Creative Writing Workshops

Program Founded in 1996 

Through a series of writing workshops and residencies conducted by professional writers, adults and teens can develop and polish their writing skills, as well as share their voices and perspectives with the wider community. Residencies are held at partner venues where people with disabilities live or gather. Workshops are conducted at Art Access and often culminate with scheduled readings. 

Art Access serves a diverse clientele. Chronological and cognitive ages are taken into consideration upon registration of any participant, as well as individual adaptive needs. Email  to learn more.


Love Letters To Public Lands: Writing Workshop with Nan Seymour

There are times we write to remember, to restore, and to resist. Sometimes we write to adore. In this workshop, we will pen love letters to Utah’s public lands with all of those intentions.IMG E4280

You will be invited to bear witness to beloved places—to generously share your own details and experience. As we write, we’ll cultivate our appreciation and attention, as we grow our own embodied and grounded presence. You need not identify as a “writer” to bring your love of the land to this writing practice. Everyone is welcome.

This class will run for four weeks, with an option to read your finished (or in-progress) work at a public reading event in June.

Dates: March 24, 31, April 7 & 14

Time: 1 - 4 pm

Location: Art Access Workshop, 230 S 500 W, Suite 110

Cost: $30

To register, click HERE

About the Teaching Artist:                                          

Nan has facilitated writing for hundreds of groups, including cancer survivors, high school students, and homeless writers. She currently offers an ongoing schedule of expressive writing groups at her River Writing studio in Salt Lake City. As the mother of a transgender daughter and an activist, her mantra is unafraid to witness, unashamed to adore. She spent many of her grown-up years as a miller and baker of whole-grain bread. She learned something about process by milling the wheat. She acquired some patience while waiting for the loaves to rise.

Special thanks to the Utah Humanities book festival for making this creative writing workshop possible. Our thanks to the Book Festival's major sponsors as well:  the George S and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation, the R. Harold Burton Foundation, Chevron, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.



tumblr static 7m16wcul3mcckskcwsk0wk08s 640 v2

Writing as a creative expression, can help guide us toward deeper understanding of the pain and suffering of grief. This workshop is designed to provide a supportive environment in which participants can explore feelings of grief with the end-goal of producing a personal essay. As a class, we'll discuss the many forms and causes of grief, such as divorce, death of a loved one, illness, aging, job loss, empty-nesting, moving etc.  The hope would be to create an environment of active engagement and participation— through others, we can all learn about our own writing and ourselves.

Saturdays, October 14, 21, 28, and November 4, 2017
10 AM - 1 PM
Fee: $30


Special thanks to the Utah Humanities book festival for making this creative writing workshop possible. Our thanks to the Book Festival's major sponsors as well:  the George S and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation, the R. Harold Burton Foundation, Chevron, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Re-Imagining Your Life: Creative Aging Writing Workshop for Participants Age 60+with Debbie Leaman

"Where do I belong?"

"Who am I, now that I'm not who I used to be?"

"What is my purpose?"

These are common questions we all ask as we grow older. Writing opens us up to new possibilities, helps unblock 


us, and reveals new pathways toward reinvention and discovery—it changes our perspective in ways that we might not have otherwise seen.

Through shared stories, guided writing prompts, readings, journaling, and other creative means, you will uncover your own personal answers, helping you find purpose and meaning in life's next act. Creative aging means tapping into experience, wisdom and curiosity to awaken a renewed sense of self and create a fulfilling and engaged life. A goal of the class is to work on a personal essay which will provide an opportunity to share your story. No writing experience is necessary. All writing levels are welcome.

This workshop is being offered as two separate sessions:
SESSION A: Tuesdays, February 7, 14, 21, 28
SESSION B: Saturdays, March 4, 11, 18, 25

Click one of the two sessions, above, for more details and to register. 



Because of the overwhelmingly positive response that our 2014/15 INTERSECTIONS project elicited from the community, we’re conducting a continuation entitled INTERSECTIONS II: FORGING FAMILY FROM MORE THAN DNA. Led by local playwright Eric Samuelsen, participants will explore the building and development of family as not just a biological construct, but as a series of intersections with kindred people who deliberately form nurturing families. Samuelsen will work with students to compose their personal stories that celebrate diverse family groups.

