Suzannah Windsor’s writing has been published in Geist, The Writer Magazine, Sou’wester, Grist, Saw Palm, Best of the Sand Hill Review, Not Somewhere Else but Here: A Contemporary Anthology of Women and Place (Sundress Publications), and others. She is the managing editor of Compose, a literary journal that publishes work by both established and emerging writers of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. Suzannah is working on a collection of short stories, for which she has received a Writers’ Works in Progress grant and three Writers’ Reserve grants from the Ontario Arts Council. She is a dual citizen of Canada and Australia and currently lives in Northwestern Ontario with her husband and children.
Like most writers, I have lived many lives. I have been a career woman and a stay-at-home mother. A world traveller and a recluse. A skeptic and a believer. A million things in between.
Storytelling is the lens through which we make sense of these lives. We write to come to terms with relationships past and present, to explore whys and what ifs, to reinterpret experiences from another point of view. Our stories are so valuable, we sometimes feel an overwhelming desire—even a right—to create publishable work in the least amount of time. But it’s precisely because our stories are valuable that we should resist such notions. Life-changing writing transcends catharsis and publication; life-changing writing is craft.
The Story Is a State of Mind School is exactly what today’s writers need and exactly what I needed when I first discovered it. Sarah’s expert guidance and exercises gently lead us away from the instant gratification of purgation and product and toward an extended exploration of process. Well-crafted writing emerges from frequent, deliberate practice, and The Story Intensive is a testament to the powerful effect of practice in the context of community.
I enjoy my own company. Alone is just fine by me. Yet, over the years of writing I have discovered that my moments of greatest growth have been the direct result of collaboration. Those times I’ve embraced discomfort and shared my stories, more experienced writers have been able to provide me with the type of insights I now keep in my pocket and pull out whenever I pull out my pen. The type of feedback that has changed not just my writing, but me in some way.
One of the most gratifying experiences I have as the editor of a literary journal is the opportunity to pass along these insights in ways that have helped shape fellow writers’ work. Likewise, I’m excited to share The Story Intensive experience with you—to invite you to be curious, to remove your filters, to alter your perspective, and especially to develop the patience to write stories of enduring value. I look forward to watching you grow and discover who you really are and all that your writing can be.