You’ve always wanted to write but don’t know how to start? There’s a new creative space in town that offers something unconventional for aspiring writers. Firefly Creative Writing Studio, located along the eastern end of Danforth Avenue, is a cozy nook for those looking to be inspired. The environment lends itself for more open-minded guidance rather than critique style coaching. There’s a time and place for that too…but not here. The purpose here is help your creative energy flow.
Owner Chris Kay Fraser tells us that it all started around a campfire a few years ago on a remote island during a documentary film retreat she had attended. People gathered and started talking without inhibition and without being judged about life experiences. “It was this incredible moment of sharing, healing and openness that was not facilitated at all,” said Fraser. ” But I realized that when people get together to create art in an environment that was really kind and wasn’t based on hierarchy or competition, that open-hearted exploratory and beautiful healing stuff naturally happened. I wanted to figure out how to make this campfire feeling last for the rest of my life. I wanted to be in an environment where people can freely express and share themselves, their stories and feelings. I wanted people to feel excited about that without competition or fear of being judged.”
Firefly’s concept is there is no right or wrong in the art of writing just like other art forms. “You can feel so vulnerable when you create but creating around people we don’t know opens us up to all of our fears.” said Fraser.
She explains that when we write, we often write from experiences and feel “naked” most of the time. So, it’s important for her studio to make people feel safe, nourished and accepted.
She began her creative writing workshops out of her home in 2005. It was through word-of-mouth and hand-made flyers posted on community boards that people would discover her writing groups. “I didn’t really expect a lot of people to call me, it was shot in the dark but the phone started to ring,” said Fraser. “Now we’ve grown into this store front space and we have six writing instructors.”
So, who’s been interested? Fraser explains that there’s a variety of people that join in from teens to seniors and moms. Bloggers too? Sure. She has writing groups that get together and meet here with common interests. It’s for anyone who really want to get their creative juices flowing.
But what about critiquing? It’s not that kind of coaching here. I get the sense that they aren’t the types to get detailed about grammar and sentence structure. They are all about the creative process and developing characters. Training you how to “let it go” without the worry. But of course, they recognize the importance of grammar and such..but if you were to go to a publisher they have editors hired to do that. It’s all about unravelling and your voice, your thoughts, and your story here without fear.
There is a communal space for groups here as well as a quiet space for individuals. Writing workshops range from one-offs to weekly gatherings. Open studio time is also great here for people who would like no distractions.
Along the bookshelves you’ll also discover a section of works published by some the students as well as a shelf for blank journals left behind by students to may inspire others to start. The space also has subtle affirmations found in little nooks. We like this one…
Firefly Creative Writing Studio is located at 1898 Danforth Avenue. The closest TTC subway station is Woodbine. Visit their website for more info.