September 2015

Amherst Writers & Artists


September 2015

Amherst Writers & Artists Newsletter
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September Newsletter Photo by Maureen Buchanan Jones
Image Credit: Maureen Buchanan Jones
Dear AWA Friends,

The automated walkways at O'Hare Airport in Chicago bring you from terminal to terminal and bring you outside yourself. Lit panels line the walls and ceiling, while neon tubes light in time to music. You slide past other travelers, gliding within whimsy. Frenetic drudgery turns floating and surreal. This is art. It affects us. I can easily say what is strong, what stays with me in the craft of this space. I am changed by the experience. I begin anxious and tired; I end still tired, but calmer and grateful for the craft that lifted me out of myself. Listening to writing does this too. Each piece of writing is like the automated walkway at O'Hare. It carries and changes us. Every piece of writing contains strength and a personal method of transportation. We light each other up.

AWA is finishing up its 2015 Training Schedule with a session in Loranger, Louisiana, right outside New Orleans. We still have room, so please contact us if you want to be trained in the AWA Method of leading writing workshops. Our Chicago session ended September 12th and was a resounding success! The 2016 schedule is nearly ready to post on our website. We will be returning to Malibu, CA; Wallingford, PA; and Chicago, IL. We will be hosting sessions in Albuquerque, NM and possibly Seattle, WA.

The Fifth Annual Pat Schneider Poetry Contest is complete with winners soon to be announced. Thank you to everyone who sent in poems! The contest is a huge success and goes a long way to support AWA's journal Peregrine, where winners will be published. Peregrine submissions are open March 15 – September 15 each year with electronic submissions only. Please visit the AWA website for further guidelines.

AWA Press is very proud to announce the launch of its 27th book, Travel by Night, by Peggy Reber. This is a book not to miss! Peggy has been a member of Pat Schneider's writing workshops for over 25 years, delighting and suspending those of us who had the privilege of hearing her creations. The launch is October 25th. Please see further details below.

Please join AWA at a training session, a workshop, within the pages of Peregrine, and at the book launch. We want to help carry you forward in your work.

With gratitude and respect,
Maureen Buchanan Jones
Executive Director


Training Updates: Chicago complete, Louisiana in November!

Last week we wrapped up another wonderful training in Chicago, IL. The group of new workshop leaders pictured below join our community following five intensive days immersed in the AWA method. Thank you to Sue Reynolds, Aaron Zimmerman, and Executive Director Maureen Buchanan Jones for their skillful instruction, and to the participants for their hard work!

Furthest back row from left: Debra Davis, Cynthia Liefeld, Beverly Zell, Aaron Zimmerman, Lory Williams Winford, Christine Flagler, Emily Stoddard; Middle row standing from left: Maureen Buchanan Jones,, Elizabeth Sprague, Emily Joye Reynolds, Karen Pugliese; Front row seated: Sue Reynolds, Ann Bancroft, Teri Kistler.


Louisiana Flyer There is just one more 2015 training, 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!


Affiliate News: D.C. Chapter Forming

Affiliates in the Washington, DC metro area have formed our newest chapter: Amherst Writers Capital Region!

Currently comprising 6 members, it is open to all affiliates within a 50-mile radius of Washington, DC. The chapter's mission is "to provide inspiration, peer-to-peer support, and co-marketing for AWA facilitators in the greater Washington, DC region." The chapter has held two meetings so far, and is planning a mini-retreat in November.

To contact the chapter, email Lisa Colburn, Chair (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or Summer Hardinge, Secretary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). You can also "like" them on Facebook!


Press News

New book forthcoming from AWA Press!

Travel by Night with Peggy Reber and you will see ". . . something that will bend your eye / back on itself forever." Odd characters people these pages – human and not so human. Yet there is always something deeply familiar about them, as if one were seeing oneself and one's intimate neighbors inside out, or backwards. There is darkness here, but light too, and grace, in stories and poems grounded in an honesty as hard as a geode, and as magical as the crystals inside it. You may, like the woman in "Hours," find that you, too, while reading, have "knelt, naked, on the roof of a house in the far north . . . reached up into the sky, scooped huge, pulsing clumps of darkness and dazzle and said, come."

For information about the book's launch, see below.


Founder's News

Please save the date for this wonderful event at which Pat will be reading:

WHAT: Book Launch for Peggy Reber's poetry collection, Travel by Night (AWA Press)
WHEN: Sunday, October 25th, 2:00 – 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Jones Library, 43 Amity St, Amherst MA


Affiliate Classifieds


Looking for some focused writing time? Join Lisa Colburn for "Stirring the Creative Cauldron: A Women's Writing Adventure" at the beautiful Highlights Foundation retreat center in Honesdale, PA, October 21-25. $250 plus lodging. Email Lisa at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit for more details.

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.

Come Write With Us! Whether you have been writing for years, or you're just beginning, you will feel energized, encouraged and at home in our Wednesday Night Writing Workshops held in the Amherst area and led by AWA-Affiliates Kari Ridge and Cynthia Kennison. For information, Email: 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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