Workshops & Retreats

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.

Begins Nov. 16
Writing from the Heart: A Women's Creative Writing Workshop
Mondays, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Nov. 16 - Dec. 21
Online via Zoom


Amherst Writers & Artists founder Pat Schneider said, "Everyone is born with creative genuis." This means you! In this 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.


REGULAR REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW CLOSED. If you'd like to drop in,  please send an email to The cost to drop in is $30.

Nov. 29
Home for the Holidays: Embracing a New Reality (Retreat)
Sunday, Nov. 29, 2 to 5 p.m.
Online via Zoom


This year the holiday season is going to look different for many of us. Perhaps we can’t travel, or beloved friends and family members won’t be visiting. How can we create a holiday season this year that is meaningful and joyful in its own way, even if we are spending it alone?


In this half-day retreat, we will explore this new terrain together. Through a series of journaling prompts, as well as guided meditation, we will discover the seeds of holiday joy that we can nurture into a life well lived—during the holidays and into the new year.


This retreat is open to everyone, whether or not you consider yourself a writer.

Cost: $45. All proceeds go to the hosting organization, Unity of Fairfax. To register, visit this page on Eventbrite.


Dec. 10
Creating Storybooks Kids Will Love (Guest Instructor: Barbara Leary)

Thursday, Dec. 10, 7 to 8:15 p.m.

Online via Zoom


Is there a story in your imagination that you've dreamed of holding in your hands and reading to a child? Something the little ones you love will treasure forever? It's never been easier to turn a story into a cherished keepsake for the children in your life and share it with the world. In this webinar, we'll cover the fundamentals of writing kidlit, how to find and select an illustrator, and share some tips on publishing your own work. This webinar is for everyone who believes in the magic of childhood and a captivating story. Our emphasis will be on picture books for children in preschool and elementary grades.

Cost: $30

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 practicing her storytelling skills on her granddaughters, Barbara works as a communications consultant and teaches graduate-level communications courses at Georgetown University. She also writes creative nonfiction and the occasional short story. In 2018, she edited and published Backstage at The Lost Colony, a tribute to America's longest-running symphonic outdoor drama, written by Dwayne Walls, Jr.

Dec. 30
Set Your Writing Goals!

Wednesday, Dec. 30, 7 to 8 p.m.

Online via Zoom

The cusp of a new year is a great time to reflect on your writing life and how you'd like it to evolve. We'll use a series of journaling prompts to help us evaluate our successes from 2020, imagine where we'd like to take our writing in 2021, and set some concrete goals. All writers are welcome! 


Cost: $15

© 2020 by Lisa Kinney Colburn

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