

A Journey of Holistic Intimacy

writing together in place and time

By Susan Lynn Reynolds
Article in IntMagazine

This article appeared in the International Lifestyle magazine in Summer 2014. But the subject of the article is the benefits as a writer and simply as a human being of traveling and writing together, so with the announcement of our upcoming writing/yoga workshop in Ireland, I thought it was worth adding here.
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This beautiful world is full of luscious, and even holistic, experiences – all you have to do is flip through the pages of this magazine to be convinced of that. Travelling and “retreating” in groups is everywhere: bus tours, cruises, golf holidays, photography groups, painting groups, yoga and meditation groups.

So why writing? And why in a group? Aren’t writers supposed to be scratching away alone in a garret somewhere?

Three words: Intimacy. Meaning. Affirmation.

Travelling together tends to promote intimacy no matter what the format. You can’t help regard another human being with more affection after you’ve seen them before their first coffee of the day.

But when we know we are in a safe space and we write together – stories from our lives, or poems, essays, or fiction – we tell things in a different way than our everyday, anecdotal voice. Continue reading

A Novel Beginning – Crafting Your Novel

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E.L. Doctorow

Scope: Friday mornings, 6 sessions over 9 weeks

Dates: April 1 to April 29th.
Three week break to work on novel.
Final wrap class: May 20th

Time: 9:30 am – 12 pm

Call Blue Heron to register: 905-852-4282

$180.00 + HST for 6 classes

 

Even if you don’t get your entire novel written during this nine week period, you will develop your characters, their problems, their dilemmas, their transformative arcs, their worlds, and the plot points that will give you a strong framework to finish that book you’ve been promising yourself you’ll write one day.
 

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They Live Forever in Our Broken Hearts:

Writing to Heal from Loss and Grief


Scope: Tuesday mornings for 6 weeks

Dates: March 29 – May 3

Time: 10 am – 12 pm

Call Blue Heron to register: 905-852-4282

$180.00 + HST for 6 classes

Every loss carries some degree of grief with it, and every grief has its own radioactive half-life. When we are in the midst of grief it can feel like a desert from which we will never escape, and there is no one-size-fits-all method for emerging, whole and healed and happy again, from that parched landscape. But decades of scientific research have shown that a written exploration of what distresses us in a safe and supportive environment helps individuals find their way.

 

Healing from Grief lo rez

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Keep Calm and Write On: Writing to promote tranquility and resilience in an anxious age

Bird tattoos come to life, freedom concept

 

Scope: Thursday afternoons for 6 weeks

Dates: March 24 – April 28

Time: 4 – 6 pm

Call Blue Heron to register: 905-852-4282

$180.00 + HST for 6 classes

 
 
For thirty years psychologists have been researching how expressive writing and other forms of writing can help individuals who are experiencing psychological distress. The outcomes of the research have shown that writing down “what distresses and dismays you” can significantly relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Most of the studies have used a protocol focused on individuals writing alone to specific instructions. But more recently research has shown that writing together can enhance the development of the protective processes of self-esteem, self-efficacy, coping strategies, social support, and cultural connections.

Using the Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) method of facilitating writing workshops, research conducted with youth has shown that writing together promotes connection to self through feelings, reflection, and behaviors, as well as connection to others through learning and empathy. Writing in a group using this specific approach facilitates emotional catharsis, increased self-knowledge, coping strategies, and understanding and appreciating of others.

At the Blue Heron Studio in Uxbridge Ontario, starting March 24th for 6 weeks from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. high school-age participants have the opportunity to explore their experiences through a writing workshop conducted in the AWA method.

 

Teen Anxiety Workshop lo rez

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