The Monthly Sunday Salon began as a gathering for writers, past and present, to come together once a month for a morning of writing, snacks, and camaraderie in my Alameda apartment. My primary aim: to help writers write about their lives and tell their truths. And also, to develop a sense of ongoing community with one another.
Since 2012, the Monthly Sunday Salon has welcomed many writers, from beginners to published authors, who long to reclaim their untold stories, and write new ones.
At present, we meet via Zoom. All that is required is access to Zoom, a room of one’s own, even a dedicated quiet corner, pen and paper, and/or whatever device you like to write on.
The Sunday Salon takes place the third Sunday of every month.
Workshops run from 10:00 am -1:30 pm with a scheduled 15-minute lunch-break so we can chat and catch up with our classmates. I call this the natter-and-nurture portion of our mornings. Being Irish, that cuppa and conversation is a must!
No matter what your medium—memoir, fiction, prose, poetry, recovery, journaling; no matter where you are in your writing process—a beginner, seasoned writer, lost or mid project; no matter what part of the work is your focus—producing drafts, paragraphs, characters or internal process work, this is a great opportunity to engage your voice in surprising ways and generate fresh, compelling content.
Each group is limited to 6 writers.
- January: 1/16/2022, 10:00 am -1:30 pm
- February: 2/20/2022, 10:00 am -1:30 pm
- March: 3/20/2022, 10:00 am -1:30 pm
- April : 4/24/2022, 10:00 am-1:30 pm
- May: 5/15/2022, 10:00 am -1:30 pm
- June: 6/19/2022, 10:00 am -1:30 pm
$75 per Sunday Salon
Please click below to register by email. Specify the date/s you’d like to attend.
What to Expect
Using the Amherst Writers and Artists Method as our foundation, we will write to specific prompts during the course of each class with time for 2-3 writing exercises.
- Each prompt provides an excerpt from poetry, prose, memoir or fiction.
- Each excerpt provides an example of some of the following elements: narrative voice, point of view, story progression, conflict, obstacles, and culled wisdom.
- We follow our own associative leaps of memory and imagination and go where the writing takes us.
- We write for an average of 20-25 minutes per exercise. Each prompt will build upon the last to provide a cumulative sense of confidence and deepening content.
- After each exercise, we are invited to read aloud a portion of what we have written. Sharing is entirely optional but is encouraged as a way to claim our voices in a supportive and nurturing environment.
- Feedback focuses solely on the strengths of the writing. We focus on what we like, what is strong, what stays with us. This sharpens our listening skills and builds an awareness of what shines—lines, phrases, details, images, dialogue.
- This simple but powerful feedback technique allows for brand new words to birth themselves onto the page and to be applauded and encouraged in their courageous emerging.
- We offer no critique. No questions, suggestions, prescriptions, corrections.
- This is a generative writing workshop.
- Writers of all ability and experience levels are welcome.
- Whether you wish to examine areas in your own life hungry for airing, or you are working on a specific fiction or nonfiction project (memoir, novel, short story, personal essay), this is the right place for you.
- Writers receive materials from each class via email. I encourage writers to write out just a verse or two, a paragraph or two of the poems/excerpts used in class. This helps the writer to enter the aliveness of an author’s language, rhythm, tone, mood, sentence length, and overall structure.
What Write the Soul Awake builds:
- Permission to begin wherever we are, with whatever word, memory or image comes to us.
- Muscle memory to continue our discovery into whatever creative impulse has called to us.
- Courage to complete what we have come to say. There is no right way or wrong way to capture a first draft. Honor what comes through. Trust it will find its final form and meaning in revision.
“I took a chance and found this well-led writing circle where not a moment is wasted. Yet, I never feel rushed. Eanlai Cronin is a seasoned writing teacher and engrossing writer who guides the group with just the right touch. Her prompts are rich and the writing can go very deep. I came needing access to my internal life and for the pleasure of writing. I value the expansiveness and aliveness in the group as we write and read together. It is very freeing to have no critique and only feedback about what stood out, was strong, will stay with you. Great support to build a writing practice, explore yourself, write memoir or just write. You can check out a Sunday Salon and see what you think. That’s what I did and am so glad.”
—Rochelle Towers, Oakland, CA
“What is a writing salon? Best you experience it for yourself as it is such an individualized and personal experience that defies description. It’s not about content, construction, grammar etc! (though we do pick up so much about craft almost by osmosis).
It is about releasing unnoticed or forgotten stories or current feelings within you. Can you attend without sharing any of your writing? Absolutely.
Eanlai creates a relaxed, safe and supportive environment which serves as an incubator for your writing expression.
I was totally astounded by what I wrote. A feeling of release and acceptance accompanied several sessions. The classes are intimate and amazingly therapeutic.
It’s akin to the feeling one has after a great massage—uplifted, upheld and completely restored.”
–Rev. Sharon Luther, Interfaith Minister, San Francisco, CA
“Éanlaí’s AWA method worked for me very well. As a writer, one of the aspects in my writing activities and needs is seeking to be inspired and thrilled in a small group setting that has various features such as Eanlai’s: 1. the multiple writing prompts in each session are most efficient to jolt back my memories as I write about my life story; 2. the three 10- to 15-minute hands-on writing exercises is a perfect amount of pressure to make me productive as I “keep my pen moving” without hesitation or without any expectations to write perfectly … and I found out that when my mind was not conditioned to perform/write perfectly but I was asked to relax and given permission to write privately in my notebook “the clumsiest crap in America,” I was most productive! Amazing; 3. I also highly valued the instant gratification from the most encouraging, spirit-soaring positive feedbacks from both Eanlai and other thoughtful and friendly group members for my in-class hands-on writing; It gave me most needed feedback to improve my writing and also cast lighting from different angles on my writing; 4. Eanlai is an ideal facilitator: She’s caring, genuinely concerned about the well-being of you and your writer’s mind; The writing environment in her home is very inviting, accommodating, comfortable, pleasantly and brightly lit, full of smiling faces and laughter; 5. I’m returning.”
–Jing Li, San Francisco, CA