Women have been storytellers since the beginning of time, and it’s our privilege and responsibility to continue that tradition.
We live in a storied time. The pandemic and social justice issues are calling to us to use our voices. There are many stories to be told.
Would you like to join us? We have room for all women who want to speak and write their own stories, and listen to other women’s stories, either online or in community-based groups. We invite you to become a writing sister with other women who have discovered the power of their voice. We offer writing circles for all women all over the country and world.
When women choose on-line circles, they connect with other women all over the world. When their circles are in communities, women can share stories together in person. Either way, bonds are formed that can last forever. If you would like to be a facilitator, we can give you the tools that you need, and ongoing support.
Come join us in the Circles Program, which is the heart and soul of the Story Circle Network.
Warmest regards for your writing journey, Caroline Ziel (Internet Chapter Coordinator) and Mary Jo Doig (Onsite Coordinator)
SCN sponsors both eCircles that meet via the Internet and onsite, face-to-face Circles that meet in communities across the nation and around the world.
eCircles: Connecting and Sharing Online
Writing eCircles are small groups of women sharing life writing online. The facilitator posts a topic to the eCircle’s private io group once a month, which members write about. Each eCircle member responds to others' stories, offering feedback and making constructive comments. Open to any Story Circle Network member.
Reading eCircles are online reading groups. At the beginning of the month the discussion leader sends a brief summary of the book and a set of discussion questions to the group. Members read and send responses by the end of the month. Each eCircle member receives all responses in her personal e-mail.
How do I join an eCircle? Fill out our online form, including a $20 fee, and we’ll set you up. (Must be an SCN member.)
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
Browse the list below to see if there’s a story circle near you.
If there's no Circle in your area, why not start one? You can get ideas from our tips in this brief guide. Or you might contact one of the facilitators listed below—they may have useful information to share.
If you organize a Story Circle, or the information (below) about your circle has changed, please tell us about it.
THE ON-SITE CIRCLES
*Please note that during this era of Covid-19, some or all onsite Circles may be temporarily on hold or meeting online.
Storycircle for (past, present, and future) Caregivers teleconference
Sharon Spector (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Carefree, AZ each Wednesday at 4:30PM PDT
The Mystic Writers
Ruth Crocker (email@example.com) 860-961-8400.
The Safety Harbor Writing Group
Facilitator: Jan Golden (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Safety Harbor, FL
St. Petersburg Writing Circle
Facilitator: Sheila McNaughton (email@example.com)
St. Petersburg, FL
The Busy Pens
Facilitator: Carol McGhee (Lifewritersbloom@msn.com)
Facilitators: Val Perry and Candy Knapp (Lifewritersbloom@msn.com)
Circle City Circle
Shared Facilitators. Contact Person: Enid Cokinos (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Newtonville OWL Writing Circle
Facilitator: Dorothea Black (email@example.com)
At present, Dorothea does not have an active circle, but welcomes your inquiries.
Facilitator: P. Jan Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Midwest City, OK
Continuing OWL workshop
Facilitator: Anne Beckner (email@example.com)
Querencia, a retirement community, Austin, TX
The Reflections Writing Circle – meeting since 2003
Facilitator: Pat Flathouse - (firstname.lastname@example.org)
St. John Neumann Catholic Church, Austin, TX
- Rock Rose Writers (life writing group)
- Women’s Fiction Group (fiction writing group)
Facilitator: Betty McCreary (email@example.com)
Meeting by Zoom (free version...two 40-minute sessions at a time. We do this with the same e-mail link. We get kicked off at 40 minutes and then we return to link and re-enter.)
Sharing Our Stories Writing Circle (an original Austin Chapter writing circles)
Facilitator: Judith Helburn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Howson Library, Austin, TX
Re-Story Circle, a writing workshop
Facilitator: Jeanne Guy (email@example.com)
Private residences in South Austin 1x per month and in North Austin 1x per month
$20.00 fee per session. This group is currently on hold.
The Austin Reading Circle
Facilitator: Susan Albert (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This circle has been meeting monthly since 1997 to read and discuss women’s memoir and women’s fiction.
Note: PJ Pierce (email@example.com) has long facilitated the Word Weavers. She has given up leadership, while remaining a member.
Current Facilitator: Bonnie Watkins (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Current Facilitator: Gretchen DeFlorio (email@example.com)
INKlings – now in its 15th year
Facilitator: Rebecca Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Meets at members’ homes, Austin, TX
Older Women’s Legacy Workshops
Facilitator: Sheila Allee Kershaw (email@example.com)
Seton Cove Spirituality Center, Austin, TX
Kerrville Story Circle, founded in 2010 with co-founder Vicki Luther
A Continuing OWL workshop since March, 2012
Facilitator: Judy Watters (firstname.lastname@example.org) 830-885-5344
Spring Branch, TX
Houston Older Women’s Legacy Workshop
New Facilitator: Janice Strohmeier (email@example.com)
Note: Janice was preparing to start a community OWL circle when the Corona Virus pandemic arrived. Her project is currently on hold until she can obtain a local meeting space. Location will be in Houston. We’ll keep you updated.
The Queen’s Quillers Writing Circle
Lisa Hacker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Texas City, TX
South Austin Spiritual Book Group
Facilitator: Stephanie Barko (email@example.com)
This ongoing active group started fifteen years ago and welcomes all. It meets at Sunset Valley, TX.
Ongoing Women’s Life-Writing Workshop since March, 2016
Facilitator: Cheryl Warren (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Private homes: Crozet, VA
The Circle of Memories
Facilitator: Mary Jo Doig (email@example.com)
Gordon Avenue Writing Circle
Facilitator: Mary Jo Ayers
The Monday Writing Circle
The Wednesday Writing Circle
The Thursday Writing Circle
Facilitator: Sandra Shackelford (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Green Bay, WI
A Circle Meeting Update:
We thought you’d be interested to know what several of our facilitators have shared about how they have continued forward with their circles during the Covid-19 pandemic:
Leia Francisco of Kerrville, TX says: We are committed to our Story Circle and our connectedness. Initially, we would check in by email twice a month (when we would normally meet), sharing what is going on in our lives. We will not be able to meet physically until Fall, so we are meeting now by Zoom. Meantime, we send each other encouraging thought pieces, poems, and encouragement.
South Austin Spiritual Book Group facilitator Stephanie Barko relayed her group started Zoom meetings this year because of the virus.
Sandra Shackelford of Green Bay, WI, conveyed that her three writing circles are continuing weekly. The Monday and Wednesday circles Zoom together from 1-3, while Thursday’s group meets over the telephone from 5:30 – 7:30.
Facilitator Betty McCreary in Austin, TX shares that in non-covid times her two circles meet once a month. However, during this time we have been meeting once a week via Zoom! I may knock it back down to once a month for each group starting in July. I find it very difficult to facilitate via Zoom...the main problem is the sound lag and people having technical problems. I am not a techie and I have a person in each group who has set up the meetings and the links. We use the free version of Zoom and do two 40-minute sessions at a time. I am very curious as to how other facilitators are meeting (if at all) at this time.
Bonnie Watkins’ Word Weavers in Austin are not meeting during the pandemic, mainly because many members are elderly and would find it hard to meet online.
Inkslingers’ Facilitator, Gretchen DeFlorio in Austin writes her circle has been meeting virtually via Zoom during the pandemic.
If you facilitate or know of other women’s writing circles in your area, even if they are presently closed to new members, we hope you will let us know so we can list them on our site. The information we share is invaluable to everyone.
Your stories are so important.