September- October

Writing Workshops (Memoir-Travel and Wilderness)

with Janet Thomas

2017 Writing Workshops at Deer Park 


5-8 September

Write Heart, Write Mind

Our writing knows more than we do. When we accept this, and enter the possibilities beyond what we "think" we "think," we open the writing door and explore the ways in which personal truth leads to deeper universal experience. We live in sound-byte disposable times; writing beyond texting, face-booking, emailing and tweeting, is writing that matters and writing that lasts--whether we choose to share it or not. Our writing can teach us who we are when we are not looking—or being looked at.




12-16 September

Travel Writing

In both travel, and travel writing, the outer journey needs the depth of the inner journey, and the inner journey needs the boldness, the craziness, and the comic relief of the outer journey. Travel writing reminds us who we are, where we've been, where we're going--and why it matters. From the convenient travel tip to the inconvenience of facing ourselves at-large in the world, travel writing is a trip in itself. It offers the writer and the reader both information and inspiration. It brings the world home.





27-30 September

The Art & Craft of Writing a Memoir

Following one thread of experience in our lives weaves through it all. Memoir is about what we love, have learned from, been changed by, and wonder about. In writing memoir, we get to live our lives twice, complete with the grace of hindsight as well as with the honesty that makes each life compelling and true. This memoir workshop is about diving into the depths where our own unique story reflects a universal truth: “The deeper you go, the more universal you get.” Our stories save the world. When we write a memoir, and let the writing lead the way, we enter our lives in ways that deepen our appreciation of our own story, and one another's stories. We broaden our relationship to the world within and the world without—for ourselves and for the reader.




4-8 October

Retreat, Reflect & Write

In these few days together, we explore the ways in which our writing is nurtured by silence, nature, and reflection. All writing—whether it is prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, or science-fiction—requires the attention of our expansive mind. And in order to find its own unique way into language and writing, our expansive mind needs the spaciousness of the natural world and its non-verbal wisdom. We will also explore the work of Nature Writers from around the world.



Language Note for Writing Workshops: In these writing workshops, I strongly recommend that participants consider writing in their first language. If we experienced our early lives in a language other than English, it is often that first language that leads the way into our deepest truths and memories. When writing is shared within the group (always voluntarily), it can be shared in the first language and then loosely translated into English. This gives writers access to the freedom and the rhythms of writing that come naturally through the body as well as through the reflections of the mind. Writing can always be translated into English, and grammar can easily be fixed, but to be fully recognized, the memories of heart, mind, and body often need expression through their first language of experience.



Janet Thomas has been teaching yearly workshops at Deer Park since 2009. Her books include, The Battle in Seattle—The Story Behind and Beyond the WTO Demonstrations, and Day Breaks Over Dharamsala—A Memoir of Life Lost and Found. She has written plays and poetry and was the editor of a travel magazine for five years. She lives and writes on an island off the coast of Washington State in the U.S.