Testimonials from mentees
'Wild Ways to Writing is an inspirational programme that has encouraged me to deepen my relationship with the natural world and to be braver and more embodied in my writing. Helen has been a joy to work with. Her guidance and feedback has been supportive, gentle and clear – I have felt both held and challenged within my writing process.'
Jane Lewis, Edinburgh, UK
'Working with Helen has made me a much better writer and her assignments were always thought-provoking, prompting me to view the natural world around me in a different way.'
Toniann Astuto, Staten Island, U.S.A.
'As a novice, I signed up for the Wild Ways of Writing 1-1 mentorship program with more than a bit of trepidation about delving into the unknown world of creative writing. With her expertise and generosity of spirit, Helen opened my eyes to deepen into the wonder of the more-than-human world and hear the Earth speak in Her eloquence. I feel I have been on a pilgrimage to some deep inner recesses and, with Helen’s wise and encouraging mentorship, discovered a previously unknown doorway through which to step and so craft my attempts at capturing the wild magnificence of Nature into the written word. It has been an absolute pleasure to co-create with Helen and a year I will treasure with immeasurable gratitude.'
Carol Watts, Vancouver Island, Canada
'For the first time in my life, I’ve developed a writing practice, which I now never want to drop! A key part of that was the invitation of each assignment to write from the experience of being outside and in relationship with the more-than-human. That was and will continue to be a deep source of inspiration for me. The programme made me carve out regular, longer stretches of time outside in lots of different places, and deepen into a more receptive state – which was such an enrichment of my days!
I loved the themes of the assignments, they seemed to resonate so strongly with that particular month of my life – serendipity or not – and definitely deepened my sense of inter-being with all life. Having deadlines was hugely supportive for me, to make me actually prioritise writing in my busy calendar, and fully finish pieces.'
Olga Bloemen, Edinburgh, UK
'I started studying Wild Ways to Writing at the beginning of the pandemic and have benefited from Helen’s mentorship throughout as I studied on a monthly basis, with a few pauses for life events. The course could be completed much quicker, but this slow flexible approach really suited me, and I enjoyed the way the progress of the course mirrored the seasons.
The prompts are rich and include the work of a huge variety of poets, with prompts involving physical activities such as walking and close observation. Through them I have become more intellectually aware of ecological issues but also more connected to the earth on a deeper level.
Helen’s feedback has been kind and generous, crucially she has also highlighted areas where poems are not working. I value her criticism and her help in improving work. The course and her mentorship have been an invaluable companion throughout this time of global and personal change. A magical experience.'
Pauline Sewards, poet, Brighton, UK
'I would highly recommend Wild Ways to Writing to anyone wishing to improve their writing and/or gain deeper insights into their relationship to (and place within) the natural world.
The structure of the course, with its expertly planned assignments took me on an unexpected voyage into immersive experiences with every aspect of our shared environment.
Using the Five Ways of Knowing, opened new pathways for my writing to have a more profound connection to the Earth and to myself. This sense of interbeing allowed me to engage more with the significance of what I wrote and to discover (face, or admit to) unresolved issues in my personal development.
With Helen’s mentoring, feedback and guidance, I felt safe to express my inner thoughts and feelings without fearing judgement.
I also learned invaluable tips on the craft of writing poetry, which has improved my work and given me more self confidence in it.
It was a fascinating journey that I found satisfying, fulfilling, rewarding and gratifying.'
Geoff King, writer, Black Isle, Scotland
'I would love to recommend Wild Ways to Writing. It’s been a great adventure that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Helen is an excellent mentor. She provides useful, positive feedback on the work submitted in response to her assignments. I felt my contributions, and idiosyncrasies, were respected throughout. Working with Helen on this course has encouraged me to continue with my writing journey.'
Annie Sturgeon, Aberdeenshire, UK
'Helen’s Wild Ways to Writing course was a constant source of inspiration through a particularly gloomy pandemic winter. Her knowledge, encouragement and insight as a mentor has challenged me to explore new approaches in my own creative practice. Highly recommended.'
Catherine Jefferson, Kent, UK
For further testimonials from Helen's writing retreats/workshops etc, click here.
Helen has also written about her 'wild writing' methodology, and you can read her chapter in INSPIRE: Exciting Ways to Teach Creative Writing, a Goldsmiths University publication, which is free to download here.