Writing the Flood meets again this Saturday, September 21

Photo of three pairs of crossed legs, on which notebooks are resting and pens are moving
Writing the Flood

Open the gates and let your writing voice flow
Third Saturday of every month

The next Flood Write meets September 21, 1-4:30pm
Come write with us!

Writing The Flood is a writing group for anyone looking to prime the writing pump: using the Amherst Writers and Artists method, we will write together in response to exercises designed to get those pens moving, and get onto the page the stories, poems, essays, images and voices that have been stuck inside for too long. This is a time to work on a larger project, get started on new work, play on the page, or write yourself through a block and back into your writing voice.

Unless otherwise noted, this workshop meets on the third Saturday of the month. $75 (sliding scale available). Spaces limited to 10 writers.

No previous writing experience necessary! Workshops held in downtown San Francisco in an accessible office space, close to BART and MUNI. Pre-registration is required — please write to Jen with questions or to register.

Can’t make it this month? Mark your calendars: The October Writing the Flood will meet on 10/12 (note we’ll gather on the second Saturday next month!).

About your facilitator: Jen Cross is a widely-published freelance writer. She holds an MFA from San Francisco State University, has led writing workshops since 2002, and writes with folks about trauma, sexuality, and so much more.

Writing the Flood meets this Saturday, August 17!

photo of a sheet of water falling over rocks
Writing the Flood

Open the gates and let your writing voice flow
Third Saturday of every month

The next Flood Write meets August 17, 1-4:30pm
Come write with us!

Writing The Flood is a writing group for anyone looking to prime the writing pump: using the Amherst Writers and Artists method, we will write together in response to exercises designed to get those pens moving, and get onto the page the stories, poems, essays, images and voices that have been stuck inside for too long. This is a time to work on a larger project, get started on new work, play on the page, or write yourself through a block and back into your writing voice.

Unless otherwise noted, this workshop meets on the third Saturday of the month. $75 (sliding scale available). Spaces limited to 10 writers.

No previous writing experience necessary! Workshops held in downtown San Francisco in an accessible office space, close to BART and MUNI. Pre-registration is required — please write to Jen with questions or to register.

Can’t make it this month? Mark your calendars: The September Writing the Flood will meet on 9/21.

About your facilitator: Jen Cross is a widely-published freelance writer. She holds an MFA from San Francisco State University, has led writing workshops since 2002, and writes with folks about trauma, sexuality, and so much more.

Hell hath no fury… (Night Hands now available!)

I am beyond delighted to share the news about a new e-publication with The Massachusetts Review’s Working Titles series! – Jen

“Groping hands have been in the news a lot lately: Unhand me, Sir! Hands off! Keep your mitts to yourself, buster. These hands are mostly predatory, and mostly male. Jen Cross writes about a young woman, Tüz, who lives in a village dystopia where the focus is on female hands and the dangers they’re thought to represent.”
-Elizabeth Harries, from the Introduction to Night Hands          
a story by Jen Cross
with an introduction by Elizabeth Harries
In Night Hands Jen Cross creates a dystopian world in which women’s hands are the focus of social organization and gendered oppression. Exploring themes of agency, sexual liberation, and domestic violence, Cross weaves together fantasy and realism in a strikingly modern fairy tale. Cross’s originality in both plot and form marks Night Hands as unique and enduring.
 

“It had been Tüz’s eldest sister, Talia, who first explained that she would lose her hands. Tüz had been horrified, but her sister explained to her that this was the difference between little girls and women. ‘You don’t want to stay a little girl, do you?’
“Tüz had shaken her head. ‘But how does he do it?’
“Her sister reluctantly revealed the pale pink opening at the base of her wrist, then she took her little sister’s hand in hers and, with a fingernail, traced in a line around the child’s wrist. ‘Yours will be here,’ Talia said.”
Read more here, or purchase at Amazon, Kobo, or (coming soon) from Weightless Books.
 
Jen Cross is the author of Writing Ourselves Whole: Using the Power of Your Own Creativity to Recover and Heal from Sexual Traumaand the co-editor of Sex Still Spoken Here: An Erotic Reading Circle Anthology. Jen’s fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in over 50 anthologies and periodicals. Jen has facilitated sexuality and sexual trauma survivors writing workshops for over fifteen years, has worked with hundreds of writers, through private workshops and in collaboration with colleges, social change organizations, and other institutions in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the U.S. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and an MA in Transformative Language Arts from Goddard College, and has been awarded residencies at Hedgebrook and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Art Center. 
Elizabeth Harries taught English and Comparative Literature at Smith College until her retirement. Her book Twice Upon a Time: Women Writers and the History of the Fairy Tale attempts to redefine the history of the fairy tale in Europe and its role in our present culture. She is currently working on a study of narrative framing.
Available on Amazon, Kobo, and coming soon to Weightless Books!

