04 Sep STORYquest: Out of the Ashes – a memoir writing workshop
Heroic Writing is more important now than ever.
During these historically unprecedented times, writing our stories is more important than ever – not just the story of our times, but reflective stories about our lives. Ursula LeGuin said “Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begins in the art of words.”
However confused we may be by these times and our lives, however challenging it my be to face the scenes of our days, writing is a way to face and make sense of our personal journeys. Writing is how we go onto be whole and create essays and stories that entertain and heal others.
In STORYquest, we explore the The Hero’s Journey – writing to the stages of story that are essential to create the tapestry of a memoir. Creating through storytelling stages helps us shamelessly write about the challenges, the failures the grief, the celebrations and the wisdom lens we have looking back.
Our lives and our stories are first about surviving, and then thriving.
True Heroic writing is sharing those important moments with our readers, and not leaving any of it out – not the shame, not the conflicting calls, the hope, and certainly not the failures.
For all my writers who are longing to create a larger body of work – whether it’s in poetry, essays or memoir, Out of the Ashes will explore Rock Bottom, Celebrations, Trouble Again, Rebirth, Bringing the Magic Home and Integration – six critical phases of the Human Quest, inspired by Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey.
In this six week series, we will emerge Out of the Ashes.
The pieces of tangled wreckage that litters our lives are challenges.
Those events invite us to the narrative
that weave the frightening and precious moments of our lives,
those moments that created the person we are today….
a little worn, a lot wiser and ready to write.
Guest Teacher – Jeff Arch, Sleepless in Seattle
December 4th, Friday at 10:30 a.m. PST writer and producer Jeff Arch will give the writers taking this class a half hour talk, followed by a Q & A. Writers who cannot make the talk will receive a link to view the talk on their own schedule.
Our life stories become a beautiful mythology
When we tell our same stories over and over, those stories grow like a beautiful strong plant, the roots of the stories going deeper with every retelling. And something else happens, those stories become a powerful mythology, where the magic shines out of words and paragraphs, swirling around the reader like owls or fireflies, filled with symbology and magic.
Alchemy in story adds layers for the reader.
Six online classes and one Kauai class
(online optional for Kauai students each week, due to Covid)
The writers who have participated in my classes for the last ten years are influenced every week by poetic form. In a short period of time available to inspire writers, I read themed poetry and excerpts out of literature. And all my writers, sometimes without even trying, begin to bring poet form into their work.
Writers who must miss a class may audit another live class on the schedule.
Each group is an intimate group of 8 to 10 writers who work closely together for six weeks.
Inspiration for the Course – How we become the Hero
Several years ago I taught the Hero’s Journey in a 12-week session after studying Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and Christopher Vogler. I was excited to break down the Hero’s Journey into writing prompts, and instead of focusing on film, focusing on literature. The class was extraordinary, and resulted in a labor of love, the STORYquest workbook I designed for students.
Now you get to do this workshop live with eight other supportive writers and me. Though I will be bringing new content into the class not in the workbook, we will cover each stage of the Hero’s Journey, giving you an opportunity to develop content for a larger body of work – and for writers who aren’t writing a book, an opportunity to explore all the aspect of your life.
“We must break to become different
than who we are. Whether it’s a broken
bone, a broken habit, a broken marriage
or a broken heart, something must be
destroyed before something new
can be created.
It’s the hardest, most soul-wrenching
experience – breaking to the utmost of
what you always thought you were –
but beautifully brazen and raw,
wild as a black stallion and well worth the ride.”
Weekly Topics include:
- Rock Bottom
- Trouble Again
- Bringing the Magic Home
About the Class:
- Examples out of Poetry & Literature used each week
- Sections out of STORYquest workbook may be used for the class
- Class is for writers who want to practice craft & create new material
- Call is for students looking to thread together a larger body of work
ABOUT MY WRITING WORKSHOPS
Syn-creation – Why writing is a communal act
There is a magic that happens with intimate groups of writers creating together. I call it Syncreation – we are all writing on the backs of writers who came before us and influenced by the energy of the writers we are creating beside. When writers of all levels join each other to create (published authors beside someone new to the craft), it is a reminder we all have something to learn from each other. Often I am asked where I learned to write and my answer is simple:
I learned to write from my students.
Our writers call into our online groups from England, Australia, New York and California. They are actors, plumbers, hairdressers and published authors. All the writers, regardless of their background, come to the groups ready to write.
The time to join our writing groups is when you know it’s time to get your story onto the page.
Breaking into Story with Unique Writing Prompts & Exercises
In each class we will explore examples for each stage of the Hero’s Journey through Literature, poetry and some student work. This is not an academic course, but rather a course to help you create the beginning of a memoir, a group of poems that intersect or a series of essays. This is an invitations to the writer who knows it is time to write and create a body of work, or step up your weekly practice. In this class, writers will explore new ways of accessing language into your story.
“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting
to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. The key for writers is to look at that
shoreline again, with context and wisdom,
guiding the reader to the next shoreline, and the next
Included in classes are the following:
• Thirteen-minute live writing & group sharing
• Belong to a private Facebook group of all writers taking class
• Feedback from writing peers during class and throughout the week on FB
Two bonus Saturday morning talks with authors and writing teachers Judy Bridges and Alice LaPlante
Writing Teacher: Laura Lentz
Laura Lentz is the author of STORYquest, the Writer, the Hero, the Journey. Laura is a writing coach and developmental editor, teaching creative writing workshops online and on the north shore of Kauai for ten years. Her workbook helps writers turn their story into a 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 poetry, mythology and segments from literature. Her exploratory writing workshops include Love, Skin and Eros, The Poetry Room, and The Grace of the World, soon to become an anthology of the best of her student work publishing easy 2021. The book os essays is a love letter to earth.
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.
Share Your Writing in a Private Facebook Page
Throughout the course, you will have access to up to seventy writers in a private Facebook page who are also taking the same course – writing to the same course material. You will share in a private Facebook group, and receive positive feedback from your peers. This is a supportive creative writing group, commenting and reading throughout the course.
Weekly classes are limited to nine writers creating together.
Bonus classes are one class with all students taking the same course.
Bonus classes will be recorded for students who can’t make the schedule.
Meet Robin Gadient
Robin Gadient 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.
Meet Elizabeth Becker
Elizabeth is teaching our Saturday morning and Late afternoon Sunday series. She is a writer, spiritual coach, and exceptional leader, able to hold space not just for writers but for all the emotion that spills out from our stories. Elizabeth Becker is on her way to becoming a chaplain, currently working with patients and their families at a bay area hospital. She has published articles, essays and poems and focuses on grief recovery and social justice. Elizabeth is ready to help you write your stories. Elizabeth lives in the Bay Area, and is the mother of two teenagers, and lovingly caring for her 96-year-old father.