A writer is someone
who writes

Amsterdam Writers stages live-online, and in-person, process-based writing workshops. On any given day, our small workshop groups are usually made up of experienced writers, newer writers, and every kind of writer in between. During workshops we develop new work, revise existing work, and improve craft through the act of writing itself. We work hard. (And believe ‘fun’ to be integral to ‘hard work’!)

A writer is someone
who writes

Amsterdam Writers stages live-online, and in-person, process-based writing workshops. On any given day, our small workshop groups are usually made up of experienced writers, newer writers, and every kind of writer in between. During workshops we develop new work, revise existing work, and improve craft through the act of writing itself. We work hard. (And believe ‘fun’ to be integral to ‘hard work’!)

Amsterdam Writers champions diversity across all ages, shapes, colours, persuasions, and levels of writing experience.

And we welcome both native and non-native English speakers.

Amsterdam Writers draws from principles of the writing process movement first articulated by Peter Elbow and then codified into a certificate training programme by Pat Schneider at Amherst Writers & Artists in Amherst, Massachusetts, USA.

Pat led writing workshops for more than 25 years, and her AWA method is now used by workshop leaders across the United States and around the world.

Her book, Writing Alone and with Others (Oxford University Press), has been referred to by Oprah Winfrey as THE book for both aspiring and established writers to use for inspiration and support.

Matthew Curlewis Copywriter and founder of Amsterdam Writers in Amsterdam streets.

An AWA Affiliate
since 2020

How This All Came
To Be

How This All Came To Be

Hi there, I’m Matthew Curlewis, and I believe that great writers, like dancers, musicians and athletes, only become great through dedication, work and regular practice. So, in 2009 I founded Amsterdam Writers as a safe, supportive workshop environment where writers could simply get on with the day to day work of writing.

I arrived at this decision from a number of different directions. Since the late 1980s I’ve been a working professional in various creative industries: as a dancer/performer, as a print and digital designer / producer / creative director, and as a screenwriter, script editor / tutor, and copywriter, variously in Australia, the United States and Europe.

Matthew Curlewis Copywriter and founder of Amsterdam Writers in Amsterdam streets.

An AWA Affiliate since 2020

How This All Came
To Be

Hi there, I’m Matthew Curlewis, and I believe that great writers, like dancers, musicians and athletes, only become great through dedication, work and regular practice. So, in 2009 I founded Amsterdam Writers as a safe, supportive workshop environment where writers could simply get on with the day to day work of writing.

I arrived at this decision from a number of different directions. Since the late 1980s I’ve been a working professional in various creative industries: as a dancer/performer, as a print and digital designer / producer / creative director, and as a screenwriter, script editor / tutor, and copywriter, variously in Australia, the United States and Europe.

In the ’90s

I spent two years attending the AWA methodology group Manhattan Writers, (led by Aaron Zimmerman who went on to found the NY Writers Coalition), plus various writing groups in Provincetown, MA.

When I arrived in Amsterdam in the early 2000s,

When I arrived in Amsterdam in the early 2000s,

there were few workshops available for English-language writers. So in 2005 in the USA I attended a workshop leader training with Pat Schneider, and became certified in the Amherst Writers & Artists method, as described in Writing Alone & with Others.

During 2006-08, I led creative writing and screenwriting workshops with Amsterdam-based literary collective wordsinhere, then in 2009 formulated my 8 week cycle Writers’ Stretch & Tone workshop. This has been on offer basically ever since, with many writers returning for multiple iterations of the 8 weeks, proving (thankfully!) that my original motivation was correct – I’ve created a workshop that is something akin to ‘daily dance class for writers’.

Qualifications and writing samples

My qualifications include certification as a workshop leader in the Amherst Writers and Artists method, Certificates in Screenwriting and Script Editing from Amsterdam’s Binger Filmlab, a BA in Cultural Criticism, Performance Studies & Interactive Technologies from New York University, and a Certificate in Performance: Dance from Australia’s Centre for Performing Arts.

‘We take no risks at all’: a voice from the Spanish flu outbreak – published in the World & Australian editions of The Guardian.

Choose Happiness – Strategies to help rewire fear and anxiety – Our collective social isolations have led to an alarming increase of bad behaviour. However, ‘de-escalation’ solutions are available, and accessible.

Adventures in the Screen Trade – a feature article about the Binger Filmlab, for Amsterdam Weekly.

The Missing Pages – an article about censorship of Ethel Turner’s classic, ‘Seven Little Australians’, for Blume Illustrated.

Qualifications and writing samples

My qualifications include certification as a workshop leader in the Amherst Writers and Artists method, Certificates in Screenwriting and Script Editing from Amsterdam’s Binger Filmlab, a BA in Cultural Criticism, Performance Studies & Interactive Technologies from New York University, and a Certificate in Performance: Dance from Australia’s Centre for Performing Arts.

‘We take no risks at all’: a voice from the Spanish flu outbreak – published in the World & Australian editions of The Guardian.

Choose Happiness – Strategies to help rewire fear and anxiety – Our collective social isolations have led to an alarming increase of bad behaviour. However, ‘de-escalation’ solutions are available, and accessible.

Adventures in the Screen Trade – a feature article about the Binger Filmlab, for Amsterdam Weekly.

The Missing Pages – an article about censorship of Ethel Turner’s classic, ‘Seven Little Australians’, for Blume Illustrated.

Qualifications and writing samples

My qualifications include certification as a workshop leader in the Amherst Writers and Artists method, Certificates in Screenwriting and Script Editing from Amsterdam’s Binger Filmlab, a BA in Cultural Criticism, Performance Studies & Interactive Technologies from New York University, and a Certificate in Performance: Dance from Australia’s Centre for Performing Arts.

‘We take no risks at all’: a voice from the Spanish flu outbreak – published in the World & Australian editions of The Guardian.

Choose Happiness – Strategies to help rewire fear and anxiety – Our collective social isolations have led to an alarming increase of bad behaviour. However, ‘de-escalation’ solutions are available, and accessible.

Adventures in the Screen Trade – a feature article about the Binger Filmlab, for Amsterdam Weekly.

The Missing Pages – an article about censorship of Ethel Turner’s classic, ‘Seven Little Australians’, for Blume Illustrated.

Qualifications and writing samples

My qualifications include certification as a workshop leader in the Amherst Writers and Artists method, Certificates in Screenwriting and Script Editing from Amsterdam’s Binger Filmlab, a BA in Cultural Criticism, Performance Studies & Interactive Technologies from New York University, and a Certificate in Performance: Dance from Australia’s Centre for Performing Arts.

‘We take no risks at all’: a voice from the Spanish flu outbreak – published in the World & Australian editions of The Guardian.

Choose Happiness – Strategies to help rewire fear and anxiety – Our collective social isolations have led to an alarming increase of bad behaviour. However, ‘de-escalation’ solutions are available, and accessible.

Adventures in the Screen Trade – a feature article about the Binger Filmlab, for Amsterdam Weekly.

The Missing Pages – an article about censorship of Ethel Turner’s classic, ‘Seven Little Australians’, for Blume Illustrated.

As a Senior Copywriter I have worked on international print, digital and audio campaigns for clients including WWF, Dopper, Amazon Prime Video, Emirates, PUMA, Gucci, Heineken, Philips, Sony Computer Entertainment, Accenture, Macy’s and Comedy Central. You can view my portfolio here.

My writing has appeared in publications including The Guardian, Time Out, CODE, Fantastic Man & Blume Illustrated.

I was both screenwriter and lead producer of Brilliance, a Netherlands, Poland, UK co-production short film that screened internationally at numerous film festivals, was one of Eye International’s ‘Selected Dutch Shorts 2015’, and is available for screening on Lesflicks, the world’s largest streaming platform of lesbian content. You can view the trailer a few lines down from here.

My feature screenplay ‘Breath of Life’ was shortlisted for a Sundance Sloan Foundation development grant.

I am presently a board member of the foundation Books Away From Home, where we are still actively seeking contributions and involvement on our first project: Books for the Youngest Ukrainian Refugees.

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According to our participants…

I really enjoyed my time in this workshop with such talented and inspiring writers. Thank you for boosting my energy to put writing in my daily routine and to have fun with it. Matthew, thanks for your facilitating, and for coming up with such compelling prompts.

What I appreciated, and found most helpful about the class was the time spent being playful and just enjoying words. As a content/copywriter, writing has been so much about work and achievement for me in the past years that I forgot how much I can just take pleasure in writing without a real purpose in mind.

Megan Janicke
Writers’ Stretch & Tone Participant

I really enjoyed my time in this workshop with such talented and inspiring writers. Thank you for boosting my energy to put writing in my daily routine and to have fun with it. Matthew, thanks for your facilitating, and for coming up with such compelling prompts.

What I appreciated, and found most helpful about the class was the time spent being playful and just enjoying words. As a content/copywriter, writing has been so much about work and achievement for me in the past years that I forgot how much I can just take pleasure in writing without a real purpose in mind.

Megan Janicke
Writers’ Stretch & Tone Participant

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