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Marina Antropow Cramer

Born in postwar Germany into a family of refugees from the Soviet Union, Marina Antropow Cramer has enjoyed the benefit of lifelong ties to Russian expatriate communities.


Her work has been performed by Roselee Blooston's Short Story Theater. A short story, “Pear,” appeared online in Blackbird Literary Journal in 2009; another story, “Grave,” came out in the Fall 2009 online issue of Istanbul Literary Review.


The digital journal Wilderness House Literary Review published “In Case of Fire” in the Winter 2010 issue, and “Half the Bed” in Winter 2012.


Roads was her first novel (2017). Her second, Anna Eva Mimi Adam, was published in February 2020. She holds a BA degree in English.


This is Marina’s first Festival as a participating writer and she will be offering the Writing Workshop, “WORK IN LIMBO: When Your WIP Is Stalled”.

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Our Registration process now incorporates the use of the well-known website Eventbrite.  Please note that when you click on a button below to register for a Workshop, you will be sent to the Festival's Registration page on

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The “Writing Intensive Workshops” are SIX hour sessions, to be held on Friday, September 9th ONLY.  Intensives are limited to 15 Participants, so please register early.  The Intensive Registration deadline is Thursday, 8/26/22.  Workshops that draw fewer than 6 Participants will be cancelled, unless the Writer agrees to conduct it. 


In an Intensive Workshop you will share work and receive feedback on your writing. The Festival will provide space dedicated solely to each Intensive in order to maximize this special opportunity. 

Intensive Participants will pay a Registration fee of $120 for the unique opportunity to spend a day in an advanced setting with a professional writer, one of our Festival Alumna. The $120 Registration fee includes a lunch on the day of the Intensive and covers ALL OTHER Festival activities. All we ask of you is a firm commitment to attend once you register.

While Intensive participants may register for other Festival Workshops, they may register for only one Intensive. If your Intensive is cancelled and there are available spaces in other Intensives, we will email you. If you find that you cannot attend an Intensive Workshop that you have signed up for and it has not been cancelled, a refund may be given if we find a replacement for you from the waiting list.

Please consult the specific Intensive Workshop description below for any materials or references required by the Instructor, noted in bold, red print.


Writing Workshops are a solid tradition of the Festival of Women Writers.  Writers returning to the Festival and those who have been invited for the first time will offer the Festival a diverse group of Workshops.


Each Workshop will be presented for two hours and will address a variety of topics, genres, skills, and techniques.

In order to participate in any Workshop, a registration fee is required. A $90 fee entitles you to attend as many workshops as you wish with the exception of the Intensive Workshops.


Those seeking to take part in an Intensive Workshop on Friday, September 9th and attend any Workshop on Saturday or Sunday should simply register for the Intensive Workshop of your choice then make your 2-Hour Workshop sections in the appropriate time slots on the Eventbrite Registration Page.

If you want to attend just ONE Workshop during the weekend, we have instituted a "Single Workshop Fee" which is $25.

Please consult the specific Workshop description below for any materials or references required by the Instructor, noted in bold, red print.

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Photo Courtesy of Ann E. Chapman

Breena Clarke

Breena Clarke is the author of three novels, River Cross My Heart, Stand the Storm, and her newest, Angels Make Their Hope Here.  All three novels present vivid views of African-American communities.


She is a faculty member of the Stone Coast MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine.  She is affiliated with A Room of Her Own: A Foundation for Women Artists. She is an avid swimmer. Since retirement from Time-Warner in 2000, she has been a full-time writer. 


Breena is a co-organizer of the annual Hobart Festival of Women Writers.

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Photo courtesy of Nivea Castro

Cheryl Clarke

Cheryl Clarke is a black lesbian feminist poet and the author of five books of poetry: Narratives: Poems in the Tradition of Black Women (1982), Living as a Lesbian (1986), Humid Pitch (1989), Experimental Love (1993), By My Precise Haircut, winner of the  2016 Hilary Tham Award from Word Works Books; and the chapbooks, Your Own Lovely Bosom  (2014) and Targets (2018).

Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the journals Conditions, Sinister Wisdom, Callaloo, Black World, African American Literary Review, and the iconic anthologies: This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color, and Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology.

