Writing Workshops, Coaching/Editorial, Retreats, Yoga
writing in community
Inwood Writing Workshops offer a space for small, diverse groups of writers to share their work weekly and received constructive feedback on their work. The workshop groups are small, so everyone who wants has time to share each session. Feedback is focused on what the writer is attempting to accomplish, and each writer can request comments on specific issues. There is no 'house style' and all genres are welcome. I gear prompts and feedback to the needs of workshop participants rather than using a pre-existing formula.
There is one opening in Thursday workshop beginning January 20, 2022, so contact me if you are interested. Because workshops capped at 6 people, openings are rare. However, you can contact me if interested in future workshops TBA in 2022. Because of COVID, workshops will be held on Zoom for now, so this is a good chance to attend the workshop if you live outside of NYC or far from Inwood.
Periodically, I lead workshops to help writers who want guidance in how to submit work to journals, agents, and publishers. I also teach yoga for writers workshops, to aid in accessing creative flow and compassionate self-discipline. If interested in either of these, I will put you on the contact list, and announce on this website.
"Julia is a masterful writer and teacher. Her workshop was the perfect environment to finish my book."
- Heather Greer
If you prefer to work one-on-one, I also offer private coaching and editorial service...
one-on-one coaching and manuscript reviews
In addition to ongoing workshops, I offer one-on-one services to help writers stay accountable to their own writing projects. Any long writing project is a marathon with lonely and fallow patches. If you would like a coach to help you through the rough patches and see you to the end of your book or other project, get in touch. As with workshops, I focus on helping you find your own voice and identifying the story only you can tell.
I offer all editing services, but I specialize in manuscript reviews, for writers who have a draft of a project completed—or close to completed—who want an overview of their draft. I provide a summary report and a reader report, usually exceeding twenty pages. This report provides a map for the writer to dive back in and do their own developmental edit. As with the coaching, I focus on the writer's own intentions and helping them hone in on their own story. I will never try to get you write like I do. I will ask questions in order that you may re-see your work as if from the outside in order to revise with fresh eyes. If after that, you still want a developmental edit, I can do that. But most writers go on to edit their manuscript themselves, which is far more economical than hiring someone else to do it, and ensures you stay true to your own vision.
"Julia Lee Barclay-Morton is a gifted editor, writer, reviewer. I hired her for her manuscript review services and am so pleased with her work, relentless in exposing the problems—and pointing toward solutions—in a problem-laden and complex manuscript. I highly recommend her. Your project would be in good hands and you would learn much to apply in future new work. Thank you, Julia"
- Vicky Gundrum
And if you want a really deep dive into your writing, check out the retreat below...
precious time and space to write in the Northern Isles of Scotland
I offer two-week writing retreats in the incomparable Orkney Isles of Scotland in the summer, in a 17th Century Manse on Westray, where the North Sea and Atlantic meet. These retreats include access to daily guided yoga and meditation and a communal room you can use for your own practice at any time of the day or night. I am a certified Kripalu yoga teacher with decades of experience meditating and doing yoga.
Each day begins with optional gentle yoga and meditation, then a quiet house until 5pm. There is ample space to write, with each room looking out to the Westray Firth, and any time of the day you can take a 5 minute walk to a sandy beach or explore the island. This time of year it barely gets dark at night, and even when it does there is a glow at the horizon. The wind and sound of the ocean and the sea accompanies you down any creative byways you explore in a cozy, warm house with chef's kitchen. After dinner, we meet at 7pm for a writing workshop where everyone who wants to read shares work and gets supportive and constructive feedback. On the weekend you have time to explore the islands or continue the deep dive into your writing. All of the photos on this page other than the top one of Ugo the cat are photos taken in the Orkney Isles.
The 2020 and 2021 retreats scheduled for June and July have been CANCELLED due to COVID and associated travel restrictions. I will reschedule once the pandemic is finally in the rearview and I am sure we can travel safely.
Contact me for more information and pricing on the rooms. The fee is far less than comparable retreats in order to keep it accessible.
