Writing Ourselves Whole

  restorying our lives  August 2011
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We are a Member of the Intersection Incubator, a program of Intersection for the Arts providing fiscal sponsorship, incubation and consulting services to artists. Visit www.theintersection.org.

Hello Writers and Friends!

My apologies for getting the August newsletter out to you so late! At the beginning of the month I was focused on taking the GRE; immediately after that, of course, I was focused on recovering from taking the GRE. :)

Looking forward to writing with some of you this Saturday at Writing the Flood! Also, Fall workshops begin in October -- registration is open now!

This week marks the end of the Summer '11 writing workshops: Write Whole: Survivors Write had its final meeting last week; our first online workshop, Reclaiming Our Erotic Story, ended in mid-July, and this week we'll have the last meeting of our third MedEd Writers group (at UCSF). Each workshop stays with me, and these three are no exception: I take away words, phrases, risks and generosities from each participant, which is a tremendous gift.

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Thanks to everyone who participated in my effort to raise the money to be able to attend this fall's Tomales Bay Workshop with Dorothy Allison. I was able to raise over 3/4 of the tuition -- there aren't enough thank yous. I'm profoundly moved by your support and generosity! I feel like I have some strong netting beneath me, supporting my writing work. That's a Very Big Deal, and I won't let you down. I'll be sharing with all those who contributed some of the writing that I work on during the Workshop; I can't wait!

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Apropos of the above, actually: Now that the workshops are on break, I'm doing a lot of work on a handful of longer writing projects (not least of which is preparing for the Tomales Bay Workshops), because I'm ready to be a Published Author with a Book. Will you keep some good thoughts for me as I work to shift my own and the puppy's schedules so that I can rise between 4 and 4:3am to write for a couple hours before the official work-day begins?

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Last month, I got to connect with many different folks in the extended Amherst Writers and Artists' and other transformative-writing 'family' -- a kind of summer reunion! I assisted the brilliant Jan Haag and Mary Tuchscherer at the Amherst Writers and Artists facilitator's training up in Alamo, CA (and got to lead an erotic writing exercise with the 13 fabulous AWA-trainees, which was a great way to warm up the chilly Northern CA evening :). Also, I had the chance to connect again with Sharon Bray's Writing as a Healing Ministry class at Pacific School of Religion; Sharon does wonderful and inspiring work, and she (unsurprisingly) manages to gather together amazing groups of folks in her courses! Pat Schneider (AWA's founder) was in town, too, for her annual writing workshop at Pacific School of Religion; she showed the film, Tell Me Something I Can't Forget, which never fails to bring me to tears. Pat spoke a bit about how she came to lead writing workshops with low-income women at the Chicopee Housing Projects, and then invited a few other facilitators to talk about our work as well -- I was in the company of so many women I deeply admire: Renee Garcia, Peggy Simmons, Joan Marie Wood, and Mary Tuchscherer. Peggy and Joan Marie offer workshops in the East Bay-- if you're looking for a space to get nurtured in your writing and do some excellent writing, look them up!
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Come write with me! Here's what's coming up:

Plan ahead for Fall! 

  • Beginning October 3: Write Whole: Survivors Write: 8 Monday evenings, 6-8:30. Open to all women who are survivors of sexual trauma
  • Beginning October 6: Declaring Our Erotic: 8 Thursday evenings, 6-8:30. Open to folks of all sexual orientations & all genders!
    Registration is open for these workshops, and the early-bird fee is in effect!
  • October 15: LitQuake's LitCrawl!  


Stay in touch with us at the writing ourselves whole blog (remember, I share writing prompts several times each week on the blog -- come on over and join us!) and on Facebook.  


I'm so grateful to participate in this community of writers and transformers with you --


Keep writing, ok?

All best to you!  
P.S. Please forward this info to anyone you think might be interested in these sessions or topics. And feel free to reply to me with any questions or comments you may have.   
writewithusCome and write with us!
image of a fountain pen and elaborate cursive writing
photo by thoschi, creative commons license


Every third Saturday, 1-4:30pm
(unless otherwise noted) 

August's group meets this Sat., 8/20


Writing The Flood is a writing group for anyone looking to prime the writing pump: using the Amherst Writers and Artists method, we will write together in response to exercises designed to get those pens moving, and get onto the page the stories, poems, essays, images and voices that have been stuck inside for too long.  This is a time to work on a larger project, get started on new work, play on the page, or write yourself through a block and back into your writing voice.

