This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Charity Sade

Coping Through Comedy’s comedy writing workshop is offered to cancer patients/survivors. The intention of the workshop is to provide a safe and creative environment for those touched by cancer to be able to express themselves and find the humor surrounding the difficulties in life and cancer. No previous comedy writing experience is necessary.


Coping Through Comedy: Comedy Writing Workshop is held Bi-Monthly on Wednesdays.

Participants can attend on a drop-in basis, but prior registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • May 5 & 19
  • June 2, 16 & 30

This program is sponsored by the Livestrong Foundation. Additional donations are always welcome.


About Charity Sade

Charity Sad​e​ is an up and coming comedian from Indiana, but has resided in Washington, D.C. for the last 8 years.

She has performed across the country, and won a new comic competition at Greenwich Village Comedy Club. ​Within her first year of comedy, Charity made her festival debut at the 2018 DC Comedy Festival as well as the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival.

She has always used humor to get through difficult moments in her life, including her breast cancer diagnosis at age 27. ​On stage, she takes her difficult life experiences and turns them into relatable, humorous tales. Her comedic superpower is her ability to make you simultaneously laugh and cringe.

Charity is the creator and founder of Comedic Relief: Coping Through Comedy. You can catch Charity hosting, producing, and performing on shows across the DMV.

This program series is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must have attended the first session in the series.

with Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW Candidate

Sustainable Journaling

In the forward to Sandra Marinella’s book The Story You Need to Tell: Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss, author Christina Baldwin writes, “When things happen that are unexpected, unwelcome, challenging, disorienting, or traumatic, we survive, but the storyline we were following is shattered. Untold stories don’t go away.”

In this three-part workshop series, we will explore our own “untold stories” – ones that have forever changed the storylines of our lives – by capturing one moment in time that can convey meaning about a larger experience, bring needed healing, and offer powerful insights about our shared humanity.

Using the micro-memoir, also called the flash memoir, as a vehicle for telling our untold stories, we will discuss techniques for distilling them to their essence (750 words or fewer) and for crafting them in ways that powerfully communicate what we intend.

Activities include:

  • learning about the essential elements of a micro-memoir
  • reading and discussing examples of published micro-memoirs
  • participating in writing activities
  • completing at-home assignments
  • talking about what it means to share our writing with a larger audience

By the end of the third session, you will have written a micro-memoir that tells the story you need to tell.

Reading your work aloud is voluntary. If you choose to do so, you will have an opportunity to read what you have written to the group, and you will have a chance to hear others read their “small stories” as well. After each reading, generous, positive feedback will be encouraged.

You do not have to consider yourself a writer to participate in this workshop. The only requirement is a willingness to tell your story as open-heartedly as you can and to compassionately support the efforts of others in the workshop who wish to do the same. The program is open to any adults who have been impacted by cancer as a patient or as a caregiver of any kind.


Writing a Micro-Memoir: The Stories that Don’t Go Away will be hosted in three parts. Participants are encouraged to attend all three sessions. Upon completion of the three parts, participants will have developed a working micro-memoir. Program limited to 8 participants.
Program dates:
  • May 5
  • May 12
  • May 19

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $25/series


About Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW Candidate

Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW candidate, has taught writing for more than 20 years at universities and community colleges on the east and west coasts, including Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University, and The Evergreen State College. Her doctoral work focused on writing creative nonfiction and on Latin American testimonial literature. She is an author of a novel, a memoir, short stories, and poetry, and for the past nine years she has maintained a blog, where she writes “small stories” she hopes will point towards more universal themes that will resonate with her readers.

This program series is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must have attended the first session in the series.

with Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW Candidate

Sustainable Journaling

In the forward to Sandra Marinella’s book The Story You Need to Tell: Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss, author Christina Baldwin writes, “When things happen that are unexpected, unwelcome, challenging, disorienting, or traumatic, we survive, but the storyline we were following is shattered. Untold stories don’t go away.”

In this three-part workshop series, we will explore our own “untold stories” – ones that have forever changed the storylines of our lives – by capturing one moment in time that can convey meaning about a larger experience, bring needed healing, and offer powerful insights about our shared humanity.

Using the micro-memoir, also called the flash memoir, as a vehicle for telling our untold stories, we will discuss techniques for distilling them to their essence (750 words or fewer) and for crafting them in ways that powerfully communicate what we intend.

Activities include:

  • learning about the essential elements of a micro-memoir
  • reading and discussing examples of published micro-memoirs
  • participating in writing activities
  • completing at-home assignments
  • talking about what it means to share our writing with a larger audience

By the end of the third session, you will have written a micro-memoir that tells the story you need to tell.

