TLA Classes

We offer online classes to help you deepen your understanding of Transformative Language Arts, explore the craft of various genres and arts related to TLA, and develop your livelihood, community work, and service related to TLA.

Designed and taught by leading teachers, transformative language artists and activists, and master facilitators (want to be one of them?), these classes offer you ample opportunities to grow your art of words, your business and service, and your conversation with your life work.

The online nature of the classes allows you to participate from anywhere in the world (provided you have internet access) at any time of the day while, and at the same time, the intimate and welcoming atmosphere of the classes helps students find community, inspiration, and greater purpose.

While each class is unique to the teacher's style, all classes include hands-on activities (writing, storytelling, theater, spoken word, visual arts, music and/or other prompts), plus great resources, readings, and guidance. We use the online educational platform, Moodle. Currently we offer two class formats:

  • Community Online Classes have a set period of time, ranging from four to six weeks with a small cohort of five to 15 people. Every Wednesday a new weekly module opens for you to engage with on your own time, with forums and opportunities to share, interact, and receive feedback from peers and the teacher. If the teacher wants to schedule a live meeting, they will coordinate directly with enrolled participants. Classes remain open and available to enrolled participants for at least a month after the class end date.
  • Self-Paced Online Classes have no set period of time and no cohort. All modules are available upon enrollment for you to engage with on your own time. Each self-paced class includes one forum to share, interact, and give/receive feedback from peers.

Enrollment Cost

Classes are priced by the number of weeks they run, and member's get a $20 discount. Early Bird rates end two weeks before the class start date, and registration increases by $40 thereafter.

NOTE: When there is a sale, the class page only displays the non-member discounted price. If you are a member, it will show the member discount once you start the registration process.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Cancellations: A nonrefundable fee of 10% is included in each registration. No cancellations after the class begins. In the case of extenuating circumstances, please contact us.

Low Enrollment Cancellations: Classes that do not meet a minimum enrollment may be canceled a minimum of 3 days prior to the first class meeting with full refunds for all registrants.

Incomplete: Students seeking certification in TLA Foundations who cannot complete a class due to extenuating circumstances may be granted a discounted registration on the next available offering of that class. To be eligible for the discount students must communicate their circumstance to the teacher as soon as possible.

Self-Paced Online Classes

Community Online Classes

    • 16 Jan 2019
    • 26 Feb 2019
    • Online
    • 8
    Register

    We all take, save, and inherit photographs of the people, places, and things that bring meaning, mystery, hope, and connection into our lives. These treasured personal archives will be the source of inspiration for writing as a means of restoring meaning, purpose, hope, and resilience during and after loss. Expressive writing prompted by personally chosen photos can help loved ones cope with what Pauline Boss calls the “ambiguous loss,” associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

    In this course, we’ll use expressive writing, in poetry and prose, to help build resilience, restore meaning and purpose, and honor and celebrate relationships through legacy stories. TLA practitioners and writers at all levels of experience will imaginatively encounter personal photos sparked by questions that generate remarkable and uplifting writing experiences.

    Objectives & Goals:

    1.    Participants will use personal photos as prompts for creative writing -  poetry, memoir, or stories that capture the personalities, relationships, rites of passage, cultural identity, and family history evoked by personal photos.  

    2.   Participants will recognize the healing aspects of storytelling from photos to build resilience and restore a sense of meaning, purpose, and value to life after loss.

    3.   Participants will use photos to probe and preserve memories, find purpose and meaning amidst loss and change, and express truth and beauty from relationships after loss.

    4.   Participants will explore the expressive benefits of writing from landscape and nature photos to connect with aspects of spirituality, safety, comfort, beauty, and transcendence.

    5.    TLA practitioners we will explore specific applications in your work with individuals and groups, such as coping with memory loss, Alzheimer’s, and dementia, and the healing power of telling end-of-life or legacy stories.

