Writing Retreat for Parent/Guardians, 3/5-5/28

We all have stories to tell and the ARMS PGO invites you to join us at this on-going mini writing retreat to share yours. Thursday Evenings from 6:30 to 8:00 (Come to one, a few or all)

Dates: March 5 and 19, April 2, 16 and 30, May 14 and 28
Amherst Regional Middle School Library
170 Chestnut Street, Amherst – 2nd Floor

Theme: Raising Our Children and Growing Ourselves


  • Connect parents and create a supportive, compassionate community in which to share stories
  • Provide time for writing and light instruction to sharpen writing skills, hopefully inspiring participants to reflect and write more
  • Promote intercultural understanding and exchanges by telling authentic, diverse stories
  • Share contemporary American culture, values and day-to-day life with our counter-parts in China (and elsewhere) by publishing an anthology available on-line.
  • Generate funds to support ARMS teacher and student initiatives from publication sales

Description: Open to anyone who has stories about family, children, parenthood and growth, this series of 90-minute Parent/Guardian writing sessions (held in the ARMS library) is designed to provide a space and time for parents who want to write and share their family stories.

Invited to kick-off the series is Corinne Demas, Mount Holyoke Professor and published author of her memoir Eleven Stories High: Growing up in Stuyvesant Town, 1948 – 1968. Professor Demas will talk about the writing process, share tips on how to make stories engaging and how to speak in our own authentic voice.

The final product will be an anthology of participant submissions. Space permitting, contributing to the anthology is open to anyone who is interested in submitting an article about family life, parenthood, home literacy practices, community culture, raising children, etc. The hope is to as inclusive as possible however neither participation nor submission guarantees inclusion in the anthology publication. Workshop organizers will make the determination as to compilation selection with professional guidance.

An English version of the anthology will be sold to English-speaking community. The English-Chinese version of the book will be sold to Chinese readers in the forms of ibook, ebook and print texts. The money gained from sales will be used to benefit the middle school community.

Structure of a Writing Group Meeting
6:30 – 6:40 pm Humanize the space via social time
6:40 – 7:00 pm Pre-writing talk
7:00 – 7:45 pm Intensive writing
7:45 – 8:00 pm Wrap-up discussion

The first ten minutes is for parents to connect and update one another on progress.
The next 20 minutes consists of a pre-write activity: a brief talk given by invited speaker, group members sharing about writing, parenting, cultural awareness, adolescence development, or a collaborative talk about some selected books, articles and videos. It may also include brainstorming activities, writing exercises, sharing pieces, discussing writing prompts or images, etc.

Writing is the main task. It will last 45 to 50 minutes.

Wrap up activity may be a go-around touch base, group member(s) sharing writing, or a discussion about some issues, concerns, difficulties.

Please Come!!! We’d love it if you let us know if you are interested in participating or have any questions by contacting Ying Zhang or Victoria Cliche at ArmsPgo@gmail.com but if you decide to just show up – that’s GREAT too!!!

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