Our Approach

Portland Writers facilitates writing workshops in the Portland, Oregon area based on the Amherst Writers and Artists framework. Using prompts provided by the workshop facilitator, writers write for a set amount of time, then read their new words aloud. Listeners follow the set of guidelines provided by AWA to tell the reader what they like, what’s strong, and what they remember.

Portland Writers has inspired a burgeoning writer’s community that gathers for retreats, regular weekend writing sessions, readings and more. The people who are part of this community are enthusiastic about the group, supportive of the individuals involved and are sincerely passionate about writing.

Certain distinctions foster this loyalty: the AWA method of affirmative feedback, and taking the work at face value and not as a reflection of the author directly. Portland Writers has ultimate faith in the methodology and holds a safe, welcoming space where new work can emerge. We create an environment where writers can lose their self-consciousness and disengage their inner critical voice to allow their original voice to come forth.

Who are our participants?

Generally, our writers:

  • feel a serious need to write and are looking for a productive way to grow their practice
  • are interested in sharing their work with others (or learning to do so in workshop)
  • realize that by writing as part of a community they can productively mine their personal artistic depths to learn more about themselves in relation to their craft
  • strengthen their own writing through hearing others’ work and learning to give insightful feedback

As a participant, what do you get?

Time: we give you time away from your normal schedule dedicated to writing

Atmosphere: we create an atmosphere, based on a structure of affirmation and support, guided by credentialed, professional facilitators, that allows you to gain and maintain access to you writerly self

Reliable process: through the structure of the workshops, you grow to love the writing process and the writing community

Respect: we believe in the independence of the work itself, and do not see it as a reflection of the writer

New terrain: our guidelines allow you to fearlessly explore your writing psyche, helping you to find new places, ways and inspirations for your writing

Support: the opportunity to join an active, non-competitive, enthusiastic writing community

All this results in greater creativity with less emotional and practical time spent dealing with the inner critic. Our methods make you LOVE to write while helping you to trust that you already have the story you want to write. Eventually, the process results in the ability to self regulate, so you can guide your writing where you want it to go.

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