Writing to Heal Community Workshop
Life in 10 Minutes classes and books, The Halfway House for Writers and Surrender Your Weapons: Writing to Heal have been used with incarcerated women, war veterans, victims of sex trafficking, seniors in assisted-living, high school creative writing students, medical students, gender studies students, yoga teachers, Presbyterian deacons, recovering co-dependents, addicts, alcoholics, budding creatives and entrepreneurs, copywriters, first time writers, librarians, and small groups gathered together in living rooms across the city.
Writing in community fosters healing and connection. When our creativity is sparked and our memories and experiences are shared, our brains are rewired for empathy, compassion, forgiveness, and reflection. Writing is a timeless and accessible vehicle for processing, bonding, and more deeply getting to know ourselves and those around us. Writing in community bypasses the technology that has a tendency to make us feel connected but in truth keeps us isolated and apart.
If you are a community member, teacher or leader who would like to incorporate the teachings of Life in 10 Minutes into the work you already do or would like to begin doing, we’d love to share with you the teachings that have supported growth, transformation and healing in our workshops for the last 10 years. Participants will come away with a new set of tools for engaging their community, offering healing, and a concrete guide for harnessing the power of writing to transform lives.
In the years that I have facilitated Life In 10 Minutes groups in an assisted living facility, I have witnessed writers in their 70’s and 80’s use this format to create legacy pieces, manage adjustments to aging and relocation, process grief, and to face their own mortality. They have evolved as writers and have become confident in their ability to express themselves and in the value of their stories. The group has been a source of connection and comfort for writers in an age when our society often isolates and undervalues the oldest members. Being able to bear witness and hold space for these writers has been a gift to me and, I think, to the writers, as well.
Jennifer Jurlando, rehabilitation counselor and an adjunct instructor at VCU
I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Valley Haggard when she provided a transformative writing workshop as part of a VCU health equity seminar series. The workshop, delivered with her characteristic openness and gentle feedback, provided a rare opportunity for graduate level health science students at VCU to reflect upon and share their experiences as current and future health care providers. Valley's process is creative, engaging, and empowering and yielded unexpected and valuable insight to participants. I am eager to bring the experience to future students and faculty and would highly recommend Valley's writing workshop for any level of education, profession, or group.
Dr. Patricia Carcaise-Edinboro
VCU Spring 2018 Health Equity Implicit Bias lecture series
The Deacon Ministry at First Presbyterian church Richmond provides compassionate care to the members of our church and the community. We have many trainings throughout the year to equip us to be able to provide care. In the winter we offer a training that includes self care for the care giver. Valley Haggard lead this trading in 2018 and the impact was great. This was the first time some of our deacons had journaled. Many admitted to being nervous about the experience but commented on how safe Valley helped them feel. Tears were shed, laughter occurred and everyone left with a new way to tap into self care.
Mary Kay Collins | Associate Pastor for Congregational Life
First Presbyterian Church
As a trauma informed yoga teacher, I have used the Halfway House for Writers as a resource to teach men in treatment, women in prison, and survivors of sexual trauma how to reject what others have drilled into them and find their own truth. The book has been a valuable tool and resource in the healing process for these men and women who have been victimized how to not victimize themselves.
Billie Southworth Carroll
Trauma Informed/Addiction Recovery Yoga Instructor
Every writer, novice or published, poet or prose, needs to hear what Valley has to say: 'No words are wasted. Everything you've written has brought you here. You're safe.' The Halfway House is an instrumental tool for the writer and her inner critic. I use it as a primary text in my creative writing classes. We return to it again and again. It gives everyone permission to be vulnerable and get to the task at hand--telling the truth, saying what needs to be said. Opening the door to possibility and holiness. I use it because it saved me.
Michele Young Stone, author of Lost in the Beehive and Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors
Support a Community Member
Every $75 donation is matched by Life in 10 Minutes to fund a community activist's attendance to the Writing to Heal Community Workshop. Life in 10 selects applicants to this donation fund from community leaders, teachers, or those looking to build a practice serving a community in need. Thank you for your support.
If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details on the application process.