Write the Soul Awake: How it Works

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:

  1. Permission to begin wherever we are, with whatever word, memory or image comes to us.
  2. Muscle memory to continue our discovery into whatever creative impulse has called to us.
  3. 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.

The Creative Impulse and the Courage to Trust It