Some years ago when I was teaching writing workshops at Esalen, a few of the students (those troublemakers, Pam Schubert and Bill Herr) flattered me by saying that they loved the class – and, they added, they’d love it even more if I “could maybe include a little movement.”

I blinked and demurred. Movement? In a writing workshop? It seemed a little unnatural to do anything except sit or lie on the floor. Wouldn’t moving just use up writing time?

I’ve moved quite a bit myself since then, and now, bravely, I’m offering a combined writing/movement workshop. My co-leader is Elaine Boucher, a licensed massage / polarity therapist, and Reiki master. Receiving massage from Elaine is helpful, healing, and energizing — even mind-blowing. It’s like getting a great critique on a piece of writing. We’ll be offering at least one gift of each kind of work (massage and professional full-length critique) as door prizes.

This workshop will be an intimate group of writers, singers, massage therapists, and other people who’d like to spend a weekend doing creative things in a peaceful place (gorgeous Pumpkin Hollow retreat center, in New York State). I promise  that the movement will be gentle, but the writing might be boisterous and explosive.

In the planning stages now, we welcome your questions and suggestions.


Building on 25 years of teaching creative writing and nonfiction, Dr. Gillian Kendall is now offering a workshop that incorporates movement, massage, and body-awareness elements led by LMT and Reiki master Elaine Boucher.

In this limited-enrollment workshop, we’ll use movement to access memories and stimulate imagination, then shape them into stories or memoir. Using gentle yoga, massage, meditation, and music, we’ll write and bring stories to life, and bring life to stories.

Please register your interest ASAP by email. Registration by July 30th is encouraged.

Where:  Pumpkin Hollow retreat center, New York

When: Weekend of Sept 25-27th, 2015

How much: $345 includes workshop, meals, and housing. (Partial scholarships available on request.)

Love and writing,


Gillian and Elaine Workshop Sept 2015