"If I could have anyone read my work and respond to it, I’d pick Emily. Every time. Before going to a workshop at Voice & Vessel, I earned a paper-printed degree in writing. It was there that I learned how to be jaded about writing – how to lose hope and keep my voice small.
Then I joined a small, diverse group of writers for a four-week writing journey with Emily. From the warm smell of freshly brewed coffee, to the small, collectible writing prompts posted around the room, to the comfy sofas – I was hooked. I was comfortable. Frankly, I was (pleasantly) shocked.
Emily introduced the Amherst Writers & Artists Method into my life and I realized why every other workshop had been so disappointing. It was because of Emily and the AWA Method that I learned to take back my dignity as a writer and value the way my stories speak. (If you’ve never been to a workshop guided by the AWA Method, you need to sign up. Right now.)
Being a great writer is one thing; being able to give immediate, thoughtful feedback is an entirely different level of talent. Emily brings the whole, beautiful package to every workshop. I would sign up for more sessions at Voice & Vessel to simply learn from the way she responds to other people’s writing. I can’t recommend Voice & Vessel and Emily’s workshops enough!"
"Having been drawn to and inspired by the written word through various quotes, poems and reflections for as long as I can remember, I decided to see if perhaps I could create some inspirational writing myself. I heard about Voice & Vessel and was excited to see the Writing Circle offerings in Grand Rapids. I began my journey with Emily Stoddard through Voice & Vessel in May of 2017 and I'm so thrilled I was able to muster up the courage to sign up! I can't say enough about Emily and her offerings. She is gifted on many levels: she creates a safe space for writing to take place; is incredibly skilled in the Amherst method of writing; her kind and gentle guidance encourages everyone to be present and see what shows up and to write about that. Sharing is always optional, and as a matter of fact, when I am courageous enough to share my writing - what happens is incredibly beautiful - others in the group have an opportunity to highlight what stood out for them and what resonated most. Attending the Writing Circles guided by Emily is truly a gift I give myself. I consider it to be a self-care practice. Thank you, Emily for your offerings."
"As far back as I can remember, I've always been afraid to write creatively. Most of my college teachers made me feel entirely worthless. As if my ability to create as a writer was not good enough. Then, I took a chance with Emily and Voice & Vessel, to challenge myself and a long held belief that I was not a writer. That I wasn't good enough. What I found was something so unique and different. I was welcomed openly and invited to share my writing with love. Hearing others share, sharing with others has given me a new light to follow, one in which I believe I have a story to tell. My own story, whatever that might be. I see myself as a writer and that has opened me up to new possibilities. I now look forward to a blank page, to the freedom to create whatever my crazy mind cooks up. It's been fun and mind expanding. Thank you Emily!"
"I am so grateful for the safe, clear, consistent and sensitive facilitating that you provide for all of us! As well as your background in formal study of and practice in many forms of writing. I have this lovely feeling of never being bored, of always there being more to explore, develop or practice with the many resources you bring to the groups."
"I didn't know what I expected from your classes but they've done more than I imagined. With each day I feel like I'm discovering something new in my writing, and in myself; it's a release for me and I feel like I know what I'm doing, which is a first. I also feel like I'm writing well; writing in a style that I love to read which sort of completes me and helps me to write more. I think I'm on the right track to finding my voice. Thanks for being a motivating, down-to-earth teacher."
"I had the incredible opportunity to participate in writing workshop and savored the Monday evening gatherings with Emily and fellow writers. What freedom and inspiration I found in the prompts and in experiencing the writing and feedback of others. Emily has created such a unique space with Voice & Vessel: comfortable enough to kick off your shoes and curl up on the couch, bringing forth words that I did not know were ready and waiting, and inspiring me to take the energy from Monday's workshop into the rest of my week. This writing studio is a gem and I cannot wait to return."
"...an affirming and non-threatening practice in which anyone who writes is a writer and where it’s a given that everyone is born to create… It helps, too, that the studio space and the workshop facilitator are a delight. Stuffed easy chairs, ottomans, sofas. Lamplight and bookshelves... If you want to grow as a writer, or even if you’ve only ever considered writing, this workshop just might bring you the same satisfaction it has brought me."
Read the full story on Laurie's blog, This is My Symphony.