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

Spring/Summer 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.  ( $265 for one day/ $425 for both ).  Only a few spaces left!

6-week Summer Session begins week of June 15th

Writing From Life, with Dori Ostermiller

This 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. ($265)

6-week Summer Session begins June 15

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fbb2cacb-3ecb-483c-86c1-08212cd8f805Self-Publishing–the New Trend, with Author Sophy Burnham:

Self-publishing is increasingly accepted in today’s rapidly changing book world. After publishing 13 books (three were New York Times best-sellers,) author Sophy Burnham discovered that her agent couldn’t find a publisher for her next novel. But Sophy believed in the book and finally decided to publish it herself! This half-day seminar, based on personal experience and research, will cover the basics of self-publishing, including: doubt and self-confidence; how to begin; cost and commitment; where to find a publisher, the Contract and options; how to prepare your book for publication, and most important, promotion and publicity. Come with your ideas and all the questions you can think of. Leave with a solid plan for getting your book into the world!

Saturday, June 20, 9 am -noon ($75)

Sophy Burnham is the author of 14 books–three have been New York Times bestsellers.  Her work is translated into 26 languages. A frequent public speaker, Sophy has appeared on scores of TV and radio shows including Larry King Live, Oprah (twice), Today Show, Good Morning America and CBS Morning News. Her latest novel, Love, Alba will be released in August 2015. She lives in Washington D.C.

Transforming Characters through Conflict,  with Jacqueline Sheehan: 

You’ve heard it before; stories start with trouble! Just like real people, characters can only develop when they are pushed beyond their comfort zones. Writers must expose our characters’ weaknesses and strengths in order to make them ‘come alive.’ But how? Spend the day with a New York Times bestselling novelist learning how to use conflict to transform your characters and captivate readers!

Saturday, July 18, 9 am – 4 pm ($125)

Jacqueline Sheehan is the New York TimesBestselling author of Truth, Lost and Found, Now and Then and Picture This. 

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)  

Next 8-week Session begins in the fall (TBA)

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 began May 7

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.email Dori

Writers in Progress Manuscript Intensive Series:

A year-long 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 regular 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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