Rising Tides

Creative Writing Intensive: Rising Tides

FormerlyBreaking Waters”


“A rising tide raises all boats”

Do you have a project that you’re longing to lavish with attention?
Do you dream of writing with intention and community?

This class is designed for writers who want a pack of allies to work with towards a deadline. Maybe you’re halfway through a manuscript and can’t seem to get back to the keyboard. Maybe it’s finally time to start the big project that you’ve been dreaming of for years. Or maybe you’re almost at the end of something huge, and you just need to know you’re not alone out on the seas of your ideas.

Here’s how it works:

We’ll meet in person once a week for eight sessions with our pens and keyboards at the ready. We’ll start the first class by declaring our goals and ambitions. Your goal might be the last 60 pages, the first five chapters, 15 blog posts, 20 poems, or the whole damn thing. Each person’s progress is going to look different, but wherever you’re at, we’ll map out a clear destination to work towards.

The classes will be a mix of solo writing time and group workshops. You’ll have lots of opportunities to dig in and get work done, as well as chances to share excerpts with the group for supportive and helpful feedback. At the end of each class, we will set mandatory weekly homework goals for ourselves to complete before the next class. You’ll also be the first to use our new accountability software to help you track your goals.

During the course of the sessions you’ll also have a one-hour coaching session with Ailsa to help you shine a light on what’s exciting for you about this project and what might be getting in the way, in order to push past those blocks and get back to the page.

We want all of our participants to put their work out into the world in some way by the time the class ends. That may mean sending it to a publisher, sharing it with a dear friend, reading at an open-mic night, or any other way. You’ll set this goal with Ailsa, and the class will track your progress towards it.

As well as this, there will be one “Studio Session” at Firefly Headquarters; a Sunday afternoon when the group will get together for a quick check in and then six hours of uninterrupted, internet-free, distraction-free writing time to put your heads down and get it done.

This class is about progress, not perfection. We’ll be supporting each other to connect deeply to our work, get out of our own way, and surprise ourselves with what is possible.

This workshop is ideal for people who:

~ Are ready to work hard. You’ll be expected to write lots in between classes, as well as do some homework before the first class.
~ Are looking for meaningful feedback and are ready to give it to others.
~ Are motivated by writing with others in a supportive, caring environment.
~ Have a project on the go or on their minds, and are ready to hit the tarmac running.

You can expect to leave the workshop with:

~ LOTS of new, completed work.
~ A community who shares the same path.
~ Helpful resources on plot, character development and point of view if they’re relevant to your project.
~ A deeper sense of what is possible in your creative life.
~ That sweet, sweet feeling of completion.
~ Courage, momentum, and new ideas.

This class isn’t a good fit for people who:

~ Have finished manuscripts that they are working to polish and publish. Please see Firefly’s Manuscript Services for this.
~ Think that writing only thrives on harsh and critical feedback — we’re happy to answer any questions you have about your work but we don’t believe in harsh or unstructured critique.
~ Freeze up at the idea of big chunks of time to write — we won’t be walking you through how to write, we’ll be giving you the container to just DO it.
~ Need a lot of instruction in order to put pen to paper.

Details:Photo of Ailsa Bristow smiling

* 8 Thursday evenings (7:00-9:45pm), April 20th – June 15th (no class on May 18th)
* PLUS a studio session May 7, noon – 6pm
* PLUS a coaching session to be scheduled with Ailsa after sign-up
* At the Firefly Studio on the Danforth near Woodbine


The total fee is $595. When you sign up you’ll be asked for a $200 deposit to confirm your spot. The balance will be due two weeks before class starts. You’ll also have the option of breaking your balance into four monthly credit-card payments of $98.75. There’s no extra fee for this service; we just like being able to offer it.

To see our financial policies, click here.


Here’s a link to the Q & A for all Firefly Toronto classes. If you still don’t have the answer you’re looking for, drop us a line.  We’re super friendly.

Looking for more options?

Take a peek at our other in-house workshops, our online writing classes, or our coaching services.




Can We Keep In Touch?

Can We Keep In Touch?

Every 2-3 weeks we email out a poem we love, a link to a new video writing prompt, and news of upcoming workshops. Can we send them to you?

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