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

    • 04 December 2020
    • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM (EST)
    • Online
    Register

    Well before the pandemic began, three friends from the TLAN community created a literary friendship using virtual technology.

    Liz Burke, Diane Glass, and Rachel Gabriel shared a passion for poetry and a desire to support one another’s writing. Through monthly meetings, they cultivated, nurtured, and sustained a welcoming environment for producing and revising their poetry.

    Join them and moderator, Kelly Dumar, for a dynamic conversation and Q + A about how to develop a creative community online. 

    The poets will also share work developed in this small group, and their individual experiences with revision. Gain practical advice and inspiration to grow your writing life with other practitioners of the transformative language arts.

    Please note that this event takes place at Eastern Standard Time.

    About the poets

    Rachel Gabriel is a multi-disciplinary artist in word, image, and song. Her work as a writer and teaching artist have been honored by The Loft Literary Center where she’s shared a passion for creative writing and literature with youth and adults since 2007. She was awarded a residency at The Ragdale Foundation for her novel in-progress, and has published prose and poetry in several anthologies. 

    In her creative work, Rachel explores topics such as spirituality, gender equality, and phenology. Her outreach and consulting work includes facilitating creative process and development workshops for intergenerational groups or private clients. She is an apprentice in book arts and bibliotherapy, and continues to develop curricula which weaves together creative expression with spiritual wellness. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband, son, and daughter. In her opinion, a perfect day includes a walk in Paris, painting by Lake Superior, and dancing in the kitchen.

    Diane Glass loves reading poetry, and during a Right Livelihood Professional Training offered by TLAN founder Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and Laura Packer, she discovered how much she loves writing it.

    RLPT’s encouragement and that of her two poetry partners, Liz and Rachel, has resulted in a poetry book released this month, The Heart Hungers for Wildness, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Diane published a memoir as well, This Need to Dance, her story of growing up with spina bifida. Diane completed the TLA certificate and considers this organization her tribe. www.dianeeglass.com. 

    Liz Burke is a poet, interdisciplinary educator, and writing coach passionate about narrative and arts-based approaches to personal and social transformation. She works with adult students, working-class identified groups, university faculty, LGBTQIA+ communities, women living with the aftermath of sexual assault and harassment, feminist activists, and poets/writers of all kinds. She serves as the TLA Network's Board Chair. 

    About the moderator

    Kelly DuMar is a poet, playwright, and engaging workshop leader who guides new and experienced writers to aim for astonishment, reclaim their imaginations, and generate enlivening writing experiences. Her Aim for Astonishing photo-inspired process elicits profound personal awakenings, deepens connection with others, and fosters beautifully crafted writing in poetry and prose. Author of three poetry collections, Kelly is also author of Before You Forget— The Wisdom of Writing Diaries for Your Children. She produces the Our Voices Festival of Boston Area Women Playwrights, held at Wellesley College, now in its 13th year, and she produces the annual Boston Writing Retreat and the weeklong summer Play Lab for the International Women’s Writing Guild, where she serves on the board. Kelly founded the Farm Pond Writers Collective to guide women writers to write from their personal photos, develop their artistic voices and connect deeply with their creative lives. Kelly inspires readers of #NewThisDay - her daily photo-inspired blog - with her mindful reflections on a writing life. www.kellydumar.com

    • 05 December 2020
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM (EST)
    • Online
    Register

    Join award-winning storyteller Lyn Ford for an evening of Fireside Tales on Zoom. Featuring two programs in one:  

    • 7:00 - 7:45 PM EST:  45 minutes of family campfire tales for all ages.
    • 7:45 - 8:30 PM EST: Tuck in your little ones, turn down the lights and get ready for 45 minutes mins of spooky stories - ages 12+!


    About the storyteller

    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.

    • 09 December 2020
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM (EST)
    • Online
    Register

    Join us for an evening of poetry, writing, and storytelling on Zoom showcasing some of the talented artists who make up the transformative Language Arts community.

    Featuring: Usha Akella, Taína Asili, Joseph Bruchac, Liz Burke, Ada Cheng, Lisa Chu, Kelly DuMar, Lyn Ford, Dorothy Randall Gray, Callid Keefe-Perry, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Mohsin Mohi Ud Din, Laura Packer.

    Moderated by Liz Burke, TLA Network board chair. This event is pay-what-you can. Your generous contribution helps support the artists and the work of the Transformative Language Arts Network. We realize that times are hard for many of us, and we hope you will not let money get in your way of attending!

    Please note: this event takes place in Eastern Standard Time.

