Sue’s TED talk

Somebody mentioned seeing my TED talk a few weeks ago, and I was looking for it on my website and realized that I had posted a link to it when it happened, but I’d never embedded it on my site.

So here it is!

My thanks again to the TED talks crew in Stouffville and especially Dr. Jane Philpott organizing this and and librarian Catherine Sword for suggesting they ask me to come as a speaker.

(Note – this talk was done in 2013 – I have now been doing this program for 13 years on a volunteer basis).

Payment & Cancellation Policies

and other administration FAQs for the Ireland Trip summer 2018



(All prices are in Canadian Dollars and include all applicable taxes)

To reserve your spot in the 2018 Inkslingers’ Writing, Yoga and Exploration Retreat in Ireland (July 28 to August 5, 2018) register here and pay the non-refundable $500 deposit.

The balance of your payment may be made in full at any time. An Early Bird Discount is available until February 28, 2018. The schedules and dates are described below.



(If you register and pay the deposit now, and pay 50% of the total cost by February 28th), the total cost is $2,950. Payments may be made via e-transfer, cheque or cash. The balance owing will be due no later than May 28th, 2018.

Early Bird Payment Schedule (double occupancy):

Deposit: $500

Supplementary payment due by February 28th: $975

Final payment due by May 28th: $1,475

Total: $2,950

REGULAR PRICE: (Effective March 1st, 2018): $3,450

Starting March 1st, participants must pay at least half of the regular price at registration and the other half by May 28th, 2018.

Register and pay Deposit: $1,725.

Final payment due by May 28th: $1,725.


PLEASE NOTE: all prices listed above are based on double occupancy.

THERE ARE FOUR SINGLE ROOMS AVAILABLE for an additional charge of $750 CDN.

These FOUR rooms are offered on a first come, first served basis, and sell out quickly.



  • 8 x nights bed/Irish breakfast – all rooms Ensuite. Double Occupancy. (A limited number of single occupancy rooms are available for an added fee.)
  • 4 Star hotel accommodation. (The hotels listed have been booked for the retreat, but in the event of circumstances beyond the control of Royal Irish Tours, a substitution of similar quality may occur.)
  • 8 x morning yoga sessions led by Kate Marshall Flaherty
  • 8 x morning writing workshops led by Sue Reynolds with assist by James Dewar and/or Kate Marshall Flaherty as needed.
  • 3 x evening meals in hotels – 1 each in Dublin, Ennis and Malahide.
  • Transfers / sightseeing by modern touring coach with experienced driver/guide. (Please note: Royal Irish Tours has provided a bus and driver/guide for our exclusive use outside Dublin. We will not be sharing a bus with anyone else.)
  • Admission fees to events/locations identified as included on the ITINERARY.
  • Porterage charges at hotels; Service changes and local taxes.
  • A fun evening of reading on the final night of the retreat to celebrate together and encourage each participant to share a short piece of writing. Hosted by James Dewar, this annual event provides the opportunity for writers to claim an international reading performance credit for their resumes. Performance is, as always, completely voluntary.

Please see the itinerary page – We are still finalizing some of the low-cost daily events. More information will be available here shortly.



