We'll help you write your story this summer.
12-Week Guided Course Begins June 13, 2019
You sense there is something glowing inside you.
A story that would like to be told. You may not know what this story is, what it will mean, or how to tell it. That's okay.
Writing is a portal to a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you. It is a tool that allows you access to your story in surprising and vibrant ways. It is a craft that helps you know who you are as you do it.
Your intuitive sense is probably spot on that something is ready to be told. But what if you don't know how to start? Perhaps you're intimidated or not even sure your story is worth telling at all. Or maybe you are excited and ready. This course is for the part of you that is scared and the part of you that is excited.
We're Ashmae and Kathy, and we made this writing course for you.
Mine to Tell is a 12-week guided writing course. Together, we'll explore and overcome your writing fears, practice writing together, and talk deeply about your work, so that you'll finish with confidence in your own voice and story.
Allowing your story space and time to teach you can be an illuminating, even spiritual journey. It's not a journey that comes without work, or even frustration, but over the years, we've put in the work to face fear and doubt head on, and not just write in spite of them, but with them.
The concepts and exercises we'll share in this course have helped us create small, personal writing projects for people close to us, as well as bigger projects we've each created. Some of those larger projects include 6 children's books, two successful Kickstarter campaigns, the We Brave Women project, short stories, essays, and multiple books, including a memoir, 100 Birds Taught Me To Fly, which was a finalist in the most prestigious independent writer's awards.
We've both spent over a dozen years navigating both the doubt and the exhilaration of writing our own story and ideas. We want you to know it is worth the work and time it takes to write your story.
If you feel like now is your time to write, trust that urge. This course is a space free of judgement, where you learn to write first and foremost for yourself, and to love yourself in the doing of it.
We're honored and excited to guide you through the process.
What's included in your Mine to Tell course:
1. 12 weekly live video lessons
Once a week, we will gather online as a group. In each class, you will by guided through writing techniques and exercises that bring you greater confidence to tell your story.
Each class is broadcast live on Thursday evenings: 6:30 pm PT / 9:30 pm ET. Each class is 90 minutes long.
(Videos are recorded and available to watch later if you can't join us live.)
2. 60+ page writing and homework workbooks
Along with weekly video lessons, you will receive extensive workbooks that will help you write. A few highlights include:
—Ways to Publish: Links to resources and helpful tips to submit your work for publication.
—Supplemental reading list: A wide variety of voices and subjects to inspire you.
—Step-by-step exercises: A guide to walk you through the writing process and build your confidence as you go.
—A guide to workshopping: Useful steps to getting and giving feedback on writing, so that you get the kind of feedback you're looking for.
3. Personal instructor feedback on your writing
Two times during this course, you will be able to submit two pages of your writing to us, your instructors, and we'll send back personal notes, insights and suggestions on your work.
We'll share our encouragement about your writing and ask questions to spark revision.
4. Your own personal workshop group
From the beginning of the course, we'll facilitate connections between fellow students who want to be part of a smaller writing group.
Three times during the course, you and your group of 3-4 other writers will have dedicated time to read each other's work. We will walk everyone through the process of how to give good feedback so that your small writing group can be a supportive space. The connections you make can last much longer than the course itself and many workshop groups have continued to meet and support each other in their writing after the course is over.
5. Private online writing community
In a private Facebook group you'll get to meet fellow writers. We'll share thoughts, ideas, and updates beyond our weekly lessons.
The group includes all students from the previous session of Mine to Tell, so you'll be connected to a larger community of people doing the kind of creative work that you are.
6. A reading list of contemporary, relevant writing from the personal writing genres.
Reading is one of the most important activities to help you write. Each week of the course, we share an essay, article, or book chapter as an example of creative nonfiction. The selections vary in voice and subject matter to help you see the possibilities available to you when you write.
7. Participation in an online reading of your work at the end of the course.
After all the writing you do in this course, you get the chance to enjoy the results. We'll host a live reading on an online platform where you can read a piece you've written during our time together. You can invite friends and family, even if they're far away. And you'll get to hear work from your fellow writers. Not every student choose to read (so there's no pressure), but every Mine to Tell writer who shared in the last reading felt glad that they did.
8. Interviews on writing, revising, and publishing with two strong writers
In these bonus interviews, Courtney Kendrick, the well-loved blogger at CJane, speaks to writing about the personal and doing so very successfully without formal training. Kate Finlinson, a literary fiction writer who attended the Michener Center for Writers (one of the top MFA programs in the nation), speaks about her experience and knowledge in the realm of publishing and revision. Both interviews are over an hour long and contain so much useful information and insight.