    About the artists

    Usha Akella has authored four books of poetry, one chapbook, and scripted/produced two musical dramas. She earned an MSt. In Creative Writing from the University of Cambridge, UK. Her last poetry book, The Waiting was published by Sahitya Akademi, (India’s highest Literary authority) in 2019 followed by the Mantis Editores, Mexico edition in Spanish.

    She is the founder of Matwaala the first South Asian Diaspora Poets Festival in the US and the-pov.com, a website of curated interviews along with David Kopacz. She has been invited to prestigious international poetry festivals and was invited as a keynote speaker to TLAN’s Power of Words conference 2019.

    Taína Asili is a New York-based Puerto Rican singer, filmmaker and activist carrying on the tradition of her ancestors, fusing past and present struggles into one soulful and defiant voice. Her music combines powerful vocals carrying themes of hope and liberation with an energetic fusion of Afro-Latin, reggae and rock. Asili’s music offers a sound that spans continents, exuding strength of Spirit, inspiring audiences at venues across the globe – From Carnegie Hall to the Women’s March on Washington to the main stage of San Francisco Pride. With an energetic horn section and infectious rhythms, Asili’s music urges people to get on their feet and dance to the rhythm of rebellion.

    Joseph Bruchac 

    Liz Burke is a poet, interdisciplinary educator, and writing coach passionate about narrative and arts-based approaches to personal and social transformation. She works with adult students, working-class identified groups, university faculty, LGBTQIA+ communities, women living with the aftermath of sexual assault and harassment, feminist activists, and poets/writers of all kinds. She serves as the TLA Network's Board Chair. 

    Ada Cheng is a professor-turned-storyteller, solo performer, and storytelling show producer. Ada is the producer and the host of five storytelling shows, including Pour One Out, Am I Man Enough?, Talk Stories: An Asian American/Asian Diaspora Storytelling Show, Speaking Truths Series, and This Is America: Truths through My Body. She creates platforms for people to tell difficult and vulnerable stories as well as for communities who may not have opportunities otherwise. Her motto: Make your life the best story you tell.

    Lisa Chu is a multidisciplinary artist and SoulBodyMind coach based in northern California. She is passionate about encouraging people of all ages to recognize and explore their own creative potential through mixed media. As a performing artist, she has written and performed a solo autobiographical theater show and has performed as both classical and improvisational violinist for many decades. As a visual artist, she has shown her work in group and solo exhibitions and self-published several illustrated books.

    Kelly DuMar is a poet, playwright, and engaging workshop leader who guides new and experienced writers to aim for astonishment, reclaim their imaginations, and generate enlivening writing experiences. Her Aim for Astonishing photo-inspired process elicits profound personal awakenings, deepens connection with others, and fosters beautifully crafted writing in poetry and prose. Author of three poetry collections, Kelly is also author of Before You Forget— The Wisdom of Writing Diaries for Your Children. She produces the Our Voices Festival of Boston Area Women Playwrights, held at Wellesley College, now in its 13th year, and she produces the annual Boston Writing Retreat and the weeklong summer Play Lab for the International Women’s Writing Guild, where she serves on the board. Kelly founded the Farm Pond Writers Collective to guide women writers to write from their personal photos, develop their artistic voices and connect deeply with their creative lives. Kelly inspires readers of #NewThisDay - her daily photo-inspired blog - with her mindful reflections on a writing life.

    Lyn Ford is a fourth-generation Affrilachian storyteller, Ohio teaching artist, and award-winning author who 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 Tradition; Beyond the Briar Patch: Affrilachian Folktales, Food and Folklore; Hot 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 4-9; Speak 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.  

    Dorothy Randall Gray: From Brooklyn to Bombay, Iceland to India Dorothy enthralls audiences with her dramatic poetry performances, spellbinding stories and captivating humor. Writers rave about her inspiring workshops, and insightful professional guidance. Nikki Giovanni, Luisah Teish, and Larry Dossey have all lauded her transformational work. She has facilitated creative writing, personal development, and empowerment sessions for women's groups, incarcerated youth, homeless populations, professional writing associations, HIV positive men,  cancer survivors, university students, and business executives. 

    Callid Keefe-Perry is one of the two Co-Executive Directors 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 is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Theology at Boston University’s School of Theology and works on the importance of creativity and imagination in spirituality. He has been a public school teacher, was the co-founder of a community theater, and is a former 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. 

    Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate is the founder of Transformative Language Arts and author of 24 books, including How Time Moves: New & Selected Poems; Miriam's Well, a novel; and The Sky Begins At Your Feet, a bioregional memoir on cancer and community. She leads writing workshops widely, coaches people on writing and right livelihood, and consults on creativity. She leads Your Right Livelihood, a training on doing the work you love, with Laura Packer, and Brave Voice: Writing & Singing for Your Life retreats with Kelley Hunt.  