Travel Documents All passengers must travel with a valid passport. It is the passenger(s) responsibility to obtain at the passenger(s) own expense all documentation required by all relevant government authorities. We suggest that prior to departure, the passenger(s) ascertain(s) the documentation required. In the event the passenger does not possess the proper documentation required, be aware that the carrier(s) reserve(s) the right to refuse the passenger(s) and no refund will be permitted.
Travel Arrangements to and from the retreat, including airfare. Many participants will be travelling on the same flights to and from Toronto. In this scenario we will arrange for group taxis at participant’s expense.
Travel Insurance Inkslingers and Royal Irish Tours strongly recommend that you purchase Travel Insurance. Unexpected emergencies or illness can cause you to cancel or interrupt your vacation resulting in financial loss. For full details on insurance options please contact Royal Irish Tours.
Accessibility We cannot guarantee that destination airports, transfer vehicles and accommodations will be wheelchair accessible. Services for wheelchair confined passengers are not included in the prices. Some of the sightseeing locations may be difficult for the physically challenged.
Some Meal Costs All breakfasts and 3 of the dinners are included in the cost of the retreat. Participants are responsible for all lunches and 5 of the dinners.
Self-Guided Excursions not included in the prepaid plan. (See the itinerary on the website for the list of planned activities that we have included in the fee. If participants decide not to join the group on any planned activity on any given day, they are free to make alternate arrangements at their own expense.)
Special Requests If you have any special requests, including dietary restrictions, you must ensure it is clearly advised to us of at the time of booking. However, we cannot guarantee that any special requests will be met by our providers in Ireland and failure to do so will not be a breach of contract on our part.
Living Standards Participants are asked to bear in mind and accept that living standards, local customs, as well as the provision of utilities, services and accommodations may vary from those with which they are familiar with in Canada.
Extras local taxes, gratuities or other fees
Royal Irish Tours does not assume responsibility for any claims, losses, damages, cost or expenses arising out of personal injury or death, loss of employment, upset, disappointment, distress or frustration, whether physical or mental resulting from any of the following:

  • Any negligent act or omission by the airline or other suppliers or their personnel or any company or person not under our direct control.
  • Government actions, weather equipment failure, labour disputes, sickness, theft or any other cause beyond our direct control.
  • Failure of the passenger to obtain the necessary documentation to travel.
  • Failure of the passenger to arrive at the airport on time the day of departure, or missed connections.
  • The need for Royal Irish Tours to change itineraries or substitute accommodation or services provided that every effort is made to supply the most comparable service and accommodations available.
  • Cancellations of a flight or tour by Royal Irish Tours, provided that full refund on all monies paid is made to the passenger.
  • Photographs appearing in promotional materials are representational, this is not a guarantee that everything will be easily as depicted at your intended destination.



Acceptance of new participants will be closed on May 28th (or earlier if the maximum number of participants is reached before that date.)

Please note that on our last visit to Ireland in 2016, Inkslingers in Ireland SOLD OUT before the Early Bird Deadline date.

All deposits must be finalized on or before May 28th, 2018.



If participants withdraw from the retreat for any reason between May 29th and June 30th, they may transfer their registration to another person for an administration fee of $150. However, deposits cannot be refunded.



No changes or transfers/substitutions are permitted after June 30th, 2018.

tico inkRIT_Logo_Ireland2-CMYK ink

Click here to REGISTER

Not ready to commit, but interested? Sign up here for UPDATES about the Ireland 2018 trip as they become available!

Inkslingers in Ireland – Summer 2018 Itinerary

Inkslingers in Ireland – Summer 2018 Itinerary

July 28th to August 5th, 2018

July 28th (Saturday)

INKSLINGERS in IRELAND 2018 officially kicks off at the beautiful Cambden Court Hotel in Central Dublin at 6:00 p.m. We will all gather for a delicious welcome meal (provided by hotel) and get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere.
After dinner we will gather in the writing room for a short meet and greet where Sue Reynolds will share the names of the Irish authors and poets we will be enjoying throughout the week, and lead the group in our first writing session of the trip.
At 9:30 you are free to retire for the night or explore Dublin as you wish.

July 29th (Sunday)

Every morning in Ireland, participants are welcome to join the gentle morning yoga class, led by the compassionate and joyous Kate Marshall Flaherty. Every day she will inform the yoga practice with inspiration from the Irish authors and poets we’ll be reading and learning about all week long. (a different writer each day)
The yoga is followed by a complimentary hearty Irish breakfast. At 9:00 a.m. everyone gathers for the group writing workshops which finish at 11:30.
Today we will be travelling together to visit the beautiful library at Trinity College and view the incredible Book of Kells. Along the way we will stop at one of Dublin’s wonderful eateries for lunch. Next we will visit the new Seamus Heaney exhibition that opens in the summer of 2018 at the Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre, College Green.
For those who wish to explore other options during the afternoon, there are many museums and interesting sites within walking distance of where we will be located.
Later in the afternoon we will gather together for the world famous Dublin Literary Pub Crawl. Enjoy a sip of Irish beer in the watering holes of Ireland’s great writers and hear actors performing these writer’s best known pieces.
The facilitators will select a favourite Dublin eatery this evening, but you are welcome to seek out any place that fancies you, or explore the beautiful city before and after dining. Dinner is at your own expense.

