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. 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. We use the online educational platform, Moodle for our self-paced classes. 

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 16 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 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

    • 23 Sep 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 03 Nov 2020
    • (EST)
    • Online
    • 9

    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. 

    Particularly, in this time of Covid-19, unexpected losses, without meaningful closure, are mounting for many people. 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 - Stimulate Meaning, Surprise, Delight, and Possibility 

    Week Two: Embracing The Imaginative Wonder - 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 - 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 ambiguous loss, will find dynamic creative outlets for personal and professional development. Writers and artists with an interest in exploring the healing aspects of personal photos after loss may also be quite interested.


    This is an online class with weekly assignments in Wet.Ink, including three, bi-weekly, webinars on Zoom (scheduled during the first week according to best availability of participants). Each week will consist of engaging content designed to spark personal reflection, discussion and dynamic writing to be shared in the group forum on Wet.Ink. 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) read writing in progress of classmates and respond in discussion forum; (3) receive written comments on the writing and sharing from instructor; (4) share (optional) revisions of creative writing in Wet.Ink and (5) bring writing for discussion and sharing to three (recommended but optional) live Zoom webinars.

    Participants should expect to spend no more than 2 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 poet, playwright, and engaging workshop leader who generates enlivening writing experiences for new and experienced writers. Her photo-inspired creative writing method elicits profound personal awakenings, deepens connection with others, and fosters beautifully crafted writing in poetry and prose. Author of three poetry collections, girl in tree bark, Tree of the Apple, and All These Cures, Kelly is also author of Before You Forget— The Wisdom of Writing Diaries for Your Children. Kelly’s award winning plays have been produced around the US and Canada, and are published by dramatic publishers. Kelly is a certified psychodramatist, former psychotherapist, and Fellow in the American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama. She founded Let’s Talk TLA, a bi-monthly tele-conference and poetry open mic for members of the Transformative Language Arts Association. Currently, Kelly serves on the board & faculty of The International Women’s Writing Guild. Kelly inspires readers of #NewThisDay - her daily photo-inspired blog - with her mindful reflections on a writing life. You can learn more about Kelly, at 

    • 14 Oct 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 01 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • Online
    • 29

    Do you hear a faint but familiar call to create, whispering in your heart? A quiet, unmet yearning to explore, tickling your soul? Whether it's painting, poetry, true love, travel, or adventure, your muse is calling you to create your most spectacular life. Are you willing to leap into love with your muse? Or will you resist, jilting her for your daily to-do-list instead?

    The muse is a mirror of your inner artist. She reflects your innate creative potential. It doesn't matter whether you dabble with watercolor, or cake frosting, write poetry or prose, or can't draw a stick figure to save your sister. Kissing your muse will rekindle a spark of mystery, magic, and a touch of the divine in your life, illuminating your way to happiness through your unique creative practice.  


    Using a series of collage-making "muse dates," expressive art actions, and playful writing prompts, this course casts you in the starring role of your own life's creative adventure story. What's working for or against your soul’s purpose? What makes your muse want to sing?

    We make meaning of our lives through our stories, living them out as dramas and comedies, tragedies, and thrillers, interacting with a cast of characters that we adore, deplore, or don't even know. But we can experience alternative storylines and learn to reframe and rewrite them, with themes and plot twists that are more satisfying, empowering, and hope-filled.

    Week by Week

    In the same way that the muse was called upon in the classical poetic tradition, we can invoke her archetypal energy today to inspire our own creative transformations and infuse our otherwise humble and too human attempts at the art of living with the spark and genius of the divine. Each week you will receive a unique “kissing practice” and writing prompt correlating to one phase of your creative adventure—and a particular muse.  You will also receive additional writing prompts and expressive art actions to fan your creative flame. (You can also use these to develop the narrative arc and rough draft of a memoir, like I did!)

    Week One: The Daily Dance—Kiss Your Home-at-Heart Muse

    Engage in muse-kissing practices (expressive art actions and creative writing prompts) to “Fill your daily dance with more joy.”

    • OPENING ZOOM session: Oct.17 (10:00 am-12:30 pm, Pacific Time Zone)
    • Course introduction & core kissing practice: invocation meditation, muse mirror collage, kiss & tell writing prompt for Home-at-Heart Muse.
    • Plus additional kissing practices, prompts, reading & poetry to inspire and support you during the Daily Dance phase of your creative adventure.

