Let’s Keep our Pens Moving – Together!

Our workshops are built around a model of freewriting – but what does that mean?

At Write Around Portland, we host creative writing workshops that are unique from most other approaches. Through decades of experience and facilitating thousands of writing workshops, we know that the heart of the model depends on freewriting and being in community with others.

Free-writing – a term coined by English professor Peter Elbow in the 1970s – is the practice of keeping your pen moving with whatever comes into your mind without worrying about mistakes. During free writes, you don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or anything besides expression. It’s one of the best writing activities to get started on a project, break writer’s block, or come up with new writing ideas.

Write Around Portland’s creative writing workshops are built around freewriting – including an online writing workshop that’s open to all. Many people shy away from writing workshops because they don’t see themselves as “writers.” However, freewriting requires no prior writing experience and is an easy way to start writing!

Photo by Sarah Bourscheid

A freewriting session often begins with a creative writing prompt, and normally lasts 2-10 minutes. When time is up, the workshop facilitator may encourage workshop participants to share what they wrote – a phrase, a sentence, or the whole piece. (Sharing is completely optional.) Then, other members of the group will often offer positive, strength-based feedback. This is where the sense of community really begins to blossom!

FreeWrite participant Astin Mills captures the chemistry of a Write Around Portland workshop when she says, “While it’s incredible to see what comes out of my head when I free-write in response to a prompt, it’s even more astounding what happens inside me when I listen to what other people write.”

Curious to try it yourself? Write Around Portland’s FreeWrite workshops are held online twice a month and are open to all.  Grab a journal, log on to Zoom, and find yourself in a supportive, low-pressure writing space that’s perfect for writers of all interests and skill levels.

FreeWrite workshops are pay-what-you-can, and start at just $5.  All proceeds support our mission to bring the power of writing to Portlanders who lack access to the arts. Register for our upcoming sessions today!

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