Group and ONE-on-ONE Private Coaching
“I hired Junie to be my writing mentor for a project I had put off for years. With the help of her book Write Where You Are and her insight when I couldn’t write, I have moved through so much self-judgment, self-criticism and fear. My commitment to get my book done and the freedom from emotions that were holding me back has created an unstoppable flow. I feel lighter, freer and more powerful than I have in years. My book is now written, currently at the editors and all within 3 months! And even though we were miles apart, and our coaching sessions were on the phone, I felt like we were in the same room together. Thank you, Junie!”
Cori Ellingson, Author of Choosing a Vibrant Life
Author Support and Mentorship Program
March 1 – May 31st (9 weeks) Time: 6:30 – 8:45 p.m.
What Happens in the Author Support Group?
- Each week, you will get together with other writers to read and discuss what you have been working on for the past week—a chapter, an introduction, or something you are re-working.
- Everyone receives feedback from other group members and myself. The feedback is specific, giving clarity about what’s working, what is not; what could use re-writing or tweaking—regarding characters, continuity, redundancy, length, believability; is it compelling, are you speaking in the right voice for your audience, for your characters? Is it fiction, non-fiction?
- I always suggest, especially with a memoir or personal story, that the first round of writing is for yourself, even if you have a specific audience in mind. This way, you will not be editing and judging what you are saying, just writing the truth as you remember it, as you feel it.
- I will feel into your story and ask you to go deeper in some cases if you are skimming the surface and I really want to know more about a certain situation or character. You choose how deep you want to go, but remember: the first writing is for your eyes only, not for publication. Sometimes, if something isn’t moving your book forward, because, for example, it is extraneous or redundant, I will point that out too, always with kindness and respect. It is always up to the writer to make her own choices. These are suggestions only.
- We will have a guest presenter for one lesson, someone from the publishing industry who can answer your questions about publishing.
Do you use any of these excuses to stop yourself from writing?
- It’s already been written
- There are already enough books on the subject
- I don’t want to hurt anyone
- Who am I to say this? I’m not an authority
- I’m afraid of peoples’ judgments
- I don’t know how to write
- I can’t spell
- I’m too old to start now; it’s too late
- It will take too long
- It’s too difficult
You’re not the only one! These common concerns will be dispelled right off the bat in the course.
Angelyn Toth, owner of Xenia Creative Development Centre on Bowen Island, BC
Lawrence Cooper -Author of Bi- A Bisexual Man’s Transformational Journey from Agony to Ecstasy.
Dr. Linda Foster
Cori Ellingson, Author of Choosing A Vibrant Life
Brigette Rathje Currently writing her One-Woman Show, La Petite Hermitage
Have you given any thought to writing a book, blog (travel, how-to), memoir, play, a series of short stories, stand-up comedy, or continuing something that you have started but put down for one reason or another? The Author Support Group gives you the structure and constructive feedback you need to keep you on track with your project.
Allowing your voice on the page to become your voice in the world
Putting your voice out into the world in the form of a published work is a big deal. It’s a reflection of you—your imagination, thoughts, opinions, and often your tender heart! If you are not used to being “out there” it can actually be terrifying. Has anyone ever said to you… “I think you should write a book.” And you said, “Me? I don’t think so.”…Yet it sparks something in you that resonates deeply but you brush it aside. Or perhaps it has been a secret desire you have had for years but you don’t know how or where to begin. Maybe you are already in the midst of writing a book, blog, play or short story, but can’t seem to stay focused, so you stop. Let’s turn that around! Listen to what Lawrence Cooper has to say about his process of working with Junie and becoming a published author:
Why study with me?
I have successfully coached thousands of writers, many of whom have become authors.In the process, they have also found their authentic voices which, in many cases, had been silenced for years.
Creative expression has been my passion for as long as I remember. For approximately 15 years, I witnessed people soar as I facilitated a support group for Julia Cameron’s famous book, The Artist’s Way! Even those who didn’t think they had a creative bone in their bodies soared, including me! I knew I was creative, but I just couldn’t seem to get my work out there.
Luckily, after teaching what I needed to learn, I went on to create, act in and produce Madness, Masks and Miracles, a play to dispel myths and stigmas about mental illness.
Things came full circle when I wrote and published my book Re-Write Your Life and received a beautiful endorsement from my creative mentor, Julia Cameron!
“Junie Swadron is both a guide and a muse. Her book is a bright lantern, illuminating the often dark and tricky terrain of the soul. Grounded in personal experience, her techniques catalyze the deep authenticity possible to us all.”
I love my work because I get to hear the enthusiasm and joy that comes from people who have worked with me:
- “I can do this!”
- “I AM a writer!”
- “I love what I have written.”
- “I can’t believe that just came out of my pen.”
- “I had no idea what I was going to write.”
- “I feel so much better.”
- “I have so much more clarity.”
- “I have a direction.”
Mostly, I hear, “Thank you!”
If you want to take advantage of all that the Author Mentorship Program has to offer, then please join me!
Uncovering the truest expression of yourself
A big part of the Author Support Group is uncovering the truest expression of yourself, whether it is non-fiction or fiction. It is a journey in self-discovery. Often students come in thinking that they want to write this particular thing and then it changes into something else that feels even better. You will be guided, taught, supported, loved and brought step-by-step ever closer to becoming the author of your words that are ready to be birthed.
Along with my coaching, you will be in a group with other writers readying themselves just like you to have their works published. Each of you will support one another with your comments and suggestions to move the work forward.
As opposed to a critique group where people can be harsh—so harsh you don’t ever want to come back—it’s the opposite. It is a sacred circle where kindness is our motto as we answer questions and offer up suggestions to enhance your work.
My publishing story
Let Me Share With You What Worked Best For Me When I Published My Play, Madness, Masks and Miracles, and my Book, Re-Write Your Life: Even though I love to write, and have been facilitating writing groups for over 20 years, I also found it really hard staying motivated and on track while writing my book. I needed a coach and mentor. When people ask me, “Was it a labour of love?” I say, “Take out the word labour.” It was pure love. Because that is what it can be like when you have a loving mentor and coach, holding your hand to the finishing line. And that is my promise to you.
Publishing was a really big deal for me. My play was the first thing that went public, and that was terrifying. My book came next, and I could hardly wait! And that’s the shift that’s possible.
In spite of my resistance, writing a stage play to dispel myths and stigmas about mental illness was just one of those things I was called to do, and I eventually did it. Producing it and having it out there for people to watch was a different kettle of fish. I was terrified. Especially since I upped the ante. Not only was I writing a play about a certain genre, I was going all out! After the performance, in front of approximately 500 people at an international mental health convention in Vancouver, I delivered a speech that exposed my deep dark secret of having bi-polar illness. I was shaking. I thought it could bring about the end of my successful career as a psychotherapist in private practice and as mental health worker with the Canadian Mental Health Association.
In spite of how scared I was, I knew it was the ONLY choice if I was going to be true to myself. I had run the gamut of hiding in shame. I was done. I was choosing to take back my life no matter what others might have thought, said, or done. It was the bravest act I had ever carried out and biggest gift I could have ever given to myself. I no longer have to pretend. I set myself free!
“This play is a winner. June Swadron and her writing team and actors engage the audience immediately and throughout with what it’s like to have a mental illness in contemporary society. We feel the anguish and confusion, we witness the denial in co-workers and family, we experience the shame of the sufferer and the multiple losses and we learn painfully about the limitations of our treatments. Yet this production is not cynical or depressing. It is moving, inspiring and intensely evocative. A gift. A call-to-arms. A must-see for every Canadian citizen.” Dr. Michael Meyers, President of the Canadian Psychiatric Association
What’s your story?
Do you want to tell it as a memoir, play, fiction, stand up comedy, serious of poems, creative non-fiction, a musical? Maybe you designed a program or course and want to write a book to go with it. Perhaps you simply want to start a blog about something you are passionate about.
Or maybe it’s simply a seed, a concept in your mind. It’s enough. We will build from there. No matter where you are on the continuum from having your work half finished or haven’t quite started yet—we begin where you are.
It’s okay that we are all at different stages. In my workshops, everyone’s work is read and discussed every week with powerful suggestions to move it forward.
“Junie, it seems so simple and natural when you do it, but I don’t know anyone who hears and says back so clearly when I read my writing or speak my truth. You are the mirror who shines a light in the darkness just when I’ve convinced myself to give up, again. Thank you.”
“I had the opportunity to attend Junie Swadron’s Author Support Group earlier this year. My manuscript, Julia’s Secret, had been stuck in a drawer for a couple of years at that time. I received amazing support and guidance from Junie and from the group. Junie is a wonderful facilitator—honest and heartfelt. The sessions were full of fun and extremely encouraging. Julia’s Secret is now finished and just waiting for the illustrations! My blog is out there too. The Author Support Group was a brilliant kick starter. I recommend it 100%—with all my heart”
“When I began the group I was feeling stuck and uninspired. The weekly meetings provided the impetus to work on new material which created momentum (and progress). The support and feedback of the group was invaluable, making reflections available for writing still fresh on the page, applauding the successes and lovingly calling for more if the best was yet unwritten.”
