THE WRITERS CIRCLE
WHAT IS THE WRITERS CIRCLE?
The Writers Circle is a space that provides structure, accountability, and support for those with a specific nonfiction writing project. Examples of what that might look like include working on a book, a series of essays or blog posts, or another nonfiction piece. It is not ideal for someone who wants to just learn about writing but isn’t sure what they want to focus on. I will be both your facilitator and peer in this experience as I will be working on my next memoir during this time, too.
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
WHAT WILL WE DO EACH WEEK?
NOTE: SPRING 2023 APPLICATION CLOSED
ANY APPLICATIONS AFTER DECEMBER 2022 WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR THE FALL 2023 COHORT.
In addition to monthly 1-on-1 calls with me and an optional, daily writing salon space on Zoom, we will meet weekly to focus on a different element of writing:
1st Meeting: Studying 1-2 nonfiction texts, to be read before meeting - 90 min.
2nd Meeting: Writing tools and strategies (e.g. writing dialogue, showing vs. telling) - 90 min.
3rd Meeting: Writing marathon (brief check-ins at beginning, middle, and end) - 3 hours
4th Meeting: Feedback workshop (choosing a piece up to 1,500 words to submit) - 2 hours
WHEN DOES IT START AND WHAT ARE THE MEETING TIMES?
The Fall 2023 cohort will meet on Sundays beginning at 9:00 am PST and run for 12 weeks. The start date is TBD but is tentatively set for September.
Your first 1-on-1 call with me will take place sometime in the 2-3 weeks before our class starts. The group meeting times run between 90 minutes and three hours depending on the day (see above). A detailed schedule will be provided to those accepted into each cohort after they register.
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE WRITERS CIRCLE?
Weekly meetings over 12 weeks
Daily writing salon access on Zoom, open 24/7 with Whatsapp group
Four 1-on-1 calls with me
A list of intentional writing prompts to help you prepare for your writing project, which will be used to guide your first meeting with me in the month prior to our start date
Discounts on in-person writing practice retreats and writing salons
WHAT WILL BE DISCUSSED DURING THE 1-ON-1 CALLS?
These meetings, which you will schedule via Calendly, are to help you get started and focused on your nonfiction writing project with a 1-hour initial call in January followed by three, 30-minute accountability calls toward the end of each month over the 12 weeks.
WHAT IS THE DAILY WRITING SALON ON ZOOM?
This is an optional virtual writing space for you to join any time when you wish to work on your writing project in community, including those in The Writers Circle and others. At this time, the most active time is from 8:30-10:00am PST but you can join anytime for any amount of time. Participants are encouraged to follow the light structure of a brief check-in followed by an optional 5-minute sit and 5-minute free-write with a check-in every 90 minutes or so. It is a self-run space. When I am present, I facilitate, but when I am not on, participants are responsible for time-keeping. This is an excellent space to find accountability and motivation during your writing time.
WHY IS THERE AN APPLICATION PROCESS? WHAT QUESTIONS ARE ASKED? WHEN WILL WE FIND OUT IF WE ARE ACCEPTED?
To make sure this space is a good fit for you, I ask that you complete the application so I can get a sense of your project, goals, and experience, which is what the questions will focus on.
While I do not require any specific prior experience to join The Writers Circle, I do discourage individuals who haven’t done any writing in a long time from applying and encourage them to join my free writing practice sessions and/or the writing salon to get started. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have about this.
Applicants will hear back from me within 10 days of their application and then sent an invitation to officially register.
In your application, you will indicate which section you are applying for
WHAT IS THE COST? ARE PAYMENT PLANS OR SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE?
The cost for The Writers Circle is $399.
Payment plans are available upon request and can be broken down into 2-4 payments but will come with a $5 processing fee for each payment unless paid via PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, or Google Pay.
