Writing our Way to Winter Solstice

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20-494 Mary Reynolds Thompson Hawkwood Writing Workshop
Thu 03Dec
Thu 17Dec

Hello Darkness My Old Friend: An online writing workshop

Facilitator: Mary Reynolds Thompson

The poet Wendell Berry writes that if we go into the dark, we will find that it “blooms and sings.”

Darkness is alive, vibrant, and necessary. As we approach the Winter Solstice, this three-part writing workshop explores the meaning and power of darkness in our lives. Through inquiry and imagination, poetry and prose, we will celebrate the long hours of darkness as essential to regeneration, renewal and self-reflection.

Winter Solstice is a time to gather, to celebrate, and honour this special time of year with community and ritual. Please join us!

* Please note that this is an online course, delivered via Zoom.

Event time: Thu 3rd Dec 2020 at 5:00pm - Thu 17th Dec 2020 at 6:30pm

At a glance

  • Write both prose and poetry that explore your relationship with darkness
  • Celebrate the mystery and fecundity of darkness in community
  • Receive writing prompts to engage with between classes

You will gain:

  • A deeper understanding of the fertile ground of darkness
  • Connection with others and a celebration of seasonal ritual
  • Powerful prompts and questions to unearth new inspiration


Time: 5.00 pm-6.30 pm GMT – to convert to any other time zones please click here.

  • Thursday, December 3 –  Session 1: Loving the Dark Hours
  • Thursday, December 10 – Session 2: Entering the Creative Unknown
  • Thursday, December 17 –  Session 3: Emerging into the Light
Opening each session with a different poem, we will explore the mystery, magic, terror and promise of darkness. We will examine our relationship to darkness in a world addicted to light—both literal and spiritual. We’ll experience the connections between creativity and darkness—and how we can emerge from the darkness revitalised and reborn.
From the moment we first gather, we’ll begin to create a more intimate connection to darkness and the gifts that it offers us. This will support your path of transformation at a time when darkness is not only a seasonal reality but a metaphor for the times we are going through.
Each session will offer several writing prompts. You will also have the opportunity to share with like-minded souls in smaller breakout groups
Let’s come together and greet darkness (and each other) as an old friend.

“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.


We are pleased to offer the opportunity for those in financial hardship to receive a ticket to our course with a partial scholarship covering 50% of the standard rate. We are taking the applications first come, first served. Please apply using this form.  *Update: all places have been allocated

Price Options

£85 Standard
£95 Support Hawkwood


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Practical Information

Please bring your journal and pens.

The course will be held in real time with the tutors via the Zoom platform. Sign up to this platform is free. You will need a laptop, computer, tablet or a smartphone – with an in-built camera and microphone – and a reliable internet connection. We will provide more information and joining instructions in advance of the first session. Attendance at all three sessions is required.

Sales end 3th Dec, 12noon. Please note that the ticket price is for all three sessions.

The course is the same for both prices; please choose the level you can afford. Know that each booking you make is financially supporting our charity and facilitators and tutors, most of which have had to cancel all of their upcoming work. Thank you!

Mary Reynolds Thompson

Mary Reynolds Thompson is an international teacher, facilitator of poetry and journal therapy, and core faculty for the Therapeutic Writing Institute in Colorado. She is author several books, including the award-winning Reclaiming the Wild Soul: How Earth’s Landscapes Restore Us to Wholeness. She has successfully run many online courses and is experienced in holding the space.

Visit Tutor's Website


"I really appreciated the different wild angles, a freshness that helps in shifting us from our habitual ways of seeing to the discover the sacred in the ordinary. I loved being able to share and receive inspirations with other wild poets, and to delve into a diversity of different styles."

"I have now taken several courses with Mary and find her a wonderful and inspirational teacher. In her classes I’ve met amazing people all over the world, all affected by the same current world crisis and yet still able to come together with the aid of superb hosting by Hawkwood. These courses have been a light in the dark. Thank you all."

"I wanted to say thank you so much for “The Wild and Sacred" - it has opened my eyes wide to the creative possibilities that retirement holds. Each session left the real world far behind and I felt absorbed into a new reality that was far, far more important. Thank you for sharing your treasure."

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