Community Workshops

Restorynation: Writing Your Origin Story

Lynden Sculpture Garden (2017), Salem College (2017), Art Lit Lab (2018)

We, as humans, are more than our birth certificates and where we work. We, as writers, are more than our rationalizations. As both humans and writers, we are all at once artists, dreamers, mythmakers, and visionaries. In this workshop, we will explore the cultural history and importance of origin stories, as well as ideas for approaching and discovering your own.

The purpose of this workshop is to encourage students to rethink, rediscover, and reclaim their origin stories (“restoryation”) through ethnoautobiography per the work of Dr. Leny Strobel and Dr. Jürgen Werner Kremer. As the instructor, I lead participants through a series of questions, moving from the basic of demographics to the more abstract and personal, that will lead each to a new understanding of their own past. 


Beginning Creative Writing

OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute (2016-2017); Woodland Pattern Book Center (2015); Colorado Free University (2013-2014)

Anais Nin (1903-1977), an American author born and raised in France and best remembered for her journal writing, said, “It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see new meaning in it.”

While participants learn, or review, the traditional basics of a story including character, plot and intention, we also shake things up, experiment with the writing process and push ourselves to become better see-ers. In other words, we begin with the gentle art of noticing and how to take a walk in the woods.


Journal to the Self

Colorado Free University (2013-2014)

Discover the writer within you! The Journal to the Self® method is a internationally recognized, easy, effective, and empowering model of journal keeping developed right in Colorado by Kathleen Adams, LPC, PTR, at the Center for Journal Therapy. Participants use this hands-on journal-writing workshop for personal growth, creative expression, and life enhancement. In class, experience and practice 18 different journal techniques and have an opportunity to share passages with classmates. Learning these techniques adds color, perspective, and dimension to reflective writing. With the help of these journal tools, you can gently but powerfully explore the various aspects of yourself, your life, and your relationships with others. Amanda Reavey is a certified Journal to the Self® instructor from the Center for Journal Therapy.