The roots of Blues, Jazz and Gospel is all an African tradition of storytelling through music. In The Writing Room at the 100 Men Hall, we join our stories with those of the ancestors whose voices live in the walls of this African American landmark. Every fourth Saturday from 1PM to 5PM, we meet in the Hall to write and read our stories together.
Rachel Dangermond has hosted writers workshops in California and New Orleans for over two decades. Rachel said, "I have written all my life, fiction, nonfiction, plays, but it wasn't until I took an Authentic Writing workshop in Woodstock, NY, that I truly was able to open the vein and write without a filter. I now use this methodology in all of my workshops. Because the goal of a writer is to write and that is what you will do in The Writing Room."
The Writing Room at the 100 Men Hall meets the 4th Saturday of every month from 1PM to 5PM. The Writing Room is donation based. We ask that you donate as much as you can to help with the operating cost of the 100 Men Hall. A usual donation would be $75 for the 4-hour session. Contact Rachel Dangermond at 100MenHall@gmail.com for further information.
Rachel’s commitment to the craft and practice of writing is one of the most inspiring that I’ve yet seen. Her faith in the simple ingredients of the process help writers to rise above the roadblocks so easily put in our way, either by our own hands or the world at large. The space that Rachel can both create, and then hold open, for your creativity to find its breath is one of the most powerful gifts a fellow writer can offer to another. And she does so with a loving compassion that allows you to learn to do it for yourself moving forward. I’ve had the privilege to workshop with Rachel over several years, in different settings, and with a rotating cast of writers. She comes to everyone’s work with the keen eye of a professional writer/editor, and with the same thorough attention she would give to her own work. On and off the page she knows how to search out those concrete details that give a writer’s voice its unforgettable shape. She knows how to consider audience and thesis and pacing, without sacrificing the passion of the message. Beyond the workshop space Rachel is full of courage and curiosity, and is truly an example of letting your art and your life symbiotically galvanize each other for the wilderness we encounter everyday. Anyone would be lucky for the chance to share space and process with this fiercely talented writer and just all around incredible human.”
Amie Marvel, Ann Arbor, Michigan - BFA Poetry SFSU, freelance culture writer
The tender fierce strength and intuitive guidance of author Rachel Dangermond both welcomes and engages the workshop writer, urging memoir to stir, dance, and fall upon the page. The most experienced author amongst us -or- the newly born writer just discovering their words will find a writing haven soothed by gulf breezes, in communion with the creative spirits who have called the iconic 100 Men Hall, home.
Betsy Woods, New Orleans, LA - writer, teacher, editor, author of Twirling, Volume of Monk, Strong Moon Tonight, The Alfalfa and the Omega, Editor of The Children's Corner, The Louisville Review; Writing teacher, The Waldorf School New Orleans
I am by no means a writer, but I went out on a limb and joined the Writing Group last weekend. I was nervous and not sure of what to expect. As soon as I arrived, I knew I would enjoy the experience. The Hall, with its history and ambiance, gives you a feeling of power and connection to others. To break the ice, we sat together by a warm, artificial fire and introduced ourselves. When Rachel gave us a topic and told us to write for an hour, I balked at the time and thought that there was no way I would be able to write for that chunk of time. I was so surprised at how easy the words started to pour out of me. The most shocking part, was the emotion I felt while sharing my words with the others in the group. I think everyone, people like me or seasoned writers, should make an effort to create and share their thoughts with the world, and this Writing Group is the perfect spot.
Kim McWilliams, Pass Christian, MS
I’m not a writer. And yet I find myself still thinking about my experience at the Writers Workshop over a month ago. I’ve been trying to be more open to different experiences. And I do love hearing people’s stories. So when invited, I thought, Why Not? Why not spend an afternoon with a friend doing something different? What I didn’t realize was how interesting and meaningful it would be.
Laurie Azzano, New Orleans, LA
Although I am a writer, I am one that does not write often enough. Most who know me can see that, whether blessing or curse, my life is extremely challenging and filled with daily obstacles that mean my plans can be disrupted in a heartbeat. But I keep on shoving myself towards what I love and want to support for myself and others. This gathering of writers, led and facilitated by Rachal, offered me a space to shut off my cell phone, forget the disorder I left behind, and just write, allowing the creative chaos to materialize on the page. And chaos is quite permissible in this workshop; the idea is to put pen to paper until the ink gradually oozes its way into purpose and meaning--or not, just play is enough. This isn't a workshop to be feared no matter how amateur, and neither is it to be shunned by the most accomplished or prolific. For the beginning writer, it offers delight in creative possibilities; for the accomplished, it offers the freedom to return to innocence without expectations. Check out what she offers. You can't go wrong.
Jean Martinolich, Bay Saint Louis, MS
Writing workshops with Rachel are insightful! She's a careful reader and listener, provides practical advice, gets quickly to the heart of the matter without being harsh, and helps the writer to find his or her own voice. She's also hilarious! I recommend them for any writer trying to build their craft or just get feedback on a project.
Robert Cucinotta, Chicago, IL
Rachel and I have been writing together now for years. Her guidance has taught me so much and has helped me to grow both in my writing as well as my world views. I have been to many workshops that she has hosted and each time have received critical, positive, and motivating feedback from her and the other writers. She has the laudable skill of creating a safe environment for everyone in her workshops to feel that they can speak their mind in a way that is both kind, but also ultimately helps to guide the author in strengthening their writing. Several of the pieces that I have workshopped with Rachel have gone on to be published in various online journals. She has a gift for providing prompts that encourage and allow all of those words and feelings that have been zooming around inside your head to come tumbling out in a real, meaningful piece of writing. I have always walked away from our workshops feeling positive, uplifted, and eager to tackle my writing head on. Rachel is and has been an amazing guide, comrade, and fellow author in my ongoing journey to become a better writer. I truly cannot recommend her and her workshops enough.
Leah Richards, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Writing with Rachel is permission for flight. It is the letting go near the open window. It is fuel for the pen. I’m not saying this as her friend but as a fellow-writer, an awed reader of her work, and as a recipient of her brilliant energy that puts you immediately at ease. I can’t imagine a more productive writing space than the one she offers.
Susan Prevost, New Orleans, LA
Writing with Rachel enriched me. Her comments always challenged, but in a supportive way that encouraged me to continue. Reading her writing provoked new thinking.
Jerry Tassin, New Orleans, LA
Rachel is a natural writer and leader with incisive wit, vision and humor. I knew Rachel casually for years, but really got to know her after we both attended a writer's workshop. A group of us from that workshop wrote together regularly for two more years. Our gatherings were particularly valuable to me because of Rachel's insightful comments. She was positive and encouraging, intelligently pointing out successful elements and qualities in each of our pieces. Likewise, with trademark honesty and clarity, she tactfully offered suggestions for improvement. I look forward to the workshops she will lead there.
Linda Stone, New Orleans, LA
Rachel creates a space that inspires transformative writing. She gives and encourages helpful feedback that challenges and uplifts you as a writer.
Florentina Staigers, New Orleans, LA