    Mohsin Mohi Ud Din

    Laura Packer  

    • 06 January 2021
    • (EST)
    • 17 February 2021
    • (EST)
    • Online
    • 30
    Register

    Just as we can look up at the moon at any time, no matter what phase it’s in, and see something new, we can look at ourselves from different perspectives and discover new ways of being in the world.

    Kissing the Muse invites you on (another) Messy, Magical, Art-Making Adventure. Whether you started this journey with Home-at-Heart Muse, or are just now joining,  this course brings you full-circle to share your creative elixir with your community.This time we start with Lost-in-Limbo Muse and dive deeper to explore our shadows, hopes for healing, spiritual determination and transformative power—all through our creative practice. Using a series of collage-making "muse dates," expressive art actions, and playful writing prompts, we’ll invoke the archetypal energy of the muse to help us navigate our lives.

    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 that illuminates your way to happiness——through your own, unique creative practice.  

    Week by Week

    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 infuse your creative passion.

    Week One: Diving Deeper—Kiss Your Lost-in-Limbo Muse

    Engage in muse-kissing practices (expressive art actions and creative writing prompts) to “Dive deeper to discover your hidden treasures.

    • Course introduction 

    • Musing on Diving Deeper

    • Core Kissing Practice: Lost-in-Limbo Muse (via Zoom)

    • Creative prompts & kissing practices

    • Inspiration, poetry & readings

    Week Two: Dark Ordeal—Kiss Your Surviving Shadow Muse

    Engage in muse-kissing practices (expressive art actions and creative writing prompts) to “Tame your dark dragons with vulnerability, courage and compassion.”

    • Musing on the Dark Ordeal

    • Core Kissing Practice: Surviving Shadow Muse

    • Creative prompts & kissing practices

    • Inspiration, poetry & readings

    Week Three: Enlightening Epiphany—Kiss Your Hopeful Healing Muse

    Engage in muse-kissing practices (expressive art actions and creative writing prompts) to “Rejuvenate and illuminate new possibilities.” 

    • Musing on Enlightening Epiphany

    • Core Kissing Practice: Reluctant Rebel Muse

    • Creative prompts & kissing practices

    • One-to-One Coaching Call - a personal ½ hour session with the instructor

    • Inspiration, poetry & readings

    Week Four: Determined Comeback—Kiss Your Balancing-Both-Worlds Muse

    Engage in muse-kissing practices (expressive art actions and creative writing prompts) to “Move forward by fueling your to-do list with love.” 

    • Musing on Determined Comeback

    • Core Kissing Practice: Balancing-Both-Worlds Muse

    • Creative prompts & kissing practices

    • Inspiration, poetry & readings

      Week Five: Transformative Test—Kiss Your Zen Warrior of Love Muse

      Engage in muse-kissing practices (expressive art actions and creative writing prompts) to “Reveal your truth with grace, wisdom, and courage.”

      • Musing on Transformative Test

      • Core Kissing Practice: Zen Warrior of Love Muse

      • Creative prompts & kissing practices

      • Inspiration, poetry & readings

      Week Six: Sharing the Elixir—Kiss Your Full Moon Muse

      (Closing Ritual via Zoom)

      Engage in muse-kissing practices (expressive art actions and creative writing prompts) to “share your creative gifts in community.” 

      • Musing on Sharing the Elixir
      • Core Kissing Practice: Full Moon Muse
      • Creative prompts & kissing practices
      • Closing ritual via Zoom
      • Inspiration, poetry & readings

        Who Should Take This Class

        Kissing the Muse: (Another) 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.

        Format

        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

        Hi, I'm Robbyn, author of Kissing the Muse: A Messy, Magical, Art-Making Adventure & Guidebook (coming soon!)—and the creator of this course. I believe creativity is a form of intimacy, and that’s something we all need and crave. I hope this course inspires you to explore whatever turns on your muse—happy kissing!

        Robbyn Layne McGill is a freelance, interdisciplinary, creative collaborator and writer who forged her multifarious career path by chasing her passions, wandering wildly, and kissing her muse. She 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). She lives in Amsterdam with her British boyfriend and Dutch cat, and hosts Kissing the Muse workshops online and internationally.

        • 20 January 2021
        • (EST)
        • 23 February 2021
        • (EST)
        • Online
        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.”

        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.

        Format

        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.

