NEW! – Online Guided Memoir Writing Course
The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir
Work at Your Own Pace, Receive One-on-One Coaching, Tap Into Group Support
Are you ready to embark on the elemental journey of purposeful memoir?
This month-long course starts out from four fundamental premises about writing memoir:
- Everyone has a life story worth exploring in writing
- Even if you don’t intend to share your personal writing with others, the journey is still worth taking, as a voyage of self-understanding
- You don’t have to “be a writer” to write with passion and purpose about your life, in ways that others will find compelling and meaningful
- You don’t have to have a plan in place before you start writing; in fact, it can be better to just set off on the journey in a light-hearted way, without too many expectations or worries
Through a variety of thought-provoking prompts about different periods and aspects of your life, “The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir” online course will get you writing and offer specific guidance on how to refine your story, find your audience, and craft a beautiful, dynamic memoir.
Free introductory module–check it out at no cost or obligation! Free e-book and the option of discounted coaching sessions included with your enrollment.
Find out more and sign up here!
Upcoming Writing Workshops
September 17, 2017. North Adams, Massachusetts. “Writing From the Summit: Seeing Through Eagle Eyes.” A writing workshop in purposeful memoir. At Bascom Lodge, Mt. Greylock State Reservation. Register here.
October 21, 2017. Corte Madera, California. “Birthing Your Truest Stories by Nurturing Your Most Tender Voice.” A writing workshop in fiction and memoir co-led with doula/writer Audrey Kalman. At Book Passage. Register here.
Signature Writing Workshops
Available in a variety of formats, from a three-hour afternoon or evening session to a weekend retreat or week-long series. Contact Jennifer to work out the details!
The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir
Under Jennifer's expert guidance....
- Learn how to tap into the four elements—Earth, Water, Fire and Air—to help frame your personal experiences
- Get inspired by stimulating writing prompts providing multiple entry points into the story of your life
- Relax into a safe, nurturing circle of kindred spirits and together find the purpose embedded in your life experiences
- Experience the exhilaration of doing the inner work necessary to become a beacon for others coming along behind you on life’s journey
You know you have a million great stories to tell, but you’re not sure how to get going, or how to organize the stories into a coherent narrative. You want to share your life’s highs and lows with others, whether just friends and family or the whole wide world, but you’re not sure what to include and what to leave out.
You know how to write your story descriptively and chronologically, but you’d like to think creatively about using narrative techniques like flashback, internal monologue, dialogue and detail to bring the reader along with you into the most powerful scenes of your life. You want the support and encouragement of a circle of women all working together to bring out the best in each other’s writing.
If you recognize yourself in this picture, Jennifer’s signature workshop in purposeful memoir is for you! Available as an online course or in-person retreat, this writing workshop provides structure and support for a memoirist in any stage of the writing journey, from working with the initial concept of the memoir to fine-tuning the details and narrative arc. Under Jennifer’s deft, wise leadership, participants take great strides ahead on their projects, building
What they’re saying….
“Thank you for an excellent workshop. I really learned a lot from it.” –J.O.
“Thanks again for a wonderful workshop today. I enjoyed talking with you afterwards about our shared interests in helping others deepen their connections to the natural world.” — B.P.
Becoming Gaia: Aligning the Personal, Political and Planetary Through Purposeful Memoir
Coming soon as an online course!
Buddhist philosopher Thich Nhat Hanh says that if you look closely, you can see the whole world in your cup of tea. Similarly, if you view your life with the intent of aligning the personal, political and planetary axes of your experience, it quickly becomes clear that you are far more than just your individual self.
Each of us stands in the center of a network of multiple overlapping social groups that play a large—if not always fully obvious—role in determining who we are, how we behave, and how we perceive the world around us. We are also, whether we realize it or not, each a member of the Earth community, the vast ecological web of life on Gaia, our living planet Earth.
In this unique workshop, Jennifer guides you to take fuller stock of your unique place and role as a member of human society and the larger Gaian community. As you explore the multiple facets of your identity in this time and place, you develop a richer, more nuanced self-understanding. Highly valuable as part of the deeper work of purposeful memoir, this inner journey is important for anyone who seeks to develop a more rooted and healthy awareness of what it means to be a human on Earth today.
Working with the tools of purposeful memoir, you’ll use writing as a pathway to deep reflection and adventurous exploration of the multifaceted levels of your life experiences. You will come away from this course with a notebook (or computer folder) full of writing that seeks to align the personal, political and planetary in insightful new ways.
Whether or not you’re interested in writing a full-fledged memoir, this workshop will help you create a contoured, layered map of the landscape of your life experience, with a timeline highlighting not only the most important places, people and events in your personal life, but also in your experience as a member of multiple social groups and global communities.