One scholarship is available for a student who considers the Writers Circle a good fit but is experiencing financial hardship and cannot pay the fee; if you wish to apply for this scholarship, please submit the application and then send an email to me at AuthorKatieAllen@gmail.com explaining in 1-3 paragraphs why you’d like to join the cohort and that you’re applying for the scholarship. If you have previously received a scholarship, you may still apply but priority will be given to new students.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE IN THIS COHORT? DO I HAVE TO ATTEND EVERY MEETING?
I am an equal participant in The Writers Circle with you and will be working on my own writing during this time, and up to 11 others are able to join this cohort.
I ask those committing to these 12 weeks to attend all sessions, ideally not missing more than 1 if possible and providing notice if you are unable to attend, especially the feedback workshops.
WILL SESSIONS BE RECORDED AND MATERIALS FROM WORKSHOPS BE AVAILABLE TO STUDENTS?
No, sessions will not be recorded as attendance is expected from all participants. Materials from workshops will be available to students via a shared Google Drive folder.
UPCOMING WRITING RETREATS
WHAT IS THE WRITING PRACTICE RETREAT AND WRITING SALON IN MAY? DO WRITERS CIRCLE PARTICIPANTS RECEIVE A DISCOUNT?
I host an annual writing practice retreat each May in Idyllwild, California at Spirit Mountain Retreat Center. This year’s dates are from Sunday, May 14th until Friday, May 19th. This retreat is to start or strengthen your writing practice (as taught by Natalie Goldberg in her book Writing Down the Bones). For those working on a writing project, it is an excellent opportunity to use writing practice to break through blocks, grow your confidence with your voice and mind, write on topics you’ve been resisting, and see what comes up when you let go of the concept of “good and bad.” Depending on where you are in your writing project, this week could be of great benefit.
The writing practice retreat fee is $499 and Writers Circle participants receive a $100 discount (contact Katie for the code to use when registering). This fee does not include food or lodging. This retreat does not provide a meal plan option; participants can either prepare their own food in the shared kitchen and/or eat out at any of the great dining options in downtown Idyllwild, just 5 minutes or less by foot from the retreat center. Lodging at the retreat center is $90/night which must be secured directly by the participant though I provide step-by-step instructions. There are only 4 rooms available, after which point, guests must secure their own lodging. AirBNB has many excellent choices in addition to the local cabins, campgrounds, and hotels. There are many other lodging options nearby.
I am also hosting a writing salon the week after the retreat from Sunday, May 21 to Friday, May 26th at the same venue. Participants can attend either or both of these weeks. This week is geared toward those who wish to work independently on a writing project and is an excellent choice for Writers Circle participants who could use a week-long push in a quiet and beautiful natural environment with optional afternoon processing and feedback sessions.
The writing salon week fee is $299 and Writers Circle participants receive a $50 discount (contact Katie for the code to use when registering).
For other questions, please contact me at AuthorKatieAllen@gmail.com.
Wishing you energy, self-compassion, and clarity on your writing journey, no matter what it looks like for you.
ABOUT YOUR TEACHER & PEER WRITER
Katie Allen, MA
I've been teaching for over 12 years and have taught in the United States, France, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, China, and have traveled to over 30 countries altogether. I published my first book Teranga: A Memoir of Belonging in 2021 after reading "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg, which helped free me of my inner critic so I could finally write and share about that time in my life with the world. I then had a chance to study in-person with Natalie for 2 weeks and I've been focusing on carrying on her lineage ever since, teaching writing workshops and classes online and hosting retreats in-person based on her teachings and modeling my retreats after her own while bringing my own skills and personality to the experience.
Katie is a great facilitator for creating meditation, writing and love of nature during her retreats. You feel a sense of belonging and a reaffirmation of why we write. Would highly recommend the retreat experience!
Katie is a passionate and at the same time experienced and level headed writing workshop leader. Participating fully herself, everyone is made to feel welcome, accepted, open, and relaxed to fully participate also. The strong foundation provided lends itself to the risk taking we writers crave in community.