Transition and Transformation: Writing for Self-Discovery

Saturday, March 18, 2017, 12:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Location: South Euclid-Lyndhurst -

Audiences: Adults, Teens (Grade 6-12)

Event Type: Writing

Ready or not, we all go through numerous transitions in our lives -- starting or ending a job, divorce, death of a loved one, an empty nest. Each transition brings with it an ending and possible feelings of loss, but also signifies a new beginning. This workshop will help participants discover how writing can clarify meaning, aid introspection, and increase our options for creativity during the journey of transition. No writing experience necessary. Please register at the bottom of this page.

12:30 Check-in
1:00 Welcome
1:15-2:45 Breakout Sessions. Choose one: A, B or C.
2:45-3:00 Break
3:00-4:30 Breakout Sessions. Choose one: D, E or F.

Breakout Sessions:
A: An Ear That Always Listens: Journaling Our Way through Life’s Changes
The value of journaling to help us strengthen not only our self-understanding but also our physical and emotional health and vitality has been well documented. In this workshop, we'll explore journaling to support ourselves through life's transitions, large and small. Participants will sample three journaling techniques and leave with resources, knowledge and tools that will allow them to create or enhance their own journaling practices.

Cindy Washabaugh is an organizational consultant and creative arts practitioner. Her book, Collinwood: Who we are, Where we live, a compilation of writing by members of the Collinwood community, ages 8 to 94, was released in November 2015, and her poetry collection, Sings the Body, was released in October 2016.

B: Walking through Walls: Unlocking the Power in Personal Imagery
Our subconscious acts on words and imagery in a much more immediate and palpable way than our conscious, everyday minds. To harness this dynamic tool, we will use writing exercises to discover personal metaphors and begin drafting pieces of writing (with a focus on poetry and nonfiction). Ultimately, these pieces can act as powerful guides through the challenges of transition and transformation.

Katie Daley performs her poetry in theaters, saloons, street corners and schoolrooms across the USA and Canada. She has won two individual artist fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council and has produced a CD of her poetic monologues, as well as three chapbooks. She is a member of Drifters Inn, a band that marries spoken word with slide guitars, mandolins, and song.

C: Voices of the Self: From Experience to Narrative
This fun, interactive workshop will help you explore your creativity through mindfulness and writing. Merging simple meditation and writing exercises, participants will learn how to approach their own personal experiences to create transformative narratives. Participants discover how an attitude of self-compassion, broad-mindedness, and self-awareness turns writing into an intimate exploration of the world in free writing, poetry or prose.

Daniel Gray-Kontar is a poet, rapper, journalist, educator, and youth mentor. Gray-Kontar, whose poetry has appeared in many anthologies, is also the 1994 national poetry slam co-champion. His music and social criticism have appeared in The Village Voice and other magazines. He is the founder and director of Twelve Literary and Performative Arts Incubator.

D: The Long Black Bag: Illuminating our Shadows to Help Us Grow and Thrive
According to psychologist Carl Jung, we each have pleasant, acceptable aspects of ourselves that we show the world and “shadow” aspects that we may hide, even from ourselves. Unveiling and understanding our shadows is integral to supporting us through life’s transitions because it is in these dark spaces that our most genuine feelings and experiences may hide. In this workshop, we will learn more about our shadows and practice a writing technique to help us put them in context for ourselves in relation to our life journeys.
Cindy Washabaugh (see session A).

E: Voices of the Self: From Experience to Narrative

Daniel Gray-Kontar
(See session C.)

F. Writing the Hard Truths
This workshop will explore how we can draw on past experiences – including our most painful ones – to produce good writing that is at once therapeutic and has artistic value. We will explore difficult, thorny questions such as writing about childhood, tackling taboos, and telling stories about loved ones without getting uninvited from dinner.

Lee Chilcote lives in a 1900 Victorian in Cleveland with his wife, Katherine, and their three children. He has worked as a community organizer, real estate developer, writer and teacher. He holds degrees from Oxford University and Cleveland State University. His writing has appeared in Vanity Fair and numerous literary journals. He is cofounder and director of Literary Cleveland.

Please REGISTER here.