WE Write Session

Purpose: These free, half-day writing sessions are an opportunity to strengthen our mind-pen (or mind-keyboard) connection by writing freely as we follow prompts and/or instruction from a presenter. Our practice is derived from Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. If you are interested in writing with us, we encourage you to come for the fun. For more about our methodology, see Goldberg practice.

When and where: WE Write Sessions occur monthly, and are usually on a Monday or Saturday from 9:00 am to noon. We alternate in central Colorado between Salida, Buena Vista, and Leadville, using other locations on special occasions.

What to bring: Paper, pen, a snack to share, and your own drink.

Joan & Cary lead 5th Monday

Right: WE members stay on task
with Joan and Cary's instruction
to write about "New Beginnings"

Upcoming WE Write Sessions

Date: Monday, August 14, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon

Leader: Laurel McHargue is the author of six books and counting!


Topic: "Smorgasborg" - In this CCWE "WE Write" writing session, Laurel will present a smorgasborg of literary prompts to test your creative flexibility. No need to worry about preparing for a theme as each new writing sessions will keep you guessing what might come next!


Place: Lake County Library, 1115 Harrison Avenue, Leadville, Colorado

These writing sessions are open to the public. Exercises will be based on Natalie Goldberg's method for writing freely and spontaneously. Attendees may volunteer to read what they write, but there is no criticism of their work.

Remember to bring a snack to share, your own drink, paper and pen (or your laptop).

Please be respectful of the group and refrain from wearing perfumes and colognes as some attendees have allergies. Thank you.


