Barbara Turner-Vesselago

I teach this way of writing because it works.

Barbara Turner-Vesselago, Ph.D.

Since 1982, Barbara Turner-Vesselago has been leading highly effective Freefall Writing workshops throughout the English-speaking world. She brings to the teaching of writing a unique combination of writing and teaching skills, literary knowledge, psychological expertise and insight that has made her workshops popular in centres as diverse as England’s Rising Dragon Tai Chi School and the Yale University School of Medicine.


An expert in modern literature, she has a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, and has taught at Girton College, Cambridge (England), University of Jos (Nigeria), University of Toronto (Canada) and the University of Washington (US). But in 1982, after being mentored by Canadian author W.O. Mitchell at the Banff School of Fine Arts in the Canadian Rockies, she left academia to write, and to teach writing.

On Writing

Barbara Turner-Vesselago’s novel, No News But Kindness, was chosen as a finalist for the Chapters/Robertson Davies Book Prize. She is also the author/editor of Skelton at Sixty (The Porcupine’s Quill, 1986) and three books about writing: Writing Without a Parachute: The Art of Freefall (Vala 2013/Jessica Kingsley), Freefall into Fiction: Finding Form (Jessica Kingsley 2017), and How To Talk About Writing: A Fundamental Shift in Perspective (Fontaine 2019). Asked in an interview why she teaches Freefall, she responded, “I teach this way of writing because it works. And it’s the only way I’ve ever come across that really does.”