June 2016
Amherst Writers & Artists Newsletter
Wandering Words

Window by Maureen Buchanan Jones

Dear AWA Friends,

Summer is a time for daydreaming and letting yourself wander beyond the structure of your busy schedule. Have you given yourself time to restore your daydreaming self? Have you identified a day or a week or more for writing to your heart’s content? One of the words used to identify ‘real writers’ is discipline. But discipline for a writer means allowing the inner life to drift out a window and take what is found. Where is your window of creativity? It doesn’t matter if you spend an hour or a month. The important thing is to know that it’s there and that you can return to it. If you can, give yourself writing time this summer, real writing time. Walk across the dunes, down a path, through a garden. Sit in the shade or collect shells and let your inner voices surface. Open your daydreaming window wide and be astonished, be adrift.

We too are restoring ourselves at AWA. We have been working steadily on a new website, with better search capabilities and internal forums for Affiliates as well as clearer navigation and information about what we do. We are excited!

The Pat Schneider Poetry Contest is still open! Please send your poems to AWA Press. This is an international contest open to everyone, so spread the word to every writer. The details are below. The new issue of Peregrine is available for purchase online as well, with winning poems from the past two years of the Pat Schneider contest included.

The 2016 AWA Training Program Schedule is filling up, but there are still open places in the upcoming September session in Chicago and the November session in Albuquerque. Being trained in the AWA Method gives workshop leaders the necessary tools to establish a strong community of writers. Join us!

On the weekend of October 22 & 23, AWA will host a global fundraiser: Writing Around the World. We already have volunteer workshop leaders from Mexico, across the U.S, to France! We need your voices! Write with us for this first-ever event to support those who would like to be trained in the AWA Method but need financial assistance. More information is below.

With gratitude and respect,
Maureen Buchanan Jones
Executive Director

AWA Press News



We are accepting submissions for the Sixth Annual Pat Schneider Poetry Contest online and via postal mail through July 1st. Please consider offering your work to possibly win the $1000 first prize! To read work from past winners of the contest, check out the AWA bookstore to purchase issues of Peregrine Journal.

Training News

Chicago Theater

Bosque Retreat Center

Upcoming AWA Workshop Leadership Trainings:
September 5 – 9 in Chicago, IL
November 13 – 17 in Albuquerque, NM
To join us, please begin the application process online or print the 2016 Application and send it with a $300 deposit to: Amherst Writers & Artists, PO Box 1076, Amherst, MA 01004
Reach out with any questions to We look forward to hearing from you!


Calling all AWA-certified workshop leaders, we need your help! Please let us know if you’re interested in volunteering to lead a workshop as part of our fundraising writing marathon. The dates are October 22nd & 23rd. AWA will provide the structure, prompts, and donation forms. With your support, workshop participants will raise money for training financial aid. If you’d like to be a part of the event, please email us!

Affiliate Classifieds


AWA facilitator Jaclyn Desforges announces the launch of her new self-study online course, Taking Flight: 6 Weeks to an Inspired Writing Practice. This course is designed to help you create the writing life of your dreams, step by step. Prompts, stories, motivation, inspiration — from wherever you are in the world. Learn more and register here, or contact

At StudioWriting Weekend Retreats in Rhode Island, we gather daily for a relaxing 2-3 hour write & share at this serene pond-side locale, walking distance to ocean beaches. Some rooms for staying over, camping possible. Led by AWA affiliate Elisabeth Carter, EdM, MFA. Visit, email July 2224, August 5 7 & 19 21.

Set aside time for a four-day retreat with Maureen Buchanan Jones on a beautiful hillside in Hawley, Massachusetts, August 7 – 10. You will find ways to revitalize your words and sink deep into continuing projects. Stroll, sleep, star gaze and sustain yourself with organic meals. To register: or visit


In The Luminous In-Between, Cynthia Leslie-Bole‘s lyrical poems invite us to experience the radiance of one woman’s evolution through marriage, motherhood, spiritual individuation, and kinship with nature. This collection celebrates our innate capacity to create, heal, and perceive what lies beyond the ordinary in ‘the luminous in-between.’

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