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

Fall 2016 Writing Workshops

We offer a variety of writing workshops every season, both weekly and one-day, hosted at our beautiful Florence, MA studio.  Workshops are supportive and include light refreshments.  Generative workshops emphasize writing time, creativity, voice development, and constructive feedback.  Master Workshops include deadlines, a manuscript component and a full range of professional feedback on submitted student work.  One-day workshops meet for a full Saturday, with a break for lunch.

Weekly Workshops:

Tuesday/Thursday Jumpstart, with Dori Ostermiller: (generative workshop)

IMG_1932Both 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, tea, 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  ( $395 for one day/week; $650 for both );                       10-week Fall Session begins week of September 6th  

Writing From Life, with Dori Ostermiller: (generative workshop)

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 craft ‘tool,’ generate writing in an encouraging environment, share work and receive valuable supportive feedback.

Monday Nights, 6-9 pm ($365);  8-week Fall Session begins September 12

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Writing Children’s and Young Adult Fiction, with Molly Burnham (master workshop) 

UnknownWriting for children ought to be like children: enjoyable, playful, sometimes challenging, difficult, and always mind-altering.  But where do you begin?  In this 8-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.  This master workshop has a manuscript component: participants will be turning in work and receiving professional critique/feedback.

Tuesdays, 6:30 – 9 pm ($425); 8-week Fall Session begins September 13

Molly Burnham holds a masters in Education and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults.  She is the author of  Teddy Mars Almost a World Record Breaker and Teddy Mars, Almost a Winner. (Harper Collins) Her third Teddy Mars book is due out next spring… Find out more…


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The Short Story – Start to Finish, with DM Gordon 6870824758_15b8c2905e(master workshop)

An 8-week Master Class in Narrative Arc. Enter with nothing and grow a short story from seed to tree: an exercise in managing the competing elements of imagination and structure. Play with the architectural elements which underlie a good story, be it fiction or memoir.  Suitable for beginning and seasoned writers.

Wednesdays, 7 – 10 pm ($425); 8-week workshop begins September 14

D M Gordon is the author of Fourth World, and Nightly, at the Institute of the Possible, a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award and International Book Award. Gordon’s poems and stories have been published widely in journals. Prizes include First Prize from Glimmer Train, and the Editor’s Choice Award from The Beacon Street Review. An MCC Artist Fellow in fiction (with a section from her novel Geography,) as well as a two-time finalist in poetry, she’s a freelance editor in multiple genres and the editor for Hedgerow Books..   find out more…

One-Day Workshops:

Pay Attention to What I Do; a one-day character workshop with Jacqueline Sheehan:Jacqueline

The old saying, Pay attention to what I do, not what I say  is a great way to think about character development. There are multiple ways to reveal the emotional complexity of your characters, but their actions speak loudest.  The way a character acts or reacts plays a vital role in crafting a compelling and believable plot.  In this all-day workshop, we’ll talk about myriad ways to reveal character psychology and motivation through the forces that work against and through them. We’ll practice putting our characters into motion, and explore creating reader intimacy, which allows readers to have a full relationship with characters, and thus care deeply about the outcome.

Saturday, October 8;  9 am – 4:30 pm ($150)

Jacqueline Sheehan, Ph.D., is a psychologist and New York Times Bestselling author. Her novels include, The Comet’s Tale, Lost & Found, Now & ThenPicture This, and her latest, The Center of the World. She is a New York Times essayist and editor of the anthology, Women Writing in Prison.  Find out more…

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Building a Novel With Good Bones, a one-day Seminar, with Randy Susan Meyers:

2014-Randy Susan Meyers FINAL-JPEGWhether you’re writing your first novel or your fifth, it’s easy to get lost in the morass of researching and sketching. For those beginning a draft (or those lost in their umpteenth revision) this popular session will provide a valuable approach for building (or rebuilding) a book structure. We will employ the ‘how do you eat an elephant’ approach: one bite at a time. Starting with an initial idea, participants move through a step-by-step outlining process: we’ll explore “what if’s,” create a concept paper, transition into characterization, indexing and finally spine-building. By the end of the day, you will have a strong skeleton on which to hang your book!

Saturday, November 5th; 9 am – 4 pm ($150) 

Randy Susan Meyers’ debut novel, The Murderer’s Daughters, was named one of the “2011 Ten Best Works of Fiction” by the Massachusetts Center for the Book and was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award. Her recently released novel, Accidents of Marriage, was People Magazine’s “Pick of The Week.” Meyers also teaches writing at Grub Street. Find out more… 

Writers in Progress Manuscript Intensive Series, with Dori Ostermiller:

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 October.  This group will provide the structure, support, inspiration and constructive feedback to help writers complete a book-length manuscript draft.

Applications are being accepted now through Aug 6th, 2016!  

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