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, Wet Ink for our classes. Our classes generally combine a combination of in-person meetings on Zoom and asynchronous gatherings via Wet Ink:

  • Our Community Online Classes have a set period of time, ranging from four to six weeks with a small cohort of 5 to 25 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 week after the class end date.

Enrollment Cost

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

Each registration is for one participant only, and all classes, unless arrangements are approved beforehand by the teacher and the TLA Network managing director, are for people age 18 and up.

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 20% 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 the certificate 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.

Community Online Classes

    • 26 October 2022
    • 07 December 2022
    • Online
    • 6

    Sudden life changes including war, displacement and forced migration and can leave a lasting impact on a person and continue unnoticed through generations. Our emotions, memory and feelings of identity and safety are often anchored to these incidents. Who am I and where do I belong? Why is this knowledge relevant to my life today? This course aims to address these questions through engagement in a series of visual art and creative writing sessions informed by the facilitator's own journey of self-discovery , transformation and change.

    Each week you will be introduced to the style of a visual/literary artist e.g. portraiture cubism and quilting. We will use their work as a starting point for discussion and reflection.

    Over the weeks, relevant to the week’s theme, you will be introduced to inspiring work of visual and literary artists from India, Nigeria, Lebanon and Syria to broaden your understanding of the theme. Your interpretation of their work will inform your response to the week’s creative prompts. The selected artists/authors include (but are not limited to) Rabindranath Tagore, Arundhati Roy, M.F Husain, Chinua Achebe, Amin Maalouf and Majd Kurdieh.

    You will be encouraged to explore the use of both creative writing (e.g. poems , stories) and visual art (e.g., photography, collage making, painting, drawing) during the course to expand your perception and use of these forms of creative expression. The interface of artmaking and writing as creative expressive forms encourages the engagement of the whole brain through the sensory, cognitive and motor nature of the activities. This also enables the accessing of memories from the deeper parts of our minds.

    Giving our thoughts and feelings a more concrete physical form through both writing and image making provides an opportunity to view and examine them from different perspectives which simultaneously leads to an improved sense of meaning, repair and restoration.

    Week by Week

    Week 1: A Sense of Wonder- Preparing for the journey

    The course begins with self-introductions through a form of portraiture and an acknowledgement of everyone in the group that forms the circle of support over the next weeks.

    Week 2: A Sense of Identity- Who am I?

    We are many things. Informed by cubism, we deconstruct our life to explore our belongings and allegiances to gain new perspectives on the multiplicity of who we are and how we see ourselves.

    Week 3: A Sense of Place- Where do I belong?

    Places and objects hold significant memories and can help anchor us and find our roots. We will revisit a place in time to recover and reclaim some of those stories that stamp our cultural identity and explore them through writings and folk art.

    Week 4: A Sense of Self- What lies within

    The fabric art of quilting as a form of storytelling, can be described as a story in pieces .We take a deeper look at our unique life story, our attachments, gains and losses, the layers and pieces that contribute to our unique construction. Very often it’s the random, scattered moments that seem to scar or embellish our life. Working from inside out, we will gather some of these and examine their role in reconstructing the narrative fabric of our life.

    Week 5: A Sense of Purpose- What matters to me?

    An improved sense of self fills and energizes our spirit and allows us to look outward and serve from the overflow, connecting us with the world outside. Through a review of some stories of change, impact and survival, we will identify stories and causes that resonate/connect deeply with us and examine why, so as to better understand what we can do about it using our own creative voice.

    Week 6: A Sense of Knowing-Who I am.

    Final Project combining artmaking and writing to consolidate the insights gained of ourself through the course. We sink our roots in as we create a visual reminder of who we choose to be.

    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. No prior experience is required, just a willingness to experiment and explore.

    Format

    This is an online class, hosted on the online teaching platform, Wet Ink, as well as Zoom. The Wet Ink platform allows students to log in on their own time to post comments and critiques directly to authors’ works. You can also view deadlines, track revisions, and watch video or listen to audio. At the end of the class, each student will receive an email that contains an archive of all their content and interactions. 

    The day before class begins, you’ll receive an invitation to join Wet Ink. There are no browser requirements, and Wet Ink is mobile-friendly. If you have any questions about the technical requirements, please email tlan.coordinator@gmail.com.

    Students should expect to spend 2-3 hours per week perusing resources and readings, engaging in several writing/creation prompts, and briefly responding to peers’ work. From our interactions, we sustain a welcoming and inspiring community together.

    Zoom Meetings - TBD.


    About the Facilitator

    Renu Sarah Thomas is an Art Psychotherapist (British Association of Art Therapists - BAAT) and workshop facilitator. She has several years of experience in introducing and conducting programmes that promote the personal, social and emotional wellbeing of individuals in Dubai, India and Scotland and adapting these programmes to suit the cultural climate of the region.

    ​She is a self-taught artist and although Renu finds pottery making and acrylic painting centering and enjoyable, it is through writing that she has found liberation and empowerment. Her growing areas of interest include displacement and trauma and through her spontaneous creative art and creative writing workshops, she passionately encourages people to pursue some form of creative expression, embrace their authentic selves and intentionally find their purpose.

    Born in India and raised in England, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, Dubai has been her home for the past 20 years.

    • 18 January 2023
    • 01 March 2023
    • Online
    • 13
    Register

    In this class, the participants will write, reflect, meditate, and engage in discussions about what it means to free ourselves from fragmentation and to find ourselves whole again. Fragmentation of the self has unintended consequences, such as depression, anxiety, blocked creativity, and especially fear. By exploring Mindfulness in our writing and lives, we can pivot from fear and panic toward the freedom of embracing our humanness.

    This class is informed by the Buddhist way of living and seeing the world, with specific focus on the four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path and the four Brahmaviharas  or the “immeasurables” (Love, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity).

    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

    Each week includes Mindfulness meditation, writing, and other activities, and all weeks include online interactions. Each assignment is intended to solidify a Mindfulness practice in the general sense and specifically to writing. An important aspect of the assignments is that they are conducted or developed within a symbolic, ritualized context. That is, that you establish specific times during the week to read and work on the assignments via specific rituals that serve as conduits for the creative, authentic expression of the mature human you are or strive to become.

    Each practice we do is intended to tap into body, mind, and spirit to awaken parts of the self to render it whole.  The paths are illustrated by poems that can help generate integration. The practice of meditation and the seeking of wisdom leads to what is called a mature human being.

    The following poets, among others, will be center-stage: J. Rumi, Mary Oliver, David Whyte, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Wendell Berry.  


    Week 1

    (Zoom Session: 6pm EST)

    Theme: Pathways to Wholeness

    Topic: Shaping our community

    We’ll get to know each other and to discuss in depth the central tenets of the Pathways to Wholeness.  The kind of writing we’ll do together has the potential to open new pathways in the brain to help us venture into the vastness of being focused on the present moment and free from fragmentation. We will also do introductions via our Zoom session.


    Week 2

    Theme: Re-cognizing the Self

    Topic: Fragmentation and wholeness

    We’ll focus on how we can release our creative potential by recognizing depression and anxiety as forms of separation from the true self. Examining the shadow parts of us can shed light into our consciousness. We’ll examine the First Pathway: Dwell in the house of the self


    Week 3

    Theme: Discernment and the freedom to be

    Topic: Our story in the context of our history. We’ll examine the Second Pathway: Use Discernment to understand the true meaning of history and our own story.


    Week 4

    Theme: Shared Humanity

    Topic: Changing perspectives

    We’ll examine the Third Pathway: Recognize Shared Humanity and accept suffering as part of life. To do this, we’ll take a “Momentous Leap of Meaning.”


    Week 5

    Theme: Cultivation of kindness and equanimity

    Topic: Shedding the Light of Consciousness on the Shadow

    We’ll examine the Fourth Pathway: Cultivate kindness toward the self through the four immeasurables. Also, we’ll briefly focus on the shadow part of the personality.


    Week 6

    (Zoom class: 6pm EST)  

    Theme: Closing (holding a council)

    Topic: Our ending is your beginning

    The power of transformation begins right at that moment when we are willing to challenge our own assumptions. Our closing is an invitation to practice self-inquiry by practicing the activities.


    Who Should Take This Class

    This class would benefit individuals who are on the path of self-discovery as well as those who facilitate self-discovery with others. Teachers, therapists, writers, community leaders are ideal candidates. This class was designed for individuals who are curious about how to integrate the multiple parts of their lives into a cohesive whole. We welcome individuals interested in having a regular integral practice in their lives that includes living with integrity and excellence, becoming more alive and creative, and engaging in mindful movement, sitting meditation, walking in nature. Lastly, this class is for individuals interested in creating more psychological flexibility, so they can embrace life with curiosity, detachment, and depth.

