Why Write with Us?
I've been writing for as long as I can
remember. What has kept me writing is
ongoing encouragement from others.
That's why I launched Compass Writers
— to write in community even as I face
the page alone and to pass on
connection and encouragement to
Sure I've been published. If you'd like to explore my work, it's available at CherylMurfin.com. But, really, what's most important is my love of writing and my love of seeing others love or perhaps fall in love for the first time with their own unique voice.
We each have one. In fact, we are all born with creative genius. If you pick up a pen (or open a blank computer screen) and put words down, you are a writer. I embrace the philosophy of the internationally renowned Amherst Writers & Artists method: A writer is someone who writes. So, whether you've been writing forever or are petrified because you are just picking up that pen for the first time in 50 years, I want you to know that you are safe in any of the writing spaces I offer.
I believe too that writing and most other artistic pursuits are a wonderful tool for unlocking your truth as a person. Meeting yourself on the page and in other art practices is both a means of healing and a means of growing as a human being. I will encourge you to write with your entire being, body, mind and spirit.
I hold a BA in Journalism and an MA in Integrated Arts and Education/Writing. But that is not what makes me qualified to guide you. Come because you want to part of a supportive writing community and you want a workshop leader who believes in you and will support your work with a positive, affirming approach.
I reluctantly re-claimed the titles of writer
and storyteller; you can too. A 20-year
career working with crime victims and
offenders has given me considerable
material, what’s your story? At various
times, I have been: a hospital-based
first responder for victims of sexual
assault, child abuse, and domestic
violence; Family Law Guardian ad Litem;
prison teacher and researcher; Victim Offender
Dialogue facilitator; and communications coordinator for a legal aid nonprofit. The unexpected commonality? At the end of the day, immersion in other people’s stories.
As lead writer and associate editor of The Tucson Dog Magazine for the first two years of its production, I began reclaiming ‘writer.’ During this time, I rediscovered my love of creative writing through an Amherst Writers & Artist’s (AWA) group. As a now-trained AWA facilitator, I participate in and lead multiple AWA writing groups weekly. To further help my mental health during the pandemic, I am working on 2 novels, both of which tangentially draw upon travels through the criminal justice system.
Whenever possible, I prefer being outdoors, far away from prisons, hospitals, schools, offices, or other institutions dedicated to human trauma and discomfort. A nomadic yogi who enjoys long road trips—having traversed the length or width of continental US by car more than a dozen times—I am a hiker, mountain biker, swimmer, and an anything-involving-sunshine person. As a semi-professional dog stalker, I am likely to strike up conversations with random strangers holding leashes. I appreciate life’s finer things: good books, good food, good friends, playing in the dirt, and laughing (most often at myself).
I look forward to writing together. I hope that, through our shared writing, you can also reclaim your titles: writer and storyteller.