Weekly Writing Workshops

“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

Tuesday/Thursday/Friday Jumpstart, with Dori Ostermiller:

Even 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 fabulous ideas to get you rolling, and your morning coffee and tea, fruit and muffins in our light-filled Florence studio… 

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, discussion and refreshments.  Appropriate for all levels and genres. 

Tu, Th, or Friday mornings, from 9:15 a.m.– 12:15 pm:  10-week Fall Session begins week of September 10 ($395)  email Dori to register

Dori Ostermiller, MFA, is the recipient of a MA Cultural Council Grant and a Tobias Wolff Fiction award. Her wriing has appeared in journals such as The Bellingham Review, the MA Review,Alligator Juniper, The Rumpus, Calliope, and Chautauqua Literary Journal. Her debut novel, Outside the Ordinary World, was an Indie Next Notable book and an MLA “must read” selection. She has worked as an editor for 20+ years and has taught writing and literature at many area universities.

The Art of the Story, a Master Class with Emily Lackey

No matter what we write—essays, novels, memoirs—story is at the heart of everything. It’s what all strong narrative is built around: what happened to whom and where, how and why.  But writing a compelling story requires skill, and is easier said than done… In this workshop, writers will learn the individual craft elements essential to great story-telling. Each week, we will start with a brief warmup and a series of prompts designed to add specific craft elements to each writer’s toolbox—setting, dialogue, subtext, conflict, backstory… By understanding and practicing these elements, we strengthen our ability to write compelling stories. In addition to craft talks, exercises and ample writing time, writers will submit up to fifteen pages for detailed written feedback. This workshop is perfect for writers wishing to hone their skills, or those longing to break through a rut. Appropriate for all levels and all writers of narrative—both fiction and nonfiction!

Monday nights, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.:  8-week fall workshop begins Sept 9 ($375)  Register Now

Writing From Life, with Emily Lackey

Lorrie Moore once said that, “for the writer, the facts of life are like ingredients in a kitchen cupboard.” The cake we make is the story we end up telling. “That,” she says, “is how life and art are related…” No matter what we write, our experiences, observations perceptions and inclinations are the greatest inspiration and fodder for our work. In this weekly generative workshop, writers will receive a series of prompts to help them tap into their deepest material and move them into a sustained period of writing. Afterward, we’ll have the opportunity to share our work and receive thoughtful feedback from the group.  Weekly craft tips!

Wednesdays, 6-9pm;  8-week Fall Session begins September 11 ($325)  Register Now

Emily Lackey’s stories and essays have been published in Glimmer Train, Prairie Schooner, Post Road, The Literary Review, Longreads, The Rumpus, Green Mountains Review, The Huffington Post, Bustle, Hobart, and Cleaver Magazine, among others. She was a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and an artist-in-residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and Newnan ArtRez. After receiving her MFA from the University of New Hampshire in 2014, she taught writing at the University of New Hampshire and in the graduate writing program at Southern New Hampshire University.  She is at work on a book of stories and a novel.  

Dreaming on the Page, a writing workshop with Tzivia Gover

Dreams can offer writers themes, images, prompts, motifs or entire story lines. Likewise, crafting poems and stories from dreams can help writers discover new levels of creativity, insight, and healing. In this weekly workshop, we will use dreams and the subconscious to inspire and energize our writing. Participants will generate and share new work in a safe, welcoming and supportive environment.  We’ll explore the intersections between dreaming and writing, and learn how dreams can inspire fresh ideas or help us move through creative blocks.  We will also learn to optimize creativity by understanding the brain chemistry of the dreaming mind.

Because the aim of this workshop is to encourage creative expression, self-awareness, and growth, this workshop is perfect for writers of all levels and of every genre–whether or not you remember your dreams!  Read Tzivia’s blog here

Thursdays, 6 – 9 pm; 6-week Fall Session begins September 12 (we will not meet on October 10) ($245) Register Now

Tzivia Gover is the author of The Mindful Way to a Good Night’s Sleep and Joy in Every Moment. She is a writer, educator, and certified dream therapist and the director of the Institute of Dream Studies. Gover has led numerous workshops and panels about dreams, mindfulness, and writing, and she holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. She is an active member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams and the founder of 350 Dreamers, an international network of people who dream together for global healing.

Writing the Nonfiction Article, with Kenneth R. Rosen

Getting published in a magazine takes perseverance, insight, advanced planning, and above all: patience. From Front-of-Book columns to Back-of-Book essays, from longform feature articles to short personal essays, this four-week craft intensive will aim to teach students how to conceive, workshop, revise and pitch creative nonfiction pieces for regional and national publications. The workshop will include plenty of in-class writing exercises and free writing time during which students can opt to discuss projects one-on-one with the instructor to home their final drafts. Come prepared with ideas galore and a healthy appetite for quiet writing time.

Four Tuesdays, 6-9 pm: September 3, 10, 17 and 24, 6 – 9 pm ($175) Register Now

Kenneth R. Rosen’s work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, and The Atlantic, among other publications. His personal essay “Notes From My Suicide” was listed as a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2017. A finalist for both the Livingston Award for international reporting and the Bayeux-Calvados Award for War Correspondents, Kenneth won a Clarion Award in 2018 for his reporting from Iraq. He is a senior news assistant at The New York Times, a Robert Novak Fellow, a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, and a 2018 John Jay/H.F. Guggenheim Justice Reporting Fellow. His first book is forthcoming in 2020.

Navigating Narrative Time, a 4-week Craft Intensive with Dori Ostermiller

As a fiction or narrative non-fiction writer, you can and must manipulate time by compressing and expanding it to fit the needs of your story.  Writers do not show every moment of a plot, every instance in a character’s life, but instead summarize or skip over big sections of time that are less relevant, while drawing out and emphasizing the moments which matter to the story.   In this 4-week craft intensive, we’ll cover essential techniques for mastering narrative time, including how to create deeply experiential ‘real-time’ scenes, integrate lively backstory while maintaining narrative flow, flashing backward and forward in time without losing the thread, and building effective transitions for holding it all together.   We’ll examine successful examples from published works, do plenty of exercises and in-class writing, and share constructive feedback on participant work.  Appropriate for all levels and genres of narrative – either fiction or nonfiction!

Four Tuesdays, 6 – 9 pm: October 1, 8, 22 & 29 ($175) Register Now

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

One-day and Half-day Workshops