About Writing Sanctuary

Writing Sanctuary workshops are small, friendly, creative writing groups. They are great for beginner and experienced writers of whatever genre, for those who want something to get them started and for those who have a work in progress and just want to get their creative juices flowing. Based on the Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) method devised by Pat Schneider, Writing Sanctuary provides a supportive space where writers can experiment and take risks with their work, and where control stays with the writer.Writing Sanctuary recognises that different feedback is appropriate at different stages of the creative process. First draft work that has not been developed and polished benefits most by feedback that helps the writer identify what is already strong and interesting in the piece.

In Writing Sanctuary workshops we write together in response to prompts that can be used to create a completely new piece of writing or for work in progress. Each writer is invited to read their work (but there is no pressure to do so.) The group responds to what is strong and memorable about the writing, helping the writer to see what is already working and interesting about the piece. As the writer has not had the chance to develop and polish the writing, we do not offer a critique until the writer has worked on their piece. All writing is treated as fiction to maintain the writer’s privacy and to help create some distance so the writer is better able to see her own work.

View AWA guidelines here