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

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.  All our workshops are taught by published, professional writers and emphasize writing time, craft development and the nurturing of creativity and confidence.  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.

To email Dori, click here • Download workshop registration forms here

workshop cancellation policy here

Spring/Summer 2017

Weekly Workshops

Tuesday/Thursday Jumpstart, with Dori Ostermiller:

IMG_1932Even the most seasoned writers have difficulty carving out the time…

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, and muffins… 

Starting with a variety of imaginative prompts, we’ll warm up, engage in a sustained writing period and then share our work and receive thoughtful, constructive feedback. Appropriate for all levels and genres. A fantastic group!

Tu &/or Th mornings, 9:15 a.m.– 12:15 p.m.

10-week Spring Session begins the first week of March  ($395)                                                  8-week Summer Session begins week of June 6  ($350)

Telling Your Story, an 8-week 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, hone our voices, and explore 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 new topic, generate writing in a supportive environment, share work, and receive valuable feedback on our efforts.

Monday Nights, 6-9 p.m. ($395); 8-week Spring Session begins March 27                             6-week Summer Session begins June 5 ($325)

One-Day Workshops

Poetry Saturday, with DM Gordon

Take a walk on your poetry side.  Bring a poem that has influenced or moved you: we’ll start here. Then, with the help of some inspiring prompts, we’ll spend the morning together creating what comes.  In the afternoon, you’ll share a poem or two of your own–either brand new or previously written.  You’ll receive feedback that may help find 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

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…

Breakthrough Writing for any Genre, with Chivas Sandage:


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

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

This 1-day 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!

Saturday, February 4, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ($150)

Chivas Sandage is writer, teacher, and activist. Her work ranges from poetry to non-fiction narrative. Learn more about Chivas here…

Techniques for More Sophisticated Fiction,with Randy Susan Meyers:

2014-Randy Susan Meyers FINAL-JPEGWhat are the common pitfalls in fiction-writing that can rob your work of its energy? And what are best-practices and techniques to elevate your fiction and bring your stories to the next level?

In this one-day seminar, we will examine some key concepts such as: What does ‘show, don’t tell’ really mean?  How can you present your characters without resorting to stereotypes or having them gaze into mirrors? Is your point of view pitch-perfect for your story? Is your dialogue moving the plot forward and revealing who your characters are?  How do you make use of white space? Do you understand scenes vs. sequels..?

We will examine these questions and others through discussion, lecture, and in-class exercises. Students should bring the first few pages of their novel and be prepared to have it read aloud. This class will be useful for all who want to bring their fiction to a more complex level. Students should bring writing implements (whether computer, pen and paper, or ink and quill) and index cards.

Saturday, March 4, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ($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 accepted during the month of June

Find Out More