Writing Workshops & Events

“Dori’s writing workshops are gentle and rigorous, deep and thought-provoking…She gave me the courage to write into the darkest and richest parts of myself. I could not have written my first book without her.”     

–Alison Smith, author of Name all the Animals

Winter/Spring Writing Workshop Schedule:

Tuesday/Thursday Jumpstart, with Dori Ostermiller:

Both beginning and seasoned writers have difficulty carving out the time… This amazingly productive morning workshop provides a big chunk of quiet, structured writing time among peers, a handful of great ideas to get you rolling and your morning coffee, muffins and fruit.  Starting with a variety of imaginative prompts, we’ll warm up, engage in a sustained writing period and then share our work in a supportive environment.  Each week includes handouts, a brief craft discussion and thoughtful, encouraging feedback on participants’ work. Make serious headway in your writing projects this year!  Appropriate for all levels and genres.  Tu and/or Th, 9:15 – 12:15.  ( $375 for one day/ $575 for both ).  Only a few spaces left!

10-week Spring Session begins week of March 16

Writing From Life, with Dori Ostermiller

This 8-week workshop will inspire you to take your writing projects to the next level, whether you’re working on fiction, memoir, or somewhere in between. Through a series of mind-opening exercises, we’ll uncover life material, hone our story-telling voices and deepen our commitment to the writing life.  Each night, we explore a new narrative ‘tool,’ generate writing in an encouraging environment, share work and receive constructive feedback.  Monday Nights, 6-9 pm. ($350)

8-week Spring Session begins March 9

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Writing Children’s and Young Adult Fiction, with Molly Burnham

UnknownWriting for children ought to be like children: enjoyable, playful, sometimes challenging, difficult, and always mind-altering.  But where do you begin?  In this 6-week workshop, we will engage in imaginative writing exercises, explore examples from multiple genres of children’s writing, develop our critiquing skills through discussion of participants’ work, and share both informal and prepared writing in a supportive, exploratory and non-judgmental setting. Tuesdays, 7-9 pm.  ($350)  

8-week Winter Session begins January 20th

Molly Burnham holds a masters in Education and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults.  Her first book, Teddy Mars Almost a World Record Breaker comes out April 2015 with HarperCollins followed by two more Teddy Mars books.

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Blogging Boot Camp, with Sarah Buttenwieser

253362_10151497917928387_1847278697_nBlogs can be invaluable tools for writers.  A blog is a great place to post news or share information and ideas. Blogging helps writers build a platform, and blogging can create connections with other writers and editors.  Maybe you have an idea for a blog or an abandoned blog, or the desire to kick your writing practice into the world just a bit. A blog seems to be in your future, but you’re not sure how to get yourself going, or keep yourself on track… This six-week workshop is made for anyone who wants to try blogging but needs ideas, support, accountability, and a great sounding board.  We’ll brainstorm ideas, generate lots of new writing together, and explore ways to reach a wider audience than your ten best friends. Commit to your blog for six weeks, and you will come out blogging, for real.  Thursdays, 6-9 pm ($265)

6-week Spring Session begins March 12

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser’s “Standing in the Shadows” blog has been running at the Valley Advocate for several years. She has also blogged for other sites, including Brain Child Magazine. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Salon, Full Grown People and the Manifest Station, among others.

Structural Steps to Building a Novel With Good Bones, a one-day workshop with Randy Susan Meyers

(in conjunction with Straw Dogs Writers Guild)

Whether you’re writing your first novel or your fifth, it’s easy to get lost in a morass of researching and sketching. For those2014-Randy Susan Meyers FINAL-JPEG beginning a novel (or those lost in their umpteenth revision) this session will provide a valuable approach for building (or rebuilding) a book structure. We will employ the ‘how do you eat an elephant’ approach: one bite at a time. Starting with an initial idea, participants move through a step-by-step outlining process: we’ll explore “what if’s,” create a concept paper, transition into characterization, indexing and finally spine-building. By the end of the day, you will have a strong skeleton on which to hang your book.

This workshop includes discussion on the underpinnings of a novel: structures of fiction, characterization, dialogue, and best practices. Seminar participants should bring their story ideas, index cards, pens, a computer or notebook and pencil (with eraser!). Copious handouts will be distributed.

Saturday, March 28, 9 am – 4 pm ($125)

Randy Susan Meyers’ debut novel, The Murderer’s Daughters, was named one of the “2011 Ten Best Works of Fiction” by the Massachusetts Center for the Book and was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award. Her recently released novel, Accidents of Marriage, was People Magazine’s “Pick of The Week.” The Boston Globe called her second novel, The Comfort of Lies, “..sharp and biting, and wickedly funny..” Meyers teaches writing at Grub Street Writers Center. She is the mother of two grown daughters and lives in Boston with her husband.

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Writers in Progress Manuscript Intensive Series:

A 10-month program for writers with prose manuscripts in progress that call for constructive feedback and new writing.  Writers can be working on novels, short story collections, memoirs or essay collections.  We will meet for seven Friday night/Saturday intensives over the course of the year, beginning in September.  This group will provide the structure, support, inspiration and constructive feedback to help writers complete a book-length manuscript draft.  Applications accepted during the month of June.  

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