Both interviews are ready for you to watch right now, even before the course begins.
If you're purchasing this
course as a gift,
First of all, you're very smart.
Second, after you place your order, email us the email address where you'd like the course welcome email to be sent:
Mine to Tell—Course Schedule
Pre-Class Worksheet: Introduction to Genre
Lesson 1: Finding Your Writing Space
Lesson 2: Facing Fears
Lesson 3: Self As Audience
Lesson 4: Trusting What the 'I' Has to Say
Lesson 5: The Art of Description, Starting Small and Moving Outward
Lesson 6: Time is Yours in Your Writing
Lesson 7: Letting Go of Devotion to Exactness
Lesson 8: Making Your Words Do the Work
Lesson 9: What About the Ending
Lesson 10: Going Back to the Beginning
Lesson 11: Publishing + Q&A
Lesson 12: Taking Ownership of Your Work
Lesson 13: Celebrating Your Work: Online Reading
I could write many details here to convince you of myself as a teacher, writer and artist: I have an MFA, I've taught for over a decade both in University settings, traveling with my writing and art, in journals and conferences, as a writing coach. I wrote a book that was nominated for a national prize, and I recently published a memoir about my experience being diagnosed with MS. I've run successful Kickstarter campaigns and a small business. But above all, I want you to know that the underpinnings to any project I've taken on is my unequivocal belief in the beauty of each person's story. All my work is pointed in the direction of helping people grab on to the belief in their own story and then run with it.
I'm Kathy West and I teach this course alongside Ashmae. I also have an MFA, my writing has been published in journals, and I've shared my stories on stage for various reading series. Most importantly, though, I believe that individual stories are a path to peace in a world of deep divides. We need your story! For a long time, I doubted my voice, but over many years, I learned how to move through hesitation and self-doubt. I would be honored to help you become more confident in your own writing voice, so that you can write the story that only you can tell.
Few things are more discouraging than having something to say—and never saying it. Silence cuts us off from each other and from ourselves.
If you feel the draw to tell a story, but you've ever doubted yourself, join us for this class. You’ll be glad you did.
This class was given to me by my daughter as a Christmas gift and it was a little outside my comfort zone. But I have learned so much and I believe my writing will be better because of it. Ashmae and Kathy the teachers and both very gifted writers, reminded me of yoga instructors - so kind and encouraging and offering alternative "poses" for those of us who lacked confidence in our abilities. I would highly recommend this class for anyone who feels the urge to write and needs encouragement both from wonderful instructors and a community of writers all with different stories to tell.
—Donna Thomas, Mine to Tell Session 2
I wanted to take a moment to tell you how deeply grateful I am for your efforts in creating the Mine to Tell course. I have looked forward to every single class and have come away inspired to write more, share my writing, and live more gently. I have appreciated so much the peacefulness, passion, and joy that you both bring to every class. I am grateful for your work and would love to join a future course.
—Kristin Beard, Mine to Tell Session 2
Frequently Asked Questions
This course motivated me to re-explore personal stories I had forgotten or set aside, and to find new and creative ways to shape them. Ashmae and Kathy cultivated a beautiful, creative space where we could learn practical skills, explore our voices, and support each other in the process. I thoroughly enjoyed this class and I am excited to see where this journey takes me from here. I highly recommend this course.
—Lara Peterson, Mine to Tell Session 2
I signed up for Mine To Tell with hope that it would help me take my writing, and myself, more seriously. I found exactly that in this class, but also so much more. I am kinder and more generous to myself and my words because of the holy space Kathy and Ashmae create in this course experience. I feel braver when putting words onto pages knowing I have people cheering me on. I have a list of practical tools when I feel stuck to guide me back to my own words, or push me to write better ones. I know more about the industry and the steps to take if/when it is time to start publishing pieces or books. The weekly meetings were interesting and the time passed too quickly, always with helpful prompts and new insights. The recommended readings and book suggestions expanded my views over and over again, and made me believe I could write something as big or beautiful if I put in the work. Writing is indeed work, but it is a privilege to get to do the work alongside these wonderful instructors and the other attendees in the group.
There are a lot of voices in the world, and taking this course guided & welcomed me back to my own. For that, I am grateful.
-Carla Thorup, Mine to Tell, Session 2