As a potent language of the body, dreams connect us to a life bigger and fuller than we can envision with our conscious intelligence.

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Time: 10:00 to 16:00

Duration: 16 March, 2023

Location: QWF Office—1200 Atwater Avenue, Room 3, Westmount, QC View map


This workshop is open to all levels of writers in all genres.

At night I see what my mind refuses in the lights.

Miriam Greenspan, Dreamkeeper

It is possible that the world can heal. Dreams are showing us the ways.

Deena Metzger, Living by Dream

As a potent language of the body, dreams connect us to a life bigger and fuller than we can envision with our conscious intelligence. In addition to suggesting possibilities we may not have glimpsed, they can guide us to shadow parts of ourselves we’ve been neglecting or wounds that need attending to. They can bring us closer to our deep desires. Together we will experiment with a range of ways to work with dreams, and to work dream material into writing. Preliminary exercises will involve using dream fragments as prompts or first lines—whether of poem, fiction, memoir, creative nonfiction or essay. 

Before the break I will circulate samples of writing in several genres which incorporate dreams so as to give participants a feel for the multitude of ways dreams can be folded into writing—e.g. as epigraph, as parenthesis, as leitmotif or as register. Taking their cue from the samples, each participant will spend the afternoon finding ways that work for them. By the end of the day, each will have made headway in, if not completed, at least one piece of writing that’s either informed by or successfully integrates dream material. The last hour of the workshop will be dedicated to sharing work (optional). 

Come with at least two dreams that have revealed something important to you and that you want to work with on the page. Dreams can be useful both in generating new material and in deepening or reinvigorating works-in-progress. Come with a sense of where you want to focus your efforts for the day. 

Workshop leader

Lise Weil headshot

Lise Weil is the author of In Search of Pure Lust: a Memoir (Inanna Publications, 2018). Her essays, fiction and translations have been published in Descant, The Capilano Review, carte blanche, Tessera, and The American Voice. Her collection of Mary Meigs’ writings on aging, Beyond Recall(2005, Talonbooks) was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in biography. She founded the online journal Dark Matter: Women Witnessing in 2014 ( Lise teaches in the Individualized Master’s Program in Goddard College’s Graduate Institute and has been hosting retreats for women writers centered around dreamwork for thirteen years.


Registration for this workshop is now closed.

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