Tag Archives: AWA Sacramento

What’s coming up at Writing Ourselves Whole (Fall 2014)

It may not feel like it much these days, but fall has arrived in the Bay Area. The young folks are back to school, and the words you put on hold during the busyness of summer are whispering to you again: It’s time to write.

Give yourself the support, structure, and community that you and your writing deserve; come and join us at one of our many writing groups and workshops.

Here’s what’s coming up around Writing Ourselves Whole:

Write Whole-Survivors Write.
Open to all survivors of trauma

8 Monday evenings beginning October 13, 2014.
Fee: $365 (ask about scholarship/payment plan, if needed)
Meets in private workshop space in Oakland, near Lake Merritt
Gather with other trauma survivors and write in response to exercises chosen to elicit deep-heart writing around such subjects as body image, family/community, sexuality, dreams, love, faith, and more.

Writing the Flood
A monthly writing workshop open to all

Next Flood Write meets Saturday, October 18, 1-4:30pm
Limited to 12. Fee is $50 (with a sliding scale)
Meets in private workshop space in Oakland, near Lake Merritt
Write in response to exercises designed to get those pens moving, and get onto the page the stories that have been too long stuck inside
(And mark your calendars now for the rest of the year: November 15, December 20.)

Writing Ourselves Whole goes to Lit Crawl!
Saturday, October 18, 6-7pm
at the Women’s Building, 3543 18th St., San Francisco, CA
FREE!
Join us on October 18 for Writing Ourselves Whole’s stop on the infamous LitQuake Lit Crawl. The theme of our reading will be Fierce Hunger: At the intersection of desire and trauma, longing takes many forms. Join us as Writing Ourselves Whole writers name what survivors are starving for. Readers include Eanlai Cronin, Manish Vaidya, Renee Garcia, Blyth Barnow, Seeley Quest, and Jen Cross. Please note: This reading will include explicit sexual content.

Dirty Words – Sacramento
A day-long erotic writing group
November 8, 10am-5pm
Offered through AWA Sacramento
Ever read through a sexy short story and thought, “I’d like to do that!” Join this fun and supportive group of writers and dive into your own sexy words! This group is designed to leave you more confident with sexual language, erotic expression, and your own writing practice. In this AWA-model workshop, we’ll spend the day writing joy back into our bodies and our desire. Discover how empowering a creative engagement with sexuality, sensuality, desire, and fantasy can be. Receive immediate and concrete feedback about what’s already working (and hot!) in your writing, and leave with strong new work. Bring your notebooks or laptops and your most open mind.  No previous experience necessary! Fee for this day-long writing group is $100. To register, please contact John Crandall of Crandall Writers at 916-708-9708 or johnalbertcrandall@yahoo.com.
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No previous writing experience necessary! All workshops facilitated by Jen CrossEmail Jen with any questions, or visit our contact page to register!

Your facilitator Jen Cross founded Writing Ourselves Whole in 2003. She facilitates sexuality and sexual trauma survivors writing workshops in Oakland, CA, and across the country. Jen holds an MA in Transformative Language Arts, and her fiction and creative nonfiction have been widely anthologized.

Writing Ourselves Whole believes in the power of transformative writing practice in community to restory individual trauma experience and restore those parts of ourselves we are trained to hide. We believe in the power of story, the joy of writing, and the depth of human creative resilience.

When the light gets in (celebrating Pat Scheider with AWA West)

The list of "first times" we generated for our writing prompt during my writing group this weekend

The list of “first times” we generated for our writing prompt during my writing group this weekend — maybe use an item from this list as your prompt for this morning’s write!

Good Monday morning to you! The birds were a raucousness back there in the live oak tree about a  half hour or so ago, but they’ve all slipped off now to some other breakfasting place, and so my morning song is the distant rise in commuter traffic and a garbage truck doing its work a few blocks away. What music is finding you already this morning?

On Saturday this weekend I got to spend the afternoon and evening celebrating the release of Pat Schneider‘s new book, How the Light Gets In: Writing as Spiritual Practice. Pat is the founder and foremother of the Amherst Writers and Artists writing workshop method. She wrote, in another of her books (Writing Alone and With Others): “Everyone is a writer. You are a writer. All over the world, in every culture, human beings have carved into stone, written on parchment, birch bark, or scraps of paper, and sealed into letters–their words. Those who do not write stories and poems on solid surfaces tell them, sing them, and in so doing, write them on the air. Creating with words is our continuing passion.” She reminds us that William Stafford said, “A writer is someone who writes!” Pat envisioned writing workshops as a place where people could support one another’s new writing efforts, rather than tearing at each other’s writing out of some misguided competitive spirit (the sort that was often nurtured and encouraged in the sorts of writing workshops she encountered during her MFA program). And the model she developed is now in use all over the US, Canada, Ireland, and in Africa (in Malawai).

