Writing Workshops & Events

cropped-writing-workshop-with-muffins.jpg“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

Register for Workshops

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. 

TU JUMPSTART FULL FOR FALL SESSION!

Tu &/or Th mornings, 9:15 a.m.– 12:15 * 10-week Fall Session begins week of September 5th  ($395)  Register Now


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 lifeJulie typing experience. In a series of eye-opening 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.  Workshop includes detailed professional feedback on up to 20 double-spaced manuscript pages.   

Mondays, 6 – 9 pm * 8-week Fall Session begins September 11 ($425) Register Now


Building Tiny Houses – A 6-week Poetry Regenerative, with DM Gordon: 

downloadWhether you have a long practice or are just putting your toes in the water, it’s always good to have fresh ideas. This will be a six week workshop for new poems and prose poems.  Combining inspiring prompts, contemporary readings, thoughtful listening/feedback and concentrated writing time, writers will craft small ideas into fully-formed pieces….On Weeks 1,2, 4 and 5, we will write whatever comes. Many prompts, many seedlings. We’ll read a little, write a lot, and have fun. On Weeks 3 and 6, we’ll bring our best efforts to be discussed by the group, enthusiastically, generous in our thoughts about what your piece is saying, and thoughtful with ideas to help deepen and clarify.  Leave with lots of blueprints and several crafted pieces. Includes manuscript critique!   

Thursday Nights, 6-9 p.m. ($285) * 6-week Fall Session begins Sept 28  Register Now

D M (Diana) Gordon is the author of Fourth World  (Adastra Press, 2010,) and Nightly, at the Institute of the Possible (Hedgerow Books, 2011,) a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award and International Book Award. Gordon’s poems and short stories have been published widely in journals such as The Massachusetts Review, The Northwest Review, and Poetry Daily.  She is a Glimmer Train winner, among many other awards, and works as a professional editor.  Find out more…


The Art and Craft of Fiction, a weekly workshop with Cindy Littlefield:

Imagination is the wellspring of fiction — a virtual reservoir of story ideas to craft intoLittlefield hi-res shot for Litro Magazine colorful, textured narratives. In this weekly, six-week workshop, we’ll start by taking a close look at how classic and contemporary authors wield key elements of craft. Participants will then be led through a series of fun and enlightening exercises designed to take their own writing to the next level.  Workshop exercises and discussion will cover a wide range of fiction strategies, with particular focus on the following: discovering who your characters really are by fishing out their deepest desires and flaws, and exploring ways to portray these on the page; finding the most powerful perspective for your story by trying out various options; comparing and brainstorming different types of conflict (inner vs. outer) to drive your plot; understanding how, when and why to incorporate scene vs. summary; and writing dialogue that develops character, evokes emotion and moves the story forward. Participants will leave with new and/or refreshed story ideas plus a full palette of tools for crafting them into compelling works of art.  Includes manuscript critique!

Wednesdays, 6-9 pm * 6-week Fall Session begins October 4 ($285)  Register Now

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. She is a freelance writer, editor and coach… Find out more.


Building a Novel With Good Bones, a one-day workshop 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, generating and sketching. For those beginning a draft (or those lost in their umpteenth revision) this one-day workshop will provide a valuable and effective approach for building (or rebuilding) your 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. Back by popular demand. Appropriate for memoirists too!

Saturday, September 9th, 9:30 am – 4 pm ($150)  Register Now

Randy Susan Meyers is the author of four novels: The Murderer’s Daughters (a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award), The Comfort of Lies, Accidents of Marriage,  and recently, The Widow of Wall Street.  Meyers teaches writing at Grub Street Writers Center. She is the mother of two grown daughters and lives in Boston with her husband. Find out more…


Research and Backstory, a one-day workshop with Jacqueline Sheehan

JacquelineResearch and Backstory are essential ingredients in fiction and narrative nonfiction–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 ever- more-tantalizing bits of information, bogging down both process and product. Backstory is research’s evil twin, sometimes turning into an information dump.  In this one-day workshop, we’ll discuss the best sources and practices for research, and how to distill just enough into our narratives to lend authenticity without making them dull. We will also explore and practice ways to blend in backstory seamlessly and organically, without weighing down the plot.

Saturday, October 7, 9:30 am – 4 pm ($150)  Register Now

Jacqueline Sheehan, PhD, is a New York Times bestselling author. She is also a psychologist and a former journalist, photographer, house painter  and puppeteer… Her novels include, 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 a “Modern Love” piece. She teaches workshops around the world.  Find out more…

Workshop registration forms here


paper-and-pen.jpgWriters 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

For more information, contact Dori