Upcoming Classes & Workshops

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Passionate about teaching, I lead writing workshops for high school students and adults. In a respectful and supportive environment, I use guided writing prompts and gentle encouragement to foster creativity and expression. Getting words on the page allows us to clarify our thoughts, change our perspective and transform in ways we might not have otherwise imagined. I'm always amazed and inspired by the participants, who, through writing, discover their unique voices. All writing levels welcome. No prior writing experience is necessary.
Debbie’s kindness, understanding and support softened my way. It was an amazing class and experience, it was just what I needed. . . If you’re guided to one of Debbie’s courses, you’re meant to be there. Trust it and her!
— Participant, Writing Through Grief

Write Your Creative Aging Story: The Art of the Personal Essay

Do you have a story to tell? Write your personal essay on aging, be it quirky or serious, funny or poignant. By telling our stories we connect with others, recognize our common humanity and realize we are not alone on this journey. This course is designed to help you craft a compelling story. To that end, we will discuss the elements of a successful essay, including what to write about, where to start, voice, the importance of details, and the revision process. Writing exercises will generate ideas; readings, discussions, and gentle group feedback will help improve your story. The goal is to have a completed essay. Publishing options will also be discussed. 

Dates: Wednesdays, 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

September 25th - November 6th

To Register: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute


Re-imagining Your Life: Creative Aging Workshop



"Where do I belong?"

"Who am I, now that I'm not who I used to be?"

"What is my purpose?"

These are common questions we all ask as we grow older. Writing opens us up to new possibilities, helps unblock us, and reveals new pathways toward reinvention and discovery—it changes our perspective in ways that we might not have otherwise seen.

Through shared stories, guided writing prompts, readings, journaling, and other creative means, you will uncover your own personal answers, helping you find purpose and meaning in life's next act. Creative aging means tapping into experience, wisdom and curiosity to awaken a renewed sense of self and create a fulfilling and engaged life. A goal of the class is to work on a personal essay which will provide an opportunity to share your story. No prior writing experience is necessary. All writing levels are welcome.

Dates: TBA

It was brilliant!
— Participant, Creative Aging
Debbie is a master of providing you with a safe space where you can consider new choices for the second half of your life.
— Participant, Creative Aging

Writing Through Grief

Writing can help guide us toward deeper understanding of the pain and suffering of loss. Whatever the reason for grieving—divorce, death of a loved one, illness, aging, job loss, empty-nesting, moving—this workshop is designed to provide a supportive environment for participants to explore and honor all feelings of grief. Writing prompts, exercises and readings will offer new ways to express thoughts. Putting pen to paper gives us the opportunity to change perspective and transform suffering into healing. No prior writing experience is necessary. All writing levels welcome.

Participants have the option to share their own personal essay on grief with the class.

Dates: TBA

I opened up my grief so I could start to move through it instead of staying stuck.
— Participant, Writing Through Grief
Debbie, you were masterful about balancing spaciousness (listening, allowing) and direction (prompts, readings). I was especially moved by you sharing your own writing/experiences. I feel forever inspired by you.
— Participant, Writing Through Grief

Writing as a Tool to Cope with Anxiety

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Distracting thoughts and rumination can lead to excessive worry, irritability, self-doubt and other negative emotions. No matter the cause of anxiety – current events, temperament, illness, life transition – writing helps re-center us and calm our minds.  Putting pen to paper, we can unload persistent thoughts onto the page, providing distance and a new perspective.  

In a safe and supportive environment, we’ll learn how to settle swirling emotions through guided writing exercises, prompts and readings. The goal of this class is to provide the tools and strategies needed to start a writing/journaling practice which has been shown to help alleviate anxiety and stress.

Non-denominational. No writing experience is necessary. All writing levels are welcome.

 Dates: Thursdays, October 10th - November 14th

Time: 5:15pm - 7:15pm

Location: Jewish Family Service, 1111 E. Brickyard Drive, Suite 218, SLC

Cost: $150

To register: contact Liz Anderson at Elizabeth@jfsutah.org or call 801-746-4334


Writing through Grief” with Debbie Leaman provided a safe space in which we could explore the many facets of grief and loss. Through writing prompts, we were gently guided through and allowed to express difficult emotions integral to the grieving process. As we voluntarily shared our experiences, we connected with one another and realized that though our grief may be solitary, we were not alone.
— Participant, Writing Through Grief
This was so hard, but so worthwhile! Debbie is a fantastic teacher! She did a wonderful job creating a safe and respectful container.
— Participant, Writing Through Grief
I’m really so very happy I took her Writing through Grief workshop. Debbie Leaman did our group such a service by knowing her material well, and by offering plenty of other reference materials and resources for a wide perspective on the topic. Her ability to be vulnerable by sharing her own stories of personal grief and her deep listening skills for other’s stories are strong suits. Her skills as a writer are invaluable as well. Anyone who is trying to find their way through grief would do well to choose Debbie as a shepherd.
— Participant, Writing Through Grief
I found this class to be one of the better classes I had attended. Sharing helps dealing with problems that are very difficult to handle on your own. I felt that I had made a significant leap forward in resolving long standing issues . . . in a very positive way. I would recommend this class to anyone.
— Participant, Writing Through Grief
Debbie’s writing workshop helped me reconnect to my true self, that inner voice I had stopped listening to, that place where the answers to my life’s questions live. From there I worked through my resistance – regret, fear, and challenge – by writing, and discovered how to navigate the rough waters of change.
— Participant, Creative Aging
It was thought-provoking, healing, encouraging and helpful. (The workshop) is helping me move into the future.
— Participant, Creative Aging
By doing the written exercises Debbie gives us, and with a tiny shift of thought, we often remember interests and passions that we had forgotten. Debbie is a great teacher.

— Participant, Creative Aging
The Creative Aging workshop opened me to a new consciousness. Debbie’s prompts allowed me to access a part of me that has been hidden and that I was unaware of until now. . . This is an amazing journey into self to find self.
— Participant, Creative Aging