Reading your work aloud is voluntary. If you choose to do so, you will have an opportunity to read what you have written to the group, and you will have a chance to hear others read their “small stories” as well. After each reading, generous, positive feedback will be encouraged.

You do not have to consider yourself a writer to participate in this workshop. The only requirement is a willingness to tell your story as open-heartedly as you can and to compassionately support the efforts of others in the workshop who wish to do the same. The program is open to any adults who have been impacted by cancer as a patient or as a caregiver of any kind.


Writing a Micro-Memoir: The Stories that Don’t Go Away will be hosted in three parts. Participants are encouraged to attend all three sessions. Upon completion of the three parts, participants will have developed a working micro-memoir. Program limited to 8 participants.
Program dates:
  • May 5
  • May 12
  • May 19

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $25/series


About Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW Candidate

Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW candidate, has taught writing for more than 20 years at universities and community colleges on the east and west coasts, including Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University, and The Evergreen State College. Her doctoral work focused on writing creative nonfiction and on Latin American testimonial literature. She is an author of a novel, a memoir, short stories, and poetry, and for the past nine years she has maintained a blog, where she writes “small stories” she hopes will point towards more universal themes that will resonate with her readers.

Click here to register for the 4-part series. 

with Kiersten Gallagher and Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

SC Writes for Young Adults (1)

Welcome back to SC Writes for YACS, where we will deepen our writing and sharing in a safe and supportive environment. No writing experience required. Activities will include mindfulness practices, writing exercises, and reflective practices. Please stay tuned for the theme of this 4-part series!

Group members are encouraged to attend all sessions, but missing one meeting is fine. This is a limited series with limited capacity and attendance is important in our effort to foster community and build an open space for sharing.


SC Writes for Young Adults is a 4-part program hosted on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00pm, starting on April 20th.

Program Dates:

  • April 20
  • April 27
  • May 4
  • May 11

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $35/whole series


About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten has served as the Cancer Support Program Director for Smith Center since 2014. Before coming to Smith Center, she had the privilege to serve individuals and families living with cancer at Wellness House of Annapolis. Kiersten aims to offer programs to reduce stress and help participants to see the world we live in from different perspectives. She thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga and creativity classes at SmithCenter and encourages gentle movement and creativity in the healing process. Kiersten is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance and also has her YCAT (Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness) Professional Certification through the Integral Yoga Academy. She has completed Patient Navigation training through Smith Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation and has also completed the Commonweal Healing Circles: Advanced Cancer Support Training. Kiersten is also certified in CLIMB®(Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) a program that aims to build upon the strengths of children and increase his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a parent’s illness. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, human relationships and is grateful for each and every day. In her spare time, you may find Kiersten laughing with friends, cycling, taking art classes, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband Shane, son Liam, and dogs Hooper and Pablo.

About Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky specializes in trauma-informed, strengths-based counseling with a passion for integrative health and healing. Mindy honors her clients as the experts of their lives, and she strives to provide a supportive and safe environment.
After a career in social justice advocacy and her own challenging health journey, Mindy aspires to meet her clients where they are to help them achieve their goals.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Kathleen O’Toole

There’s a reason that the ancient Celts celebrated Bealtaine (Beltane: May 1, or Mayday) which falls halfway between the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. For us in the northern hemisphere, early May ushers in our weeks of greatest light. Doors, windows, byres and livestock would be decorated with yellow May flowers. In parts of Ireland, people would make a May Bush: a thorn bush or branch decorated with flowers, ribbons, bright shells and rushlights. Elsewhere in Europe: Maypoles and music brought people together.

 

In this 90-minute session, we’ll take time to notice and record the wonders of nature and light around us. Kathleen O’Toole, Poet Laureate of Takoma Park, MD will share some of her own and others’ “poems of attention” and invite participants to respond – words, short poems, sketches – and explore some writing practices to help us enter this season with greater attention, and intention. No previous poetry writing experience required, just an openness to playing with words. Bring an open heart, and maybe a photo or sketch of something you’ve noticed this spring that gave you joy.

Suggested Donation: $10


About Kathleen O’Toole

Takoma Park Poet Laureate Kathleen O’Toole is the author of 4 books of poetry (find her at https://kathleenotoolepoetry.com). She has taught writing at Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland Institute College of Art. As evident in her longer work, she often seeks inspiration and consolation in nature. For more than thirty years she has been writing haiku as a spiritual practice of attention, and to deepen her experience of the natural world.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Charity Sade

Coping Through Comedy’s comedy writing workshop is offered to cancer patients/survivors. The intention of the workshop is to provide a safe and creative environment for those touched by cancer to be able to express themselves and find the humor surrounding the difficulties in life and cancer. No previous comedy writing experience is necessary.


