The Creativity Workshop

Using the Tools of Creative Writing, Memoir, Art, Photography, Storytelling and Mindfulness

Professional Development for Professors

Professional Development for Professors

Creativity in Education is vital to the demands of 21st century life. The Creativity Workshop (founded in 1993) is dedicated to helping professors develop and nurture their creativity and that of their students. The Workshop has developed a unique series of simple and effective exercises aimed at helping educators stay creative professionally and personally. Many professors come to The Creativity Workshop as part of their professional development. The experience combines learning, travel, and association with peers from all over the world.

The Creativity Workshop has helped thousands of educators and their students:

  • Develop creativity and innovation skills that are useful in a wide range of fields, such as the humanities, the sciences, and the arts.
  • Get over creative blocks, such as writer’s block and combat fears that stifle self expression.
  • Expand critical and divergent thinking and the fostering of new ideas.
  • Engage and focus each person’s innate curiosity and imagination to foster a life long love of learning.

Detailed Information on The Creativity Workshop

Some of this information may be helpful if you are applying for funding.


The Creativity Workshop has been taught to college and university educators in a wide range of disciplines and from all over the world. The Creativity Workshop offers tools and techniques that educators and researchers can implement to help themselves and their students develop creative, collaborative, artistic, and writing skills, as well as ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, self confidence, and leadership. The Workshop concentrates its experiential exercises in the following areas:

1. Getting Over the Fear of Creativity

You will learn techniques to avoid writers block and gain self-confidence. Our techniques in free-form (automatic) writing and storytelling help students get over ‘blocks’ which make them afraid to express themselves, say the wrong things, write a foggy paragraph, or experiment. The class works against self censorship in the early stages of creation when trying and failing, and trying again, are paramount to success.

2. Map making

Every creative and analytical project has a process or ‘way’. The Creativity Workshop teaches educators how to make journey maps or scrolls for their own research or with their students to explore the process, progress and possibilities of their work.

3. Free Form Writing And Automatic Drawing

Educators learn how to use ‘writing from the right side of the brain’ techniques with their students in order to help them find their innate ideas and develop them.

4. Storytelling

Storytelling, be it visual or literary, is vital to how we perceive and share our perceptions of the world. We do several exercises with telling and performing stories with found objects and also by interviewing each other and then ‘becoming’ the other person. These exercises also teach observation and empathy, qualities which greatly enhance our abilities to express ourselves and communicate with others.

5. Changing Perceptions

How we see is important to what we see. We teach a variety of techniques aimed at altering perceptions physically (through cameras, cut out shapes, kaleidoscopes, telescopes, microscopes) and emotionally (through mythology, memoir writing or inter-generational interviews), which assist individuals in broadening their sense of the world they live in.

6. Using Your Environment

We teach participants how to use their natural surroundings to generate ideas. Exercises to be done in local cafes, libraries, cafeterias, woods and mountains show that inspiration can come from the most usual and surprising of places.

7. Time

In our busy, multitasking world we seldom feel we have enough time to create. We teach participants how to “stretch time” and use 15-minute blocks to do satisfying creative work on an ongoing basis.

8. Self-Nurturing

Teachers spend so much of their time encouraging and supporting their students. At times, teachers forget to nurture themselves! The Creativity Workshop teaches the importance of self-nurturing and curiosity and not always knowing the “right” answer.

9. Professional Development

Many universties pay for their staff to come to the workshop as part of their professional development. Costs for the workshop and related travel charges may be tax deductible if the course is educational to your profession. If you are completing an advanced degree, you may be able to take The Creativity Workshop through your school as an Independent Study course for credit.

The Creativity Workshop was taught as a regular course at the University of Iowa for many years, offering 3 credits and open to graduate and undergraduate students through the International Writing Program.

Financial Help and Credit Availability

Many educators taking the workshop receive help from their university’s professional development program.

Contact your Professional Development office.

Certificate of Attendance and CEUs for attending our Workshops are available upon request.

What Higher Educators say about The Workshop:

Neil H. Schwartz
PhD, Professor of Psychology, California State University, Chico, CA
"The Creativity Workshop was a turning point in my career. Your sensitivity and perceptivity in regard to others and the human condition is unbelievab...
Carroll Blue
Author of “The Dawn at my Back” and Professor Emerita of Film Studies, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
“I wrote my first published memoir because of this class. The instructors are magicians! They gently pushed us into discovering our unique creativit...