Who We Are
At Vancouver Women’s Writing Courses, our mission is to create vibrant, healing, supportive and creative writing communities.
We do this through our weekly, six-month Writing as Healing for Women program and our Vancouver and Costa Rica Retreats.
As part of our mandate, we offer one-on-one writing coaching and energy healing for women at any stage in their writing journey/process.
For the greater Vancouver community, we offer empowering on-site wellness writing workshops for organizations and facilities. These workshops harness the scientifically proven healing power of writing to support staff and clients with stress reduction, trauma and recovery.
Vancouver Women’s Writing Courses’ founder Marn Norwich has been creating and running writing workshops since 1994.
She’s taught in schools, prisons, treatment centres and through Continuing Studies at Langara College and Emily Carr University of Art + Design,
She has a background as a journalist and has worked as a writer, editor and consultant for 25 years. As a journalist, she’s specialized in social justice, complementary health and women’s issues and her writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, CBC and Georgia Straight.
Marn is the author of an IPPY award-winning collection of poetry (Wildflowers at my doorstep, Karma press) and has read and performed her work on many Vancouver stages.
She’s also a playwright who has written for the Toronto and Vancouver Fringe Festivals. Her recent musical comedy, A Coveted Wife of East Van, premiered at the Vancouver Fringe in September, 2021. (Read the Vancouver Sun review.)
Marn has been practicing energy work for 25 years and has studied modalities from Healing Touch and shiatsu through reiki and body-energy counseling.
With VWWC, Marn combines her writing workshop facilitation background with her work as an intuitive energy therapist to create dynamic workshops, retreats and coaching sessions that empower, inspire and heal.
In Marn’s words…
My name is Marn Norwich, and I specialize in facilitating writing workshops and coaching writers using energy work. I have a 25-year background as a writing workshop facilitator, writer, editor and consultant along with decades of experience as an intuitive energy therapist.
I have a passion for supporting women to connect to their creativity! I love to create safe and light-filled spaces where women feel comfortable to share with each other deeply and grow more fully into themselves.
I have a structured yet playful approach to facilitation. I come prepared to fill each workshop to the brim with inspiration, ideas, themes for dialogue and writing prompts, while welcoming the energy of the circle and flowing with the moment. I listen deeply to participants and respond as appropriate with practical and intuitive input to support their healing, growth, writing and inner-connection.
It is so magical to witness women dissolve their own blocks and move into their full expression! It is a great privilege to be part of this sacred process.
I’ve worked with women extensively both in the therapeutic context and as a facilitator of women’s groups.
During the pandemic, I wrote this article for CBC Arts on my experience of being a single, childless poet living alone in an attic.
Read it to get sense of your facilitator at work and at play!
As a woman writer myself, I have a profound personal understanding of the hurdles that women artists face, in both the inner and outer realms. As a member of a community of women artists and as an energy therapist for primarily women clients, I am privy to the trials and successes of many other women at this time.
More personally, as an oldest sister and second-oldest cousin in an almost entirely extended family of girls, and as a socially engaged adult, I’ve spent my entire life surrounded by women! I love and appreciate women, and I feel born to the mentorship role.
Women have a unique relationship with creativity and writing. We are inherently extremely creative – right down to our biology. But growing up in a largely patriarchal society can impede our creative expression. Many of us have faced judgement, abuse and attempts to constrain our voices. Many of us are emerging from the veil of codependency that has affected our capacity to speak our truths. Many of us have survived trauma that we are still working through in order to fully express the whole of who we are.
My work is woman-centred, trauma-informed and non-hierarchical. Safety, respect and fun are its hallmarks!