“Writing Your Way” Workshops

Programs for Children and Adults

“Wherever there are two human beings, there is an opportunity for kindness”. Seneca.

Photo showing Ellen at a workshop

Photo Courtesy of: Women on the Rise! (Miami Museum of Contemporary Art)

Why Writing Workshops?

The arts are an important way for children and adults to express their emotions, tell and reshape their life stories, cope with events in the world, expand their imaginations, and feel more whole.  Writing, like other arts, can help people become more creative and confident in all areas of their lives.

Although creative writing is taught in the school curriculum, a working writer brings a different dimension to the art, craft, and fun of poetry and stories.  Adults, too, often seek encouragement and group experience to begin the process of “freeing the writer within” in writer Natalie Goldberg’s words.

Ellen has worked through “Learning Through the Arts” ™ and “Living Through the Arts” ™, programmes run through the Royal Conservatory of Music. Individual schools and community organizations can now contact her directly. Schools can also invite her through the League of Canadian Poets and The Writers Union of Canada, which may supply funding through their Poets/Writers in Schools programs.  With adults, Ellen works in settings such as women’s shelters, hospitals, senior-citizens’ home like Baycrest in Toronto, and special-needs groups (e.g. Among Friends for people with mental health challenges, Gilda’s Club for people with cancer.) These writing workshops are geared to help people express their feelings and have some fun with language, and are not academic writing “classes.” Ellen uses writing exercises and prompts (sometimes including pictures and music) to inspire people’s creativity.  Several studies have shown that writing and other arts can help people recover from both physical and emotional illnesses and trauma.   If you are interested in a one-day or ongoing workshop for your community group, school, workplace, or small group, please contact Ellen by using the Contact Form, found by clicking the Contact page on this website.

Comments by workshop participants…

“I knew I needed to talk about my two grandfathers, but I didn’t know I could write a poem about them.” (grade 5 boy, Stratford, ON)

“You taught me poetry – I’ll never forget it.” (grade 6 girl, two years later, Woodstock ON)

“My students and I were fortunate to be able to work with such an enthusiastic teacher. Ellen demonstrated initiative and a strong rapport with the children. I am impressed with her knowledge of the writing process and her empathy towards the students.” (grade 3 teacher, Hamilton, ON)

“Starting to write is less scary now.” (adult participant, Sudbury, ON)

“(The writing workshop) builds self esteem and confidence. It can also reconnect me to important aspects of my personality and past that I had lost.” (adult participant, Toronto, ON)

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