“I participated in a writer’s support group with Junie this past winter (2012) and as I reflect back it still strikes me how much of a healing process it was. I thought I was joining a writing group which would give me some more writing tools to add to my belt, but I was pleasantly surprised, and I got much much more than that! This 8-week course was a catalyst for my leap of health that I find myself now. I can now stand lounging in this stronger place, enjoying the serenity that comes after releasing more of the layers of pain, after finding my way to healthier routines and habits. Junie’s programme helped me to see that indeed I have writing skills and gifts and it motivated me to pick up the pen and move on some projects that have been lying dormant for years. I am so grateful that Junie is honouring her gifts and sharing this with the world. The people that she attracts to the group are just as powerful, compassionate and inspiring as she is! Like attracts like. I feel honoured that I was in the same circle with such talented and creative people. Thanks Junie!
“The Author Support group provided me with the encouragement and support to find my voice on paper and believe in it! Junie is a compassionate, skilled, intuitive and gentle facilitator… Amazing! Thank you!”
“My Victoria Bench by Bench writings started before the book was even considered. Junie Swadron’s workshops nudged me back into a habit of writing. June’s special talent for facilitating writing groups pulled the words out of me. I started writing, not only for myself, but to share with others.”
“The Author Support Group has been a very nurturing environment to hatch my fledgling play and gradually take the steps to learn to fly. A great environment to meet others of like mind.
“I loved being in the safe container of the Author Support Group. The words of encouragement and wisdom from June and my sister writers were like powerful medicine, inspiring me to write and then write some more. I look forward to continuing and meeting more writers in the September group.”
“I am extremely privileged to have the opportunity of working with Junie as my writing coach as a prelude to the launch of a book or books in progress. I have personally experienced her magnificent facilitation and Junie’s gentle, yet powerful leadership skills propel all into a sacred space of acknowledgement, acceptance, safety and unleashed creativity. Junie’s processes guided by integrity, authenticity and absolute kindness create an atmosphere for raucous fun as well as ‘sacred reverence’. One of the most important gifts that I’ve received from Junie is learning to honour the sacred process of connecting with and expressing my own unique voice.”
“As a writer working on my first book, I found June’s suggestions invaluable. Writing can be lonely work; her approach encouraged a strong bonding and mutual support among the group members. Especially helpful were tips on how to still the negative inner critic and how to break through writer’s block. I highly recommend The Author Support Group.”
“Your love, friendship, advice and support encouraged me to finally birth this work of fiction, so long in gestation.”
“I have just completed a ten-session writing course with Junie as I begin on my journey as a writer. Junie is amazing. She met me in every single session exactly where I was and was able to then guide me—without fail—to a place of reignited faith in the process, in myself and in myself as a writer with something extraordinary to share. She was inspirational, encouraging, and an exceptional listener. She remembered my story from session to session and gently reminded me why I want to write, what is aching to burst through. Junie is truly a gem as she comes from depth of experiential experience that she shares from so generously. I am discerning in who I choose to work with and Junie came through as one who is utterly authentic, deep in her awareness of what realms we traverse as human beings on Earth at this time, and so very genuine is her heartfelt support. She KNOWS what it is to write from the heart and to trust in our truth as we come deeply into our VOICE. I joyfully consider her a friend and would enthusiastically recommend to anyone considering working with her to do it. You will be enriched by her. Although we have never met in person, I can’t imagine our sessions being any more personal and intimate than if we were face to face.”
~G.L. Eugene, OR
It is because of the feedback I have been given over the years, along with what I have observed, that I have come up with this true statement which has become my motto:
Your soul meets you on the page and something shifts. You strengthen. You begin to stand taller. And soon you begin to notice that your voice on the page has become your voice in the world.
Here are two scenarios that start off the same but end very differently. Which one would you choose?
You want to write a book
You don’t know how or where to begin
You don’t think you are good enough
There are things you know about and care about
You are hesitant to say them out loud
You are afraid of what people might think or say
There are other reasons too
You begin to shrink
Your dream ENDS here.
You want to write a book
You don’t know how or where to begin
There are things you know and care about
You are hesitant to say them out loud
You are afraid of what people might think or say
There are other reasons too
Still, you say to yourself, “I am willing to feel the discomfort,
put my fears aside and GO FOR IT.”
Your dream BEGINS here.
And you won’t have to do it alone! It will be my joy and privilege to guide you right to the finish line.
Contact me with questions or to book your complimentary strategy session: firstname.lastname@example.org; 250-813-0183.
ONE-TO-ONE AUTHOR MENTORSHIPS
If you are not in Victoria, no worries.
You will receive the same fabulous results over the phone or on Skype!
That is my promise to you. Love, Junie
Call for a free consultation: 250–813–0183