Hi! I'm Pamela Donison
I am a writer, attorney, entrepreneur, and Oxford comma supporter. I help creatively frustrated attorneys, writers who happen to also practice law, and attorneys on the verge of burnout / breakdown nurture their Creative Spark through exclusive writing retreats.
I had a sobering diagnosis in 2016, and my medical team told me they could treat my disease, but not one of the underlying causes: my high stress career and nonstop barrage of cortisol-producing work. When I ran into law school classmate Shannon Bradley at a writing workshop, I knew that we could create a way for other attorneys like us to write in a safe space, free from “client” eyes. After practicing law for 18 years – the last eleven as a solo family law practitioner in Arizona -- I realized that I wanted to return to my Right Livelihood: helping fellow professionals become writers.
I was an award winning journalist, feature writer, and editor during my active duty tour in the U.S. Air Force in the 80s. I later worked as a magazine editor, public affairs manager, and some pay-the-bills jobs, before landing a position as Acquisitions Editor for a small publishing house in Tucson. It was my dream job. In order to assist our pool of inexperienced authors, I developed a method of coaching medical professionals to write successful (and profitable) clinical references, resulting in a huge leap in sales for the company. Soon, Harcourt Brace came a-calling and the company was bought out.
When Harcourt Brace moved operations to their San Antonio office, I took my severance pay and went to law school, graduating in the middle of the heap from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in 1999, just a few weeks shy of my 40th birthday. After seven years working for others, I opened my own firm in 2006, concentrating on integrative family law practice.
After that 40,000 mile detour from my true nature, I have returned to my passion: writing and coaching writers. I’m so happy to be crafting my favorite job ever, working with authors (and wannabe authors) just like you. Together, we can bring your book to life!
Hi! I'm Shannon Bradley
I began writing regularly when I received my first diary. Yes, the squarish, leather-bound one with a little lock on it so commonly given to young girls. Writing in my diary became a habit that endured over the decades, and which is now “journaling.” I wrote prodigiously from about the 6th grade through high school, and not just in my diary. I wrote poetry and short stories, too. I enjoyed writing essays for school and that enjoyment followed into college. These days, I do creative collage, journal, write fiction, and I craft stories for my son, which keeps me young at heart and creative in spirit.
I graduated magna cum laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. But what does one do with a BA in Poly Sci? One goes to law school, of course! Learning legal writing was less than joyful for me, I must admit. Despite the frustrating literary portion of my courses, I received my Juris Doctorate in 1998 from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in Tucson, Arizona. I am now a solo family law practitioner, with an office in Tempe, Arizona, and am an award-winning volunteer with the Family Lawyer’s Assistance Project in Maricopa County. My current passion is co-creating writing retreats for attorneys who have wonderful stories within them and just need the time, perfect writing space, and support to get it all down on paper.
Although I have lived in Arizona since 1983, I still consider myself a mid-westerner. I was born and raised in Michigan, and spent my formative years on a farm, which solidified my love of all things having to do with nature and the outdoors. While attending ASU, I joined the U.S. Army Reserves and served through May 1995 as an Intelligence Analyst. My active duty service included Operation Desert Storm and other things I’m not permitted to share. Just kidding. But trust me: writing intelligence reports had nothing to do with creative writing, but did provide a lot of editing experience.
As lawyers ourselves, we know how that little drip of daily legal writing can keep you from actually writing the Good Stuff. It’s like we get our fix, enough to move on to another day without going stark raving mad from the lack of creative outlet but really, all we’re doing is putting our need to express ourselves, tell stories, and write something bigger on the back burner. That’s where Creativity Camp comes in. Join us and write to your soul’s content!