Unless otherwise noted, this workshop meets on the third Saturday of the month. $50 (with a sliding scale) Limited to 12. Register or email me with questions:


Upcoming dates: 
  • Saturday, August 20   
  • Saturday, September 17
  • Saturday, October 15   
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Write Whole and Declaring Our Erotic:  

Our SF-based 8-week workshops


Write Whole-Survivors Write -  Beginning Monday, October 3

Meets 8 Monday evenings, 6:00-8:30pm.  

This workshop is open to all women survivors of sexual trauma.


Gather with other women survivors of sexual trauma in this workshop, and write in response to exercises chosen to elicit deep-heart writing, and deal with such subjects as: body image, family/community, sexuality, dreams, love, faith, and more. You'll be encouraged to trust the flow of your own writing, and receive immediate feedback about the power of your words!


Declaring Our Erotic - Beginning Thursday, October 6

Meets 8 Thursday evenings, 6:00-8:30pm.  

A sex-positive writing group, open to all!


Are there longings you would like to find language for? Each week, we write in response to exercises designed to tap into different aspects of our sexual selves:  memory, fantasy, experience, relationship with the body, and more! You will get more comfortable exploring and talking about sexual desires, receive strong feedback about your new writing, explore the full breadth of our sexualities and desires in a fun and confidential environment - and, of course, try your hand at some explicit erotic writing. Previous participants have found the group to be transformative, feeling that the work they've done has opened up and changed not only their relationship with their erotic selves, but with many other aspects of their lives as well.


8-week workshop fees: The fee for an 8-week session is $350. (I can generally work out payment plans; please contact me if you have question or concerns about payment.) There is a reduced-rate early bird fee of $315 if you register by  September 1. The regular registration fee will be in effect through September 15. The late registration fee is $385; last day to register is 9/30. Please register early!



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The Erotic Reading Circle  

Every fourth Wednesday at the Center for Sex and Culture


suggested donation: $5+

Since 2006, we've been meeting on the fourth Wednesday of the month to share and celebrate the breadth of erotic artistry in the Bay Area!

The next Erotic Reading Circle meets on August 24, 7:30-9:30 at the Center for Sex and Culture, 
1349 Mission Street, San Francisco (cross streets 9th and 10th). $5+ donation requested (no one turned away); donations support the Center for Sex and Culture. This month's circle will be a collaborative effort with the Sex Worker's Arts Festival events at the CSC! 

Bring whatever you're working on, or whatever you'd like to be working on.

Come join readers and share your erotic writing! Bring something to read or just be part of the appreciative circle of listeners. This is a great place to try out new work (ask for comments if you like), or get more comfortable reading for other people. Longtime writers will bring their latest... newly inspired writers, bring that vignette you scrawled on BART while daydreaming on your way to work. Carol Queen and Jen Cross host/facilitate this space dedicated to erotic writers and readers.


See you at the Circle!     



CommAnnounceCommunity Announcements!
These emails aren't just about the fabulous happenings of Jen Cross & Writing Ourselves Whole - PLEASE send me info about your writing workshops, calls for submissions, fundraisers, and community events and let me know you'd like me to include them in the newsletter. (All the listings here are current as of August 2011.)

