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Workshops & Retreats

Morven Park Archives - Snow 2004
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Retreat participants
Workshop Methods

I use two primary methods in my workshops and retreats:


The Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) method, founded by Pat Schneider, which is a time-tested way to encourage writers to be bold and experimental with their writing.


Journaling, which draws on the pioneering work of Kathleen Adams, founder of the Center for Journal Therapy and the Journal to the Self® method.


I have indicated which method is primary in each of the listings below (although sometimes I do like to mix and match!). For more information about each of these methods, click on the links above.

All workshops are offered on Zoom in the Eastern time zone unless stated otherwise. 

Jan. 16
Writing from the Heart: A Women's Creative Writing Workshop 
Mondays, 2 to 4 p.m. ET, Jan. 16 - Feb. 27 (6 weeks; no workshop Jan. 30)
Online via Zoom


Amherst Writers & Artists founder Pat Schneider said, "Everyone is born with creative genuis." This means you! In this six-week generative workshop, you’ll receive a wide variety of writing prompts to fire up your imagination, write in whichever genre(s) you choose, and read your work aloud if you wish. All feedback will celebrate what is strong and memorable in your writing. Come and share your stories in this wise and encouraging community! Women writers at any level of experience are welcome.


This is an Amherst Writers & Artists workshop. To learn more about this workshop method, click here


Cost: $35 to drop in. Please email for availability.

Feb. 15
Tending Your Soul Fire: Group Coaching for Creatives
Wednesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. ET (6 biweekly sessions: Feb. 15, March 1, 15 & 29, April 12 & 26)
Online via Zoom


I have always believed that our writing, our art, our music is a calling of the soul—one that we must answer if we truly want to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. If you have a project you would like to make progress on, or you simply want to make writing (or art) a more integral part of your everyday life, I invite you to join me for this group creativity coaching series.

Over the course of six biweekly sessions, our small group (limited to 6 participants) will explore the projects that call to us and the obstacles that get in the way of our creating. We will listen to and encourage one another, and we will build an intimate, supportive community along the way. Between the biweekly sessions, I will be available for email support as needed. To learn more about creativity coaching, please visit my Coaching and Coaching FAQ pages.

Cost: $299Please register using the PayPal link provided. If you wish to pay by check or if finances are a hardship for you at this time, please email

Feb. 21
Kidlit Basics: How to Write a Children's Picture Book 
(Guest Instructor: Barbara Leary)
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 7 to 8:15 p.m. EST
Online via Zoom


Have you ever held a picture book in your hand and felt the urge to create one from your own idea? Is there a character giggling in your ear or tugging at your sleeve? Maybe it’s time to wrestle that little imp onto the page. If you have a story to tell–or even the faintest wisp of an idea–and need help getting started, this webinar is for you. We’ll cover the basics of writing for small children (ages 0 to 8) and offer some tips and tricks for writing (or refining) your own manuscript.

Cost: $30. Please register using the PayPal link provided. If you wish to pay by check or if finances are a hardship for you at this time, please email

About Barbara

Barbara Leary will share what she learned through the process of writing and publishing her three children's books inspired by her granddaughters: Virginia Loves Dogs, Caroline and the Not-Mamma, and The Climbing Tree, which won first place in the Writer's Digest 2020 Self-Published Book Awards in the category of Early Readers / Children's Picture Books. When she’s not living in a world of make believe, Barbara teaches graduate-level writing courses at Georgetown University.

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