We return to the Cambden Court Hotel for our second night in Dublin.

July 30th (Monday)

Enjoy morning yoga, a complimentary hearty breakfast and writing workshop until 11:30.
Today we board the Royal Irish Tours coach and head south into the Wicklow Mountain area, (with a stop for lunch along the way) to visit Glendalough, home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. This early Christian monastic settlement was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century and developed into a ‘Monastic City’ and university that flourished until the Vikings finally found this idyllic location in its beautiful hidden valley. It covers an extensive area. The walk up the old road to Lake Glendalough is particularly invigorating and inspiring.
Afterwards we will visit Avoca Mills, Ireland’s oldest weaving mill, only a few minutes away, and then our amiable driver/guide will deliver us back to the Cambden Court Hotel in Dublin.
This is our last evening in Dublin. You can choose a wish-list location for dinner and head off for a memorable evening with your fellow travelers, or stay close to the hotel and enjoy local dishes and a few singalongs in one of the many Dublin pubs. (The Irish LOVE to have a good time, so singing along with skilled musicians and singers is welcomed and so much fun.)

July 31st (Tuesday)

After enjoying morning yoga, a complimentary hearty breakfast and the writing workshop until 11:30, we pack our bags and board the coach for a trip across central Ireland towards the beautiful west coast. We will enjoy lunch at a lovely spot selected by our coach driver, arriving in late afternoon at the Woodstock Hotel in the gorgeous town of Ennis, where we will be staying for the next three nights.
PLEASE NOTE: We will be stopping by a famous and/or beautiful spot at some point on this drive. Royal Irish Tours has made suggestions, which we are considering and will finalize very soon. It is included in the price of the adventure.)
This evening, dinner is provided for us by the Woodstock Hotel.

August 1st (Wednesday)

Today we visit INIS MÓR, the largest of the ARAN ISLANDS. We will enjoy our morning yoga and complimentary Irish breakfast, but writing today will not be offered in the morning, but will be offered back at the hotel after dinner. We must depart early this morning for the 10:00 a.m. ferry at Doolin. On the boatride, we will not only see these unique, historical islands, but we’ll also be able to view the famous Cliffs of Moher from the ocean side, a rare perspective for most travelers.
Once we arrive at Inis Mór, most people choose bicycles as their mode of transport. Rentals are readily available, at your own expense, at the pier when we disembark the ferry. If you’re wondering how much bicycling you’d have to do, Inis Mór has an area of 31 square kilometers (or 12 square miles) and has a population of about 840 people.
The island is famous for its strong Irish culture, its loyalty to the Irish language, and a wealth of Pre-Christian and Christian ancient sites including Dún Aengus, described as “the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe” by George Petrie.
Following our return to land, we will return to the Woodstock Hotel where we may enjoy dinner there, or in Ennis, at participant’s expense. The writing workshop will be offered after dinner tonight, so it would be preferable if we all stayed together at dinnertime. The writing portion will end around 9:30.

August 2nd (Thursday)

Enjoy morning yoga, a complimentary hearty breakfast and writing until 11:30. After that, you’re free to do whatever you like. Write in your room or walk about the town. Write anywhere you want, actually, the Irish love writers! Ennis is a lovely town with many shops and historic buildings.
Since we have the services of our knowledgeable driver and the Royal Irish Tours coach, we are planning an afternoon drive over to historic Galway, and taking a tour of the local countryside in the process. It is not that far away, and the shopping is said to be fabulous. The town is one of the most beautiful in Ireland.
Tonight we spend our last night at the Woodstock Hotel in Ennis. Dinner is at participant’s expense.

