What to Expect

AWA’s core belief is simple: every person is a writer, and every writer deserves a safe environment in which to experiment, learn, and develop craft.  All Write Around the World sessions are facilitated in the AWA method.

The method is supported by the following philosophy and functions according to the essential practices.


  1. Everyone has a strong, unique voice.
  2. Everyone is born with creative genius.
  3. Writing as an art form belongs to all people, regardless of economic class or education level.
  4. The teaching of craft can be done without damage to a writer’s original voice or artistic self-esteem.
  5. A writer is someone who writes.


  1. We maintain a non-hierarchical spirit regarding the writing. The facilitator is not the “expert” and no one’s writing is treated as more or less important than anyone else’s.
  2. Confidentiality about what is written in the workshop is maintained at all times, and the privacy of the writer is protected. We maintain confidentiality by treating all writing as fiction – feedback is offered to the writing, not to the life of the person writing. We don’t talk about any work we’ve heard in the group to anyone outside of the workshop space.
  3. In an AWA workshop, we are asked to listen differently than we usually do in our lives. We are not asked to listen so that we can help or fix or sympathize with the writer. We are not asked to listen so that we can add our own story. We are asked to enter into the universe that the writer has created. We are asked to leave behind our own experiences and expectations. We are asked to listen to how the story or the poem is told. In an AWA workshop we listen for and notice what works. We listen for and notice the craft choices a writer has made that help to create success in the writing. 
  4. No criticism, suggestion, or question is directed toward the writer in response to first-draft, just-written work. A thorough critique is offered only when the writer asks for it, and only when he or she has distributed work in manuscript form. When work has been offered in manuscript form, critiques are balanced; there is as much affirmation as suggestion for change.
  5. The teaching of craft is taken seriously, and is conducted through exercises that invite experimentation and growth.
  6. The leader writes along with the participants, and reads that work aloud as well. This practice is absolutely necessary, for only in this way is there equality of risk-taking and mutuality of trust.

So, what can you expect?

The facilitator of the group will offer a prompt and you’ll take a short amount of time to write whatever comes—the prompt isn’t an assignment, it’s an offering. Once the time for writing is up, the facilitator will bring the group back together. You’ll be invited to share this freshly-written work by reading it aloud. Other members of the group and the group facilitator will respond to your piece of writing with affirmative feedback. What you’ve written is confidential and won’t be discussed beyond the time of the workshop. Depending on the length of the session, you may write and share again, possibility without responses. At the scheduled time, the session will be over, and hopefully you’ll want to come back for more!