Workshops & Retreats 2007
Workshops run Friday night to Sunday afternoon unless otherwise indicated.
A two-day retreat option directly after the workshop is available.

Register on-line

Songwriting Construction Zone:
Tips and Tools for Your Songwriting Toolbox

Songwriter Sue Ennis
July 27-29, 2007

“I think she is brilliant, very giving, and a born teacher. She really went with the flow and mood of the group, almost as if by intuition, and she kept things moving at a perfect pace for me. I was totally under her spell.”
-- Maryann, Tacoma, Wash.

“Sue was wonderful, very accessible and easy to participate in discussion with. I enjoyed her style and knowledge. She’s very approachable. It was incredible to have a songwriter of her caliber make herself available to us. I truly appreciated my one-on-one time and the entire weekend.”
Mia, Anacortes, Wash.

Writing songs for a wildly popular mainstream rock band is not so very different from writing a tribute song for your mother’s birthday. Both start with a desire to connect with an audience through words and music. A songwriter’s greatest joy often comes when she realizes she has touched another person with her song.  With a songwriter’s workbox full of tips and tools, it’s possible to write more focused and richly textured songs that will carry your message into the heart of your listener.

Sue Ennis, co-writer with the band Heart on more than 50 songs, shares her insights into the process of writing more effective ones. She will concentrate on architecture: how to build a song from the first moment of inspiration to the final spit and polish. Play around with words in a group lyric-writing activity and explore how to generate fresh phrases, clearing the hurdles of clichés and tired first lines. True melody-freak that she is, Sue will offer ideas on how to coax memorable melodies from the sub-conscious. And if that is too esoteric, she’ll simply hand out a list of concrete steps that make melodies stronger.

Sue creates an encouraging and fun atmosphere in her workshops, where songwriters feel comfortable sharing their work.  Everyone will have one-on-one time with Sue, so bring songs, song fragments and inklings of songs waiting to be born. Through her years of collaborating with Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Sue has come to value the rich rewards of writing with other women in a safe haven of mutual support and humor.  

Sue Ennis’ hits include Dog and Butterfly, Straight On, and Even It Up. She has co-written songs for feature films, including the title track for The Golden Child, starring Eddie Murphy, and the hit children’s film, Thomas and the Magic Railroad. Her commercial jingle Stage Roofing, co-written with film composer Hummie Mann, won a Soundie award for Best Radio Commercial in the Northwest in 2004. Sue is on the Board of Governors for the Seattle Chapter of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences.

For more on Sue, go to

Fee: $410 includes accommodations and five meals.
Optional retreat: Stay Monday and Tuesday after the workshop to work on your own project; $175 includes six meals; two-person limit.

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