The Mandala Writers Circle

Find Your Voice and Tell Your Story

  • Read.

  • Reflect.

  • Create.


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Stories expand our world, and exposure to good writing improves our craft. Find our book recommendations here.

The insights gleaned from the creative journeys of others can inform our own. Follow them here.

We are Carolyn Heilman and Leah Carey, friends and writing partners. In 2012, we founded the Mandala Writers Circle.

MWC News

What we've been up to

  • ASABfrontcover50

    Leah’s first book has been published! As Simple As Breathing: On Yoga, Writing, and Life is a collection of personal essays exploring how we overcome self-doubt, find our purpose, and share our talents. To find out more or purchase on, click here.

    - Leah’s Book Release

Recent Posts

Let It Ring

Jul 3, 2015 | No Comments

Since childhood, my fourth of July traditions have included the regular BBQs, parades and fireworks. When I began literacy tutoring a few years ago, I developed a deeper appreciation for the specifics of the document the holiday celebrates, thanks to my students from Korea, Russia and Iran. Now I include a little history review and […]

Worth A Read: A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan

Worth A Read: A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan

Jun 22, 2015 | No Comments

  The BUZZ: Published in 2010, an instant bestseller. Ultimately, the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The GIST: This novel’s center is the life of Bennie Salazar, a record executive in Manhattan, and that of his one-time assistant, Sasha. As if these two are the hub of a wheel, succeeding chapters introduce characters who are related […]

Rescue A Heart

Rescue A Heart

Jun 19, 2015 | 12 Comments

We’re grateful that the car accident last week resulted in only minor injuries. The Toyota truck carrying our daughter and her roommate rolled twice on the Anaheim freeway. Two cars were totaled, and their belongings scattered far and wide. Their beloved pit bull/lab mix, Grizzly, bolted from the scene. After two days of exhaustive searching […]

Worth A Read: Life Work, by Donald Hall

Worth A Read: Life Work, by Donald Hall

Jun 15, 2015 | No Comments

The BUZZ: 1993 memoir by the award-winning Poet Laureate and children’s author. Winner of the New England Book Award for non-fiction. The GIST: I read this book years ago, and felt the need to revisit it. Hall impressed me back then as a counter-cultural character, living a country poet’s existence away from his Harvard and […]

Need to Know

Need to Know

Jun 12, 2015 | No Comments

  The dream is essentially (and deliciously) the same each time. I’m walking through my house, and I open a door to reveal a room I’ve never seen before. Sometimes it’s an extra bedroom, or it’s a great room with a vaulted ceiling. The rooms are always white and light and airy, with lots of […]