First We Dare to Live – Then We Dare to Write

 When writing personal essays, memoir and confessional poetry, we often play it safe, catering to the conservative sensibilities of our outer self and the reader. But what if we dared to write about those things we think, but do not say? Or the things we avoid thinking about entirely? What if we went from one dimensional writing to multi dimensional writers.

Spiritual leader Osho said, “You can attain a very high peak if you are one dimensional, but you will only be a peak.  I would like you to become the whole range of the Himalayas, not just a peak, but peaks upon peaks.”  In this unique time in history, becoming multi dimensional is essential to the creative process, when writers need to discover the combination of words and truths to create stories that are as expansive as our human experience.

We live in vulnerable times – times that call for a new way into story. T.S. Eliot wrote “Last year’s words belong to last year’s language –  and next year’s words await another voice.” 


“During times of great uncertainty,

we have to intentionally choose courage.

It is not the default.”

Brene Brown 


Sample Memoirs 

In this next 6-week workshop, students will study work from six exploratory memoirs to create writing prompts that lead us into Daring Writing to find our truths, then amplify them in our voice.  In this world where we all feel vulnerable, having the courage to write our truths is as important as breathing. Writers will create their life stories using a fresh, new perspective, pulling inspiration from poetry, philosophy and contemporary writers who are changing the literary landscape:


“Each person comes into this world with a

specific destiny, and some of us are meant

to write their story and share it.  

Some message has to be delivered

to the world, through a book or spoken word

or a poem.

You are not a writer accidentally.

You are here meaningfully.

The whole intends to do something through you,

but first you must show up.”

Topics explored in the next six-week course include:


Guilt is “I made a mistake. Shame is I am a mistake.”  So begins the beautiful, heart stopping memoir by John Hendrickson “Life on Delay.” Shame is paralyzing, it’s a windowless room, but it shapes who we become and who we are becoming when we write about it and break through it it to empower ourself and others.  Shame is an emotion that makes for relatable, human stories and human evolution, and we will explore shame in story and memoir to embrace the emotion as part of the life-story.


Love and sexuality shape us, launch us and continues to mold us at every age.  Love and the expression of love through the body is a verb, an action, a sacrament.  There is a power and an engine to love that expresses what is in us and helps give shape back to the world. The love in the world bounces back at us, and helps to reshape our inner selves.   Love and sexuality belongs in stories, poetry and essays. To leave it out is to give disservice to the story, but to add love and sexuality to our stories is to offer a dimension. We are each other’s love stories.


Bell Hooks wrote “while privacy strengthens all our bonds, secrecy weakens and damages connection. We do not usually know the emotional costs of keeping a secret until the truth is disclosed. Secrecy ofen involves lying, and lying sets the stage for betrayal and violation of trust.  Secrets in ancestral lineage carries forward into future generations.  Many memoirs are launched on a secret revealed, and the tense issue of trust. In this class we will use exercises to reveal and unpeel the layers of secrets and ways to reveal them that turn them into a page turning story.



My mother walked around the house smoking in her underwear, with one breast. We had to beg her to put on clothes when our friends came over, and eventually we just went to their home. Good stories are often about times when we couldn’t hold a boundary, or when we crossed the boundary of another.   Or someone in our life whose boundaries were so different from our own. Boundaries are a topic in self help and therapy sessions over the world, and yet we all know how hard they are to hold, and how great stories are often about crossing boundaries.  I bet you can think of one right now!


Author John Shedd wrote – “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”  We take risk in life, and then we take creative risks to put that truth onto the page in a way that re creates what was and is at stake. In this class, we are going to explore risk inside our stories, in a way we explored risk in our lives. We risk our hearts, we risk our reputation, we risk what people will say about us if we fail or change or shout. Risk is a key ingredient in a great story and a great poem.



Poet Carl Phillips, who just won the Pulitzer Prize for his book of extraordinary poetry, uses imagery and metaphor to show us the deeper meaning of faith, love, gratitude and loss.  We will hear from Carl in talks and through his carefully selected poetry to remember how to link imagery in the natural world to express big truths that might be hard to access any other way. A wonderful exploration of bold, expansive writing through a master of poetic form. Carl’s book The Art of Daring – Risk, Restlessness, Imagination is being used for this series.

*Topics subject to change

Writing with Truth & Courage   

The way we experience story is evolving with the language needed for the world we live inside. By participating in this live 6-week class series, you will have the opportunity to explore Daring writing and daring topics for your memoir in progress, essays or poetry. 


Meaning comes through participation. First, you must participate fully in life – deeply and as fully as possible. You must risk to participate fully. If you want to know what good writing is, join a group of good writers, don’t just read a book, come into community and watch writers improve and birth stories. By writing beside them, you will learn to write. Don’t just go see a book reading, write your own stories, and do your own reading. To learn writing, be a writer. Joining this writing community is like joining a family of writers who support and nourish your creative process. Each week, writers take the live online (in in person on Kauai) class with the same 8-10 writers from all over the world,  writing together and sharing  stories in a 2 1/2 hour class.

