April 21-23, 2017
What: Fearless Writing™ an immersive, exuberant, non-intimidating weekend-long writing course with Crescent Dragonwagon.
Who: At each Fearless, 12 to 18 beginning and experienced writers (including those who see themselves as “blocked”) alike will find clarity, voice, and their individual next, best steps.You don’t even have to be a writer, or would-be writer, to get a lot from a Fearless. But, if you are, you’ll get a double-dip: skills and techniques that will serve you not just in writing but in almost every other life-endeavor.
How: If you’ve ever found yourself stopped cold by unexpected change, doubt in your own abilities, uncertain outcome, other peoples’ needs, or unfamiliar economic, technological, or social conditions, Fearless will end your being stopped. The workshop uses the anxiety generated by chaotic conditions as a powerful creative force. It’s practical, effective, creative, serious and playful. With gentle guidance and deceptively simple, experiential writing practices, it turns apparent obstacles into material: for writing, and from which to build a thriving, resilient life.
Where: Locations in wonderful settings in the United States and Abroad. We seek out sensational settings that support our creative learning together.
(Fearlesses are never held in generic or chain hotels, but in carefully hand-picked venues: smaller, independent places as one-of-a-kind as the process each writer experiences during the workshop… We choose sites where the physical, emotional, cultural and spiritual environment itself comforts, fueling and enhancing inspiration and breakthrough.)
- The workshop: 19 hours of Fearless Writing
- a supportive, easygoing small group environment
- 25-plus pages of in-class hand-outs
- an immediate link to a private 17-minute start-writing-now video, yours with your confirmation
- one year’s access to a private Fearlessly Onward community site
- weekly inspiration, tips, and interaction with colleagues and Crescent
- four meals; dinner Friday & Saturday; breakfast Saturday & Sunday
If you need a special payment plan, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will gladly work with you.
A Little More What: Fearless’s writing practices and principles spill over cornucopia-like: from writing, to creativity and problem solving, to business and personal life. It works whether you perceive the obstacle stopping you as an inner or outer barrier. It works, period.
In Fearless, you’ll discover how to
- unwrap the secret gifts of fear, misgivings, & self-doubt
- decode procrastination’s hidden messages
- align expenditures of time, energy & money to your writing and overall life-destination
- experience and use your creative self as a reliable partner
work harder by working softer
- immediately begin writing with more clarity, strength, and ease
- find your authentic, original, unique voice
- keep surprising & re-inspiring yourself
- use Fearless’s principles to create a thriving business, personal, & creative life
- become your own mentor, continuing the Fearless path long after the workshop
Click on the tabs to find out if Fearless is for you, read what other folks who’ve taken Fearless have to say, and meet your Fearless leader.
Is Fearless Writing for you?
Fearless Writing’s techniques and practices unquestionably help writers write more easily and with a more compelling personal voice.
But whether the nature of your life-path includes the definition “writer” or not, writing, as taught in Fearless, is a powerful antidote for anxiety’s often incapacitating effects.
Many come to FW at a moment when their lives are in transition and they are redefining themselves. Your children may have left or be leaving home; you may have come face-too-face with something large and non-negotiable (a divorce or death; a move you didn’t want to make). Professionals who are retiring or being downsized from a long-held job, students graduating from college, individuals recovering from or just diagnosed with a serious illness — these are not uncommon life-shifts that sometimes lead people to Fearless.
For courage and resilience are required at such times. And Fearless is potent in developing these qualities.
But there are plenty of students who just want to stop procrastinating and write more easily and with greater originality and clarity. And Fearless also works for this: for just plain improving one’s writing.
NON-WRITERS: if you
* struggle with fear, anxiety, self-doubt & procrastination
* are stressed about being short on time, money, or both
* can’t quite break through from thinking about to doing
* routinely talk yourself out of pursuing your own abilities, dreams, & ideas
…then Fearless Writing’s approach will zoom you into your next level of wisdom, insight, action, and creativity. You’ll quit driving with the emergency brake on.
Fearless Writers, Rowe Conference Center, Rowe, Massachusetts
WRITERS: if you
* have something to say but feel unable to say it on paper
* long to write, but find the process agonizing
* are stymied by the gap between your mental clarity & the muddiness on paper
* are not sure what your voice is, or if you even have one
* used to write easily, but have felt blocked for some time
….then Fearless Writing will give you potent, immediate access to your writing self. Writing and editing, craft, style, practice and the creative process will join, transforming your writing and the way you do it. You, too, will quit driving with the emergency brake on.
In every Fearless, we meet as colleagues, and in our writing find out so much more about ourselves and each other than “what we do.” Although this particular group included 2 professional writers, a property manager, an attorney, a filmmaker, a former dancer, a stay-at-home-mom, a yoga teacher, a massage therapist, a natural health practitioner, two educators, and a retired corporate communications director, we didn’t know this until well into the weekend.