August 3rd (Friday)

Enjoy morning yoga, a complimentary hearty breakfast and writing until 11:30, and then we pack our bags again and board the Royal Irish Tours’ coach to drive northeast of Dublin.
We’ll stop for lunch along the way, and then visit the incredible Clonmacnoise early monastic site, south of Athlone, and another beautiful location to be announced shortly.
In the late afternoon we will arrive at The Malahide Hotel, a sumptuous, spacious jewel on the Irish east coast. We will be spending our final two nights here.
Dinner will be at participant’s expense.

SPECIAL NOTE: We selected Malahide because it’s a beautiful hotel, offers fabulous food, and is surrounded by the sand dunes of the East coast. But we also chose it because it is ideally located for those who just can’t get enough of Dublin! The train station is a short walk from the hotel, and regular, reliable service is easily available both this evening and tomorrow when we visit the Boyne valley for the day.

August 4th (Saturday)

Following our last full morning of yoga, complimentary hearty breakfast and writing until 11:30, we will board the R.I.T. coach to spend the day visiting a selection of outstanding megalithic tombs, important monastic sites and castles in the historic Boyne valley. (With a stop along the way for lunch, of course!)
Today we will explore a number of Boyne valley sites, the most prominent being the early Christian settlement at Monasterboice, the Old Mellifont Abbey, and the Hill of Tara, the historic centre of ancient Irish kings and queens. They say you can see all of Ireland from there!
Tonight is our last dinner together and we always plan something special.
Tonight we celebrate the trip with a rowdy and emotional farewell dinner provided by the hotel. Everyone is invited to read a short piece written on the trip. Reading is not mandatory, of course, but it will be hard to resist the nudge-nudge of your attentive fellow travelers who hope to hear everyone’s voice one more time.

August 5th (Sunday)

All good things come to an end, and this morning will be that time.
Depending on the outbound flight schedules, yoga and/or writing may be offered this morning, but on past international excursions we’ve noticed that most participants will need to head off to the airport around 9:00 a.m. to catch early afternoon flights back to North America.
We will arrange for group taxis, to greatly reduce the cost, to drive everyone safely to the airport.


Gift Certificates for the Writer in your Life



Gift Certificates to Go ForWords’ workshops and retreats are available. Support someone (or ask for support for yourself) for the Writers’ Journey.

Go ForWords offers one day retreats, courses, individual mentorships, editing services and more.
Give (or request!) the gift of engaging with the written word under the keen and compassionate eyes of AWA-certified facilitator Sue Reynolds.
Simply fill out the order form below.


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There are no refunds available for gift certificates, but they are fully transferable to another person.

Upcoming Sanctuary Dates

Sanctuary writers 635

Sue Reynolds 125

Writers’ Sanctuary
with Sue Reynolds


If you want to be notified as soon as Sanctuaries are announced, please CLICK HERE to add your name to the Sanctuary Notification list.

Dates for Winter/Spring 2018

January 15 – Monday – FULL

January 21 – Sunday – FULL

February 4 – Sunday – FULL

February 6 – Tuesday – 3 spots left

February 17 – Saturday – 5 spots left

March 7 – Wednesday – FULL

March 10 – Saturday – FULL

March 29 – Thursday

April 8 – Sunday – FULL

April 16 – Monday – 1 spot left

April 21 – Saturday – 4 spots left

May 5 – Saturday – FULL

May 16 – Wednesday – FULL

May 27 – Sunday – 1 spots left

June 3 – Sunday – 2 spots left

June 7 – Thursday – 2 spots left

June 23 – Saturday – 1 spot left



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WRITE AROUND THE WORLD – 2nd Annual Awa fundraiser.

Come write with Sue Reynolds and Vicki Pinkerton. Experience how an AWA workshop experience can support the development of your voice and your stories while you support the invaluable work AWA does worldwide.