Writers work closely together for six weeks, deeply bonding and supporting each other’s creative growth.

If anyone has to miss a week, they can audit the class with another live group on another day, or receive the class via Power Point.  Writers learn from the curriculum, but also from the positive  feedback received from other writers.  When we focus on what is good in writing, we develop an ear for inviting more of what is good.


This six-week course is especially compelling if you are working on a book, blog, poetry or a series of essays.  It’s a wonderful way to explore an event and learn how step by step to be in a deeper discovery for yourself and the readers.

Every writer in this group is respected and honored, so that not just the story is honored, but the whole process of writing a story or poem is honored.

Many of our students have gone on to publication through this process of writing every week, and many of our writers are authors writing beside writers who are new to the practice. We all learn from each other’s work each week, and this course will help every writer go deeper to gain new perspectives for the sake of creating compelling work and upleveling the craft of storytelling and poetry.

Abraham Lincoln said “I am very grateful to you for reminding me of my father. My father was so beautiful, and such a creative artist – there was no other man who could make such beautiful shoes. I know perfectly well that whatever I do, I will never be such a great president as he was a great creator. I cannot surpass him.”


This six- week series has been developed to inspire writers to go deepear into their personal truths and philosophies, by looking at memoirs breaking literary rules and inspiring us to explore the canvas of our stories through inspiring techniques and writing prompts.

Writers receive literary inspiration, followed by writing warmups in the form of list making. Pre-writing exercises lead us into a longer thirteen minute write.

After we write, we share our stories and deeply listen with positive feedback.  Writers become part of a private Facebook writing community with other writers taking the same curriculum, where all writers have the opportunity to post their work and receive and offer feedback throughout the six week course.

Osho says, “When you listen attentively to somebody, you forget yourself. If you cannot forget yourself, you never listen. When you listen, you become just a passage, a passivity, a receptivity, a womb.” 

By learning deep listening in our classes, writing gets more bold, more daring, and just more. 


Educator: Laura Lentz, author

Laura Lentz is the author of  Freeing the Turkeys and STORYquest, the Writer, the Hero, the Journey. Laura teaches creative writing workshops online and on the north shore of Kauai for over a decade. Her workbook helps writers write to every stage of their story inspired by the Hero’s Journey through 12-weeks of writing prompts and examples out of best selling memoirs and poetry. Laura helps writers create content and expand their body of work through unique methods – offering challenging and thought provoking writing prompts inspired by list making, poetry, mythology and segments from literature.

Laura creates the curriculum for the 6-week writing workshops also taught by Guest Teachers.

Laura’s 6-week workshops are online and on the north shore of Kauai. Laura serves on the faculty of The Kauai Writers Conference, and is conducting a Master Class for writers who want to write in sacred places on Kauai and allow Kauai’s beauty to influence their work.

Educator: Robin Gadient, Poet

Meet Robin – Teaching Friday and Saturday

Robin Gadient, teacher of STORYquest, the Writer, the Hero, the Journey has developed a following as both a writer and a teacher. Robin has been writing in Laura’s writing groups creating poetry and heart opening stories for several series. Sometimes the student becomes the teacher right before your eyes.  Robin graduated from UCSB with a BA in literature. Robin has the uncanny ability to hold space for all writers and respond in a way that creates the needed energy to create her community within a larger community.



To be on a wait list for a future class, contact  and let her know your preference

Thursday Online 

with Laura Lentz


4pm PST / 7pm EST
Class is 2 1/2 hours –

 6-week session:

June 1st, 8, 15, 22, 29

July 6



Sunday Online

w/ Laura Lentz


10:30 am PST / 1:30 pm EST

Class is 2 1/2 hours –

6-week session:

May 28, June 4, 11, 18, 25

July 2


Monday Online –

with Laura Lentz 


4 p.m. PST / 7 p.m. EST

Class series is 2 1/2 hours –

6-week session:

May 29, June 5, 12, 19, 26

July 3rd


Tuesday Online –

with Laura Lentz


4 p.m. PST / 7 p.m. EST

Class series is 2 1/2 hours –

6-week session:

May 30, June 6, 13, 20, 27th

July 11



Kauai & Online 


5:30 pm Hawaii /7:30 pm PST

Class series is 2 1/2 hours –

 6-week session:

May 31, June 7, 14, 21, 28

July 5


Saturday Online

with Robin Gadient


10:30 a.m. PST / 1:30 p.m. EST

. Class is 2 1/2 hours

6-week session:

June 3, 10, 17, 24, July 1

July  8


Friday Online 

with Robin Gadient

11:00 am  PST / 2 p.m. EST

Class is 2 1/2 hours –



6-week session:

June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

July  7