Rising Tides

A studio-style class for anyone who has a writing project they long to lavish with attention


“A rising tide raises all boats” ~ Proverb

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. You’ll be part of a small (maximum 7 participants) but dedicated group of writers who are ready to make some progress. 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.

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 five 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.

  • Thrive in small, cozy groups (this class will never have more than 7 participants)

  • 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.




8 Tuesday mornings 10am – 12:45pm
September 10 – November 5 (no class Oct 15).

Plus a Studio Session Sunday October 6, 12-5pm Plus a one hour one-on-one coaching session TBD.
At the Firefly Studio with Ailsa


The workshop fee is $650. When you sign up you’ll be asked for a $325 deposit to confirm your spot, the balance of $325 will be due a week later. You’ll also have the option of breaking your balance into four monthly credit-card payments of $81.25. There’s no extra fee for this service; we just like being able to offer it. Note, HST will be added to all costs.

To see our financial and cancellation policies, click here.


Ready to take the leap?

Sorry this workshop is full.

We’re not sure when we’ll be bringing this back next, but we hope soon! When we do, you can get a nudge when early registration begins by submitting your email below. Alternately, join our mailing list to keep up to date on all things Firefly.


Your answer is probably on this page.

Looking for more options?

Take a peek at our other in-house workshops, our coaching services, or our monthly writers care package.

What people are saying:


I was amazed by how this class provided such ease and constant support. Making significant progress on a big personal project felt like a big task at the beginning of ‘Rising Tides’, but the leaser led us through expertly, and by the end I was amazed at how much progress we had all made. Her attention to detail, perceptive insights and knowledge of structure make this class a great choice for anyone who wants to work towards a deadline and make a ton of headway on their project. Definitely recommend!

Shannon Litt
Videographer, Writer


I left this workshop knowing not only where I was in the creative process, but that there IS a creative process! I signed up for this class knowing I wanted to keep moving toward my vision for my writing, but entirely unsure of what I needed next. Ailsa helped me see where I was, and also see that what I needed was much more gentle than I was being with myself. Her kindness was only surpassed by her ability to listen for my [writing] voice, even when I couldn’t hear it. From prompts to poems to setting a peaceful tone every time we gathered around the Firefly table, she was a wonderful guide through the next stage of my writing.

Jennie Grado
Writer, Mom, Engineer

Lisa-Stanton circle.png

I left this workshop knowing I had stories to tell- and the fire to keep writing. Even though our group was comprised of writers focusing on completely different projects, Ailsa seamlessly connected us.  With memoir, it can be scary to share such personal stories with strangers, but quickly, our little group bonded over tea, cookies and our projects in the cozy Firefly studio. Ailsa made me feel completely comfortable and helped me dig deeper to figure out what I wanted and needed to write. And for that, I will be forever grateful.

Lisa Stanton