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45:15 Online: A Communal Writing Experience


Saturday, 2:00 pm EDT - 3:15 pm EDT July 24, 2021

Online via Zoom

  • 2 – 2:15pm ET  Introduction and Explanation
  • 2:15 – 3pm ET  Silent Writing Time
  • 3 – 3:15pm ET  Meditation and Closing Remarks

Approaching creative projects with a clear and focused mind can be a challenge. Revive your motivation to write at 45:15, a community writing event held online via Zoom!

Led by co-host Sasha von Oldershausen, one of our 2020 Emerging Writer Fellows, participants will write silently for 45 minutes, working on current or new material. A writing prompt will not be provided. Afterward, Virginia Chang, a certified Jivamukti yoga teacher, will guide participants in mindful movement and meditation. While writing, the body is still and the mind focused. We will awaken the body and relax the mind using a combination of yoga, breathwork, and meditation. No mat required, just a willingness to participate and listen. This mindful experience should leave you feeling calm yet energized.

45:15 is inspired by Ellen Sussman’s “unit system” for a disciplined and generative writing practice detailed in her Poets & Writers essay, “A Writer’s Daily Habit: Four Steps to Higher Productivity.” She argues that by taking periodic breaks from your writing or thinking about your writing, you are allowing your subconscious to keep creating. When you sit down again, you’ll feel more energized and ready to kick out another forty-five minutes of concentrated writing.

“I’m not conscious of thinking about the novel. But the minute I get back to my desk for unit two, I’m suddenly brimming with new ideas. Something happens when you let your mind breathe for a moment.”
—Ellen Sussman


Led by

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    Sasha von Oldershausen

    Sasha von Oldershausen

    Sasha von Oldershausen is an Iranian-American freelance reporter and writer, who is newly attempting fiction. In the past, her work has taken her to the Texas-Mexico border, where she worked for three years as a correspondent. She also frequently writes about the Iranian diaspora and Persian culture. She holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University and a journalism degree from NYU. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Harper’s, the Atlantic, the Paris Review, and the Oxford American.

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    Virginia Chang

    Virginia Chang

    Virginia Chang, Ph.D., is a certified Jivamukti yoga teacher and life-long practitioner who incorporates meditation and breathwork into her approach that brings a mindfulness and peace to her work. A Certified End-of-Life Doula and founder of Till The Last, she currently works with the dying and their loved ones to approach end of life in a positive, meaningful, and affirming way. When relaxing, she can be found reading, playing the harp, or exercising. She loves books and is a volunteer reader for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and Emerging Writer Fellowships.