August 2015

Amherst Writers & Artists


August 2015

Amherst Writers & Artists Newsletter
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August Newsletter Photo by Maureen Buchanan Jones
Image Credit: Maureen Buchanan Jones

Dear AWA Friends,

Sometimes the stories and poems that circle inside us get tangled and blocked. But writing with others allows the same writing to spool from our pens. Why is this? The art installation in the photo gives us a clue: Jena Priebe's art blurs the boundary between the physical material of a book and the mental experience of a text. The installation is called Bibliothecaphilia from the Greek bibliotheca, meaning library, which is a collection of books for reading or study. Our minds are like libraries, holding characters and images that want to be shared. The title for the art is also from the Greek philia, meaning friendship. Philia means a friendly feeling toward. For those of us with libraries inside, writing with others who love to put words on a page can loosen the tangle. Find your chair within the collection of chairs and let your pages spool.

Summer finds us past the middle of the 2015 Training Program at AWA. We are heading to Chicago, IL in September and then to Loranger, LA in November. Please join us if becoming a workshop leader is part of this year's goal. We are still accepting applications. We are also finalizing the 2016 Training Program schedule and will be posting all the details on the AWA website in September.

AWA Press is proud to announce its latest publication Travel By Night by Peggy Reber. The launch is scheduled for October 25 in downtown Amherst. Those of us who have had the privilege of writing with Peggy are over the moon that this book will finally be in our hands.

If a circle of chairs isn't possible, perhaps a hammock in the shade or porch swing in the rain will help you unravel your tales. If all else fails, a notebook in the supermarket parking lot works just fine too! Keep writing.

With gratitude and respect,
Maureen Buchanan Jones
Executive Director


Training Updates: Chicago next month, Louisiana in November!

In late July, we completed a training at the beautiful Ecology Retreat Centre in Mono, Ontario. The new workshop leaders (pictured below) will make fantastic contributions to our community. We are happy to welcome them!

Left to right (instructors in italics): Jaclyn Desforges, Sue Reynolds, Gayle Church, Morgan Leichter-Saxby, Roanne Thomas, Jennifer Graham, Helen Hill, Bronwin Singleton, Jayelle Lindsay, Maureen Buchanan Jones


Louisiana Flyer
Our training in Chicago, IL has just one space left and is a few weeks away. There is just one more 2015 training after that, in Louisiana. We've put together a flyer (linked at left) you can use to let people know about the training. Please help us spread the word to your writing communities, especially those in the southern U.S., and to folks you think would excel as workshop leaders.

If you want to become an AWA-certified workshop leader this year, begin the application process online. Or, to apply offline, download and print the 2015 Application and send with a $300 deposit to:

Amherst Writers & Artists
PO Box 1076
Amherst, MA 01004

Please feel free to contact us with any questions 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 Chicago, ILSeptember 9 - 13

Cenacle Retreat
Chicago, IL

2015 Training in Loranger, LA November 15 - 19

Solomon Episcopal
Loranger, LA



Founder's News


Pat leading a one-day retreat assisted by Kate Hymes of Walkill Valley Writers

Pat has several writing retreats coming up this fall, the majority of which are already full! 

If you would like the opportunity to write with Pat, visit the calendar on her website to learn more about being added to her wait lists.


Affiliate Classifieds


AWA Affiliate Ellen Girardeau Kempler offers Wild & Cultured adventures to help writers refresh, reboot & rewire. Visit Gold Boat Journeys for details on our 2016 trips to Santa Fe, Iceland and Ireland or contact us to customize a creative escape just for you or your small group.


"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!



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