The Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) method was founded by Pat Schneider in Amherst, Massachusetts, to encourage writers, based on William Stafford’s aphorism that “A writer is someone who writes,” and that everyone has a voice worthy of the page.
The AWA philosophy is a simple one:
- everyone has a strong, unique voice
- everyone is born with creative genius
- every writer deserves a safe environment in which to experiment, learn and develop craft
Everything in the writing workshop is treated as fiction, to keep the focus on the writing rather than the personal and to minimize the vulnerability of the writer. The workshop leader writes with the participants and reads aloud along with the other writers.
These practices, along with keeping all writing confidential, responding to just-written work with positive attention on what is strong in the writing, create a safe environment. Accomplished and beginning writers learn from one another in a generous atmosphere that works seriously to develop craft and holds personal respect for the value of every voice.
To purchase a signed copy of Pat Schneider’s book, Writing Alone and with Others, which details the AWA method, click here.