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At its best, travel transports and transforms us. It makes us pay attention, and leaving home—and our comfort zone—carves out space for new insight. Think of a memorable trip that you’ve taken. What longing or ambition or heartbreak set you in motion? Did you stumble on a new understanding of the world or your place in it?
“For a long time we weren’t able to travel,” notes instructor Erin Van Rheenen, “which led to thinking about the deeper meaning of travel, and mining past trips for meaning. Recently I heard the story of a woman who published a travel essay in 2012 about a trip she'd taken in 1969. She’d been sitting with the experience for 43 years. It’s never too late.”
In this 3-week class, you will explore your travel experiences and generate new material. Focused prompts will help you to re-enter and re-imagine your trip, and to think about how the journey changed you. You are invited to collect any journals, letters, sketches, or photos related to the journey you want to explore, and to consult them as you do in-class writing.
“Those who feel ready will have the opportunity to share work with the group," says Erin, “and we’ll set aside time to build on writing generated earlier in the class. We’ll pack a lot into this high-energy, fun class, and you’ll leave with some great material, along with strategies on how to take your story even further.”
About The Writing Salon's Remote Classes
You will be able to participate in live class meetings via Zoom videoconference. To attend classes, you'll need a phone, tablet or computer and access to the internet. You can participate in the class from wherever you'd like, whether on your living room couch or in your office. Before your class meets, you'll receive an email from The Writing Salon with more information about Zoom and your remote class. If you have any questions about remote learning, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erin Van Rheenen, MFA, writes fiction and nonfiction with a special emphasis on the power of place. Her work has been anthologized and published in venues such as Atlas Obscura, The Los Angeles Times, The Sun, and Best Women’s Travel Writing. She loves to see her students surprise and delight themselves (and others!), whether she’s teaching at City University of New York, the San Francisco Women’s Jail, or The Writing Salon. After many years of living abroad (from Oaxaca to Quito to San Jose, Costa Rica), she now lives in San Francisco. She is also the author of Living Abroad in Costa Rica.
- Live Zoom Meeting: Saturday, February 12, 2:00pm-4:30pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Saturday, February 19, 2:00pm-4:30pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Saturday, February 26, 2:00pm-4:30pm
I’m really glad I took the leap and joined this class. It was an immediately supportive, friendly environment where I felt the courage to write versus anxiety about being so novice.
What really stood out about Erin's teaching style was the way she gave herself to us students. The word generous comes to mind at first. Then nurturing. Erin provided some much needed direction while still being supportive and encouraging. The resources she emailed throughout the week kept the creative juices flowing. I felt like for the five weeks of the class, she was like the North Star. It was really tough to say goodbye to this group!