Pat Schneider at the Podium (042713)I am telling you about her now because she has been my inspiration and teacher, and I want you to know about her. When I first discovered Pat’s work, I was about ten years into my own healing/recovery, was living in southern Maine, and was deeply depressed, wondering what I was going to do with my life. I found AWA at about the same time I found the Transformative Language Arts program at Goddard, and AWA provided me with the ethics and structure for both my Master’s study and my work in the world. Pat herself taught me what a fierce advocate for writers looks like, and I have spent the last twelve years working to embody her fiery, heart-centered spirit.

Pat Schneider studied at Pacific School of Religion, and that’s also where she met and married her husband, Peter. She returns regularly to PSR for lectures and a summer workshop series. So what a gift for us to be able to celebrate her new book at this place, with an afternoon of free, open-to-the-public writing workshops, a reception for her with information about local AWA workshops (in addition to Writing Ourselves Whole, there were tables for VoiceFlame Int’l, Marty Williams and the A Thousand Words workshop , Peggy Simmons of Green Windows, Jan Haag and John Crandall of AWA Sacramento, Chris DeLorenzo of Laguna Writers, Joan Marie Wood of Temescal Writers, Teresa Burns Gunther of Lakeshore Writers, and Cary Tennis’ workshops) and followed by Pat reading from How the Light Gets In and chatting with Cary Tennis and the audience.

In my small, afternoon writing group, we wrote about the things that we save (by way of introducing our writing voices to one another), and then we, together, generated a list of “first times” (see above!) and wrote together about those. In just two hours, folks dropped into some deeply powerful writing. I’m grateful to everyone who shared that time in Mudd 204 with me!

we had a gorgeous day to gather and write -- John Crandall made the rounds, taking photos and enjoying

we had a gorgeous day to gather and write

After the writing time, we had a short dinner break, and then we gathered at the reception in the Bade Museum on the PSR campus

After the writing time, we had a short dinner break, and then we gathered at the reception in the Bade Museum on the PSR campus

Luna Maia stopped by!

Luna Maia stopped by!

We had all sorts of writers join us...

We had all sorts of writers join us…

 

Marty Williams of A Thousand Words talking with Ellen LaPointe

Marty Williams of A Thousand Words talking with Ellen LaPointe

Teresa Burns Gunther of Lakeshore Writers

Teresa Burns Gunther of Lakeshore Writers

Chris DeLorenzo of Laguna Writers

Chris DeLorenzo of Laguna Writers

Joan Marie Wood of Temescal Writers (also the co-founder of the AWA Affiliate Program)

Joan Marie Wood of Temescal Writers (also the co-founder of the AWA Affiliate Program)

Jen with Peggy Simmons of Green Windows Writers

Jan Haag and John Crandall (Jan is talking with Marion, a facilitator from Amherst)

Jan Haag and John Crandall (Jan is talking with Marion, a facilitator from Amherst)

Pat Schneider in conversation with Cary Tennis
Pat Schneider in conversation with Cary Tennis
Pat and Peter Schneider, reading one of Peter's poems, just before the announcement of the creation of the Pat and Peter Schneider Fund, to be housed at Pacific School of Religion and to assist those wanting to be trained as certified AWA method facilitators!

Pat and Peter Schneider, reading one of Peter’s poems, just before the announcement of the creation of the Pat and Peter Schneider Fund, to be housed at Pacific School of Religion and to assist those wanting to be trained as certified AWA method facilitators!

So grateful to Marty Williams and all on the AWA West Event Steering Committee, who planned this fantastic day for and with Pat. Thanks to Laurie Eisenberg at PSR, as well!

Go on out and find a copy of Pat’s new book. Find her other books, too. Spend some time reading, and then notice how you feel invited back into your own words. That’s just one of the gifts she brings.

Here’s to teachers, this morning. Here’s to community. Here’s to your words. Here’s to all of our words.