The Butterfly Leadership Workshop for Teen Girls
This transformative, writing-intensive workshop, available in a variety of lengths and formats, will awaken teen girls and young women to the power of their own voices, both written and spoken. Through a combination of facilitated writing exercises, team-building activities, and public speaking training and practice, Jennifer gives girls the tools, strategies and confidence they need to speak up, stand up, and lead.
Write the Change You Want To See in the World
A writing workshop focused on helping you channel your passions into powerful, hard-hitting prose. Whatever gets you fired up—the environment, food, fashion, humor, politics, health issues, women’s issues or parenting, you name it!—Jennifer will guide you in honing your message, targeting your audience, and exploring different genres and opportunities for publication.
July 10, 2017. Bell's Island, Nova Scotia. “Doing Hope, Alone and Together: Reading and Reflections on Purposeful Memoir.” At LaHave Maritime Museum.
May 13, 2017. Sandisfield, Massachusetts. “Pipelines, Politics and Prose: Getting Personal About Our Planet.” Reading and writing workshop. At Sandisfield Arts Center.
April 22, 2017. Great Barrington, Massachusetts. “So Much Is In Bud: Cultivating Hope in an Age of Fear.” Special Earth Day writing workshop with Ellen Meeropol and Jana Laiz. At South Berkshire Friends Meeting House.
January – May, 2017. Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Monthly workshop series, “The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir.” At South Berkshire Friends Meeting House.
November 2016. Lenox, Massachusetts. Rookwood Memoir Writing Retreat for Women. At Rookwood Inn.
September 2016. Berkshire County, Massachusetts. “Finding Your Mountaintop: Writing Your Way to Clarity.” At Bascom Lodge, Mount Greylock State Reservation.
June 2016. Lenox, Massachusetts. Rookwood Weekend Memoir Writing Retreat for Women: From History to Her-story to Your Story. At Rookwood Inn.
January 2016. Lenox, Massachusetts. Rookwood Weekend Memoir Writing Retreat for Women: Focus on People. At Rookwood Inn.
August 8 – 12, 2016. Lenox, Massachusetts. “Butterfly Leadership Program Summer Intensive for Teen Girls and Young Women,” with Grace Rossman. At The Mount.
August 1 – 4, 2016. Great Barrington, Massachusetts. “Write the Change You Want to See,” with Jana Laiz. At Bard College at Simon’s Rock.
September 2015. Greylock, Massachusetts. "Gaia Calling: Writing in Nature, Writing For Nature." A writing workshop at the beautiful Bascom Lodge on Mount Greylock.
September 2015. Lenox, Massachusetts. "Memoir: Focus on Place." Rookwood Weekend Memoir Writing Retreat at Rookwood Inn.
July 2015. Lenox, Massachusetts. The Butterfly Effect, A Leadership Institute for Teen Girls, with a writing-intensive approach to finding purpose, developing confidence and leadership skills, and building community. Sponsored by the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, hosted at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s summer home.
June 2015. Moscow, Idaho. "The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir: A pre-conference workshop for teachers.” At American Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment Biennial Conference.
- Psst…the Personal is Planetary! Pass it On! We need to wake up and realize that everything we do as individuals has a political and planetary impact. Taking off from her own personal trajectory as an American woman, Jennifer envisions the future that we could create if we succeed in aligning the personal, political and planetary dimensions of our lives.
- From Anthropocene to Androgynocene: Balancing Masculine and Feminine Energies for a Sustainable Future. Our age is commonly referred to as the “Anthropocene”– the era when human activity became the most influential driver of change on Earth. Unfortunately, much of that change has been negative, as humans have polluted the environment and triggered the cascading effects of climate change with our over-reliance on fossil fuels. Analyzing the Anthropocene through a gendered lens, Jennifer relates our current social and political problems to an imbalance of the masculine and the feminine in human consciousness. If we can succeed in shifting from Anthropocene to Androgynocene, she argues, we can overcome all obstacles and move into a sustainable future.
What they’re saying….
“A powerful, compelling talk….Thank you for being that beacon of light and a reflective mirror for all of us.” –A.C.
“Your talk was, for me, very impacting and also moving….It helped me see the tremendous work you have done in integrating your own self-inquiry with your professional life and your hopes for the planet. Not easy stuff, and extremely courageous…..Literally ground-breaking.” –A.M.
“I wish to bottle and save the energy and inspiration you send out in your work. Thank you so much for the care with which you made this remarkable presentation.” –L.S.
See more testimonials.