And don’t forget: Fearless Writing™ has a 100%, no-hassle money-back guarantee that makes some extravagant promises. Why? Because the workshop keeps them!
Crescent fully and unconditionally guarantees Fearless Writing. If, after attending all sessions, I am not replete with satisfaction, insight, and the ability to write with greater ease and pleasure, I will email her a request for a refund, with the address to which a check should be sent. She will gladly refund my registration fee in full by check within 1 month of emailed request.
Testimonials: what Fearless Writing alumni & writing colleagues say… and have done since
The graduates are ecstatic
Watch this 6-minute video of newly minted Fearless graduates talking about their experiences at Fearless in New York.
While getting published is not the primary goal of Fearless Writing, an astonishing number of Fearless alumni, by following the Fearless process, falling in love with their craft, and disassembling block, have become published — either for the first time, in genres new to them, or to greater acclaim than previously. You’ll meet some of them here.
The food writers are stirred
“Crescent Dragonwagon’s Fearless Writing course is inspiring and original. I loved it, and recommend it often and enthusiastically, to both established and aspiring writers; indeed, to anyone in search of a rejuvenating new way of looking at and understanding life. ”
– Julia Child
(television personality, chef & author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Fearless Writing graduate, Providence, Rhode Island, 2000)
Note from Crescent: “Julia, just over 80 at the time, attended Fearless as she was contemplating her memoir, My Life in France, which was published six years later, just after her death. A draft of one of the first paragraphs in Chapter 1, La Belle France, of the book, was written in class; the paragraph which begins ‘As I gazed through the porthole at the twinkling lights of Le Havre…’ The only reason I know this is because, at the end of the class, she tore the pages on which she’d been working into quarters and left them on the table. And I – uncharacteristically – took them. ”
“I entered the class certain that I was not a ‘real’ writer. I left it with a sense of myself as an artist who, like any other, must continue to grow. Although my writing improved, the day transcended writing… though I did win the IACP Cookbook of the Year Award for my fifth book, Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate, which I wrote not long after I took Fearless Writing.
“The course has served me well. ”
– Alice Medrich
(writer, chocolatier, Fearless Writing graduate, 2002, San Diego, California)
Mollie Katzen (friend, not a Fearless alum) Crescent, and Alice Medrich, 2013
A non-fiction writer finds a new voice, story, and genre
“Fearless Writing is magical. It will transform and enrich you as a writer, and as a person.
“Me? I didn’t need Fearless Writing. After all, I’d written five successful works of non-fiction.
“But there I was, in the middle of my first novel: blocked, wordless, dry.
“Crescent helped me find honesty: in my characters, story, and self. She is a rare, wondrous teacher; her students say: “Oh! Now I get it!” She makes discovery so simple and obvious it seems inevitable. ”
– Jane Maas, author of Mad Women, The Christmas Angel (in which Crescent is named in the acknowledgements) and four previous books, 2014
The poets and musicians are rhapsodic
“A chance to study with Crescent Dragonwagon should not be missed. Her good grace,honesty, quick wit, wisdom and insight illuminate; her comfort with herself and others makes everyone around her comfortable. The connection, learning, and writing are original and powerful.”
– Miller Williams
(poet, editor, translator, Inaugural Poet, Prix de Rome winner)
Note from Crescent: “The late and much-loved Miller Williams was not a Fearless graduate; he was one of my mentors. However, he watched me teach and give talks, invited me to present at conferences and workshops he put on… it was from this perspective that he asked me, “Would you like me to write you an endorsement?” Of course I said yes.”
“With most workshops, you get it until you get home, then old habits and inhibitions resume. But the power and impact of Fearless Writing lasts. It leaves me fired up, inspired, armed with the tools and practice, in touch with what I know. CD listens, responds, makes us see and experience for ourselves what worked and didn’t… Gentle guidance; dramatic impact.”
– Crow Johnson
(Spirit of Kerrville-Award-winning singer/songwriter, fiber artist, and shortstory/novella writer, author of Flights of Fancy ; Fearless Writing graduate Eureka Springs, Arkansas, 1995-1997 and again in 2013; Vermont 2009)
The bloggers are viral with excitement
“Is it Fearless Writing…or Fearless Living? The depth and breadth of Crescent’s toolbox is stunning. Her ability to identify that uncomfortable, uneasy aspect of expression, and provide tools that shine — a beacon, cutting through darkness — is remarkable. The lessons I have learned struck me at the core, catalyzing and liberating my writing and thinking. Her teaching is an invaluable resource.”
– Traca Savadogo
(writer and blogger for the San Francisco Examiner; Fearless Writing graduate 2006, Seattle, Washington)
“Now I just wave at my limitations on the way to work.”
– Jerri Farris (writer of over15 published non-fiction books, selling in aggregate more than 1 million copies, who is now working on her fiction; blogger atReflections on the Pond)
Fearless is judged an all-around success
“Crescent’s Fearless Writing seminars are transformative. I highly recommend them for Mark anyone serious about ramping up their writing abilities. Be it culinary, children’s or general writing, Crescent can give you tools that will take you to the next level.”
(Judge, State of Oklahoma, Fearless Writing graduate,Oklahoma Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, 2000; Vermont 2012)
And, a former would-be children’s book writer lives happily ever after
“I took your class at Rowe in 2004. That was a life-changing weekend for me. Remember when I opted to take a hike with a very good-looking fella? Well, we married less than six months later. It was a great decision. With his love, encouragement and support I began working in earnest to finish my mid-grade novel. I must have walked under a blessing shower for lo and behold, Carolina Harmony is now in bookstores and libraries. The book was launched on March 10th, yes, this March 10th, 2009! You encouraged me so much at Rowe. I want to thank you publicly as well as privately.
Sending you my very best,
Marilyn Taylor McDowell / author of Carolina Harmony,completed this “impressive debut” (Kirkus Reviews) novel after having attended Fearless Writing. With a starred review from Booklist and a rave from Newbery winner Patricia MacLachlan(Sarah, Plain and Tall), Marilyn took Fearless to heart and put it into action.
Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 3.58.09 PMWith over 48 published books in five different genres to her credit, Crescent Dragonwagon (called by the Chicago Tribune “an earthy, yarn-spinning woman, one of the most prolific writers of our day”) developed Fearless Writing over a 25-year period. She’s the winner of a Coretta Scott King Award (for her children’s book Half a Moon and One Whole Star), and a New York Times Notable (for her novel, The Year It Rained, which was published in five foreign editions), and a James Beard Award (for her cookbook/memoir Passionate Vegetarian). She even, long ago, did a biography of Stevie Wonder.
Her two most recent books are Bean by Bean, a cookbook/memoir, and All the Awake Animals are Almost Asleep, a children’s book. Bean by Bean was featured on NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook, as well as Lynne Rosetto Kasper’s Splendid Table. She has also written for countless periodicals; in October 2016 for AARP’s “Disrupt Aging” campaign on, “Sex as a Death-Defying Act.”
Though she has appeared on CNN, Good Morning America and Today, and though two of her titles have been bestsellers, she says that as much or more than all the honors and awards, what really taught her to live Fearless and its principles daily was all the work that didn’t get published or completed, the prizes that didn’t get won, the bad reviews she sometimes got. She believes that “nothing is wasted on the writer” — so much so that that’s the name of her blog.
As the daughter of children’s book writer-editor Charlotte Zolotow and Hollywood biographer Maurice Zolotow, she grew up in a creative household, witnessing close up the gifts that writing and the creative process bestows, along with the ravages its anxieties and uncertainties can inflict. This, too, helped her develop the workshop.
Later she studied with a variety of writing teachers, including the late Ira Progoff, Peter Elbow, screenwriter Robert McKee, poet-memoirist Pat Schneider, storyteller Odds Bodkin, Inaugural and Prix de Rome-winning poet Miller Williams, and novelist-memoirist Rosemary Daniell. She was also mentored one on one by the late Paul Zindel, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, with whom she co-wrote the young adult novel To Take a Dare.
Fearless Writing integrates what she’s learned from all of them with her own experience as a much-published self-employed, genre-bending writer for her entire professional life. Holistic and developmental in its approach, Fearless Writing also makes use of improvisational techniques (she’s worked with with InterPlay-based techniques) and recent creativity and anxiety-related studies in the neuro-sciences, evolutionary psychology, and integrative medicine.
“It’s rare that you even hear even a word about Crescent’s many achievements,” wrote singer-songwriter/ storyteller / weaver Crow Johnson, after taking Fearless for the second time. “She is centered on the students. She sees all writers as colleagues. CD listens, responds, makes us see and experience for ourselves what works and doesn’t… Crescent doesn’t lecture or harangue. Gentle guidance; dramatic impact.” (Johnson’s first book, Flights of Fancy, was published in 2014. )
With her late husband, writer/historic preservationist Ned Shank, Crescent lived for many years in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, where she ran an inn, Dairy Hollow House, and later co-founded a non-profit writers’ colony, The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, on that same site.
Since 2011, she’s hosted an ongoing monthly writers’ critique group in Vermont. In 2013, with her late partner, filmmaker-activist David Koff, she began developing a 35-day online course, Virtual Fearless Writing (VFW). After David’s 2014 death, VFW was on hiatus, but will resume in 2017.
Crescent presently divides her time between her early-1800’s Vermont home (set on 35 hilltop acres), New York City, and Arkansas. A passionate traveler, gardener, cook and voracious reader who is devoted to regular walks and staying fit, she continues to practice both meditation and improv. She is currently working on a memoir, and as the literary executor of her late mother, Charlotte Zolotow, shepherding Charlotte’s first posthumous book, Changes, into publication in 2016.