June 2015

Amherst Writers & Artists


June 2015

Amherst Writers & Artists Newsletter
Strokes of Inspirationfacebooktwitter

View Newsletters Online

May Newsletter Photo by Maureen Buchanan Jones
Image Credit: Maureen Buchanan Jones

Dear AWA Friends,

Who isn't inspired by a jumble of used paintbrushes? Who doesn't want to spread color and shape onto a page? We are paintbrushes. We are particular bristles, unique lengths, different handles of wood, metal or plastic. We have images and rhythms inside us, and when we collect in a writing workshop, we witness what others have inside them. Sometimes we want broad strokes, and sometimes we want a hairline definition. On any given day we can choose whether our voice is coarse or soft, lengthy or stubby. An AWA writing workshop is an open drawer of inspiration whenever we meet. Are you feeling the tint and line length in your voice?

We are still absorbing the ways that the AWA Conference infused energy, inspiration and knowledge into this community. The effects are profound as old and new alliances percolate. We are also still reeling with gratitude for everyone who was part of that weekend, even if only through the smallest wish.

AWA has a POETRY CONTEST!!!! We would be honored and delighted to consider your work. Please send in your poems and encourage others to do so too. The postmark deadline is July 1st. Contest details are below and on the AWA website.

The latest edition of Peregrine is available on Amazon's CreateSpace. This glorious collection of voices is preceded by Pat Schneider's acknowledgment of the devoted people who sustained Peregrine for over 30 years. AWA is proud of this rich contribution to the literary world.

Ten workshop leaders completed the AWA Training Program in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. We wholeheartedly welcome them into this community! We will embark on 3 more trainings through 2015: in Mono, Ontario; Chicago, Illinois; and Loranger, Louisiana. If you or someone you know would like to fully prepare to lead writing workshops using the AWA Method, please see the schedule and application process below and on the AWA website.

Summer equinox means stretching as far as we can toward the light, opening our arms wide for the expanse of daylight. Is this when we're most unbalanced? I hope so; isn't that when our writing surprises us most?

With respect and gratitude,
Maureen Buchanan Jones
Executive Director


Pat Schneider Poetry Contest: One week left!

Please consider sending a few of your poems to the Fifth Annual Pat Schneider Poetry Contest. The first prize is $1000 and publication in Peregrine!

If you aren't a poet yourself, please consider sharing this opportunity with any you think would be interested. There's one week left until the postmark deadline of July 1st. If you choose to offer your work to us, or to share the call for submissions with others, know that we are grateful. Thank you for helping us to for honor Pat's literary legacy in this way.

For full guidelines, please visit our website.


Training Updates: Pennsylvania, Ontario Next

Our first training session in Pennsylvania went very well last month. Ten capable new workshop leaders joined the AWA community, trained by Maureen Buchanan Jones and Karen Buchinsky. Welcome!

Pennsylvania Group PhotoLeft to right back row: Tema Okun; Meg Weston; Susan Clark; Karen Buchinsky, Instructor; Brenda Reilly; Jessica Wolf; Karen Vrotsos; Junious Ward. Front row: Sarah Williams-Devereux; Nanneke van Drunen; Maureen Buchanan Jones, Instructor; Cathy Wald.

Next, we'll be returning to Ontario, Canada in July. If you'd like to join us in 2015, please begin the application process online by visiting the Training Schedule. Or, to apply offline, download and print the 2015 Application and send it with the $300 deposit to:

Amherst Writers & Artists
PO Box 1076
Amherst, MA 01004

If you have questions, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We look forward to hearing from you!

AWA Workshop Group Leadership Trainings in 2015

2015 Training in Ontario, CanadaJuly 22 - 26

Ecology Retreat Centre Mono, ON, Canada

September 9 - 132015 Training in Chicago, IL

Cenacle Retreat
Chicago, IL

2015 Training in Loranger, LA November 15 - 19

Solomon Episcopal
Loranger, LA


Founder's News


Pat turned eighty-one this month, on the 1st of June. She wrote a beautiful post about the day on her blog. At the conclusion of the post, she shared "POEM ON THE EVE OF AN 81st BIRTHDAY" as a gift. Thank you for this gift, and all others, Pat. Congratulations and happy birthday!


Affiliate Classifieds


Your writing news here. AWA Affiliates are invited to email us 50-word announcements of writing-related news for inclusion in our Affiliate Classifieds. Each Affiliate may share news in four newsletters a year. Please take advantage of this space and help us showcase your brilliance! To do so, send an email with your 50 words to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


"Writing as an art form belongs to all people, regardless of economic class or educational level. . . . A writer is someone who writes."
-Pat Schneider


A Gift of Inspiration

Who is your favorite AWA writer? Someone in your workshop? Someone whose voice stays with you? Show appreciation to your favorite writer by donating $20 to AWA in her or his name. They will receive a card informing them of your donation and the knowledge that AWA continues its mission around the world.

To date, dozens of AWA writers have received this note of praise for their work. Choose your writer and let them know that they inspire you!



Page 1 of 8