For more information or registration, email or go to

Dates & Times:

Sat. October 7 – Mount Albert 10am-12:30

Wed. October 11 – Oshawa/Whitby – 7pm-9:30 

Registration fee:

A Voluntary Donation to AWA

All donations appreciated.

Suggested donation $30.

Invite your friends!

To register for one of the workshops, please fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

Outcomes:  If you choose, you may select a piece you write in the workshop to be published on the AWA International blog.  (www.amherstwriters). But most importantly, your donation will help train and bring AWA to more people.

More about the Amherst Writers and Artists Method:

This method is used effectively with experienced writers as well as beginners – with writers who have confidence, as well as those who are uncertain. In ongoing workshops it is being used to access the largely unheard voices of marginalized individuals from all walks of life.

AWA facilitators write in schools and groups everywhere. You can find them writing in prisons, in palliative care facilities, with street people, in shelters, with residential school survivors, with seniors, psychiatric inpatients and LGBTQS2 youth. There are facilitators working with survivors of sexual abuse, sex trade workers and with those with substance abuse issues.

While the AWA method is not therapy, it is therapeutic and has great healing potential for writers from all backgrounds. Anywhere there are writers or people in pain, AWA is there.

The AWA method also emphasizes writer’s craft: authors using the AWA method have published major works and taken top prizes and awards in the U.S., Canada and Ireland.

There are approximately 1400 facilitators worldwide who have completed the AWA training in writing workshop leadership. Each facilitator brings their own passion to their work.


To register for one of the workshops, please fill out this form:


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When you’ve registered you can make your donation online if you choose using this PayPal button. OR you can bring a cheque to the workshop, or do an etransfer.

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.

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 13 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.

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!


Workshops Fall 2017

I am delighted to say that I will be facilitating SoulCollage dates this fall as follows. Please click on the links below for details.

Newmarket, Ontario – the Heart Collective – December 9th. CANCELLED

Sharon, Ontario – Jackson Yoga – November 11th.

SoulCollage Workshops at the Heart Collective in Newmarket – Autumn 2017

This workshop has been CANCELLED.

If you would like to be notified about upcoming SoulCollage workshops, please email suereynolds (at) to be put on the notification list.

Would you like to explore an expressive, artistic tool that helps you access your own reserves of wisdom?

This Fall Sue is offering a 1-Day SoulCollage® Workshop

in Newmarket, Ontario

Hosted by The Heart Collective and Jo-Ann McRogers

SoulCollage® is an easy, fun tool for exploration and expression of the many parts of the Self. This is a creative process accessible to everyone–even those people who believe they have no artistic ability. Using imagination and intuition, each participant creates his or her own deck of collaged cards from simple materials: magazine images, photographs, scissors, glue, and heavy card. Each card represents some aspect of the Self; this practice honors the personal journey of each individual, and promotes personal growth and self-acceptance.

Continue reading

Introduction to Soul Collage

Would you like to explore an expressive, artistic tool that helps you access your own reserves of wisdom?

One Day SoulCollage® Introductory Workshop in Sharon, Ontario on Nov. 11, 2017

Hosted by Jackson Yoga


SoulCollage® is an easy, fun tool for exploration and expression of the many parts of the Self. This is a creative process accessible to everyone–even those people who believe they have no artistic ability. Using imagination and intuition, each participant creates his or her own deck of collaged cards from simple materials: magazine images, photographs, scissors, glue, and heavy card. Each card represents some aspect of the Self; this practice honors the personal journey of each individual, and promotes personal growth and self-acceptance.
Continue reading

Write For Your Life!

a one-day workshop on how to write compelling memoirs

Saturday August 26, 2017
10:00 to 4:00p.m.
Muskoka Place Gallery,
1182 Foreman, Port Carling
Cost: $65

Is there something about your life you’re longing to share? Were you part of an event that you could cast a personal and illuminating light on? Have you dreamt of creating a memoir or autobiography for your children or grandchildren, letting them know what the world was like when you were growing up or starting out?

