Testimonials from Students

Amy is a skillful teacher in the way Eastern sages are skillful. She brings her own insights as a writer to the class but opens it up with great mentor texts from other professional writers. By hosting these classes in her home, she invites a more intimate sense of community among writers and facilitates powerful discussions about the art and craft of writing. I'm grateful for her wisdom and fully intend to take another class with her when she's offering them.

--Amy Penne, Ph.D., Professor of English

As a novice writer, I find Amy's classes helpful in a few important ways. First, they keep me writing. Secondly, Amy is an excellent teacher. Through examples on the page, discussion, and exercises that push me to try techniques that are new to me, she helps me develop skill as a writer, and I can see the results in future drafts. Finally, these classes help me build my own community of writers for consultation and support. I am always interested in the next class!

--Shari Fox,  Senior Vice President, University of Illinois Foundation

I found the format of Amy Hassinger's creative writing workshop, "Writing the Image," powerful both in improving my awareness and use of imagery in my writing and my sensitivity to it in my reading.  The course was basically three-pronged: we discussed imagery in selected prose and poetry readings, we wrote, and we discussed our writing.  It was very effectively designed, and because enrollment was kept at eight there was ample time for a good discussion of each student's work.

--Lee Lien, aspiring memoirist and poet

The writers in the Champaign-Urbana area are so lucky to have a teacher like Amy Hassinger, who runs small writing workshops that are thoughtfully structured, moderately priced, and filled with other enthusiastic writers.  I’ve been fortunate to take two workshops with Amy, and have learned so much about writing from her.  What I liked best about the workshops is that they combine the best of a great college English class, in the form of inspiration from published authors, a practical discussion of creative writing tools and techniques, and the input on your own writing from both Amy and classmates.  As someone working on a memoir with writing time stolen from the corners of my life, Amy’s workshops have been invaluable in keeping me focused and taking my craft to the next level.

—Karla Fischer, Ph.D., J.D.

When I first signed up for a short class with Amy, I thought it was to continue my lifelong flirtation with creative writing.  I was working full time, but trying to figure out a way to stay at home and include writing as a significant part of my life.  I didn’t realize that her teaching would lead me to fall in love with writing all over again; after two more classes with her (one workshop, one studio), I’ve gained the confidence to “finish” a novel first draft for the NaNoWriMo competition, and to submit my first creative nonfiction piece for publication.  Amy fosters reflective thinking in the writing process, encourages delivering kindness with constructive criticism and support when reviewing others’ work, and demonstrates technique through literary examples and assignments.  She is open to input, but keeps the class focused on the task at hand.  Because of the nature of writing and sharing in workshop, no two classes are the same.  The dynamic of the class changes each time, and Amy adjusts her teaching to fit the needs of the participants.  She is a gifted writer, and an outstanding teacher, and I believe anyone interesting in writing would benefit from her instruction.

--Joy Garling Prud'homme, essayist and blogger (The Loca-busy Locavore and Mid-Life Crisis Travel Adventures)

Amy Hassinger can help you find the heart of your story and the voice to tell it, the courage to tell it and the audience to tell it to. She is herself a writer conscious of her own process and a master teacher of the writing process. Her classes and workshops are nests of great safety where each person is treated with great respect. Like Hippocrates, Amy does no harm, and in honoring that classic oath, she does enormous good--for those who want to write.

--Barbara Kessel, retired professor of Public Speaking, Chicago City Colleges, and beginning memoirist

Amy's writing workshop was exactly what I needed. I received insightful feedback from fellow writers, and Amy provided detailed constructive criticism. The discourse of the class is thoughtful, respectful, and encouraging. Highly recommend.

—Wendy Kapp, M.A., English

I have taken three of Amy's classes and am happy that I did.  Each of Amy's classes offered a great way for me to commit to writing, but they offered so much more than making time for something I'm passionate about. I had the opportunity to receive constructive and insightful feedback from Amy about my writing. Amy is a thoughtful and careful reader who is willing to work with students at any level and help them take the next step to grow as a writer. Also, each class gave me a valuable opportunity to share my work with a thoughtful and respectful audience--the other members of the class.  In turn, reading the work of other writers allowed me to observe the techniques that they use to construct the stories they want to tell. Having taken her classes, I feel inspired to keep writing and I feel braver about sharing my work.  I recommend Amy's class to anyone who wants to devote some enjoyable time and effort to their writing projects, or to anyone who wants to take a first step in discovering your writing self.

--Caroline Tancredy, PhD (Psychology), memoirist