“Ellen’s writing workshop renewed my faith in my writing self, and in writing groups in general. Ellen’s kindness and wisdom, both as a facilitator of process for a diverse group of writers, and one-on-one in private sessions renewed my confidence in myself and my work. I will always be grateful.”
—Felicia Ward, Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and winner of the Nimrod Award for Fiction

“Having taken three of her weekend writing workshops, I remain impressed at the subtle, indeed alchemical, way Ellen Bass quickly engenders a safe supportive space in which a wide range of participants create and share increasingly profound and personal, sometimes painful and frequently humorous, work. Inspired and encouraged by the group, I am amazed at the depths to which I am able to dive, and then can carry the magical experience back to my home writing practice.”
Jim Van Buskirk, author of four books, including Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area and Celluloid San Francisco: A Film Lover’s Guide to San Francisco Movie Locations

“I can never say how much I’ve learned from Ellen. Her teaching is brilliant, honest, and gentle. She’s funny! She encourages her students to give themselves permission to make their writing important, to work toward what is best in their writing, and to be patient with the process. She’s become very dear to me. I couldn’t have written my book without her.”
Pat Zylius, poet, author of Once a Vibrant Field

“Ellen creates a warm and supportive environment for writers of every genre.  You cannot help but be inspired and stimulated—and your writing blossoms!”
Sharon Bray, teacher of the Wellspring Writing Workshops and author of A Healing Journey: Writing Together through Breast Cancer

“Ellen Bass’s workshop changed my whole creative trajectory. I came into her workshop stuck and going in circles and by the end of the workshop I couldn’t stop creating. She helped me break through and land upon a character that became the basis for my solo show Loveland. I am thrilled to say that Loveland has become a huge success in theaters and it all began from Ellen’s incredible permission and guidance to explore with wild abandon.”
Ann Randolph, actor, writer, educator

“Ellen Bass . . . what a gift to work with you and receive those gems of wisdom that you have imparted. I came away from your workshop encouraged and inspired with a notebook full of new poems, beginnings, prompts and so many possible avenues on how to walk around a poem to finally reach it. You gave so much of your brilliance to everyone who attended and for that I am forever grateful. ”
Meg Tuite, Pushcart Prize nominee, co-author of Bare Bulbs Swinging, and author of Domestic Apparition, Disparate PathosReverberations, Bound By Blue, and Her Skin is a Costume

“Studying with Ellen is sheer delight! She has an openness which invites creativity, is skillful at her craft, with the ability to transmit technical information in an accessible way. She is gentle with advice and criticism, has a terrific sense of humor, and relishes the process of discovery and understanding the craft of poetry affords us.”
Magdalena Montagne, Poet-teacher

“I’ve taken writing workshops with Ellen, and she is a gifted teacher. She has a way with saying just the right thing (and of letting silence do its important work too . . . in teaching and in writing, she’s a master of negative space).”
Kate Evans, author of four books, online writing coach

“Ellen Bass has a particular knack for encouraging each of us to write the rich truth of our lives, leading to personal growth and making the experience of writing so rewarding. Her workshops have transformed my writing and my life.”
—Roberta Downing, writing memoir

“Her process is deceptively simple in appearance, but profound in its effectiveness. With Ellen Bass you learn almost as much by listening to her coach your fellow writers as you do from her razor-sharp, insightful critiques of your own work. She maintains a focused, sensitive, serious atmosphere where each one gets as much specific feedback as he or she wants, and where a fascinating mix of writers and poets support one another in a warm, powerful way. I’d recommend her workshops to anyone who wants to become a better writer or poet.”
—Dick Guthrie, aspiring author of memoirs about commanding a rifle company in Vietnam

“I hosted a workshop with Ellen in my home last fall and I cannot encourage all of you enough to find a way to work with her. Ellen has not only a truly gifted way of looking at a poem but the most blessed way of helping a poet see new perspectives and potential in their own piece. She is very affirming and has a terrific sense of humor. Give yourself the gift of Ellen’s workshop and you will not regret it!”
- Georgia Popoff, poet, author of Coaxing Nectar from Longing, The Dream Weaver, and Our Difficult Sunlight, and editor of Comstock Review

“Ellen Bass is a wonderful teacher, presence, gift to the creative spirit and the world. I love her. I unconditionally recommend her. She has a generous heart, soul, spirit . . . and the poetry of her, not only what she writes but who she is . . . is transformative and touching and creates that needed safe and sacred space to explore our words, sounds, music, souls, shadows, grittiness, juice, fumbling, breath, ways of coming up for air . . . again and again.”
- Stewart Mintzer, poet

“After not having written for twenty-five years, I was lucky to find Ellen Bass, who encouraged and affirmed my beginning efforts. Had it not been for her, I do not think I would have gone on, and if I had gone on, the way would have been tortuous. I particularly was helped by Ellen’s approach to the poem as being a process of life.”
-Phyllis Koestenbaum, author of eight volumes of poetry and anthologized in The Best Ameican Poetry

“I want to once again thank you for your inspiration, support and nudging. You are a marvelous teacher and model for the creative process, the work it takes and the results it yields in product and personal gratification. I am recognizing the poet in myself, finding the reorganization of my way of seeing the world and my experiences in it so stimulating at times and so right in the way it soothes me at other times. Beyond thank you.”
- Nancy K. Brown, memoir and poetry

“Thank you for being a person with whom the effort to speak up is always worthwhile; thank you for the generosity of your wisdom, which is both profound and practical; and thank you for constantly articulating your faith in my writing, which has helped me up over and over. . . .”
- Kathryn Kefauver, novelist

“These workshops have given my work a safe place to go before going out into the world, a sort of half-way house for wayward writing. Attending them is a reminder to me that no effort is (or needs to be) truly solitary.”
-Danusha Lameris, author of The Moons of August

“I first took a writing class from Ellen Bass 35 years ago and it was life changing – the effects rippled out from there and continue to this day. Ellen was and is an inspiration. If I sound wildly enthusiastic and over the top about Ellen, it is because I am. So give yourself a gift and work with her.”
- Andrea Steffens, PhD and author of Pompeii’s Children, Tough Women and Mama’s Coming Home

“Before I venture off on my own, leaving behind the safety of the group, I want to take a moment to thank you. For years I have wanted to acknowledge that part of me that longs to write, but I have always managed to give every other part of my life priority. With the help of your class I have rediscovered just how much I love writing and what an important part of me the writing side can be. I thank you for that. Your positive feedback, your gentle suggestions, and most of all, your willingness to honor the writer in all of us–these have helped me ease into the writing life. My real triumph? For the first time, I actually wrote to the end of a journal! I suspect that will be the first of many.”
- Ellen Newberry

“A writer’s workshop (or retreat) facilitated by Ellen Bass is a rare and inspiring opportunity. I learned so much, about writing and about myself, that the experience is still resonant and meaningful long after the fact.”
- Susan Pritzker