“Over the past five years I have had the pleasure of attending two workshops on writing where Ellen Szabo was the instructor. Each time she inspired me to work on expressing myself freely. This has helped me find my authentic voice as a writer.
As a clinical social worker I have used writing in groups and in therapy work for decades, but Ellen’s approach has not only given me fresh ideas for getting clients to express their emotions, but to work on framing and resolving conflicts. She also has brought out in me a confidence and direct connection to writing fiction and poetry that makes me feel better about my life and my human services career.
She is skillful at creating a fun and safe writing space while giving honest feedback. The advanced workshop this year at U. of Iowa was focused on the skills each participant wanted to refine. In two intense days she created with us a wonderful shared writing experience.” Jonathan Palley, LCSW California
“Ellen has a unique and authentic way of giving writers what they need to get re-inspired in their writing. She is safe, honest, thoughtful and comes to the writing table with a credibility that only comes from personal experience and commitment. I am a grateful to have written in the spaces she has created.” Melissa Kopplin, LCSW, Executive Coach / Leadership Development / Facilitator, www.melissakopplin.com
“Ellen bends the definition of ‘cool’ with humility and grace. Her way of teaching stirs in me the desire to transport back in time and reinvest my $200,000.00 in student loans. Although her knowledge of literature and psychology impacts her workshops, it is her presence that creates a safe place for learning. She adapts to the movement of the room and isn’t afraid to let people think. Most importantly, Ellen was the first person in 32 years who gave me permission to remove my emotional mask and just write. Not only did she welcome my creativity, but she invited me to go deeper into the stratosphere of my subconscious. Furthermore, she did all of it without effort and without something to gain in return.” Kate Aldridge, MSW, Author and Entrepreneur
“Ellen’s coaching gave me greater confidence in my writing while masterfully helping me take a ten-year old essay and polish it for submission. Many long-buried memories surfaced from our work together thanks to Ellen’s insightful questions and gentle nudge which got me doing free writes for my first time ever. I am grateful for Ellen’s wisdom, expertise, and deep understanding. The experience of working with Ellen surpassed my expectations, like an unexpected gift.” Jamie Sussel Turner, M.Ed PCC, Professional Coach, Speaker and Award-winning Author
“Ellen Szabo’s workshop was a great experience which mixed humor, intellect, inclusiveness, and a fun and safe environment into the learning. I’ve been writing and publishing for over seven years and there were a number of new ideas and new avenues of learning about writing that I was made aware of. She was incredibly knowledgeable and she met the needs of all the participants who had a variety of reasons and needs for being there.” Steve Colori
“Ellen is coaching me in the writing of my first novel and is helping me to tell a story I wouldn’t have thought possible. I can’t praise her work highly enough. Even when I struggle she has exactly the right suggestion and the personalized approach to best deliver it. If you’re serious about writing you owe it to yourself to work with Ellen.” Doug Peters
“Ellen interweaves teaching the craft of writing with lessons on positive critique. A class shaped by Ellen is supportive of new writers yet has the depth required for experienced writers, providing the workshopper with a full dimension of reading, writing, assessment. Her personal brand of humor and very apparent love of teaching the craft keeps her sessions rocking, participants enthusiastic. There are no grey days with Ellen, only fun and exploration, therefore higher quality writing results.” Susan C.
“Working with Ellen on my memoir has been a rewarding partnership. Not only does she “get” what I am trying to accomplish, she also presents new ideas and fresh ways of looking at old ones. She is passionate about my book and dedicated to making it better than I ever thought it could be. Ellen works by asking all the right questions, and the answers have taken my writing to a deeper, broader level…when I was discouraged, Ellen’s enthusiasm for my project made me realize that I could do it, that I was doing it.” Bettye Kearse, M.D., author of The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President’s Black Family
“Ellen nurtures manifest and latent talents and creativity in her students in a gentle, playful way. The seminar fueled a hunger to find greater depth of human experience and grace in my own writing, which I plan to do through ongoing consultations with Ellen.” Shana N.
“Ellen told us ‘to throw away the rule book’ on grammar and even punctuation and not let anything get in the way of a good story.” Harris Cohen
“She is an affirming, honest guide, a dynamic/brilliant combination of strong, positive critique and non-judgmental appraisal. Ellen finds the best in each of us and encourages it to flourish. If you have an opportunity, find a way to work with Ellen.” Martha J. Schut, L.I.S.W.
“Ellen believed in this book and my ability to tell the story even before I did. Her contagious enthusiasm turned the solo act of writing into a shared adventure. Her critical reading prompted me to plumb depths I hadn’t anticipated. Whether coaching, editing, or teaching, Ellen inspires, challenges, and encourages. I am thrilled Ellen came into my life at precisely the right moment. She is truly a delight to work with!” Candace Waldron, M.Div., author of My Daughter He: Transitioning With Our Transgender Children.
“Ellen is an amazing teacher and coach. She helped me every step of the way with my book, editing chapters masterfully and helping me prepare a successful proposal that interested several agents and ultimately led to the right publisher. Most importantly, she taught me how to grab and hold the readers’ attention with action and detail to turn my story into a gripping read.” Rosalind Kaplan, MD, author of The Patient in the White Coat
“I loved Ellen’s workshops. We laughed and wrote and read each other’s writing. The time passed too quickly and so everyone always signed up again. She has a talent for forming a cohesive group in the first hour, where everyone works together to write and write and write.” Susan C.