Write For Your Life!

a one-day workshop on how to write compelling memoirs

Saturday August 26, 2017
10:00 to 4:00p.m.
Muskoka Place Gallery,
1182 Foreman, Port Carling
Cost: $65

Is there something about your life you’re longing to share? Were you part of an event that you could cast a personal and illuminating light on? Have you dreamt of creating a memoir or autobiography for your children or grandchildren, letting them know what the world was like when you were growing up or starting out?

This all-day session will help distill your memories into writer’s ink and help you begin crafting them into a cohesive memoir. This workshop will focus on techniques for getting original memories down in all their sensuous detail, and riveting your reader in the process. There will be discussion on how to recognize the possibilities for short fiction in your writing as well.

Participants will leave the workshop having written, having listened to the lives of others and (if they choose to!) had their own work listened to and witnessed.

No experience necessary! If you’ve ever wanted to put your memories down on paper but don’t know where to start or how to finish, this workshop is for you.

Material covered will include:

• the difference between an autobiography and a memoir
• how to determine your readership
• a format for accessing your memories
• the difference between the creative and the editorial process
• several interactive exercises
• how to organize your work into a finished presentation for your family, an agent or a publisher
• a series of take-home exercises to keep up the momentum gained in this workshop

What to Bring: A notebook and a fast writing pen; your memories; a light lunch and bottled water.


You can register at this EVENTBRITE LINK by clicking here.

Susan Lynn Reynolds is a writer, teacher and practicing psychotherapist. She teaches writing through workshops in the community, in college continuing education programs, and in social services settings. She writes and has won awards for her YA novel, short stories, poems and non-fiction.
She has been leading writing workshops for female inmates at Central East Correctional Centre for twelve years, a program for which she received the June Callwood Award.

Sue also leads professional training for Amherst Writers International and the Toronto Writers Collective and is the Executive Director of Amherst Writers Canada.

She is passionate about the power of writing to change lives.

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!


What AWA Facilitators do

Pen in a 300Here is a snapshot of the reach and power of the AWA Method:

  • Vicki Pinkerton leads writing workshops with the Nuntut Gwit’chen people north of the Arctic Circle.
  • Jill Goodacre writes with First Nation adults and intergenerational survivors who suffer from the legacy of Indian Residential School trauma in British Columbia.
  • Mary Tuchscherer travels to Limbe, Malawi, and writes with teachers and AIDS orphans
  • Aaron Zimmerman offers writing workshops with the incarcerated men at Rikers Island, and in methadone clinics, homeless shelters and afterschool programs in Brooklyn, New York
  • Mary Kim Kaylor leads a writing workshop in a high security hospital with patients and guards in Lake Oswego, Oregon
  • Kate Murphy writes with the blind at the Royal National Institute of Blind People in Northern Ireland
  • Katie McCleary offers workshops with hundreds of teens in Sacramento, California

and of course, I’ve been writing for 13 years with women (and occasionally men) incarcerated in the Lindsay Correctional Centre in Ontario. And here in Toronto the Toronto Writers’ Collective are doing terrific work offering free workshops for the last three years to a wide range of marginalized and silenced populations.

This list is both small and huge: small in representing only a fraction of the people that AWA reaches; huge in that it represents the power of what we do.

We who write together know that as our words arrive on the page, we are deeply connected to who we are and to each other. We also know listening to others and being listened to in return is profound. We gave each other this gift, and AWA made it possible.

To sign up for the workshop on Sunday October 23rd, please click this link and register at the bottom.

If you can’t join us but would still like to support the work we do, you can donate here:


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!


Registration for Your One Wild & Precious Life

Your Name (required)

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Telephone (required)

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After you hit the "Send" button, you will be taken to the payment page.

If we receive your cancellation notice up to five days in advance of the retreat, (for instance, if the retreat is on a Saturday, we must hear from you by midnight on the previous Sunday) you may choose to apply your deposit to a future retreat or receive a refund (minus a $20 administration fee).

If you cancel with less than five days notice, (in the example above, for instance, it would be anytime Monday or later) and your spot cannot be filled from a waiting list, no refund will be made. However, you are permitted to sell or gift your spot for that date to another person. If you do this, please email or call Sue (905-985-8389) right away to provide the contact information of your replacement. Since Sue provides lunch, it is important that she know of any dietary restrictions etc.

NOTE: *If a retreat is cancelled for any reason, such as severe winter weather creates dangerous driving conditions, Sue will email and call all registered participants. In this situation, participants may request a full refund or transfer their payment to a future retreat date.

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

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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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SoulCollage: I am the one with one wing

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NOTE: In SoulCollage, after one has created the image, there are a number of ways to deepen the process by writing about it. We begin by letting the image “speak” for itself beginning each sentence with the words “I am the One”.

I am the one whose wings have been replaced by a hundred hands held out for help.

I am the one who is seduced by providing help to those hands – both because of the immediate pleasure and gratification in being able to help and in being able to solve a problem, and also because doing so provides my living.

I am the one who ignores my own deep art to answer the call of another’s need. Continue reading

Registration for Sanctuary Sunday April 17th, 2016

Registration for Sue Reynolds's Sanctuary Sunday on April 17

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Please book me for Sue Reynolds Sanctuary Sunday on April 17(s):

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Please note: When you hit “Send” you will be redirected to the payment page. If for some reason your browser does not do that, please go to this link to make your payment for the day.

Thank you.

Sanctuary Day, April 17th,2016

I’m very much looking forward to facilitating a day of writing and deep being with Leeson Clifton’s people.

Here’s the payment button for the day: it’s $90.00 plus HST and includes light snacks when you arrive in the morning as well as a delicious lunch.

See you on the 17th!

Go deeper into your writing this Spring 2014 – Go ForWords!

In this Post:

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  • Blue Heron Writing Classes starting March 7
  • Blue Heron SoulCollage Course startingMarch 9
  • and a SoulCollage weekend with PatSchneider and me in Amherst Massachusetts in July
  • Writing in ITALY April 2014
  • 2014 Writers’ Sanctuary and PoetrySanctuary
  • Some courses for the Fall 2014 and beyond, and
  • A couple of Memoir-oriented contest deadlines coming up this month

Continue reading

Thank you for your registration!

Please check your email for your confirmation. Details regarding the course/event you have signed up for will be in that email.

If you have questions that are not answered in that email, please use the contact form to reach Sue.

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


50% deposit to hold my space in the class:

– $90.00 plus 11.70 HST
If you prefer, you can pay the entire registration fee up front:

$180.00 plus 23.40 HST

Your Meaningful Life in Memoir: tell your life’s truest story


at Blue Heron Studio


At the pinnacle of his career, psychologist Carl Jung declared that the most important task for every human being is to understand the guiding myth or story of his or her life.

We all tell stories about who we are, where we come from, and where we are going. These personal myths shape who we become and what we believe.

In this six week writing we will explore memoir exercises that will help us detect the story line hidden in our own lives, and will write our stories in a way that opens up the meaning to us and to those to whom we choose to tell our stories.

6 Weeks – Sunday October 27th to December 1st, 7pm to 9:30pm   $180


Please click HERE to register on the Blue Heron website.
Facilitated by Sue Reynolds

Susan Lynn Reynolds is a writer, a writing instructor, and a practicing psychotherapist. Her specialty is the therapeutic use of journaling and expressive writing.

SoulCollage Days

Register for Saturday September 26th or Sunday November 29th, 2015

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Telephone (required)

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After you hit the "Send" button, you will be taken to the payment page.

If, for some reason your browser does not take you to the payment page when you hit the “Send” button, you can click here to go there manually.

Master Class on a Writer’s Voice

OWC headerI’m delighted to have been asked to teach a Master Class at the Ontario Writers’ Conference. I’m tackling an ambitious project there – my workshop will be on the writer’s voice. Here’s the blurb from the conference:

Voice Lessons

Think Hemingway. Think Austen. Think Faulkner.

A Writer’s Voice is possibly the most ephemeral, and arguably the single most important element of a writer’s craft. Voice is a writer’s literary fingerprint. Voice makes the difference between writing that’s effective, elegant and memorable, and journeyman writing that, although it may convey the message, is limp and lacklustre. Voice is crucial (particularly in the Canadian literary market) in convincing a publisher to sign on a new author.

How do you develop that distinctive fingerprint for your own narrative? How do you develop an equally transparent clarity of voice for your characters?

This interactive Master Class will clarify participants’ understanding of voice and the elements that contribute to it. Through study of examples and experimenting with the elements in exercises, writers will identify what elements of voice are already working well for them and which techniques can be employed to strengthen their voices.

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Go to the Ontario Writers’ Conference website to register.


Pay registration fee for SoulCollage

at Uplands

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hugging mother earth

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Click this button to pay for your one day SoulCollage Workshop

$90.00 + 11.05 HST

Click this button to register two people for SoulCollage:

$140.00 + 18.20 HST


Click this button to register extra people for SoulCollage:

$70.00 + 9.10 HST

Paypal for Writing Mentorship

Here’s the Paypal button for one month’s fees:

$125. + HST (HST #85309 9455)

Two submissions to Sue Reynolds of up to 3000 words each.  One session of written feedback, one in person feedback session.


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Radically Restored Writer – Costa Rica 2011

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Over the last 20 years I have been on many writing retreats. The gift of time away from everyday life to rest and reconnect with that inner creator is invaluable to any artist. However, particularly for someone who so relentlessly processes words, this quiet time is essential.

At this moment I sit in a building open on three sides to the densely textured green jungle. I sip my coffee and watch a Morpho butterfly dance an erratic jig across the green tapestry. I have always associated the name “Morpho” with Morpheus, the god of sleep and assumed that they were given the name because they look like something from a dream.

Every morning at about this hour one of these giant blue creatures (the size of a sandwich plate and the colour of the most perfect summer sky) has performed this dance and then floated away. It’s probably the same butterfly each day. Its appearance contributes to this ongoing feeling that three days ago when I got off the plane I emerged into another universe—a space with no deadlines, no snowflakes, and lots of space and time to simply be.

I had heard about the marvelous yoga trip that WCDR member Deepam Wadds did to Costa Rica in February of 2010. When she asked if I would consider coming the next time to lead the group in writing every day, it seemed too good to believe; but that didn’t stop me from saying yes. I was desperately tired—tired from working and teaching every waking hour (the life of a freelancer writer), exhausted from living through the very recent death of my best friend. The trip couldn’t have come at a better time. Continue reading

Full Day SoulCollage® Workshops

There are 3 Soul Collage days booked for Winter/Spring 2011:

Each one has a specific focus for making cards intentionally, but of course intuitive card making is always welcomed and celebrated.

Dates: Sundays, January 30th – Animal Totems and the Companion Suit
March 27th – Working with the Shadow,
May 22nd – Archetypes and the Council Suit

I am the one who needs solitude

SoulCollage® is a creative, fun tool for easy, intuitive, artful Self-exploration and Self-expression developed by Seena B. Frost, M. Div., M.A. It is an artistic, creative process that is accessible to everyone, even those people who believe they have no artistic ability.

Using imagination and intuition, each participant creates his or her own deck of collaged cards from simple materials: magazine images, photographs, scissors, glue, and heavy card.
Each card represents some aspect of the Self; this practice honors the personal journey of each individual, while promoting personal growth and self-acceptance.

I am the one who feels like she doesn't belongOnce an individual SoulCollage® card has been created, participants are invited to step deeper into each card through journaling, visualization and other activities. Once a participant has enough cards, doing “readings” with a personal SoulCollage® deckis possible – readings that can help illuminate the answers to life questions for each seeker.

Teachers, therapists, and people all over the world use this powerful process in workshops and psychotherapy, classrooms, retreats, and coaching sessions (to name a few). There are more than 800 trained SoulCollage® Facilitators worldwide.

To read more about Soul Collage you can visit www.soulcollage.com, Seena Frost’s home website, or www.kaleidosoul.com, the website of the dynamic Anne Marie Bennett.

There are 3 Soul Collage days booked for Winter/Spring 2011:

Dates: Sundays, January 30th – Animal Totems and the Companion Suit
March 27th – Working with the Shadow,
May 22nd – Archetypes and the Council Suit

Time: 10 – 5:00
Place: Uplands, 13240 Mast Road (halfway between Uxbridge and Port Perry)
Cost: $75.00 – materials supplied

$75.00 Payment for SoulCollage Sunday

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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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