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


Writing Workshops – Spring/Summer 2017

Tuesday/Thursday Jumpstart, with Dori Ostermiller:

IMG_1932Even the most seasoned writers have difficulty carving out time and summoning inspiration…

This popular, productive morning workshop provides quiet, structured writing time among peers, a handful of great ideas to get you rolling, and your morning coffee, fruit, tea and muffins. 

Starting with a variety of imaginative prompts, we’ll warm up, engage in a sustained writing period, then share our work and receive thoughtful, constructive feedback.  Each session includes writing time, craft tips, handouts and discussion.  Appropriate for all levels and genres. A fabulous group! Tu &/or Th mornings, 9:15 a.m.– 12:15 p.m:                                 

8-week Summer Session begins week of June 6  ($350)

Telling Your Story, an 8-week memoir workshop with Dori Ostermiller:

This workshop is designed for writers at any stage who are crafting story from life experience. In a series of compelling exercises, we’ll uncover our deepest themes and conflicts, develop our voices, and explore many of memoir’s biggest challenges: how to create a story arc from life events; memory’s slippery slope; revealing your characters with compassion; simulating dialogue; how to use retrospective voice…  Each night, we explore a craft topic, generate new writing in a supportive environment, share work, and receive valuable, supportive feedback on our efforts.  Mondays, 6 – 9 pm

6-week Summer Session begins June 5 ($325)

To email Dori, click here • Workshop registration forms here

workshop cancellation policy here


Poetry Saturday, with DM Gordon6870824758_15b8c2905e

Take a walk on your poetry side.  Bring a poem that has influenced or moved you: we’ll start there. Then, with the help of some inspiring prompts, we’ll spend the morning creating what comes.  In the afternoon, you’ll share a poem or two of your own–bring copies!  You’ll receive feedback that may help them toward a better self.  We’ll read closely, respectfully, enthusiastically… Leave with a pocket full of poems; something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue!

Saturday, May 20th, 9:30 – 4:30 ($150)

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 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…

Flash Fiction, With Joy Baglio

joy baglioFlash fiction is any fictional work of extreme brevity (usually under 1,000 words) in which every detail, image, sentence, and word work to strengthen the whole. Writing flash regularly is an effective exercise in self-editing, as it teaches much about the power of stripping writing down to the barest essentials.

This one-day workshop will explore techniques for writing crisp, lean, and publishable flash stories as well as examine all aspects of the form: What does it offer readers (and writers) that the satisfaction of longer narrative may not? How do we evoke character, conflict, place, and resolution in so few words? How do we build narrative arcs from beginning to end in such small spaces? The morning will include a full craft presentation, handouts, writing exercises, discussion, as well as a look at a number of flash fiction stories in their entirety in order to investigate the strategies they use. In the afternoon, we’ll discuss the market for flash fiction as well as explore several fun prompts designed to get you started on your own flash fiction pieces. Open to all levels and genres.

Saturday, June 3, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm  ($150)

Joy Baglio’s flash fiction and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, Tin House’s Flash Fridays, PANK, the New Ohio Review, F(r)iction, and elsewhere. In 2016, she was the runner-up in Ploughshares’ Emerging Writer’s Contest, winner of F(r)iction’s winter flash fiction contest, and a finalist for the Kathy Fish Fellowship from Smokelong Quarterly.  She holds an MFA from The New School and is the founder and director of Pioneer Valley Writer’s Workshop, a writing school in Williamsburg MA. Find her online at www.joybaglio.com

Finding Your Gold, with Janet Benton

unnamedWhat are the stories that only you can tell? What insights might you be holding inside and not yet exploring in your work? What sorts of characters and places, psychological binds or conflicts has your life given you? Sometimes, we don’t recognize the most obvious or unique things about our lives, just as we don’t always quite know what we look like. But for writers, any powerful, formative experience is a gift—a nugget of gold to be mined. By tapping into that material in your writing, you can create a strong voice and a unique bond between readers and your work. In this half-day workshop, you’ll uncover your own most powerful resources and learn about using them to enhance your writing projects. We’ll move through a series of exercises and discussions designed to unearth your gold–those stores, insights and experiences only you can tell…

Saturday, June 10, 2 – 5 pm ($75)

Janet Benton has taught writing at several universities, as well as leading fiction workshops and editing since 1999. Among her clients are New England Book Award finalist Robin Macarthur and historical novelist Pam Jenoff. Janet has an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, and her writing has appeared in several national newspapers and journals, includingGlimmer Train and the New York Times “Modern Love” column. Janet will be reading from her debut novel,Lili de Jong, at Broadside Books on June 11th at 3 p.m.   find out more…

Breakthrough Writing for all Genres, with Chivas Sandage:

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Do you long for a breakthrough in your writing, feel locked-in to stale patterns, or abandoned by your muse? Do you want your writing to sing, rivet, and surprise? Beyond genre, there is a whole new way to understand everything you will ever read and write…

This one-day workshop explores the lyric sensibility in all powerful writing. You’ll learn strategies to generate fresh, image-driven work that emphasizes rhythm and sound, invites compression and fragmentation, and enriches narrative voice.

Workshop includes a full presentation with handouts, intriguing prompts and several exploratory writing periods, followed by participant readings and supportive, inspiring discussion of your work. Open to all levels and genres!

Fall 2017, date TBD

Chivas Sandage’s first book, Hidden Drive (Antrim House, 2012), was a finalist for the 2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Awards in poetry and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her essays and poems have appeared numerous journals, including  Artful Dodge, Evergreen ReviewMs. MagazineSmokeLong Quarterly, Southern Women’s Review, Upstreet, and Verse, among others.

Learn more about Chivas here…

Workshop registration forms here


Writers in Progress Manuscript Intensive Series, with Dori Ostermiller:

A rigorous and encouraging 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 accepted between June 1st and Aug 1st

Find Out More