advanced memoir workshop

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“The AMW proved an ideal environment in which to shape my manuscript, offering mentorship from the gifted writer and teacher Chelene Knight, as well as support and feedback within a small group of incredibly talented and focused writers. We tested vulnerable work and ideas in a way that felt respectful and allowed me, personally, to take new risks in my writing. We learned aspects of craft and publishing from distinguished guest lecturers. I came away with a deep sense of commitment to my work, an understanding of next steps for my project, and ties to a community of writers whose work I consider it a privilege to read.” —Deborah Elderhorst, 2019 AMW student

“#AMW was a safe and inspiring place to work in my memoir, to get it to the next place it needed to go. Chelene was incredible! She picked us, a diverse group from across the country that supported one another, created a safe space to test the waters with our deepest writing truth. Respectful and disciplined— she brought the best out in me as a writer, and creatively, in my writing itself. I have a new community of like-minded memoirists, I’m so thankful.” -Maggie Jansen

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“Chelene’s Advanced Memoir Workshop—#AMW—was the best writing decision I’ve made in recent years. Our curated group of memoirists worked well together and provided each other with so many ideas, suggestions, and helpful critique. I feel like I’ve made writing partners and friends for life! Additionally, Chelene is a wonderful facilitator who gives excellent feedback. I wrote and polished almost 30,000 words during the five-month course. #AMW is worth every dollar and so much more!” —Sierra Skye Gemma, 2019 AMW student

advanced poetry workshop

“Chelene Knight is an excellent facilitator who is generous with her time and willing to share what she has learned from her extensive experience. She provides a safe space for honest and open feedback. I feel my skill as a poet, particularly my editing skills (both of my own work and others) improved tremendously over the five months of her workshop. I recommend this intensive workshop for anyone wanting to elevate their poetry.”—Kimberly Peterson

Kimberly Peterson writes poetry and creative nonfiction. Recent publications include Room, NoD Magazine, Ibis Head, Bywords and In/Words with publications forthcoming in Prairie Fire and EVENT. She is currently working on a poetry manuscript. Visit www.kimberlypeterson.ca  to see more of her work.

“The Advanced Poetry Workshop has been an incredibly enriching experience for me. Chelene has created a safe, respectful and cohesive place for poets to share their work. Not only has my poetry benefited immensely but also my ability to pin-point the, at times, illusive nature of what makes a poem work. I would highly recommend this workshop for anyone wanting to take their work to the next level.”—Carlie Blume


“Chelene is wonderful! Open, genuinely interested, supportive, thoughtful, a lovely person to get to know - and highly skilled. I was expecting an opportunity to work with a group of poets who are passionate about their writing and who are willing to take the time and have the courage to give specific comments on their responses to each other's work. This is something I really loved about the description of the workshop - the blend, and the balance of a strong focus on our own writing and, at the same time a strong commitment to supporting the work of others. I think that blend/balance - as well as the great group of people that were selected, and how our group `gelled' early and well, was the single most important part of the workshop for me.”—Susan Wismer

Susan Wismer is a gardener,  grandmother, dancer,  queer poet, a settler living on  Anishinaabe land  between the shores of Georgian Bay and the hills of the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario.   Her poems have recently appeared in Arc,  three Wintergreen Press chapbooks, the Women Artist's Agenda 2017.  She is presently completing a poetry manuscript, as a participant in the Advanced Poetry Workshop, with Chelene Knight. 

“This is an extraordinary workshop experience, one that results in tangible gains, both in terms of quantity and quality of materials produced, as well as more ineffable - but very powerful - growth as a writer. I can not say enough about how generous, insightful, sensitive and brilliant Chelene is as a facilitator. Her enthusiasm and conviction in the need for our work, and the certainty of a place for it in the world is infectious. Her eye for phrasing and structure is stunning and she shares with an open heart. Her ability to work with different personalities, coming from different backgrounds, is admirable. And she believes in your work, with very clear and specific ideas on ways for you to move forward with it, until you share the same conviction.”—Laila Malik

I have already been telling my friends who are writers or beginning to write that Chelene is a facilitator like no one I know. The Advanced Poetry Workshop moved me from thinking about a new manuscript -- to fairly intense work over (soon to be) five months. I learned a great deal from Chelene and the other participants and guest speakers. Best of all, the process was somewhat demanding; so I had to organize time and energy more tightly than before (ongoing) to make the deeper commitment of time and energy that my writing needs and wants. This is an enormous gift. As are the poems I am now weaving into a 50 page core manuscript.”—Mary Corkery


“Chelene Knight's course made me feel much more confident in my writing. Before I was writing stories that, for the most part, I kept to myself. Now I know how to revise and add in the description and details that make a piece of writing publishable.”—Emma Paling

“I feel incredibly lucky to have had this opportunity to work with Chelene - her unwavering encouragement and enthusiasm helped me feel more confident about my writing and the structure of the course helped me develop a more consistent writing practice. I now feel like I have a foundation to build my writing practice on.” —Jess Murwin

"In write. polish. publish, Chelene Knight introduced me to some incredibly helpful writing strategies from how to find gold in free writes, how to use objects to connect emotionally with readers, to writing hybrid forms, and revising drafts. She was an enthusiastic instructor who, right from the start, made me feel comfortable about sharing my work. And her feedback on the assignments was insightful and supportive.  Novice creative writers out there take this course, you won't be disappointed!"—Dr. Shelley Pacholok

"I love how this course encouraged me to explore a different writing process. The revision technique suggestions worked really well for me. And Chelene's feedback felt very honest and tailored to my own work. I'd highly recommend the course to anyone who is looking for a fresh perspective on writing." —Marianne Grier

Attention paid to process was the most helpful. I don't think I have ever taken a course that emphasized process to this extent. A lot of courses offer the building blocks of writing but they don't consider how the bits go together, or what happens in between them. You also gave great advice on handling obstacles, what to do when you get stuck, how to recognize the gold in your writing, and your feedback is encouraging as well as insightful. Sharing your writing drafts was an act of trust and openness that deepens the importance of process to me. I can see how it works for you in a concrete way. That's huge.”Dorryce Smelts

When it comes to feedback, Chelene Knight is a master of her craft. She came to my first poetry manuscript with questions, insights and suggestions and a handful of nuanced details that transformed my thinking and lifted my words off the page.”—Chantal Gibson author of How She Read (Caitlin Press, 2019)

“Chelene taught me habits and showed me simple tools that helped uncover a deep well of inspiration within me. Her gentle prodding challenged me to stretch beyond my comfort zone. I am grateful for her generous encouragement.”—Kimberly Peterson