Yea! I did it! I just finished my AWA certification program. Thankfully for me they did it online this time, and in the morning on the Pacific Coast, so it was at a decent hour for me here in Norway. I’m proud to be the first AWA trained workshop leader in the country of Norway, all of Scandinavia actually. There are only a handful of us in Europe, for now. The AWA method is both revolutionary and nothing new. Nothing new because free writing has been around now for decades and everyone knows, at least in theory, that to write you just have to start doing it. Revolutionary in the way it has revamped the workshop. I’ve been in workshops since the early 1990s and have completed an MFA, but it was in May when I stumbled upon AWA’s Write Around the World series (thank you Ellen Bass!) that I experienced workshopping with a difference. The difference being simple: generating writing there and then, treating it as a first draft so no suggestions for improvement, and responding to all texts as fiction. That’s the most useful part of it: focusing on the writing, not the writer. I’m looking forward to incorporating AWA into my own workshops soon.