Suzanne Montz Adams

The Official Bio
Suzanne Montz Adams facilitates writing and expressive arts workshops in the Houston area.  One of her specialties is working with adolescent girls at risk where she has conducted workshops in the school districts since 2007. She was a workshop presenter at the 2009 Power of Words Conference and is currently on the Council of the Transformative Language Arts Network and a Program Director for ARTreach, a non-profit organization in arts education outreach. Suzanne has published essays in numerous journals and magazines including Radical Psychology, Diving in the Moon, Trivia: Voices of Feminism, Brain,Child, and Family Life. Suzanne graduated with honors from Texas A&M University where she received a degree in Accounting and is a former CPA. She has an MA with a concentration in Transformative Language Arts from Goddard College.

The Story Behind the Scenes
In fifth grade, my teacher, Mrs. Walkow, asked our class to draw a representation of what we wanted to be when we grew up by creatively using the word for our chosen profession. I used different colored markers to spell “writer,” using the “w” to form two elongated pencils with sharp points. Writing was so important to me that I once gave colorful ink pens to my friends as gifts.  Reading their disappointed, confused expressions on opening the gift was my first clue that other people did not view writing paraphernalia as treasured possessions the way I did.

Years later, I signed up for a journalism class in high school, thinking this was the type of writing in which I could make a living, but my heart was wrapped around creative writing, not fact-based reporting. Two years later, as a college freshman, I heeded all the well-meaning, practical advice thrown my way, suppressed my passion for reading and writing, and chose to major in accounting. Within a few years of graduation, I recognized my mistake, yet also couldn’t relinquish my hard-earned CPA license after all those years of study and professional work. Then I added a husband and three sons to the mix and had to steal time for writing, but it was treasured time and I couldn’t deny any longer that writing was essential for my happiness. I attended writing classes whenever possible where I received invaluable feedback and reveled in an energetic and talented community of writers from Iowa to Houston’s Inprint to Bread Loaf and a multitude of other groups and venues along a journey of almost twenty years.

My essays have been published in numerous magazines and journals, both print and online.  For more personal writing, I pour my heart into a journal—to record my days, to discover something hidden in my subconscious, to excavate the real sources of problems (and not settle for what might be superficial and immediate,) to resolve uncertainty, and to live a more intuitive and intentional life.

In the spring of 2001, I read an article in Poets & Writers Magazine about a graduate program that used expressive arts such as drama, storytelling, and writing for healing, transformation, and growth. This was a program seemingly tailor-made for me and my belief in writing as a powerful tool for change on both the personal and community levels.  I had personally experienced the benefits of writing for over two decades and soon discovered that there were also numerous scientific studies that proved the psychological, physical, and immunological benefits of writing as well.

I attended the program and graduated with an MA with a concentration in Transformative Language Arts (or TLA.) TLA workshops are currently being held all over the country in community centers, businesses, prisons, schools, hospitals, and shelters to build bridges within the self or between individuals and groups. Here’s more information on TLA in practice.

I now use the concepts and practices of TLA in my writing and expressive arts workshops where I encourage others to reach beyond the limitations they have set for themselves, and to consider, in an evolutionary way, their own unique journeys. That eleven year-old inside me is still insisting that writing is a passion that cannot be suppressed and that the pen can be an invaluable, life-altering gift.