For the midterm elections of 2018, she co-edited Dump Trump: Legacies of Resistance, a Sinister Wisdom special issue.


Cheryl is a co-organizer of the annual Hobart Festival of Women Writers.


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Esther Cohen

Esther Cohen is the author of Don’t Mind Me: And Other Jewish Lies with illustrations by Roz Chast, the novels No Charge for Looking and Book Doctor, and Unseen America, an ongoing project in visual history, started in 2000. Nannies, homecare workers, migrants, and scores of others tell the stories of their lives through pictures they take of what they see. 


Esther has also published two volumes of poetry, God Is a Tree and prayerbook. She has been writing a daily poetry blog since 2014. She lives in Manhattan as well as Cornwallville, NY. 


This is Esther's eighth year as a participating writer at the Festival and she will be offering the INTENSIVE Writing Workshop, "GOOD STORIES: How To Write Them.

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Alexis De Veaux

Alexis De Veaux was a freelance writer and contributing editor for Essence Magazine in the 1980’s, where she penned a number of socially relevant articles. She was chosen by the magazine to go to South Africa in 1990 to interview Nelson Mandela upon his historic release from prison, making her the first North American writer to do so.


Alexis published a second award-winning children’s book, An Enchanted Hair Tale (1987) before moving to Buffalo, where she earned a doctorate in American Studies in 1992. Her biography, Audre Lorde, Warrior Poet (2004), has been the recipient of several awards, including the Gustavus Meyers Outstanding Book Award (2004).


She has collaborated with the visual artist Valerie Maynard and poet Kathy Engel on the digital project, “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been Terrorized?(available on YouTube). Her novel, Yabo, won the 2015 Lambda Literary Award for Fiction. 



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Laurie Lico Albanese

Laurie Lico Albanese is a novelist, journalist, and poet. Her upcoming novel, Hester (St. Martin’s Press, 2022), is a first-person account of a fictional love affair between Nathaniel Hawthorne and the woman who inspires his iconic heroine, Hester Prynne.


Stolen Beauty (Atria, 2017), is about Gustav Klimt’s iconic golden portrait of Adele Bloch-Baeur, and was praised by the Wall Street Journal as “a work of art itself.”


Laurie earned her MFA from the University of Southern Maine/Stonecoast, and lives with her husband in Montclair, NJ.

This is Laurie’s first Festival as a participating writer and she will be offering the Writing Workshop, “INSPIRATION: Finding Inspiration in Art, Literature, Myth or History".

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Photo Courtesy of

Essie Brew-Hammond

Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond

American-Ghanaian author and poet Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
has written for AOL, the Village Voice, Metro, JET Magazine, and Trace Magazine.


Brew-Hammond has just released a new children’s book, Blue: A History of the Color As Deep As The Sea and As Wide As the Sky.


This is Nana’s second Festival as a participating writer and she will be offering the Writing Workshop, TURN YOUR WONDER INTO A CHILDREN'S PICTURE BOOK.

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Myriam J. A. Chancy

Myriam J. A. Chancy is a Guggenheim Fellow and HBA Chair of the Humanities at Scripps College.  She is the author of What Storm, What  Thunder, a novel on the 2010 Haiti earthquake which has been named a Best Book of Fall by TIME, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, The Chicago Tribune, VULTURE, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, BOSTON.COM, Parade, THRILLIST, LitHub and Harper's Bazaar among others.


What Storm, What  Thunder  is shortlisted for the Aspen Words Literary Prize and was long-listed for the Bocas Lit Prize for 2022. Her past novels include: The Loneliness of Angels, winner of the 2011 Guyana Prize in Literature Caribbean Award, for Best Fiction 2010; The Scorpion’s Claw; and Spirit of Haiti, shortlisted in the Best First Book Category, Canada/Caribbean region of the Commonwealth Prize, 2004.


Myriam has authored several academic books, including, Framing Silence: Revolutionary Novels by Haitian Women. She served as an editorial advisory board member for PMLA from 2010-12, as a Humanities Advisor for the Fetzer Institute from 2011-13, and as a 2018 advisor for the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.




This is Myriam’s first Festival as a participating writer and she will be offering the Writing Workshop, “VOICE & SETTING.

