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Wild Women, Wild Voices

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“Wild Women, Wild Voices – Writing Your Authentic Self” in association with Well-Written Writing Group 

Writing workshops for women of all ages and backgrounds in the Wellington region starting May 2019.

What do the words ‘wild’ and ‘woman’ conjure for you?

Free and unpredictable, strong and uncontrollable, natural and fierce, deep dreaming and farsighted. Boundlessness, energy and creativity, joy and freedom. Risk taking, curious, brave, wise, feral, and extraordinary in her splendid glorious way of being.

Taking inspiration from the words of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Judy Reeves, Maya Angelou, Rupi Kaur, Anne Lamott, Sharon Blackie and many, many other wild and empowering women writers, we can help each other to find our own Wild Voice through our writing and creativity. 

Toi Pōneke Arts Centre 
61/69 Abel Smith St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011
in Meeting Room West 
10:30  – 12:30 every second Saturday of the month 

Dates for your diary: 

11th May
8th June
13th July
10th August
14th September
12th October
9th November
14th December

Sessions include: Claiming the Wild Woman, Finding and Listening to Your Voice, Creative Connections, Expressing the Wild Woman, The Geography of Our Lives, Life Journeys and Lessons, The Voice of the Senses, Intuitive Wisdom – the Wise Woman. 

Sign up for our mailing list to keep in touch: http://eepurl.com/gi_86D

All queries to wellwrittennz@gmail.com

These workshops are completely free.

Donations towards room hire costs will be gratefully received but are not expected in any way. 

*  You are not required to come to every session, however you must let us know in advance which dates you will attend. 

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How Far We’ve Come

I recognised from an early age that regular creative writing gives me the space I need to fully express myself openly and honestly. I read and write not only for enjoyment, but also for emotional growth and wellness. It has helped me discover my authentic voice and given me the courage to be my true self, and I wanted to find a way to share those powerful experiences with others. 

Well-Written was started quite simply because I needed to find new friends. I wanted to reach out to people like myself who loved writing and creating, and find a home for us to all gather together and enjoy what we did. I needed a village, a supportive community who could inspire me, and who I could help inspire in turn.

The group began in 2017 with four female friends gathered together in my living room, eating home-made cupcakes and reading aloud from our notebooks. Now a group of on average fifteen women meet every month for the ‘Wild Women, Wild Voices’ workshops, and there are over fifty active members in the Well-Written Facebook group.

I am planning a second monthly meet-up, a women’s writers group in Wellington city, which aims to encourage women to socialise in a safe space, share their work and to form lasting and positive relationships with people who share their ideas and passion for words and art.

Well-Written is no longer just about me, nor is it solely my ‘baby’. Over the past two years it has become a team. All those who have helped and supported me; have come along to the workshops; have posted in the Facebook group or contributed a blog post; have spent time in pubs and cafes after groups talking about their excitement and love for the Well-Written community, they *are* Well-Written. They are the village I envisaged and needed, and realised that others needed too.

“Your true voice may be buried beneath ideas of who you think you are supposed to be, what you think you are supposed to sound like, and what you think you should write.” – Judy Reeves – Wild Women, Wild Voices

I brought my soul around the world, to be blessed by many women. Those with wild hair and bright faces, fine friends I had not yet made. They washed my fears away with loving hands, and welcomed me into their hearts. Those Wild Women helped me to belong. 

Tabby Wood, founder of ‘Well-Written’

 

“She walked not as a goddess nor as a warrior, but merely as a woman who knew her own mind and had found complete confidence in herself. She had found Love, and it had grown from within her as much as she had received it from others. They called her a Wild Woman, as she would not be tamed, but instead she strode out of the howling darkness and carried her own light.” T.WOOD 2019

 

My Career, My Way by Cassie Hart

Cassie Hart (aka J.C. Hart and Nova Blake) is a writer who enjoys delving into human nature in all its beauty and disarray. She lives with her husband and three daughters (two of which she home-schools) in New Zealand. She is a writer of (mostly) speculative fiction, a paranormal romance series set in NZ, and some science fiction.

