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FALL Workshop for :

SATURDAYS - 6 pm to 7:30 pm

September 11th, 18th, 25th
and October 2nd  2021

HOW THEY MUST HAVE FELT: Developing an Emotional Landscape in Fiction

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Authors often face empty spaces when researching the past for the voices of people outside of the racial, social, and economic mainstream of American history. Faced with incomplete historical records, fiction writers must speculate about the past, filling in the interior lives of people left out of narratives.


The process of constructing these interiors requires reimagining geography, history, sociology, etymology and the uses of slang. What techniques can the fiction writer employ to create voices of the past? 


Participants will learn techniques to get started laying out an interior landscape for their fiction including research strategies for jump-starting the writing process.


The workshop will run via Zoom on September 11, 18, 25 and October 2nd. The maximum for this class is 15 participants.  A minimum of 6 participants is needed to run the workshop.

The fee for this Workshop is $100. 

Breena Clarke is the author three novels, most recently completed, Angels Make Their Hope Here, set in an imagined mixed-race community in 19th century New Jersey. Breena Clarke's debut novel, River, Cross My Heart, was an October 1999 Oprah Book Club selection.


Her critically reviewed second novel, Stand The Storm, is set in mid-19th century Washington, D.C. Her short fiction has appeared in Kweli Journal, Stonecoast Review, Nervous Breakdown, Mom/Egg Review, and Catapult, as well as, Like Light: 25 Years of Poetry & Prose by Bright Hill Poets & Writers.


Breena has contributed an essay to IDOL TALK: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations That Changed Their Lives. Breena is most recently co-editor of CHICKEN SOUP for the SOUL I’M SPEAKING NOW: BLACK WOMEN SHARE THEIR TRUTHS IN 101 STORIES OF LOVE, COURAGE AND HOPE to which she has contributed two personal narratives.


Breena Clarke has been a member of the fiction faculty of Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing since 2013.  She is also co-founder and co-organizer (with Cheryl Clarke and Barbara Balliet) of The Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers now entering its ninth consecutive year of celebrating the work of women writers in Hobart, New York.

Visit Breena at:


FALL Workshop for :

Mary Johnson

SATURDAYS- 4 pm to 5:30 pm

November 6th 13th, 20th & 27th, 2021


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Writing sex offers very specific challenges. The first week, we’ll examine some great and not-so-great sex scenes from both fiction and nonfiction, uncovering together the principles of great sex writing (whether or not the sex we’re writing about is great).


I’ll offer short out-of-class writing exercises before weeks two through four. In class we’ll look at your writing, offering each other respectful feedback. As time allows, we’ll include some spontaneous in-class exercises as well.


Though the examples I’ll offer will focus on prose, the principles offered are also applicable to drama and poetry and can be useful to both beginning and advanced writers — all are welcome. Come ready for fun and for a broad-spectrum discussion.

The workshop will run via Zoom on November 6, 13, 20 & 27. The maximum for this class is 15 participants.  A minimum of 6 participants is needed to run the workshop.

The fee for this Workshop is $100. 

Mary Johnson is the author of An Unquenchable Thirst, a memoir about her 20 years as a nun with the Sisters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Her story is featured in a new podcast The Turning: The Sisters Who Left. 


Mary has an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, O the Oprah Magazine, The Huffington Post, Bloomberg View, Religion News Services, and National Public Radio.


Mary helped found A Room of Her Own Foundation and is a founding member and host of The Book Canopy. She is a Humanist Celebrant for weddings, funerals, and other rites of passage, and is currently writing about the brain, the mysteries of consciousness, and the illusion of the self. 

Visit Mary at:

FALL Workshop for :

FRIDAYS - 6 pm to 7:30 pm

November 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th 2021


Selecting and giving voice to your narrator is as important as plotting what happens to your characters. Through a series of in-class writing exercises we’ll experiment with how different narrators impact viewpoint and tone.

You’ll be given a handy list of narrator archetypes as we explore boundary-pushing inanimate object narrators, nameless narrators, multiple narrators, choruses, and more as we consider voice qualities such as unreliability, omniscience, and epistolary.


Along the way, we’ll also ask tough artistic and representation questions about whose stories authors get to tell and with what narrative voice. This writing workshop is open to all genres, and literary references will be provided.  

The workshop will run via Zoom on November 5, 12, 19 & 26. The maximum for this class is 15 participants.  A minimum of 6 participants is needed to run the workshop.

The fee for this Workshop is $100. 

Stephanie Nikolopoulos is a writer and editor based in New York City. She is the coauthor, with Paul Maher Jr., of the biography Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.”


Afar animated her flash travel story “Seeing the Light in Sweden” for their Travel Tales series in 2019, and the Albany International Airport Gallery selected her “Essay after Visiting the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Written from a Skyscraper” for their Landmarks exhibit in 2018.


She currently writes the column “A Byte Out of the Big Apple” for Thomas Insights.

Visit Stephanie at:

FALL Workshop for :

FRIDAYS - 6 pm to 7:30 pm

September 10th, 17th & 24th
and October 1st, 2021


Into Artists Books

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During the first session on September 10, each participant should bring one short poem (no more than 10 lines) in progress.