    Format

    This is an online class with two Zoom sessions. Students are encouraged to set aside a minimum of two hours a week to engage in practices, including reading and writing about poems and essays pertaining to the topics of spirituality and psychological flexibility. Students are expected to read and respond to comments on the accessible and welcoming online platform.

    About the Teacher

    Marianela Medrano is a Dominican writer, poet, and psychotherapist, with a Ph.D. in psychology, whose practice includes Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness, Transpersonal & Integral Psychotherapy. Medrano has extensive training in Mindfulness Based-Stress Reduction with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli, and Mindful Eating with Jan Chozen-Bays and Char Wilkins. She has taught at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, now Sophia University, in Palo Alto, California, and as a visiting scholar at Goddard College.

    Her work as a poetry therapist was recognized with an outstanding award from the National Association for Poetry Therapy. in 2007. She is also a mentor/supervisor for the International Federation of Biblio/Poetry Therapy.

    Through the Palabra Training Center, she offers on-site and remote programs for individuals and groups in poetry therapy, applying literature and psychology to help participants forge their own paths to wholeness. She also presents, with poet Annie Finch, Woman, Poetry, and Spirituality at the Garrison Institute. Her Four Pathways to Wholeness workshop has been presented at the Expressive Therapies Summit in NYC, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Studies World Conference in Seville, Spain in 2017, the National Association for Poetry Therapy Annual Conference, and the Mount Carmel College in Bangalore, India.

    Her individual publications include: Oficio de Vivir (Buho,1986), Los Alegres Ojos de la Tristeza (Buho,1987), Regando Esencias/ The Scent of Waiting (Alcance,1998), Curada de Espantos (Torremozas, 2002), Diosas de la Yuca, (Torremozas, 2011), Prietica (Alfaguara, 2013).  Rooting (Owlfeather Collective, 2017). Her poetry has been translated into Italian and French. In 2015 she did a TEDTALK at Ursuline College.

    • 18 January 2023
    • 01 March 2023
    • Online
    • 11
    Register

    Have you ever woken up from a dream, out of breath, feeling that mix of fear and awe and possibly confusion? There comes a point in life where people can no longer make sense of the chaos in their lives. Who could make sense of pandemics, economic collapses, global warming, separations, and losses? Life becomes an unpleasant dream, maybe a nightmare, but did anyone of us ever think of truly looking into what’s happening on the inside? What’s behind that state of collective neurosis? Have you ever wondered about the images you see in dreams? Are those images trying to tell us something? A story? Our story? Have you ever stopped to notice that those images in our dreams are also there in the resonating fairytales we grew up fascinated with and also in the awe-inspiring divination tarot cards?

    The purpose of this workshop is to help us reach that state of catharsis we all strive for, not only to survive but also to thrive when exploring The Self, our self. We’ll explore the archetypical symbols and messages in dreams, fairytales, and Tarot cards. We’ll explore flash fiction and its different forms and techniques that offer different ways of telling a story.

    We’ll find out how flash fiction recalls a moment in time building an entire narrative around it using image and language associations popular in psychoanalysis, and how flash fiction is the best vehicle to exploring The Self through the use of its concise yet expansive nature.

    Week by Week

    Week 1: Introduction to Flash fiction structures: How to choose the right structure/form that resonates with your subconscious emotional state.

    What is flash fiction? A short short? A vignette? A one-page story? An epiphany? How does it capture the pulse of time and place in an ever so brief narrative? How is it structured? What are its forms? Can each form be used specifically according to our emotional and subconscious states to best tell our stories?

    We’ll discover what makes it work as a manifested means of psychic expression and how its different forms offer different ways to tell a story whose threads start formulating after the primordial archetypes seen in dreams, tarot cards and fairy tales.

    In this week we’ll also explore the importance of having a Daydream Notebook to capture images from dreams, stray memories, and fragments from the everyday life that’s somehow stayed with us. We’ll also experiment with language association exercises.

    Week 2: Writing from where we dream: The segmented/ mosaic/ fragmented flash. (Character) 

    In this week we’ll explore the universal symbols and associations emerging as images and motifs in dreams popularly known as archetypical images as introduced by Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung. We’ll explore how these images factor in how we view our Self, how they’re connected to our feelings, and how to use those images as inspiration to recreate our feelings through storylines we intuitively choose for our characters. We’ll use the segmented flash to create our stories for this week. Supplemental reading material about childhood attachment patterns will be provided to add psychological depth and further understanding of those archetypes.

