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Erika Sanders

Writer * Journal Keeper * Trail Wanderer


Welcome. Thank you for visiting. On these pages Erika explores and exposes her own writing projects and process, including updates on her novel in progress Heartwood. On her blog, take a peek at the work currently on her desk, the ways in which her writing and love of trail wandering intersect, read about writers and artists currently influencing her thinking and art, and other random thoughts floating around in her writer’s brain.

If you’ve come looking for a writing coach or assistance with creating a regular journal practice please visit the Contact page for more details. She looks forward to hearing from you.

I’m looking for a writer who doesn’t know where the sentence is leading her; a writer who starts with her obsessions and who heart is bursting with love; a writer sly enough to give the slip to her secret police, the ones with the power to accuse and condemn in the blink of an eye. It’s all right that she doesn’t know what she’s thinking until she writes it, as if the words already exist somewhere and draw her to them. She may not know how she got there, but she knows when she’s arrived.

Sy Safransky, Editor of The Sun


Stand still. The trees ahead and

bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.


David Wagoner, “Lost”

Erika is a storyteller, journal keeper, trail walker, tree hugger, feminist,

aunt and coffee addict.


Growing up in the Pacific Northwest she learned to appreciate how both the darkness of winter and the long light days of summer feed and influence the

creative spirit and process.


You can find her on local hiking trails year round with her notebook in her backpack and a question of soulful import on her heart.


While earning her Master of Fine Arts in the Solstice MFA Program at Pine Manor College she learned the value of falling in love with the creative work of others as a means of both study and keeping the ego humble.


She writes, coaches and teaches at the intersections of creativity, spirit and nature, and advocates strongly for the importance of writers experiencing the natural world as a means to spark creative insight, increase well-being and expand soulful and ecological awareness.



Erika is currently completing her novel Heartwood. The story of a young girl who must save her mother’s life, her village and her own heart from the darkest secrets.

Erika is also working on a collection of essays drawn from her 6-month solo camping and hiking journey around the western United States in 2016. These essays explore the connection between creativity, heart and nature and will one day morph into a project she is calling Path to Page.

Erika’s first writing love is the short story. Her short fiction has appeared in The Solstice Literary Magazine, Eckerd College Review, and Trajectory. Her poetry has appeared in Survivor’s Review and We’Moon.

Odds and Ends

In 2007 Erika was a writer-in-residence for 5 weeks on the island of Flores, an island in the Azores archipelago approximately 700 miles off the coast of Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean. She’s never heard wind howl so fiercely during a storm, nor met more lovely people.


From 2008-2013 Erika taught Joseph Campbell’s theory of story structure, The Hero’s Journey, to inmates at the Washington State Reformatory. You can read more about this five-year odyssey in the prison on her blog Deep Water: Teaching on the Inside.


Erika is a life-long journal keeper and works with individuals to develop a regular journaling practice as well as teaches workshops on the art of journal keeping, particularly for creative health and productivity. To learn more please be in touch.


A word on coaching: Erika works with clients to establish and maintain a regular journal keeping practice as well as coaches clients in their own writing project goals.

A word on workshops/trail writing adventures: Erika loves teaching...and hiking...and she loves combining the two more than anything. If your group is interested in a guided writing-trail wandering adventure she wants to hear from you!

Subscribe to receive updates on Heartwood, my most recent blog posts, and upcoming events.

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