1. How much time will I need to spend each week writing?
That really depends upon your personal commitment to developing/maintaining a regular writing practice. For some, a daily practice works best; for others, a page or time commitment per week. The most important considerations are consistency and commitment.
2. Will there be assignments?
We offer writing prompts each week to help inspire your writing between meetings. While these relate to the themes and exercises that weave through the semester, they are only suggestions. You are always free to follow your own muse.
3. How many meetings can I miss in a given 8-week session without getting too far behind?
Most women can plan their schedules to accommodate all 8 weeks. On the other hand, missing more than one can feel like a huge loss to the other members of a woman’s small group, who count on one another for good listening, support and feedback. if your schedule is a challenge, perhaps a different time or group would be a better option for you.
4. I really want to write in a supportive community like this, but cannot carve out 8 consecutive weeks.
Weekend workshops or retreats appeal to women who either live too far away or whose schedules prevent the full 8-week commitment. In addition, the week-long summer retreat is an option for women who want to write in a concentrated way. Other opportunities are always evolving. Check our website from time to time to see if something might work for you. You may also contact us with a suggestion for alternate formats. This is how the Third Thursday celebration circles and First Monday Mixed Media evenings came about!
5. What does it mean, that you are creating an intentional community?
In part, that we gather to write as a vehicle to greater awareness and intention in our lives. This means that each woman who joins this community takes active responsibility for her contributions to the whole: from bringing weekly writing, to asking for specific feedback, to communicating absences ahead of time, to bringing an open heart and leaving behind a critical mind.
It also means that women often return for multiple semesters, creating a sense of continuity and community over time. Unlike an academic course where a certain topic or skill set is covered in a given semester, our sessions are more experiential. How you approach this work largely determines what you gain from it.
6. How many women are in a typical circle?
We generally have 8 – 12 per circle, which allows us to create small groups of three or four where your writing gets heard and responded to every week according to the specific kinds of feedback you request.
7. I don’t know anything about giving critique.
We don’t offer typical critique. Rather, we lift up what is strong and powerful in each woman’s writing. Learning how to give and receive constructive feedback is a major focus of our work together. And our writing deepens as we listen to one another, learn from one another.
8. Can I make up a missed meeting by attending a different day?
No, you do not go back and forth between groups, as building a community of trust is integral to our work. There is no ‘make up’ opportunity per se. We do, however, send all materials to you the day you miss so you can keep current.
If you have a question that is not answered here,
please do not hesitate to contact us with it!