Grounded Writers

A 12-week program for Muslim writers: build your writing skills and recharge your writing life
Next offering: Winter 2024

Registration is now closed. Please join the waitlist to learn when Grounded Writers will be open for enrollment again and for announcements about upcoming programs.

“I can’t express the depth of how fondly I feel about this program.”

Heba Subeh-Hyder

Being a writer can be very lonely. It can be so easy to give up on ourselves and our writing with all the challenges that we face — the self-doubt, the struggle to even call ourselves writers, the helplessness we feel when we’re stuck on a project and don’t know how to keep going.

What if you had a group of writers who supported you and uplifted you, who understood how difficult it can be to sustain a writing practice and to live the life of a writer, but who also get that we don’t choose writing, writing chooses us.

What if you had a mentor who demystified craft and showed you how easy it was to elevate your prose and write with depth and courage. What could you accomplish?

Introducing Grounded Writers, a wholesome writing program for Muslim writers.* Our community of wholehearted writers is supportive, generous, and giving. We celebrate each other’s accomplishments, freely share tips and resources, and help each other get to the heart of our struggles and find a way back to our writing.

We genuinely show up for each other. Out here, your writing matters.

“As someone who has been struggling with a great deal of self-doubt and lack of consistency in my writing, Grounded Writers was the boost I needed.” 

Nur Bhatti

The Details

Grounded Writers is a 12-week program. We meet on Zoom once a week for one hour. All sessions are recorded.

Over the course of 12 weeks, you’ll get:

  • 4 Discussion sessions: In these sessions we begin with a journaling prompt related to our topic for the week and then dive into a facilitated discussion. These sessions also include check-ins to see how our writing is going, address any struggles we’re facing, and see how we can better support each other. (See below for a detailed list of discussion topics.)
  • 4 Workshop sessions: In these sessions we study a particular aspect of craft and how to apply it in our writing. Examples from different genres are given, including picture books, YA, and adult fiction. Each workshop session ends with an optional assignment that you can work on during the week and submit for feedback. (See below for a detailed list of workshop topics.)
  • 4 Writing practice sessions: In these sessions we write together for one hour and use prompts to practice what we learnt in our craft sessions. You also have the option of working on your own writing projects during this time.
  • Daily writing or journaling prompts: If you don’t have a writing project that you’re working on, these prompts will help you to stay motivated to write throughout the duration of the program. You can also use these prompts to further your work-in-progress.
  • Grounded Writers Slack group: Our Slack group is used for check-ins, accountability, and resource sharing.
  • Guest Author: Q&A sessions about writing and publishing with guest authors. Our guest authors in 2022 included Marzieh Abbas and Asmaa Hussein.

Please join the waitlist to learn when Grounded Writers will be offered again and for announcements about upcoming programs.

Zoom sessions will be held weekly. All sessions will be recorded.

The Schedule

Week 1: “The Stories We Tell Ourselves”
A discussion session on what it means to be a writer, how to have a healthy relationship with our writing, and how to set up a sustainable writing practice

Week 2: Writing practice session

Week 3: “It’s All In The Details”
A workshop session on writing scenes and creating settings that feel alive and engage the reader’s senses

Week 4: “Write The Book You Want To Read”
A discussion session on Muslim representation in literature and what it means to write with authenticity and without catering to the white gaze 

Week 5: Writing practice session

Week 6: “It Feels As If I Know You”
A workshop session on creating compelling characters that feel real and that don’t fall into cliches or stereotypes 

Week 7: “The Voices In Our Heads”
A discussion session on the inner critic and self-doubt and how to rethink the value of rejection and who gets to define rejection for us

Week 8: Writing practice session

Week 9: “Whose Story Is It Anyway”
A workshop session on point of view, how to choose the right POV for your story and avoid common mistakes 

Week 10: “Giving Up Is Not An Option”
A discussion session on owning our writing journeys, understanding the reasons why we write, and celebrating the gift that is our writing

Week 11: Writing practice session

Week 12: “Not Quite Done Yet”
A workshop on revision and how to take a story from a first draft, excavate it for its potential, and see it through to a final draft

My hope is that this program allows you to grow into the writer that you know you can be, and to do it alongside a group of writers who will cheer you on and offer support that is nourishing and fulfilling.

Welcome to your writing community. I can’t wait for you to join us.

On a more personal note…

Grounded Writers started as a four-week spur-of-the-moment program that I put together because so many writers I’ve worked with individually have told me how lonely writing can be, and how difficult it can be to keep going without a support system in place. I’ve been writing for years myself, and I know that I thrive when I have a writing community to sustain me.

The first round of Grounded Writers ran for four weeks in March 2022. And it felt like coming home. We had enriching conversations around what it means to write with vulnerability, the risks that we take when we write authentically, the challenges of writing our stories and sharing our work in spaces that weren’t created for us, issues in Muslim literature, how to write about difficult topics, and so much more.

The Grounded Writers community was the writing family that I didn’t know I needed. I can’t wait to get started again and I look forward to welcoming you to our group.

*I want to ensure that we have a safe space to talk about writing and identity and issues specific to Muslim literature. If you are not Muslim and would like to participate in a program like this, please contact me. I may open up a general group if there is enough interest.