    Week Two: Creative Call—Kiss Your Seducing Siren Muse

    Engage in muse-kissing practices (expressive art actions and creative writing prompts) to “Rekindle your passion through change.” 

    • Core kissing practice: invocation meditation, muse mirror collage, kiss & tell writing prompt for Seducing Sire Muse.
    • Plus additional kissing practices, prompts, reading & poetry to inspire you during the Creative Call phase of your creative adventure.

    Week Three: Critical Resistance—Kiss Your Reluctant Rebel Muse

    Engage in muse-kissing practices (expressive art actions and creative writing prompts) to “Resist critics and take a stand.” 

    • Core kissing practice for Reluctant Rebel Muse.

    • Plus additional kissing practices, prompts, reading & poetry to inspire and support you during the Critical Resistance phase of your creative adventure.

    Week Four: Open to Learning—Kiss Your Magical Guru Muse

    Engage in muse-kissing practices (expressive art actions and creative writing prompts) to “Receive what you need to act next.”

    • Core kissing practice for Magical Guru Muse.

    • Plus additional kissing practices, prompts, reading & poetry to inspire and support you during the Open to Learning phase of your creative adventure.

    Week Five: Bridge to Commitment—Kiss Your Bold Bride Muse

    Engage in muse-kissing practices (expressive art actions and creative writing prompts) to “Commit to your own path and Self.” 

    • Core kissing practice for Bold Bride Muse.

    • Plus additional kissing practices, prompts, reading & poetry to inspire and support you during the Bridge to Commitment phase of your creative adventure.

    Week Six: Wild Unknown—Kiss Your Daring Adventurous Muse

    Engage in muse-kissing practices (expressive art actions and creative writing prompts) to “Venture into the unknown for new insight.”  

    • ZOOM session: Nov.21 (10:00 am-12:30 pm, Pacific Time Zone):

    • Commitment ritual/closing send-off into the Wild Unknown.
    • Core kissing practice for Daring Adventurous Muse.

    • Plus additional kissing practices, prompts, reading & poetry to inspire and support you during the Wild Unknown phase of your creative adventure.

    • **Course discussion board remains open until December 1. 

    Who Should Take This Class

    Kissing the Muse: A Messy, Magical, Art-Making Adventure is a fun, fresh approach to the craft of creative writing and self-improvement. Designed for creatives from all walks of life, this course is an inspiring, safe space to explore and express your artistic voice through a variety of mediums. Through an inventive method of self-inquiry, participants embark on a personal journey of transformation and integrate insights into their own creative practice and projects. Open to all arts disciplines, writing skill levels and genres.


    This is an online class, hosted on the online teaching platform, Wet Ink. Students should expect to spend 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.

    About the Facilitator

    Robbyn Layne McGill forged her multifarious career path by chasing her passions, wandering wildly, and kissing her muse. By her mid-20s, she had realized that living spiritually and personally connected to whatever “turned her on” creatively, was far more important than proving herself professionally. So, she quit her job as a corporate video producer in Kansas City and followed her heart to San Francisco. There, she met a wild band of creative bohemians who epitomized her idea of what it meant to be artists. She soon began crafting her own personal, poetic film “collages” using found 16mm footage, eventually earning a spot in an MFA program. 

    Upon graduation, she stumbled upon her dream job—associate professor of transformative art for a university’s “Arts & Consciousness” department. So, like any aspiring, naive academic, she decided to write a self-help book based on everything she “knew.” But her muse had a better idea—not to write a book, but to live one.

    Robbyn holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree in New Practices (painting and cinema) from San Francisco State University (2006), and Master of Arts degree in Transpersonal Psychology from John F. Kennedy University (2013), and a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas (1993)—but the story of how she came to live in Amsterdam (with a man she truly loves, and a cat named Leonard Cohen), and host collage-making “Muse Dates” is far, far more interesting.

    • 28 Oct 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 15 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • Online
    • 17

    What does it mean to facilitate arts- and change-based workshops, coaching or consulting sessions, meetings and classes that help people amplify their voice and illuminate their vision? Designed for writers, storytellers, performers, artists, community leaders, change-makers, and those helping their communities enhance health, spiritual practices, and personal growth, this class focuses on how to design and facilitate meaningful sessions. During the pandemic, we're also facing challenges in how and what we facilitate. In this new virtual age, it's especially important to align your facilitation practice with your core values and ethics, community and purpose.

    We'll explore how to create workshops, meetings, and other sessions tailored to your audience and purpose, and whole-self facilitation, including the care and feeding of the facilitator. Whether you're involved or want to start offering writing workshops, storytelling coaching, nonprofit consulting, or meeting facilitation, you'll find many treasures in exploring best practices for planning, facilitating, and assessing session, including the role of ground rules or agreements, beginnings and endings, pacing and rhythm, and evaluation and continuing education.

    TLA invites many practitioners to the table, including those drawing on various models of facilitation, some reified and some more open source (from social change theater to poetry therapy to healing stories). We'll overview those models as well as how you can come to the potluck and draw from what feeds your emerging work, particularly during challenging and changing times.

    The Art of Facilitation Series: Facilitation is a life-long art of presence, engagement, and ethics. By immersing yourself in a variety of facilitation traditions, approaches, tools, techniques, best practices, and philosophies, you can discover, embody, and enact your life's work and art in facilitating workshops, classes, meetings, coaching and consulting sessions. "The Art of Facilitation, Part 1: Roots and Blossoms of TLA Facilitation" explores designing, organizing, facilitating and assessing relevant, effective, and creative sessions. The second of these courses, "The Art of Facilitation: Facilitating Change and Community,"to be offered later in 2021, focuses on fostering community and working with various populations for transformation, discovery, and liberation.

    Week By Week

    Week by week topics: Ethical and self-care considerations thread through each week to help students better develop their practice and understanding of whole-self, real-world facilitation.

    Week 1: ROOTS OF FACILITATION: In our introductory week, we'll investigate the meaning, origins, ethics, and possibilities of facilitation. We'll also explore the care and feeding of the facilitator during this challenging time, as well as how to sustain your facilitation practice.

    Week 2: SETTING THE TABLE: Facilitation embraces hospitality and an engaged  understanding of the facilitator’s role. This week's focus is on the meaning, roots, possibilities, and manifestations of inclusive facilitation that also can diminish and challenge damaging power dynamics and welcome all participants to the table.

    Week 3: WHOLE-SELF FACILITATION: What does it mean to facilitate an artistic or community-building session while staying true to yourself? Or to work within the boundaries of being a facilitator (and not a therapist) while engaging fully with others? We'll look deeper at the role of the facilitator, rank and privilege in groups and relationships, and how to facilitate with your whole self.

    Week 4: CALLING THE CIRCLE: Groups and communities can come together effectively and compassionately in a circle of learning and growth when there are clear group rules or agreements. We'll also look at language and facilitation as well as facilitation beyond words (including how to cultivate a clear and attentive presence).This includes the challenges of reading body language and non-verbal signals in Zoom and other video conference sessions. 

    Week 5: THE MUSIC WE MAKE TOGETHER: Whether you're facilitating a workshop, retreat, class, or meeting, rhythm is everything when it comes to cohesive sessions. We'll dive into questions and possibilities of pacing, how to open and close sessions, and overall rhythm and pacing across multiple-session workshops.

    Week 6: BRANCHES AND BLOSSOMS OF FACILITATION: Assessments and continuing education are necessary for the lifelong art of facilitation. We'll take a look at strategies and practices to grow your art and heart of facilitation, the populations you are drawn to facilitate, and what to do when your path curves or changes.

    Guest Teachers

    Callid Keefe-Perry is an Executive Director of ARC: Arts | Religion | Culture, a traveling minister in the Quaker tradition, and an advocate for the arts as a way of deepening spiritual practice. He has been a public school teacher, co-founder of a community theater, and Coordinator of the TLA Network. He thinks it is OK for people to laugh a lot, that power cedes nothing without demands, and that creativity is a vital quality of adaptive and effective leadership. Callid will share a bit about the field of theopoetics and talk about using different modalities for group facilitation and what is gained by doing so.

    Seema Reza is the author of A Constellation of Half-Lives and When the World Breaks Open. She is CEO of Community Building Art Works, a non-profit organization that brings workshops led by professional artists to service members, veterans, and clinicians and is featured in the 2018 HBO documentary, We Are Not Done Yet. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, McSweeney’s, The LA Review, and The Feminist Wire, among others. Case studies from her work with military populations have appeared in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Related Diseases in Combat Veterans.

