Writing the Heroine’s Journey with Kate Farrell | Mechanics' Institute

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Writing the Heroine’s Journey with Kate Farrell
Learn how to use elements of the feminine quest in your journaling or creative writing for any genre—fiction, nonfiction, memoir, and more!

Writing the Heroine’s Journey With Kate Farrell, Storyteller, Author, Librarian

Two-session workshop:

Saturday, September 23 from 11am-2pm

Saturday, October 7 from 11am-1pm

Cost: $40 member; $50 non-member

Location: Meeting Room, 4th floor, Mechanics' Institute, 57 Post St., San Francisco

Our culture is bombarded with tropes of the hero's journey, yet ignores the heroine's quest. In this interactive, two-session workshop we will explore the exceptional and unique challenges of the heroine's journey found in ancient, feminine myths. You'll learn how to use elements of the feminine quest in your journaling or creative writing for any genre—fiction, nonfiction, memoir, and more!

We'll compare the hero's and heroine's journey and discuss three basic benchmarks of the feminine quest found in myths and fairy tales that date back millennia to matriarchal cultures:

  • Treachery: Entanglements and Jealousies
  • Into the Wilderness: Escape and Initiation
  • Return: Recognition and Self Attainment

Deconstructing the foundational, Hellenic tale, "Psyche and Eros," as the basis for our discussion and writing, we'll translate its archaic challenges into those facing modern women.

Session One: With storytelling, prompts, and writing exercises, we'll discover how to use both the narrative arc of the heroine's journey and its basic motifs, characters, story beats, and tropes in reflective journaling and creative writing.

Session Two: After a two-week break with time to reflect and internalize, we'll return to share written work as you've interpreted the heroine's journey in your creative writing or journaling.

Background Note: This workshop and its source material is a counterpoint to The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell—its concept of the monomyth that decried even the need for a heroine's quest. But "Psyche and Eros," is a much celebrated story, with its scenes discovered in ancient Greek and Roman art, famously retold in The Metamorphoses or Golden Ass, written by Apuleius (circa 160 CE), the only Roman novel to have survived intact. Of all the works of Apuleius, the inset tale of “Psyche and Eros” is the single, most enduring, popular piece of his writings, further depicted in visual and performing arts for centuries.

Many scholars have thought Psyche a suitable heroine for modern women. Several Jungian analysts, notably Erich Neumann, saw the story of Psyche as a pattern for feminine development. The growing interest in the feminist community to re-vision the goddess traditions in the 1970s –1980s brought Greek and pre-Hellenic myths into close scrutiny. In fact, the four tasks of Psyche and what those symbolize for modern women was a subject of open discussion. As the remarkable amount of research shows, the myth of “Psyche and Eros” is fully alive and powerful. It has survived millennia and still demonstrates the stages of the heroine’s journey. “Psyche and Eros,” is a grand-mama to the ever-popular heroine variants in folk and fairy tales throughout ages and cultures.

Kate Farrell, storyteller, author, librarian, founded the Word Weaving Storytelling Project and published numerous educational materials on storytelling. She has contributed to and edited award-winning anthologies of personal narrative, Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the 60s & 70s and Cry of the Nightbird: Writers Against Domestic Violence. Farrell’s award-winning new book, StoryPower: Secrets to Creating, Crafting, and Telling Memorable Stories, is a timely, how-to guide on the art of storytelling for adults. Kate offers workshops for libraries and writing groups, as well as performing as a storyteller. https://katefarrell.net/

​Cancellation policy: For this class, we reserve the right to cancel at any time and issue a full refund. If you are unable to attend the seminar, please email [email protected] or call 415-857-6727 by Tuesday, September 19, 2023, to receive a refund less any non-refundable ticketing fees which may be applicable. All fees must be paid at the time of registration. After Tuesday, September 19, 2023 no refunds will be issued.



Members $40
Non-Members $50
Register now ›
4th Floor Meeting Room
Programs & Events - 415-393-0116
Register now by using the form below or calling 415-393-0116.


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