Chapter Organizations of AWA

What is a chapter?

Every AWA chapter has its own operating principles. Typically, a chapter is a group of AWA-trained workshop leaders who come together to support one another. They encourage each other’s growth both as facilitators and as writers. At their best, these groups meet regularly and host events to build community.

One basic chapter structure is founded on two semi-annual meetings: one concerned with the business of workshop leadership, the other devoted to writing together and nurturing the creative life. Some chapters are less formalized, choosing to meet more frequently and address a variety of topics.

Where does AWA have chapters?

Current chapters include IrelandCanada; Sacramento, California; and the greater Washington, D.C. area.

While some of the linked websites are under construction, each page has contact info for the group’s leadership. Please reach out if you are interested in joining one of those chapters or learning more about their work. If you have trouble finding that information, email AWA and we will provide it to you.

Regional groups are also beginning to form in North Carolina, Michigan, and the NY/NJ area, with many more to come. See below if you’d like to start building community momentum in your area!

How do I begin a regional chapter?

We can help you host a one- or two-day retreat (or a series of them) to gauge interest and connect with other workshop leaders in your area.

First, we provide a list of local workshop leaders and their contact info if you’d like to reach out directly. We also advertise the event on our calendar, in mailings, and on social media. If you’d like, we’ll manage registration for you so all you need to plan is the schedule.

We have a sample outline for how you might choose to run a day-long retreat. We’ve also supported a weekend event and can share materials from that if you’d like. Or make the event entirely your own! Even something as simple as a drop-in coffee could work.

We also have a step-by-step guide to help you get started.

What about a chapter based on a specific kind of AWA work?

Some leaders have expressed desire to connect not just with local colleagues but with facilitators who are working with similar populations or in similar settings. We would love to support this vision!

The first step to making this possible is using our label system to indicate what kinds of workshops you lead. If you’re a non-affiliated workshop leader, email us to let us know. An accurate database of this information allows us to connect you with one another. We also encourage groups to find each another and begin a conversation on our affiliate forum.

The second step is to let us know about the group you’d like to start. We can then provide contact information so you can get in touch with leaders who share your interest. AWA has the capability to host large virtual meetings using Zoom. Once you have gathered a potential chapter, we are happy to host a gathering for you or potentially set up an ongoing series. Check out our step-by-step guide for more information.