    Who This Class is For

    This class is intended for all who facilitate or want to facilitate arts, healing, and/or social change-based groups, whether it takes the form of writing, storytelling, spoken word, drama, debate, public speaking, organizational storytelling, or other areas. While focusing on workshop facilitation, this class will also help students better facilitate Transformative Language Arts and related fields in other settings, including classrooms, coaching sessions, meetings, and more. Because learning to facilitate well is a lifelong art, this class is aimed toward all who seek to deepen their facilitation practice, whether they are a beginner or seasoned facilitator. The class meets students wherever they are, and because we are still facing many challenges in the midst of the pandemic, each week will include approaches, strategies, tools, and supports for working with people right now.


    This class encompasses weekly discussions (with a guiding question each week), creative writing prompts, readings, podcasts and videos, ample resources, and live video-conferences with people who can bring to the table vast experience with a wide spectrum of communities. Each week includes a discussion and discussion questions, creative prompts, "In These Times Tips & Resources," "Care and Feeding of the Facilitator," and "Joy and Caryn's Corner" (for further considerations and study).

    The three video-conferences (which can be done easily on computers or phones), which will be held for three Sundays at 8 p.m. EST/ 7 p.m. CST/ 6 p.m. MST/ 5 p.m. PST on 11/1/20, 11/15/20, and 12/13/20, also allows time for students to discuss and practice aspects of facilitation. Each video session will be 75-90 minutes.

    Teacher Bios

    Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, is the founder of Transformative Language Arts and the author of 23 books, including How Time Moves: New and Selected Poems;Miriam's Well, a novel; Needle in the Bone, a non-fiction book on the Holocaust and six poetry collections, including the award-winning Chasing Weather. Mirriam-Goldberg has facilitated community writing workshops widely since 1992 with diverse populations throughout the Midwest, the U.S., and in Mexico, including people living with serious illness, intergenerational communities, women living in public housing, teens and young adults, and humans at large in big-life transitions. She offers one-on-one coaching on writing and right livelihood, and she consults with organizations and businesses on creativity. She co-leads Brave Voice writing and singing retreats with Kelley Hunt and the Your Right Livelihood training with Laura Packer. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin. Her Patreon campaign to create transformative writing, workshops, and podcasts and offering patrons weekly inspirations is here.

    Joy Roulier Sawyer is the author of two poetry collections, Tongues of Men and Angels and Lifeguards, as well as several nonfiction books. Her poetry, essays, and fiction have been widely published. Joy holds an MA from New York University in Creative Writing and a master's degree in counseling. Her extensive training and experience as a licensed professional counselor and in poetry/journal therapy gives her special expertise in facilitating expressive writing workshops. Joy was selected by poetry therapy pioneers to revise and update Arleen McCarty Hynes’ groundbreaking textbook, Biblio/Poetry Therapy: The Interactive Process. For over a decade, she’s taught at Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshop, the largest literary center in the West, where she received the 2019 Beacon Award for Teaching Excellence. Along with her other creative writing and poetry classes, Joy helps facilitate Lighthouses's Denver Public Library, Arvada Library, and Edgewater Library’s Hard Times workshops, designed for those experiencing homelessness or poverty, as well as the Writing to Be Free program, an outreach for women transitioning out of incarceration. She has also taught at the University of Denver and in the TLA MA program at Goddard College. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

    • 04 Nov 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • Online
    • 29

    Explore how to use narrative-based models to strengthen your professional voice, better communicate who you are and what you do as a transformative language artist, and further shape the emerging field and practice of TLA.

    TLA practitioners, artists, activists, facilitators and scholars, we're often asked, “What's Transformative Language Arts?” In this class, we'll hone our abilities and build tools for communicating both the effectiveness of using the written, spoken and sung word for personal and communal change, and the specifics of our individual and community TLA work. Especially when working with people and cultures whose narratives are invisible and silenced, this kind of communication is particularly important to foster a new world of possibilities for healing, creativity and voice. Such models also lift the TLA profession and the reputation of the great people doing good work in the world.

    Yvette will use her TLA-inspired model to offer practical “how to” guidance that strengthens the profession, helps you establish an expert voice, and better creatively showcase your work for a variety of audiences and uses. This course provides a framework of three anchors for promoting your TLA skill and expertise: Scholarly Personal Narratives, Authoethnography, and Story Branding.

