Generative Writing Workshop
I just keep trying to make something out of words that you’d think couldn’t be made out of words. ~ Deborah Eisenberg
In this supportive and generative five week workshop for all levels, we’ll be making things from words. To start, we’ll sample some flash writing and discussing what creates sparks on the page, how tension and thwarted yearnings, activated settings, and the swerve of a good scene, all bring stories to life. We’ll look at how these fleet pieces rise up with the just right telling detail. Then, through multiple prompts we’ll explore language, character, conflict and action. If you are a writer of longer fiction or memoir, the exercises will offer up some ideas for constructing well-rounded, complete scenes, the building blocks of fiction. Finally, we’ll share our work and by the end of this workshop, you should be well on your way with a new story, a slice of your memoir, or a personal essay. Wednesday evenings, September 9 – October 7, 5:30 – 7:30. 220.00
Loft Workshop (ongoing)
I want to try to capture in writing the mysterious process of a life unfolding and how it feels as it happens. We often imagine that mystery is buried deep inside our lives, but it’s also hidden around us, on the surface. ~ Tessa Hadley
There are no fixed rules you must follow to get your story onto the page, but there are craft tools that can help to make your work rise up. First off, you have to want to do it, you must have confidence to dive in and try things out (making mistakes and discoveries along the way), and you must have the tenacity to keep going. I don’t know about you, but I find a tight group of writers helps me with accountability, with gaining new perspective on the work, and with striving to do my very best. In this multi-genre workshop we will exercise our writing muscles: structure, setting, conflict, characterization, dialog, compelling stakes, true sentences, precise details, all in the service of creating unique and shining stories/memoirs that compel our readers to turn the page. For each workshop we’ll do a wee bit of generative writing together, we may look at some work in the world, and the bulk of our time will be spent discussing peer work in supportive and critical conversations. Whether you are working on short stories, memoir, personal essay, or have a longer project in mind, you’ll get thoughtful responses.
I run multiple (zoom) workshops and offer both morning and evening sessions. Fee is on a sliding scale. If you’re interested, shoot me an email and I will help find the best fit for your schedule and your work.
Taking Apart the Clock, Reading Like a Writer
Maybe this is why we read, and why in moments of darkness we return to books: to find words for what we already know. ~ Alberto Manguel
I don’t know about you, but responsibilities and distractions (doomscrolling and binge-watching anyone?) have taken a bite from my attention span. Oh how I long to fall into a good book, I don’t mean to skim, I mean to really fall in—to story, to imagery, to beautiful clean clear sentences.
The very core of my reading life holds a contradiction. I read to escape my reality, and to feel less alone. I want to discover new worlds, and feel that my foibles, my dreams and sorrows are part of the human experience. In this workshop, we will learn or remember how to close read, to bring our full attention and curiosity to the page. If you are a writer, close reading of great writing is the very best tool for improving your work. If you are a reader, why not slow down, (re)learn to examine and absorb the work on the sentence level, through imagery, and to grasp larger themes that make the very specific story in your hands resonate on a universal level.
In this six week workshop, we will read essays and short-stories selected from the Best American series. Thursday evenings, September 10 – October 15, 7:00-8:30 175.00