Madeline Murray

A Novel Beginning – Crafting Your Novel

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E.L. Doctorow

Scope: Friday mornings, 6 sessions over 9 weeks

Dates: April 1 to April 29th.
Three week break to work on novel.
Final wrap class: May 20th

Time: 9:30 am – 12 pm

Call Blue Heron to register: 905-852-4282

$180.00 + HST for 6 classes


Even if you don’t get your entire novel written during this nine week period, you will develop your characters, their problems, their dilemmas, their transformative arcs, their worlds, and the plot points that will give you a strong framework to finish that book you’ve been promising yourself you’ll write one day.

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They Live Forever in Our Broken Hearts:

Writing to Heal from Loss and Grief

Scope: Tuesday mornings for 6 weeks

Dates: March 29 – May 3

Time: 10 am – 12 pm

Call Blue Heron to register: 905-852-4282

$180.00 + HST for 6 classes

Every loss carries some degree of grief with it, and every grief has its own radioactive half-life. When we are in the midst of grief it can feel like a desert from which we will never escape, and there is no one-size-fits-all method for emerging, whole and healed and happy again, from that parched landscape. But decades of scientific research have shown that a written exploration of what distresses us in a safe and supportive environment helps individuals find their way.


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Keep Calm and Write On: Writing to promote tranquility and resilience in an anxious age

Bird tattoos come to life, freedom concept


Scope: Thursday afternoons for 6 weeks

Dates: March 24 – April 28

Time: 4 – 6 pm

Call Blue Heron to register: 905-852-4282

$180.00 + HST for 6 classes

For thirty years psychologists have been researching how expressive writing and other forms of writing can help individuals who are experiencing psychological distress. The outcomes of the research have shown that writing down “what distresses and dismays you” can significantly relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Most of the studies have used a protocol focused on individuals writing alone to specific instructions. But more recently research has shown that writing together can enhance the development of the protective processes of self-esteem, self-efficacy, coping strategies, social support, and cultural connections.

Using the Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) method of facilitating writing workshops, research conducted with youth has shown that writing together promotes connection to self through feelings, reflection, and behaviors, as well as connection to others through learning and empathy. Writing in a group using this specific approach facilitates emotional catharsis, increased self-knowledge, coping strategies, and understanding and appreciating of others.

At the Blue Heron Studio in Uxbridge Ontario, starting March 24th for 6 weeks from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. high school-age participants have the opportunity to explore their experiences through a writing workshop conducted in the AWA method.


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In the summer of 2013 I was invited to do a TEDtalk on “Shining the light on our Changing Communities”. I talked about the therapeutic writing program I do with incarcerated women. You can view the talk here.

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