    If you are imagining a way to effectively and passionately convey your the whys, whos, and whats of your practice and to market yourself effectively, this is the course for you. In a nutshell, this course will guide participants to succinctly name: This is my body of work. This is who I am. This is who I work with.

    Participants can expect to:

    • Share experiences to further the knowledge of the TLA field through writings and professional presentations
    • Advocate, educate, and pass on TLA practices to promote learning and development
    • Weave between research, writing, practice, theory, and experience
    • Develop a TLA niche and target audience to support Right Livelihood
    • Apply templates for storytelling

    Participants will reflect on and write a high level overview of their TLA theory and practice suitable for publication in order to make an impact and advance TLA’s reputation in the field. The framework used to write their overview can be repeated in writing about more detailed TLA research and practices. Using a story branding process, participants will build a narrative model for marketing and branding themselves and creating a story profile for their target market.

    Week by Week

    Week One: Introduction to TLA Practice as Personal Story, Research, and Theory: This week, we'll explore who we are, what's our TLA practice, and our goals for the class as well as learn more about various forms of sharing our TLA work to lift up the field of TLA while enhancing our own work.

    Week Two: Who Am I and What is My Work: This week, we dive deeper into first person storytelling on our histories and how it connects to our TLA work. We shall produce several short personal essays.

    Week Three: Personal Essay Feedback and Introduction to Elements of Scholarship Personal Narrative: We will exchange strengths-based feedback to refine our short personal essays. We'll also be introduced to Scholarly Personal Narrative and ways we can turn our experience into relatable scholarly research that adds value to the TLA field of study. We will begin thinking about possible TLA SPN topics.

    Week Four: Diving Deeper into Scholarly Personal Narrative: We will select an SPN topic, how our experience (personal essays) connect with the topic, and how the topic connects to a larger world view. We'll outline/mind map a piece of SPN writing. We'll brainstorm pertinent external resources that need to be noted in our SPN. Through sharing feedback with one another, we can further enhance how we convey our work, experience, goals, capacities, and vision.

    Week Five: SPN Manuscript Draft and Brainstorm Uses for our TLA Class Writings: We'll develop a solid SPN draft and exchange strengths-based feedback. We will brainstorm creative ways to use our personal short story writings and SPN manuscript to further our TLA practice.

    Week Six: Build a Framework for Story Branding: We'll wrap up class by identifying and selecting publishing outlets, marketing opportunities, and branding options for our refined TLA writings.

    Who Should Take This Class

    This online class is for facilitators and practitioners (whether you're a writer, storyteller, performer, activist, educator, healer, or community leader) wishing to creatively document your work; craft strong writing of your background, experience and offerings for your print and web marketing materials; and create various form of TLA scholarship centered on your story and vision. This online class works well for individuals wishing dedicated time to write about their storytelling, personal narrative, and narrative storytelling based facilitation practice. This course will help participants write about their practice from a creative-scholar-based framework, and learn how to establish their “brand” and marketing through stories.


    Participants can expect to spend 3-6 hours a week in an online format checking out posted resources, assigned readings, brief slide presentations, sample writings for discussion, and templates, creative prompts, and exercises to initiate writing. Participants will receive and give strengths-based and positive feedback when responding to peers’ work.

    About the Teacher

    Yvette Angelique Hyater-Adams, MA-TLA, Principal and Chief Storytelling Officer at Narratives for Change: I am a writer, teaching-artist, and transformative narrative coach. Currently, my research and writing projects center around analyzing personal experience for women and girls to understand their cultural realities. This social action writing confronts pressing issues that women and girls face, and I publish as research reports, journal articles, book chapters and on blogs. In addition to my writing projects and teaching creative and expressive writing, I help leaders and teams embrace transformative change using narrative models that promote transparency, positive reframing of language, and from a strengths-based philosophy. My history includes deep experience and training in applied behavioral science and mindfulness-based practices. I have a strong business background as Senior Vice President and corporate banker heading up a change management strategy division; as President, and Chief Executive Officer for a boutique change management consulting firm, and as President of a non-profit education institution for adult experiential learning and professional development. Today, I run Narrative for Change, a social enterprise whose mission is creative pathaways for women and girls to advocate for herself and her tribes through written, spoken, and visual storytelling.

    • 20 Jan 2021
    • (EST)
    • 23 Feb 2021
    • (EST)
    • Online
    • 13

    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.”

