The idea to create a writers group came to Desiree after she saw a presentation on the AWA Method at Antioch University. Barbara Simpson had been practicing the method in her own workshop, Suncoast Writers, and was sharing the experience with her fellow grads at Antioch. The AWA method really resonated with Desiree since she considered herself to be a writer who had struggled with finding her voice and self-esteem issues. Rose Writers was born within a few months after Desiree received her MFA in Creative Writing. In 2009 she received AWA training in Corvallis, Oregon. The workshop is named after her daughter, Sarah Rose.
Since 2008, Desiree has seen writers from all walks of life come through her workshops. Everyone from retirees to doctors, lawyers, and teachers. Interestingly, the profession she sees the most are lawyers! Many are new to the world of creative writing and are pleasantly surprised to see how effective the AWA method can be. Past participants have gone on to MFA programs or other writing programs. Others have published and one, Nancy Lenée Woo, was accepted into PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow. And, Desiree has seen three other local writers become AWA facilitators too!
Rose Writers has workshop sessions that meet once a week for 6 – 8 weeks. Most sessions are held in Desiree’s home in central Long Beach, but she now leads workshops in other venues. Her most recent collaboration is with Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, California. In the Fall, she will be bringing the AWA method to teens who are homeschooled. As a former public school teacher, Desiree is excited about the ways in which this wonderful method will help young writers.
Helping writers explore their creativity and grow as writers is Desiree’s passion and pleasure. She is on a mission to help every writer she can and is working with other creatives in the Long Beach area to develop programs that can serve populations that do not have easy access to creative writing spaces and support. She has partnered with nonprofits such as The Catalyst Network, The Long Beach Time Exchange, and the Cultural Alliance of Long Beach. Her current project is the formation of a nonprofit organization called Long Beach Literary Arts Center. Look for them in the near future!