We will workshop each poem and discuss what kind of folded paper/artist book format would work for it. The next three sessions will be devoted to writing short poems and developing more folded paper/artist books.


Each participant should have the following materials at hand:  scissors, ruler,  2-3 glue sticks, various colors of fine point and broad point markers (non-permanent). 


The workshop leader will send each participant a supply of paper prior to the first session.


The workshop will run via Zoom on September 10, 17, 24 and October 1. The maximum for this class is 15 participants.  A minimum of 6 participants is needed to run the workshop.

The fee for this Workshop is $100. 

Bertha Rogers's poetry has been published in literary magazines, journals, and anthologies, as well as in several chapbooks and full-length collections; The Reason of Trees; The Fourth Beast; A House of Corners; Sleeper, You Wake; Heart Turned Back; and Wild, Again.


Her translation of Beowulf, the Anglo-Saxon Epic, was published in 2000, and her translation with illuminations of the 95 Riddle-Poems from the Anglo-Saxon Exeter Book, Uncommon Creatures, was published in 2019. Forthcoming is What Want Brings: New & Selected Poems.


Bertha founded Bright Hill Press & Literary Center of the Catskills.

Visit Bertha at:

FALL Workshop for :

FRIDAYS - 6 pm to 7:30 pm

October 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th, 2021

WRITING ACROSS BORDERS: Approaching Cross-cultural Writing with Awareness and Humility

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Whether we are writing about a culture other than our own in memoir or fiction, whether we are creating a setting or a character, being aware of our own unconscious biases and humble about what we know and don’t know are key to the process.  


In this workshop, we will explore, through our own writing and through reading excerpts:


  • What it feels like when someone makes assumptions about us vs. what it feels like when someone really gets us.


  • The ways in which our own cultural background and hidden biases can shape the way we write about “the other”—whether it be an imagined character or place in fiction or those we write about in memoir. Factors like class, race, gender, religious background, education and relative power and privilege can all influence our perceptions of others and how we write about them.


  • How we can develop our capacity to write respectfully and sensitively about “the other”—about someone or some place that differs from what is familiar to us—whether it be in class background, race, gender, geography, family make-up, dreams, fears, and challenges? One way to begin is to dig deeper into understanding who we are, where we come from, what has formed and shaped the way we see the world, including our own power and privilege and unconscious biases.


  • Participants will have an opportunity to create their own list of things they want to explore on their own, and I will provide a list of resources for further study of this topic.


The workshop will run via Zoom on October 8, 15, 22 & 29. The maximum for this class is 15 participants.  A minimum of 6 participants is needed to run the workshop.

The fee for this Workshop is $100. 

Elena Schwolsky, RN, MPH, is a nurse, community health educator, activist, and writer from Brooklyn, New York. Elena serves as a workshop leader for the NY Writers Coalition, an organization that offers free writing workshops in community centers, libraries, youth programs, hospitals and prisons throughout New York City. 


Her award-winning book, Waking in Havana: A Memoir of AIDS and Healing in Cuba was published in November, 2019 by She Writes Press.

Visit Elana at:

FALL Workshop for :

Mercy Tullis-Bukhari

SATURDAYS- 4 pm to 5:30 pm

October 9th 16th, 23rd & 30th, 2021

THE PERSONAL NARRATIVE: Finding Beauty in Life-Changing Events Through Words

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In this course, writers will be choosing a life-changing event to write, using the elements of Freytag’s Pyramid. The process of writing the event as a story will give writers an opportunity to delve into spaces of healing and enlightenment through their words.


Writers will be choosing the event that may have felt overwhelmingly negative at the time, through the lens of the emotions that were evident at the time. Writers will then detail the event through the five senses, exploring the lessons that were acquired as a result of that particular event.


Writers will learn that all events influence us and shape our identity. Writers will also learn that events that may feel traumatic only offer us opportunities for individual growth, if we open our creative minds for the growth.

The workshop will run via Zoom on October 9, 16, 23 & 30. The maximum for this class is 15 participants.  A minimum of 6 participants is needed to run the workshop.

The fee for this Workshop is $100. 

Mercy Tullis-Bukhari is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer who focuses on the woman experience through individuality, motherhood, and sexuality.


She published two books of poetry titled Smoke (Blind Beggar Press, Inc.) and Mango (Ocean Taste Publications). She is a Callaloo Fellow, an MFA recipient in Creative Writing from The College of New Rochelle, and the Poet Laureate of the New York University 30th Anniversary Celebration Gala.


Mercy was named one of the “8 Authors Bringing Afro-Latina Stories to the Forefront” by Remezcla magazine and was a Pushcart Prize nominee in 2016 and 2018. Her third book of poetry, The Little Deaths I Barely Have will be published by Get Fresh Publishing in the Spring of 2022.


Mercy teaches high school English Language Arts in the Southeast section of The Bronx and is completing her first novel. She currently lives in New Rochelle, NY, with her two children.

Visit Mercy at: