News and events

Stand-alone workshops, writing suggestions, books of note, and occasional other news. Scroll down, and ensure to check back here every so often!

News and events

Stand-alone workshops, writing suggestions, books of note, and occasional other news. Scroll down, and ensure to check back here every so often!

News and events

Stand-alone workshops, writing suggestions, books of note, and occasional other news. Scroll down, and ensure to check back here every so often!

An in-person day of writing and breathwork – in the Netherlands

Saturday Feb. 4th, 2023

A full day (10:00 – 16:00) of writing and breathwork sessions. Since breathwork facilitator Nanneke van Drunen is also fully qualified in leading workshops in the Amherst Writers & Artists methodology, we thought why not combine our offerings in the form of a one-day workshop? A chance to unwind and re-energise in the course of a day where we’ll do a bunch of writing, but we will also explore how breathwork and mindfulness can help our writing process. The day will include a healthy lunch and lunchtime break. More details coming soon, but feel free to register your interest already!

Some writing prompts…

Here are some writing suggestions to get your pen moving – usually we write for around 15 minutes per suggestion. Try this as well as the time pressure can be helpful.

• Use one of the following images / situations to commence a piece of writing:
– fresh snow on the steps of a wooden staircase
– a filthy sink, its plughole jammed with hairs
– lights pulsating and bodies sweating on a crowded dance floor

• Start with a mirror, and then get specific – is it giving a clear or somewhat obscured reflection? What is it showing? If it is a person, or people, what are they doing?

• Write a journal entry for an explorer, or a thief. What kinds of terrain are being explored? What kinds of things are being stolen?

Hands of male writer at his desk struggling to get started with writing and crumpled writing notes.

Books Away From Home – aid for Ukrainian refugees

Established in the last months of 2022, Books Away From Home is a Netherlands-based foundation, set up to support refugee children by supplying them with books in their native language.

The first project from this foundation is entitled Books for the Youngest Ukrainian Refugees, and Amsterdam Writers is already a strong supporter. Won’t you help out as well? As little as 5 euros ensures 5 brightly illustrated picture books will be printed and distributed to Ukrainian refugee children in need, in refugee centres, private homes and schools throughout the Benelux. Please consider making a donation today.

A book recommendation

When I read The Shallows by Nicholas Carr some years ago, I learned how much the internet has affected our abilities to read deeply, and to engage with complicated subjects and ideas. Now, with Stolen Focus, Johann Hari brings to this topic an even broader understanding of the huge forces at play in our lives today that are distracting us, making us less empathetic, and making us more prone to outbursts of anger and violence. The good news? Once we know the extent of the problems at hand, and what are driving them, it turns out solutions are within reach that can help us reconnect, engage with things that truly matter, and heal much that is broken in our societies and on our planet.

A book recommendation

In her masterful book Stoned – Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World, Aja Raden examines and deconstructs history and society through the lens of six incredible stories about jewelry. While The Truth About Lies isn’t exactly a sequel, it does expand upon some ideas Raden begins to work with in Stoned. But this time we’re being taken through a delightful taxonomy of lies and liars. Why do we believe the things we believe? Did you know that it’s built into our DNA to lie, deceive and manipulate, sometimes for our very survival? This book is a fascinating examination of not only how lies work, but why they work. Prepare to turn upside down the things you’ve held true about facts… and what you believed were fictions.