"The island continues to shimmer in my mind - it was there, and with you all, that I faced the necessity of surfacing with all of this, of becoming visible.
The retreat gave me a rare place of stillness in which to hear my voice and my profound connection to the landscape, to feel the shape of it. Important to this was being able to live alongside others, all there to dedicate time to their writing, holding to silence in the day in an atmosphere of encouragement."
- Jules Bradbury
Can't make it to the retreat but interested in the yoga? See below...
Kripalu Yoga Teacher
gentle, compassionate, meditative yoga for everyBody
Having practiced Kripalu Yoga for over 20 years, I became a KYT/RYT 200 certified yoga teacher in 2019. The cornerstone of this lineage is embodied by this quote from Swami Kripalu: "Self observation without judgment is the highest form of spiritual practice."
Yoga can be done by every Body, and the practices of pranayama (breathing) and asanas (postures) are intended as a way to relax the body into a meditative state. I focus on guiding breathing, gentle movement, which allows for a meditation in motion that invites you to tap into your own body's deep inner wisdom, and witness consciousness, a compassionate awareness that can allow for greater insight into oneself and one's creative work.
This is an excellent practice for writers and all creative people to 'strengthen the container.' I have also found it a good way to ground myself into my body, which has aided me—gently, over many years—in healing from deeply embedded past traumas that had led me to dissociate. I am not a therapist or medical practitioner, but Kripalu yoga has been deeply healing for me, and I love being able to offer this compassionate practice to others.
SPECIAL NOTICE: I moved to Zoom classes because of COVID restrictions. The March 2020 online classes I did teach went very well. However, I contracted COVID and then spent over a year healing from long-haul COVID using the techniques I am now certified in to help tone the vagus nerve in order to soothe the nervous system.
I am now teaching new gentle, healing yoga classes integrating polyvagal theory and somatic healing. In April, I taught a 4-part series on Sundays, which I am offering now via recordings. I will be teaching a 2-part series on May 15 & 22, Sundays at 4-5:30pm Eastern, which will build on the April series. Please contact me for details on how to register for May and get access to recordings. Both are offered on a sliding scale. No one turned away for lack of funds.**
You will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom info for classes and/or links to recordings. As someone recently diagnosed on the autism spectrum at age 57, it is my passion and commitment to ensure my classes are neurodiversity friendly and accessible to all regardless of disability or health challenges, visible or invisible. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about the class.
Jennifer Stitt wrote after taking this healing, gentle yoga class:
"It was a great class! The breathing exercises were calming; the gentle stretches loosened me up without overdoing anything, & my POTS could even handle the gradual postural transitions (!). I tend to push, push, push, but this class allowed me to take it slower & just relax (I am bad at relaxing, generally). I’m looking forward to the next one. So glad you’ll be offering classes on a regular basis!"
I am also available for private classes, solo or small groups, to help you develop a meditative, gentle practice designed specifically for your body. I also teach special workshops designed for writers, and can travel to any groups interested in this type of practice.
"This was excellent. You were wonderful and this was relaxing, calming, invigorating. It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Lovely. Comforting, relaxing. More than I could have asked for. I feel refreshed which in these times is a bit of a miracle. Highly recommend."
"I want to tell you how much I appreciate your Kripalu yoga classes. I was hesitant to try yoga because I was afraid of injuring myself and/or looking ridiculous, but I found that the clear guidance and individual options you offer in class made yoga eminently doable for me. It’s also been a surprise to find that gentle yoga can have such beneficial effects. Since I began the practice, I’ve noticed subtle and not-so-subtle positive changes in my balance, strength, agility, and serenity. I also appreciated the workshop with its introduction to the foundations of Kripalu and illustration of how yoga can be an integral part of daily living. I’m so glad you are offering classes again in February. I hope that this is the beginning of a lifelong practice."
- Donna Craig
** If you would like to donate to help subsidize my pay-what-you-can fee structure to keep gentle, healing yoga accessible to everyone who needs and wants it, please do so below: