Write Around the World – with AWA and me

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Come Experience the AWA Method in Action

Sunday morning,
October 23rd,
10:00 to 1:00
at Trent University in Oshawa,
55 Thornton Road South, Room 116, Oshawa, ON L1J 5Y1

This Sunday participate in “Write Around the World” – a weekend writing event held in support of Amherst Writers & Artists, the organization that trained me to be a writing workshop facilitator back in 2002 and that has trained over 1400 facilitators worldwide. (For more information on the kinds of work AWA facilitators are doing, please click here.)

I will be leading a writing workshop conducted in the AWA method at Trent University in Oshawa on Sunday morning from 10:00 to 1:00. We’ll produce several pieces that morning and participants can choose one to enter with AWA where it will be published on their website. The piece can be one page of poetry or one page of double spaced prose.

There is no fixed cost to this event, but I ask that you either get sponsorship or sponsor yourself. (No donation is too small!) All proceeds will be donated to AWA and you will receive a tax receipt.

“Whether your purpose for writing is artistic expression, communication with friends and family, the healing of the inner life, or achieving public recognition for your art —the foundation is the same: the claiming of yourself as an artist/writer and the strengthening of your writing voice through practice, study, and helpful response from other writers.” ~Pat Schneider, founder of AWA, in Writing Alone and With Others


Please use this registration form to let me know you are coming.

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You can use this button to donate, or you can bring cash or a cheque the day of the workshop:


This button will open a portal with a donation of 1.00 and a quantity of 1. Change the quantity to the number of dollars you would like to donate, hit “Tab” or “Enter” so the dollar figure adjusts to the new quantity, and then click the yellow and blue Paypal button to go to the Paypal Portal and complete your payment.

Thank you so much!


2015 Summer Weekend Writing Retreats near Toronto

Slideshow of the Uplands location at the bottom of this page.

Sitting in the circle

July Retreat:

Thursday Evening, July 16, to Sunday Afternoon July 19.

Uplands Writing Retreat near Uxbridge, Ontario.


August Retreat:

Thursday Evening, August 20, to Sunday Afternoon August 23.

Uplands Writing Retreat near Uxbridge, Ontario.


Uplands Retreats

Sue Reynolds has been hosting and facilitating single day writing sanctuaries for 10 years. In the mornings, participants write from prompts that Sue provides. Then they have the opportunity to read their freshly created poetry and prose in a supportive group environment. After lunch, writers enjoy a few hours of silent writing time. Writers are enriched and delighted by these day-long immersions and often find that their writing has surpassed their expectations.

A few years ago, participants lingered and protested that they didn’t want to go home – they wanted to stay forever and keep writing! Someone suggested the idea of a Sanctuary Pyjama Party and the Residential Sanctuary was born.

Now in it’s 5th year, the Residential Summer Sanctuaries have been relocated from the Orillia location to the Uplands Writing Retreat which is located halfway between Port Perry and Uxbridge on the beautiful Oak Ridges Moraine.

The retreat begins on Thursday evenings with a light meal and an introductory session of writing. After a full-fare breakfast on the remaining three mornings, Sue provides prompts to launch writers into their craft. Afternoons are spent in silence – writing, walking, swimming, resting. Participants meet in the late afternoon to share their new writing, although sharing is always completely optional. The retreat winds up mid afternoon on Sunday.

Guests may choose from modest, private or semi-private accommodations. All delicious and healthy meals are included.

OPTIONAL: restorative yoga will be provided locally Friday and Saturday evenings. (The cost for this optional activity is extra – approximately $20 per session.)


Slideshow from the Uplands Retreat Location:

A perfect summer sanctuary day
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chicadee at the feeder
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Famous Sanctuary Rhubarb muffins
Home in the fall
horses in the setting sun
Hummingbird at the feeder
on the dock
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Reading by the water
Ready to begin 300
sanctuary at dusk
Sanctuary Morning Refreshments 300
Tent beds
tent other bed
The Miners Tent
The Outdoor Writing Room 300
the Sanctuary morning table 300
writers writing
Writing in the Window 300
Writing on the dock near sunset
Writing on the dock

Ellen Bass Workshop Toronto, Oct. 24 & 25, 2015

Photo by Irene Young

Photo by Irene Young

Ellen Bass is an extraordinary poet, teacher and author.

Having been lucky enough to study with her in California and in Mallorca, Sue and James dearly wanted to bring her to the writing community in Toronto.

The stars (and the International Festival of Authors!) have finally aligned.

Ellen will be here teaching a 2 day workshop and reading at the IFOA the weekend of October 24 & 25. The way Ellen teaches poetry is not to be missed!
IFOA logo

Click here for more information about the weekend, and to register



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Ellen Bass’s most recent book of poetry, Like a Beggar, was published in April 2014 by Copper Canyon Press. Her previous poetry books include The Human Line (Copper Canyon Press), named a Notable Book by the San Francisco Chronicle, and Mules of Love (BOA Editions), which won the Lambda Literary Award. She co-edited (with Florence Howe) the groundbreaking No More Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women (Doubleday).

Her poems have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The American Poetry Review, The New Republic, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and The Sun. She was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Elliston Book Award for Poetry from the University of Cincinnati, Nimrod/Hardman’s Pablo Neruda Prize, The Missouri Review’s Larry Levis Award, the Greensboro Poetry Prize, the New Letters Poetry Prize, the Chautauqua Poetry Prize, a Fellowship from the California Arts Council, and two Pushcart Prizes.

Her non-fiction books include Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth(HarperCollins), I Never Told Anyone: Writings by Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse(HarperCollins), and The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse(Harper Collins), which has sold over a million copies and has been translated into ten languages.

She currently is teaching in the low residency MFA program at Pacific University and has taught poetry and creative writing in Santa Cruz, CA and at other beautiful locations nationally and internationally.

Click here for more information about the weekend, and to register

Pen In Hand, Ink On Page – Friday Morning Edition Winter 2015

Whether you have an ongoing project (like a novel, group of short stories, or book of memoirs) or just need some stimulation to get you writing, this faciliated writing space is designed to create time to devote to your work.

Each week this group will focus on some aspect of the writing craft, as well as writing in class to prompts designed to support you in your writing process. Leave each class with new pieces of writing begun to inspire you through the coming week and new understanding of techniques designed to improve your skills as a memoirist, non-fiction or fiction writer.

Each week there is also OPTIONAL homework, where you will get one on one feedback on your work.

6 Weeks – January 9, 16, 23, 30, (NO CLASS February 6th) February 13 and 20

Time: 9:30 a.m. to noon

Because it’s winter, if we have to cancel because of bad weather, we will replace cancelled dates at the end of the series, so please also keep February 27 and March 6th available as replacement dates if necessary.

$180 plus HST
(50% deposit required upon registration)

Location: Uplands Writing Retreat, halfway between Port Perry and Uxbridge.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Please register me for Pen in Hand Winter 2015

January 9, 16, 23, 30, (NO CLASS February 6th) February 13 and 20

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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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