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


Applications are open during the Month of June for the 2014/15 Manuscript Intensive Series with Dori Ostermiller!

Join us for our Spring Open House and Reading, with prose selections by Jeanne Borfitz, John Bidwell, Heidi Ehrenreich and Amy Ford.  A reception will follow the reading.  Saturday, June 14, 4:30 – 6:30 pm, at the Writers in Progress Studio in Florence 

Spring Writing Workshop Schedule:

Dori reading

Tuesday/Thursday morning workshop:

“If only I could fit writing into my schedule” is the number one lament we hear from both professional and beginning writers.  This amazingly productive morning workshop provides quiet, structured writing time among peers, a handful of inspiring ideas to get you rolling and your morning coffee, muffins and fruit.  Starting with a variety of imaginative prompts, we’ll engage in a sustained writing period, then share our work and receive feedback in a fun, supportive environment. Appropriate for all levels and genres.

Tues and/or Thurs mornings, 9:15 – 12:15.  10-week summer session begins week of June 3rd.  ($350 for either Tuesday or Thursdays/ $525 for both Tuesday/Thursday).

Writing From Life:

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 powers and deepen our commitment to the writing life.  Each night, we’ll explore a new narrative ‘tool,’ generate work in an encouraging environment, share our work and receive constructive feedback.  Professional manuscript critique included! Monday Nights, 6-9 pm.

6-week Summer Session begins July 7th ($250)

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The Art of Blogging (Cont’d) with Sarah Buttenweiser


Have you ever wanted to blog?  Maybe you want to stretch your writing muscles, connect with readers or promote your business/art/ideas…?  In this half-day workshop, we’ll discuss the nuts and bolts of this very flexible form for writers.  We’ll touch on questions you might have, such as: Should I start a personal blog or blog for established sites?  What’s the best platform?  Why do people start Tumblrs?  How do you grab readers’ attention in a crowded blogosphere?  Led by a seasoned but accidental blogger, this workshop will give you a chance to think about everything from creative community to self-promotion…  Be ready to think about how to get started and share ideas with brand new blog friends in an actual room!  New and returning students welcome!  

Sarah Buttenweiser is a freelance writer and blogger whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Brain Child Magazine, The Huffington Post and Salon, among others.  Her essays have appeared in various anthologies, including the recently released Seal Press anthology, The Good Mother Myth.  She keeps a personal blog, Standing in the Shadows.  

Saturday, May 10, 9 am – noon.  ($75)

Creating Characters We Love to Hate with Jacqueline Sheehan

5Where would Harry Potter be without Voldemort?  Gatsby without Buchanan or Atticus without Bob Ewell?  Great bad-guys are just as important (if not more so) to good stories as protagonists. In fact, antagonists are often the most memorable characters in literature, without which, many best-selling stories would cease to exist.  If your antagonist isn’t fully realized, your story will undoubtedly suffer. But what is an antagonist, exactly, and how do you create one that is not only a great foil but also a compelling and three-dimensional character in her own right? Spend the morning with best-selling author Jacqueline Sheehan sharpening the conflict in your fiction through that crucial, mysterious energy between protagonist and antagonist. A finely drawn antagonist is the one who is neither wholly evil nor entirely good. When we tackle the beast of a fully fleshed antagonist, we involve the reader intimately, as well as increasing the tension in our stories. Saturday, May 17, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm ($75)

Jacqueline Sheehan is the New York Times bestselling author of Lost and Found, Now and Then, Picture This and Truth. She is the editor of the anthology, Women Writing in Prison, and has taught numerous workshops at Writers in Progress.

Find out more…

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suzanne-strempek-sheaSensory Writing Tune-up, with Suzanne Strempek-Shea

If you tell a reader what to think, she may not be convinced, but if you make her feel something, she’s yours!  Suzanne Strempek Shea’s recent “Sense of Using the Senses” workshop prompted participants to ask if she could return to Writers in Progress every few months to speak further on the subject of enlivening and enriching both fiction and nonfiction by incorporating unique sensory detail. We experience our lives most powerfully through our senses—sight, touch, smell, taste… But too often, our characters exist as if they have no world around them.  Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, engaging of all the senses in unique ways can tip your writing from merely competent to compelling.  This half-day workshop in June will include more exercises, a review of participants’ work in progress and more exploration of published writers who successfully captivate readers’ senses. Both returning and new participants are welcome!  Date TBA ($75)

Suzanne Strempek Shea is the author of five novels, including Selling the Lite of Heaven and Becoming Finola, and three memoirs, including Songs From a Lead-lined Room and Sundays in America. The winner of the New England Book Award, she serves on the faculty at Stonecoast MFA program.

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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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