    Week 3: Writing from where we dream: The Counterpointed flash. (Plot)

    At the core of every story is a character that yearns. We continue exploring the anatomy and the types of dreams which should help us identify the load-bearing points we try to either conceal or face in our daily conflicts or the conflicts we express in our stories. The counterpointed flash form will help us carve a story with different perspectives and different polarities that might reflect our fractured dualities. A Dream has its own oneiric language that helps us realize aspects of life for which it tries to compensate.

    Week 4: Tarot Cards: Snapshot flash (Lifetime in a flash).  (Point of View and Perspective)

    Sometimes, the only way for us to confront a truth is to summon that never-ending fast track we​ ​call life and view it in a ​blur before slowing down to examine its  components under the microscope. Having discovered that tarot cards are nothing but archetypical images representing one’s journey—or as mythologist Joseph Campbell describes​,​ “the hero’s journey”, we can use those symbols to create stories that thrust us further into the essence of our character's journey, their perspectives and core emotions. The journey could be something as subtle as small adjustments that characters realize they need to go through or revelations that are deep and internal. Last week we used snapshot flash fiction that utilized a scene or a moment as the world of the story. This week we’ll experiment with the “lifetime in a flash” type of snapshot stories. We’ll further explore more court cards such as : The Eight of Swords, The Ten of Wands, The Five of Cups and The Nine of Pentacles. This week we’ll also start to notice the similarities between the images in Tarot and those in fairytales.

    Week 5: Tarot cards: Flash in a moment (The Synecdoche). (Metaphor and Imagery) 

    The symbols are no longer fleeting or simply haunting a dream. They are alive and out, in color, on those awe-inspiring cards used for hundreds of years as a divination method. On close inspection this week, we’ll explore the storylines and the archetypical images in those cards and how to use the details, colors, associations to see into the depth of our own Self and use that as inspiration for our stories. This week we’ll also explore snapshot flash fiction and use this form
    to craft a new story. Cards we’ll have a good look at this week will be: The Sun, The Priestess, The Fool, The Wheel of Fortune, The Tower and more from the Major ​A​rcana.

    Week 6: Fairytales and Myths: Hybrid flash fiction: What If. (Setting: Changing Time, Space, and Self Axes)

    This week we continue to examine archetypes in three well-known and beloved fairy tales. But this week we ask the “what if'' question, challenging those archetypes we attempt to create or re-write those fairytales using the defamiliarization technique. Can a character challenge its own archetype or will it be integrating the missing pieces in polarity and perspective? We will also use hybrid flash fiction in this week’s prompt exercise. Hybrid flash allows for experimentation in storytelling, using unconventional styles that follow no rules like writing stories in the form of a list or a recipe or even as a Q&A. We’ll go through stories like: The White Witch, The Little Mermaid, BlueBeard and more. Participants will pick one of the suggested stories for analysis as well as using it for the prompt exercise.

    Who Should Take This Class

    This class is ideal for people who want to discover flash fiction or plan a memoir or those who want to discover the inner workings of the psyche to better plan characters for longer works. It is also ideal for artists who use storytelling as part of the visual arts. The workshop will also appeal to people who use writing as a coping mechanism to help vent and explore their feelings and hopefully through awareness and acceptance, begin the healing process.

    Participants should expect to respond to weekly writing prompts/ assignments, revisions, and to read and comment on the work of other participants. Participating in live discussions and sharing work in progress will take place through Zoom sessions. We’ll create a safe and supportive environment offering respectful support that inspires the development of every writer’s voice.

    Supplemental reading material is available in each lesson. Feedback and critique will be provided to all submitted assignments. Upon completion of assignments, students should expect to have completed six flash fiction pieces by the end of this course. Tips and advice on where to submit work for open calls and contests will also be provided.

    Four scheduled Zoom meetings (dates TBD) will be available to discuss concepts in lessons and to read some of the participants' works-in-progress.

    Format

    Each week will consist of engaging and eye-opening lessons designed to help participants discover the inner meanings of the archetypical images in dreams, fairytales, and tarot cards. Understanding what might appear like the vague and ambiguous language of our subconscious could help us realize what’s amiss in our lives and ultimately help us craft powerful stories.

    Lessons will be shared via online teaching platform, Wet Ink, as well as via Zoom. The Wet Ink platform allows students to log in on their own time to post comments and critiques directly to authors’ works. You can also view deadlines, track revisions, and watch video or listen to audio. At the end of the class, each student will receive an email that contains an archive of all their content and interactions. 

