Once-in-a-lifetime events can create lasting memories, cultivate deep friendships, and catalyze real change. Foster’s Season 2: The Art of Modern Writing was no exception.
Last year, I participated in Foster’s Season 1: Untold Truths. Because of that, I thought I knew what to expect with Season 2. But if you told me last year that the next season would have an entire week dedicated to diving into how AI tools could be used to “evolve and deepen our most authentic human expressions,” as it says on the Season 2 landing page, I wouldn’t have believed you.
It turns out that this is a cornerstone of the Season concept. In the frequently asked questions section, it explicitly stated that Season 2 would only take place once. It’s as if the Season were a five-week container, although perhaps more like a one-time-use container.
But take another peak at the FAQs and you can see how the container wasn’t limited to only those five weeks:
By the end of your journey, you will have published writings core to your exploration and delved deeper into your truth than you have ever thought was possible, you will come out with a strong community to support you and your writing far beyond the journey of the five weeks.
This may seem like it was a bold prediction. Yet after hearing participants share the impact Season 2 had on them during the closing ceremony on Zoom, it might not have been bold enough.
People used the words “life-changing” multiple times. Some claimed or reclaimed identities—shedding old ones that no longer served them. Several came out and boldly declared themselves writers. Others came out in deeply personal and emotionally charged ways. And all of them published their newly discovered or previously closely-held truths to the world.
The singular container of Season 2 included several workshops with somatic coach Andrew Thomas where we dove deep to unveil our individual truths—in other words, what felt true and alive to us as not only writers, but also as humans at that moment in our lives. Other sessions ranged from finding the stories burning within us with Jessica Goldberg to minting our words on the blockchain with Rafa. The workshops were buttressed by one-on-one coaching from Foster veterans Sara Campbell, Minnow Park, and Rob Hardy. And when participants drafted their Season 2 pieces, Foster’s collective of 100+ authors and editors lent their professional editing expertise to help them express their truths most effectively.
One of the other unique aspects of Season 2 was the optional retreat toward the end of the five weeks. 20+ Season 2 participants traveled to Puerto Escondido, Mexico for an opportunity to meet their fellow writers and continue the deep work of finding our truths in person. It ended up being one of the more impactful trips I’ve been on in my life, and it helped me to further solidify my own truth. Here’s a passage from a piece I wrote about my Season 2 experience called Just Enough Transformation:
The first time I said ‘I am a creative coach’ out loud, Sara Campbell noticed my body language change. I curled up a bit, making myself smaller. At first, I thought maybe that was a sign that I hadn't arrived at the right truth. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I wanted my truth to be a bit scary. Something that felt like pushing myself into new territory. And, ultimately, something that felt like I had to explore.
My Season 2 piece was about how I believe being more vulnerable can make you more attractive, even though it can feel scary. It’s not published yet because I submitted it to a publication in the hopes of getting it in front of a wider audience. It was nerve-wracking to send—opening myself up to rejection is outside my comfort zone when I could’ve just as easily published it in my newsletter. Submitting it is something I might not have considered doing without the Season 2 container.
Other participants’ Season 2 pieces weren’t quite ready to be shared publicly, as well. Yet during the closing ceremony, those writers shared how writing their pieces still felt cathartic.
Below are all of the pieces that participants boldly shared with the world. I invite you to take your time and read the pieces that you feel called to read. Feel their truths emanating from the page. If you’re moved by them, let the writers know. And if you feel called to put your own words out into the world, I hope to see you in Foster’s Season 3 coming soon.
Why I Write by Jason Nguyen
Love Beyond, a newly launched project by Courtney Boyle
Truth Time: Figuring Out Life at 27 by Jen Vermet
No More Limiting Beliefs by Kavir Kaycee
Why Did Amazon Pay Me $170k/yr to Update a Wiki Page? by Leo Ariel
Comfort Zones at a Stretch by Ryan Blunden
Confessions of a Restaurant Hostess by Alicia Kenworthy
Blooming with Purpose by Rick Rollins
“It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know” by Anthony Pica
Surfing Radio Waves by Asad Rahman
The Place Between Your Journal and the World by Azalea Montaño
Emotion City by Cams Campbell
Permission to spend my savings on a sabbatical by Cécile Marion
Two AIs by Daniel Sisson
work is expression by Derrick Chiu
Between the Pages: Surviving the Shifting Seasons of Life by Irene K
Embracing the label “writer” by Jess Sun
BATTER MY HEART by JG
Making “Tell me about yourself” Great Again by Joshua Lelon
Another Move by Katerina Bohle Carbonell
Fuck Aging, But by Martin Boss
believing in bigfoot by Maxwell
Therapy You Can Feel by mel
Shitposting Hangover by Orpheus
A love letter to my writing self by Pedro Parrachia
The Body Issue by Russell Smith
The Origin of Intuitive Fitness by Sam Sager
I found out my friend died on her Instagram story by Tobi Ogunnaike
An antidote to socially rewarding self-betrayal by Yashmi Adani
remembering, for when you forget by Clayton Richards
Chief of Service: On Being a Better Chief of Staff by Philip Hendricks
From what I’m supposed to do to when I’m meant to by Syd
On Adventure by Trisha
Draw a Clock by Judith Klinger
Finding My Pathless Path by Simon Späti
Defeating the Dogstar, part 1: Darkness by Theresa “Sam” Houghton
In 2022, I Discovered I’m (Not) Enough by Nicolás Forero
Why I write (take 2) by Yi Hui
Mental Gardening by Adam Saks
A stressor by any other name would stress just as much by Jas Gill
Waking to Enchantment by Calvin Hutcheon
Maine Heist by Keji Xu
Part of the Dance by Sara Campbell
Has Crypto Failed? by Joel John
The Network Trade: Wealth creation and crony economics by Ngurah (Nura) Linggih
Becoming Caryn by Caryn Tan
Who Are We? by Dan Hunt