    Week by Week

    Week One: Entering the Three-Dimensional World of Photographs to Stimulate Meaning, Surprise, Delight, and Possibility

    Week Two: Embracing The Imaginative Wonder of Exploring Role Reversal & Altered Point of View in Photos

    Week Three: Writing Truth & Beauty – Telling Relationship Histories, Exploring Significant Rites of Passages, and Recognizing Gifts that Keep On Giving

    Week Four: Exploring Nature, Landscape, & Favorite Places Photos to Stimulate Curiosity, Spirituality, Comfort, Relief, & Aesthetic Satisfaction & Transcendence

    Week Five: Crafting & Revision: Developing Your Raw Material (Exploring forms, including Portraits, Essays, Poems, Monologues, [Unsent] Letters, Dialogues, and Creative List-Making)

    Week Six: Applications for TLA Artists, Writers, and Loved Ones – Ways to Share The Healing Power of Generating Legacy Stories from Photos

    Who Should Take This Class

    This course will serve writers and TLA practitioners at all levels of experience, as well as anyone interested in personal and artistic development.  Professionals and para-professionals who work with memory challenged seniors, as well as family members of those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s, and caretakers of those with memory challenges, will find dynamic creative outlets for personal and professional development. Writers and artists with an interest in exploring the healing aspects of personal photos may also be quite interested.

    Format

    This is an online class with (optional) weekly video-conference. Each weekly “workshop” posted online will consist of engaging content designed to spark personal reflection, sharing, discussion, and dynamic writing to be shared in the group forum online. Each week, participants will (1) upload at least one personal photo to share with others that they will use as the foundation of their weekly writing exploration; (2) review writing in progress of classmates and respond & reflect in discussion forum; (3) be invited to participate in a (recommended but optional) live Zoom video-conference presentation and discussion (these will be recorded and posted for others).

    Participants should expect to spend 3 hours or so on the weekly writing prompt, revisions, reading and commenting on the work of others, viewing and participating in live discussion, and sharing works in progress live. We’ll create a safe and supportive environment, offering respectful support that inspires the development of every writer’s voice.

    About the Teacher

    Kelly DuMar, M.Ed. is a playwright and poet who facilitates Writing Truth & Beauty workshops across the US, including The Mass. Poetry Festival, The International Women’s Writing Guild, The Power of Words Conference, Southern Writers Conference, and Winter Wheat Conference. Her poems are published in many literary magazines and her award-winning poetry chapbook, All These Cures, was published by Lit House Press in 2014. Kelly’s award winning plays have been produced around the US and Canada, and are published by dramatic publishers. Kelly is a certified psychodramatist and former psychotherapist. She founded and produces the Our Voices Festival of Women Playwrights at Wellesley College, now in its 10th year, and she moderates, Let’s Talk TLA, a bi-monthly tele-conference and poetry open mic for members of the Transformative Language Arts Association. Kelly serves on the board & faculty of The International Women’s Writing Guild. Her upcoming poetry chapbook, Tree of the Apple, about her father’s Alzheimer’s, will be published soon by Two of Cups Press. You can learn more about Kelly, her nature photography and writing at her website, www.kellydumar.com

     

    • 06 Mar 2019
    • 16 Apr 2019
    • Online
    • 13
    Register

    Theodore Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) said, “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities.”

    We will play with writing concepts from fantastic folktales, visions and odd visionary angles, quotations, verse, and literature, developing our own collection of narrative and non-narrative writing that guides us toward a comfortable point of view about the realities of who we are.

    We’ll share the weekly wordings of our collections, with no restrictions beyond the requirements of each week’s prompts and no judgment, in printed format as well as spoken word if possible.

    Through this process, we will approach both a personal and communal awareness of the playful and cleansing power of language, in keeping with the Jewish proverb: “As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul.”

    Week by Week

    Week 1: Oh, the Places You Didn’t Want to Go!

    Facing the past; using it as food for thought and for writing.

    Week 2: Through the Looking Glass

    Finding the distortions in and contortions of our life story; turning them into fantastic adventures.

    Week 3: The Path of Needles or the Path of Pins: Other Possibilities of Seeing Red

    Accepting our choices in life and acknowledging the strengths and tools we now recognize in our “basket of goodies”

    Week 4: "Here There Be Dragons..."

    Being willing to step toward or face more dangerous ideas or memories; changing perspective to construct "sense from non-sense," additional moments that seem to have no reason or reasonable outcome.