Visit her at:


Photo Courtesy of Ysabel Y. González

Ysabel Y. González

Ysabel Y. Gonzalez is a Newark, NJ native who received her BA from Rutgers University, an MFA in Poetry from Drew University and works as the Assistant Director for the Poetry Program at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.


Ysabel has received invitations to attend VONA, Tin House, Ashbery Home School and BOAAT Press workshops. She’s a CantoMundo Fellow and has been published in Tinderbox Journal; Anomaly; Vinyl; Waxwing Literary Journal, and others. 


She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of Wild Invocations (Get Fresh Books, 2019).


This is Ysabel’s first Festival as a participating writer and she will be offering the Writing Workshop, “CREATION STORYTELLING: Using Poetry to Narrate Our Origins”.

Stephanie Nikolopoulos

Stephanie Nikolopoulos is the co-author, with Paul Maher Jr., of Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’. She wrote the introduction to a reissue of the Isabella Bird’s travel classic A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains .


Her personal essays and journalism on visual arts, literature, endangered languages, and Greece and Sweden have appeared in such publications as BOMBlog, Brooklyn Rail, Gothamist, The Literary Traveler, and The Millions as well as mentioned by The New Yorker (“Page-Turner”), The Paris Review (“On the Shelf”), and The Huffington Post. For more than a decade she has edited for a publishing house in New York City.  She is also the visual arts editor for Burnside Writers Collective, where she writes a column about church architecture called “Church Hopping” and offers live tours. 


Stephanie is returning to the Festival for a sixth year and will offer the Writing Workshop, "ALL WRITERS ARE LOCAL SOMEWHERE".


Photo Courtesy of Gabrielle Clark

Khaliah D. Pitts

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Khaliah D. Pitts is a writer, culinary griot and curator. She considers herself a cultural memory-worker, documenting stories of the African diaspora.


Although her primary medium is writing, she finds herself exploring storytelling through short films, playwriting, curating events and spaces honoring cultural legacies, and, most often, cooking, eating, and sharing food.


A lifelong creative, Khaliah dedicates her work to preserving culture and documenting stories of the African diaspora, crafting spaces of liberation and joy. 


This is Khaliah’s first Festival as a participating writer and she will be offering the Writing Workshop, “THERAPEUTIC POETRY: Witness, Name, Confront, Transform”.

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Photo Courtesy of Peter Dressel

Cheryl Boyce-Taylor

Cheryl Boyce-Taylor is a poet, author, and curator. Cheryl’s verse memoir, Mama Phife Represents, stands as a tribute to her late son, hip hop icon Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor of A Tribe Called Quest.  


Alongside Mama Phife Represents, her four collections of poetry, Raw Air, Night When Moon Follows, Convincing the Body, and Arrival, a finalist for the 2018 Paterson Poetry Award, present a lifetime dedicated to the written word.


Cheryl’s latest work, We Are Not Wearing Helmets is forthcoming in 2022 by Northwestern University Press. In her community, she has judged poetry entries to The New York Foundation for the Arts and The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, and facilitated poetry workshops for Cave Canem, Poets & Writers, and The Caribbean Literary and Cultural Center.


Her poetry has been commissioned by The Joyce Theater and the National Endowment for the Arts for Ronald K. Brown: Evidence, A Dance Company. A VONA fellow, her work has been published in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Pluck!, Killings Journal of Arts & Letters, and Adrienne


The recipient of the 2015 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, she is the founder and curator of the Calypso Muse and the Glitter Pomegranate Performance Series. Cheryl earned an MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast: The University of Southern Maine, and an MSW from Fordham University. Her life papers and portfolio are stored at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City.


This is Cheryl’s fourth Festival as a participating writer and she will be offering the Writing Workshop, “ZUIHITSU JUICE FOR THE BRAVE HEART”.

Visit her at:

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 :

Cheryl Boyce-Taylor


Zuihitsu is a Japanese hybrid poetic form that incorporates journal entries, essays, fiction, haiku, fragments of letters, songs, poems, emails, tweets, overheard conversations, and random thoughts.


Participants will learn how to create this cross-genre text.

Workshop for :

Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond


The things you wonder about--and the things that ignite your sense of wonder--could make a great children's book!


In this workshop, participants must bring their wonder and will begin work on their first draft together.


Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, author of acclaimed children’s book, “BLUE: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky,” will also talk about children's book format, and the process of collaborating with an illustrator.

Workshop for :

Myriam J. A. Chancy


How do you find the right voice for a character? What characterizes "voice," one that your readers can believe and feel is as true as if that fictional character were a real person from their everyday life?


How can writers enrich their characters' voices with details from their back stories, their beliefs, their way of being in the world?


And how can your story's setting serve to enrich your character's voice and vice versa — how can your character's voice lend itself to the setting in ways that enrich your readers' sense of your story's place in space and time in convincing ways?


In this workshop, participants will hone the voice of one or two characters through discussion of examples taken from published fiction, and real-time exercises designed for sharpening the use of voice in concert with setting to enrich characterizations.


Workshop participants will leave the session with new and sharpened tools to deploy as they review and revise their use of "voice" as they develop story arcs for short or longer fiction.

Intensive Workshop for :

Esther Cohen

This is a SIX-HOUR Class

GOOD STORIES: How to Write Them

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

WORK IN LIMBO: When Your WIP Is Stalled

An interactive session to help identify and push through difficult parts of the work in progress.


How to recognize when getting stuck is an opportunity to take the work in a new direction, using changes in POV, facing cathartic decisions, adding or subtracting characters and plot lines, and other techniques. Taking down the scaffolding to let the work being built stand on its own.

Participants should bring 3-5 double spaced pages for analysis, a section of their novel, story, or memoir that is slowing them down. They will be asked to identify the words, concepts, or structural elements causing the problem, and think about ways to fix them.


Workshop will include several short freewriting exercises to illustrate the methods under discussion.

Workshop for :

Ysabel Y. González

CREATION STORYTELLING: Using Poetry to Narrate Our Origins

“Once Upon A Time…” indicates an epic tale will be shared. So what’s yours? Tell it from the beginning.


We will read a couple poems by poets who write their origins tale in verse and we’ll discover ways we can enter our own biographical beginning—the genuine version of our story through our lens, steeped in magic and folklore and/or telling it just like it happened, rich with details.


Let’s recount our lineage and who begot us. What have we been handed down? Where does our beginning truly start? You’re the expert and author of your tale—let’s open up the space for truth-telling, asking our ancestors to guide and protect the space.

Workshop for :

Stephanie Nikolopoulos


“All writers are local somewhere,” quipped Southern Gothic author Flannery O’Connor.


In this three-part writing workshop, we will:


1) Explore and defy the mythos of the “domestic novel,” by discussing home as more expansive than the suburbs; women’s sometimes complicated relationship with the home; and immigrant, refugee, and nomadic writing;


2) Craft stories that make home become its own character through in-class prompts that equip writers with unique ways to imbue story with a sense of place; and


3) Tap into ways your local community can build your literary platform so you can get published and grow your reputation as a writer.


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Bertha Rogers

Bertha Rogers has published more than 600 poems and translations in anthologies, including the recent Like Light: 25 Years of Poetry & Prose by Bright Hill Poets & Writers (2017), which she edited and includes many Festival writers. Her own poetry collections include Heart Turned Back (2010) Even the Hemlock: Poems, Illuminations, Reliquaries (2005), and the forthcoming Wild.


Her translation of Beowulf was published in 2000, and her translation with illuminations of the Anglo-Saxon Riddle-Poems from the Exeter Book, Uncommon Creatures, Singing Things, is out in 2018. She has won prestigious writing and visual arts awards and residencies.  A master teaching artist, the Distinguished Service to the Arts in Education Field Award was conferred upon her by the ATA in 2007.


Rogers is the Poet Laureate of Delaware County, New York and co-founded Bright Hill Press & Literary Center of the Catskills with her late husband, Ernest M. Fishman, in 1992.

Bertha is returning to the Festival for a Seventh year and will be offering the  Writing Workshop, “WRITING OUR PETS: Their Secret Lives, Their Imaginations".


Photo Courtesy of A Room Of Her Own

Jane Schulman

Jane Schulman is a poet and fiction writer.  In 2020, she published a book of poetry, Where Blue Is Blue, with the terrific small press, Main Street Rag.  In the book, she explores themes of love, death, disability, and wonder in the everyday. Jane’s poems have appeared in Mezzo Cammin, Sixfold, The Lake and many others. She is now at work on a book of short stories.


Jane was born in Brooklyn and lives in Jamaica, Queens.  She's the mother of four sons and grandmother of six. A seeker and finder of voices, she works as a speech pathologist in a Brooklyn public school with children with autism and learning challenges.  


This is Jane’s first Festival as a participating writer and she will be offering the Writing Workshop, “WRITING ABOUT MAMA”.

Workshop for :

Khaliah D. Pitts

THERAPEUTIC POETRY: Witness, Name, Confront, Transform.

In this workshop, participants are introduced to the therapeutic power of poetry, using engaging writing prompts designed to aid us in witnessing, naming and confronting difficult emotions, stressors and/or traumas.


Especially as we continue to wade through murky and uncertain times, these prompts can help us practice building and supporting our resilience using editing and the reordering and redefining of words to shift our mental framework and create space for joy.

Workshop for :

Bertha Rogers

WRITING OUR PETS: Their Secret Lives, Their Imaginations

Most of us live with (or have lived with) animals, be they cats, dogs, birds, fish, or ferrets. We love them and care for them, but do we really know what they’re thinking? Do we know what they do when we’re gone?


During this writing workshop, we will write what we know and don’t know about the creatures we spend our lives with—write about them in the fullness of their days—their activities and habits, their relationships with the rest of the family pets and humans. We will explore why they are so present in myths and fairy tales.


Each person should bring a photo of their pet, then briefly discuss the human/creature relationship, which will begin the writing process.


As we write, we will discuss our writing with each other in order to learn and develop our writing. At the end of the session, each person should have, at the very least, the beginning of a poem or a prose piece that they will read to the other participants.

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Photo Courtesy of Sharona Jacobs

Elizabeth Searle

Elizabeth Searle writes fiction and scripts. Her father wrote hundreds of published Letters to the Editor, giving Elizabeth her passion for politics, while her mother was a Librarian who loved both books and theater, two of Elizabeth's creative passions.

After years of happily writing fiction, including multiple books, Elizabeth returned to her first love of script-writing in 2006.  Elizabeth's and Michael Teoli's Rock Opera, TONYA & NANCY THE ROCK OPERA-- as well as her and Abigail Al-Doory Cross’ opera, TONYA AND NANCY: THE OPERA-- have been produced multiple times to widespread media coverage.  Two short films produced from Elizabeth's work have screened at Festivals.  Elizabeth has several feature film scripts in development. I'LL SHOW YOU MINE, a feature film she co-wrote, is a Duplass Brothers Production film, released in 2022.

Elizabeth continues to write fiction as well as scripts, most recently her novels WE GOT HIM and GIRL HELD IN HOME. Her previous books are CELEBRITIES IN DISGRACE, a novella and stories; A FOUR-SIDED BED, a novel nominated for an American Library Association Book Award and in development as a feature film; MY BODY TO YOU, a story collection that won the Iowa Short Fiction Prize, judged by James Salter. Elizabeth's theater works have drawn national and worldwide media attention.

Her short stories have appeared in magazines such as PLOUGHSHARES, REDBOOK, NEW ENGLAND REVIEW AGNI, and KENYON REVIEW, SOLSTICE and in over a dozen anthologies such as LOVERS and DON'T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME. She's won a Boston Literary Death Match.  She received her MFA from Brown University, where she studied with John Hawkes.


This is Elizabeth’s third Festival as a participating writer and she, along with Suzanne Strempek Shea will be offering the Writing Workshop, “FLASHING THROUGH GENRES”.


Visit her at:

Workshop for :

Jane Schulman


Writing about Mother. So many emotions: gratitude, love, guilt, hate, respect, disgust, anger, adoration-come up with the words “my mother...”


During this workshop, participants will read 3-5 poems and a short fiction piece written by a woman writer about her mother. There will be discussion about the challenges, joys, and other emotions that bubble up while writing about one’s mother.


Finally, each participant will write a poem or prose work inspired by her Mother/Grandmother/Auntie or any mother figure.

