Upcoming Classes

Current workshops and classes: All classes are online in 2020 through August.

Offerings for Summer 2020:

  1. Six-week course on writing your personal memoir
  2. Introduction to Journaling: Wordcatching 1…beginning and keeping a personal journal,
  3. Advanced Journaling: Wordcatching 2…deepening your practice through the Write Yourself In method
  4. Journaling for self-care, healing, and wellness (date in July TBA)
  5. One-to-one journaling coaching/mentoring (several packages available), please contact me to schedule.

In addition, I’m available for organizational online trainings, workshops, creativity sessions, teen groups, and speaking engagements of any length. Organizations I have previously collaborated with and shared the benefits of transformative writing include: American Greetings, Kathy Davis, Hollins College, Speaking of Women’s Health, DePaul Community Services, Transitional Housing for Women (now called Front Steps), United Way of Southwest Virginia, YWCA CARES, Whitetop Yoga, Washington County Public Library, Smyth County Public Library, Paper Moon Studio, Patti Digh’s Life is Verb Camp, and more. To inquire more, please click the contact tab and send me a personal note with a phone number and organizational information.

*************************************************************************

Transformative Life Story Writing

A 6-week live Personal Memoir Class (Zoom)

A memoir is an account of the writer’s personal experiences, and can be chronological, but doesn’t need to be. Writing from your point-of-view, memoir relates true accounts of actual events, using lots of description and details, about anything that is important to the writer. You don’t have to be “a writer” to join class, but it’s crucial participants participate through writing and reading. 🙂
The class goal is to capture in writing important details of the participants’ lives and share storytelling.
Each class will include a group examination of common threads of life, with weekly themes to write about. Writing prompts will get your creativity flowing.
Each class will have weekly homework assigned, up to two pages of writing, on a topic assigned at the previous week’s meeting. Time for 5 minute sharing out loud and 5 minutes of structured feedback per read is built in to each class for 8 voluntary participants.
Who: maximum 10 participants
Class Length: 2-hr class weekly, for 6 weeks with a 10-minute break.
Potential class time: Thursday 6-8 pm, beginning July 2- August 6.
Cost for the 6-week class: $150 with a maximum of 10 participants for the 6 weeks.
But what if I can’t make every class?
It’s ok if you miss a class, you will still receive homework and email support, and if you like, personal feedback from me on your piece. Every class will have a follow-up email covering the homework and including the prompt questions.
Participants will need an email address, and to be able to send and receive documents.

I do have a book suggestion for additional, not mandatory reading. How to Write Your Own Life Story by Lois Daniel.

TO REGISTER: click the CONTACT tab with the name of the class you’d like to register for, and how you’d prefer to make payment to join. Full payment will be due within 24 hours of the first class, once you are alerted the class has reached its minimum number. Paypal strongly preferred, but we can make other arrangements (ability to offer online financial transactions coming soon). You will be contacted within 1-2 days after receiving your initial registration email.

Previous participants have recently stated about this memoir class:

“It was a very interesting and satisfying experience.”

“I thought it was perfect. I never like writing in school, but I enjoyed this class.”

*********************************************************************************

LIVE Introduction to Journaling class (Live on Zoom)

1.5 hour on Tuesday, July 7th, 6pm-7:30pm.

Cost: $15

This is where it all begins… notebook and pen. Develop tools for deeper self-reflection, personal growth, and memory-keeping. I’ve loved teaching this Wordcatching workshop for over 20 years, and can’t wait to help you explore the simple but powerful tool of putting pen to paper. Bring your journal, mug of tea, and a favorite pen or two. Sharing will be limited and voluntary. Session will be recorded and sent to you with full workshop, handouts and time to write, so live attendance is entirely up to you.

TO REGISTER: click the CONTACT tab with the name of the class you’d like to register for, to join. Full payment will be due within 24 hours of the class, so that you can receive the Zoom link. Paypal strongly preferred, but we can make other arrangements (ability to offer online financial transactions coming soon). You will be contacted after receiving your initial registration email.

*********************************************************************************

LIVE Advanced Journaling class (Live on Zoom)

1.5 hours on Wednesday, July 15, 6pm-7:30pm

Cost $15

Designed for the advanced or experienced journaler who would like to deepen their writing practice in new and uncomplicated ways. Learn how to approach the page beyond “Dear Diary…” with ample time for responding to thoughtful prompts. Use the Write Yourself In method to bring more intention and satisfaction to your longer writing sessions. Sharing will be limited and voluntary.  Take your personal writing to the next level. Bring your journal, mug of tea, and a favorite pen or two. (Wordcatching 1 not required.) Session will be recorded and sent to you with full workshop, handouts and time to write, so live attendance is entirely up to you.

TO REGISTER: click the CONTACT tab with the name of the class you’d like to register for, to join. Full payment will be due within 24 hours of the class, so that you can receive the Zoom link. Paypal strongly preferred, but we can make other arrangements (ability to offer online financial transactions coming soon). You will be contacted after receiving your initial registration email.

*********************************************************************************

Image may contain: sky, tree and outdoor

Past and current classes include:

********************************************

William King Museum of Art Abingdon, VA

Class: Visioning
visioning image 2019.jpg

What do you envision for the coming year? For your future? Join Carolyn in a workshop exploring collage to create tableaus that visualize your plans, goals, hopes, and dreams for the future. Create a tableau to help set a general intention or to visualize specific steps to achieve a milestone. Supplies included.
Instructor: Carolyn Koesters

Email lbridges@wkmuseum.org or call 276.628.5005 ext 109 to register.
*******************************************************************************

Write Yourself In During each class, we will write, have opportunities for discussion, and explore simple but powerful reflective writing exercises. interior whitetop yoga.jpg

Whitetop Yoga Abingdon VA
whitetop logo 2019.png
Every time we approach the page, our minds may be full, of questions, or conflict, or curiosity, and the act of putting pen to page can calm that busyness. Once we “write ourselves in” we can more easily reflect on the language we use, the story we are telling ourselves, and possibly, identify any changes we are seeking.  Some of the themes covered over the year will include: transition, gratitude, identity, relationships, and memories. Each week, suggested prompts for at-home reflective writing will be offered.
During each class, we will write, have opportunities for discussion, and explore simple but powerful reflective writing exercises. Each class is open for drop in, or take all 11 in the series for a special “perfect attendance” treat!

*****************************************************************

Start your New Year off with creativity, reflection, and community!  In this workshop, participants will create a one-of -a -kind handmade personal journal in which to explore, focus on, and celebrate a chosen word for 2019. Carolyn will guide participants with thoughtful prompts and exercises. New art journaling techniques will be demonstrated, and a variety of different papers and materials including stamps, metallic markers, watercolors, paint, stickers and more will be on hand to experiment with. To learn more about Carolyn, visit her website at : www.wordcatching.com.

Participants may also choose to receive additional monthly email prompts throughout the year to invite reconnection to the journal, create a small online community through Facebook, and capture how the chosen word reveals itself throughout the year. There is also potential for a 6-month in person check-in over the summer to see how your journal has progressed! This class is suitable for all levels, ages 12 and over. The cost is $35 and includes all materials. There is room for 20 participants in the class. Those interested in registering for the workshop should contact the Art Center at 276-596-9188, and pay via credit card, or stop by the Arts Center during regular business hours Tuesday- Friday: 12-6pm; and Saturday: 10am-6pm. We will be closed December 25-January 1st, and will reopen on January 2nd. Come join us!

See More

***********************************************************

Image may contain: sky, tree and outdoorWilliam King Museum of ArtAbingdon, VA

wordcatcher 2019.jpgIn this workshop, you will create a personal journal, made with 12 recycled tabbed file folders, for you to explore, focus on, and celebrate a word for 2019 of your choosing. This workshop will provide ample time for responding to thoughtful prompts, trying new art journal techniques, playing with color and paper, and creating your own one-of-a-kind “wordcatcher” for 2019. Participants may choose to receive additional email prompts monthly throughout the year to invite you to reconnect to your journal, create a small online community through FB, and capture how the word you have chosen reveals itself throughout the year. Potential 6-month in person check-in over the summer to see how your journal has progressed! Perfect for all levels, ages 12 and over. All supplies provided, but you can bring your own for extra flair. Come join us! Carolyn Koesters www.wordcatching.comClass: Wordcatcher Books
Instructor: Carolyn Koesters

************************************************************************************

Image may contain: sky, tree and outdoor

William King Museum of Art Abingdon, VA

journal cards wkma 2019.jpg

Class: Journal Cards

Instructor: Carolyn Koesters

This workshop focuses on the process of finding inspiration through printed words, magazine clippings, etc.and creating your own catalog or “card deck” of visual prompts to guide your personal journaling, creative writing sessions, or perhaps even a meditative or devotional practice. The card deck you create can be customized to a size that suits your needs. Store your personalized deck in a special box brought from home, or store the deck in a small box provided to workshop participants. Materials provided, but you are welcome to bring your own favorite supplies too.

To register call (276) 628-5005 ext. 109 by 2/4 Monday

email lbridges@wkmuseum.org or call 276.628.5005 ext 109 to register.
Also loved working with Elderspirit and Birthplace of County Music Museum in 2019! Stay Tuned!