Coping Through Comedy: Comedy Writing Workshop is held Bi-Monthly on Wednesdays.

Participants can attend on a drop-in basis, but prior registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • May 5 & 19
  • June 2, 16 & 30

This program is sponsored by the Livestrong Foundation. Additional donations are always welcome.


About Charity Sade

Charity Sad​e​ is an up and coming comedian from Indiana, but has resided in Washington, D.C. for the last 8 years.

She has performed across the country, and won a new comic competition at Greenwich Village Comedy Club. ​Within her first year of comedy, Charity made her festival debut at the 2018 DC Comedy Festival as well as the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival.

She has always used humor to get through difficult moments in her life, including her breast cancer diagnosis at age 27. ​On stage, she takes her difficult life experiences and turns them into relatable, humorous tales. Her comedic superpower is her ability to make you simultaneously laugh and cringe.

Charity is the creator and founder of Comedic Relief: Coping Through Comedy. You can catch Charity hosting, producing, and performing on shows across the DMV.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW Candidate

Sustainable Journaling

In the forward to Sandra Marinella’s book The Story You Need to Tell: Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss, author Christina Baldwin writes, “When things happen that are unexpected, unwelcome, challenging, disorienting, or traumatic, we survive, but the storyline we were following is shattered. Untold stories don’t go away.”

In this three-part workshop series, we will explore our own “untold stories” – ones that have forever changed the storylines of our lives – by capturing one moment in time that can convey meaning about a larger experience, bring needed healing, and offer powerful insights about our shared humanity.

Using the micro-memoir, also called the flash memoir, as a vehicle for telling our untold stories, we will discuss techniques for distilling them to their essence (750 words or fewer) and for crafting them in ways that powerfully communicate what we intend.

Activities include:

  • learning about the essential elements of a micro-memoir
  • reading and discussing examples of published micro-memoirs
  • participating in writing activities
  • completing at-home assignments
  • talking about what it means to share our writing with a larger audience

By the end of the third session, you will have written a micro-memoir that tells the story you need to tell.

Reading your work aloud is voluntary. If you choose to do so, you will have an opportunity to read what you have written to the group, and you will have a chance to hear others read their “small stories” as well. After each reading, generous, positive feedback will be encouraged.

You do not have to consider yourself a writer to participate in this workshop. The only requirement is a willingness to tell your story as open-heartedly as you can and to compassionately support the efforts of others in the workshop who wish to do the same. The program is open to any adults who have been impacted by cancer as a patient or as a caregiver of any kind.


Writing a Micro-Memoir: The Stories that Don’t Go Away will be hosted in three parts. Participants are encouraged to attend all three sessions. Upon completion of the three parts, participants will have developed a working micro-memoir. Program limited to 8 participants.
Program dates:
  • May 5
  • May 12
  • May 19

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $25/series


About Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW Candidate

Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW candidate, has taught writing for more than 20 years at universities and community colleges on the east and west coasts, including Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University, and The Evergreen State College. Her doctoral work focused on writing creative nonfiction and on Latin American testimonial literature. She is an author of a novel, a memoir, short stories, and poetry, and for the past nine years she has maintained a blog, where she writes “small stories” she hopes will point towards more universal themes that will resonate with her readers.

Click here to register for the 4-part series. 

with Kiersten Gallagher and Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

SC Writes for Young Adults (1)

Welcome back to SC Writes for YACS, where we will deepen our writing and sharing in a safe and supportive environment. No writing experience required. Activities will include mindfulness practices, writing exercises, and reflective practices. Please stay tuned for the theme of this 4-part series!

Group members are encouraged to attend all sessions, but missing one meeting is fine. This is a limited series with limited capacity and attendance is important in our effort to foster community and build an open space for sharing.


SC Writes for Young Adults is a 4-part program hosted on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00pm, starting on April 20th.

Program Dates:

  • April 20
  • April 27
  • May 4
  • May 11

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $35/whole series


About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten has served as the Cancer Support Program Director for Smith Center since 2014. Before coming to Smith Center, she had the privilege to serve individuals and families living with cancer at Wellness House of Annapolis. Kiersten aims to offer programs to reduce stress and help participants to see the world we live in from different perspectives. She thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga and creativity classes at SmithCenter and encourages gentle movement and creativity in the healing process. Kiersten is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance and also has her YCAT (Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness) Professional Certification through the Integral Yoga Academy. She has completed Patient Navigation training through Smith Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation and has also completed the Commonweal Healing Circles: Advanced Cancer Support Training. Kiersten is also certified in CLIMB®(Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) a program that aims to build upon the strengths of children and increase his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a parent’s illness. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, human relationships and is grateful for each and every day. In her spare time, you may find Kiersten laughing with friends, cycling, taking art classes, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband Shane, son Liam, and dogs Hooper and Pablo.

About Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky specializes in trauma-informed, strengths-based counseling with a passion for integrative health and healing. Mindy honors her clients as the experts of their lives, and she strives to provide a supportive and safe environment.
After a career in social justice advocacy and her own challenging health journey, Mindy aspires to meet her clients where they are to help them achieve their goals.

Click here to register for the 4-part series. 

with Kiersten Gallagher and Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

SC Writes for Young Adults (1)

Welcome back to SC Writes for YACS, where we will deepen our writing and sharing in a safe and supportive environment. No writing experience required. Activities will include mindfulness practices, writing exercises, and reflective practices. Please stay tuned for the theme of this 4-part series!

Group members are encouraged to attend all sessions, but missing one meeting is fine. This is a limited series with limited capacity and attendance is important in our effort to foster community and build an open space for sharing.


SC Writes for Young Adults is a 4-part program hosted on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00pm, starting on April 20th.

Program Dates:

  • April 20
  • April 27
  • May 4
  • May 11

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $35/whole series


About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten has served as the Cancer Support Program Director for Smith Center since 2014. Before coming to Smith Center, she had the privilege to serve individuals and families living with cancer at Wellness House of Annapolis. Kiersten aims to offer programs to reduce stress and help participants to see the world we live in from different perspectives. She thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga and creativity classes at SmithCenter and encourages gentle movement and creativity in the healing process. Kiersten is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance and also has her YCAT (Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness) Professional Certification through the Integral Yoga Academy. She has completed Patient Navigation training through Smith Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation and has also completed the Commonweal Healing Circles: Advanced Cancer Support Training. Kiersten is also certified in CLIMB®(Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) a program that aims to build upon the strengths of children and increase his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a parent’s illness. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, human relationships and is grateful for each and every day. In her spare time, you may find Kiersten laughing with friends, cycling, taking art classes, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband Shane, son Liam, and dogs Hooper and Pablo.

About Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky specializes in trauma-informed, strengths-based counseling with a passion for integrative health and healing. Mindy honors her clients as the experts of their lives, and she strives to provide a supportive and safe environment.
After a career in social justice advocacy and her own challenging health journey, Mindy aspires to meet her clients where they are to help them achieve their goals.

This program series is being offered virtually through Zoom. If you missed the first sessions, please email carla@smithcenter.org

with John Casey

The Sustainable Journaling Workshop helps participants create a journaling practice that can be maintained for an indefinite period of time. By concentrating more on the practice of journaling than on the content and intention behind it, the strategies shared allow participants to approach journaling less as a means to an end and more as an end in itself. This can help to create a sustainable and fulfilling practice which stands on its own but which can also be applied to other journaling strategies.

Topics discussed will include:

  • Easy strategies for starting and maintaining a journal
  • The advantages of creating a daily habit of journaling and the benefits of both the practice and the product
  • Strategies for overcoming obstacles to creating a daily practice
  • Privacy concerns
  • How to start your journal at any point in the past
  • How to continue with the practice if days are missed
  • Creating a practice that is structured yet adaptable to one’s lifestyle and preferred approach to journaling

Each meeting incorporates presentations as well as opportunities for group and chat room sharing that caters to different engagement styles. Although homework is assigned, it easily accommodates participants with busy schedules.


Sustainable Journaling will be offered as a four-part workshop on the following dates: 

  • Saturday, April 3rd, 10 – 11:30 AM
  • Saturday, April 10th, 10 – 11:30 AM
  • Saturday, April 17th, 10 – 11:30 AM
  • Saturday, April 24th, 10 – 11:30 AM

Participants are encouraged to attend all four workshop sessions to get the most out of the Sustainable Journaling process. By registering above, you will be registered for all four sessions. Please let us know in advance if you will not be able to attend all four sessions.

Participants who joined in our first session are welcome back as space is available. Please email Kiersten at kiersten@smithcenter.org to inquire about space.

Suggested Donation: $30 (for entire workshop)


About John Casey

John Casey

John Casey works as a barber in Brooklyn, NY. This trade affords him the opportunity to meet and talk with many different people on a daily basis. Learning that many of his customers shared his interest in keeping a journal but didn’t know how to start or to maintain one, he decided to create a workshop that would allow him to share what he’d learned about this rewarding practice.
In his free time, John loves being in his car and is grateful for any opportunity he gets to drive through to the Hudson Valley where he grew up. He has a BFA in Painting and enjoys drawing, painting and visiting art museums. His favorite conversation topics are music, film and anything pertaining to behavioral psychology.

https://www.sustainablejournaling.com/