When: 17 April — 20 May 2020
Number of sessions: Eight sessions, 4.30pm – 6pm
Format: Weekend workshop starting 4.30pm Friday 17 April then weekly on Wednesdays
Where: Zoom Online course in your writing room
Currently we are living through an extraordinary time in world history, where all the familiar
norms of our known existence have been turned upside down by a global pandemic. For each
of us, living through this state of lockdown, our sense of security has been shattered, our
inner resilience tested. We wonder if life will ever return to normal. Yet inherent in this
situation, some are calling it a ‘dangerous opportunity,’ is a potential gift. Through writing a
daily journal you can begin to make sense of what is happening and through the act of
reflection, observation and contemplation, create a new rhythm and sense of balance that will
help you deepen your experience of the present. When lockdown is over your journal will
contain a record for future generations, while the writing will be firmly established as a
practice to take into the future.
This journal workshop, presented by experienced tutor and journaller, Deborah Shepard,
offers a quiet writing sanctuary where you can reconnect with your inner life and discover
what is on your mind. Over eight sessions you will receive: an introduction to the pleasures
of the journal form, its history and evolution; guidance on how to establish a writing routine;
writing techniques and triggers to stimulate a series of writing exercises; discussion and
analysis of writing samples from some of the great proponents of the genre: Henry David
Thoreau, Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, Lord Byron, Thomas Merton, Etty Hillesum,
John Keats, Samuel Pepys, Sylvia Plath, May Sarton, Joan Didion, Anais Nin and Kate
Llewellyn. Working on your own and as a group sharing the writing as you go, you will be
building a community of writers to nourish the ongoing writing project.
Value and appeal
The course will appeal to people wanting to experiment with using a journal for self-
exploration. It provides tools for developing and strengthening writing skills along with
inspiring prompts to assist with chronicling and preserving your daily observations during the
time of coronavirus, from the humble and small, to the alarming and reassuring, the splendid
and sublime. A resource handbook with tips on writing, relevant quotations, journal excerpts
and a bibliography of the literature will be provided.
This course is suitable for all comers who have something they want to share about this
moment in history. We all have the capacity to write from our personal experience on the
subjects that matter to us. On Deborah’s courses you are introduced to techniques and
triggers that help strengthen and develop your writing voice.
What people say about Deborah’s courses:
I came away with a lot of confidence that I had something to say and that I could say it well
— Terry Levenberg
Over the five sessions I found my “creative writing voice” as an apprentice, in a safe and supportive
environment and through a superbly designed course. As a small group of diverse writers, we were
expertly guided by the wise and gentle Deborah, who is an outstanding teacher
— Maria Kazmierov
Deborah has a beautiful, compassionate, inclusive approach to teaching
— Janet Sergeant
1. Getting Started. Why Write a Journal?
2. My Writing Space: Settling in
3. What is my content?
4. What is my purpose?
5. Writing a journal in extremis
6. Ethics: How deep do I go?
7. Journalling in nature
8. A commitment to the journal project
Breakdown of session dates:
The course begins soon, at the end of this week, with a weekend workshop followed by five
Weekend workshop: 4.30pm-6pm Friday 17 April, Saturday 18 April, Sunday 19 April
Weekly sessions: 4.30pm-6pm Wednesday 22 April, Wednesday 29 May, Wednesday 6
May, Wednesday 13 May and Wednesday 20 May.
Fee: sliding scale $220-$280 depending on your budget
Payment: 02-0828-0168145-083 please type your name and ‘Journal Workshop’ in ref and code
Registration deadline including payment: 4.30pm, Thursday 16 April
Please register at email@example.com and note ‘course registration’ in the subject of the
Zoom: Once you’ve registered for the course you will be sent a link to join Zoom and also a
link to a tutorial demonstrating how the technology works
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"This is such a worthwhile course where emotional safety and student growth in writing are paramount."
– Marilyn Woolford