Tough Language, Tender Wisdoms: Amber Dawn Writing Workshop

3rd of 3 sessions: July 26, 27 and August 2, 1 – 3pm

A Memoir Writing Workshop for trangressive voices led by author Amber Dawn, Tough Language, Tender Wisdoms invites participants to write under-told and boundary-pushing stories from their personal experience, and to develop strategies to creating safe and celebratory spaces for these stories to be heard. Whether participants are interested in formally writing their memoirs or writing is a part of self-discovery, this workshop will offer foundational memoir writing exercises.

Amber Dawn will use source material from her book “How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustlers Memoir” and select other text to lead participants through a series of free-writing exercises, small group work, and discussion. Participants should come prepared to share, listen and take risks.

Amber Dawn is a writer from Vancouver, Canada. Author of the memoir How Poetry Saved My Life and the Lambda Award-winning novel Sub Rosa, and editor of the anthologies Fist of the Spider Women: Fear and Queer Desire and With A Rough Tongue. Amber Dawn was 2012 winner of the Writers’ Trust of Canada Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT writers. This is her second year leading the Tough Language, Tender Wisdoms writing workshop with QAF.

Registration was so great for Amber Dawn’s memoir writing workshop in 2013 we had to turn many hopefuls away, so we are bringing her back with priority registration for those who were wait-listed last year.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a progressive writing workshop. Space is limited to 16 participants; only register if you can participate in all three classes. Please check that dates and time carefully to ensure you can commit to all three.

Intended outcomes: a DRAFT of 1-5 poems, or DRAFT of a 2,000 word short story
Requirements: pen and paper
Workshop time: 2hrs + ½ hour debrief time, per class. 6 hours total

Registration cost is sliding scale, $25-225. Please pay what you can, to help QAF keep our workshops accessible to all, regardless of income level. Registration fees for a workshop of this kind are typically $225 per person.

This event is scent-reduced, and fully wheelchair accessible. For more information on how to support a scent-reduced event, please visit For a full accessibility audit of the space, visit Building Radical Accessible Communities.

The Radical Accessibility Mapping Project performed an accessibility audit for the Roundhouse in August 2011, and the space has remained the same since.

Access Overview: Just the Basics.

Full Access Audit.

You can learn more about the Radical Access Mapping Project here.

ARE YOU A QAF FAN? Buy a 4-show QAF Pass for only $69 / $20 for youth. Price includes membership. Get advance seating, invitations to parties, special passholder offers & more!