    The day before class begins, you’ll receive an invitation to join Wet Ink. There are no browser requirements, and Wet Ink is mobile-friendly. If you have any questions about the technical requirements, please email tlan.coordinator@gmail.com.

    Students should expect to spend 2-3 hours per week perusing resources and readings, engaging in several writing/creation prompts, and briefly responding to peers’ work. From our interactions, we sustain a welcoming and inspiring community together.

    Zoom Meetings - TBD.

    About the Facilitator

    Riham Adly is an award-winning flash fiction writer from Giza, Egypt. In 2013 her story “The Darker Side of the Moon” won the MAKAN award. She was short-listed several times for the Strand International Flash Fiction Contest. Riham is a Best of the NET and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work is included in the “Best Micro-fiction 2020” anthology. Her flash fiction has appeared in over fifty journals such as Litro Magazine, Lost Balloon, The Flash Flood, Bending Genres, The Citron Review, The Sunlight Press, Flash Fiction Magazine, Menacing Hedge, Flash Frontier, Flash Back, Ellipsis Zine, Okay Donkey, and New Flash Fiction Review among others.  Riham has worked as an assistant editor in 101 words magazine and as a first reader in Vestal Review magazine. Riham is the founder of the “Let’s Write Short Stories” and “ Let’s Write That Novel” in Egypt. She has taught creative writing all over Cairo for over five years with the goal of mentoring and empowering aspiring writers in her region.  Riham’s flash fiction collection “Love is Make-Believe” was  released and published in November 2021 by Clarendon House Publications in the UK.

    • 18 January 2023
    • 01 March 2023
    • Online
    • 11
    Register


    How do we show the world who we are? How can we use our creativity to explore our identities and what is important to us? In this workshop, use a combination of journaling, poetry, and art to create a narrative about yourself and your life. We will read and write, learn new poetry forms and writing techniques, and complete a variety of mixed media art projects to help us reflect on our identity. This class is good for beginners, as well as more advanced writers who want to add an extra element to their practice.

    Poetry can be a great tool for exploring and expressing our identity. We will read and discuss poetry, and engage in individual and collaborative writing prompts meant to further engage us in examining our identity. All levels welcome.

    Week by Week

    Week One  - The Importance of Creativity

    *discussion of importance of creativity in our lives and our identity
    *discussion of why we create

    Week Two  - Place and Self

    *discussion of the role of place in our lives, and looking at place-based poetry and visual art

    Week Three  - Celebrating Identity Through Items

    *discussion of the role items play in our lives
    *review of item-based poetry and visual art
    *creation of item-based poetry and art

    Week Four  - Self-Portraiture and the Invisible Self

    *review of self-portrait poems and visual art self-portraits
    *discussion of the parts of our selves we keep invisible and how creativity can help us to expose those pieces
    *creation of self-portrait poems and art

    Week Five - The Body and Identity

    *discussion on the intersection of the corporeal body and our identities
    *review of poetry and visual art based on the body
    *creation of body-based poems and art

    Week Six - Dreaming Our Futures

    *discussion of ways we can use creative practices to envision our futures
    *review of works that do such
    *creation of poetry and art that focus on dreams and wishes for our futures


    Who Should Take This Class

    This class is ideal for anyone wanting to deep-dive into a creative exploration of identity, anyone who would like to get more in touch with themselves or the world around them, and those wishing to expand their creative practices or learn/practice various types of poetry and visual art. Additionally, learners wanting to play and experiment with their creative work would thrive in this class. All levels of writers and artists are encouraged.

    Format

    This is an online class, hosted on the online teaching platform, Wet InkThe Wet Ink platform allows writers to log in on their own time to post comments and critiques directly to authors’ works. You can also view deadlines, track revisions, and watch video or listen to audio. At the end of the class, each student will receive an email that contains an archive of all their content and interactions. 

    The day before class begins, you’ll receive an invitation to join Wet Ink. There are no browser requirements, and Wet Ink is mobile-friendly. If you have any questions about the technical requirements, please email tlan.coordinator@gmail.com.

    Each week will consist of engaging content designed to spark personal reflection, discussion and dynamic writing to be shared in the Wet Ink group forum


    Each week will include various texts to help us explore disability and creative modalities that can help us deal with and manage chronic illness and disability, and will include discussions of the readings and our personal experiences, as well as creative writing prompts. Students should plan to spend 3-4 hours per week on the class. However, because our spoons vary day to day, the class will be formatted in a way that is flexible for working when you can and resting when you need.


    About the Teacher

    Angie Ebba is a queer disabled writer, educator, and performer who has taught writing workshops and performed across the United States. She has poetry published in Closet Cases, Queering Sexual Violence, and several literary magazines. She's also a published essayist with a focus on writing about health and disability, body positivity, and relationships. Angie teaches poetry and writing online and in person. Angie believes strongly in the power of words to help us gain a better understanding of ourselves, to build connections and community, and to make personal and social change. Angie can be found online at rebelonpage.com.

    • 27 January 2023
    • 29 January 2023
    • Online
    • 17
    Register


    About the Class

    So you’ve gathered a bunch of writing—now what do you do with it? Over five sessions in the span of three days, the What's Next Weekend Intensive invites participants to answer critical questions related to finding the aligned output for their creative work. Through interactive guided group and individual exercises, participants will explore the steps needed to bring a creative project to full fruition, determine the unique intersections that form their creative voice and create an artist statement. Ultimately, after viewing a series of both innovative and conventional projects by writers, participants will ask themselves, what are the many lives a group of writings can live? What format is the best container for the work at hand? Participants will exit the weekend with a check list of next steps that they can pursue on their own, or bring to the "What's Next" 8 week intensive, to be scheduled in the spring of 2023.


    Class Schedule

    1) WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BRING A PROJECT TO LIFE?

    Friday, January 27, 12 - 1:30PM EST

    Welcome; Interactive “jam board” that gathers wisdom and advice from participants through a series of guided prompts; Walking through my own projects to show the various steps taken to bring a major creative project to life. 


    2) WHOSE CREATIVE LOVE CHILD AM I? WHAT MAKES UP MY ARTISTIC VOICE?

    Saturday, January 28, 12 - 1:30PM, 2 - 3:30PM EST

    Through a series of imaginative guided exercises, participants will determine the unique intersections that form their creative voice. These exercises (lists, writing prompts) invite participants to survey their past and present for the “ingredients” that make their writing/art special. These answers inform the creation of an artist statement.


    3) MAPPING OPTIONS — BRAINSTORMING FUTURES

    Sunday, January 29, 12 - 1:30PM, 2 - 3:30PM EST

    After viewing a series of both innovative and conventional projects by writers (books, podcasts, public art, etc.), participants consider their work taking various shapes and forms. What are the many lives a group of writings can live? What format is the best container for the work at hand? Participants exit the weekend with a check list of next steps that they can pursue on their own, or bring to the 8 week intensive.


    Who Should Take This Class

    Anyone with piles of already created work and/or a seed of an idea for a larger expression, paired with a curiosity about how to bring their creative life into a project-based form!


    Format

    A few days before class begins, you will receive the class Zoom links to log into the class. There are no browser requirements, and Zoom is mobile-friendly. Please make sure you have the latest version of Zoom, which you can download here. If you have any questions about the technical requirements, please email tlan.coordinator@gmail.com.

    From our interactions, we sustain a welcoming and inspiring community together.


    About the Facilitator


    Caits Meissner is the author of the illustrated hybrid poetry book Let It Die Hungry (The Operating System, 2016), and The Letter All Your Friends Have Written You (Well&Often, 2012), co-written with poet Tishon Woolcock. The recipient of multiple artist residencies and fellowships, including the BOAAT Writers Retreat and The Pan-African Literary Forum, Caits is widely published in literary journals including The Literary Review, Narrative, Adroit, Drunken Boat and The Offing. She has taught, consulted and co-created extensively for over 15 years across a wide spectrum of communities, with a special focus on imprisoned people, women and youth. Caits holds a BFA in Communication Design from Pratt Institute, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York. She currently serves as the Prison and Justice Writing Program Manager at PEN America.

Past Classes

04 December 2022 Re-Visioning TLA in the World: A Community Conversation
03 December 2022 Your Calling, Your Livelihood, Your Life: Making a Living from TLA // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg & Kathryn Lorenzen
12 October 2022 Monologue Showcase: Voices for Healing & Transformation
15 September 2022 Flash Fiction Showcase & Open Mic with Riham Adly & Friends
14 September 2022 Beyond the Hero’s Journey: Exploring the Paths of the Heroine, Healer, and Seeker // with Kimberly Lee
07 September 2022 Your Memoir as Monologue - with Showcase: Writing Monologues for Healing and Transformation // with Kelly DuMar
15 June 2022 How Pictures Heal: Expressive Writing from Personal Photos // with Kelly DuMar
15 June 2022 Leverage Your TLA Expertise as a Social Arts Practice, for Community Engagement, & Radical Livelihood // with Yvette Hyater-Adams
18 May 2022 Flash Fiction: Writing from the Subconscious // with Riham Adly
20 April 2022 & They Call Us Crazy: Outsider Writing to Cross the Borders of Human Imagination // with Caits Meissner
09 April 2022 What Is Your Poem Begging to Look Like? Finding the Best Form Through Revision: How to Take Your Expressive Writing to the Next Level // with Fleda Brown
16 February 2022 Not Enough Spoons: Writing About Disability & Chronic Illness // with Angie Ebba
14 January 2022 The Quest of Purposeful Memoir: Exploring the Past, Creating the Future // with Jennifer Browdy, PhD
12 January 2022 Grief Pages: Moving Through Change and Loss with a Creative Notebook Practice // with Lisa Chu
17 November 2021 Pathways to Wholeness: Mindful Writing Toward Momentous Leaps of Meaning // with Marianela Medrano
10 November 2021 Kissing the Muse: A Messy, Magical, Art-Making Adventure // with Robbyn Layne McGill
28 October 2021 Monologue Showcase: Voices of Healing & Transformation
28 October 2021 2021 Power of Words Conference
15 September 2021 Your Memoir as Monologue with Showcase: Writing Monologues for Healing and Transformation // with Kelly DuMar
30 August 2021 For the Love of it: A Mindful Moment of Rejuvenation for Educators // with Joanna Tebbs Young
07 July 2021 Future Casting: Writing Towards a Just World Vision // with Caits Meissner
02 June 2021 The Art of Facilitation: Facilitating for Change & Community // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg & Joy Roulier Sawyer
17 May 2021 Tools for Teachers: Creating a Strong TLA Course Curriculum // with Liz Burke, EdD
26 April 2021 Tools for Teachers: Marketing Your TLA Class // with Liz Burke, EdD
18 April 2021 Monologue Showcase: Voices of Change
05 April 2021 Tools for Teachers: Creating a Strong TLA Course Proposal // with Liz Burke, EdD
24 March 2021 Tools for Teachers: Creating a Strong TLA Course Curriculum // with Liz Burke, EdD
24 February 2021 Tools for Teachers: Marketing Your TLA Class // with Liz Burke, EdD
03 February 2021 Tools for Teachers: Creating a Strong TLA Course Proposal // with Liz Burke, EdD
03 February 2021 Your Memoir as Monologue: Writing Monologues for Healing and Transformation // with Kelly DuMar
20 January 2021 Fantastic Folktales & Visionary Angles to Transform Our Stories // with Lyn Ford
06 January 2021 Kissing the Muse: (Another) Messy, Magical, Art-Making Adventure // with Robbyn Layne McGill
09 December 2020 TLA in Action: Connection, Collaboration, & Community
05 December 2020 Fireside Tales: A Virtual Camp In // with Lyn Ford
04 December 2020 A Virtual Greenhouse: Cultivating, Nurturing, and Sustaining Creative Growth through Literary Friendship
04 November 2020 Leverage Your Expertise as a Social Arts Practice, for Community Engagement, and Radical Livelihood // with Yvette Angelique Hyater-Adams
28 October 2020 The Art of Facilitation: Roots and Blossoms of Facilitation // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg & Joy Roulier Sawyer
18 October 2020 Writing to this Moment: Taking Uncertainty to the Page // with Joanna Tebbs Young, MA-TLA
14 October 2020 Kissing the Muse: A Messy, Magical, Art-Making Adventure // with Robbyn Layne McGill
23 September 2020 How Pictures Heal: Expressive Writing from Personal Photos // with Kelly DuMar
05 August 2020 Pathways to Wholeness: Mindful Writing Toward Momentous Leaps of Meaning // with Marianela Medrano
24 June 2020 The Art of Facilitation: Facilitating for Change & Community // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg & Joy Roulier Sawyer
24 June 2020 & They Call Us Crazy: Outsider Writing to Cross the Borders of Human Imagination // with Caits Meissner
25 March 2020 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
25 March 2020 The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir // with Jennifer Browdy, PhD
15 January 2020 Your Memoir as Monologue: Writing Monologues for Healing and Transformation // with Kelly DuMar
