Susan Lynn Reynolds
is a writer of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, and an accredited writing instructor in the Amherst Writers and Artists method. She has been teaching creative writing for over 10 years. She has taught continuing education courses in Advanced Creative Writing and in Memoir at Durham College as well as presenting other specialized areas of writing in workshops throughout southern Ontario.
Her 1992 novel Strandia won the Canadian Library Association‘s national YA Novel of the Year award, and she won the Timothy Findley Creative Writing Prize three times for her short stories and poetry. Her area of specialty is the therapeutic use of journaling and memoir, and her thesis on that topic received the Canadian Psychological Association’s Award of Academic Excellence in 2006. She has been leading writing workshops for female inmates at Central East Correctional Centre for four years and received the 2007 June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism for that program. She is currently working on her Masters.
Here’s what former participants in Sue’s workshops have said:
Sue’s teaching style creates a sense of safety for new and experienced writers alike and her process has helped me open up my writing and find, explore, and craft the stories that are most important to me. Sue nurtures the creative and writing process and has an ability to create a space for others to write in that is both safe and completely accessible. I could not recommend a workshop with Sue more highly – if you have the chance, go.
– Nora Landry, published author
As a novice writer, the support, encouragement and technical advise I have received from Sue has been invaluable. Mere weeks after meeting her, and attending a ‘Santuary Sunday’, my first short story was accepted for publication. Thanks Sue!
- Sharon Overend
To any budding writers looking for a course to futher their skills, I highly recommend any course taught by Sue Reynolds. Her courses aren’t as much a class as they are a journey of discovery shared by both the teacher and the student, and I’m richer for having taken it.
– Dale Long, published author
Taking a Creative Writing course from Susan Lynn Reynolds was like discovering that resplendent, but elusive, oasis in a desert filled with instructor claims that only profess to share their knowledge of the writing craft. Instead, Sue has a remarkable insight into the foundations of writing and effortlessly communicates her thoughts, often using visual techniques. Class assignments were thoughtfully prepared, designed to make her students find and push their inventive buttons. Personally, I found Sue’s use of examples of good writing, followed by class discussions, a powerful way to learn about the nuances of creative writing styles and I’ve benefited from these strategically in my writing. Taking the initiative to improve one’s writing through learning from others is always an intellectual and financial investment; but the Creative Writing course I took from Sue had profound returns.
– Ian D. Manson
It was a learning pleasure to have attended the all day memoir writing seminar held at Uxbridge Library on Oct 18th,2008. Being a novice memoir writer [I picked up my pen to start a few months earlier], I did not know what to expect except that as I drove from Toronto to Uxbridge I thought to myself “will this long drive be worth my time?” As things turned out I would drive a much longer distance to participate in one of her classes. I recommended her as a teacher to all my friends who ask me about writing memoirs.
– Seymour Eliesen, Toronto, On.
Susan’s reputation as an excellent writer and instructor preceded her in my case. After registering for an Advanced Creative Writing course that she was leading at Durham College, I happily discovered the rumour to be true. Sue had the knowledge and ability to stimulate this fledgling writer in developing a voice as well as skills. Her approach is friendly, energetic and challenging. I heartily recommend her tutelage to anyone desiring to improve their writing craft ability. I proudly consider her a valued mentor.
– Dave Jones
Sue provided an open and organic environment not only to learn from her own considerable experience but from the ‘give and take’ spirit she fostered throughout the whole workshop. What I mean to say is we were given the permission to write badly, which is where all honest writing starts.
– Greg Dodd
While the other members were sharing their first writing, I immediately noticed that Sue provided a warm, supportive atmosphere in which the encouragement of each person’s creativity allowed their writing juices to flow easily. When it was time to share, Sue gently nudged me to share, noting that it was necessary for growth in writing. I was shaking, because I was incredibly nervous. Slowly, and through many opportunities to write, I eventually found my inhibitions and self limiting internal dialogue are quickly whisked away from my imagination. I eventually looked forward to reading aloud, as I gained more personal power and confidence with each piece of writing.
Sue provides personal feedback, and an optimistic approach to one’s personal experience. I would sign up to another one of her courses in a heartbeat. Her gentle, confident and caring manner provides a very rich and positive experience. She is a real treasure to beginning writers.
– Christine Dimitris
I highly recommend taking a course with Sue. Not only will you come out a better writer but you will come away with characters and ideas that were hidden beneath your surface, just waiting for someone to bring them up out for you. The writing stuff is very important for budding authors and literary geniuses but the best thing if you are lucky, is you will come away with a great friend and mentor. I know I did.
– Sarah Gall
Regarding Sanctuary Sundays:
I have attended many of Sue Reynolds’ Sanctuary Sunday Writing retreats. She is a creative, articulate and affirming facilitator, who guides writers through imaginative and inspiring exercises that stimulate on-the-spot writing. Her prompts are unique and stimulate profound and often surprising pieces of work. She is very knowledgeable about the writer’s craft, other mentors’ books and resources, and shares her expertise and extensive library willingly. She has the unique gift of being able to hear participant’s writing and pick out the interesting images, phrases and connections, and holds them to the light.
My writing has improved considerably as a result of the safe and supportive haven she provides, in which writers can take risks, try new genres and stretch their imagination. My writing also has improved as a consequence of hearing other writers share their work, which stimulates group energy and further creative exploration.
– Katie Marshall Flaherty, poet and author of Salt, Tilted Equilibrium, Hobbledehoy and String of Mysteries