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Writerly Love Workshops

Next Workshop Series will come in 2024

Next Workshop Series to Come in 2024

Sign up for my Writerly Love Letters and you’ll be the first to know about our future workshops.

Read on for details of our past workshops…


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A Fun Mess: Visual Journaling

Instructor: Olwen Wilson
Date: Sunday, Time: to

Visual journaling is a creative way to express and record your thoughts, feelings, wisdom, and reactions using words and imagery. It’s a simple but powerful practice that can help you manage your stress, boost your mood and imagination and kick perfectionism to the curb! In this interactive session, you’ll have the time and space to create and connect in ways that’ll surprise you. You’ll receive clear guidance on how to continue beyond our time together and in ways that honour your energy, interests, and abilities. No previous artistic or creative experience is required. Everyone is welcome.

Your Instructor

Olwen Wilson is a Pushcart Prize-nominated writer, artist, & creative facilitator who helps people who are drawn to making art and being creative but they don’t feel like they have enough talent or time. She helps them figure out how to make it a part of a regular practice in a way that helps them clear their mind (even for a moment), get better at making decisions and take action.

Having taught self-care practices for over a decade, Olwen’s practiced everything from yoga to energy healing, drumming to meditation. But the one she keeps coming back to the most is visual journaling. It helped her learn to trust herself again after suddenly getting diagnosed with a chronic illness so that she could stop wasting time waiting and worrying about what other people think and go after what’s important in life. Find her at OlwenWilson.com.

Olwen lives in Canada on the traditional territories of the Neutral, Anishnaabe and Haudenosaunee people.

Whitney French is pictured with a wide smile wearing a colourful striped shirt with collar and her black and brown hair are in locs as she stands in front of a colourful mural outdoors.
Course Supply List

Required supplies:

  • Something to write/draw/doodle with (pen/pencil/markers/crayons/paint)
  • Something to write/draw/doodle on (sketchbook/notebook/printer paper)

Optional supplies: These are nice-to-haves but aren’t necessary at all.

  • Magazines
  • Washi tape
  • Construction paper
  • Glue or tape
  • Newspapers/flyers/junk mail
  • Post-it notes

workshop complete

This workshop is complete and is now only available as a short-term replay for participants and in the Writerly Love membership community library.

Create a Tiny Book of Grief Drawing on Tarot

Instructor: Meli Walker
Date: Monday, Time: to

Wouldn’t it be nice to hold your grief in a new way? Together we will draw cards and make a tiny book, helping us condense something big into something material. (I know it may sound complicated and sad but I promise we’re going to let in a little sunshine) Each card we draw from our deck will be used as a prompt for our tiny book of grief.

The book you make during our time together will serve as a beautifully imperfect “single printing” of your tiny book OR you can treat it like a draft and continue working on your grief zine or chapbook beyond the workshop.

Note: While we are working with the big theme of grief, I encourage you to pick an area of your grief that you are ready to play with and be in communication with so you may use the workshop time as a safe container for play. While we will be working collectively during the live call, we will not do any communal sharing during the prompts section. Please bring your whole self with care. 

Your Instructor

Meli Walker has been drawing tarot cards and journaling about it every day for the past year, helping her stay connected to creativity as a slow writer living with chronic pain and grief. A former theatre practitioner, Meli is fascinated with artistic process and how we create in community. She loves her role as community facilitator of Writerly Love where she gets to witness writers emerge from hiding and find healing in their creative expression.

Meli enjoys planting food for pollinators and people and living by the forest and the sea on shíshálh, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and W̱SÁNEĆ territories. She considers herself a student of trauma and healing (and tarot too!) and wants very much for anyone reading this to know that while she is no expert, she knows that everything good we do we do together.

Meli Walker is looking to the side and slyly smiling in this photo taken outdoors. She wears red lipstick and bangs and has long light-coloured hair.
Course Supply List

Required supplies:

A single sheet of 8 1/2 x 11” paper folded and cut once to make a mini book—here’s a short video with instructions so you can make your book in advance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpqvTinDgVM Alternatives to a folded book are: a) a storyboard or grid with eight squares or rectangle sections b) index cards or c) using an existing smaller size notebook or sketchbook.
A pencil and eraser or pen.

Optional supplies:

A tarot deck, oracle deck, or deck of playing cards which we will use as prompts. Meli will also display cards on screen so if you don’t have your own deck, you’ll be able to work from these communal cards.
More pens and pencils.


workshop complete

This workshop is complete and is now only available as a short-term replay for participants and in the Writerly Love membership community library.

Writing About Oppression

Instructor: Cicely Belle Blain
Date: Wednesday, Time: to

Writing about your own trauma can be incredibly powerful and relatable for readers, but it is a difficult process. Poet, activist and equity consultant Cicely Belle Blain will help you turn your experience of oppression into powerful and inspiring content. As a Black/mixed, neurodivergent queer femme, Cicely demonstrates how to harness the intersectionality of your marginalization as a powerful tool for inspiration. They’ll guide you through embracing the vulnerability of talking about your trauma, how to write about oppression for audiences who might not understand your experiences, and staying true to yourself while reaching a wider audience. This workshop provides poignant reflections on writing from BIPOC authors and tangible strategies for enhancing your own work. 