Intensive Workshop for :

Elizabeth Searle
Suzanne Strempek Shea

This is a SIX-HOUR Class

FLASHING THROUGH THE GENRES: Try Your Hand at Short-form Fiction, Non Fiction, Prose Poetry and Scripts – And Come Away With Half a Dozen New Pieces of Writing.

Flash through the genres in this generative six-hour workshop that lets you try out short ‘flash’ writing in fiction, non-fiction, prose poetry and scripts. You will be guided through varied in-class writing exercises and will produce multiple ‘flash’ drafts that could begin a new piece, add to a project in process or lead you into an entire new genre.


No experience necessary! All you need is to be open to this very popular form short in size but huge in impact. The flash form demands precision. It also allows for big imaginative leaps.


Let’s spend six hours together talking about, studying and trying out short forms in this combination of discussion and generative experience. Whether it’s flash fiction, flash creative nonfiction, flash scriptwriting or flash prose poetry, writing short requires magnified attention to craft.


So, how do you write compelling lyrical prose or a complete narrative within 100 words, or even less than that?


Suzanne and Elizabeth—longtime friends who are both multi-genre writers and enthusiastic, encouraging teachers—will guide you through exercises designed to unlock your short-form creativity, whether you are a total beginner or a more seasoned scribe.


Participants will be encouraged to bring one of their own flash pieces to share and analyze, as well as a favorite published flash piece in any genre.

Expect handouts—including publication/performance opportunities and a fabulous set of hands-on exercises that will leave you armed with Flash drafts, inspired and ready to write on.


Suggested Reading - Sample ten flash pieces from either of these sources:

Short: An International Anthology of Five Centuries of Short-Short Stories, Prose Poems, Brief Essays, and Other Short Prose Forms [Alan Ziege, ed.,]

The Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Non-Fiction [Zoe Bossiere and Dinty W. Moore, eds.]


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Suzanne Strempek Shea

Suzanne Strempek Shea’s twelve books include novels, memoirs, two biographies and an anthology. Her novels are Selling the Lite of Heaven, Hoopi Shoopi Donna, Lily of the Valley, Around Again, and Becoming Finola, all published by Washington Square Press, and Make a Wish But Not for Money, published by PFP.

Her memoirs are  Songs From a Lead-lined Room: Notes – High and Low – From My Journey Through Breast Cancer and Radiation; Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama and Other Page-Turning Adventures From a Year in a Bookstore; and Sundays in America: A Yearlong Road Trip in Search of Christian Faith, all published by Beacon Press.

Suzanne’s other nonfiction books are:

140 Years of Providential Care: The Sisters of Providence of Holyoke, Massachusetts, This is Paradise: An Irish Mother’s Grief, an African Village’s Plight and the Medical Clinic That Brought Fresh Hope to Both, Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and Soap Insiders on Why We’ll Tune in Tomorrow As the World Turns Restlessly by the Guiding Light of Our Lives, co-edited with Elizabeth Searle.

Winner of the 2000 New England Book Award, which recognizes a literary body of work’s contribution to the region, Suzanne began writing fiction in her spare time while working as reporter for the Springfield (Massachusetts) Newspapers and The Providence Journal.


Her freelance journalism and fiction has appeared in newspapers and magazines including The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Irish Times, Yankee, Golf World, Down East, The Bark, Organic Style and ESPN the Magazine. She was a regular contributor to Obit magazine.

This is Suzanne’s first Festival as a participating writer and she, along with Elizabeth Searle will be offering the Writing Workshop, “FLASHING THROUGH GENRES”.

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Mecca Jamilah Sullivan

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, Ph.D., is the author of the short story collection, Blue Talk and Love (2015). In her fiction, she explores the intellectual, emotional, and bodily lives of young black women, through voice, music, and hip-hop inflected magical realist techniques.

Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Best New Writing, American Fiction: Best New Stories by Emerging Writers, Prairie Schooner, Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Robert Olen Butler Fiction Prize Stories, BLOOM: Queer Fiction, Art, Poetry and More, TriQuarterly, Feminist Studies All About Skin: Short Stories by Award-Winning Women Writers of Color, Baobab: South African Journal of New Writing and many others.

