Finding Inspiration in Dreams

with Amy Bonnaffons

Finding inspiration in dreams writing course

June 26, 2024
6 Weeks


Zoom sessions Wednesdays from 7-9:30 PM Eastern

$445.00Enroll Now

Our dreams carry rich and crucial information that many of us ignore or don’t know how to access. For artists and writers, a wealth of imagery and narrative lies in our dream-life—but many of us have been told that our dreams are boring or “not real,” and so we’ve cut ourselves off from this rich source of knowledge and inspiration.

In this 6-week workshop, we will develop a closer relationship to our dream-life, and we’ll use our dreams as portals into a deeper writing-life. Everyone will keep a dream journal throughout the workshop; each week we’ll share and discuss some dreams from the group, do a guided meditation to further explore imagery from our dreams, and generate writing based on what we encounter in the dreamworld. Each week will also include readings and a generative writing exercise to do at home. We’ll share our writing in a supportive, nonjudgmental space and encourage each other’s writing processes.

Our feedback on each other’s work will be process-oriented: rather than a traditional “critique”-based workshop, we will approach our work the way we approach our dreams–by asking where the most energy is, drawing closer to the mysteries humming beneath the surface, and asking perceptive questions that encourage the work to clarify its own intent and draw closer to full realization. We will treat our work like the living entity it is, with respect and curiosity.

This workshop is for you if you are interested in dreams generally, or curious about how to access deeper levels of subconscious inspiration for your writing. We will be doing guided meditations using some techniques from shamanic dreamwork; it will help to be a bit spiritually curious, but no particular spiritual orientation or background is necessary!  

You will leave this class with a deeper relationship to your dream-life; strategies for generating new work based on your dreams; and written and verbal feedback on a work-in-progress.

Learning and Writing Goals

Learning Goals:

In this class, you will:

  • Learn several techniques for generating new pieces of writing based on dream imagery
  • Access a deeper relationship with your dreams and subconscious mind, and the imagery contained therein
  • Learn specific craft techniques to utilize dream-logic in your storytelling
  • Get feedback on your work and learn to offer generative, process-oriented feedback to others
  • Nurture a deeper relationship with your own wild imagination

Writing Goals:

In this class, you will:

  • Begin several new pieces of writing through generative exercises
  • Receive written and verbal feedback on at least one piece of writing from instructor and students

Zoom Schedule

Zoom session will be held on Wednesdays from 7-9:30 P.M. U.S. Eastern Time. Each Zoom session will be 2.5 hours. The basic structure of the sessions will be as follows:

  1. Dream sharing (share a dream with a partner and together come up with some questions/insights about the dream) [30 minutes]
  2. Guided meditation (visualization helping your imagination connect again with imagery from the dream) OR in-class writing exercise utitlizing imagery from dreams [30 minutes]
  3. BREAK [15 minutes]
  4. Sharing of writing [1 hour 15 minutes]
    1. For the first class, this will involve optional verbal sharing of material that comes up in the free-write
    2. For subsequent classes, this will involve more structured feedback sessions on student-submitted works-in-progress (2-3 students per session)
  5. Discussion of assigned reading will be folded into our discussions of student work; when there’s extra time or when students request it, we’ll have deeper and more focused discussion of the readings. 

Weekly Syllabus

Prior to Week 1: 

Begin dream journal

Reading from Toko-pa Turner’s Belonging

Week 1: Listening to Dreams

Readings from myself, Helen Rubinstein, Franz Kafka

Exercise: Shape a dream into a story/poem/essay, without adding anything.

Week 2: Noticing Patterns

Readings from Vladimir Nabokov, Kazuo Ishiguro, Linda Hogan

Exercise: Create a dream inventory and begin a short piece based on recurring images.

Week 3: Playing with Image

Readings from Alison Bechdel, Aidan Koch, Kim Krans

Exercise: Use Google Image to create a story (exercise will be demonstrated in class) OR create a dream comic.

Week 4: Dream Logic

Readings from Sabrina Orah Mark, Leonora Carrington, Jorge Luis Borges

Exercise: Choose a setting from a dream and explore it using dream-logic.

Week 5: Plot, Character and Agency in Dream-worlds

Readings from Reginald McKnight, Haruki Murakami, Zach Williams

Exercise: Write a 1-3 page monologue from the perspective of a character from your dreams.

Week 6: Wrap-Up

This is the last day of class, so there won’t be assigned reading or exercises after this, but I will leave you with supplemental exercises and readings to do on your own time.

$445.00Enroll Now

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June 26, 2024
6 Weeks


Zoom sessions Wednesdays from 7-9:30 PM Eastern

$445.00Enroll Now

amy bonnaffons headshot


Amy Bonnaffons is the author of the story collection The Wrong Heaven  (2018) and the novel The Regrets (2020), both published by Little, Brown. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Kenyon Review, The Sun, and elsewhere, and has been read on NPR's This American Life. She holds a BA in Literature from Yale, an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU, and a PhD in English and Women's Studies from the University of Georgia. Amy is a founding editor of, a literary journal devoted to collaborations between writers and visual artists. She has taught writing at New York University, the University of Georgia, and in many other settings, including senior centers, hospitals, and prisons. For several years, she has also led unique creative writing workshops that incorporate spiritual techniques such as shamanic dreamwork and energy work.  Her own spiritual journey has included elements from many traditions, from Buddhist meditation to core shamanism and ancestor work.  She is certified as a clairvoyant reader and healer by the Inner Connection Institute in Denver, CO. Born in New York City, she now lives in Athens, GA.