Author Archive

Traveling the world…

Elena and I just completed our third retreat together!  She is my Greek counterpart and I know my Corfu retreats are successful due to all the time, energy and love she gives to us each year!  We are happy to announce that in 2020 we are adding to our Greece adventure by adding on Pelopenese for a fall retreat!  This retreat will not just focus on writing but the wonderful history Greece has to offer and of course the food!  I will be making the announcement of dates and prices first of all to the women who have joined us on one of our Corfu Retreats before opening it up to the general public.  We are excited to share Pelopenese with you! 

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Why every woman deserves a writing retreat!

I have been a long time fan of retreats, even before I started leading my own.  Whether you attend a group retreat or a personal writing retreat there are benefits to both.  Let me start first with talking about a group retreat.  I have been on several and from my very first one I knew that I did the right thing.  Of course not all retreats were the same.  Some weren’t exactly what I had in mind but I found I could find a benefit in each one.  The beauty of a group retreat is that you get to write with other women just like yourself.  I find the bonding in each workshop I lead such a beautiful thing to witness. I interview each woman that is wanting to partake in one of my retreats because it is important that it will be a right fit for her and for me and the others attending.

I lead retreats all over the world, this year for instance I am hosting retreats in Greece, Italy, Canada, California, Washington and Vermont.  If you google women’s writing retreats you can find lots of varieties of retreats, from low budget to more luxury.  I believe what sets my retreats apart is that mine are all-inclusive and small and intimate.  There is plenty of time for workshops plus one on one time with me for everyone that chooses to schedule it.  You can use the down time to work on your own work or get to know the other women better on your retreat.  My goal is that each woman leaves inspired and encouraged that they matter and that what they want to write about matters!

Another type of retreat I lead is the private retreat.  I host these in my home in Washington or in California.  The women who join me on a private retreat are focused on their own personal writing journey.  Some come to me with a manuscript that is finished but needs a rigorous rewrite with fresh eyes, others come with just an idea still in their head.  I plan the meals and create a space to encourage freedom to really just write (and learn!).

I love both these types of retreats and each serves its own purpose.

Bottom line is are you ready to invest in yourself?  Let’s talk about how we can make a retreat a possibility in 2019 or 2020….

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Guest Blog from a wonderful high school senior

Afloat in the Pacific

By Mlen Azurin


Superpowers do not exist, so they say.

But let me tell you about human flight.


In 1996, a young man flew for 11,700 kilometers.

He soared 30,000 feet in the air

to land in a country that didn’t even use the metric system.

So I used feet here for dramatic effect

And so Americans can understand.


Now his English was okay,

A little accented, but just enough to get by.

He lived in a tiny LA home,

with an aunt to teach him the way.


Shortly after, a young woman he knew from college joined him.

He proposed to her a while before over the phone.

I was eight, with wide eyes and a glittering in ‘em,

When I learned of this not so romantic story.


Now let me tell you about where he flew from.

A country riddled in poverty,

But with a hospitality that can cleanse the filthiest heart

And lands so riveting they have to be art.


In 2000, a little girl was born at 7:42am.

So much potential in the tiniest of bundles,

Surrounded with love and grace.

Who knew of what she would face?


Now let me tell you about myself.

I’m stuck in this ravine of cultures

The Philippines is in this strategic spot,

And because of it, in wars it was caught.


From it bubbled a confusion.

I’m not Asian enough Because of imperialism from Spain

But I will not claim the source of 300 years of pain.


My origin is not considered Hispanic, either.

Because of its language and East Asian influences,

And its basic geographical location Which places it in Asia.


But the country that this man flew to,

The one that doesn’t use the metric system,

Ruled us, it’s true.

And it’s the location of my birth.


Now let me remind you of the importance of labels.

Outsiders find it so necessary

To put us on a spectrum

Because it’s easier that way.


For them, but not me.

Not us,

Not the little girl born at 7:42am,

Who’s stuck in this arbitrary web.


She wants to fit in with the larger crowd,

But she can’t help but feel a bit lost

. A little too different,

Like she’s afloat in the Pacific Ocean.


Now let me tell you about superpowers,

The man could fly,

The woman built force fields to protect the girl,

And the girl could swim for lifetimes

But still feel like she’s drowning.

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Let’s make 2018 your year to make a difference in your writing!

If you are like most people, you probably have thought about some new year’s resolutions.  If you are a writer it may center around wanting to pen that next great novel or complete your memoir.

Believe me, I get it.  3 years ago I came up with the idea of an online writing club.  A place where we write and share and learn together.  I have tweaked it each year and this year is sure to be the best ever.  You have until the end of the month to join.  There are so many benefits to joining that it is almost free!

get all the details at

click on Online Writing Club and you can pay via pay pal (super easy!!)

hurry, registration closes January 31st for the 2018 year!

For $260.00 you get:

  • monthly lesson
  • feedback from your group
  • b12 shot boost mid month
  • 4 hours of one on one time with me
  • discounts on workshops and retreats
  • free video lessons and workshops
  • exclusive fall retreat for online writing club members only
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Perspective in Memoir

As a memoir coach I read a lot of memoirs.  And  a lot of people ask me when is the time to write a memoir?  I think there are a few elements to consider before taking on the task of putting memories to paper.

Many of you are familiar with Cheryl Strayed the author of Wild, which was later released into a movie.

Cheryl took her hike in the summer of 1995, and her book just released in 2012. When asked in an interview why she had waited so long to write the book, Cheryl said:

“For a number of reasons. It took me years of apprenticing myself to the craft before I could write a book…. I don’t write about something unless I feel a stirring inside of me to do so and it wasn’t until 2008 that I felt that in relation to my experience on the PCT. I think the years between my hike and writing about it made for a better book. I gained perspective that I wouldn’t have had if I’d written about it immediately.”

I love two things about what she said:

1) “Years of apprenticing myself to the craft.”

2) “I gained perspective.”

I believe these two elements are what made this such an excellent memoir. Think about this when considering whether it’s the right time for your memoir.

→ In order to tell your story effectively so that it has the maximum impact, you’ll probably need to spend years apprenticing yourself to the craft; that is, actively studying, learning and improving as a writer.

→ And in order for your story to resonate with deeper truth, you should have enough distance from it that you’ve gained perspective. When you’re still too close to it, you won’t be able to write it well.


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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

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Amherst Writers & Artists

Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

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