This all-day session will help distill your memories into writer’s ink and help you begin crafting them into a cohesive memoir. This workshop will focus on techniques for getting original memories down in all their sensuous detail, and riveting your reader in the process. There will be discussion on how to recognize the possibilities for short fiction in your writing as well.

Participants will leave the workshop having written, having listened to the lives of others and (if they choose to!) had their own work listened to and witnessed.

No experience necessary! If you’ve ever wanted to put your memories down on paper but don’t know where to start or how to finish, this workshop is for you.

Material covered will include:

• the difference between an autobiography and a memoir
• how to determine your readership
• a format for accessing your memories
• the difference between the creative and the editorial process
• several interactive exercises
• how to organize your work into a finished presentation for your family, an agent or a publisher
• a series of take-home exercises to keep up the momentum gained in this workshop

What to Bring: A notebook and a fast writing pen; your memories; a light lunch and bottled water.


You can register at this EVENTBRITE LINK by clicking here.

Susan Lynn Reynolds is a writer, teacher and practicing 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 workshops for female inmates at Central East Correctional Centre for twelve years, a program for which she received the June Callwood Award.

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

She is passionate about the power of writing to change lives.

Your Meaningful Life in Memoir

Telling your life’s truest tales

A Six Week Writing Workshop, Autumn 2017, Lindsay, Ontario

We tell stories about who we are, where we come from, and where we are going. These personal myths shape who we become and what we believe.

Writing our stories down allows us to engage with them in a new way and also allows us to have our stories witnessed by others – a powerful tool in re-authoring our lives and identities.

At the pinnacle of his career, psychologist Carl Jung declared that the most important task for every human being is to understand the guiding myth or story of his or her life.

In this six week writing we will explore writing exercises that will help us detect our hidden story lines, and will write our stories in a way that opens up the meaning to us and to those to whom we choose to tell our tales.

Time: 1:00 – 3:30
Dates: Thursday afternoons, September 21 to October 26
Place: Path to Stillness Yoga Studio,
55 Mary St. West #204, Lindsay K9V 5Z6
Cost: $180 plus HST

Class is limited to a maximum of 12 participants.

To Register, please fill out the form below:

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$180.00 plus HST

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What is SoulCollage?

SoulCollage is a creative, fun tool for easy, intuitive, artful Self-exploration and Self-expression developed by Seena B. Frost, M. Div., M.A. It is an artistic, creative process that is accessible to everyone, even those people who believe they have no artistic ability.

Using imagination and intuition, each participant creates his or her own deck of collaged cards from simple materials: magazine images, photographs, scissors, glue, and heavy card.
Each card represents some aspect of the Self; this practice honors the personal journey of each individual, while promoting personal growth and self-acceptance. Continue reading

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. (

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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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Please register me for A Novel Beginning - Spring 2017

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Registration for Non Members

$190.00 + HST

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$171.00 +HST


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

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


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:

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.


  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.


  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.


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 _________?

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


PLEASE NOTE: All the Autumn 2017 Sanctuaries are now full. If you want to be on the waitlist for a particular Sanctuary, please go to the registration page and fill out the registration for the desired date.

If you want to be notified when the Sanctuaries are announced for 2017, please CLICK HERE to add your name to the Sanctuary Notification list.

Dates for Autumn of 2017


Sunday, September 17

Saturday, September 30

Sunday, October 15

Sunday, October 29

Sunday, November 19th

Saturday, November 25th

Sunday, December 3rd


Monday, September 18th

Monday, October 23rd

Monday, November 20th



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 one space Monday September 18 one space Saturday September 30 (FULL) Sunday October 15(FULL) Monday October 23 (FULL) Sunday October 29 (FULL) Sunday November 19th (FULL) Monday November 20 (FULL) Saturday November 25 (FULL) 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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In the summer of 2013 I was invited to do a TEDtalk on “Shining the light on our Changing Communities”. I talked about the therapeutic writing program I do with incarcerated women. You can view the talk here.

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