12-week online course begins January 16, 2020

You sense something glowing inside you...

...An event that calls to be recorded, or a story that keeps nudging you, or just the glimmer of a feeling that you want to explore.

But you haven't written it yet.

You don't know where to start. Or you feel intimidated about writing. Perhaps you're not sure your story is worth telling—or you wonder if you even have a story to tell at all.

We're Ashmae and Kathy, and we want you to know that your intuitive sense is spot on that something is ready to be told.

We know personally that 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. The craft of writing helps you know who you are as you do it. Maybe this sounds intimidating, or maybe it sounds exciting. Either way, we made this writing course for you—both for the part of you that is scared and the part of you that is excited.

Mine to Tell is a 12-week guided writing course designed to help you face your writing fears and tell the story that is glowing inside you.

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 fears, but with them.

The concepts and exercises we guide you through in this course have helped us successfully create small, personal writing projects for people close to us, as well as bigger creative projects and published books.

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 you get when you

register for Mine to Tell

12 weekly live video lessons

Once a week, we gather online as a group, using a video webinar platform called Zoom. In each lesson, we guide you through writing techniques and exercises that open up your story and give you greater confidence to tell it.

Each class is broadcast live for 90 minutes on Thursday evenings: 6:00–7:30 pm PT / 9:00–10:30 pm ET.

(Lessons are recorded and available to watch later on your own time if you can't join us live.)

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 personal encouragement about your writing and ask questions to spark revision. Even writers who have felt nervous about showing their work to anyone have said these two feedback sessions helped them appreciate and understand their own writing.

60+ pages of writing workbook prompts and info

Along with weekly video lessons, you receive workbook pages that will help you write. A few highlights include:

  • Ways to Publish: Links to resources and helpful tips to submit your work for publication.

  • A guide to workshopping: Useful steps to giving and receiving feedback on writing, so that you can get the kind of feedback you're looking for from readers, even after this course is done.

Your own personal workshop group

From the beginning of the course, we 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 2-3 other writers will have dedicated time to read each other's work. We walk everyone through the process of giving good feedback so that your small writing group can be a supportive space.

The connections you make here can last beyond the course itself. Several workshop groups from past sessions have continued to meet and support each other in their writing after the course is over.

A reading list of relevant, contemporary personal writing

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.

Private online writing community

In the private Mine to Tell 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.

Participation in an online reading of your work at the end of this course

After all the writing you do in this course, you get the chance to celebrate the results. We host a live online reading on Zoom, where you can read a short 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 Mine to Tell writers who shared in previous readings said they felt glad they did.

"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 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


What is in each of the 12 lessons?

See the course outline below

Course Curriculum

  Welcome to Mine to Tell!
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  Lesson 4: Who Am I to Write Something?
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  Lesson 5: Starting Small and Moving Outward
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  Lesson 7: Making Your Words Do the Work
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  Lesson 8: Writing About Difficult Characters with Compassion
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  Lesson 9: Finding Form in Chaos
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  Lesson 10: Looking to the Beginning with the Intent to Revise
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  Lesson 11: Publishing + Your Questions
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  Lesson 12: Taking Ownership of Your Work
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  Session 4 Online Reading
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Who are the instructors for this course?

I'm Ashmae Hoiland. 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 onto 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 online and in literary journals, and I've shared my stories on stage for various reading series performances (which is one of my favorite ways to share stories). 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.

"Ashmae and Kathy are safe, engaging, and inspiring teachers. Their writing exercises and encouragement have pulled words out of me that I feel proud of. Mine to Tell was a wonderful experience!"

—Annie W, Mine to Tell student


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


Want to purchase this course as a gift?

First of all, you're very smart.

Second, place your order using your own email address (so you receive the email receipt). Then send us the email address of the gift recipient where we should send the course welcome email:

[email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
This course begins on January 16, 2020. Classes are held online weekly until the final class and online reading on April 16, 2020. (Though we encourage you to watch live, you can always watch recordings on weeks you can't attend.) We teach this course live so that we can respond personally to you and read your work as you move through this amazing process of gaining confidence in your voice and your work.
How long do I have access to the course?
You gain access to a new lesson in the course each week, as we move through it together. After that, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like—across any and all devices you own.
Is this course just for women?
This course is created for anyone who wants an experience in discovering and empowering their voice through writing. In past sessions of this course, the majority of students have identified as women. But any respectful, curious human with an impulse to write is welcome to register.
Would this course be appropriate for a teenage writer?
YES! The content in this course speaks on an adult level, but if you have a child who likes writing but doesn't know where to start, this course will help them. Young teens might be a little out of their depth, but 15-18 years old would be totally comfortable here. If you have a teenage child, relative, or friend who is an aspiring writer, this course will encourage them to trust their voice.
Can I purchase this course for someone else?
Absolutely. (We're writers ourselves and if someone bought us a gift like this, we might swoon a little bit. In other words, this is seriously a good spouse or partner gift. You win at Christmas if you get them this.) We're happy to work things out so that the welcome email is sent to the right place at the right time. Email us at [email protected] with the gift recipient's name and email address and we'll help you personally.
What if I don't like the course?
If you start the course and find it's not the right fit for you, we'll refund your money in full—no questions asked. (Though we really would love to know why, just so we can always keep improving the experience for others.) Contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

"There are a lot of voices in the world, and taking this course guided & welcomed me back to my own."

—Carla Thorup, Mine to Tell, Session 2