“Leslie created a supportive environment where writers of all levels could feel comfortable. I love her energy and humor and smarts! She definitely made me feel welcome and like I was in a playful, creative zone where I could really get into the flow, explore, go all kinds of places with my writing and not be judged harshly. She gave me great feedback on my pieces and made me feel like she was truly listening, truly interested in my stories.”
Jen – Bethel, CT
I always feel like a lousy puppeteer just waggling myself around on strings whenever I have to write my bio in the third person. So let’s just forego all that, yes? Great. Hello there!
Perhaps most relevant to your stopover at this little anchorage in the wide, wild blogosphere, is the fact that I am an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press–a great read for writers and aspiring workshop leaders, and I’m not even being paid to say that (in fact, I had to pay to say that)!
All joking aside (but never that far aside), I’m truly excited to introduce others to this warm, welcoming, validating approach to getting writers together to write–and to feel great about their writing–whatever level of experience they might have. It’s been a transformative experience, meeting writers from all over the country, hearing their work, sharing my own writing, and discovering first-hand that the core beliefs of AWA hold true: that writing is an artform available to all, regardless of economic class or educational level, and that we were all born with creative genius that can be lead out and nurtured in a safe, supportive, constructive space; the kind of space I hope that Cast Off! will provide for folks like you.
If you care about such things, I hold an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School, I am a contributing editor to the arts journal, Statement of Record, and I’m a juror for the annual Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. I’ve had my writing published in places such as The Brooklyn Rail, SF Reader, Volume Magazine, Tom Tom Magazine, Performer Magazine, Under The Radar, The New Zealand Herald, and the illustrious Zinester’s Guide to NYC.
To help explain all the beautiful stock sailing photography and overdone boating theme/lingo, I should add that I’m an ex-sailor of dubious sailing talent. I have a “Shellback” certificate to prove that I crossed the equator in a vessel, and a nautical journal full of travel writing allegedly authored by the above (and below) pictured dog. While I’d like to one day knock the “ex” off of the “ex-sailor” moniker (and publish that dog’s journal), for now the only sailing I do is wassailing, in the original Saxon toasting sense of word–and not even much of that, since having this little fellow.
Right. Now that I’ve hit all the major marketing points with these “About” photos (dogs and toddlers), I’m signing off. Thanks so much for reading, and I hope to write with you very soon!
“When I write in workshop sessions with Leslie, I’m riveted to my seat. She has things to say in her writing that are all her. Sign-up for a workshop and give her approach a try. She is passionate and committed to the idea that everyone is an artist with something unique to express.”
Diane – Newburyport, MA