Matthew Curlewis  offered sessions on May 18 & 19.

After completing his workshop leader training with AWA founder Pat Schneider in 2004, former dancer Matthew Curlewis combined AWA methodology with the idea of ‘daily dance class’, to create Writers’ Stretch & Tone. This six (or eight) week workshop cycle – which is a safe, private space to grow or shine or fall down and make mistakes, without fear of judgement – has continually been on offer since 2006; firstly through wordsinhere, and since 2009 through Matthew’s organization


The Glade

by Andrea Garfield-Barkworth

A circle of light penetrated the darkness of the glade. A rustling in the undergrowth made her look
round. The dim surroundings gave no sign of life, so she turned back and continued to do what she
was doing. She sat busily working away for a while. Time stretched into an eternity and she felt the
coolness seeping up from the ground.

Jumping up, she dropped her work onto a grassy mound and frantically waved her arms, trying to
warm herself. But the cold had too firm a hold and she shivered involuntarily. The birds busied
themselves in the trees, chirping messages of the day’s happenings to one another, slowly unwinding
and readying themselves for the night.

The light had moved from the centre of the glade and was just starting to brush the edge of the trees
with a delicate golden hue. Stars as bright as day made themselves known in the night sky, but still
she waited. Tense and miserable. The heat of the day had long fled this place and a fear started to
gnaw deep inside. She suppressed the feeling and tried to think happy thoughts. Thoughts of
yesterday when the world was perfect. When the heavens had understood her and when the sun
had smiled down on her and only her. She had felt uplifted. Recognised as a true talent. Accepted by
her people. The thought comforted her. She glanced around. Noticing the babbling brook, she moved
over to it and stretched her hand down into its silver depths. Fishes flitted through the reeds. She
watched them for a while, bobbing down to take a closer look. The fishes darted away. The water
was so clear she could see the bottom. Dipping both hands beneath the water to form a cup, she
drank and was surprised how the cool element snaked down her throat like a piece of ice.

The Library Thing

by Jane Davis

People always have this image of libraries as quiet places, with librarians pointing crossly to
SILENCE signs… But actually they’re pretty noisy on the whole.

We have the babblings and stream-of-consciousness mutterings of the homeless or near to it
come in for a warm in the reference library. The gushing of the middle-aged ladies – and some gents
too – when we’ve saved the latest Marian Keyes or Jill Mansell. The whispered divisions and
equations, resistance and revolutions of students; the undulations, reboundings and reversals of
teenage lovers… In other words, we have it all.

But we don’t often hear violent crashing noises followed by breakages, confusion and furious
roaring. Then again, it’s rare that we have a fully armoured warhorse, complete with mace-wielding
rider, suddenly materialise in Autobiographies R-T.

Even when we are doing a Tolkien display for Year 5 again.

Fortunately, it was Wednesday morning, one of our quietest, and not long after nine o’clock –
far too early for most of our patrons to have arrived yet – so the injuries amounted to a copy of the
Silmarillion with a hoof print right through it – no loss there – and a severely mangled cardboard


by Nanneke van Drunen

Her fingers felt the pattern of the small golden box
Every little detail was ingrained in her memory
She hadn’t been to the storage unit in years
But her intuition told her it was time
She looked at the passport. She had left her heart at the last place that enriched it with a
visa stamp
She held her breath when touching the keys
She knew using them would change her life forever
Her heart was beating fast
She got hypnotized listening to it
Caressing the keys all that time
She closed the box and left the storage unit
On her way to the unknown


by Laura Wershler

Love, like water, flows into open spaces and places, bringing sustenance, quenching thirsts we may not even know we have. 

Like water, our thoughts flow freely, sometimes snagging on sharp rocks of ire and misunderstanding, eddying and circling back, tossed about by ripples and waves of confusion. 

Anger can, like water caught between boulders or slammed deeply into crevasses by waves or geology, crash madly within and around our bodies and souls. 

Empathy though, flows like a gentle brook through green, sun-dappled spaces, lapping gently, calmly against our bruised egos, our tender places. 

Water, like emotion, fills, floods, and flows around us. Without its tumult, without its cascading, cleansing, colliding, tempestuous presence, we could not live.

Thank you for joining us to Write Around the World!

For the rest of the summer, watch our blog! We are sharing writing from AWA’s yearly marathon fundraiser, which happened this year all-online throughout the month of May.

We offer this series in appreciation for the incredible community of writers and workshop leaders that sustain us. If you’re inspired and would like to be part of the fundraiser, please donate!

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