groups offered

Transforming our language is one way we transform our lives.

Writing Ourselves Whole groups are exercise-initiated and permissive writing spaces in which writers are encouraged to play, risk, stretch and celebrate their complex, full, and fully-brilliant selves. We use the Amherst Writers & Artists method to create a space where we can write into stories that may have resisted telling.

Current offerings (visit our Schedule page for more information):

New offering: Fierce Hunger – Monthly survivors writing circle
What you are hungry for? At the intersection of desire and trauma, hunger – longing – can take many forms. So many of us are trained to starve ourselves. We are starved for the food we most want to taste, for the creative expression we want to release, for the sexual and sensory experiences that sing in our bellies and hands. Join us, pick up the pen, and share your fiercely hungry story. These monthly circles will be themed, and exercises will lean toward that theme, though every writer is always invited to write whatever they are drawn to write. Open to all survivor of sexual trauma; $150 (partial scholarships may be available); limited to 9 writers.

Write Whole: Survivors Write – Gather with other sexual trauma survivors to create new art and new beauty out of life’s difficult and complicated realities. Learn to trust the flow of your own writing, and receive immediate feedback about the power of your words! Open to all survivors (‘survivor’ is self-defined). $375 (partial scholarships may be available); limited to 9 writers.

Declaring Our Erotic – We each need safe space in which to be our whole erotic selves. The Declaring Our Erotic workshops provide a space to try your hand at some explicit erotic writing, and, in so doing, get more comfortable exploring and talking about sexual desires, explore the varied and complex aspects of sexuality and desire, and celebrate the fullness of your erotic expression. $375; limited to 9 writers.

Writing the Flood – For anyone looking to prime the writing pump — write 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 the third Saturday of the month. $25-50, sliding scale; limited to 10 writers.

Dive Deep – This advanced 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. 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. $250/month, with a multi-month commitment required. Limited to 6 writers.

Meridian Writers – Find your center and write your story.  Meridian Writers is seeking writers who prefer a fun, generous and supportive atmosphere in which to write together and celebrate one another’s creative efforts. At the end of our nine weeks together, you will have a new creative community, and a strong body of original writing. $425; limited to 10 writers.

Online Writing Groups are designed for those unable to attend in-person workshops, or for those uncomfortable with or less inclined toward joining us in person. We currently offer online versions of two of our writing groups, Write Whole and Reclaiming Our Erotic Story. Participation in the writing groups is all asynchronous: you access exercises and readings, write and post your responses, and offer feedback on others’ writings as works best for your schedule. No special software required –just a web browser, Internet connection, and desire to write into your deepest stories. $250 (sliding scale).

Day-long retreats – Open to all writers, regardless of writing experience or previous participation in Writing Ourselves Whole groups. 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. Give yourself a day to write in a beautiful, quiet, private homewith views overlooking the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. The fee for day-long retreats is $200; a $100 non-refundable deposit will confirm your registration.

Erotic Reading Circle:  Join Carol Queen, Jen Cross, and your fierce, fabulous community of erotic writers the fourth Wednesday of every month, as we gather to share our creative erotic endeavors! Bring something to read or just be part of the appreciative circle of listeners. This is a great place to try out new work (ask for comments if you like), or get more comfortable reading for other people. Non-judgmental listening guaranteed, all orientations and levels of writing experience welcome. $5-up sliding scale suggested donation, no one turned away for lack of funds (donations support the Center for Sex and Culture). At the Center for Sex & Culture, 1349 Mission St (between 9th and 10th) in San Francisco.

Individual support: Sometimes it does not work to join a writing group, but you still would like some companionship and encouragement around your writing.  I also offer individual support to writers. Click on the links below to learn more:
Private Writing Sessions
Manuscript Coaching
Private Editing Assistance

Public OfferingsI am also available to work with agencies, organizations and providers, as an adjunct to the very important services they provide. Writing workshops (either one-time or multi-session) create the opportunity for new levels of work and healing. Exercises can be chosen to focus on particular topics or areas of learning. I have worked with survivors of domestic violence and sexual trauma, LGBTQQI youth, homeless women, adult students, and many more groups.

Contact me with questions or to register! I look forward to writing with you.

7 responses to “groups offered

  1. Sarah Smolowitz

    Hello! First, thank you thank you thank you, for publishing the book. It has brought out in me tremendous writing. My writing is journaling/creative non fiction. I hope that’s okay. I would like to come to some of your retreats and stuff. But I do not know where you are. And I am in Tucson, AZ. Can you help me?

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  3. Hi there!

    I’m a writing facilitator, writing to you from Toronto. I love your site (and am very jealous of your Dorothy Allison retreat!) I wanted to drop a quick line to say hello. There aren’t a lot of us doing this work, and I think it’s nice to know one another.

    I’ve been running workshops for about 4 years, and over the months have added correspondence classes, retreats and one-on-one work. It’s a full living now, and I love it beyond reason.

    For the most part, my workshops are less healing-oriented than what I imagine happening in yours. My angle is more around getting your creativity flowing and telling your stories. Of course, lots of healing happens in the room, but my background is in community development, not a more therapeutic medium, so I’ve shied away from taking a more overtly therapeutic approach.

    That said, I often get requests to do work that’s more theraputic, and I’m curious if I can send any of that work your way. I know I have students who might be interested in your workshops with survivors specifically.

    Do you do any work by distance? E-classes or phone coaching? I’m just curious. I love sharing my amazing community. There aren’t enough of “us” out there!

    Very warmly,
    Chris Kay Fraser
    (Firefly Creative Writing)

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