Ann Dowsett Johnston

“We are all in recovery from something: substance use, heartbreak, lost dreams.”

This course is designed specifically for those who long to find their authentic voice through writing.

In this course, you will learn how to navigate the publishing world with ease and confidence …

Without the uncertainty of not knowing where to start, the fear that your story is too small or being held back by imposter syndrome.

Experience the thrill of excavating your story, the joy of finding your own voice, and the triumph that comes from making sense of your unique recovery narrative.

A Personal Note from Ann...

I want you to know that you’ve come to

the right place.

Just like you, I suffered from writer’s block for years.

For close to 20 years, I spent my days editing the work of talented writers, and my nights dreaming of writing myself.

Then, in 2013, I published an international bestseller.

As a best-selling author, award-winning editor and writing coach, I possess a deep knowledge of the world of publishing and profound knowledge of the craft of editing.

I have made it my mission to help others transform their personal experiences into compelling memoirs. I have designed the course I would have loved to experience decades ago… and now I present my offering to you.

Overcome Writer’s Block and Procrastination

We’ve all been there. No matter how successful, there have been times when every writer has succumbed to self-doubt. Sometimes the hardest part is overcoming perfectionism. You will not only get your rear end in the seat; you’ll develop a strong habit of daily writing.

Write Your Story

Every memoir writer has to learn how to mine their past for a compelling storyline. You will learn how to find an inspiring narrative arc, and you’ll learn how to hone your unique voice--creating the memoir you’ve always dreamed of writing.

Get Your Story Published

You’ll not only have your story in hand, but you’ll know the exact steps to take to get it published. You’ll meet best-selling authors and book agents who can help get you published.

You know you’ve wanted to tell your story for years. Fear, procrastination, or imposter syndrome keep getting in the way. You worry that you’re not good enough, your story is too small.

Not to mention: you have no idea where to start.

You’ve scribbled furiously in the pages of your journal, you have yellow stickies with good ideas all over your desktop, and 50,000 words on your computer … but it all just feels like loose ends. You can keep doing what you’re doing and stay stuck, lost, and frustrated--or you can make a decision that could be the turning point in your career.

The good news is...

Writing Your Recovery is a transformative eight-week course designed specifically for aspiring memoir writers. It will show you precisely how to overcome writer’s block, write your compelling story, and take the right steps towards publication.

Whether you are new to the memoir-writing world, or you have been longing to write your story for decades, this eight-week live and interactive course will take you from a position of uncertainty to the joy of finding your authentic voice.

Ann brings more than four decades of experience to this course and will leverage her expertise to ensure your success. Through this course, you will have access to her networks and connections as she becomes not only your course facilitator but your writing coach and personal advocate.

What's included:

  • Eight weekly, live, two-hour classes on Zoom

  • Opportunity to workshop your memoir within a group setting and receive instant feedback from Ann and your peers

  • A community of like-minded writers from which to receive the support you need

  • A personal introduction to a top Canadian agent with an international presence

  • Email access to course facilitator and best-selling author Ann Dowsett Johnston for the duration of the course

  • Personalized attention and feedback from Ann

  • Weekly grounding sessions to learn how to access your bodily knowledge in writing

  • Exposure to a broad range of inspirational writing to help take your writing to the next level

  • Ann’s personally curated list of writer’s talks and presentations to set you up for success

  • Full access to Ann’s personal library of top memoirs

  • Feedback and support from your peers, facilitated by Ann

  • Opportunities throughout the course to give feedback and ask questions so Ann can tailor the course to your needs

  • Full, lifetime membership in the Writing Your Recovery Community; share your writing with the broader community for support, feedback, and connection

  • Opportunity to develop extensive networks which may lead to:

o Fellowships

o Meeting other published authors

o Entering contests

o Getting published in magazines


  • Ditch procrastination

  • Develop strong habits as a writer

  • Find inspiration

  • Understand how to mine your past for a compelling storyline

  • Find the narrative arc in your story

  • Learn how to use your voice

  • Learn how to mine your five senses to transform your writing

  • Learn how to approach your story structurally

  • Know what steps to take to get published

  • Meet best-selling writers

  • Meet top agents who can help get you published


"Writing Your Recovery is a rare gift of an opportunity to break through: to work with your felt sense to access your body's wisdom, and the story it is dying to tell, in nurturing and humorous company. Ann celebrates every writer and each unique voice, but with acute, skilled attention and utter sincerity. Ann's hospitality, and generosity of time and spirit is special. You would be hard-pressed to find a comparable experience with not only an author of her caliber or renown, but a person with such sobriety of heart and mind-- trustworthy accompaniment along the story of your life.”

Taryn Heon, author, Vermont, USA

"Ann's dedication and generosity to the craft of writing go well beyond her own success as a writer. She is also a mentor, coach, teacher, and sage guide as we unlock our inner voices. Thank you, Ann.”

Gail Heney, Canada

"Ann Dowsett Johnston’s Writing Your Recovery course has given me the motivation I need to begin putting words to page again. After years of letting my stories go silent, Ann has encouraged my voice back into existence, helping me reclaim my self-worth lost in a wine bottle years ago."

Kelly Medd, Canada

"Ann’s course is fabulous. I highly recommend it to anyone in recovery with an interest in writing. I've learned so much, and feel so enriched by the support and experience of the group. What Ann started is really special. Thank you for adding so much to my journey!"

Louise Brown, Mexico

"This class has been an awakening for me.”

Jennifer Beck, Canada

Course Overview

The next round of the course starts April 24th, 2024

• Course runs on Wednesdays

• Choice of class times: 11am-1pm EST or 6.30pm-8.30pm EST

• Eight weekly, live, two-hour classes on Zoom

(Course alone is valued at $1000)

Also included:

• Weekly opportunities to workshop your memoir within a group setting

(Valued at $800)

• Email access to Ann for the duration of the course (Valued at $700)

• Ann’s personally curated list of writers’ talks and presentations to set you up for success (Valued at $400)

• Full access to Ann’s personal library of top memoirs (Valued at $200)

• Full lifetime membership in the Writing Your Recovery Community to share your writing with the broader community for support, feedback, and connection (Valued at $1,900)

(Total Value = $4000)

To Recap …

When you sign up now, you get eight weeks of live, interactive classes with Ann and up to 16 of your peers. The next round of the course begins on Wednesday, April 24th, 2024, and runs on Wednesdays from 11:00am to 1:00pm EST and from 6:30pm to 8:30pm EST (your choice which class to enroll in). In addition, you will receive a lifetime membership in Ann’s private Facebook community, as well as email access to Ann for the duration of the course and an hour of one-on-one coaching with Ann. Finally, you receive Ann’s personally curated list of writers’ talks and presentations, along with full access to Ann’s personal library of top memoirs.

Although many courses have been designed to help you write and publish your memoir, you will not find a more dedicated and passionate mentor than Ann. What sets this course apart is that it is 100% live and interactive. There are no pre-recorded videos and you will receive more personalized attention in this course than you will anywhere else. Formerly known as “Annie Scissor Hands,” Ann’s skill at editing with speed and precision will help you gain clarity about the right steps to take, helping you spend more time crafting your memoir.

Course Times

Your time is valuable, we understand that it can be hard to find time to write, that's why Ann has provided a choice of two classes - one at 11am-1pm Eastern time, the other at 6:30pm - 8:30pm Eastern time. Both classes start on Wednesday, April 24th, 2024 and meet every Wednesday for 8 weeks with a one week break. Please consider your choice carefully and pick the class time that best suits your time zone and lifestyle, this will be your dedicated time to focus on writing.