Safe Space Stories: A Writing Workshop with Paul Rozario-Falcone
By Daria Radler
Through the window, we hear the constant buzz of scooters and cars. Sometimes the noise dies down a little only to pick up again as another vehicle is approaching.
The room is filled with a busy silence — hands that move across a computer keyboard, wrists that move across notebooks and lose sheets of paper, pens that produce words which aren’t meant to be thought about. The workshop starts with a five-minute free write.
Founded by Singapore and Brooklyn-based writer Paul Rozario-Falcone, Safe Space Stories follows the Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) Method. The guiding principles of this method include:
- Everyone has a strong, unique voice.
- Everyone is born with creative genius.
- Writing as an art form belongs to all people, regardless of economic class or education level.
- Craft can be taught without damage to a writer’s original voice or artistic self-esteem.
- A writer is someone who writes.
Enthusiastic, kind and approachable, Paul Rozario-Falcone provides the group with different prompts to spark our creativity. Still, he emphasises that anything goes: Whether we use the prompts or write something entirely different, whether we stop once fifteen minutes are up or run with our train of thought for a little while longer is entirely up to us.
As the name suggests, Safe Space Stories aims at creating a safe environment in which people write and support each other. The “rules” are based on mutual respect and positivity:
- Everyone’s writing, including the leader’s, is treated with equal respect and value.
- Writing is kept confidential and treated as fiction.
- Writers can refrain from reading their work aloud.
- Responses to just-written work reflect what is strong and successful.
- Responses and exercises support the development of literary craft.
Ultimately, Safe Space Stories is an invitation. Free from pressure or expectations, the workshop allows for each writer to begin a new creative journey that is meant to be nothing but positive and affirming. “After all,” Paul Rozario-Falcone points out, “The hardest part is writing once we’re each on our own.”
Mark your calendars: The next Safe Space Stories workshop with Paul Rozario-Falcone is coming up on April 6, 2019. The number of participants is limited, so make sure to send an email to email@example.com to reserve your spot for the workshop.
You can find out more about Paul Rozario-Falcone, Safe Space Stories and the Amherst Writer’s & Artist Method by visiting the website, here.
Daria Radler: I’m Daria, a content and travel writer on the go. Originally from Hamburg, Germany, I have made the road my home in April 2016. Currently based in Italy, I do what I like best: From travel, culture and creative writing to designing websites: I create and work with new ideas.