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Workshop for :

E. J. Antonio


Too many writers transition without making any provisions for the dissemination, publication or archiving of their work. Decisions are often left to family members or friends.


Much of the time, these individuals either:

   a) would like to have the work published but have no idea how to go about it, or

   b) have absolutely no interest in the writer’s creative life.


This workshop will explore:

   1) the role of a literary executor,

   2) the type of discussion the writer needs to initiate.

   3) what needs to be discussed with family members if they are not the literary executor.

Workshop for :

Venise T. Berry

TRIAGE EDITING: Effective revision for new and established writers

Editing makes your manuscript better, stronger, and more apt to be taken seriously by an agent, magazine or publisher.


One major reason that editing becomes a chore is because we try to do everything all at once. The “triage process” allows you to break up the practice of editing in order to identify and focus on one or two specific elements at a time.


In this Workshop we will complete several editing exercises focusing on areas such as layering, wording, visualizing, and structuring. Whether you are a new writer or an old pro, triage can help you more effectively tackle the ongoing process of editing and at the same time improve your writing skills. Handouts will be distributed.

Workshop for :

Micharne Cloughley


Within the structural demands of writing for television, and especially network television, are lessons on drama, pace, holding an audience’s attention and storytelling in general.


In a 2-hour class the workshop leader will unpack as many of these lessons as possible through plotting a one-hour drama pilot as a group.


At the end of the workshops, participants will have the basic skills to be able to plot a TV episode, and to have new thoughts on storytelling in general that they can then apply to their writing in any form.

INTENSIVE Workshop for :

Esther Cohen

This is a SIX-HOUR Class


A few days ago in a small Mexican restaurant named Angel’s in upstate New York, a waitress came to our table to take the order. She was an ageless talkative person, my favorite kind of server.


“Do you know,” she began, and we knew we didn’t, “there’s another Angel’s restaurant a few miles away. Both Angels are brothers. Their mother believed all babies should be named Angel. I married the one down the road, she said. And now I’m married to his brother. Never changed my last name.”


Good stories are everywhere. We all have a few, and some of those stories are our own. In this Intensive workshop, participants will examine, explore, and tell good stories, as a way of learning how. We will all leave class with one good story (or maybe two.)


Esther Cohen teaches Good Stories to many different writers, including incarcerated women, seniors, fast food workers, and members of the Cairo Public Library.

Workshop for :

Marina Antropow Cramer

FACT + FICTION: Writing The Historical Novel

An interactive work session with three or four ten-minute writing exercises and a Q&A brainstorming format that draws on knowledge and motivation of the participants to guide them in developing their ideas into marketable work. Topics covered will include:


  • Why are you writing this book? Qualifications/Interest/Agenda

  • Research – factual sources vs anecdotal material

  • Role of imagination in enhancing historical events

  • Using and developing characters – historical persons and invented ones

  • Plot – building suspense while working with known events

  • Authenticity – narrative voice, dialogue, setting (dress, household details, currency and business, transportation, architecture, etc.)

Workshop for :

Denise B. Dailey


From school assignments to report on summer travels, to the most esoteric accounts of Egyptian or Mayan discoveries, travel writing comes in many forms, all to be encouraged.


If history is geography, the lure of travel writing is universal and enduring. Ideally, it piques our curiosity to want to wander the world, even if from an armchair.


I propose to use readings from Herodotus to Ryszard Kapuściński to Dervla Murphy to Gérard d’Aboville to take us on land and sea from 500 BC to the present. Each participant will the opportunity to write something in class.

Workshop for :

Kathy Engel


Collaborative Poetics. The process by definition engages the relationship between the individual writer and a community of writers.


In the session we will practice and explore a number of ways poets can write together to create a collaborative piece, including different forms and materials that can hold and display the work.


I will offer examples of projects based on Cento, Haiku/Renga, and Zuihitsu, among others, and the group will write together to create some form of Collaborative Poetics to share and leave with the larger Festival.

Workshop for :

Marita Golden

UNTHINKABLE, UNFORGETTABLE: Creating Compelling Fictional Characters

Do you know your characters’ deepest secrets and fears, their most ever-present wound? 


In this workshop we’ll explore the characteristics of unforgettable fictional characters. Through close reading of excerpts from novels and short stories, and in-class writing we’ll create confounding, conflicted, maddening characters, the kind that readers can’t look away from and that they never forget.


How do you create a character willing to “go there” “say that” “break the rules”? We’ll explore that and more.

Workshop for :

Áine Greaney


Whether we’re writing fiction or nonfiction, lively and memorable scenes are the building blocks of our narrative.  Scenes bring our readers into the narrative and make the reader (or editor) keep reading.

In this workshop, we will begin by looking at how and when to use live-action scenes (showing) versus using expository narrative (telling).

Participants will share tips for creating an opening scene that draws the reader in while establishing the conflict, voice, and mood of the story and will also look at using sensory details, effective dialog, and precise language.

Workshop for :

Abeer Y. Hoque


Writing Grants will engage participants in the nuts and bolts of writing statements of purpose and applying for writing grants and residencies.


Are you confused, embarrassed, or terrified about writing an artist’s statement? Are you unsure about how to apply for artists’ residencies, grants, or fellowships? Then this workshop is for you! We will learn how to write compelling and clear statements of purpose, and create strong applications for grants, fellowships, and artists’ residencies.

Students will have the chance to brainstorm and create their own templates in class, get feedback on their personal statements, and feel confident in future forays in the wider literary world. We will also discuss tools for managing submissions as well as researching and accessing online writing resources.

Takeaways:  A solid statement of purpose that can be used as a template for future applications; comfort with researching and applying to a wide variety of grants and residencies.

INTENSIVE Workshop for :

Ginnah Howard

This is a SIX-HOUR Class


Do you have photographs that when you look at them bring back flashes of memories?


For this workshop you are asked to bring six photographs as prompts for writing six short pieces. These might be done in various genres: poems, memoir, personal essay, dialogues…


Consider having all the photos be related to each other: your seven ages as a woman, family rituals & traditions, ancestral histories, biographical “renderings” about your mother or another member of your family…


As soon as you register for the workshop, I will contact you by email to send you some models that feel like they’ve been inspired by photos—that kind specificity.

Workshop for :

Mary Johnson


Writing sex offers very specific challenges. We’ll examine some examples of great and not-so-great sex scenes from both fiction and nonfiction, helping us to discover together the principles of writing great sex (whether or not the sex we’re writing about is great).


I’ll offer in-class writing exercises with opportunity for feedback. Though our examples will focus on prose, the principles offered are also applicable to drama and poetry and can be useful to both beginning and advanced writers.


Come ready for fun and for a broad-spectrum discussion.

Workshop for :

Laurie Lico Albanese

INSPIRATION: Finding Inspiration in Art, Literature, Myth or History

From Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with the Pearl Earring, and Zadie Smith’s On Beauty, to Madeline Miller’s Circe and Beyond, many remarkable fictional works have been inspired by prior books, paintings, works of art, myths, fairy tales, epic poetry, or historical figures and events.


When we use other creative works to inspire our own, we are engaging in a conversation across time and medium, often tapping into archetypes, stories and images that resonate in our collective consciousness.


In this workshop we will use Natalie Haynes’ A Thousand Ships, Maryse Condè's I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, and Zadie Smith’s On Beauty, to examine how these authors use art, literature, myth and fairy tale to inspire and deepen their imaginations and their craft.


We will experiment using myths and fairy tales to inspire our own writing, and block and workshop time to engage and respond creatively with myth, a work of art, and a historical figure. A selection from each of the novels will be used to lead us through a guided writing exercises during the workshop.


Participants are also encouraged to bring a work of art, music or literature they would like to use for inspiration.


This workshop is suitable for writers in all genres, and especially for fiction writers working on historical fiction or fiction inspired by the classics.

Workshop for :

Stephanie Nikolopoulos


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.  

Workshop for :

Renée Olander


The word “climate” generally refers to the weather, locally and globally, and can also mean a “prevailing trend” of some aspect of public life, for instance, public opinion, or public discourse. 


“Climate” and “weather” can also be understood as interior, the “weather” inside oneself, for instance, one’s sense of personal wellbeing. 


Now in a climate of scientifically documented climate change and sea-level rise, of polarized and toxic public discourse, of BlackLivesMatter and MeToo, as well as the shameless rise of white supremacist displays, and major economic disparities and health disparities impacting our exterior and interior worlds, what and how do we write? 


How do we navigate between inciting panic? (a la Chicken Little) and inspiring action rather than paralysis?

Workshop for :

Junauda Petrus-Nasah


How do you develop your voice as a young adult writer? What are the ways you can engage your inner child in the journey of writing for young people?


Author Junauda Petrus-Nasah will share her journey of reclaiming her inner teen self and researching queerness within Black American and Black Caribbean culture for her young adult novel, The Stars and The Blackness Between Them. 


Her work is inspired by the absence of examples of herself within popular texts as a young person and how this absence influences both her life and her work.


For the workshop, she will lead participants in writing meditations inspired by her book, that reflect on personal childhood emotions and remembrances in order to bring this tender knowing to the page in confident and refreshing ways.

INTENSIVE Workshop for :

Bertha Rogers

This is a SIX-HOUR Class

EXPANDING IDEAS: Words into poems into artist books

Artist books open and close, sometimes like regular books, but often structured in ways that allow the artist and reader/viewer to experience words and images in new ways.


There are several basics to consider in artist books, among them text, page design, structure, illustration, and presentation. Bertha Rogers, a poet, visual and book artist, and teaching artist, will lead a workshop that transforms the words in poems into artist books.


Each participant will bring one or two of her poems-in-progress (no more than 14 lines each).


We will spend the first two hours fine-tuning and selecting the poems that we will include in the artist books, then we will choose one or two artist book formats as the vehicles for the poems.


Among those configurations we will consider are the Scroll, Accordion/Pocket, Japanese Stab Binding, Pop-up, Book-in-a-Box, Tunnel, and Tetra-tetra Flexagon.


All book building materials will be supplied by Rogers, including scissors, paper, glue, markers, brushes, ink, bone folders, thread, and needles. 

Workshop for :

Elena Schwolsky


Whether we are writing about a culture other than our own in memoir or fiction, what we know and don’t know is 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.


How can we develop our capacity to write respectfully and sensitively about someone or some place that differs from what is familiar to us—whether it be in class, race, gender, geography, family, dreams, fears, and challenges?


In what ways can we strengthen our writing to reflect insights gained from what we have done today?


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.

Workshop for :

Sophfronia Scott

WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN? Navigating Your Novel or Memoir Through The Sea of Time.

According to author Joan Silber, "The end point of a story determines its meaning, and one of the main tasks a writer faces is to define the duration of a plot."


That task, whether you're writing the story of an hour or the epic of a generation, can determine whether your narrative sails to the shore or sinks under the weight of confusion.


In this talk we'll look at how time supports the telling of your story and experiment with outlines and note-taking to examine the various ways to develop the motion of time in your fiction and nonfiction.  


Workshop for :

Mercy Tullis-Bukhari

THE PERSONAL NARRATIVE: Finding Beauty in Life-changing Events

In this workshop, participants will choose a life-changing event to write about, to ultimately explore the lessons the event has offered.


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.


Writers will then detail the event through the five senses, exploring the lessons that were acquired as a result of that particular event.


Finally, this Workshop will explore how life events influence us and shape our identities. and how trauma offers us opportunities for personal growth.

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