Jennifer is my indispensable light in the dark on my first venture into book writing. She is encouraging and positive, finding the gems in my messy drafts and bringing them to the light to polish and explore, but she also has laser sharp instincts about ways to reshape, deepen, and expand upon my pieces. She functions both as my nurturing therapist and as my intelligent, intuitive editor, and she pushes me to go excavate and unearth more about myself and my stories than I think is possible. She also lights the kindest of fires under my butt, which I need, or I wouldn't write at all. I was breaking my brain on one of my essays, and she gave me concrete, specific suggestions to restructure it in a way that suddenly brought clarity to the bigger picture. I call her my book doula: she's helping this tender, vulnerable creation of mine to be born into the world. I can't recommend her enough.
Jennifer is a gem. I’ve taken her writing workshops, weekend retreats, and this past winter, I asked her to be my book coach. I’m so glad I did. Jennifer has been instrumental in shaping me into the writer I am today. Her criticism is honest and constructive. Her approach is patient and warm. She’s fearless, clear headed, and has a refined palette for excellent writing. Week after week, Jennifer has challenged me to go deeper into my work. Somehow, she manages to articulate exactly what my writing is lacking without putting dents in my confidence. She’s been instrumental in helping me get out of my own way. I can honestly say that I'm a better writer because of the work I’ve done with Jennifer. I can’t say enough good things about her!
When I signed up with Jennifer for book coaching, I thought I was simply hiring someone to help me improve my manuscript. What I didn't expect was to find someone who, through coaching my writing process, helped me transform my own experience of being a writer, really of being in my own life. Writing is such a vulnerable thing. In Jennifer I found a safety and warmth that gently and persistently encouraged me to reach into the depths of my story. If you're feeling stuck on draft after draft and wondering if you're merely pushing food around on your verbal plate, give yourself the gift of coming to the table with Jennifer to help you turn the corner and make the progress you really want to make on your piece! I now have a working manuscript that I am confident in and I am excited to share it not only with friends and colleagues for feedback but to also use it for fellowship and artist colony applications.
Jennifer's workshop reawakened a creative spirit in me that I hadn't tapped into since I first started writing! Spending 3 hours with four other women was such a wonderful inspirational experience, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I'd recommend Jennifer's workshop not only to women who write already, but to women who are looking to try it for the first time. Really, anyone looking to find creative inspiration in any aspect of their lives. You will walk out of the room feeling confident and inspired, with four new women to call friends. Thank you Jennifer!
I felt like I had been in a funk with my own writing and needed something to shake me out of it. Jennifer's workshop really helped remind me how to tap back into my own voice and reawaken my creative spirit. The intimate setting means there's nowhere to hide, but Jennifer helps create such a calm, warm and inviting environment that leaves everyone feeling open to share and incredibly safe.
Chapter One Workshop is a one of a kind experience that every female writer should take if they find themselves struggling for inspiration. I stopped writing for years and could never seem to find the spark to light my creative flame. However, after attending the workshop, I find I cannot contain the blaze of inspiration that runs wild inside of me. I am almost halfway through my first project, and already have plans for two more that I am dying to start. I find myself writing for hours on the daily; when not writing, I am constantly thinking about it. I felt extremely safe to be myself and share my work, even at its most raw. I loved the intimacy of the workshop. It made me feel bonded with the others in attendance. It was such a positive and nurturing experience. I wished the workshop would never end. I cannot express my gratitude enough to the host, Jennifer, for giving me a most precious gift.
I was stuck in a place where I was disillusioned with writing, and I felt like my current project was crushing me with anxiety and pressure. After experiencing the Chapter One Workshop, I found a completely freeing space that helped me to fall back in love with writing. Jennifer Dickinson acts as a guide through exercises that pull you out of your comfort zone and help you to write without any judgment, especially from yourself! I was surprised by the pieces I created, and I feel inspired to go back to my project.
I made a career out of supporting writers, but my own blank pages had been staring me down—and winning—since I was a child. Jennifer's workshop was the first time I'd ever shared my own creative writing, and it was transformative. I gained a whole new way to approach writing as well as a galactic boost in confidence, inspiration, and excitement.
As a professional writer constantly competing for my next gig, I had lost touch with writing for the joy of writing. Jennifer's exercises in her workshop helped me reconnect with that cathartic feeling I used to get journaling late at night in my room. Forget the juice cleanse, forget the yoga retreat—in just a few hours you'll feel new again!
Spending an afternoon in the Chapter One workshop was a true delight. It opened me up to trying out new forms of writing that I hadn’t previously considered for myself and it was fun to be surprised by myself. I loved spending the day feeling fully open to a new experience and learning from a group of badass creatives. I recommend it highly for anyone who needs to feel a sense of discovery about their own work.
This workshop was the perfect fit for me. Jennifer immediately makes you feel safe and comfortable. The other women were amazing and supportive. I loved hearing their voices, both written and in conversation. It was comforting to be surrounded by supportive women with different perspectives. I never felt pressured and was surprised by how inspired I felt at the close. I work well with guidance and guidelines, so the prompts and timed writing really spoke to me and are things I plan to continue doing in my writing. By the end of the workshop I felt like I was part of a writer's group. I would love to take it again. I am only beginning to find my voice and this workshop will only help push me forward. Thank you Jennifer!
After taking Jennifer's workshop, I realized how important it is for me to 1) surround myself with women and 2) to write freely without any expectations. I went into the workshop feeling frustrated with my own projects due to a block in my creativity and the pressure I put on myself to get work done. Letting go of this perfectionism for four hours on a Sunday re-taught me that my best work shows up when I am having fun. Thanks for getting me excited to write again!
I am someone who has always kept journals since a child, who wrote angsty poems in my teenage years and early 20s, and presently, write for my blog for my business. Now, I want to focus on writing a bigger fiction piece. I didn't know where to begin because of the inner voices telling me I couldn't be a novelist. Jennifer makes for a comfortable, safe environment so we can be open to ourselves and others. She sets up a calm environment. I've been to one other writing group that was focused on critiquing works-in-progress. The majority of the group was male, and the time became more about the facilitator than about the group as a whole or the writer asking for help. It was a very intimidating environment and I didn't dare share my work. In contrast, Jennifer and the women in the group make you feel that you have something important to say - a story rumbling in the inner depths of your soul- and I actually appreciated the different styles and voices each woman in the group brought to the table. Because of the small number of women in each workshop, it is intimate and you are encouraged to participate. You are given the space to speak your mind without judgment from others. I highly recommend women writers, wherever you are on the spectrum of experience and progress, to experience Page One Workshop. It's therapeutic and gets your creative juices flowing. It is not a place for critique but a way to expose personal barriers, connect with others, and address writing blocks. Not to mention, meeting some lovely ladies on the way.
I had never been on a writing retreat prior to this weekend. I was a little worried about expectations and dealing with other people for an entire 48 hours. I am pleased to report these fears were entirely unfounded. Jennifer put together a thoughtful group of women and had an endless supply of creative prompts and exercises for us to participate in. I never felt pressured or judged by any of the other writers, in fact I’ve never been in such a supportive environment. Our schedule of activities felt just busy enough; we had a great break on Saturday that allowed me to simply enjoy the nature around us. I didn’t realize how much being in nature would affect me and my writing. I felt inspired in new ways and now truly understand how important environment is for my creative process. Thank you Jennifer!
I am still marveling at how much being out of LA on the retreat and in the middle of nature inspired me last weekend. I wrote things I never expected to write and the whole experience of being with these other women, sharing stories and meals together, turned out to be a very powerful thing that keeps us connected to each other going forward. This truly is ‘the female experience,’ but you won’t know what that means until you go yourself!
Signing up for this retreat was like finally buying that piece of cake I always wanted but had convinced myself I didn’t deserve. (Guess what?! I did deserve it! And it was delicious!) When it’s so hard for women to take time for our writing and especially for ourselves, the Chapter One retreat offers a getaway where obligations, traffic, and dirty dishes fade away. Our hours are spent reading, writing, snacking and sharing under Jennifer Dickinson’s expert guidance, thoughtful support, and genuine encouragement. I loved going through meditations, responding to prompts, and discussing my work with other women while taking in the surrounding woods. I found our time together to be both relaxing and invigorating, communal and quiet. For any woman writer looking for a break from the daily grind and safe space to spill your writing guts, this retreat is for you!
Going into Jennifer’s retreat weekend, the only expectations I had, were the ones I put on myself. Which is why, it’s no small feat that Jennifer was able to lift that weight off and give me the freedom and support I needed to dull the voice of my harshest critic: myself. The most honest review I can give, is to simply say that I’ll be back. Back to a weekend I often think about when the cursor on my screen blinks at me. Back to a place where time stood still and the simplicity of pen on paper won the day.