She is the winner of the Charles Johnson Fiction Award, the James Baldwin Memorial Playwriting Award, and fellowships, scholarships and residencies from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The Yaddo Colony, the Hedgebrook Writers’ Retreat, and the Center for Fiction in New York City, where she received a 2011 Emerging Writers Fellowship.

Mecca is Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at UMass Amherst. She holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Temple University, and a B.A. in Afro-American Studies from Smith College.

A proud native of Harlem, NY, her critical and scholarly work on sexuality, identity, and poetics in contemporary African Diaspora culture has appeared in publications including Palimpsest: Journal of Women, Gender and the Black International, Jacket2, Public Books, GLQ: Lesbian and Gay Studies Quarterly, From Uncle Tom’s Cabin the The Help: Critical Perspectives on White-Authored Narratives of Black Life,, where she serves as Associate Editor for Arts & Culture.

This is Mecca's third Festival Festival as a participating writer and she will be offering the Writing Workshop “WRITING BODY AND DESIRE”.

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Lisa Wujnovich

​Lisa Wujnovich is a farmer, poet, activist, educator, and herbalist, writing and performing in the heart of the Marcellus Shale Region. Her anti-fracking poems were on the forefront of the movement to ban fracking in New York State.


She directs the Hancock Community Education Foundation Elementary K-4 After School Garden, where students and families grow, learn about, and cook fresh vegetables from the garden. Additionally, she teaches poetry as an enrichment tutor at the afterschool program. 


Lisa received her MFA in poetry from Drew University and BA in drama from Antioch College.


Poetry Publications:

Fieldwork (Finishing Line Press) 2012

This Place Called Us (Stockport Flats Press) 2008

Co-editor for anthology, The Lake Rises, poems to and for our bodies of water (Stockport Flats Press) 2013


Published poems in anthology, Vigil for the Marcellus Shale, (FootHills Press) 2013 and Ghost Fishing, An Eco-justice poetry anthology 2016.

Lisa's poems can be read in Canary, 5 AM, Naugatuck Review, Adanna Journal, Earth’s Daughters, New York Organic News and The River Reporter.



This is Lisa’s second Festival as a participating writer and she will be offering the Writing Workshop, “FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS: Generative Poetry Workshop”.

Workshop for :

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan


How do we write the body in states of want and desire? Desire can define characters and destroy them; it can push them both into and through conflicts that ultimately transform them and their worlds. Yet writing characters whose stories are guided by their bodily longings can be a challenge.


What strategies can we imagine for creating fat, queer, or bad-woman characters, for example, whose desires for food, pleasure, or disallowed models of intimacy infuse their voices and points of view? In crafting narrative, how do we balance attention to the body with other structural demands of fiction? How do we effectively develop characters whose bodies know more about them than they do?


This workshop explores techniques for addressing the body’s desires in fiction. We will examine the challenges in pacing, structure, and point-of-view that can arise in telling the stories of characters whose bodies live beyond them, and will generate specific techniques for addressing these challenges.


Using the works of women writers such as Dionne Brand, Audre Lorde, and Ana Maurine Lara as guides, we will explore how these writers center women’s desires in prose narrative, and will develop strategies for doing writing desire in our own fiction.

Workshop for :

Lisa Wujnovich

FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS: Generative Poetry Workshop

Both poems and dreams have a way of revealing the unknown, of leading us through mysterious doors into landscapes alive with revelations in metaphor, symbols and puns.


Like poems, dreams present themselves in a unique voice with their own logic. We accept the extraordinary, find solutions that fly, or enter places we have never been, but eerily remember.


Dreams abound in ancient and modern poetry, from formal to free verse; both in lyrical and narrative poems that weave, cite, lay out, and build in language resonating beyond the logical.


In this workshop, participants will examine and try techniques borrowed from the many poets who use dreams in their work. Building from their own dreams, participants will explore techniques to make dreams into language, which may include surreal imagery, echo, suspended metaphor, disjointed metaphor, visitation from ancestors, or other realms.


Participants will learn ways to remember and re-enter dreams as material for poems.


Participants are asked to record their dreams for one or two weeks before the workshop, and be willing to re-examine their dreams, and if they wish, share them.


This workshop is suitable for all levels.