  • Sistahs Steppin in Pride is August 27 (yes, in Oakland -- you can see that Oakland is the place to be). This will be the final Sistahs Steppin: don't miss it! 
  • A free support group for queer identified partners of survivors of sexual abuse/incest is forming. It will be a peer led by an MSW trainee. This is not a formal therapy group but more of a peer-led support circle. The group will create a safe space to explore our feelings about our partners, their stories, their families, and how they intersect with our own lives. If you are interested, please send an email to queerpartnersofsurvivors@gmail.com for more information.
  • Want more opportunities to write? Check out the monthly creative writing workshops that our friends at Green Windows writing workshops hold on the  Rock Paper Scissors Collective, 2278 Telegraph Avenue at 23rd Street in Oakland. These groups are open to youth 16-25 and their friends (youth workers, teachers, etc.), and meet from 7 - 9:15 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month --$1 - $25, sliding scale. Additional donations welcome. Email Peggy if you're wondering if you might fit - you probably do!) Faculty, students and staff of the Peralta Community Colleges are especially welcome. 
  • Check out Diane Hira Rose's Writing as Healing workshop - Focusing on free self-expression we deepen and awaken our creative process. We protect our inner writer by not judging, criticizing or editing our work. We write in a compassionate, safe environment, in a lovely indoor creekside garden setting in North Berkeley. Mondays, 7-9 PM or Tuesdays 10-12 Noon. CONTACT: 510 525-8056
  • Ellen McCauley, CMT, of Re-Membering Wholeness, is a massage therapist who does powerful work! She is extending her practice to include San Francisco and the East Bay (she's based in Santa Cruz), will come to your home for two or more massaged (get your friends together for a massage afternoon) and is offering reduced rates on initial sessions and gift certificates. Call for more info: 831-588-1510
  • My friend and colleague Chris DeLorenzo, of Laguna Writers has a number of writing workshops and retreats coming up; check out his website to learn more and to register. It's a gift to get to write with him!
  • Ellen Morrison, ASW, offers intuitive painting workshops (in addition to individual therapy, problem solving groups and support groups). Her next painting workshop is coming up on 7/24! Check out her work at SoulStudios.org!
  • Doshe Healing Arts (founded by our friend Sis Nau~T!) offers Tai Chi and other classes/workshops in the East Bay. Their Winter series is already underway, but you can follow Doshe on Facebook so that you can hear when the Spring series is scheduled!
  • New! Poets! Consider submitting your work to the First Annual Pat Schneider Poetry Contest, sponsored by Amherst Writers and Artists. First Prize: $1,000 and publication of winning poems in Peregrine (Please note: The entry fee of $18.00 must accompany each submission.) Rules and guidelines here
  • The Center for Sex and Culture needs our financial support right now.  There's no other organization in the Bay Area that does the kind of sexual-culture work that the CSC does -- and we want to keep it going! Can you donate?
  • Co-Active coach Fresh! White has a special offer for the new year over at Affirmative Acts Coaching: The 2011 2-for-1 Life and Fitness Coaching Program. This collaboration with Cerified Fitness Trainer Ace Morgan allows you to focus on life-change and fitness goals at the same time!
  • If you are in need of ANY PR/marketing assistance or love, please check out Jianda at SugarMamaPR -- she is helping me get so much clarity around something that can be awfully challenging (promotion and PR!), and does her work with generosity, enthusiasm, and a wide range of knowledge and experience! 
  • Have you seen Diagnosing Difference yet? "A feature-length length (64 mins) documentary featuring interviews with 13 diverse scholars, activists, and artists who identify on the trans spectrum (transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, and gender variant) about the impact and implications of the Gender Identity Disorder (GID) on their lives and communities."   
  • Got a big event coming up? Our crafty, super-talented glitterfemme sister, SarahD, is your go-to grrl photographer! Let her document your big day or get your head shots together -- book a session at Portraits to the People! Sarah's photographs are sharp, fun, and gorgeous. She shows you that all your sides are good sides!
  • Check out the incredible work that Vanissar Tarakali, Ph.D., is doing around embodiment, trauma, deep self-care and allyship!
  • Are you up in the Sacto area? Check out Sutterwriters for amazing writing workshops and writing connection!  
  • Call for submissions: The Three Kings Anthology project still wants you! Seeking your submissions: "3 Kings are three Brown-skinned/Black - male identified trans persons who seek to give voice and page to the array of persons of color who may have been born female and now live all or a significant portion of their lives as TransMen, FtM, Boi, Daddy, Tranny, Tranny Fag, Butch, G3 (gee cubed -gender gifted guy,)'masculine/masculinized' women (butches, studs, aggressives, ballers, playas....,) Drag Kings, male illusionists, Transgenders, Transsexuals, gender-queers, stealth, boys like us and the likes... We are the ones we are looking for and what our next generation needs."  Do your writing, and please pass the word to anyone you think might be interested!
  • Have you read Trauma Stewardship? A gentle reminder: taking care of ourselves is a part of doing ethical, sustainable work in the world.  We deserve it, our communities deserve, the folks we work with deserve it... please be easy with you!

best & best & best -- keep on writing y'all!  And stay in touch, ok?  Email jennifer (at) writingourselveswhole (dot) org.




I really appreciate and am a bit awed by the amount of support and healing has happened for me in this room. The level of respect and regard for each writer's voice is a gift I carry with me into the rest of my life.
- anonymous (Write Whole writer)

Visit the Writing Ourselves Whole website and purchase a workshop gift certificate for your friends, family or co-workers. Certificates can be purchased in the amounts of: