A ginormous, heartfelt thank-you to my dear, devoted friend and mentor, Shelley Souza, for countless hours of reading those messy early drafts. You never wavered with your ability to ask the questions that needed to be asked, and you helped me to uncover the story, that was buried within. – Julie T. Lamana, Upside Down In the Middle of Nowhere
Your class has been so wonderful! You have opened my mind up to other possibilities–namely, the chance to write a breakout novel. I’m not saying I will, but that I can definitely revise my novel and give it more depth and truth and resonance than it has now. Before I thought the only way to deepen my novel was by focusing on the craft. Now I’m looking at it in a different light. My characters are missing some of the darknesses that everybody has inside them. Where are the moments that force them to choose, that show who they really are?
Instead of revising my novel, I feel that I have the opportunity to re-envision it now. To truly put myself on the page. It’s still a frightening prospect, but it feels like it will be a work of joy and creation, no longer a dreadful chore. (I have HATED revising, because I tend to make my writing worse.)
Thank you so much, Shelley! I have learned a ton in just these few short weeks! – India P. Voice on the Page, SavvyAuthors 2017
Brilliant analysis. Thank you so much. I admit I have gotten away from my origins, wordsmithing, in favor of trying to hit all the targets we are told to nail this way or that. It’s exhausting. I feel like I can never just sit down and craft. There are always a billion balls to juggle. Appreciate you and the time you took to delve into this. Helps so much.
Thank you so much for this class and all the effort you put into helping us. I truly appreciate you and your point of view. It’s been enlightening and lovely. Hope to connect again soon. Shanda M. Voice on the Page, SavvyAuthors 2017
Thank you, Shelley, for saving me years of false starts and anxiety. You have given me the gift of discovering my voice, and how to reveal it in any given work. You taught me how to participate in that gift rather than hold it, afraid to reveal what I knew was there. I feel I am exactly where I need to be with my writing, and that is enough to put the entirety of who I am as a poet and writer on the page. Plot and structure can be learned if it is not already internalized. Voice is something that already exists within the writer. – Tonia Marie Harris Poet & Writer
I’ve had innumerable writing classes and workshops and one way or another they all focused on the technical aspects of writing. Shelley helped me to understand what it was I trying to say, to recognize what in my writing was unique because it was authentic and to divine what questions I could ask myself to move what wasn’t working toward what may. I can honestly say that my recent writing falls into two categories – that which was written blindly, felt laborious and occasionally compelling and everything I have written since having worked with Shelley which is executed with purpose and far greater precision and feels urgent. Seth Michael Donsky
Shelley put a lot of work and effort into making the class relevant to the individual needs of the participants. She’s a very intuitive facilitator and extremely knowledgeable about the topic. The webinar format was helpful, as were her timely and thorough responses to all of our questions. Bravo. – Barbara H. Voice on the Page, SavvyAuthors 2017
Shelley Souza is masterful when it comes to the transference of spoken to written word. She writes exactly as she speaks and the result is beauty, profundity, and feeling that touches your heart. We have often shared the power of the spoken word while reading aloud. This is the key to why the written word works the way it does. Shelley is the carrier of spoken magic and the secret alchemist of “word on tongue/word on page”. – Gerald Hausman, Author, Poet, Storyteller, and Co-founder/ Teacher, Green River Writers Workshop
It is deeply impressive to me, how you write with such fluidity, clarity and candor about things that are personally challenging, and you write with such elegance and grace. – Hugo Weihei, former International Head of Indian and South Asian Art at Christie’s, on A Tribute to My Parents.
I just finished the Christie’s catalogue and your tribute to your parents. I feel as if I have been flown out into another world and will not come back the same as I was. Your writing pulsates with the love, deep emotion, and vision of the heart of a child sharing the world of these two amazing people. You give us this: the beauty, talent, strength and elegance of your mother; the unstoppable creativity and distance of your father. You are, my friend, an amazing writer and observer and I am glad you have completed and published this piece. – Alice Winston Carney, Director Green River Writers Workshops, Turning Memory into Story, Author of A Cowgirl in Search of a Horse.
If a catalogue must define the history of the past, this catalogue by Christie’s plumbs the articulate life of one of India’s greatest artists Francis Newton Souza. Why is this catalogue one that stands apart? Simply because it has within the narrative of the life of Souza’s daughter Shelley Souza with photographs that present the flashback of an epoch that echoes the beauty of TS Eliot’s words: Time Past is Time Present. An evocative image of Souza and his mother and an elegant image of the family so many years ago becomes the epitaph for the narrative that Shelley unravels for us with insight and deep sensitivity. … Souza’s daughter Shelley writes with an honesty that is rare and tender. … This catalogue is more like a story book and Shelley Souza must be applauded for her honesty and her integrity in telling the tale. – Uma Nair. Critic and Curator. Times of India Blog, 11 March 2014.