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Life Writing:

Personal Essay, Memoir, & Creative Nonfiction

Workshop Series Description

We will write to prompts designed to tap into your own wellspring of inspiration. Participants will generate writing in a low-risk, supportive environment, practice craft elements, and revise pieces. Writers will receive mentor texts and ideas to foster an ongoing writing practice.

A fundamental goal of this workshop series is to help participants develop and appreciate their voices. As described on the home page, I use the Amherst Artists & Writers Method.

For first-draft, generative writing, writers are  invited to share their words, but no one is ever pressured to read.  You decide if and what you want to share. There will be no critique of what you've written; however, we will  respond by telling you what we like, what's strong, or what stays with us.

Of course, revising and/or sharing writing are not required, but for those who want a response to more developed work, we will provide more in-depth responses. However, writers always decides what kind of response they want.

Dates: October 23, 30, November 6, 13, 20

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Livermore location TBA

Cost: $175

To register or ask for more details: email Carla at cahanson@sbcglobal.net

 Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA)

Join us for 3-hour writing workshop that introduces participants to the AWA method. This is an opportunity to explore low-risk writing in a supportive, non-threatening setting, and learn a way of responding to writing that will leave you wanting to write more.


 We’re raising money for scholarships to train AWA Facilitators & to implement writing workshops for veterans. WAW workshops are being held in several countries during the month of May 2019. Come write with us as we write with others around the globe.


When: May 11 or May 23  ~ 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.           (Both workshops will feature the same AWA prompts.) .

Where: 5835 Elder Circle, Livermore, CA Cost: $40—all proceeds go to WAW Fundraiser

When: May 15 ~ 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m Where: 423 Rennell Morro Bay, CA

To register, email: cahanson@sbcglobal.net Led by Carla Hanson, a certified AWA affiliate since 2007.

Learn more about the Amherst Writers & Artists: https://amherstwriters.org/what-we-do/

Here is a link to a recent article about the AWA method. Even though the author talks about how his personal writing has been impacted, many people write fiction during AWA workshops as well. https://www.pw.org/content/writing_for_myself_and_with_others_my_experience_with_the_awa_method

Writing with Carla:


"Carla Hanson is a master teacher and gifted facilitator---skilled at deep listening, and provocative questioning and thoughtful reading. She brings her enormous spirit and energy into all her work with transformative results (in classrooms, and workshops, and one on one coaching). I admire her artful teaching and her distinctive style and consider myself a devotee." Dr. Stephanie Paterson, English professor

"Most of my best writing was jump started in Carla's writing group." Linda Milanese, local author

"I value the support and encouragement I get from the group. Best of all for me, Carla has shared new genres that continually increase my passion for writing." Julie Orvis, DVM

“Carla hit the writer's core--or maybe it's our soul. We are deeply involved in our writing and encouraged to push our writing deeper-- beyond an early draft. The writing environment you create for writers is almost mystical. The visuals you provide and the sounds of writing and your voice are comforting and supportive. I always expect to discover the unexpected when writing with you.  I feel safe and uncensored.  Floodgates open.” Carol Minner, GVWP Director

"Since joining Carla's writing group last year, the hours I spend creating and submitting my work have increased along with the self-confidence that comes from the feedback of writers whose judgment I respect. I've grown not only from the shared lessons, prompts, and publishing opportunities, but from our group challenge of exploring new genres and revisiting others. Above all, the group motivates me to continue striving for improvement."  Peggy Schimmelman, author--poetry, fiction, and   nonfiction                                                                                               

"Being a part of a writing group, class, or workshop is a true gift to myself because I am energized, challenged, and reminded of how important it is to take the time to express myself and my life experiences by writing. My writing allows me to address my struggles and express my gratitude. Articulating my feelings and questions about life in writing inspires my spiritual journey and growth.” Connie Clark



"Personal & Spiritual Growth Through Writing" is a one-day workshop. This concept might sound "New Agey," but literature and research abound in the intersections of writing, personal and spiritual growth, and healing. We will write to prompts drawn from this research and designed to tap into your own personal wellspring of  creativity, insight, and wisdom. We'll write, read a few short passages and poems, and write some more. Those who are willing will have time to share portions of their writing. Following the Amherst Artists & Writers protocols, writers are  invited to share their words, but no one is ever pressured to read.  You decide if and what you want to share. There will be no critique of what you've written; however, we will  respond by telling you what we like, what's strong, or what stays with us.

People who consider themselves novice writers or non-writers are very welcome.  I believe in and follow Pat Schneider's Essential Affirmations which include: "Everyone is born with creative genius," and "A writer is someone who writes."

Participants will leave with generative writing, materials, and ideas to foster an ongoing writing practice.

Date: September 8, 2018

Location: 450 Charlotte Common (Marie Common), Livermore, CA

Time: 10:00-3:00

Cost: $105

Materials: Bring a notebook and a favorite pen. Of course, you may use a computer, but people often find that hand writing responses to these kinds of prompts just feels better.

Lunch will be provided. Vegetarian options included.