The Dare to Write Circle is a place for thoughtful, compassionate adults who want to write—or to write more.
Regardless of genre, we yearn to tell the stories only we can tell, whether from memory or imagination, or both. We are receptive to the voices of others, and we recognize that (somehow) we become more human when we create.
We abide by the five essential affirmations of the Amherst Writers & Artists’ (AWA) method:
- Everyone has a strong, unique voice.
- Everyone is born with creative genius.
- Writing as an art form belongs to all people, regardless of economic class or education level.
- The teaching of craft can be done without damage to a writer’s original voice or artistic self-esteem.
- A writer is someone who writes.
We gather to write. After a brief welcome, a prompt is shared. It may be an image, an object, a word, a poem; it is open enough to wade into our own writing. When the first timed write ends, we use a different style prompt to usher us into another round of timed writing. Each of us is always welcome to adapt or ignore the prompts—whatever best serves our writing, best gets our voice on the page.
In the second half of the Dare to Write Circle, we read one of our pieces aloud. Reading our freshly written words is optional but highly encouraged. As a member of the circle, the facilitator also writes and reads. To keep the focus on the writing, all work is treated as fiction, even if true. After a reader finishes, we echo back encouraging comments: what stays with us? what do we find strong? what do we like? There is no critique of newborn words.
We sometimes end with a quick third write. We may share these pieces, usually with a single response of “thank you.” And then we depart, buoyed by writing alone and with others.
I’ve compiled Frequently Asked Questions about my Dare-to-Write Circle if you wish to read more.
Maybe you haven’t written since you submitted your final high school essay, maybe you’ve published poems and novels. Whatever your experience, you are welcome, so please, come as you are.
Thanks to the Access Copyright Foundation for supporting writers and for the professional development grant to assist with my AWA Facilitator Training.