TLA Classes

We offer online classes to help you deepen your understanding of Transformative Language Arts, explore the craft of various genres and arts related to TLA, and develop your livelihood, community work, and service related to TLA.

Designed and taught by leading teachers, transformative language artists and activists, and master facilitators (want to be one of them?), these classes offer you ample opportunities to grow your art of words, your business and service, and your conversation with your life work.

The online nature of the classes allows you to participate from anywhere in the world (provided you have internet access) at any time of the day while, at the same time, the intimate and welcoming atmosphere of the classes helps students find community, inspiration, and greater purpose.

All classes include hands-on activities (writing, storytelling, theater, spoken word, visual arts,music and/or other prompts), plus great resources, readings, and guidance.

Enrollment Cost

Classes are priced by the number of weeks they run. Members pay $35/week, non-members pay $40/week. Most classes run for 6 weeks, so members would pay $210 and non-members would pay $240.

NOTE: When there is a sale, the class page only displays the non-member discounted price. If you are a member, it will show the member discount once you start the registration process.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Cancellations: A nonrefundable fee of 10% is included in each registration. No cancellations after the class begins. In the case of extenuating circumstances, please contact us.

Low Enrollment Cancellations: Classes that do not meet a minimum enrollment may be canceled a minimum of 3 days prior to the first class meeting with full refunds for all registrants.

Incomplete: Students seeking certification in TLA Foundations who cannot complete a class due to extenuating circumstances may be granted a discounted registration on the next available offering of that class. To be eligible for the discount students must communicate their circumstance to the teacher as soon as possible.

Gift Certificates

Want to purchase a class for a very lucky someone, but not sure which one they'd be most excited about? Get them a gift certificate that they can redeem for the class of their dreams! Here's how it goes:

  1. Click on the button to the right -- you'll be taken to a PayPal page (NOTE: You must have a PayPal account to purchase a gift certificate.)
  2. Enter your name, the receiver's name and email, and a personal message (if you want). You have the choice to have PayPal email it for you, or you can print it out and include it in a card.
  3. Purchase the gift certificate. Your special someone will receive a redemption code with their gift certificate and can use it to enroll in a class of their choosing! (NOTE: Only non-member rates are available for gift certificates. If the receiver of the gift certificate is a member of the TLA Network, they will get the discount and then have credit to go towards something else -- score for them!)

Upcoming Classes

    • 19 Apr 2017
    • 30 May 2017
    • Online

    “...I came to explore the wreck.
    The words are purposes.
    The words are maps.
    I came to see the damage that was done
    and the treasures that prevail.
    I stroke the beam of my lamp
    slowly along the flank
    of something more permanent
    than fish or weed.”

    Diving into the Wreck, Adrienne Rich

    Drawing from readings, spiritual traditions, songs, poems, performances, oral traditions, and more, this class will dive deep into our longings, our dreams, and our experiences to mine our past as we examine, question, and release habitual thoughts and patterns in order to emerge, shining and bright with the treasure of our deepest self. 

    In this six-week course, we will begin with a foundational question, “What is story?” How does story move past memory and moment to embody a universal truth through the personal experience? We will focus on inspiration, imagination, story development, and craft as well as spoken word performance considerations. The class will balance listening, reflecting, crafting, and sharing. Our intent is to deepen awareness of the power stories play in personal and universal transformation and to fall into expression of life’s pleasures and pains.

    Week by Week

    Week One: What is a Story?  

    In third grade we were told a story has a beginning, a middle and an end, characters, a setting, a problem and a solution. While a story may contain these elements it is not what a story truly is. There is more. What is the more?  This question and seeking will guide our first week together as we try to understand the depth and possibility of story writing and performance.

    Week Two: The Story Map — Finding the Tale

    This week focuses on seeing the overarching themes in our life and the stories we have to share. We look at the overview of our experience in order to identify the specific stories that speak to our unique life.

    Week Three: Embodying the Story

    Stories live in words that create pictures in the mind of the listener and reader. This week we will focus on creating strong and striking images within our short story works that make us sit up and wonder as we utilize words to embody a story.

    Week Four: Walk a Mile in Another’s Shoes

    This week we look at our personal short stories through the eyes of “another.” What can we learn by seeing our experience through another person’s values and viewpoints? How can we deepen our experience by distancing ourselves from it? Compassion, understanding, perspective and transformation become available when we turn the prism of experience and see it through another lens.

    Week Five: Witness and Wonder

    In week five we practice voicing and witnessing the pieces of one another as we ask two simple questions: what did you notice and what did you wonder? These two reflective questions take us out of judgment and into our own curiosity.

    Week Six: Sharing Our Work

    In this final week we share the stories we have created and ask how these pieces have transformed our relationship to our creativity, identity, and beliefs? How does writing and the spoken word transform us? How can we bring this forward in our work in the future with one another?

    Who Should Take This Class

    This class is suited for writers and/or storytellers, healing arts professionals, clergy, teachers, and songwriters. No previous experience is needed. 

    Format

    This is an online course. Students should expect to spend 3-5 hours per week reading, writing, and responding to each other on the discussion forums. We may schedule 1-2 group video / phone conferences.

    Required Text: Your Mythic Journey: Finding Meaning in Your Life Through Writing and Storytelling by Sam Keen and Anne Valley-Fox. Tarcher Publisher, 1989

    About the Teacher

    Regi Carpenter is an award winning storyteller, author, and performance coach. Regi has toured her solo shows internationally to China, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Mexico. Her new memoir “Where There’s Smoke, There’s Dinner: stories of a seared childhood” has just been published by Familius Publishing. Regi holds a BFA from Ithaca College where she currently teaches storytelling. Her performance piece Snap! won the 2012 Boston StorySlam. Snap! is a featured Listen story on The Moth website. She is currently working on a new book of stories for therapists to use with grieving clients.

    See some of Regi’s videos here.
    Visit Regi’s youtube channel here.

    • 07 Jun 2017
    • 01 Jul 2017
    • Online

    We move our bodies through this world, experiencing it daily, but often not connecting with either the world or our selves in a conscious and intentional way. This six-week class will help us to slow down, breathe deeply, and experience our bodies in this world. Through a variety of readings and texts, online discussions, and creative writing exercises, participants will investigate what it means to be in their bodies in the natural world. Read an interview here with Angie about the class!

    Participants will be invited to engage in the natural world in whatever means possible for them – be that on a park bench in a busy city, through an apartment window in the suburbs, camping in a forest, walking through open fields, or working in a garden – and to embrace their bodies in their current state of being. Creative writing will focus on the senses of the body, the elements of nature, and the ways we can be more aware of those things in our daily life. We will explore these themes through various forms of poetry including traditional nature-based forms such as the bantu, haiku, and renga, as well as forms such as the pantoum, free verse, and communal writing.

    Week by Week

    Week One ​will begin with an overview of sensory-based writing and a discussion of the benefits of using the natural world as a way of talking about our bodies and selves. We will also do introductions of ourselves and our daily worlds, and be introduced to the idea of the “small noticing.”

    Weeks Two through Week Five will each focus on a different element - earth, air, water, and fire - and the ways we can connect with both with these elements and with our selves through writing. We will do various readings each week and experiment with different forms of poetry.

    Week Six​ will bring the various writing we’ve done throughout the course together, and will include a community written poem as well. Additionally, we will reflect on what we’ve gained and learned over the last several weeks and ways we plan to continue this work.

    Format

    This is an online class. Each week will include various texts to help us explore the topics. Each week will also include discussions of the readings and our personal experiences, as well as creative writing prompts. Participants should expect to spend around three to four hours per week on this class. If you have specific accessibility needs please contact the facilitator.

    Who Should Take This Class

    This class is ideal for anyone wanting to get more in touch with themselves or the world around them, and those wishing to expand their creative practices. Participants will also learn more about various types of poetry and should expect to spend around three to four hours per week on this class.

    About the Teacher

    Angie River is a writer, educator, activist, and performance artist. She has taught writing workshops and done performances in various states across the country, and is published in “Tidepools Literary Magazine,” “Reading for Hunger Relief,” The Body is Not an Apology webpage, and the upcoming anthology “Queering Sexual Violence,” as well as having her own blog and zines. Angie fully believes in the power of writing to help us gain a better understanding of ourselves, to build connections and community, and to make personal and social change.

    • 14 Jun 2017
    • 25 Jul 2017
    • Online

    Often as writers, we seek to extend our voice beyond the boundaries of self, seeking to capture and translate the texture of life beyond our skin.

    Inherent in this work is the omnipresent question: how can I, in the body I live in, bring the stories of others to life in a way that authentically captures their culture, offerings, three dimensional representation and unique perspectives?

    In this workshop we will investigate the power inherent when other people's stories enter our hands, specifically through the lens of news and creative writing. 

    We’ll write a poem/short prose piece weekly in response to a world event, and present work for feedback and supportive but probing commentary.

    In each session, we’ll also examine work (mostly poetry) by published poets of witness from diverse backgrounds, styles, professional and creative approaches including Carolyn Forche, Juan Felipe Herrera, Elana Bell, Patricia Smith, Denise Levertov, CD Wright, June Jordan, Tarifa Faizullah and John Murrillo, among others.

    Our goal is to create a space that is both brave and safe enough to question and rub up against the sticky parts of this work: ethics, fears and challenges, with support and warmth.

    Week by Week

    More info soon.

    Who Should Take This Class

    This class is appropriate for more experienced writers looking to jump into a more rigorous challenge in their craft. Perhaps for autobiographical writers who’ve tired out their story arsenal and are looking to expand their work, or TLA practitioners grappling with how to discuss their work in the field in writing.

    Format

    This is an online class. Each week, a new week will open full of resources, reflections, discussion questions, and writing prompts. Students should expect to spend 3-5 hours per week perusing resources and readings, answering a discussion question, engaging in several writing prompts, and responding to peers’ work. A gentle but clear process allows each participant to work at her/his own pace.

    About the Teacher


"The Transformative Language Arts Network" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Kansas, P.O. Box 442633, Lawrence, KS 66044

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