Finish your book! Join us in Dive Deep

Stencil graffiti -- insert your life story hereHello writers & writers-to-be!

I hope the summer words are finding their way to the page through your fingers…

Just a reminder: Our third Dive Deep trimester begins in September. Read on for more details, and let me know if you can join us!

~ Dive Deep
An advanced, manuscript-centered workgroup
Third 2019 cohort opens to new members in September!

o The *Dive Deep* workgroup is for those who have delved into (or are ready to commit to) the deep dive of a large writing project, such as a novel, memoir, or poetry collection. Though writing is a solitary pursuit, no writer has ever completed a long work alone: Divers meet three times per month for writing, project check-in and accountability, feedback, coaching and peer support. This group can help you meet your writing goal, and provide community and encouragement as you go deep into a writing project. The fee is $250/month, with a four-month commitment required; the group will remain closed for those four months, in order to give Divers the opportunity to set long-term goals in an established and supportive community.

Join us!

No previous writing experience necessary! All groups meet near BART station and other public transportation options. Spaces are still available, though limited, and pre-registration is required! 

Questions or concerns? Write to me at jennifer(at)writingourselveswhole.org.

Writing the Flood meets this Saturday, July 13!

photo of notebooks and a cup full of pens on a table in front of an inviting couch
Writing the Flood

Open the gates and let your writing voice flow
Third Saturday of every month (except when otherwise noted, like this month!)

The next Flood Write meets July 13, 1-4:30pm
Come write with us!

Writing The Flood is a writing group for anyone looking to prime the writing pump: using the Amherst Writers and Artists method, we will write together in response to exercises designed to get those pens moving, and get onto the page the stories, poems, essays, images and voices that have been stuck inside for too long. This is a time to work on a larger project, get started on new work, play on the page, or write yourself through a block and back into your writing voice.

Unless otherwise noted, this workshop meets on the third Saturday of the month. $75 (sliding scale available). Spaces limited to 10 writers.

No previous writing experience necessary! Workshops held in downtown San Francisco in an accessible office space, close to BART and MUNI. Pre-registration is required — please write to Jen with questions or to register.

Can’t make it this month? Mark your calendars: The August Writing the Flood will meet on 8/17.

About your facilitator: Jen Cross is a widely-published freelance writer. She holds an MFA from San Francisco State University, has led writing workshops since 2002, and writes with folks about trauma, sexuality, and so much more.

Is it the same if everything’s different?

graffiti of the words "love your imagination" next to a woman holding an umbrella, apparently floating...

Good morning, good morning. It’s 5:30 and outside it’s windy and active — the birds are talking and the BART shines its whispery greeting beneath their song. it’s early, my eyes aren’t quite working yet.

In an hour, or less, actually, I’ll get in the shower and get ready to go to work. Many things have changed in the last couple of months. I let go of the workshop space in Oakland. I took a job at Book Passage and then I let that go, too. And I’ve gone back to a job at UCSF — yesterday I managed to read a complete novel during my commute (and then while waiting in line to get the photo for my id badge taken and then while waiting for the new employee training to start and then while on the shuttle from Laurel Heights to Parnassus and then again after I got home and before bed — there may not be nearly so much reading time today).

I left my last job at UCSF in 2012— I was ready to ramp the workshops up to a new level, and felt I needed to have all of my time and energy available for that. And then I immediately got a massive back spasm that impacted me for several months, maybe hinting at my ambivalence about the whole project.

It’s strange to be back at something I left seven years ago. Much is the same — I’m working for the same department with many of the same people, which is delightful — and there’s a lot, too, of course, that’s changed. I feel grateful and sad, like both a success and a failure. It turned out — after seven years of very hard work — that the workshops couldn’t sustain me here in the Bay Area, or I just wasn’t able to figure out how to make that happen. I’ve scrutinized it from so many angles, and I’m not going to do that this morning — it sends me down a sad rabbit hole, and I don’t want to do that today.

Because there’s been plenty of success, too…

(Read the rest on Patreon! This post is available to everyone… )

why I watch all these shows about cults (patreon)

CW: cults, brief mentions of sexual and psychic and physical abuse

Cults are very popular right now – as fodder for the massive television industry that seems to require as much content as the Internet: 800 channels going 24/7, and not all of them can run Law and Orderor Seventh Heavenall day every day. So Oxygen and Netflix and Sundance TV all have recently run series devoted to delving into the horror of particular cults, their leaders and followers, their practices. There’s yet another movie coming out about Charles Manson. Several books came out recently revisiting Jonestown – including one by Jackie Spier, who was there in Guyana at the time of the massacre. American Horror Storyhad a season devoted to a cult.

I’m curious about our cultural fascination with cults at this moment in history – what brought this up for us? What has us tuning in to learn the gristly details about Rulo, NE, or Jonestown, or the Manson girls? What has us reading about fundamentalists polygamous communities? What has us watching Leah Remini’s round tables and exposés about Scientology?

I know why I tune in. I want to read about other people who experienced something similar to what I did, and how they survive in the Real World (as opposed to the isolation of the cult world) after they managed to escape. I want to see how bad it might have gotten if we had not gone to the police (and been believed). I want to see that I am not crazy for feeling crazy so much of the time, even all these years later.

(read the rest of this post on Patreon — available to all, not just Patrons!)

Join us for the 100th Writing the Flood on Saturday, June 15!

comfortable writing room - a rocking chair, couch, and other chairs circled around a table with notebooks and pens resting on top
Writing the Flood

Open the gates and let your writing voice flow
Third Saturday of every month

The next Flood Write meets June 15, 1-4:30pm
Come write with us!

Writing The Flood is a writing group for anyone looking to prime the writing pump: using the Amherst Writers and Artists method, we will write together in response to exercises designed to get those pens moving, and get onto the page the stories, poems, essays, images and voices that have been stuck inside for too long. This is a time to work on a larger project, get started on new work, play on the page, or write yourself through a block and back into your writing voice.

Unless otherwise noted, this workshop meets on the third Saturday of the month. $75 (sliding scale available). Spaces limited to 10 writers.

No previous writing experience necessary! Workshops held in downtown San Francisco in an accessible office space, close to BART and MUNI. Pre-registration is required — please write to Jen with questions or to register.

Can’t make it this month? Mark your calendars: The July Writing the Flood will meet on 7/13 (note we’ll gather on the second Saturday next month!).

About your facilitator: Jen Cross is a widely-published freelance writer. She holds an MFA from San Francisco State University, has led writing workshops since 2002, and writes with folks about trauma, sexuality, and so much more.

Sink into your words! Join our June 23 Retreat in the East Bay hills…

photo of narrow wooden deck, looking out over trees and mt tamalpais

(view from our writing room out to Mt. Tam)

Meridian Writers
 an all-day writing retreat!
Sunday, June 23, 10:30am-5:30pm.
(Light breakfast from 9:45-10:30am)
Lunch provided.

Open to all writers, regardless of writing experience or previous participation in Meridian Writers.

Location: Private home in the East Bay

photo of clouds over El Cerrito, rainbow emerging from the bay

Treat yourself to a day of good writing, good food, and good community!

For this day-long writing retreat, we gather for coffee or tea and some home-baked breakfast, and then write through the rest of the morning. After a break for lunch, we dive back into our work through the afternoon, and we close by 5:30pm.

You’ll leave the retreat with: a rich body of new creative writing; feedback about what’s already strong and powerful in your new writing; and inspiration to keep on writing.

photo of brown dog lying on a wooden deck next to table and chairs, looking out over eucalyptus grove

(Sophie enjoying the deck)

Give yourself a day to write in a beautiful, quiet space with views overlooking the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.

The fee for day-long retreats is $200; a $100 non-refundable deposit will secure your registration.

Spaces are limited: Please let me know if you’d like more information or would like to register! Write to me at jennifer@writingourselveswhole.org; visit writingourselveswhole.org for more info about our workshops or methods.

Writing the Flood meets Saturday, May 18!

photo of notebooks and a cup full of pens on a table in front of an inviting couchWriting the Flood
Open the gates and let your writing voice flow
Third Saturday of every month

The next Flood Write meets May 18, 1-4:30pm
Come write with us!

Writing The Flood is a writing group for anyone looking to prime the writing pump: using the Amherst Writers and Artists method, we will write together in response to exercises designed to get those pens moving, and get onto the page the stories, poems, essays, images and voices that have been stuck inside for too long. This is a time to work on a larger project, get started on new work, play on the page, or write yourself through a block and back into your writing voice.

Unless otherwise noted, this workshop meets on the third Saturday of the month. $75 (sliding scale available). Spaces limited to 10 writers.

No previous writing experience necessary!

UPDATE! Writing the Flood will meet in downtown San Francisco, close to BART and MUNI lines. Pre-registration is required — please write to Jen with questions or to register.

Can’t make it this month? Mark your calendars: The June Writing the Flood will meet on 6/15.

About your facilitator: Jen Cross is a widely-published freelance writer. She holds an MFA from San Francisco State University, has led writing workshops since 2002, and writes with folks about trauma, sexuality, and so much more.