        • 03 February 2021
        • (EST)
        • 17 March 2021
        • (EDT)
        • Online
        Register

        There’s beauty and meaning to mine from your life story, and this workshop will help you artistically express what you’ve overcome and achieved, and creatively share your experience to benefit others through the medium of theatre. You’ll learn how to write successful dramatic monologues based on your life that are personally meaningful, emotionally satisfying, and relevant and engaging for an audience. In class, through thematic writing prompts and creative exploration, you’ll develop your ordinary and extraordinary life experiences into powerful, dramatic monologues that can be performed – by you or an actor – with universal appeal. In class meetings will present elements of dramatic structure and explore the artistic qualities necessary for an effective dramatic monologue. We’ll explore the role of conflict, plot, communicating subtext, voice, narrative, and the importance of set-up. New writing will be generated in and out of class, shared in class and aspects of revision will be presented and practiced. Beginning and experienced writers in any genre are welcome! 

        “Memoir as Monologue taught me the power of my own story. Kelly’s guidance on creating effective drama, her concrete feedback on improving my work, the nurturing environment she created for participants and the excellent resources she brought to the table opened a whole new world for me. This was one of the most effective online classes I’ve taken.”  Diane Glass, 2016 class member

        Read an interview here with Kelly on this dynamic class.

        Week by Week

        Week One: Memoir vs. Monologue: How Dramatic Writing Makes the Leap from Page to Stage

        All kinds of expressive writing, from diary/journal writing to memoir to poetry, foster healing and personal growth. Writing for the stage offers a uniquely imaginative process for healing and transformation as well. We’ll explore how writing for the stage differs from writing a memoir or personal essay. You’ll learn tools for adapting personal story for dramatic writing as a theatrical experience that engages an audience. Elements of dramatic structure will be introduced.

        Week Two: The Art of Crafting Set-Up

        We’ll explore taking a short piece of memoir and shaping it theatrically, focusing on developing an effective dramatic set-up. Crafting an effective monologue  set up involves imagination and immediacy, a distinctive voice, cohesive narrative structure, meaningful theme, and cohesive plot. We’ll explore personal themes of life choices, mistakes, roads taken and not taken, encountering internal and external obstacles, new beginnings, thresholds, rites of passage as the source for crafting dramatic monologues.

        Week Three: Conflict – Experiencing Obstacles, Crafting Resilience

        Conflict is a universal experience, a fact of life, and a necessary element of dramatic writing. How we meet it, how we shape it, how we share it is the stuff of wise living and great storytelling. We’ll experiment and explore conflict as a personal encounter and literary device and as a necessary stage of any journey toward wholeness. This session will explore how to artistically construct compelling narratives from personal conflicts, shaping the experience of resilience to involve and inspire an audience.

        Week Four: Showing Versus Telling – Voice as a Vehicle for Dramatic Action

        The memoir writer uses written description and authorial narration to illustrate setting, character, internal thoughts, external actions, feelings, motivations, needs, conflicts and consequences. The dramatic writer of monologue must craft, from the voice of a single character/speaker, compelling speech and gesture to show, rather than tell a story. We’ll explore how monologue presents a speaker’s needs, motivation and conflict in a way that involves the audience by establishing a “willing suspension of disbelief.”

        Week Five: Creative Tools for Revising & Fine-Tuning

        Focus on how the process of revision moves from page to stage - and stage back to page; additional thematic writing prompts for use with writing already generated in class; discussing strategies for going deeper; dealing with creative blocks and putting it all together – theme, arc, voice, stagecraft.

        Week Six: The Art of Collaboration – Presenting Your Monologue

        Whether or not you plan on personally performing your dramatic monologue or putting it in the hands of an actor, your writing will take on additional dimension in the journey toward sharing it with an audience. We’ll explore aspects of collaborating with a director, an actor, a designer, producer or publisher in the process of reaching an audience as well as resources for finding potential collaborators.

        Who Should Take This Class

        This class is ideal for people who do word arts–writing, storytelling, spoken word, theater, and other forms of TLA–and are ready to put themselves out there more in the world and in their work. Because of the innovate exercises and engaging discussions, this class would be very appropriate for both new and seasoned word artists who want to learn more, and find greater community together.

        Format

        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. 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 workshop leader who generates enlivening writing experiences for new and experienced writers. She is excited to offer this monologue class for the fourth time at TLAN. Author of three poetry collections, girl in tree barkTree 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. She founded and produced the Our Voices Festival of Women Playwrights at Wellesley College for twelve years, and she is a past president of Playwright's Platform, Boston. For the past five years, Kelly has led the week-long Play Lab Intensive at the annual conference of the International Women's Writing Guild. 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 www.kellydumar.com.

      Past Classes

      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 & They Call Us Crazy: Outsider Writing to Cross the Borders of Human Imagination // with Caits Meissner
      24 June 2020 The Art of Facilitation: Facilitating for Change & Community // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg & Joy Roulier Sawyer
      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
      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
      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
      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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