A well established and exciting writer, she has published eleven novels and has had her work printed in various anthologies including: ‘A Foreign Country’, ‘Comets and Criminals,’ ‘The Lorelei Signal’, and ‘Regeneration,’ as well as co-editing and contributing to Sir Julius Vogel winning benefit anthology, ‘Tales for Canterbury.’

Her recent blog post explores the importance of writing your authentic self and assessing what is really important to you, both in your career and as a person.

“I think that you make the best choices for yourself at the time, and that those choices are flexible and can change depending on what’s happening both in the publishing industry, and in your own life. But I believe those choices should always be made with this question in mind: What works best for me?”

https://just-cassie.com/2019/07/22/my-career-my-way/


You can buy Cassie’s books on Amazon here and here

Being a Wild Woman

Back in November I published a very short article on my personal blog where I spoke about my fears of reading aloud in front of my peers.

http://tabathawood.com/uncategorized/on-reading-aloud/

Despite working as a teacher of Secondary English before my children were born, I have developed rather crippling social anxiety, and a large part of that was due to being differently abled.

“My hearing disability means I have quite a loud, clear voice … as I have grown older and the direction of my life has changed, my deafness is also the very thing that gives me the most anxiety, on top of my usual anxiety!”

I knew I needed to work on getting over that, as I felt like it was holding me back from doing things I really wanted to participate in. I was already aware that I was declining invitations to social situations as I was finding the cognitive load of trying to hear through background noise too much. I was concerned that my hearing loss was starting to isolate me, and I wasn’t prepared to accept that.

A member of my close family, who also wears hearing aids, used to regularly met a group of friends at the pub. As he grew older and his hearing grew worse, and he found it harder and harder to interact in noisy places, he stopped going. I have seen how that affected him emotionally and I knew the only way I could beat it was to find new ways of approaching the problem.

In February, after reading Judy Reeves’ book, “Wild Women, Wild Voices,” I made a decision.

http://tabathawood.com/creative-writing/onwards/

“I am going to be doing something very new this year which challenges me and frightens me, but also invigorates me and excites me. I will be offering workshops for women to help them find their Wild Voice.”

With a friend of mine, the lovely Stella at Geographic Hearts , I decided to offer free writing workshops to the women of Wellington who wanted to find their wild and authentic voice. I was able to base the class content on parts of Judy’s book, but I would still need to make lesson plans and facilitate the workshop. I would need to be able to stand up in front of my peers and not only read aloud, but lead a class of women who were looking to me to inspire them.

Honestly, I don’t know what on earth possessed me. I’ve always had a “go big, or go home” attitude, though. The first time I got on an aeroplane it was to fly 12,000 miles around the world to New Zealand.
“What if you hate flying?!” people asked me.
“I guess I’ll have thirty-eight long hours of anxiety, and then I’ll get off in an exciting new country,” was my reply.

On Saturday 11th May 2019 I led my first “Wild Women, Wild Voices” workshop. Twenty women attended, with another five apologising for being unable to make the session. I read a poem aloud, I co-led the class, I answered questions and gave feedback to those who also shared their work. I wish I could tell you I enjoyed it, but to be honest, I was absolutely terrified the entire time. Yet at the end, afterwards, I was so exhilarated. I was so proud! I captured the strength I needed to become a Wild Woman and I let loose my Wild Voice to conquer one of my most debilitating fears.

Now I only have to do it seven more times this year! 😉

Tabby Wood
Well-Written NZ & “Wild Women, Wild Voices” workshop facilitator (Wellington)

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image credits:
header image – Nadi Whatisdelirium @whatisdelirium from Unsplash
workshop image – Tabatha Wood

Expanding the Collective for 2019

We are looking for contributions of any kind – poetry, short stories, thought pieces etc. – which talk about how writing creatively has changed your life for the better.

Perhaps you have found a voice in yourself that you never knew you had. Maybe you have become more focused, determined or happier since starting to write. Or maybe you have used your writing to help process a difficult time in your life and it has helped you succeed where other methods have failed.

All pieces considered.

Please send an email to wellwrittennz@gmail.com if you would like to be included.