One-day and Half-day Writing Workshops

 

Scene or Summary? A one-day workshop with Cindy LittlefieldLittlefield hi-res shot for Litro Magazine

No doubt you’ve heard the writerly advice, “Show, don’t tell.’ Certainly showing–dropping the reader into a scene ripe with ‘real time’ descriptions–creates the greatest sense of immediacy.  Sometimes, though, your story calls for a bit of summary—telling the reader directly what he/she needs to know in order to move through time, give backstory, or illuminate the deeper meaning of a certain moment. In this session, participants will learn all about the essentials of good scene writing, the tools for including concise, engaging summary, and how to strike the perfect balance, so that your pacing remains taut.

Saturday, February 17, 9:30 – 4:30 ($150) Register Now

Cindy Littlefield’s fiction has appeared in Litro, Dogzplot, and the Rose & Thorn Journal, and she was a former finalist in the Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Southern New Hampshire University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University.  Find out more.


Overcoming the Mid-Manuscript Slump, with Randy Susan Meyers

Too often, we begin our book with burning excitement, race ahead on raw energy 2014-Randy Susan Meyers FINAL-JPEGalone, only to hit a wall halfway through when we come up against a myriad of challenges. In this one-day workshop, we will identify common mid-manuscript sticking points and explore some literary, emotional and organizational strategies for pushing through to a satisfying first draft!  Examining structural and practical elements, participants will learn new tools to help them break through their mid-manuscript blues and keep writing all the way to the end!

Saturday, March 17, 9:30 am -4:30 pm ($150)  Register

Randy Susan Meyers is the author of four novels:  The Murderer’s Daughters (a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award)The Comfort of Lies, Accidents of Marriage, and recently, the critically acclaimed, The Widow of Wall Street. Meyers lives in Boston and teaches writing at Grub Street and Writers in Progress.  Find out more…  


Casting Characters for Memorable Fiction, with Cindy Littlefield

carla-writing.jpgProtagonist, antagonist, mentor, minion, and foil—each and every character plays a necessary role in your stories!  In this one-day workshop, we will delve deep into the psyche of primary and secondary character types, mining for those buried secrets, dicey dynamics, and ulterior motives that make all good stories a must-read. Through a series of fun, imaginative exercises, characters will be put to the test, navigating unexpected challenges and making impossible choices. We’ll also explore the amazing things that can happen when a character goes off script, or when a brand new character makes an unexpected appearance. Workshop participants will leave with a fully fleshed cast ready to take stage plus plenty of inspiration for several brand new scenes!  Register Now 

Saturday, April 21, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm ($150) 

Cindy Littlefield’s fiction has appeared in Litro, Dogzplot, and the Rose & Thorn Journal, and she was a former finalist in the Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Southern New Hampshire University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University.  Find out more.


Writing the Personal Essay, with Sarah Buttenwieser

253362_10151497917928387_1847278697_nWe all have powerful stories, and the personal essay is a great way to tell them. But what makes a personal essay work? It turns out there are a few guidelines that can really help you master the form. This daylong workshop is for anyone who wants to write personal essays and is looking for concrete tips on how to do it well. We’ll go over some key elements of successful personal narratives. We’ll read a few essays, brainstorm topics, give and receive feedback on our essay ideas—and then, with some scaffolding in place, we’ll write. You will leave this workshop with a rough draft of your own personal essay. If that sounds impossible, trust me—I know you can do it!

Saturday, April 28, 9:30 am– 4:30 pm ($150) Register Now

Sarah Buttenwieser’s essays appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Paste Magazine, Full Grown People and many others. A freelance journalist, she’s also at work on a middle grade novel. She’s taught blogging workshops at WIP. She earned her MFA in fiction at Warren Wilson College.


Research and Backstory: Two Trouble Spots, with Jacqueline Sheehan:

5Research and Backstory are essential ingredients in fiction–they bring authority,authenticity and depth to a story. But making all those fascinating facts work for you and not against you is tricky. Research can lead down a rabbit hole of evermore-tantalizing tidbits of information, bogging down process and product. Backstory is research’s evil twin, occasionally turning into an information dump that can overshadow plot. In this workshop, we discuss the best sources and practices for research, and how to distill just enough into our stories to lend authenticity without making them dull. A terrific workshop!

Saturday, May 5th, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm ($150)  Register here

Jacqueline Sheehan, PhD is the New York Times bestselling author of The Comet’s Tale, Lost & Found, Now & Then, Picture This, The Center of the World, and The Tiger in the House. She writes NPR commentaries, travel articles, and essays including the New York Times column, “Modern Love.” She edited the anthology, Women Writing in Prison. Jacqueline teaches workshops at Grub Street in Boston and around the world.  Find out more…