Why we do what we do

These kind reflections are the voices of some of the participants and co-facilitators in my classes.

“In 2012, I had the pleasure to facilitate a writing workshop with Marni Norwich at the Vancouver Public Library. Marni employs a refreshingly unique and effective method for teaching creative writing.
“Her workshop was based on themes reflected in a number of the poems from her collection, Wildflowers at my Doorstep, including ”the body” and “women who inspire.” Throughout the workshop she read these poems as gateways to the writing exercises she presented. In this way, the reading and the writing were interspersed.

“Marni also provided guided visualization exercises and, most importantly, an opportunity for the participants to share their writing with the group.

“As a librarian I value diversity, access for all, innovation, and creativity. Marni’s strength lies in her capacity to put these values to practice. Marni has the innate ability to inspire anyone — even those with no previous writing experience — to not only tap into their creative conscience, but to feel confident enough to write “on the spot” and share their writing with a group.

“I was particularly overjoyed to see some of our regular patrons, many of whom are socially and economically disenfranchised, feel welcome and actively participate in this inclusive workshop. Marni’s open teaching methods and her individual warmth removed any barriers that would prevent anyone from feeling they are not capable of writing. Marni’s workshop was, truly, in concert with the mission and values of the Vancouver Public Library, as she created a free place for everyone to discover and share their creative ideas.

“Marni Norwich’s natural ability to create a supportive environment conducive for creative writing is simply unparalleled!”
Caroline Crow
Librarian, Vancouver Public Library
"Marn is a master of creating a welcoming group environment. She nurtures retreat attendees in a way that is to build trust in oneself and at the same time to build trust in others. The intimate group setting is perfect for writing, sharing, hearing, and communicating. Words are a part of our nature, and guided by Marn in her Women's Writing as Healing Retreat, words have provoked a new awareness of being alive, mindful, and in control of my destiny. She is a blessing. Highly recommended.”
Lea Chambers
Vancouver, BC
“I have taught alongside Marn Norwich for the past seven years, primarily in recovery centres. Marn not only brings a wealth of knowledge to her classes but a spirit and empathy which allows room for people to express their innermost voices without hesitation. Marn creates this wonderful space consistently. Her dedication to her work shows in her preparation, her interaction and her follow-up. I recommend Marn's classes for anyone wanting to add an extra tool to their healing kit. ”
Bonnie Nish, MA, Arts Education
Executive Director Pandora’s Collective Outreach Society,
“I have had the great pleasure of co-facilitating writing workshops with Marn Norwich at Pacifica several times over the past year and a half. “Marn’s calming energy peppered with her humour and brilliant passion for the literary make her as much a teacher for me as she is a colleague. “I am in awe of her ability to engage the participants and guide them gently and knowledgeably on a journey of healing through written expression. “On several occasions during the break in our sessions, participants have approached Marn in gratitude for her work.”
Taslim Jaffer
Vancouver, BC
"Participating in Marn's writing workshop has easily become the highlight of my week. Not only is she a beautiful writer herself, she is just a wonderful and kind energy. She is warm and inviting when we all meet, and she provides such reflective and insightful feedback. She has created a truly nurturing environment to allow for writers at all levels to flourish. Each session is thoughtfully curated with guided meditations, inspiring quotes and video clips, and provoking prompts. Marn provides a space where we can all write freely, share vulnerably and hold each other with such compassion. When we get together in her workshop, it is absolute and pure magic."
Annie Phung
Vancouver, BC
“Marn Norwich honours both the creative and recovery processes in her work as a facilitator. She first creates a safe space among the group. As they warm to the experience, she provides insight into the creative process so that participants begin to trust and experiment with the tool of writing. “As her classes progress, she offers powerful literary examples that touch on key themes in recovery and healing. She is wise in how she paces classes so participants who opt to do so may gradually delve deeper and comfortably into their personal histories. “Marn has mastered the ability to hold a safe space when participants choose to share raw and painful experiences. She offers them a way to emotionally process the negative into heartfelt poems and prose and provides warm feedback that demonstrates the power in sharing their truths. “Over the two years that I co-facilitated writing classes with Marn at Pacifica Treatment Centre, her quiet power as a facilitator led to many participants’ personal breakthroughs.”
Lindsay G. Kwan, Toronto, Ont.
Writing, Editing & Communications Editor, Art Coordinator & Director, Room Magazine
“I joined Marn's 'Women's Writing as Healing' workshops during a transitional period in my life when healing and reconnecting with my love of writing had become essential. Something truly magical transpires through Marn's facilitation. She leads by example, responding thoughtfully to each contribution, holding space, and validating where we are in our healing journey. Her intuitive, attentive approach creates a nearly palpable sense of safety and connection in the room, transforming strangers into a circle of trust, support, and inspiration. “Marn's approach to the writing itself is equally masterful. Her prompts are expansive: she invites us to look deeply into ourselves and our worlds and to visualize with honesty what we want in our present and future. I've struggled with rumination in my writing for years, but Marn's techniques have helped me to transcend those blocks and write with fresh perspectives. Her writing insights are always encouraging and tailored to each person's style, purpose, and goals. "I leave each workshop brimming with inspiration and new self-knowledge. Attending her workshops is easily one of the best things I've ever done for my well-being, for my love of writing, and for my sense of wonder and appreciation for women.”
Amanda Hobbs
“Wednesdays are now the highlight of my week thanks to Marn and her warm generous spirit! She has a gift for creating a beautiful safe and sacred space, allowing for thoughtful dialogue, tranquility, self-reflection, and empowerment. I have never felt so comfortable, and am excited to continue my journey with these wonderful women! I can’t thank you enough, Marn.”
Jasmine, Vancouver, BC
“I attended Marn’s writing workshop at the Library Square in September 2011. Her techniques on how to slow down and sink into one’s writing were insightful and rewarding but that is not what made her class so special. What is unique about Marn is the level of safety she inspires. There is always this dread, at least for me, in sharing one’s work in front of a crowd. Marn holds the space in such a way that it is easy to get up and read, in fact, desirous to do so. She treats each piece of work as sacred—you feel honoured to have shared. I highly recommend Marn in helping to bring out your most creative aspects.”
Felt like “home” no matter who attended #Writing - Just finished a six week “Creative Writing Power-Pack” with Marn and several other creative types. You can find Marn on the #MEETUP App. Awesome!!! Great learning from students and Marn alike. Diverse group and all supportive. Felt like “home” no matter who attended. Marn is a very special person with lots to share and encourages each person to share as well. INCLUSIVE. Check her offerings out on #MEETUP. I’m in for more sharing, caring and learning from gentle nudges.
Catherine Wade, ICD.D, Vancouver, BC
Director at PDAC
“I can tell you that your time with us has made an impact. Team members are taking greater care with emails, making an effort to be warmer in tones, supporting and reflecting back to each other. “I have never seen a training with such lasting impact! Thanks again for taking such great care to respond to our needs.”
Astarte Sands, Vancouver, BC
Volunteer Coordinator, MOSAIC
“In her workshops, Marn Norwich creates a safe and supportive environment for participants of all writing abilities to explore their creativity. Her facilitation style is empowering and inclusive. I came away from this workshop with the courage to share my writing, and a greater sense of inspiration for my creative work. Marn has a gift for inspiring the creative process and helping participants delve deeper into their writing. Her many years of experience as a facilitator and a writer were evident in the way she held a gentle and powerful space for us as a group.”
Catherine Wilcox, M.Ed, BC
Management Consultant
“In 2011, I participated in a writing workshop led by Marn Norwich, a gifted writer and teacher. Marn structured the workshop around themes found in her book of poetry, Wildflowers at My Doorstep. An inventive instructor who is as attuned to her audience as she is to her material, she used these themes to invite reflection and as beginning points for writing exercises. In an atmosphere of warmth, intelligence, and acceptance, participants wrote and shared their work. Without hesitation I recommend Marn as a choice writing workshop instructor.”
Morgan Chojnacki, Vancouver, BC
Writer
“You are an inspiration as a writer. I love your amazing creativity that was displayed in the handouts and pieces you shared with us. When we have a facilitator like you, no matter if our first language is not English, we as writers become stimulated to create!…I love your stories and your warm approach to giving us feedback.”
Paula Quiros, Vancouver, BC
“Marn’s writing genius comes from some deep connection to The Goddess. It is practical, spare, incisive, grounded and always uplifting. Her spoken word pulls us with the imperative, Listen, and is impossible not to.”
Dave Dumaresq, BC
Playwright
“Just wanted to tell you, I thought the class was wonderful I wish I didn’t have to miss so much, but you made it easy for me to still get the information. I loved your energy and teaching style, I think you made everyone feel comfortable to share and participate in the class exercises. I will definitely continue to recommend your course to people I know.”
Megan Barker, Vancouver, BC
“The gentle and insightful approach Marn offers in her writing/ healing workshops provides a safe and supportive space, enabling a writer of any ability to shed light on those hidden places that have longed to see the light of day. Places that when seen find ease, clarity and perspective and are breathed out of the shadows, back into life’s flow, to find their rightful place.”
Cheree Bacchus, Vancouver, BC
“I really appreciated Marni’s warm encouragement and the supportive culture she created in the classroom. Seeing as a few of us were quite insecure about our writing it helped to foster a healthy environment. Her presentation of topics was enthusiastic and creative.”
Leslie Kennah, Vancouver, BC

Recovery Centre Participants

“Marn brings a peaceful, accepting approach to her class, where support is encouraged. There is no judgment, or right or wrong. We are encouraged to be thoughtful and expressive. The fact that little or no writing experience or educational standards are needed allows anyone to participate. I would definitely attend her classes regularly.”
Steve, Lower Mainland, BC
“I felt like I let out more and was less stressed…Putting pen to paper and sharing what I wrote helps stress… I enjoyed this introduction and I wish more people would really give it a chance.”
Participant, Lower Mainland, BC
“Marn is dedicated to her craft in a warm manner. Her compassion and joy create an environment that allowed us to open ourselves through writing…Marn was generous and helpful. She was obviously very excited and involved in the writing craft…Writing is fun and an avenue not always explored. By having this opportunity I could write a feeling and “see” it…Many people worked hard to write and wanted to share what they had written. Fun!…I found I really liked poetry and that it doesn’t have to be down, it can be playful, too…”
Liam, Lower Mainland, BC
“[The workshop] gave me the ability to get in touch with my feelings and explore a different side of writing…I enjoyed explaining writing and my creative side. Gave me confidence in my writing ability and that it can be fun…I learned that I can write and get in touch with my feelings.”
Participant, Lower Mainland, BC
“Hearing my story in other peoples’ writing brought about a healing therapeutic value…I would like to just listen to Marn and all her knowledge and wisdom around introspective writing…I also enjoyed just listening to her read poetry.”
Participant, Lower Mainland, BC
“I think this is such a good emotional outlet, and it builds self-esteem…Marn created a safe and inspiring space for us to explore our thoughts and open up. This workshop reconnected me to a passion I’ve always had for poetry and creative prose. I feel re-inspired in my recovery and inspired to start writing for myself again.”
Participant, Lower Mainland, BC
“I learned to open up and learned about my peers.”
Participant, Lower Mainland, BC
“I think that writing about feelings and emotions is an integral part of recovery. Creating also helps build self-esteem, which is wonderful because so many of us come into recovery with no self-esteem whatsoever.”
Participant, Lower Mainland, BC

Coaching, Editing, Energy Work

“I’m highly impressed with Marni’s editing service. She has assisted me over the past year in editing my first book and helped me considerably in believing in myself and trusting the writing process. Marni is a dedicated writer who has embraced my project with compassion and care, opening herself to my concepts and stories with personal interest and professional attention to detail. She doesn’t miss a thing and is consistently mindful of flow and structure as she probes for clarity, while remaining conscientious of my particular style of writing. I recommend Marni for anyone who wants to work with someone who is purposeful, committed and enthralled with their project.”
"I am an experienced journalist who has a soon-to-be published memoir. But I was stuck—the proverbial writer’s block. With Marn’s professional guidance, I was able to be at one with my Mac again. Over the course of several coaching sessions, I wrote an extremely personal piece with Marn as my editor. She was acute and empathetic, experienced and talented—in fact, nothing short of brilliant. I ended up with a piece so polished that I submitted it to a national newspaper. I am confident it will be published. Thank you, Marn."
“I cannot thank you enough! I am so happy to have made this decision and have you work with me! I just read your notes and was blown away! I think you have a wonderful perspective of my writing, both the challenges and the insights. I couldn’t have asked for a more poignant consultant. I will be referring back to this document again and again this weekend!”
Trina Ferguson, Vancouver, BC
“Marn Norwich was the obvious choice for the edit of my memoir this year. In the past, I had taken a few writing courses with her, and I enjoyed her remarkable ability to bring out the most creative aspects of my writing. I have been enthused by her points for consideration and her sensitivity to my story. She offered a range of thoughts with regard to my subject matter as well as a selection of possible avenues to take in the direction and arc of my story. She is highly skilled at editing and in catering to your needs as a writer, yet does not pander to your whims. She gets her point across with direction and distinction, offering a multitude of thoughts to consider. I highly recommend her for any writing endeavor you may undertake.”
Trina Ferguson, Vancouver, BC
“Marn is the ideal editor: knowledgeable yet humble; methodical yet creative. She was my first thought when I needed expert help for my memoir. Marn encouraged my unique expression and sense of rhythm while balancing it with questions that not only clarified the meaning I so wanted to articulate but helped me see the myriad of ways my words might be interpreted. Through this, however, she always made it clear that the final choice was always mine. Encompassing all this is a sense of joy that Marn finds—and imparts to others— through the art of writing. She is an uplifting source when self-doubt and fear get in the way of doing what I love.”
“I feel so lucky to have found Marn Norwich when I began searching for an editor for my first children’s book. What caught my attention were her professional yet simple website and the many different editing/proofreading packages she offered. She exceeded my expectations. She was professional and thorough. Her knowledge and expertise was obvious and invaluable. I have no doubt that my work is much better for having gone to Marn! I couldn’t recommend her more highly.”
"Marn is a wonderful healer - both deep yet really practical and real. I would highly recommend her energy work. I felt heard and experienced many breakthrough moments after our time together."
Anna Martin, Vancouver, BC
“Marn is a wonder woman. She’s kind and deeply intuitive. She authentically engages with her clients and helps guide them to a stronger understanding of self, all the while listening and never imposing. I’ve had several long distance sessions with Marn and always leave protected, loved and more aware than before. A gift!”
I come from Hong Kong and have worked as a government officer in Vancouver for more than 15 years. As English is my second language, I am stressed whenever I am tasked to write a document. I always feel that I cannot express my thoughts clearly and keep making embarrassing grammatical mistakes. I consider this as the biggest barrier to my career advancement. I am very happy that I found Marn. Through our one-on-one sessions, I realize my common mistakes and learn how to connect sentences and paragraphs. This helps me to express my ideas more freely. Marn’s passion for writing is inspiring, and she is very patient and nice to work with. Not only does Marn point out the areas that I need to work on, she also helps me to gain confidence in writing anything. I cannot speak highly enough of Marn.
Esther Chan, Vancouver, BC
“I was extremely impressed with Marn’s editing services. Marn worked closely with me until we produced a document that exceeded my expectations. She’s a very skilled writer and editor, along with possessing a professionalism and cheerfulness. I will definitely use her editing services in the future.”
Cheryl Harris, Vancouver, BC
“My husband had been in terrible pain for 12 days with a kidney stone and was getting no help from doctors. Within half an hour of receiving distant healing from Marn, he got out of bed, had a bath, got dressed and called the B.C. NurseLine. This resulted in going back to ER, getting better medication, better information and proper pain relief. Within 48 hours, my husband passed the stone. We were both so grateful and relieved! Without Marn’s intuitive insights and healing energy this could have drawn out a lot longer and been a cause for a lot more suffering. We are so grateful that no surgery was required. Thank you, Marn for your love, care and powerful gifts!”