About Workshops & Workshop Schedule


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Ellen Schmidt

About Workshops

I chose the name Writing Room to reflect that phrase in every sense. Writing Through The Rough Spots is designed to provide a trusting, non-judgmental atmosphere for you to write in. When people feel secure and encouraged their creative juices flow freely. Classes are kept small.

When we write about challenging events, tough conversations, or tricky situations, the process of writing helps to give shape, size, and parameters to these experiences, memories, and feelings -- thereby providing greater clarity. While writing may be therapeutic, this class is not therapy. We will not be giving advice or talking about the situations people write about. The writing will be our focus – how to make it strong, clear, and vivid. When people feel encouraged they write better and more easily. Feedback is kind, encouraging, honest and specific (see this article).

Workshops provide a time to relax and write from the heart in a confidential, supportive, and stimulating environment. They offer in-class and at-home writing opportunities: sparks to kindle memories and ideas. Your best writing will come out of things that you know intimately and about which you care deeply. You may write about happenings in your life that are true, partially true, totally made up, or a combination. There is deeper truth to what you write in this workshop whether it is actual or fictional (see this article).

Participants span a wide range of ages and backgrounds. Some are new to writing; others are seasoned writers. I define a writer broadly -- someone who writes. Some participants write with a specific purpose in mind; others write to experiment with a different 'voice' than they use in daily speech or thought. Everyone is welcome. (See this article).

Local workshops meet in a comfortable, warm setting in Ithaca, NY.

I am available to travel to your community or conference to provide a Writing Room workshop or series. Fees available on request.

I am also available for individual consultation and editing.


Writing Circle: An Appreciation (With Longing After Separation)
Circles go round and round, rolling along covering ground.
For this present moment, an evening sanctuary, everyone is huddled and looking inward. Each face is clear, lit with the glow of warm embers from our campfire. With our backs to the world for this moment we hear the truth and we speak the truth. Sparks fly up into the sky, swirling as the breeze catches them and spreads them widely. We move by imagination and feeling to far off places and we know, if only for a moment here, what it is to be another.
A writing circle, like a fast-moving wagon wheel, in one evening may roll off to New Orleans then bounce along dusty roads with a kid in a family station wagon, then walk the pavement of New York, then ship out to foreign ports of call. The circle brings us joy and makes us want to cry, and still keeps going round.
In the past, my half-formed mental image of the writing process might be like a rocket launched to some definite place of discovery and glory and attainment up away somewhere in the imminent future. Looking to that future, I hoped that writing would change me for the better once I’d gotten “all done” at some point called “someday”.
But now I begin to see a little differently, and I feel it too: in the ‘right now’ moment I am part of a circle going round and round, rolling along covering ground. I huddle up and feel the warmth of the shared blaze. It is good.
--Nate Sutter, September 2012




Workshop Schedule


Current/Upcoming Workshops


Fall Writing Room Classes Begin September 13, 2017
Writing through the Rough Spots
Choose a class: Wed. 10 am - noon, Wed. 7-9 pm, or Thurs. 10 am - noon
$290/10 weeks
Registration for Fall WR classes opens on August 1


November 18: Writing Room Reunion and Reading
(Current & former students will receive detailed info)


December 2, 2017
Connecting Creatively Through Writing
Sat. 10:30-12:00, Tompkins County Public Library, Borg Warner Room West, Ithaca
Explore the therapeutic value of writing through exercises designed to help participants develop insights about themselves and others.
This program is free and open to the public; however, advance registration is required. Contact Ellen Schmidt



Winter 2018 Workshops Begin Jan. 10
Writing through the Rough Spots
Choose a class: Wed. 10 am - noon, Wed. 6:45-9 pm, or Thurs. 10 am - noon
$290/10 consecutive weeks through March 15
Registration opens on November 20, 2017







Recent Workshops

August 19-26, 2017
Writing Circle
Life On A Star (LOAS II), Star Island, NH
Information and Registration at: www.lifeonastar.org/LOAS2.htm


Summer 2017 Writing Through The Rough Spots Classes
       Session I:Wednesday evening 7-9 pm: June 14 - July 12
       Thursday morning 10-noon: June 15 - July 13
       Session II:Wednesday evening 7-9 pm: July 19 - Aug. 17
       Thursday morning 10-noon: July 20 - Aug. 18


Spring Writing Room Classes Begin March 29, 2017
Writing through the Rough Spots
Choose a class: Wed. 10 am - noon, Wed. 7-9 pm, or Thurs. 10 am - noon


Cornell University, Feb. 6-March 27, 2017 - Seven Mondays: 4:30-5:30 pm
Willard Straight Hall, Office of the Dean of Students Conference Rm.
Writing through the Rough Spots
A Minds Matter workshop open to Cornell students


Winter 2017 Workshops Begin Jan. 11
Writing through the Rough Spots
Choose a class: Wed. 10 am - noon, Wed. 7-9 pm, or Thurs. 10 am - noon
Registration opened on November 20, 2016


November 19: Writing Room Reunion and Reading
(Current & former students will receive detailed info)


Fall Workshops: September 14-November 17, 2016
Writing through the Rough Spots
Registration for fall classes opens July 25
Choose a class: Wed. 10 am - noon, Wed. 7-9 pm, or Thurs. 10 am - noon


Cornell University, Monday, Nov. 7, 4:30-5:30 pm
Willard Straight Hall, 5th Floor Lounge
Rx: Write!
A Minds Matter Workshop for Cornell Students


September 29, 2016
6:30-8 pm
Writing through the Rough Spots
Tompkins County Public Library. Free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required.
For more info and to register please contact: lbryan@fcsith.org


August 20-27, 2016
Connecting Creatively Through Writing
Life On A Star (LOAS II), Star Island, NH
Information and Registration at: www.lifeonastar.org/LOAS2.htm


Summer 2016 Writing Through The Rough Spots Classes
       Session I:June 15 - July 13, Wednesday Evening 7-9 pm
       June 16 - July 14, Thursday Morning 10-noon
       Session II:July 20 - Aug. 17, Wednesday Morning 10-noon
       July 20 - Aug. 17, Wednesday Evening 7-9 pm
Registration for summer classes opens on May 1


April 24, Cancer Resource Center Day of Renewal
For women who are traveling the path of diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship
La Tourelle Resort & Spa, Ithaca, NY
1:45-2:45 PM
Connecting Creatively with Yourself & Others through Writing
For more info., contact Fran Manzella: fran@crcfl.net


April 9 and 10, 2016
Writing Room - Connecting Creatively with Yourself and Others
Adult Workshop Saturday 10am-3pm, Teen Workshop Sunday 9:30-11:30am
Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown, NJ


Spring workshops begin April 6, 2016
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 Week Series
Choose a class: Wed. 10 am - noon, Wed. 7-9 pm, or Thurs. 10 am - noon


Cornell University, March 8, Tuesday 4:30-5:30 pm
Willard Straight Hall, 5th Floor Lounge
Create Clarity with Journal Writing
A Minds Matter workshop for Cornell students

Winter workshops begin Jan. 13, 2016
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 Week Series
Choose a class: Wed. 10 am - noon, Wed. 7-9 pm, or Thurs. 10 am - noon
Registration opens Nov. 15, 2015

Dec. 5, 2015
Connecting Creatively Through Writing
Sat. 10:30-12:00, Tompkins County Public Library, Borg Warner Room, Ithaca
Explore the therapeutic value of writing through exercises designed to help participants develop insights about themselves and others.
This program is free and open to the public; however, advance registration is required. Contact Ellen Schmidt.


Cornell University, Nov. 10, Tuesday 4:30-5:30 pm
Willard Straight Hall, 5th Floor Lounge
Create Clarity with Journal Writing
A Minds Matter workshop for Cornell students

Celebrate 10 Years of Writing Room: Sunday Sept. 27, 2015
Writing Room Reunion & Reading
For all previous and current Writing Room participants

Fall workshops begin Sept. 16, 2015
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Choose a class (note new times): Wed. 10 am - noon, Wed. 7-9 pm, or Thurs. 10 am - noon

August 22-29, 2015
Connecting Creatively Through Writing
Life On A Star (LOAS II), Star Island, NH
Information and Registration at: www.lifeonastar.org/LOAS2.htm

Summer 2015 Writing Through The Rough Spots Classes
Session I: Wednesday evening 7-9 pm: June 10 - July 15 (no class 7/1)
                  Thursday morning 10-noon: June 11 - July 16 (no class 7/2)
Session II: Wednesday evening 7-9 pm: July 22 - Aug. 19
                   Thursday morning 10-noon: July 23 - Aug. 20

Cornell University, Hasbrouck Community Center, Sunday, May 3, 4-5:30 pm
"Writing through the Rough Spots: How Writing Can Help You Manage Change in Your Life"
Writing can be a powerful tool for self-care during times of transition. Open to international adult family members at Hasbrouck.

Spring workshops begin March 18, 2015
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Choose a class: Wed. 7-9 pm or Thurs. 10 am - noon or Thurs. 7-9 pm

March 28-29, 2015
Writing Room - Connecting Creatively with Yourself and Others
Adult Workshop Saturday 10am-3pm, Teen Workshop Sunday 9:30-11:30am
Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown, NJ

Cornell University, March 24, Tuesday 4:30-5:30 pm
Willard Straight Hall, 5th Floor Lounge
Create Clarity with Journal Writing
A Minds Matter workshop for Cornell students

Winter workshops begin Jan. 7, 2015
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Choose a class: Wed. 7-9 pm or Thurs. 10 am - noon or Thurs. 7-9 pm

Dec. 6, 2014
Connecting Creatively Through Writing
Sat. 10:30-12:00, Tompkins County Public Library, Borg Warner Room, Ithaca
Explore the therapeutic value of writing through exercises designed to help participants develop insights about themselves and others. This program is free and open to the public; however, advance registration is required. Contact Ellen Schmidt.

Fall 2014 Writing Through The Rough Spots Classes
Wednesday Evening: September 10 - November 19, 7-9 pm
Thursday Morning: September 11 - November 20, 10 am - noon
Thursday Evening: September 11 - November 20, 7-9 pm

Cornell University, Oct. 28, Tuesday 4:30-5:30 pm
Willard Straight Hall, 5th Floor Lounge
Create Clarity with Journal Writing
A Minds Matter workshop for Cornell students

Summer 2014 Writing Through The Rough Spots Classes
Wednesday Session I: May 28 - June 25, 2014
Wednesday Session II: July 9 - Aug 6, 2014
Thursday Session I: May 29 - June 26, 2014
Thursday Session II: July 10 - Aug 7, 2014
All classes meet 7-9 pm

May 1, 2014 (Thursday) 7-9 pm
Writing Through The Rough Spots

April 30, 2014 (Wednesday) 7-9 pm
Writing Through The Rough Spots

Feb. 12, 2014 (Wednesday) 4:30-6:30pm
Writing Through The Rough Spots

Feb. 11, 2014 (Tuesday) 4:30-6:30pm
Writing Through The Rough Spots

Sept. 10 - Nov. 21, 2013
Writing Through The Rough Spots
Choose a class: Wed. 7-9 pm, Thurs. 7-9 pm, Or NEW Class Offering: Tues. 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

August 17-24, 2013
Connecting Creatively Through Writing
Life On A Star (LOAS II), Star Island, NH
Information and Registration at: www.lifeonastar.org/LOAS2.htm

June 5 - Aug. 14, 2013
Writing Through The Rough Spots
Classes Meet Wednesday Evenings 7 - 9 pm, No Class 6/19 & 7/3

June 15-22, 2013
Connecting Creatively Through Writing
Conference on the Arts, Star Island, NH
Information and Registration at: www.stararts.org

March 19 - May 30, 2013
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Choose a class: Tues. 4:15-6:15 pm, Wed. 7-9 pm or Thurs. 7-9 pm

April 2, 2013, 4:30-5:30
Get Write Through It!
A workshop for Cornell students
Information and Registration: Casey Carr, Asst. Dean of Students, Cornell University kc64@cornell.edu

March 23 and 24, 2013
Writing Room - Connecting Creatively with Yourself and Others
Adult Workshop Sat. 10am-3pm, Teen Workshop Sun. 9:30-11:30am
Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown, NJ

Jan. 8 - March 14, 2013
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Choose a class: Tues. 4:15-6:15 pm, Wed. 7-9 pm or Thurs. 7-9 pm

Nov. 24, 2012
Connecting Creatively Through Writing
Sat. 10:30-12:30, Tompkins County Public Library, Borg Warner Room, Ithaca
A workshop for individuals, significant others, friends, and family looking for new tools to enrich interpersonal communication. This free, one-time workshop is open to the public, but advance registration is required because space is limited. For more info and to register, please contact Ellen Schmidt.

Sept. 11 - Nov. 15, 2012
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Choose a class: Tues. 4:15-6:15 pm, Wed. 7-9 pm or Thurs. 7-9 pm

Cornell University, Wednesdays Sept. 5-Oct.3, 2012, 4:30-5:45 pm
Willard Straight Hall, Conference Room, 2nd Floor
Writing Through The Rough Spots
A Minds Matter class for Cornell students
Information and Registration: Casey Carr, Asst. Dean of Students,
Cornell University kc64@cornell.edu

August 18-25, 2012
Life On A Star (LOAS II), Star Island, NH
Writing Circle

July 14, 2012 Saturday
That relaxed day of writing you always wish for is here!
10am-3pm
Space is limited

June 20- Aug. 15 Summer Workshops
Writing Through The Rough Spots
Classes meet Wednesday evenings 7-9pm (no class July 4)

March 24- 25, 2012
Writing Room - Connecting Creatively with Yourself and Others
Adult Workshop Saturday 10am-3pm, Teen Workshop Sunday 9:30-11:30am
Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown, NJ

March 20-May 24, 2012
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Choose a class: Wed. 7-9 pm, Thurs. 7-9 pm, or Tues. 4:15-6:15 pm

5 sessions: Wednesdays Feb. 1 – Feb. 29, 2012, 4:30-5:45 pm
Willard Straight Hall, Cornell University

Writing Through The Rough Spots
A Minds Matter class for Cornell students
Information and Registration: Casey Carr, Asst. Dean of Students,
Cornell University kc64@cornell.edu

Jan. 10 - Mar. 15, 2012
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Choose a class: Wed. 7-9 pm, Thurs. 7-9 pm, or Tues. 4:15-6:15 pm

Sept. 13 - Nov. 17, 2011
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Choose a class: Wed. 7-9 pm, Thurs. 7-9 pm, or Tues. 4:15-6:15 pm

Sept. 7 - Oct. 5, 2011, 4:30-5:45 pm
Willard Straight Hall, Cornell University

Writing Through The Rough Spots
A Minds Matter class for Cornell students
Information and Registration: Casey Carr, Asst. Dean of Students,
Cornell University kc64@cornell.edu

August 20-27, 2011
Life On A Star (LOAS II), Star Island, NH
Writing Circle

August 13, 2011 Saturday
That relaxed day of writing you always wish for is here!
The Annual "Marathon"
10am-3pm

June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, July 13, 20, 27, Aug. 3
Writing Through The Rough Spots
Classes meet Wednesday evenings 7-9 pm

March 15-May 26, 2011
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Choose a class: Wed. 7-9 pm, Thurs. 7-9 pm, or Tues. 4:15-6:15 pm

March 19-20, 2011
Writing Room - Connecting Creatively with Yourself and Others
Adult Workshop Saturday 10am-3pm, Teen Workshop Sunday 9:30-11:30am
Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown, NJ

5 sessions: Wednesdays Feb. 9 - Mar. 9, 2011, 4:30-5:45 pm
Willard Straight Hall, Cornell University

Writing Through The Rough Spots
A Minds Matter class for Cornell students
Information and Registration: Casey Carr, Asst. Dean of Students,
Cornell University kc64@cornell.edu

Jan. 4 - Mar. 10, 2011
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Choose a class: Wed. 7-9 pm, Thurs. 7-9 pm, or Tues. 4:15-6:15 pm

Sept. 14 - Nov. 18, 2010
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Choose a class: Wed. 7-9 pm, Thurs. 7-9 pm, or Tues. 4:15-6:15 pm

5 sessions: Thursdays Sept. 16 - Oct. 14, 2010, 4:30-5:45 pm
Willard Straight Hall, Cornell University

Writing Through The Rough Spots
A Minds Matter class for Cornell students
Information and Registration: Casey Carr, Asst. Dean of Students,
Cornell University kc64@cornell.edu

August 21-28, 2010, Writing Circle, Life On A Star (LOAS II), Star Island, NH.

