Instructor: Susan Deepam Wadds
Co-host: WFWA Workshop Volunteer, Nancy Taber


REGISTRATION DATES: June 13, 2024, THROUGH July 14, 2024

WORKSHOP DATE: Tuesday, July 16, 2024

  • NOON-6 PM ET/ 11 AM-5 PM CT / 10 AM-4 PM MT / 9 AM-3 PM PT
  • This workshop is a Live/Virtual Zoom interactive presentation and will last approximately 6 hours depending on Q&A at the end.
  • Participants will have a break during the workshop.


MAXIMUM OF 12 Registered Participants


The Amherst Writers & Artists approach creates a safe, encouraging, and supportive environment for writers to take creative risks and strengthen their voices. For prose writers or poets, this workshop is for writers at all levels of confidence and expertise.

In this generative writing workshop, there will be several opportunities to write, to read, and to be heard. The practice of listening for what is strong and memorable in a freshly generated piece creates confidence and organically develops a writer’s craft. 

After introducing Amherst Writers’ principles and practices, the workshop begins with a warm-up prompt to stimulate the creative process. Participants write for 5 minutes and then read (optional) without feedback or commentary as a way to introduce themselves and have all the voices in the "room."

With the aid of an on-screen PowerPoint presentation, Susan offers two timed writings (approximately 15 minutes each). Prompts combine visual, poetic, and suggested situations. These prompts are intended to stimulate memory and imagination and can be responded to in any form the writer chooses—poetry, essay, memoir, or fiction. The prompts are in no way prescriptive but rather are open to interpretation. They can also be ignored, as the workshop’s intention is to support each individual’s writing purpose.

Participants are then invited to read one of their pieces and receive commentary on the strengths in the written work. We treat all writing as “story.” In other words, we do not address the writer directly but focus instead on the writing itself—even when the piece has a first-person narrator.

Craft is developed particularly through keen listening. When we listen for what is working and what is memorable in a piece, our own work is informed.

One more prompt is offered and again participants are invited to choose from their unread pieces to share with the others.


After that reading, Susan will present a craft talk on Jack Grapes' "Image Moment" – a remarkably simple guideline to slow down time in order to create tension in a scene. Participants will be given a launching-off prompt to utilize this device in writing they will do off-screen.

There will be an hour-and-a-half break for nutrition and to work on this exercise.

After the break, participants will read and discuss how the seven elements of an Image Moment have informed the writing.

Each participant will receive a copy of Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) Practices & Principles to familiarize themselves with the facilitation method and a document with the Seven Elements of an Image Moment by Jack Grapes.


SCHEDULE (subject to change):

  • On or prior to July 14, 2024, you will be sent a “Welcome Email” for this workshop which will contain the Zoom Link for this LIVE workshop as well as the workbook/handout.
  • Susan’s presentations and the offered prompts will be recorded. Participants’ freshly generated writing will not be recorded. Because one of principles of the AWA method is to uphold confidentiality, writing shared in a group stays in that group at that time only.
  • The link to the recording will be sent to all registered participants via email by NOON ET, July 18, 2024.
    • This workshop recording will be archived and no longer accessible on August 16, 2024.

*Everyone is encouraged to read their writing created in this workshop but are always free to pass.

*Questions are welcome at any time. During the silent writing time, questions can be put in the chat.


ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Susan (Deepam) Wadds

Author of the novel, What the Living Do, Susan Wadds’ publication credits include The Blood Pudding, Room, carte blanche, Funicular, & Azure Magazines, and The Waterwheel Review. She is the winner of WOW Magazine, Lazuli Literary Group, and The Writers’ Union of Canada’s prose contests. A graduate of the Humber School for Writers, Susan is a certified Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) writing workshop facilitator.

She is particularly interested in the mechanisms and influences that make us who we are. Her writing digs deeply into the exploration of identity beyond enculturation and social expectations.

Her belief that everyone has a strong, unique voice has led her to encourage and support the development of that voice in those who come to write with her.  

Since 2011, Susan has been leading Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) Writing workshops and retreats—from 2-hour generative writing workshops to day-long to 10-day international retreats.