Author Bio & Article Archives

Sheila Bender has worked with people who write personal essays, poetry, nonfiction books, stories, writer’s journals, and application essays since 1980, helping them acknowledge a place for writing in their lives. Learn about her instructional books, memoir and poetry at About Sheila.

Author Archives: Sheila Bender

Clear the Debris of Abstraction and Sentimentality

As the Presidential candidates for nomination continue to gather followers with predictable phrases, and pundits attempt to predict who the will be the frontrunners, I am reminded of the importance of writing toward felt insight. We need to leave abstracting and sentimentality behind if we are to find insight and make deep connections with ourselves and others through our writing.…Continue Reading

In Conversation with Three Very Different Writers

Every few months, I sit with sound engineer Charlie Fleishman at the studio of Port Townsend, WA’s all volunteer FM station KPTZ.org and record conversations with four writers. Each of these Sundays includes telephone conversations with writers from anywhere in the country and in studio conversations local writers.  Each program plays two to three times…Continue Reading

What Makes Getting Started Easy as Starting a Car?

The writer Kim Stafford tells his workshops that it is important for writers to “keep worthy company.” As I prepare to teach a writing workshop this weekend, I remember an article I wrote a decade ago. Reading it now, I add that to keep worthy company means to be worthy company. I once created a daily writing exercise for…Continue Reading

Use the Letter Form to Open Your Heart

The essay in letter form is, as you know, one of my favorites. I find that whether I intend to send the letter I write or, more often than not, don’t plan on sending it, I benefit greatly from the writing as I find an opening in my heart. With feelings running high this week,…Continue Reading