Your Instructor

Cicely Belle Blain is a Black, mixed heritage, non-binary, queer activist, writer and CEO from London, UK, now based in Vancouver. They co-founded Black Lives Matter Vancouver and now run an international anti-racism consulting company, Bakau Consulting. They are the Editorial Director of Ripple of Change Magazine and the author of the bestselling poetry book Burning Sugar (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2020). Burning Sugar was shortlisted for the 2021 Pat Lowther Memorial Award and longlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. In 2023, Cicely Belle was selected as a juror for the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Cicely Belle’s writing also appears in Queer Little Nightmares (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2022),  Coloniality and Racial (In)Justice in the University (U of T Press, 2021), AfriCANthology: Perspectives of Black Canadian Poets (Renaissance Press, 2021) and many more online and print publications. Along with their team, Cicely Belle authored and edited an e-book entitled What We’ve Learned: A Year Fighting White Supremacy in a Pandemic in 2021.

Cicely Belle Blain is photographed with a stack of their book of poetry, Burning Sugar, and smiling widely in front of a brick wall and wearing a white jacket and turtleneck with gold earrings and mid-length curly haired half tied up.

workshop complete

This workshop is complete and is now only available as a short-term replay for participants and in the Writerly Love membership community library.

Politicking the Poem

Instructor: Ellen Chang-Richardson
Date: Sunday, Time: to

Are you concerned with the current events of the world? Do you want to criticize legislation? Support a social movement? Spotlight a forgotten moment in history? As an artform, poetry has a long history of political engagement. It is used to witness, process, comment, and critique; and has become a choice form of writerly intervention. This workshop will explore various forms of political poetry, from the comical to the critical. Come prepared to channel fire through your fingertips; and, if time permits, to share what you create. Please bring a news article, a snippet of legislation, or a piece of political writing you would like to intervene.

Your Instructor

Ellen Chang-Richardson is an award-winning poet whose multi-genre writing has appeared in publications across Turtle Island, including Augur, The Ex-Puritan, Room, Watch Your Head, Canthius, and The Spirits Have Nothing to Do with Us: New Chinese Canadian Fiction (W&W, 2023). Born to Taiwanese and Chinese Cambodian parents, Ellen has lived in Oakville (Ontario), São Paulo (Brazil), Shanghai (China), and Tkaronto. They now reside in Ottawa on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation. Their debut collection is forthcoming in Spring 2024 with Buckrider Books (Wolsak & Wynn).

Ellen Chang-Richardson is hiding behind a book cover so you can only see their eyes and the top of their head with dark hair and glasses and a bookshelf in the background in this interior shot.

workshop complete

This workshop is complete and is now only available as a short-term replay for participants and in the Writerly Love membership community library.

Run Your Own Workshop

Instructor: Whitney French
: Wednesday, Time: to

This is a hands-on style workshop for anyone who’s wanted to run a workshop but doesn’t know where to start. Building on our writing strengths, participants will learn to make a workshop outline from start to finish around a writing program they’d like to offer. No experience in facilitation is necessary!

Running a writing program can be daunting but with a well-developed outline, you can be one step closer towards being a creative writing instructor. Participants will walk away from the workshop with a completed outline for their future workshop, understand templates and structures for workshopping, and pocket some tips and tricks for running both online and in-person programming. Please be sure to have an idea in mind of what you’d like your offering to be (i.e. Poetry for Beginners, YA writing by Young Adults, Community Writing for Women Over 50 etc.). No experience in facilitation is necessary!

Your Instructor

Whitney French (she/her) is a writer, educator and publisher. She is the editor of the award-winning anthology Black Writers Matter (University of Regina, 2019) and Griot: Six Writers Sojourn into the Dark (Penguin Random House, 2022). As a Hurston Wright Foundation and Watering Hole fellow, she is a self-described Black futurist, who explores memory, loss, technology, and nature in her works. Whitney French is also a certified arts educator who has executed over 500 workshops in schools, community centres, group-homes and First Nations reserves. She has taught creative writing at Toronto Metropolitan University and guest lectured at Humber College for the Business of Publishing course. Whitney has lectured and presented in spaces such as Spellman College, Festival of Literary Diversity, Aga Khan Museum, and Howard University. Having worked as both a developmental and acquisitions editor, French is now the co-founder and publisher of Hush Harbour, the only Black queer feminist press in Canada. Currently, she lives in Toronto.

Whitney French is pictured with a wide smile wearing a colourful striped shirt with collar and her black and brown hair are in locs as she stands in front of a colourful mural outdoors.

workshop complete

This workshop is complete and is now only available as a short-term replay for participants and in the Writerly Love membership community library.

Workshop Details

Learn vital writing skills and develop your writing career with expert guests in our warm community of writers.

Cost: Pay What You Can.
The suggested price is $50 per workshop and $200 for all five workshops. (All workshops included in the Writerly Love Community Membership.)

Replay: A replay will be available to all attendees for three days following the workshop.
Writerly Love Community Members have lifetime access to our replays in our member library.

Accessibility: Each workshop will have computer-generated captions and our co-host types notes in the chat to help everyone join the conversation. If you have other accessibility needs, please reach out to hello@rachelthompson.co.

A plant beside a computer with multiple faces in a Zoom call.
Rachel Thompson in front of a window looking down at a book, slightly smiling. She has medium-length reddish-brown hair with bangs.

Hosted by Rachel Thompson

Writerly Love

The Writerly Love membership community is a warm, inclusive, and supportive space for creative writers to get together, learn about writing and building a platform, and grow a luminous writing career.

Hone your craft. Build your platform. Connect with other luminous creative writers.

Questions about the workshops? Let me know!

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