Previous WE Write Sessions

  • July 15, 2017, Jan Ohmstede, a former ECE Special Ed. teacher, speech pathologist, technical and grant writer and since 2013, creative writer, led us in the topic "Go with the Flow" - we explored writing using unusual prompts inspired by Jan's years roughing it in wild Alaska!
  • June 12, 2017, Cary Unkelbach, a life-long dog lover, lawyer, blogger, and past CCWE President, led us in the topic of "The Meaning of Summer" - we wrote lots about what summer means to us: past, present and future, from different points of view, and experimented with varying techniques to bring alive our imaginary and/or real experiences. Laughter and good times!
  • April 17, 2017, Jennifer Sweete, Indie Author, Award-Winning Blogger, and CCWE President, led us in the topic of "Memory Lane" - In this "We Write" writing session, we looked at pictures of toys and games from long ago and wrote some great little stories - turning memories into novellas! Very relaxed and loaded with laughs!
  • March 20, 2017, Judy Hiatt, former travel writer and author of Cabbage: Cures to Cuisine, AND CCWE Vice President (pro temore) led us in the topic of "Recipes for Writing" - In this "We Write" writing session, Judy showed us how to STIR up a STORY, BAKE a great BOOK, and have some delicious fun with a list of winning ingredients through her writing prompts!
  • February 11, 2017, Barbara Ford, prolific writer and poet who hosts a weekly poetry show on KHEN 106.9 FM, Poets and Minstrels that has aired for over ten years. Her poetry chapbook Once Familiar was published in the summer of 2016, and she hosts a monthly poetry event at Cafe Dawn in Salida. Barbara led us in the topic of "The Love of Writing about Love" - WE LOVED IT! It was a marathon writing morning that left us exhausted, inspired, and in LOVE with writing!
  • January 14th, 2017, Stephanie Frykholm, Life-long writer in love with words and the creative writing process led us in the topic: "New Year's Muse: What's Incubating in Your Writer's Mind?" - This CCWE "WE Write" writing session rang in 2017 in style! Through a variety of writing prompts, Stephanie showed us ways to be both grounded and centered as a writer...and why this is so essential to expressing your unique voice, birthing what’s essential, and bringing your creative genius onto the written page. There is something very REAL about meeting your Creative Muse face-to-face!
  • December 13th, 2016, CCWE Prez, Jen Sweete Owens and CCWE Member Chair, Maria Weber lead our 2nd Annual Members Only Cocoa-Loco Fireside Holiday Celebration writing session at the Creekside Gathering Place in Buena Vista, Colorado. It was an evening to celebrate our CCWE Members in gratitude for their support throughout the year! Ambience was delightful thanks to the Creekside owner and CCWE Member, Eve Casto; Stockings were stuffed with bells on for all by our CCWE Treasurer, Robin Hall; and the yummy treats brought by all attendees were artfully laid out by our beloved CCWE Social Chair, Audrey Smith! Maria chose our 3 FUNderful writing prompts and Jen delivered them with her holiday best :-) Lots of LOVE AND LAUGHTER! Happy holidays to all!
  • November 14th, 2016, Nicole Parsons, Author of the novella Little Fire, writer, editor and storytelling teacher with 15 years experience inspiring people to tell their own personal stories, introduced us to a step-by-step writing process she refers as the "Snapshot Storytelling Toolkit" using a photo or image that is in someway connects to a story you want to write. Focusing on turning those juicy-but-unfinished writing fragments (be they personal memory or fictional snippets) into actual stories that resonate with readers or listeners. These "snapshot tools" work for fiction writers or memoirists.
  • October 24th, 2016, Bar Scott, Author of The Present Giver, led us in using our imaginations to build a Time Capsule in a 6"x8"x2" book. The room was positively aglow as we created pages that could easily become chapters in a new memoir for any and all of us!
  • September 24, 2016, Doris Dembosky, columnist and blogger who taught composition & creative writing at Pueblo Community College, led us in learning how to fictionalize a true story. An amazing experience that everyone present enjoyed and learned tremendously from! Thank you Doris!
  • August 15, 2016, Laurel McHargue, Author of Haikus Amuse, led us in learning how to write Haiku poetry for fun and introspection. As always with Laurel, we laughed till we could barely breathe! Thanks Laurel!
  • July 11, 2016, Marcy Adams, MA combines her degrees in education and counseling and many years of working with people of all ages to help them explore and discover more of their inner wisdom and power. Marcy led us in the topic of "Breaking Out of the Box" with fun exercises from her book, The Gate: Finding Wisdom Within. We created characters and discovered more of our own inner characters. Quite meaningful! Thank you so much Marcy!
  • June 20, 2016, Kate Bell, Teacher, poet, mother, hiker and wildflower lover. led us in Crafting Characters using generative prompts to explore and examine the elements that create intriguing, vital, and timeless characters. You are marvelous Kate!
  • May 21, 2016, Kristen Moeller, MS, Bestselling author, publisher and CCWE Vice President led us in exploring what legacy is, why it matters, how to find our own - and how writing is the key! Very introspective and enlightening! Thank you Kristen!
  • March 7, 2016, Jane Provorse, Writer Extraordinaire and CCWE Member-at-Large, led us in writing exercises that revealed our emotional connections with Point Of View, and how to use 1st, 2nd, and 3rd point of view to get our point across. A fascinating exploration! Wow, Jane!
  • January 25, 2016, Maria Weber, artist, writer, poet and potter, and author of I'll Be There to Write the Story used the art of coloring as meditation for ispiration to lead us into this New Year of writing with artistic flair! You are truly an inspritation, Maria!
  • December 15, 2015, Celebrating at the First Annual WE Cocoa-Loco Fireside Holiday Writing Session - a cathardic writing experience about the winter holidays in an intimate setting with hot cocoa and holiday treats beside the hearth!
  • November 7, 2015, Jennifer Sweete used music and sound effects to alter mood and perspective for character development, plot development, and getting "unstuck".
  • September 21 2015, Barbara Ford asked us to bring dictionaries and thesauruses to use while she helped us expand our vocabulary.
  • August 24 2015, Laurel McHargue advanced our writing skills using visual arts to inspire our ability to see the world through new eyes and connect our pen and paper to it.
  • April 27, 2015, Buena Vista. Marsha Sherry shared her experience from a recent Natalie Goldberg workshop and dared us to "shake loose our minds and get beneath the skirts of our thinking."
  • March 23, 2015, Salida. Laura Hendrie gave tips on how to create and revise dialogue as an expression of character. She advised us to listen to coversations in real life and analyze patterns of talking. Based on a prompt, we created a short dialogue and edited it to be even more succinct.
  • February 21, 2015, Buena Vista Gathering Place. Four leaders (Marilyn Miller, Jane Provorse, Nancy Walters, and Maria Weber) presented a variety of prompts to fill in for Alissa Johnson who was ill and had to cancel her presentation. A lot of creativity and laughter ensued.
  • January 19, 2015, Salida. Susan Tweit asked us to dig deeper to find stories withing. She gave us a mapping exercise to get started along with advice about incorporating our senses.
  • December 8, 2014, Salida. Ron Slaughter, writer and photographer, displayed intriguing photographs and played provocative guitar pieces to stimulate our flow of ideas.
  • November 17, 2014, Buena Vista. Brian McCabe, editor and reporter for the Mountain Mail, asked us to create distinctive characters in our writing using advice from Orson Scott Card's book, Elements of Fiction: Characters and Viewpoint.
  • October 20, 2014, Salida. Paul Goetz, editor of The Mountan Mail, led us in exercises for nature writing.
  • August 25, 2014, Buena Vista. Carrie Unkelbach asked us to list alphabetically what we "sensed" in August and encouraged us to write for 15 minutes on past and current Augusts.
  • July 28, 2014, Leadville. Annie Livingston-Garret helped writers open up their creativity and vanquish writers's block by using the "power of the other hand."
  • May 12, 2014, Salida. Jane Provorse conducted "fairly easy" exercises that got everyone's pen moving freely.
  • April 14, 2014, Buena Vista. Audrey Smith encouraged us to imagine plot twists and the conclusion for either one of two published books. Participants rose to the occasion, creating dialogue and characters from rural Scotland.
  • March 3, 2014, Salida. Joan Hannie helped us explore the richness of our five senses as we took turns decribing each and then writing a final story or essay incorporating those senses. She based the exercises a book by Sol Stein: Stein on Writing: A Master Editor of Some of the Most Successful Writers Our Century Shares His Craft, Techniques and Strategies.
  • January 27, 2014, Buena Vista. Nancy Walters introduced us to a pattern for developing stories: Separation - Inititation - Return, based on Joseph Campbell's book, Hero with a Thousand Faces. An outline of the story stucture is available at http://orias.berkeley.edu/hero/journeystages.pdf
  • December 9, 2013, Buena Vista. Stephanie Frykholm had us do exercises to discover the space within our reach and what we felt all around us. We also learned how to draw and walk a maze that would help us figure out next steps.
  • October 28, 2013, Salida. Carolyn Barnett asked us to imagine future travels by describing the destinations in sensual detail and listing what we would take with us in a carry-on bag impossibly small and antiquated.
  • September 23, 2013, Buena Vista. Marge Dorfmeister led us down memory lane with prompts for "music, light, and action." Exercises involved weaving opposite concepts and building on famous one-liners from musicals and movies.
  • August 19, 2013, Salida. Jane Provorse, using the topic "Letters of Life," talked about the dying art of letter writing and then had us write imaginary letters asking for money in a dire situation, thanking someone for an unwanted gift, and addressing ourselves in the past and future.
  • July 8, 2013, Leadville. Kate Bell discussed the "Common Threads" of powerful writing: Image, Rhythm, Voice, Implication, and Meaning; and encouraged us to use them as we wrote in response to her prompts.
  • May 15, 2013, Salida, Barbara Munyon led us on the path of action and reflection, asking us to explain how "writing is in our heart" and "writing is our struggle," and then helping us practice the habit of writing.
  • April 1, 2013, Salida, Barbara Ford had us bring examples of humor writing and encouraged us to write our own humorous piece based on prompts such as "the worst gift I ever received and what I did about it."
  • March 4, 2013, Buena Vista, Pat Clark led us in an entertaining session on "Picture This!"


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