The creative process is not linear. Your writing life is a lived experience, and it evolves over time. There’s definitely a craft to learn, but every writer works differently.
There is no formula. Every story you write will ask something new from you.
It sounds impossible, and yet, deep down, you know you’re called to do it. You can’t not write.
How do you live a writing life? To be a writer, we need to do these three things:
It sounds so easy. But if those three things were easy to do, everyone would be a writer.
We know it’s not easy. This is why we made Centered.
Show up for your writing practice.
Meet colleagues, allies, and friends.
Ask for the help you need, and support the writers you can.
As a member of this community, you’ll feel motivated to commit to your writing life for the long term.
We believe that what you pay attention to grows. We want writers to grow creatively without making themselves feel like they’re wrong all the time. That’s why, in our programs, we focus on what works. We find writers’ strengths and magnify them.
We believe that writers empowered with craft can be visionary culture-makers. And that writers who know how to accept the mystery of the creative process can find insight, surprise, and joy in their work.
We believe that a non-competitive environment builds creative, confident, curious, and psychologically healthy writers.
We try to meet writers where they are, and help them evolve on their own terms. We endeavour to support the entire writer, and the entire process of writing, from beginning phases to advanced. We want to make high quality writing instruction accessible, affordable, and flexible.
We have seen the extraordinary bonds that are created among writers when they write in community. Those of you who have been through our programs have experienced that magic. If you haven’t yet, we’ve been told time and time again that it's life-changing.
As a collective, we're paying attention to writing in a particular way: from a generous, generative, and imaginative place. We appreciate the power of technique, and are always open to learning more. We are a community of writers, in different phases of our writing life, from around the globe. Our diversity brings resilience, curiosity, strength, and interest.
Centered is a space that inspires our collective growth. You’ll find thoughtful individuals and friends here; our members help each other cultivate a satisfying writing life. Our community will encourage you, challenge you, assist you, and meet you where you are.
“Using Centered to enrich my writing practice has done wonders for my state of mind and my writing. It keeps me connected to my creativity, even when I am struggling to produce work in my own practice. It reminds me to write for pleasure.”
“I really love the feel and atmosphere of Centered. I also love the platform and how intuitive and easy it is to use. It's a beautiful space! ... I am really happy to be a part of the community! Thank you for creating it!”
“Centered is the community I've been waiting for. An opportunity to connect with thoughtful, kind, brilliant writers from all over the world. It is an unparalleled opportunity for daily practice and sharing – truly a supportive, inspiring place to nurture my writing.”
Every day, we drop a new writing prompt (and every two weeks, a story prompt). Sustain your daily writing habit and share your writing with an active community of writers. The prompts are designed to help get you out of your own way and to trigger your imagination, whatever that looks like for you.
Soon, you’ll have heaps of new characters, scenes, and other surprising raw material in your notebook. It’s amazing how ten minutes a day can add up.
Encouragement from the other members gives you momentum, so you look forward to writing every day.
As graduates of our writing programs know, the magic really happens in the discussion forum. In Centered, you get to experience that magic every day.
Connect with writers who understand why you’re dedicating yourself to this craft. Share knowledge and resources, get book recommendations and help with research, and pose your tricky craft questions to the group. Even introverts need good writing conversation!
We wanted to offer a discussion forum that wasn’t exclusive to our writing courses. Writers who aren’t taking a current writing program should still get to have a sparkling community. Centered is an easy way to meet other writers, inspire each other, and evolve together.
Our forum is on a private site, to keep distraction at a minimum. You can put your deep focus on writing and not be interrupted by social media. And if posting your words on public sites makes you uneasy (we get it), you can feel safe to do so here.
Connect with a professional, published writer in the Discussion Forum and throughout your membership in Centered.
Our Writer in Residence for the month of June is Kelly S. Thompson.
Kelly is the author of instant Globe and Mail bestseller Girls Need Not Apply (Penguin Random House), a memoir about her experiences a female captain serving in the Canadian Armed Forces and her journey to make space for herself in a traditionally masculine world.
Kelly has an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. Her work has appeared in magazines including Maclean's, Chatelaine, and Maisonneuve. Her essay “We Are a (Military) Family” won the 2017 Barbara Novak Award for Excellence in Personal Essay.
Of course, we will continue to bring you inspiring, high-calibre writing programs throughout the year. As a member of Centered, you'll receive a 15% discount on all regular priced offerings at the Sarah Selecky Writing School.
Writers go through a cycle as they evolve. There are things that we may need to learn (or re-learn) before we can find ourselves in the next phase of the journey.
As a Centered member, you’ll have access to our Evolutionary Cycle of a Writer scale, so you can assess where you are right now and make a good decision about what to try next.
We know you’re a good writer. But are you pushing yourself out of your comfort zone? Is it time to start submitting your work? Or is your writing asking you to go back to beginner's mind? Find out using this unique, sensitive, and detailed assessment tool we created for our members.
An annual membership works out to $7/month (a savings of $12/year)
If you pay monthly for one year, your membership will be $96/year
Terms & Conditions:
Memberships to Centered are non-refundable. You may choose either a monthly or annual commitment. You may cancel anytime before your next payment is due. If you choose to cancel, you will continue to have access until the end of your subscription period, after which it will expire.
We will send notice one week before your membership expires. If you do not cancel your membership, it will be automatically renewed.
We run Centered the same way we write a story: by staying curious, asking lots of questions, paying attention to details, challenging assumptions, and being open to change.
This space will continue to evolve as you let us know what you need. We will ask you for your feedback and try to find ways to implement your ideas — after all, this space is for you.
This space feels like coming home to your writing: a place where showing up for your work feels exciting, freeing, grounded, and challenging in just the right ways.
May you feel centered in your writing life.
Sarah Selecky (she/her) is the author of Radiant Shimmering Light, This Cake Is for the Party, and the founder of the Sarah Selecky Writing School, est. 2011, which is now a creative community for more than 21,000 writers from around the world. She is an alumna of Hedgebrook, the Humber School for Writers, and The Banff Centre, and graduated from the University of British Columbia with an MFA in Creative Writing.
This Cake was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book in Canada and the Caribbean, and it was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Prize. Kirkus Reviews calls Radiant Shimmering Light “A killer satire . . . [and] a funny, tender, gimlet-eyed dive into the cult of self-improvement.” The novel has been optioned for television and published in countries around the world.
Sarah lives on the traditional territory of the Wendat, Anishnaabeg, and Haudenosaunee Peoples, adjacent to Kanien'keha:ka (Mohawk) territory, also known as Prince Edward County, Ontario.
Sarah Selecky Writing School is an online creative writing school that approaches writing as an art, and also as a contemplative practice. We believe that that skill comes from discipline, inspiration comes from uncertainty, and that both are necessary for good work. The school is an alternative to academic and traditional writing programs.
The school started in 2011 because Sarah wanted to create the kind of writing education that she wish she’d received. It started with one downloadable course called Story Is a State of Mind (now called the Story Course), and has continually evolved to meet the needs of our students.
Photo: Our 2017 teacher retreat