Community Writing Workshops
Come join us for a morning of writing, in a bright, beautiful space among peers! After a short warm up, we’ll engage in a sustained writing period in response to a variety of prompts. We’ll share some of our work and receive supportive feedback. A great way to jumpstart your writing projects! Rotating instructors… Suggested donation of $10.
First Saturday of every month (First Sunday in Feb!), 9:00 am – 12:00 pm RSVP here
Research and Backstory, with Jacqueline Sheehan
Research 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 morning 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.
Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., May 11th Register Now
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.
First Impressions: Writing Strong Beginnings, with Emily Lackey
When it comes to sending our work out into the world, first impressions are often times all we have. With submissions piling up on editors’ and agents’ desks, writing a strong beginning is critical to getting our work noticed. But what exactly goes into a strong start? In this half-day workshop, we’ll go over the five things every first page needs, looking closely at examples of writers who do this successfully, and taking some time to work on our own. In addition to handouts, tips, and writing time, this workshop will include insights from working agents and editors about what they are looking for when they look at the first page. All genres welcome!
Saturday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., May 18th ($75) Register Now
Screenwriting Essentials, with Pamela Marin
We’ve all been there before: you’re watching a movie, you’d hoped for a couple hours of entertainment, but thirty minutes in, you’re already bored. The plot is dragging, the characters aren’t credible, and you find yourself thinking, I could do better than that!
Screenwriting differs from prose writing in almost every way, but anyone who loves language and movies can get started. In this half-day workshop, writers will learn some of the essential ingredients that go into telling a story on screen, as well as some key differences between screenplays and prose. After an overview of the fundamentals, we will will dive head-first into the building blocks of screenwriting and will emerge at the end with a completed scene. Whether you’ve always dreamed of writing a screenplay, or you’re a prose writer who’s curious about the genre, this workshop will inspire you!
Pamela Marin has been a staff writer at the Orange County Register and a columnist for The Tribeca Tribune. An essay she wrote for Ladies’ Home Journal was featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” She’s the author of a memoir, Motherland (Free Press, 2005), and wrote the movie Tommy’s Honour, which won Scotland’s BAFTA for Best Feature Film in 2017.
Saturday, June 8, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm ($75) Register Now
Bad Guys We Love to Hate, with Jacqueline Sheehan
Where 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, June 15th, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. ($75) Register Now
Saturday Jumpstart Retreat, with Dori Ostermiller
Even the most seasoned writers have difficulty summoning inspiration and carving out the time… Come spend a summer Saturday at our lovely, bright Florence studio jumpstarting your writing! This all-day retreat will provide time to warm up, plenty of fabulous prompts and ideas to get you rolling, several hours of quiet, structured writing time among peers, and thoughtful, encouraging feedback to keep you going.
The retreat will be broken into two three-hour writing sessions–morning and afternoon–during which we’ll warm up, launch into a sustained writing block, then share some of our work and receive thoughtful feedback. In the middle, we’ll break for lunch and trade ideas about the writing life. Refreshments, handouts and craft tips included. Make some serious headway in your writing projects in this intensive Jumpstart!
Saturday, July 20th, 9:15 am – 4:30 pm ($125)