Unlock Your Story: Guided Writing Sessions with Victoria Johnson

Have you ever walked into a space and been immediately greeted with a feeling of embrace? Like as soon as you step through the doors, your guard goes down and you can let out a sigh of relief...and your only question is, how is it possible to feel so safe in a space that’s not my home?

Writer and Speaker, Victoria Johnson jump started the Guided Writing experience to create a safe space to tell our stories with the hopes of creating community.

woman writes
Antoine Lever

If you were to write a story about your life and the things that led you to where you are now, what would it say?

Well now you have the space to do so and no, you don’t have to be a writer... you just have to be willing to write your story.

I got to sit with Victoria to learn more about Guided Writing: Language and Lineage and here’s what she had to say:

It looks like creating a community where people feel heard, seen, and expressive... in ways that they maybe haven’t been able to express themselves in before. It doesn’t take much to show up but it takes a lot for you to be present. That’s what I want to perpetuate in these spaces.

two photos of people writing during guided writing session
Kai Ross
man writes at table
Antoine Lever
How do people figure out how to write stories that trace back to their lineage?

The words will write themselves and you’re writing for yourself first before anyone else. Writing is a catalyst to how we communicate with each other but that language drives so much healing. The goal isn’t to be the best writer or to produce the best work. The goal is to do the work and connect with your community through it.

The relationship we have with storytelling and public speaking can be a bit intimidating, but I believe the intimacy of this experience eases that intimidation and like Victoria said, the words will begin to write themselves.

I get it, being vulnerable isn’t easy, but what’s even harder is not having the space to be it.

This immersive experience allows you to get to meet new people, write your story, hear stories from others, and if you have the courage.. share your own.

two photos of people writing during guided writing session
Kai Ross
woman reads to group
Antoine Lever

Upcoming Dates:

FREE Guided Writing at the Cossitt Library Every Tuesday, July 16th- August 20th

Six Week Program

Guided Writing at the Hu Hotel - Tuesday, July 25th 

Follow Victoria Johnson on Instagram for more guided writing announcements

Photographers:
Kai Ross Instagram
Antoine Lever Instagram

group of people writing
Antoine Lever
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About the Author

Hi, Hii. I’m Carmen Monèt and I am a free-lance journalist from Memphis, TN. I’ve always had a love for storytelling and actually I used to say that I was providing a voice for the “voiceless;” but as I’ve grown as a writer I’m learning that we’ve always had a voice, we just didn’t have the platform to express ourselves.

So I listen a lot, but I also get to connect with people so much. My daughter Cabella is the best part of my entire life, and she has pushed me to actually follow my dreams of becoming a real writer. I hope that people are able to really feel the passion and vulnerability that I infuse in my writing, and be teleported into the story.

Build your perfect Memphis meal:

If I could build my version of the “perfect” meal in Memphis, we’d have to take a drive around the city and make a few stops. I’m a certified taco lover, and currently TacosNGanas has been my go-to for some good shrimp tacos. Once we leave there, let's slide over to Slider Inn, and order the “Mix & Match,” granted we’re doing more matching than mixing, because I only ever order their fried Buffalo Chicken sliders with no pickles, ofcourse. Now our next stop has some of the best food I’ve ever tasted, but what stood out the most to me was their creamy mac & cheese, I’m a southern girl and I love me some mac & cheese. Last but not least, we’ve got to walk just a couple of doors down to Babalu for some fresh guacamole. I can  assure you that there is absolutely nothing cohesive about this picnic, but none of the flavors will disappoint you. 

Why do you love Memphis:

Memphis is just such a cultural powerhouse. This city that I love has given me so many beautiful memories. Each day I get to experience it from a different view, but in that, I still get to experience the underlying feeling of community. The people here are some of the best people in the world. There are local artists whose eyes will light up when they see you supporting them and singing along with them. There are locally-owned and operated restaurants that care about you actually being satisfied with your meal and their service. One of the things I love and think about the most is how Memphis has been able to “bounce-back” to life and actually living, after so many doors were closed forever due to COVID; but, I can’t say that I’m surprised, our perseverance is unwaivering.

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