    Week 5: Through the Wrong End of the Telescope

    Turning big pains into small boo-boos, and big joys into notable treasures.

    Week 6: Communal Voices

    Sharing our voices and our reflections in a conference call.

    Who Should Take This Class

    Writers, spoken-word artists/storytellers, anyone interested in playing with the concept of fact-to-fantasy poetic or narrative sharing and its connection to personal knowledge and growth.

    Format

    This is an online class. Each week, a new week will open full of resources, reflections, discussion questions, and writing prompts. Students should expect to spend 3-5 hours per week perusing resources and readings, answering a discussion question, engaging in several writing prompts, and responding to peers’ work. From our interactions, we sustain a welcoming and inspiring community together.

    About the Teacher

    Fourth-generation, nationally recognized Affrilachian storyteller and Ohio teaching artist Lynette (Lyn) Ford has shared programs and workshops on telling and writing stories with folks of all ages for more than twenty-five years. Lyn’s work is published in several storytelling-in-education resources, as well as in her award-winning books: Affrilachian Tales; Folktales from the African-American Appalachian Tradition; Beyond the Briar Patch: Affrilachian Folktales, Food and Folklore; Hot Wind, Boiling Rain: Scary Stories for Strong Hearts (2017 Storytelling World Award winner, also a creative-writing resource), and, Boo-Tickle Tales: Not-So-Scary Stories for Ages 4-9, written with storytelling friend, Sherry Norfolk and recently nominated for an Anne Izard Award. Lyn is also a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher, and a great-grandmother.

    • 06 Mar 2019
    • 16 Apr 2019
    • Online
    • 14
    Register

    "Art is a prayer... a fresh vital discovery of one's own special presence in the world." Peter London

    At the heart of one's creativity lies a desire to explore and express the exquisite power of the present experience, feeling, sensation and belief. This class will focus on strengthening and recognizing the intuitive sense of the creative process without judgment or restriction. We’ll play with writing meditations, reflections, and written and spoken word pieces that gently guide us to who we are now, in this moment.

    Through writing meditations, personal reflections, readings, videos and on-line shared discussions, we will explore how our creativity brings us into the present by bearing witness to the sacred within one another, the world and ourselves.  

    We'll focus on the use of images, metaphors, ritual, voice, and a variety of writing structures to create vivid pieces in and outside of class. Beginning and experienced writers in any genre are welcome!

    Week by Week

    Week 1: Be Here, Now

    In this first week we learn to listen to the exquisite self and world and write witness to both pain and beauty.

    Week 2: The Poetics of the Impassioned Present

    The second week takes us into the past to reclaim our silenced voices by working with images, feelings and sounds.

    Week 3: Don’t Think, Just Go

    Week three uses short writing “bursts” and prompts to trace a trail of where we’ve been and how it brought us to where we are now.

    Week 4: I Said NO!

    This weeks brings us to the awareness of who we are and aren’t. We use the paradoxes, contradictions, confusion and compromises that may have marked our lives to find fresh meaning and expression to the tensions of life.

    Week 5: Communal Voices

    Sharing our voices and our writings in a conference call.

    Week 6: Pick Up the Pen

    This final week shows us that we become who we are by picking up the pen. We’ll focus on strategies and exercises that will focus and refresh you to your complicated exultant self.

    Who Should Take This Class

    Writers, spoken-word artists/storytellers, anyone interested in playing with the concept of poetic or narrative sharing and its connection to personal knowledge and growth.

    Format

    This is an online class. Each week, a new week will open full of resources, reflections, discussion questions, and writing prompts. Students should expect to spend 3-5 hours per week perusing resources and readings, answering a discussion question, engaging in several writing prompts, and responding to peers’ work. From our interactions, we sustain a welcoming and inspiring community together.

    About the Teacher

    For over twenty years Regi Carpenter has been bringing songs and stories to audiences of all ages throughout the world in school, theaters, libraries, at festivals, conferences and in people’s back yards. An award winning performer, Regi has toured her solo shows and workshops in theaters, festivals and schools, nationally and internationally.

    Regi is the youngest daughter in a family that pulsates with contradictions: religious and raucous, tender but terrible, unfortunate yet irrepressible. These tales celebrate the glorious and gut – wrenching lives of four generations of Carpenter s raised on the Saint Lawrence River in Clayton, New York. Tales of underwater tea parties, drowning lessons and drives to the dump give voice to multi-generations of family life in a small river town with an undercurrent.

Past Classes

24 Oct 2018 Coming Home to Body, Earth, and Time: Writing From Where We Live // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
24 Oct 2018 Leverage Your TLA Expertise for Publication, Community, Business, and Livelihood // with Yvette Hyater-Adams
05 Sep 2018 Cultivating Our Voices: Writing Life Stories for Change // with Dr. Liz Burke-Cravens
27 Jun 2018 & They Call Us Crazy: Outsider Writing to Cross the Borders of Human Imagination // with Caits Meissner
27 Jun 2018 Wound Dwelling: Writing the Survivor Body(ies) // with Jennye Patterson
27 Jun 2018 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
16 May 2018 Values of the Future Through Transformative Language Arts // with Doug Lipman
04 Apr 2018 Stories with Spirit: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice // with Regi Carpenter
14 Mar 2018 Writing for Social Change: Redream a Just World // with Anya Achtenberg
21 Feb 2018 Funding Transformation: Grant Writing for Storytellers, Writers, Artists, Educators, & Activists // with Diane Silver
10 Jan 2018 Fantastic Folktales & Visionary Angles to Transform Our Stories // with Lyn Ford
18 Oct 2017 Writing Our Lives: The Poetic Self & Transformation // with Dr. Liz Burke-Cravens
18 Oct 2017 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
06 Sep 2017 Your Memoir as Monologue: How to Create Dynamic Dramatic Monologues About Healing and Transformation for Performance // with Kelly DuMar
06 Sep 2017 Wound Dwelling: Writing the Survivor Body(ies) // with Jennifer Patterson
14 Jun 2017 The Five Senses and Four Elements: Connecting with the Body and Nature Through Poetry // with Angie River
14 Jun 2017 The Poetics of Witness: Writing Beyond the Self // with Caits Meissner
19 Apr 2017 Diving and Emerging: Finding Your Voice and Identity in Personal Stories // with Regi Carpenter
01 Mar 2017 How Pictures Heal: Honoring Memory & Loss through Expressive Writing from Personal Photos // with Kelly DuMar
01 Mar 2017 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
11 Jan 2017 Your Callings, Your Livelihood, Your Life // With Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
11 Jan 2017 Values of the Future Through Transformative Language Arts // with Doug Lipman
26 Oct 2016 Leverage Your TLA Expertise for Publication, Community, Business, and Livelihood // with Yvette Angelique Hyater-Adams
26 Oct 2016 Not Enough Spoons: Writing About Disability & Chronic Illness // with Angie River
14 Sep 2016 Wound Dwelling: Writing the Survivor Body(ies) // with Jennifer Patterson
14 Sep 2016 Creating a Sustainable Story: Self-Care, Meaningful Work, and the Business of Creativity // with Laura Packer
29 Jun 2016 Coming Home to Body, Earth, and Time: Writing From Where We Live // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
29 Jun 2016 Making the Leap into Work You Love // with Scott Youmans
18 May 2016 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations
18 May 2016 Saturated Selfies: Intentional and Intense Photography and Writing
28 Mar 2016 Gathering Courage: Still-Doing, Big Journaling, and Other (Not So Scary) Ways to Begin Accommodating the Soul
15 Feb 2016 Living Out Loud: Healing Through Storytelling and Writing
15 Feb 2016 Soulful Songwriting: How To Begin, Collaborate, And Finish Your Song
04 Jan 2016 Your Memoir as Monologue: How to Create Dynamic Dramatic Monologues About Healing and Transformation for Performance
04 Jan 2016 The Five Senses and the Four Elements: Connecting with the Body and Nature Through Poetry

"The Transformative Language Arts Network" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Kansas, P.O. Box 442633, Lawrence, KS 66044

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software