These stories will again be compiled and shared with a broader community audience as a staged reading. The performances aim to encourage the celebration of differences, illustrating that LGBTQIA issues are human issues and not restricted to one group of people, as well as striving to build intergenerational connections among LGBTQIA families and their neighbors.

Art Access has established a partnership with Plan-B Theatre. The staged reading of INTERSECTIONS II will be incorporated into their Script-In-Hand series. Plan-B’s The Lab will also participate, utilizing the talents of eight local playwrights who will serve as mentors to selected individuals from this writing workshop, assisting them in the theatrical adaptation of their writings.

Saturdays, October 15, 22, 29, and November 5, 2016
10 AM - 1 PM
Fee: $25


In April and May of 2015, Art Access, in conjunction with SAGE Utah, presented INTERSECTIONS, a collection of original writing pieces, staged for performance, that relay pivotal life experiences of the LGBTQIA community and their allies; The performances took place April 23, 24, 25, 30, May 1, 2 at Art Access.

The staged reading pieces were selected from writing produced during the INTERSECTIONS writing workshop in 2014, as well as a public call for entries. The performance pieces center around points in the life of LGBTQIA people and their allies where life experience came to a critical point of choice and change. The pieces range from comedy, drama, prose, poetry, and all involve storytelling at their core. For many in the LGBTQIA community, their stories have not been shared, and the main objective of INTERSECTIONS was to enhance the opportunity to have those stories captured and shared.

INTERSECTIONS was directed by Charles Lynn Frost, with three outstanding local actors – Nell Gwynn, Appio Hunter and Chris Lemon – reading the various selections. The performances were generously funded by a grant from the B.W. Bastian Foundation, as well as SAGE Utah and Art Access.

The original pieces have been compiled into a pdf publication that you can dowload via the link listed below. Individual pieces are also available for download by clicking the titled pieces.

SELECTED PERFORMANCE PIECES: (Click the pdf link to download)

pdfINTERSECTIONS Complete Selections
pdf"In the Beginning," by Richard Clegg
pdf"Choices," by Sim Gill
pdf"Marriage in My World," by Babs De Lay
pdf"Second Time is the Charm," by Alex Stuart
pdf"Finding Home," by Ben Edgar Williams
pdf"My People," by Maggie Snyder
pdf"Pirouettes, by Shauna Brock
pdf"Gather Up the Fragments," by Sheryl Gillilan
pdf"The Night Jeff Died," by Brent Marrott
pdf"Sweetest Kiss," Anonymous
pdf"Anatomy of an Idea," by Lu Quibelle
pdf"GBBS," by Dr. Christopher Wixom
pdfKing of the Castle," by Melissa Rasmussen
pdf"Nothing But Meat," by Kelly Albrecht
pdf"Living the Life," by Claire Melton
pdf"Feathers," by Richard Clegg

Chosen selections are written by Babs DeLay, Christopher Wixom, Maggie Snyder, Sim Gill, Stephanie Lauritizen, Richard Clegg, Alex Stuart, Shauna Brock, Sheryl D. Gillilan, Brent Marrott, Doug Woodall, Ben Williams, Joyce Marder, Melissa Rasmussen, Lu Quibelle, Kelly Albrecht, and Claire Melton.

     KC Contract color 2016 17UH BF logo horz

This program is provided in part under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and thanks for the Utah Humanities Book Festival


Art Access is grateful to the following partners and funders for their generous support of this program: Lawrence T. Dee & Janet T. Dee Foundation, Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation, George S. & Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, Henry W. & Leslie M. Eskuche Charitable Foundation, McCarthey Family Foundation, Salt Lake City Arts Council, Salt Lake County ZAP, US Bancorp Foundation, and Utah Division of Arts & Museums.

Help Art Access provide inclusive arts programming for Utahns with disabilities and those with limited access to the arts.

Donate Now »

Our 300 Plates Fundraiser and Exhibition takes place the third Thursday in May each year.