    Think, work, play, with writing concepts prompted by fantastic folktales, visual and odd visionary angles and contemplations, quotations, verses, and literature.  From these, we’ll develop personal collections of narrative and non-narrative writing that guide us toward a comfortable point of view about the realities and truths of who we are.

    Each week, we’ll share in printed format from these original collections, with no restrictions beyond the requirements of the prompts you’ve chosen, and no judgment. We’ll also share some written choices in spoken word in Week 6, if possible.

    Through this thought-provoking process, we’ll 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.” Sometimes our musings will be serious, but we’ll all benefit from a little more fantasy and play!

    “Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality.  It’s a way of understanding it.” – Lloyd Alexander, author of the pentalogy, The Chronicles of Prydain.

    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 the contortions of our life story; turning the truths and realities 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 can now recognize and carry in our “basket of goodies”.

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

    Being willing to face or step toward darker memories or more dangerous ideas; changing perspective to construct "sense from non-sense," those moments that seemed to have no reason or reasonable outcome. Turning big pains into small boo-boos, and big joys into notable treasures.Being willing to face or step toward darker memories or more dangerous ideas; changing perspective to construct "sense from non-sense," those moments that seemed to have no reason or reasonable outcome. 

    Week 5: Through the Wrong End of the Telescope

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

    Week 6: Communal Voices

    Sharing our voices and our reflections in an online gathering or 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.


    This is an online class. Each week, a new week-long session will open, full of resources, reflections, discussion questions, and writing prompts. Students can expect to spend 3-5 hours per week with these ideas. Students peruse resources and readings. Then, according to their own choices, they’ll answering a discussion question, engage in several writing prompts, and respond to peers’ work. Through our interactions, we create and sustain a welcoming and inspiring community.

    About the Teacher

    A fourth-generation Affrilachian storyteller, Ohio teaching artist, and award-winning author, Lynette (Lyn) Ford has shared programs and workshops on creatively writing, joyfully playing,  and developing and sharing narratives for more than thirty years. Lyn’s work is published in several storytelling-in-education resources, and her own books—Affrilachian Tales: Folktales from the African-American Appalachian TraditionBeyond the Briar Patch: Affrilachian Folktales, Food and FolkloreHot Wind, Boiling Rain: Scary Stories for Strong Hearts—as well as collaborations with friend and fellow storyteller Sherry Norfolk: Boo-Tickle Tales: Not-So-Scary Stories for Ages 4-9Speak Peace: Words of Wisdom, Work & Wonder, and Supporting Diversity and Inclusion with Story. Lyn is also a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher, and a great-grandmother.

Past Classes

24 Jun 2020 The Art of Facilitation: Facilitating for Change & Community // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg & Joy Roulier Sawyer
24 Jun 2020 & They Call Us Crazy: Outsider Writing to Cross the Borders of Human Imagination // with Caits Meissner
25 Mar 2020 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
25 Mar 2020 The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir // with Jennifer Browdy, PhD
15 Jan 2020 Your Memoir as Monologue: Writing Monologues for Healing and Transformation // with Kelly DuMar
15 Jan 2020 The Art of Facilitation: Roots and Blossoms of Facilitation // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg & Joy Roulier Sawyer
23 Oct 2019 15 Poets to Change Your Life & Spark Your Writing // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
23 Oct 2019 Poems As Prayers: Writing Towards a Just World // with Caits Meissner
26 Jun 2019 15 Poets to Change Your Life & Spark Your Writing // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
24 Apr 2019 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
06 Mar 2019 Fantastic Folktales & Visionary Angles to Transform Our Stories // with Lyn Ford
16 Jan 2019 How Pictures Heal: Honoring Memory & Loss through Expressive Writing from Personal Photos // with Kelly DuMar
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 Wound Dwelling: Writing the Survivor Body(ies) // with Jennye Patterson
27 Jun 2018 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
27 Jun 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 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 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
01 Mar 2017 How Pictures Heal: Honoring Memory & Loss through Expressive Writing from Personal Photos // with Kelly DuMar
11 Jan 2017 Values of the Future Through Transformative Language Arts // with Doug Lipman
11 Jan 2017 Your Callings, Your Livelihood, Your Life // With Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
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 Saturated Selfies: Intentional and Intense Photography and Writing
18 May 2016 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations
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 The Five Senses and the Four Elements: Connecting with the Body and Nature Through Poetry
04 Jan 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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