“With Eanlai’s openness and encouragement in writing from the heart, without censorship, I was able to take risks with my writing. I put stories down on the page that I hadn’t thought of in decades. Those couple of hours every week of writing and sharing our stories was a kind of healing balm. It was sacred. Beyond words.”
—AJ Johnston, M. Div.
“My experience with Eanlai, through two writing courses now is that she creates an atmosphere of safety and magic. I know that Writing the Soul Awake has helped to change me and stir things inside me. It is both cathartic and energizing. I look forward to seeing what writings emerge from me and my fellow writers. It is quite inspiring and will stay with me for a very long time.”
—Jude Pollack, Oakland, CA
“Writing with Eanlai was an amazing experience! I felt totally at ease in our group and broke through the writer’s block I’d been experiencing for the past year. Eanlai inspires me to keep writing and to believe in myself. I would recommend her groups to anyone who wants to find her voice and reconnect with her inner artist.”
—Nicki Orser, Petaluma, CA
“Writing with Eanlai was a pleasure. I went to her group to do some deep diving and soul searching and it was a wonderful experience. Eanlai creates a safe and inviting place for each writer to express herself openly and authentically. Things came out of me through my writing that I had no idea were there; this was both an exercise in being able to write again and to discover more of myself. Thank you to Eanlai for the safe space, the insightful writing prompts and to helping me get back to writing once again.” —Amy J. Pleasanton.
“Eanlai Cronin is both a poet and a healer. Being in her AWA writing workshop gave me a profound and unprecedented experience of being truly seen, heard, and supported, Eanlai listens deeply and knows how to nurture the Soul. In her workshop I felt safe to speak my truth, affirmed in the dignity of my own voice. Eanlai is one of the wisest, most courageous women I’ve ever met; just to be in her presence is to be uplifted and transformed.”—Elizabeth Perlman
“Eanlai is a sure hearted writing guide whose skillfulness inspires a writer to dive deep beneath what she thinks she knows, surfacing with surprising and provocative writing.
I’ve written through two 8-week sessions with Eanlai. In each my writing traveled to places I would never have imagined. When words seemed to abandon me, she gently encouraged me to keep the pen moving and trust the force of a truth that wanted to be heard. Her thoughtful encouragement allowed me to write beyond the limits the voice within wanted to impose. So did the courage and quality of her own writing, as she too writes and reads during each writing round.
I relished her enthusiastic and innovative feedback which continued to companion me in the week between classes. Eanlai is also an experienced and sensitive group facilitator completely committed to holding a safe and reliable writing space. Her commitment and skill in doing so calls the same forth from all in the group and in a remarkably short period of time, a lovely trust flourished both within and among the writers.
As a facilitator of sensitive group processes myself, I am impressed by the kind and wise group ethos that formed in her presence, as well as with the quality of support and carefully guided intimacy that naturally emerged as we shared our writing.
A thoroughly powerful experience!” —Elenna Goodman, Oakland.
“What is a writing salon? Best you experience it for yourself as it is such an individualized and personal experience that defies description. It’s not about content, construction, grammar etc! (though we do pick up so much about craft almost by osmosis).
It is about releasing unnoticed or forgotten stories or current feelings within you. Can you attend without sharing any of your writing? Absolutely.
Eanlai creates a relaxed, safe and supportive environment which serves as an incubator for your writing expression.
I was totally astounded by what I wrote. A feeling of release and acceptance accompanied several sessions. The classes are intimate and amazingly therapeutic.
It’s akin to the feeling one has after a great massage—uplifted, upheld and completely restored.”
–Rev. Sharon Luther, Interfaith Minister, San Francisco
“I took a chance and found this well led writing circle where not a moment is wasted. Yet, I never feel rushed. Eanlai Cronin is a seasoned writing teacher and engrossing writer who guides the group with just the right touch. Her prompts are rich and the writing can go very deep. I came needing access to my internal life and for the pleasure of writing. I value the expansiveness and aliveness in the group as we write and read together. It is very freeing to have no critique and only feedback about what stood out, was strong, will stay with you. Great support to build a writing practice, explore yourself, write memoir or just write. You can check out a Sunday Salon and see what you think. That’s what I did and am so glad.”
—Rochelle Towers, Oakland.
“I was not about to call myself a writer during our brief introductory remarks in Eanlai’s writing class. I feared judgement about even being in the room that first time. That mantle of insecurity fell away quickly by being “dropped” into our first prompt. As instructed, I kept the pen moving and have learned so much about myself and my creative ability as a result. Hearing the other writers in the room as well as Eanlai, who writes and reads along with us, creates a trusting environment and a camaraderie that is useful as well as enjoyable. I have been a participant now in at least a half a dozen workshop groups over the past 3 years. Eanlai has the ability to quickly get to the core of a piece and respond with precision. This gift, along with her patience and knowledge, provide a different yet dynamic experience every time.” —Nancy Philips, Alameda
“Eanlai is a marvelous facilitator. She creates a safe, supportive environment that encourages you to write freely, unencumbered by inhibitions and fears. She is what in film parlance would be called an “Actor’s Director,” someone who can bring out terrific performances by being in your corner and focused on the same goal. It’s serious, but it’s fun.” —Joseph Kim, San Francisco.
“Eanlai’s AWA method worked for me very well. As a writer, one of the aspects in my writing activities and needs is seeking to be inspired and thrilled in a small group setting that has various features such as Eanlai’s: 1. the multiple writing prompts in each session are most efficient to jolt back my memories as I write about my life story; 2. the three 10- to 15-minute hands-on writing exercises is a perfect amount of pressure to make me productive as I “keep my pen moving” without hesitation or without any expectations to write perfectly … and I found out that when my mind was not conditioned to perform/write perfectly but I was asked to relax and given permission to write privately in my notebook “the clumsiest crap in America,” I was most productive! Amazing; 3. I also highly valued the instant gratification from the most encouraging, spirit-soaring positive feedbacks from both Eanlai and other thoughtful and friendly group members for my in-class hands-on writing; It gave me most needed feedback to improve my writing and also cast lighting from different angles on my writing; 4. Eanlai is an ideal facilitator: She’s caring, genuinely concerned about the well-being of you and your writer’s mind; The writing environment in her home is very inviting, accommodating, comfortable, pleasantly and brightly lit, full of smiling faces and laughter; 5. I’m returning.”–Jing Li, San Francisco.
“The four-week workshop with Eanlai was like a super-charged jump-start to my writing practice. The exercises during the sessions produced writing that would not have happened otherwise. My creativity blossomed, I felt more connected and pleased with my own writing, and as each week went by I was able to go deeper into whatever I wrote. The feedback from the group was luscious, and spurred me on into the rest of the week to do more and more writing. The process was remarkable and the energy in the room was transformative. A singularly invaluable experience.”
—Marilyn Bobbin, Palo Alto, CA
“Seven weeks into the eight-week class, I remain amazed at the writings I’ve done and shared. While we always had a choice not to share, I read my writing aloud each and every time. The women in my group, including Eanlai, were always thoughtful and kind with their feedback. What surprised me the most was the gift of being present for others who were also writing the soul awake. At times, I felt as if others’ words were meant just for me to hear. Not only is Eanlai an excellent facilitator, she was one with the group and shared her writings aloud with the rest of us. Thank you Eanlai for an incredible ride.” —Pat Frasca, Alameda, CA