****PAST WORKSHOPS 2018****

Life Is A Verb Camp/#workshops with Patti Digh

kanuga-chairs2

November 1-4 Kanuga Retreat Center Hendersonville, NC

The only constant is change: Navigating Transition through Poem-writing, with Carolyn Koesters

Embrace your personal transition through journaling and poetry. Journal prompts for self-reflection are offered for careful investigation of your transition, and to prepare your heart for the creation of a new poem you will write to help guide you with your change. Using a contemporary poem exploring themes universal to all women- identity, power, change, loss, and relationships, we will springboard into a rich conversation, writing, and connection.

9/23/18 Sunday 1:30-3:30 Personal Journaling (Introductory)

This is where it all begins… notebook and pen. Develop tools for deeper self-reflection, personal growth, and memory-keeping. I’ve loved teaching this Wordcatching workshop for over 20 years, and can’t wait to help you explore the simple but powerful tool of putting pen to paper. Bring your journal, mug of tea, and a favorite pen or two.

bullet journal 20179/30/18 Sunday 1:30-3:30 Personal Journaling (In-depth)

Designed for the advanced or experienced journaler who would like to deepen their writing practice in new and uncomplicated ways. Learn how to approach the page beyond “Dear Diary…” with ample time for responding to thoughtful prompts. Take your personal writing to the next level. Bring your journal, mug of tea, and a favorite pen or two. (Wordcatching 1 not required.)

DSCN242410/14/18 Sunday 1:30-3:30 Art Journaling

Express yourself through color, paint, stencils, markers, and collage in a freeform creative space that sometimes goes where you never expected. No artistic experience necessary- just a curiosity to follow your thoughts,memories, and feelings! Materials you may want to bring: your favorite tote of creative tools: tape, scissors, glue, markers, papers, coloring supplies, ribbon, chocolate, etc.
$25 per class

email lbridges@wkmuseum.org or call 276.628.5005 ext 109 to register.

**********************************************************

Other Classes Available for Groups or Individuals:

The Gifts of Poetry

The Gifts of Poetry uses language through poetry, journals and literature for healing and personal growth. Each class leads students to experience a poem in a “non-English class” kind of way.  What matters in poetry therapy is simply the personal response to the poem. Can be offered in one-time sessions or in multiple-week series. Classes will last 1.5 hours and will include at least one writing exercise, discussion, and closing activity.

Target: anyone, no poetry experience needed.

Memoir /Life Story Writing

Ever wanted to create the story of your life? It’s easier to connect the dots with a step by step method, inspired by Ira Progoff’s SteppingStones exercise. Each class will focus on generating the stories and details that make your life story come alive… for years to come. Each class includes a private session with the instructor to set each writer’s outline for the rest of the class.

Target: anyone, no previous experience needed. 

Wordcatching 1

The Wordcatching 1 class explores writing techniques and journal ideas for both beginning and regular journalers, discovering fresh and innovative writing and visioning concepts for life expression, goal setting, and creativity. Workbook included.

Target: anyone, no previous experience needed.

Wordcatching 2

The Wordcatching 2 class is designed to take the devoted/advanced journaler to the edge of the journal page and fly. Push the limits visually and thematically and discover tools for deep writing, healing, and also journal organization. Workbook included.

Target: moderate to advanced journalers.

Poetry for Women in Transition

This class focuses on your personal language in two ways: through journaling and poetry. Journal techniques for self-reflection will be offered for writers of all levels. We use contemporary poems exploring themes universal to all women- identity, power, change, loss, and relationships. Join us for a rich conversation and celebrate the words in everyday life.

10 Poems to Open Your Heart

Easy, accessible poetry that speaks straight to your heart. There will be no counting anapests or trochees in this class! What matters in this conversational, easy-going setting is simply your personal response to words on the page. Each session includes some writing time and a group discussion. We will be using, as well as other selections, poems from Roger Housden’s book 10 Poems to Open Your Heart, (however, the text is not required).

Naming and Working with your Creative Block (The Rumpelstiltskin Method)

Name and claim the power of your Creative Block and what its purpose might be for you. You might be surprised at the answer! Learn techniques, tools, and tricks to make your Creative Block run for the hills! (For more about the Rumplestiltskin Method, read Journaling Truth #3.)

Target: anyone, no previous experience needed.

Additional classes for adults and/or modified for children over 8:

Creative mini-journal and bookmaking

Introduction to Journaling (create a journal and get started!)

Art Journaling

Scrapbooking

Collage on Canvas

Personal Card collage

Visionboarding/Mindmapping (focused collage on one theme)

Wishwriting (Guided goalsetting)