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Life in 10 Minutes: Creative Nonfiction Workshop Series: Writers are thieves--of their own lives. Learn how to tap into your experiences, memories and flashes of insight to jump start that novel, short story, poem, memoir blog or creative journal that's been lurking beneath the surface. In these "writing from life" workshops, we'll explore how to access the right side of the brain, side-step writer's block and get all of our words, thoughts and ideas onto the page, determining the genre only after the essential words have been written. Join me for a 6 week series of reading, writing and sharing work aloud in class, that will result in your own portfolio of raw material, fresh ideas and beginnings that beg for your return. Please bring a journal and pen or pencil as we write by hand. Coffee, tea and chocolate provided!  8 student maximum per class. 

Other Classes:

Self-Care Retreat for Women: From time to time, we all need to step out of our busy lives and recommit to our innermost selves. Please join me for a day of writing, meditation, relaxation, intention setting and self-care in a safe and supportive environment. Coffee, tea, water and snacks will be provided. We will take a lunch break from 12-1. Please feel free to visit a restaurant nearby or bring your own lunch and make use of our kitchenette.

Write Your Heart Out: mini-marathon: Rant. Dream. Raise your fists at the sky. Wonder. Ask. Love. Bleed. Dig. Explore. Revel. In this 3 hour mini-marathon we will start in the present moment and write our hearts out, letting our pens lead the way through the jungles, caves, mountains and valleys of our interior lives. Bring your journal and your pen; leave your critic at the door.

Photo credit: Richmond Magazine

Photo credit: Richmond Magazine

Valley Haggard has written in short and long form all her life. She is a big fan of the postcard, the 6-word memoir and drawers full of unfinished manuscripts. She has slept in tents, hostels, motels, couches, tool sheds, log cabins, bunk beds and ship bowels for short periods of time and the house she grew up in for much longer than that. She has lived in Virginia, New York, Italy, Colorado, Arkansas, and Alaska, holding jobs as a Waffle House waitress, Dude Ranch Cabin Girl, cruise ship stewardess and hotel maid. She has written book reviews, author interviews and first person columns; judged fiction contests and fellowships and sat on non-profit writing boards. She is the recipient of a 2014 Theresa Pollak Prize and a 2015 Style Weekly Women in the Arts Award and the author of The Halfway House for Writers. She has a handsome husband, a brilliant son, an addictive personality and a voracious appetite for all things word.

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“This class has been so helpful to get back on track to writing, uncovering the layers upon that writing place in my heart. 10 minutes at a time seems to be the perfect amount of time to spend on the pain, getting me to the other side, to a field to run free on the page.”

— Donna

“Again, I loved this class—I find a deeper, more secret part of myself every time and it makes me hungry for more.”

— Liza

“I always grow in some way from these classes, but not always how I expected. I enjoy the alchemy of each class, how each group has a different feel. Hearing other people’s writing deepens my experience and having a supportive audience has improved my writing.”

— Julie

“I love this class. I really enjoy having the opportunity to write about anything with a little help from a prompt sometimes, and to receive personal, supportive feedback. I like having other people around who are writing without feeling pressured to impress. It is always a safe, comfortable environment. I have learned a lot (and surprised myself) just by putting pen to paper.”

— Selina

“I love this class more than [insert cliche]. I’m not sure what I’ll do now that it’s over. I’ve learned so much about myself as a writer and have gained confidence in myself (though it’s still hard sometimes not to be overcome with crippling self doubt...) I especially love being able to listen to what other people have written. Truly inspiring!”

— Paige