One-day and Half-day Writing Workshops

Casting Characters for Memorable Fiction, with Cindy Littlefield

Littlefield hi-res shot for Litro MagazineProtagonist, 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…  

How to Pitch (and Write!) That Freelance Article, with Kenneth R. Rosen

unnamed.jpgGetting published in a magazine takes perseverance, insight, advanced planning, and above all: patience. From Front-of-Book columns to Back-of-Book essays and all the longform feature articles sandwiched between, this half-day workshop will cover how to pre-report a story, how to conceive and write a magazine pitch, and how to figure out whom to pitch. Writers need not bring anything other than a desire to learn and explore magazine publishing, but feel free to bring 1-2 pre-written pitches if you have them for workshopping.

June 16th, 9 am -12 pm ($75)  Register Now

Kenneth R. Rosen is a senior news assistant at The New York Times and an independent journalist covering conflict and vice around the world. He is a Livingston Award finalist in international reporting for his coverage of the Battle of Mosul in Iraq. A contributing writer at Pacific Standard magazine, he has written for Harper’sWIRED, and The Atlantic, among other print and web publications.