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Writing workshops for building and supporting creative community

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Paper Trail offers creative writing workshops designed to encourage all writers. Our workshops are led by Jeannette Eaton, who loves supporting writers to show up and make time for their work. Our workshops welcome emerging and experienced writers, encourage folks who love sharing their work, and embrace those who feel nervous to share with others.

We prioritize the art of expression over judgment, making space for writers to immerse themselves in developing and refining their craft.

 

In each session, generative prompts are offered to encourage us to try new things and explore different genres like poetry, short fiction, personal narratives, and creative nonfiction. 

 

We want to hear your stories and offer supportive feedback to encourage you to keep writing! Register for one of our upcoming workshops and find the strength in your voice.

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If you write, you’re a writer

One of the core beliefs of the Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) program—if you write, you’re a writer—speaks to the reason Jeannette created Paper Trail. Each one of us has the power to create, regardless of where we went to school, how much money we have, or what and whose stories we’ve been told are important.

In our workshops, we are enriched by a community of writers who are just beginning to put pen to paper and by experienced writers who are honing their craft. We welcome writers from diverse backgrounds. We challenge what we’ve been told makes a good piece of writing. Our inclusive community provides a supportive space for every writer, especially those tentative to share their stories. As a lifelong introvert who used to shake when speaking in group settings, Jeannette holds with care those who are hesitant to share their work with others.

Our Philosophy 

Paper Trail uses the AWA writing method, developed by Pat Schneider (Writing Alone & With Others, Oxford University Press, 2003). This method treats all writing as fiction, allowing us to write wherever our pens take us. The principles of the AWA method establish a safe and open environment, empowering each participant to explore their own writing and listen to others with respect.

Our Workshops

In each session, we share a wish to show up and give time to our creativity. Through thoughtfully crafted prompts, we are encouraged to go in new directions and generate new writing. We find playful ways to navigate through creative challenges, working to find our unique voice, and overcoming our hesitations when we’re ready. We support each other by taking risks, listening carefully, and identifying what works in each piece.

All participants have the opportunity to receive feedback on a longer piece of writing during the workshop, as well as have a one-on-one meeting with Jeannette to chat about writing or a particular piece they may be working on.

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In our workshops, we...

dedicate

time to our craft

share

what works well in a piece of writing

write

in response to provided prompts, or follow our pens where they lead

learn

to pay attention to what resonates with us

read

our writing to each other, when we choose

support

each other's work and creativity

build

a creative community together

Our Facilitator

Jeannette Eaton fell in love with the power of words at age seven and has been writing ever since. She believes writing gives us a chance to connect with ourselves and with other people and offers a mirror to our lived experiences. With a long background in nonprofit work, connecting with and contributing to her community has been the focus and passion of her work. 

 

Along with offering creative writing workshops, Jeannette works as a mindfulness meditation teacher. She brings this unique lens with her to each workshop, as she gently leads the group and supports each participants’ individuality. 

 

Jeannette is an Amherst Writers & Artists affiliate and is certified in the AWA Writing Group method. She received her Master’s in Transformative Language Arts from Goddard College, where she learned to use the written word for social change. 

 

Above all, Jeannette loves to write and to encourage and show up for other people who love to write, or who feel ready to give writing a try.

Jeannette Eaton
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"Ten times a day something happens to me like this—some strengthening throb of amazement—some good sweet empathetic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of our attentiveness."

Mary Oliver

Jeannette is a natural leader, so it was easy to relax and let her guide us to the fresh place she had dreamed up for each week’s writing. I felt as though she provided flotation for us, so we could ride the waves without struggling - whether we chose to surf or float.

Each member of the group brought her personal life with her, of course, and Jeannette reassured us that there is no right or wrong in how this comes out in our writing. I found that to be very supportive, and also freeing. It allowed me exploration through writing without feelings of shame.

Joanie D.

Contact

For more information about Paper Trail, to explore which workshops are a good fit for you, or to register for an upcoming session, reach out to us via email at  write.papertrail@gmail.com or through our contact form.

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