Story Circles Around the World...And in Your Town Too

"Good stories have the power to save us...We can all make a difference by simply sharing our own stories with real people in real times and places." —Mary Pipher

If you're looking for a Story Circle, check here to see if there's one in your area, and contact the facilitator for updated information about the Circle's meeetings.

If there's no Circle in your area, why not start one? You can get ideas from the Circles described here, or from our tips on "Organizing a Story Circle." Or you might contact one of the facilitators listed below—they may have useful information that they'd be glad to share.

If you are organizing a Story Circle, or the information (below) about your circle has changed, please tell us about it. And visit often—our circles are widening!

Need more help? Have questions? Contact our Circles Coordinator at circles @storycircle.org. Are you a facilitator of one of these groups? Join our discussion group.

Recent updates:

Check out these Story Circle locations:

AZ / Florida / Georgia / Indiana / MA / New York / Oklahoma / Texas / Virginia / Washington / Wisconsin /

(refresh this report)

AZ

Where:teleconference, Carefree AZ
When:every Wed. 4:30pm PDT
Facilitator:Sharon Spector (sharingjoy at ymail.com)
Description:Storycircle for Caregivers - Past - Present - Future - all from the comfort of your own home. Via telephone conferencing. We are a group of caregivers (past, present and future) we connect via phone, heal, renew ourselves laugh and share our wisdom in a telephonic writing circle that feels as connected, heartcentered, and intimate as an in-person group. There is great power in a writing circle...renewal, strength, wisdom. Using tools from Natalie Goldberg's book, Writing Down the Bones, we learn to deepen our trust in our own voices and find transformation in fresh meanings as we "stir the soup" of our stories. No prior writing experience is needed. All are welcome as we begin with a check in sharing the "best of our week," followed by a guided meditation and a timed writing with prompts. Then members can choose to read their story, and be heard and championed. Group has been together for several months. Please email with questions. Accepting new members.
 Last updated: 5/14/2017



Florida

Where:Safety Harbor Public Library, Safety Harbor FL
When:3rd Wednesday of month 6-7:45pm
Facilitator:Jan Golden & Sheila McNaughton (lightbeamer at gmail.com)
Description:The Safety Harbor Group, started in fall, 2009, has run 80+ meetings, one per month, and remains a strong, vibrant group of 12-20 participants. We give a prompt at the end of each meeting, participants write at home, and bring their stories to read in class. We also teach a class at each session on some aspect of writing.

We have published three chapbooks of our members. stories from their writings of 600 words or less. The topics were 1. Tables, 2. Photo Stories, and 3. Musical Notes. Each will be available on Jan's blog.

Jan also leads OWL workshops. If you are interested, contact her at her above email address.

Jan and Sheila invite contact from and networking with other facilitators around the country, and are happy to share their ideas.

 Last updated: 3/16/2017


Where:Bloomingdale Regional Library, Valrico FL
When:4th Monday morning of the month
Facilitator:Carole McGhee (carolesmcghee813 at yahoo.com)
Description:The Busy Pens are a group of eight life writers who originally attended a 10-week Life Story Writing class at Bloomingdale Library.

We write to optional prompts and bring two page stories to our monthly meetings. Sometimes we write from prompts at our meeting.

We are from all over the U.S. and a few of us were born overseas. We celebrate our diversity by sharing our native foods. We have been meeting for one year.

 Last updated: 04/19/2012


Where:Bloomingdale Regional Library, Valrico FL
When:1st Thursday afternoon of the month
Facilitator:Cathy Rebhun (mrebhun at tampabay.rr.com)
Description:The Forget-Me-Nots story circle has been meeting for one year. We met in a life story writing class given at the library. We would welcome 1-2 new members.
 Last updated: 04/19/2012



Georgia

Where:Firehouse Gallery, Decatur County Arts Council, Bainbridge GA
When:Monthly, flexible date
Facilitator:Pam Immendorf (vintage at mchsi.com)
Description:The "Silver Retrievers" is an ongoing OWL Circle.
 Last updated: 01/24/2009



Indiana

Where:Starbucks at Barnes & Noble, Indianapolis IN
When:Every other Tuesday, 1-3pm
Facilitator:Enid Cokinos (enidcokinos at indy.rr.com)
Description:Our story circle, "Circle City Circle," is a play off Indianapolis' nickname. Participating members are Judy M. Miller, Kassie Ritman, Marjie Giffin, and Enid Cokinos. Our writing group is an off-shoot of a Creative Nonfiction class we took through the Indiana Writers Center in early 2014. We share a strong bond and ours is a circle of support, trust, and respect that allows our writing--poetry, blogging, creative nonfiction, fiction, and plays--to blossom.

During our meetings, we read our pieces aloud and gently critique each other's work. We share newly discovered publishing opportunities, information about writing classes, workshops, and books of interest. On occasion, we write from prompts to get our creative juices flowing. No two meetings are alike and that works well for us.

*Note: Circle City Circle does not have an official facilitator; we share this role as needed.

 Last updated: 12/12/2014



MA

Where:Newtonville MA
When:Contact facilitator for information about any future workshops
Facilitator:Dorothea Black (dorotheablack at gmail.com)
Description:Older Women's Legacy (OWL) Workshop—completed in March 2017
 Last updated: 03/28/2017



New York

Where:Peace of Christ Church at St. John's (Church Hall), Rochester NY
When:3rd Tuesday of the month
Facilitator:Rosalie Muschal-Reinhardt (alrosmr at frontiernet.net)
Description:Our OWL Group began in 2007. We completed the curriculm and know choose a topic and write on it for five sessions. This group is an open group. The have asked me, the facilitator, not to ask for permission to bring in a new woman. They say, "Another woman to learn from." We have covered many topics. Recently, we wrote on Hospice using a book by a local author. She came to our April meeting and it was a joy to see the interaction and discussion.

We are a wonderful women's community. We attend to the women when ill or having a difficult experience in their lives. They gave the facilitor a "surprise shower" when she had a knee replacement. We have laughed and cried and remained silent at the beauty of the writing and the sharing. We go out to lunch several times a year. And the facilitator keeps us informed on the lives of the members. We learn so much from one another and we are a support group in our changing lives.

 Last updated: 04/27/2012



Oklahoma

Where:Rose State College, Midwest City OK
When:Tue 5:30-7pm and Wed 1-2:30pm, beginning Oct 26, 2011
Facilitator:P. Jan Hall (tajleanna at hotmail.com)
Description:We use Writing From Life and the OWL Workbook, plus other Memoir/Journaling resources. We write in class, do homework and try to put together a chapbook from each group. My groups change with the semesters, but are most always women 55+.
 Last updated: 07/09/2011


Where:Wickline UMC, 417 Mid America Blvd, Midwest City OK
When:Sat 3:30-5:30pm, beginning Sep 3, 2011
Facilitator:P. Jan Hall (tajleanna at hotmail.com)
Description:RSVP: 405-610-6144, 405-708-3414 or phall@rose.edu

Circle will run from 09/03/2011 to 10/08/2011; then we'll see what happens.

 Last updated: 08/16/2011


Where:Rose State College & facilitator's home, Midwest City OK
When:Mon and Wed 12-1:30pm and Fri 3-4:30pm
Facilitator:P. Jan Hall (janpat at cox.net)
Description:Guest Speakers, Guided Writing Activities, Reading and Critiquing Members' Writings, Sharing, Support and Encouragement.
 Last updated: 05/31/2016



Texas

Where:Querencia, a retirement community, Austin TX
When:4th Saturday of each month.
Facilitator:Anne Beckner (abeckner at austin.rr.com)
Description:Continuing OWL-Circle group formed in May, 2009. A new group wil start in the Fall, 2009.
 Last updated: 06/16/2009


Where:Borders at Southpark Meadows, Austin TX
When:Two Sundays a month, 12:30pm
Facilitator:Rose McCorkle & Johnett Scogin (rosiemac4 at yahoo.com)
Description:The "Free Range Chickenscratchers" is a small circle of women who meet to get/give feedback on longer pieces (ongoing) and to do short focused work to develop our craft. Due to the nature of our work, we have to remain small, and are currently closed to new members. Read our blog.
 Last updated: 01/02/2010


Where:facilitator's home, Austin TX
When:1st Wednesday of the month, 1-3pm
Facilitator:Jackie Newman (jacquelinenewman at msn.com)
Description:This is one of the oldest ongoing circles in SCN. We've gone by the name Millwood for many years. We have 8 members, most of whom come to every meeting, thus we are not currently open to new members.
 Last updated: 03/30/2010


Where:St. John Neumann Catholic Church, Austin TX
When:1st Tuesday of each month, 1-2:30pm
Facilitator:Pat Flathouse (pflat at austin.rr.com)
Description:The Reflections Writing Circle has been meeting since 2003 to write and share our stories. Facilitation is shared by the members of the circle. Contact Pat Flathouse for information about joining the circle.
 Last updated: 06/13/2011


Where:members' homes, Austin TX
When:1st & 3rd Mondays of the month, 10am-noon
Facilitator:Betty McCreary (bdownes211 at aol.com)
Description:Rock Rose Writers is a Free Range Story Circle and open to women at all levels of writing experience who want to practice life writing using writing prompts and timed exercises. Although the focus will be life writing,other types of writers are welcome (fiction, poetry, etc.) We encourage sharing our writing and learning from each other. We are currently closed to new members.
 Last updated: 06/30/2011


Where:Chestelle Samford's home, Austin TX
When:2nd Monday of the month, 7-9pm
Facilitator:Chestelle Samford (bob.chestelle at yahoo.com)
Description:We are a closed circle of 11 members. We begin each meeting with a timed writing of whatever is on our minds at the time—resulting in some pretty interesting insights. Wine and sparkling water are served with a light snack. Then we all read our prepared pieces and discuss them. If we're disciplined (don't gab too much), we get in another timed writing. At the end of the evening, we draw 3 new prompts from our prompt box and for the next meeting, each member writes a piece either from one of the prompts or whatever she wants to write about. One of our members is a published author and 2 others are working on books.
 Last updated: 03/26/2012


Where:Howson Library, Austin TX
When:4th Tuesday of the month, 1:30-3pm
Facilitator:Judith Helburn (thehelburns at sbcglobal.net)
Description:The "Sharing Our Stories Writing Circle" was one of the original Austin Chapter writing circles. This year we are taking bits from a book Life Gets Better as writing prompts and sharing leadership roles. It is working well, but we won't do it every year. We have no homework and we do not critique. We do laugh and sometimes cry. We are very full but a couple members attend sporatically.
 Last updated: 04/03/2012


Where:private residences (locations provided upon registration), Austin TX
When:6:30-9pm, offered the 2nd Monday of every month (South Austin) and the Wednesday following the 2nd Monday of every month (North Austin)
Facilitator:Jeanne Guy (jeanne at jeanneguy.com)
Description:Would you like to use writing to explore your life's possibilities, discuss issues, share thoughts, be heard without judgment, and practice deep listening? Are you looking for a way to have some time just for yourself and stay connected to others but with ease and without a huge time commitment?

Jeanne Guy's Re-Story Circle, a writing workshop, is the answer. The Circle process (The Circle Way, Christina Baldwin) is a safe structure for group sharing, deep listening and conversation, and for generating ideas to re-story your life through writing prompts. It's a place where you can feel nurtured, supported and empowered—in community.

For questions or to make a reservation: email Jeanne. Want to sign up as a monthly "regular" attendee or sign up in advance for future months? Just let Jeanne know when you RSVP and she will register you for whatever months you wish to attend. Cost is $20/meeting.

 Last updated: 08/05/2015


Where:location varies; see Reading Circle web page for details, Austin TX
When:noon-1pm, 3rd Monday of the month
Facilitator:Susan Albert (susanalbert01 at gmail.com)
Description:A reading circle that has been together since 1997. We read and discuss women's memoirs and women's fiction. For more information, see our Reading Circle web page.
 Last updated: 08/12/2015


Where:PJ Pierce's home, NW Hills, Austin TX
When:2nd Wednesday of the month, 7-9pm
Facilitator:PJ Pierce (pjpierce at wildblue.net)
Description:Wordweavers is 12 years old and continues to thrive. We range in age from 44-93. We hold a weekend writing retreat each spring in the country in addition to our monthly meetings. We bring a prepared piece to each meeting to read and begin our evening with a timed writing. The circle is currently closed to new members.
 Last updated: 08/12/2015


Where:members' homes, Austin TX
When:3rd Wednesday of the month
Facilitator:Rebecca Roberts (rebecca at rebeccar.com)
Description:INKlings is an enthusiastic circle now in its 10th year. Several members have shifted over time but we stay a full active group of 8. Each meeting begins with a timed writing prepared by the host member. We share these often to the accompaniment of lots of laughter then move to reading the pieces we have written over the month. Each of our members has quickly found her unique voice and the members stories reflect their experiences and thoughts. We're always as anxious to hear the next installment of our circle friends stories as we are to share our own.

The "INKlings Writing Circle" was one of the original Austin Chapter writing circles.

 Last updated: 08/28/2015


Where:Seton Cove Spirituality Center, Austin TX
When:Fridays, March 10-April 7, 9:30-11:30am
Facilitator:Sheila Allee Kershaw (sheila.allee at att.net)
Description:Older Women's Legacy (OWL) writing workshop: If you've ever wanted to write the stories of your life, now is a great time. The Older Women's Legacy (OWL) writing class kicks off March 10 at Seton Cove. Author/Teacher Sheila Allee Kershaw will lead the workshop, where women (50 and older) will gather to write about victories, challenges and memories. At the conclusion of the five sessions, participants will have a keepsake book of their writings to share with family and friends. You can sign up here. Cost: $145.
 Last updated: 03/03/2017


Where:Judy Alter's home, Fort Worth TX
When:Every other Thursday for eight-week sessions, 7-8:30pm
Facilitator:Judy Alter (j.alter at tcu.edu)
Description:Meetings consist mainly of readings and critiques, with comments by the facilitator and members. Discussions that follow readings range far and wide, often encouraging the writer to take a deeper look at herself. Now going into its fifth session, with most of the original members continuing. A small fee is charged. Members take turns bring snacks and wine. Facilitator hand edits papers after each session and returns them to the author.

Some of the group have been with me for five sessions and have grown very close to each other, but we always welcome newcomers cordially. The class began using Writing from Life as a guide but has now branched out to more individual approaches. Some write for family, a few for publication, most just for themselves. Writing, one said, is therapy.

 Last updated: 08/29/2011


Where:Lone Star College, Houston TX
When:Wednesdays, 10:30am-12pm
Facilitator:Joyce Boatright (joyce.m.boatright at lonestar.edu)
Description:Continuing OWL-Circle group.
 Last updated: 03/16/2014


Where:private home, Joshua/Burleson TX
When:Tuesdays, 11am-12:30pm
Facilitator:Caryn FitzGerald (cgfbooks at gmail.com)
Description:New story circle class meets weekly between 9/28-11/16/2010. Writing assignments, readings, feedback and support. Small class size. Members will have option to continue with bi-weekly class in spring 2011. Phone or email for details.
 Last updated: 08/30/2010


Where:church, Kerrville TX
When:every other Tuesday, noon to 1:30pm, with breaks in schedule
Facilitator:Leia Francisco (leiafrancisco1 at gmail.com)
Description:The Kerrville, Texas Story Circle is concluding its first year of meetings, a year of writing, shared wisdom, humor, and appreciation for the richness of our stories. We have written across the landscape of these stories, choosing our own topics as well as those suggested in the facilitation guide and rotating facilitators. We have also used poetry extensively as a warm fire in our circle and the poetry writing prompts have generated lots of juice and discussion. Women of like hearts do seem to find a way to gather and share their experiences and to encourage each other not only in writing, but other creative expressions. We will be taking a short break and resuming in January. All in all, 'twas a wonderful first year!
 Last updated: 11/18/2010


Where:Lockhart Correctional Facility, Lockhart TX
When:June and December
Facilitator:Natalie Weinstein (natalie.f.weinstein at gmail.com)
Description:Two-day writing workshop: the "Writing for Yourself/Writing for Others" workshop has been held twice a year since 2006 at a state women's prison. The closed group is made up of graduates of Truth Be Told's 14-week program for women seeking to examine the experiences they've had and the decisions they've made that led them to prison.
 Last updated: 08/09/2017


Where:Hillside Fellowship Church, 7055 US Highway 281 N, Spring Branch TX
When:1st & 3rd Tuesday, 3-5pm
Facilitator:Judy Watters (sheermemoirs at gmail.com)
Description:This group started in March of 2012 as an OWL circle at my church with 8 women ranging from 54 to 86. After 2 years together, we are a tight group writing our stories of pain and encouragement. We are a closed group, but I am open to opening another group. Call Judy for info: 830-885-5344.
 Last updated: 03/09/2014


Where:Barnes & Noble, Sunset Valley TX
When:4th Thursdays, 1-2pm
Facilitator:Stephanie Barko (steffercat at austin.rr.com)
Description:South Austin Book Group is non-denominational, co-ed, and reads spiritually-oriented books from all traditions. The group meets for an hour and then those who can stay are welcome to linger for another half hour or so. Meetings are open to the public. The group has been meeting since Fall, 2005.
 Last updated: 05/15/2012


Where:First Presbyterian Church, Temple TX
When:2nd & 4th Thursdays of month, 1-2:30pm
Facilitator:Laura Jo Fojtasek (jfojtasek at hot.rr.com)
Description:The Stories to Tell group writes with a prompt and we have sharing time for those that want to share their writing for the day. Occasionally we take a field trip to a museum or interesting location and use that as our writing focus. New members are welcome.
 Last updated: 03/10/2011


Where:The Coffee Connection, Texas City TX
When:2nd Friday of the month from 2-4pm
Facilitator:Lisa Hacker (proflisahacker at gmail.com)
Description:The Queen's Quillers Writing Circle meets the 2nd Friday of each month, from 2-4 pm. Participants work on prepared journal and memoir prompts, and they also give feedback on each other's writing projects, large or small.
 Last updated: 10/10/2016



Virginia

Where:Gordon Avenue Public Library, Charlottesville VA
When:Each Wednesday of the month, 4-6pm
Facilitator:Nancy Hatschbach (beautifulismylife at gmail.com)
Description:This diverse, dynamic, and deeply committed circle continued on after a Women's Life-Writing workshop in July-August, 2016 when a class member volunteered to lead the circle onward.
 Last updated: 12/29/2016


Where:Crozet Public Library, Crozet VA
When:Monthly on Wednesday evenings, 7-9pm
Facilitator:Carolyn Crutchfield (washnflfan at aol.com)
Description:These wonderfully diverse women came together for a Women.s Life-Writing workshop held in January-February, 2016, and have evolved into an ongoing circle that delights in uncovering the layers of threads that connect.
 Last updated: 12/29/2016


Where:Crozet Public Library, Crozet VA
When:Twice a month on Wednesday evenings, 7-8:45pm
Facilitator:Cheryl Warren (mskitty.1031 at yahoo.com)
Description:This richly-bonded, closed writing circle is a continuation of a Women's Life-Writing workshop held in March-April, 2016, when a workshop member stepped forward to lead group onward.
 Last updated: 12/29/2016


Where:Crozet Public Library, Crozet VA
When:Every other week on Friday afternoons, 12:30-2:30pm
Facilitator:Mary Jo Doig (doig.maryjo at gmail.com)
Description:The Circle of Memories Writing Group grew out of an Older Women's Legacy workshop in July-August, 2016 into an ongoing, enthusiastic group of life-story writers.
 Last updated: 08/01/2017



Washington

Where:facilitator's home, Seattle WA
When:Mondays, 7-9pm
Facilitator:Pat Hoglund (hoglundp at aol.com)
Description:I am hosting a womens' story circle in my home. We welcome new people to join the circle.
 Last updated: 08/23/2010



Wisconsin

Where:YWCA, Beacon House office, Green Bay WI
When:6 circles per session
Facilitator:Sandra Shackelford (sashack10 at athenet.net)
Description:The Women's Writing Circle is putting together an anthology featuring writing by women who've been in our circle for a year.
 Last updated: 08/04/2015


#circles: 38 in 11 states

Circles Currently Taking a Break:

  1. Facilitator: Rochelle Gross (rochelle0099 at comcast.net)
    Where: facilitator's home, Jacksonville FL
    When: every Wednesday, 1-3pm
  2. Facilitator: Vickie Spray (vickiespray6944 at gmail.com)
    Where: facilitator's office, Tallahassee FL
    When: 3-5pm, 1st Sunday of every month
  3. Facilitator: Vickie Spray (vickiespray6944 at gmail.com)
    Where: 1304 E 6th Ave, Tallahassee FL
    When: 12-2pm, 1st Sunday of every month for 5 months; 1st meetings: Dec 2013-Apr 2014
  4. Facilitator: Val Perry (lifewritersbloom at msn.com)
    Where: Bloomingdale Regional Library, Valrico FL
    When: 4th Friday afternoon of the month
  5. Facilitator: Caroline Villa (cevilla56 at gmail.com)
    Where: Bloomingdale Regional Library, Valrico FL
    When: 3rd Tuesday morning of the month
  6. Facilitator: Judith Johnson (getawayj at tampabay.rr.com)
    Where: Bloomingdale Regional Library, Valrico FL
    When: 1st Monday morning of the month
  7. Facilitator: Dona Billey-Weiler (donab at casscoa.org)
    Where: Cass County Council on Aging, 60525 Decatur Rd, Cassopolis MI
    When: 10am-noon, 4th Thursday of the month
  8. Facilitator: Pamela Rudisill (pamelasweet43 at gmail.com)
    Where: Various downtown locations during our lunch hour, Minneapolis MN
    When: Wednesdays, noon-1pm
  9. Facilitator: Victoria McNabb Wheeler (wheelinwool at aol.com)
    Where: Lambertville Library, Lambertville NJ
    When: Two Thursdays a month, 10am-noon
  10. Facilitator: Rosalie Muschal-Reinhardt (alrosmr at frontiernet.net)
    Where: Peace of Christ Church at St. John's (Church Hall), Rochester NY
    When: Thursday of the month, 9:30am-noon

Disbanded Circles:

  1. Facilitator: Susan Myrick (suemyrick at comcast.net)
    Where: homes of participants, North Shore IL
    When: 9:30-noon, 3rd Tuesday of the month, but reschedule if there are conflicts

Last updated: 10/20/17 at 09:00:30


#visitors: