Workshops and Events in 2014 and Winter 2015


Writing For Caregivers

The prompt-based weekly workshop at UNC Hospitals will start up again (noon – 1 pm) on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. The group is open to patients and their families, hospital staff, and members of the community looking for a writing respite. No registration required. Sponsored by UNC Hospitals Bereavement Support Services, Door-to-Door, Project Compassion, and the Inavale Foundation. For more information contact Heidi Gessner, Palliative Care Chaplain/Bereavement Coordinator,

Nonfiction Writing Workshops

My winter creative nonfiction workshops are full. Please email me if you’d like to be on the wait list for the next series.


A Day of One’s Own: A Writing Workshop

9 – 4 pm Saturday, January 24 (FULL but to get on the wait list, contact Mamie Potter:
In this all-day workshop, we will examine and write about a single day in the life of a character. In the novel Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf explores a woman’s experience on a day, June 13, as she plans for a party she is giving. We will pick a day in our lives (a composite day perhaps) or in the life of a character we are working with, and create—in our own style and voice—a vivid portrait of this character’s inner and outer life. We will work with flash back, idiosyncrasy, and other thought processes as well as with moving a character forward through his or her day. This workshop is open to writers at all levels of experience. Come prepared to write a lot.

Space for Ourselves: A Writing Group for People Living with Illness

Allison Harrison and I will be offering this 8-week group again, starting on Feb 3, 2015. More soon. Registration isn’t open yet. If you want to reserve a spot, email me.

Writing about deep and difficult aspects of life not only offers fresh perspective and meaning; research shows writing is also good for our health. In this writing group, leaders Carol Henderson and Allison Harrison guided participants through a series of writing exercises–designed to help group members turn inward for wisdom, draw on existing literature as inspiration, and gain fortitude. Sponsored by Project Compassion, a 501(c)(3).


Writing Short, Writing Strong

I love offering an annual writing weekend through the RCWMS. You don’t have to be in ministry to participate–most folks who sign up aren’t. This year’s workshop is meets March 20 – 21. I recommend registering early as it fills.



We had a beautiful reading on December 4 at the Winston Hospice. Community members who attended the Writing Toward Healing workshops read compelling and brave pieces from the sessions.

Writing Toward Healing

paliative-care-logoIn 2014 I offered another series of Writing Toward Healing Workshops at the Hospice and Palliative CARECENTER in Winston-Salem, sponsored by Project Compassion and The Inavale Foundation. The series culminated in a public reading on December Thursday, December 4, 6:00pm-7:30pm. Sessions were free and open to adults grieving a death-related loss.

WriteGirls Summer Camp

Summer Writing Camp for Girls 2011I loved working with the WriteGirls Summer Camp in July. WriteGirls is an intensive writing experience for teenage girls. The group meets monthly all year. For more information on WriteGirls, contact Biz Presler-Marshall:

Meredith College logoI was back at Meredith College in June, teaching in the Focusing on Form program. I offered a workshop designed to generate writing material in any genre. The workshop always meets the last week of June. Contact Ashley Hogan for more information about 2015:


AWA-logoI co-led a Group-Leader Training program for Amherst Writers and Artists, April 29 – May 3, Mebane, NC. I’ve co-led several groups with founder Pat Schneider. If you’re interested in a comprehensive method for learning how to lead prompt-based writing workshops, and for lots of follow-up support, check out the AWA site: click here.


Space for Ourselves: A Writing Group for People Living with Illness

Writing about deep and difficult aspects of life not only offers fresh perspective and meaning; research shows writing is also good for our health. In this writing group, leaders Carol Henderson and Allison Harrison guided participants through a series of writing exercises–designed to help group members turn inward for wisdom, draw on existing literature as inspiration, and gain fortitude. Sponsored by Project Compassion, a 501(c)(3).

Allison-profile2-1I was delighted to co-lead this group with Allison Harrison (left), a community social worker and writer who is herself a bone marrow transplant survivor. She completed her Masters in Social Work and Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she also received Honors in Creative Writing as an undergraduate. Allison has worked on many issues of social justice and healing, including sexual violence prevention and survivor support, HIV prevention education, and support for people with serious and chronic illness.

The group gave a reading at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, on Sunday, March 16th at 3 pm.

Short Takes on the Self: A Writing Workshop

A weekend writing workshop in Durham, N.C., for writers of all genres and all levels of experience. Through carefully selected prompts, we explored watershed moments, life themes, and the evolution of our sense of self. Plumbing memory, dreams, and point of view, we used what we unearthed to write more deeply, find far-reaching meaning, and create compelling stories and essays. Everyone wrote a lot and left changed by what they had discovered. This workshop is sponsored by the Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South. The annual workshop will have a different theme in 2015. Dates: Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21. Registration is not yet open but contact RCWMS if you’d like to be on the participant list. (This workshop fills and has a wait-list.)

Farther Along: Writing Toward Reflection, Self-Awareness and Healing.
On Saturday March 22, I offered a daylong writing workshop in Winston-Salem, NC. This workshop explored how writing can help manage the pain of grief by awakening new personal awareness and offering transformative shifts in perspective for yourself and others. Designed for community members and professionals touched by grief and bereavement and for anyone who is interested in reflective writing. Sponsored by Wake Forest School of Medicine and Northwest AHEC.

Workshops and Events from 2013

The Powerful Narrative: A Writing Workshop
My husband Bill and I had a terrific group of writers at Wildacres Retreat Center in September for our fourth Powerful Narrative Writing Workshop retreat.

Mining for Gold: Journaling into a Deeper Life
This year I added new prompts, new support materials to Mining for Gold: Journaling into a Deeper Life, my premiere journaling workshop. Here’s the workshop description: “Keeping a journal is one of the most productive of all methods for reconsidering our world, preserving our experiences, and exploring our deepest selves. On the pages of a journal we can let our inner voices reign while we develop our writing skills. It’s through this kind of “deep diving” into creative projects that we find ways to tell our own life stories. Experience first-hand how journals can help us come to terms with our pasts, discover joy in the present, and transform our futures. Unlocking the full power of this multi-purpose tool, we’ll explore memory, point-of-view, dreams, life chapters, character portraits, poetry, dialogues with aspects of ourselves, and more. We’ll acquire new techniques to enliven our writing with fresh, new ways to view our lives and creative selves. And as always, since the emphasis is on process, not product, come prepared to write.” (Meredith Colloge, June, 2013)

Farther Along: Writing Toward Reflection, Self-Awareness, and Healing
I was happy to have a combination of funding sources making this symposium possible. It was a “joint production” of Carol Henderson Workshops LLC, Project Compassion, Duke Health and Home Care, Heartland Hospice, Hospice of Wake County, Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church, Sandra Jarr, and the Inavale Foundation. The workshop led participants to explore the ways  writing can help manage the pain of grief–by awakening new personal awareness and offering transformational shifts in perspective in oneself and others. It was a day-long symposium for both lay people and professionals. (May, 2013).

Farther Along: Symposium, Readings, and Panel Discussion
A 2-session symposium held in Salisbury, N.C. Some of the women who are part of the Farther Along Group gathered with participants to write in the morning session and later, for readings and a panel discussion in the afternoon. Phyllis Keels of Salisbury wrote about the symposium: “The exercises, at first blush, seemed easy, but they were so much harder than I thought. Hard in a good way. They helped me process aspects of my daughter’s death in a new and healing way. Thank you for doing what you do. You are making a difference in people’s lives–namely mine.” The symposium was sponsored by The Michael Yang Foundation and hosted by the Literary Book Post. (April, 2013)


Sandra Rogers (left), checked out  Farther Along from her local library five times.  On her left is Beverly Burton, a member of our Farther Along Group, who organized the Salisbury symposium.

Those Who Shape Us
Good narrative writing begins with good characters. Those Who Shape Us: Character Portraits of the Important People In Our Lives, held in Raleigh, N.C., was an intensive, hands-on workout in how to create full-blooded portraits of friends, family members, mentors, and ancestors, those we love, miss, admire––and even those we hold in awe, fear, or even condemn. (April, 2013)

Writing Toward Healing: A Weekend of Writing Workshops
April 12 – 14 in Richmond, Virginia. Sponsored by Noah’s Children

Creating Stories to Keep
A good story, like a good garden, cultivates the “wild permissiveness of the inner life” (poet Stanley Kunitz). In this two-day workshop, Creating Stories to Keep: Unearthing the Secrets of Powerful Narrative, we learned to give voice to our own wild inner lives through a series of craft exercises. The process allows us to pull stories out of us we had no idea were there, and learn to mold them into narratives with energy and momentum. Sponsored by RCWMS.

Selected Events from 2012

Reflective Writing for Psychologists
Care Net Counseling invited us to offer a mini symposium as part of their annual meeting, at Winston-Salem. In attendance were all the psychologists and staff from the organization. Kathy Shoaf, a member of our Farther Along Group who had sought counseling through Care Net, told the 100 assembled attendees about her family’s positive experience working with Care Net. I  led the assembled staff and psychologists in several writing exercises for their own personal enrichment and to use with their clients. We ended the afternoon with a panel discussion featuring members of our group on the role of writing in our healing journeys.

On Saturday, November 10, I led the second of two morning workshop at Hospice of Winston Salem, 9:30 – noon. We’re planning to offer a series of workshops again next fall.

On Sunday, November 11 several of us from Farther Along: The Writing Journey of Thirteen Bereaved Mothers, read at McIntyre’s Books, in Pittsboro, NC, at 2 pm. We had a lively discussion after the reading.

I led an all-day symposium,”Farther Along: Writing Toward Healing” at Hospice Support of Fauquier County, Inc. VA, on Saturday, November 3. The symposium was based on principles I’ve written about in my book, Farther Along: the Writing Journey of 13 Bereaved Mothers.

Maritta Gotz and Gil Brooker of Hospice Support organized a seamless day in a beautiful venue. We all enjoyed the writing and readings. Special thanks to the women from our book, Farther Along, who helped out and sat on a panel about the role of writing in their healing journeys: Betsy Anderson (she lives nearby and initiated the workshop), Dottye Currin, Kay Windsor, and Peggy Clover.

Our generous sponsors included: Fauquier Bank, Randy Minter, Moser Funeral Home, Village Flowers, and Harris Teeter.

Friday-Sunday, October 26-28, 2012
I taught at a writing retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, for a privately invited group of women. We had a glorious time. This weekend the place will be covered in snow.

Saturday, October 6, 2012
I led an all-day “Writing Toward Healing” workshop in Richmond, Virginia, sponsored by Noah’s Children.

Thursday, October 11, 2012
I moderated a panel discussion at Hospice in Winston-Salem, on the benefits of reflective writing. The panel included members of the writing group I’ve led for the past 10 years–the women featured in my book, Farther Along: The Writing Journey of Thirteen Bereaved Mothers.

Friday, October 12, 2012
I led a similar panel in Charlotte, NC at KinderMourn

Saturday, October 13, 2012
I was back in Winston-Salem, at Hospice to lead a morning writing workshop, this one open to anyone suffering the loss of a loved one.

As these workshops continue, I hope you can join us. I will be listing future events here on my website. And be in touch if you’re interested in hosting a writing event in your community.

More updates soon!