Writing Workshops for Everyone

We offer a variety of ongoing, weekly workshops to encourage you in your writing practice and explore craft topics, and one-day or half-day workshops packed with craft tips—all taught by experienced WIP faculty.

COVID-19 update:

As of today, and at least through the month of April, all Writers in Progress workshops will be taught remotely. For those of you  interested in attending a workshop during that time period, simply register and then we will email you individually about how to access your online workshop!  We will continue to monitor the situation and follow the recommendations from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and be in touch frequently with updates or changes.

As a community-based arts organization, we take seriously our responsibility to protect the safety of our writers, and particularly those among us who are most vulnerable.  At the same time, we don’t want to abandon you during such disorienting days. Now more than ever, we need compassion and empathy, stories and community. We need to write, and we need your writing, and by making our workshops available online, we hope to stay connected during these strange times.

We look forward to writing with you all soon!

Weekly Workshops

Tuesday/Thursday/Friday Morning Jumpstarts with Dori Ostermiller, Online!

 

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, some fabulous prompts to get you rolling, thoughtful, supportive feedback on your work, and your morning coffee, tea, fruit and muffins in our light-filled Florence studio.  Jumpstart your writing life this season! Craft tips and inspiring quotes each week…

Tues/Thurs or Friday mornings, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm; Spring Session starts week of March 10

The Art of Keeping a Notebook, a Weekly Workshop with Tzivia Gover

Journals and notebooks are the unsung heroes of the writer’s life, where we record, reflect and celebrate the sources of our creative works: daily observation, imagination, memory, and dream. Our journals also remind us that writing is more than just a path to publishing: it is a way of life.  In this weekly generative workshop, we’ll enliven our journaling practice to recharge our creativity, hone our craft, and connect more deeply with the source of our writing. 

 Saturday afternoons, 1:15 – 4:15,  May 9 – June 6 ($205)

Writing from Life, with Emily Lackey

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, 6-9pm10-week Late Spring workshop begins May 13 ($395)

The Art of the Story, a writing workshop with Emily Lackey

In this workshop, writers will learn the individual craft elements essential to great story-telling. Each week, we will start with a brief warmup, a craft tip, and a series of prompts designed to add specific craft elements to each writer’s toolbox—setting, dialogue, subtext, conflict, backstory.

Monday nights, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.:  8-week Late Spring Session begins May 18 ($325)

Singing in the Dark: An Online Support Group for Writers, with Emily Lackey

This new period of uncertainty is presenting writers with an unprecedented set of challenges. There are practical considerations, such as carving out space and time for writing with everyone home, as well as existential dilemmas: the projects we were working on may seem suddenly irrelevant in light of all that’s happening in the world. Each week, we’ll discuss what’s getting in the way of our work, discover innovative ways to work through challenges, and support one another in establishing achievable goals for the week ahead. Each meeting will include prompts, inspiring articles, craft tips, connection, and, of course, time to write. 

Sundays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.; 4-week group starts April 5 ($100)

Half-Day & Full-Day Workshops

The Art of Keeping a Notebook, with Tzivia Gover

Journals and notebooks are the unsung heroes of the writer’s life, where we record, reflect and celebrate the sources of our creative works: daily observation, imagination, memory, and dream. In this morning online workshop, we’ll enliven our journaling practice to recharge our creativity, hone our craft, and connect more deeply with the source of our writing.

Sunday, March 29, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75) 

Dialogue Intensive, with Emily Lackey

Back by popular demand! Effective dialogue is the linchpin of successful scene-writing.  Dialogue can propel a story forward, reveal character, increase narrative tension: in short, dialogue done well engages readers like no other craft element. Yet, for almost all writers, writing compelling and authentic dialogue is one of the biggest hurdles. In this illuminating half-day online intensive, writers will look closely at the elements of dialogue that make for effective scene work.

Saturday, April 4, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75) 

The Inside Outline: An Online Workshop, with Susanne Dunlap

The hardest part about writing a book-length manuscript is thinking on multiple levels at once and keeping everything organized in your head and on the page. Some authors—plotters—make detailed plot outlines that plan out action but leave the character arc to evolve on its own. Others—pantsers—rely on their gut and storytelling instincts and hope for the best. The Inside Outline is a powerfully simple tool that makes it possible to track both plot development and character arc in a single, living document. In this workshop, writers will create their own Inside Outline and receive personalized feedback. Once you are familiar with this technique you’ll never look back!

Saturday, April 18, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Experimenting with Braided Essays, with Sarah Earle

The braided essay takes any number of differing narratives and with those “strands,” weaves them together to form a braid.  In this half-day online workshop we’ll explore some braided essay examples, brainstorm and trouble shoot ideas for your own, and have some guided writing time to help get a draft down on paper. 

Saturday, May 2, 9:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. ($75) 

Writing Romance, with Emily Nagoski

Spend the morning with a published romance novelist, learning to marry the basics of fiction craft with the specific requirements of this compelling genre. Whether you seek to write historical or contemporary, realistic or paranormal, queer or straight, vampire or time-traveler romances, you’ll come away with tools for writing stories that readers will fall in love with.

Saturday, May 9, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Writing The Hard Stuff, with Donna Jenson

Writing about the hard stuff is, well, hard. And sometimes it takes courage to share your stories. It helps to have some tried and true techniques for accessing deep material, as well as ideas for how (and whether) to share it. Use this half-day workshop as a laboratory for uncovering or discovering what you most want (but fear) to give voice to.

Saturday, May 16, 9:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. ($75) 

Community Writing Workshops

Come join us for a morning of writing among peers in our bright, beautiful space!  After a short warm up, we’ll engage in a sustained writing period in response to a variety of prompts.  We’ll share some of our work and receive supportive feedback.  A great way to jumpstart your writing projects!  Rotating instructors…  Suggested donation of $10.

First and Third Sunday of every month (except June),  9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 

Community Writing Workshops—Now Online!

April 5: Emily Lackey

April 19: Emily Lackey

May 3: Dori Ostermiller

May 17: Emily Lackey

Please use the form to the right to RSVP for a Community Writing Workshop. All of our Community Writing workshops will be held online for the foreseeable future. 

 


Manuscript Intensive Series, with Dori Ostermiller

“I never would have completed my manuscript without the structure of this group and Dori’s loving guidance. She holds an incredibly safe, nurturing yet critically honest space for creativity and the pages to emerge. It’s impossible to measure the value of this program!”
Carla Savetsky

Writing a book in isolation can feel like climbing Mt. Everest with no oxygen and no guide!  In order to support and guide writers through this daunting task, we offer the Manuscript Intensive Series, a year-long program for writers with prose manuscripts in progress that call for critical response and new writing.  Writers can be working on novels, short story collections, memoirs or essay collections.  This group will provide the structure, support, inspiration and critical feedback to help writers complete a book-length manuscript.

This is serious work that gets books written! Dozens of finished manuscripts have emerged from this process, and many have gone on to publication, including Dinah Mack’s Pirates of Cologne, Dusty Miller’s Alice Ott Mystery Series, Ruth Lehrer’s Being Fishkill, JoAnne Jones’s Headstrong, Steve Bernstein’s Stories from the Stoop, and Dori’s Outside the Ordinary World, among many others…

Applications Accepted June 1st – August 1st