September 21, 2022

Honor your story, embrace your path.

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What is Transformative Storytelling?

Viva Institute's popular Sedona retreat is now an online workshop! Transformative Storytelling is an immersive 4-week writing workshop that will empower you to revisit your life’s most significant stories and transform the way you tell them.

Whether you’ve never taken a writing class or you’re a seasoned writer looking for new ways to access your work, Transformative Storytelling will identify the ongoing threads in your personal narratives so you can express your unique voice and discover the transformative power of reclaiming your most meaningful stories. 

How does Transformative Storytelling work?

In Transformative Storytelling, we’ll meet for an hour by Zoom on Wednesdays at 7 ET. All live sessions are recorded in case you can’t join us live. You'll learn in 4 ways:

  • A rich, interactive online platform released in weekly modules, where you’ll explore storytelling from many traditions, identify the ongoing threads in your personal narratives, mess with genre and time, watch videos that show what we mean by “transformative,” undertake a guided journey, and even do some arts and crafts!

  • Four weekly sessions over Zoom on Wednesdays from 7-8 pm ET

  • A private community for sharing and offering feedback.

  • Ongoing feedback and encouragement from your co-pilot, Leigh Hopkins.

  • Once you enroll in Transformative Storytelling, you can add on a 1:1 writing mentoring session with Leigh Hopkins. Send Leigh any piece up to 2,000 words and meet with her for a 30-minute private Zoom session to talk about all aspects of your piece.

Optional add-on for participants of Transformative Storytelling: 1:1 Session with Leigh Hopkins

For participants of Transformative Storytelling: add on a 1:1 writing mentoring session with Leigh Hopkins. Send Leigh any piece up to 2,000 words and meet with her for a 30-minute private Zoom session to talk about all aspects of your piece. Add this session to your cart at checkout when you register for Transformative Storytelling.

Meet your Co-Pilot

Leigh Hopkins

Leigh Hopkins is the Editor and Curator of Khôra, a dynamic online arts space conceived and produced in collaboration with author Lidia Yuknavitch and Corporeal Writing. She’s a columnist at The Rumpus, and her work has appeared in BOMB Magazine, Longreads, McSweeney’s, Entropy, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, among other publications. She is represented by Kent D. Wolf of Neon Literary.

After the publication of Leigh’s essay The Brazilian Healer and the Patron Saint of Impossible Causes (Longreads), she was featured in a Brazilian documentary by the film crew who first exposed the crimes of John of God, the world’s most famous spiritual surgeon. 

As the Vice President for Education of a leading social policy think tank, Leigh provided support to 500 literacy programs in historically underserved communities throughout the United States. In 2010, Leigh left a career in social policy to move to Brazil, where she founded Viva Institute institute by rigging a satellite dish to a boulder in a banana field. Today, Leigh lives in Philadelphia with her wife (a master painter), and their Portuguese-speaking Jack Russell Terrier.

"Leigh Hopkins is a sunbeam of an editor."  — Tammy Heejae Lee, writer

It's time to tell your story.

The investment for Transformative Storytelling is $197 USD. You can also schedule an additional 1:1 Transformative Storytelling private session at checkout.

Let's do this!

What people are saying:

"...helped me grow in ways that I never expected."

Betty, Colorado

“I am so, so happy that I decided to take this course. Viva puts on a friendly, professional course that helps you with writing, making it better than ever. We also give feedback on each other’s work, which helps us grow as writers and communicators. It helped me grow in ways that I never expected, such as everyday communications with others. Leigh Hopkins is a kind, gentle, sensitive, and very capable individual with high credentials. Great course, and I look forward to taking more Transformative Storytelling courses offered by Viva. You absolutely won’t be disappointed, take the course!”

What an amazing class!

Kim, New Jersey

"What an amazing class! Thank you for guiding us on such a surprising and AWESOME journey! Thanks to you I have found my center again and feel more connected to everything around me. Thank you for helping me find my 'wonder;' she had been lost for way too long."

"Positive, helpful comments and feedback..."

Kelly, Minnesota

I’d studied with Leigh before and found her as kind and compassionate as she is industrious, witty, and gifted at bringing out the best in everyone around her. Interesting, thoughtfully-planned lessons led to assignments that hardly felt like work at all. As I participated, it was fascinating to discover not only that my story had a way of telling itself and I was just its ‘keeper,’ but that my voice seemed to simply be awaiting my call for it to venture out. I was truly surprised at just how uplifted and inspired I felt receiving the positive, helpful comments and feedback —and respond with a very heartfelt thank you."

"The support I felt was invaluable."

Naomi, Texas

"What I enjoyed most was Viva Institute's website. It was nice to be able to pace myself, read the material and watch the videos at my leisure. The support I felt from the private group was invaluable...I learned online and never felt alone."

"Personal attention given to each student..."

Anna, Sweden

"I highly recommend taking courses through Viva. I absolutely loved the easy-to-use online format. The teaching videos and teleseminars bring a one-on-one personal feeling to the course, as does the personal attention given to each student. I enjoyed meeting like-minded people from around the world, and it answered many questions that I couldn't find answers for elsewhere."

"The big benefit of Transformative Storytelling, for me, was actually doing it..."

Wendee, Arizona

"The big benefit of Transformative Storytelling, for me, was actually doing it, and getting feedback on what I had written. Having always journaled, I knew I loved the process of writing to quiet my mind and take time to sit and think but to put anything out there was a challenge. The first time I hit the submit button I held my breath and said to myself, "Well that's it....for better or worse." It was definitely for the better!"

Love your life, embrace your path.

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In Transformative Storytelling, publishing is not the goal. You may write things that you never intend to share. This is a journey of reclamation.

"Sometimes telling the story is the thing that saves your life.” — Lidia Yuknavitch

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."  — Maya Angelou

"Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.” —Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

"Do you know that only two things have been proven to help survivors of the Holocaust? Massage is one. Telling their story is another. Being touched and touching. Telling your story is touching. It sets you free.” — Francesca Lia Block

"Suffering ceases to be suffering the moment it finds meaning.” — Viktor Frankel