March 2015

Amherst Writers & Artists


March 2015

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

Dear Friends of AWA,

The Vernal Equinox will occur on March 20. Light hangs in the balance and the sun touches the world at its widest point. Scientifically, there is no perfectly equal day, there is always a fraction more dark and then a fraction more light. Perfection is stasis. In our workshops we strive for balance, for equality, for perfection. It cannot be so. We are humans who gather to share our open selves. Perfection lies in the surprises, the small imbalances that occur. Even, and maybe especially, in our mistakes. The Spring Equinox is a turning point in our orbit. Our workshops offer these turning points over and over as we move from voice to voice, poem to story and find the almost balance within us settling and tipping again and again.

We are very busy here in Amherst. We have planned and worked to create a conference that will offer something for everyone who has been trained in the AWA Method. The sessions are in place; the speakers are ready. We are crafting the details. Now we need you. If you haven’t already registered, please see the details below and visit the AWA website. We are excited!

Pat Schneider will speak Saturday evening, May 2, 2015, at the Founder’s Dinner. This is a fundraising event for the AWA Outreach Program. Pat will speak about her 30 years as a workshop leader. This is an opportunity to hear from the woman who set AWA in motion. Please don’t miss out.

AWA continues to bring the AWA Workshop Method to people across the US and Canada this year. We will arrive in Malibu, CA, on Monday, March 23 and continue with four more training sessions through November 2015. Please see details below and on our website.

The next edition of Peregrine is in the works. This will be a double issue, containing the winners of the 2012 and 2013 Pat Schneider Poetry Contests. The edition will be available online through Amazon’s CreateSpace. We will also have copies for sale at the AWA Conference. Please see below for details.

It has been a long, cold, hard winter here in New England. Those of us who slid on slabs of foot-thick ice, shoveled yards deep snow and faced single digit temperatures for weeks on end, are grateful for the gentle turning of the earth. Even more we have been warmed and steadied by your voices as you send news, ask questions, and continue to write. Continue to write.

With gratitude and respect,
Maureen Buchanan Jones
Executive Director


AWA Conference: Sessions Filling Up

Several sessions of the first-ever AWA Conference are now at full registration. Please register now to have your pick of the remaining sessions!

Every session of the AWA Conference promises to be informative and memorable, so you're not missing out if you haven't made your selections yet. However, as sessions fill, so does the conference. The AWA Conference is a great value and an unprecedented opportunity to connect as a community. Please ensure your spot today.

If you have already registered, thank you and we look forward to welcoming you! As we get closer to the event, we are ramping up our use of social media to share our process and help you plan to make the most of the Conference. Please connect with us on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date, and check our website to get in-depth information. Also, please join the event on Facebook if you'd like to connect with other attendees in advance.


One of the sessions which has filled is the poetry craft workshop hosted by Pat Schneider. The remaining chance to connect with Pat at the AWA Conference is the Founder's Dinner.

For an additional $40, all conference members, as well as the general public, are invited to the Founder’s Dinner to hear Pat Schneider speak on her more than 30 years of leading workshops and her lifetime journey as a writer.


Training Updates: Registering Now for 2015

Our first Training Session of 2015 is taking place next week in Malibu, California! We are very excited to be starting our training season. 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 Malibu, CA March 23 - 27

Serra Retreat Center Malibu, CA

May 30 - June 32015 Training in Philadelphia, PA

Pendle Hill 
Philadelphia, PA

2015 Training in Ontario, CanadaJuly 22 - 26

Ecology Retreat Centre Mono, ON, Canada

September 9 - 132015 Training in Chicago, IL

Cenacle Retreat
Chicago, IL

November 15 - 192015 Training in Loranger, LA

Solomon Episcopal
Loranger, LA


Peregrine Double Issue Coming Soon

After a long transition from its founding editors to new leadership, Peregrine Journal will be available online and at the AWA Conference this Spring. The double issue, XXVIII & XIX, will include the winning poems from the second and third annual Pat Schneider Poetry Contests, as well as tributes to the many people who kept the presses humming for thirty years of Peregrine. It will also usher in our use of a new distribution platform, Amazon's CreateSpace, where physical copies of the journal can be ordered online and shipped anywhere. Keep an eye out for our announcement that the issue's gone to print!


Founder's News


Surprise! Look what Poets & Writers did in their weekly on-line newsletter column, The Time Is Now, The Best Books for Writers:
"Each week we recommend a book—a newly published title or an invaluable classic—that will help you on your writing journey. This week's pick... Writing Alone and With Others (Oxford University Press, 2003) by Pat Schneider."

I hope all of the hundreds of people who wrote with me as we found our way to a new way of writing together over the years between 1979 and 2003 when the book was published will know that this is your triumph, too. Our method is the creation of a community of writers. This tribute belongs to us all. —Pat Schneider



The Jones Library is proud to announce that the Second Annual Samuel Minot Jones Awards for Literary Achievement will honor author Julius Lester and Pat and Peter Schneider of Amherst Writers & Artists for their literary contributions. The gala celebration event, the "Sammys," will take place on April 16, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. at the Yiddish Book Center.


Affiliate Classifieds


AWA Writing and Yoga in the Umbrian Hills, Italy in April 2015
Join AWA Affiliates Sue Reynolds, Deepam Wadds and James Dewar for 10 days of exploration on the page, through our bodies and in the beautiful Italian landscape. More details at:

StudioWriting, an AWA Affiliate in Waltham MA since 2003, has openings for the Spring 2015 workshop. Fun, supportive, suitable for new & returning poets, & fiction & memoir writers seeking weekly opportunity to generate fresh ideas & improve understanding of craft. Tuesdays 7-9 pm. For more info please visit:



Mary Ann Fuller Young, AWA Affiliate and the author of Plainly and Simply, A Memoir of Alzheimer's, invites the reader to share her experience as she adapts to her loved one's early onset of Alzheimer's. Buy the book: $15.00. Available at 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!



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