Online classes, Summer 2020

I’m offering two online classes this summer. Both will be six-week courses meeting once a week on Zoom, and both are open to everybody, whether you’re an experienced writer or not.

* Writing for Awareness

This course focuses on writing as a tool for mindfulness. We start by expanding our view of what our senses can tell us, and move through a series of exercises and invitations to tune into our surroundings, our inner landscape, other people, and language. The class will ground you and gently stretch you; it’s exhilarating and calming. Rather than writing as a finished product, we focus on language as a lens that enables a meditative process of paying attention. You’ll be contacting, not escaping, your reality. Wednesdays, 7:30-8:30pm, July 8-August 12. $150.

* Language of Environment

“Nature writing” might make you think of Thoreau or John Muir, but it’s obvious that the world has moved beyond the state of idyllic wilderness. We need writing that tries to reckon with our current conditions—finding words for the grief, rage, and yet joy and connection that we feel in the midst of the Anthropocene. This will be a multi-genre course (poetry, nonfiction, and all other forms welcome) that helps you wrestle with the task of writing nature and place in a time of crisis. Thursdays, 7:30-8:30pm, July 9-August 13. $150.

Testimonials from recent students:

Erika Howsare’s online writing workshop is a revelatory experience. She is a consummate professional, deftly guiding fellow writers on a journey of self discovery, refinement, and most importantly a growing awareness of writing as a path to greater mindfulness in everyday life.

Erika’s poetry writing workshop is connecting me to creativity and community at a time when these connections feel so tenuous. The writing prompts have provided focus and inspired bigger projects. The feedback from Erika and everyone in the workshop has helped me find clarity, courage, and confidence. Highly recommend! 

How it works:

–We will meet by Zoom once a week for an hour. I’ll send some suggestions for exercises and practices by email ahead of each meeting, and students will share and talk about their work during our meetings. We will discuss and respond to each other’s work in class, and we’ll also do some other brief exercises together in real time. We’ll be creating a supportive creative community based on honesty and kindness.

–I may suggest some other short readings or viewings to look at during the week, if they’re things we can all access online. We’ll discuss these in class, too.

–You’ll need to spend a few hours a week writing on your own, and be available for hour-long class meetings during which you can be pretty well uninterrupted and focused.

–Cost for each class is $150.

–I’ll take up to six students per course.  Please contact me through this site if you’re interested, and forward to other folks as they come to mind!