15 January 2020 The Art of Facilitation: Roots and Blossoms of Facilitation // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg & Joy Roulier Sawyer
23 October 2019 15 Poets to Change Your Life & Spark Your Writing // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
23 October 2019 Poems As Prayers: Writing Towards a Just World // with Caits Meissner
04 September 2019 Speaking Your Truth: Creative Writing in Political Times // with Angie Ebba
26 June 2019 15 Poets to Change Your Life & Spark Your Writing // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
24 April 2019 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
06 March 2019 Fantastic Folktales & Visionary Angles to Transform Our Stories // with Lyn Ford
16 January 2019 How Pictures Heal: Honoring Memory & Loss through Expressive Writing from Personal Photos // with Kelly DuMar
24 October 2018 Coming Home to Body, Earth, and Time: Writing From Where We Live // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
24 October 2018 Leverage Your TLA Expertise for Publication, Community, Business, and Livelihood // with Yvette Hyater-Adams
05 September 2018 Cultivating Our Voices: Writing Life Stories for Change // with Dr. Liz Burke-Cravens
05 September 2018 The Five Senses and Four Elements: Connecting With the Body and Nature Through Poetry // with Angie Ebba
27 June 2018 Wound Dwelling: Writing the Survivor Body(ies) // with Jennye Patterson
27 June 2018 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
27 June 2018 & They Call Us Crazy: Outsider Writing to Cross the Borders of Human Imagination // with Caits Meissner
16 May 2018 Values of the Future Through Transformative Language Arts // with Doug Lipman
04 April 2018 Stories with Spirit: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice // with Regi Carpenter
14 March 2018 Writing for Social Change: Redream a Just World // with Anya Achtenberg
21 February 2018 Funding Transformation: Grant Writing for Storytellers, Writers, Artists, Educators, & Activists // with Diane Silver
10 January 2018 Fantastic Folktales & Visionary Angles to Transform Our Stories // with Lyn Ford
18 October 2017 Writing Our Lives: The Poetic Self & Transformation // with Dr. Liz Burke-Cravens
18 October 2017 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
06 September 2017 Your Memoir as Monologue: How to Create Dynamic Dramatic Monologues About Healing and Transformation for Performance // with Kelly DuMar
06 September 2017 Wound Dwelling: Writing the Survivor Body(ies) // with Jennifer Patterson
14 June 2017 The Five Senses and Four Elements: Connecting with the Body and Nature Through Poetry // with Angie River
14 June 2017 The Poetics of Witness: Writing Beyond the Self // with Caits Meissner
19 April 2017 Diving and Emerging: Finding Your Voice and Identity in Personal Stories // with Regi Carpenter
01 March 2017 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
01 March 2017 How Pictures Heal: Honoring Memory & Loss through Expressive Writing from Personal Photos // with Kelly DuMar
11 January 2017 Values of the Future Through Transformative Language Arts // with Doug Lipman
11 January 2017 Writing from the Root & Through the Body // with Marianela Medrano
11 January 2017 Your Callings, Your Livelihood, Your Life // With Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
26 October 2016 Leverage Your TLA Expertise for Publication, Community, Business, and Livelihood // with Yvette Angelique Hyater-Adams
26 October 2016 Not Enough Spoons: Writing About Disability & Chronic Illness // with Angie River
14 September 2016 Wound Dwelling: Writing the Survivor Body(ies) // with Jennifer Patterson
14 September 2016 Creating a Sustainable Story: Self-Care, Meaningful Work, and the Business of Creativity // with Laura Packer
29 June 2016 Coming Home to Body, Earth, and Time: Writing From Where We Live // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
29 June 2016 Making the Leap into Work You Love // with Scott Youmans
18 May 2016 Saturated Selfies: Intentional and Intense Photography and Writing
18 May 2016 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs Young
28 March 2016 Gathering Courage: Still-Doing, Big Journaling, and Other (Not So Scary) Ways to Begin Accommodating the Soul
15 February 2016 Living Out Loud: Healing Through Storytelling and Writing
15 February 2016 Soulful Songwriting: How To Begin, Collaborate, And Finish Your Song
04 January 2016 The Five Senses and the Four Elements: Connecting with the Body and Nature Through Poetry
04 January 2016 Your Memoir as Monologue: How to Create Dynamic Dramatic Monologues About Healing and Transformation for Performance

"The Transformative Language Arts Network" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 873 Lansdowne, PA 19050 USA

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