August 7, 2010 Saturday
Marathon: That day of writing you always wish for is here!
10am-3pm

Summer Classes:
June 16, 23, 30, July 14, 21, 28, 2010
Writing Through The Rough Spots
Classes meet Wednesday evenings 7-9 pm

March 23 - June 3, 2010
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Choose a class: Wed. 7-9 pm, Thurs. 7-9 pm, or Tues. 4:15-6:00 pm

March 20-21, 2010
Writing Room - Connecting Creatively with Yourself and Others
Adult Workshop Saturday 10am-3pm, Teen Workshop Sunday 9:30-11:30am
Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown, NJ

5 sessions: every Thursday from Feb. 11 - Mar. 11 2010, 4:30-5:45 pm
Willard Straight Hall, Cornell University

Writing Through The Rough Spots
A Minds Matter class for Cornell students
Information and Registration: Casey Carr, Asst. Dean of Students, Cornell University kc64@cornell.edu

Jan. 5 - Mar. 11, 2010
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Choose a class: Wed. 7-9 pm, Thurs. 7-9 pm, or Tues. 4:15-6:00 pm

Sept. 15 - Dec. 3, 2009
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Classes meet either Wed. or Th. 7-9 pm or Tues. 4:15-6:00 pm

Sept. 8, 15, 22, 29, and 10/6 2009- 7:30-8:45 pm Tatkon Center, Cornell University
Sept.10, 17, 24, 10/1 and 10/8 2009 - 4:30-5:45 pm Willard Straight Hall, Cornell University
Writing Through The Rough Spots
A Minds Matter class for Cornell students
Information and Registration: Casey Carr, Asst. Dean of Students, Cornell University kc64@cornell.edu

June 17, 24, July 15, 22, 29 2009
Writing Through The Rough Spots
Classes meet Wed. evening 7-9 pm

June 6, 2009 (Saturday)
Marathon: That day of writing you always wish for is here!
10am-3pm

March 17 – May 29, 2009
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Classes meet Wed. or Th. 7-9 pm; Tues. or Fri. 4:30-6 pm

March 7-8, 2009
Writing Room - Connecting Creatively with Yourself and Others
Saturday 10am-3pm, Sunday 9:30-11:30am
Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown, NJ

Jan. 29, Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26, 2009
Writing Through The Rough Spots
Information and Registration: Casey Carr, Asst. Dean of Students, Cornell University kc64@cornell.edu.
A Minds Matter class for Cornell students, Thurs. 4:30-5:30.

Jan. 7/8 – March 11/12, 2009
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Classes meet every Wed. or every Th. 7-9 pm. (alternate time possible)

Nov. 12, 2008
Meeting the Challenges of Depression: Opportunities for Change
A conference exploring complementary approaches for prevention, treatment and recovery.
Writing to Promote Healing Workshop by Ellen Schmidt and Steve Weed, 1:00-2:30 pm.
All day conference, including writing workshop, at Borg Warner Rooms, TC Public Library, Ithaca, NY, Free.

Sept. 11 – Oct. 2, 2008
Writing Through The Rough Spots
Information and Registration: Casey Carr, Asst. Dean of Students, Cornell University kc64@cornell.edu.
A Minds Matter class for Cornell students, Thurs. 4:30-5:30.

Sept.10/11 – Nov 12/13, 2008
Writing Through The Rough Spots
10 week series
Classes meet Wed. OR Th. 7-9 pm.; alternate evening or daytime class possible

August 23-30, 2008, Writing Circle, Life On A Star (LOAS II), Star Island, NH.

August 16, 2008, 1-Day Marathon Writing Room Workshop, 10am - 3pm.

June 14-21, 2008, Writing Circle, Conference on the Arts, Star Island, NH.

Feb. 26, 2008, 4:30-5:45 pm, free workshop sponsored by Cornell Minds Matter, 207 Willard Straight Hall, Cornell University, Writing Through The Rough Spots

Two 10-week series: Jan 10 - March 13, 2008; March 20 - May 29, 2008
Writing Through The Rough Spots
Classes meet Th. 7-9 pm. Alternate day/time possible.

January 5, 2008 Sat. 10:30-12:30: FREE Intro. Writing Room Workshop: Writing Through The Rough Spots
Tompkins County Public Library, Borg Warner Room, Ithaca, NY.