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.

In response to the Delta Variant and the new Northampton mask mandate, we are keeping all workshops and events online for the Fall Session.  Our online workshops offer the same inspiring prompts, quality instruction, generative writing time, supportive feedback and close community that our in-person workshop are famous for.  To attend an online workshop, just register and the instructor will send you a Zoom link to access the class. We look forward to writing with you soon!  

 

Weekly Workshops

Morning Jumpstarts, 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, 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 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; 10-week Fall Session starts week of September 7  ($405)

Crafting Your Memoir, with Cathy Luna

This eight-week generative online craft workshop is intended for writers who want to explore a variety of memoir-specific craft challenges, including creating dual narrative voices; the challenges of writing about real people in your life; dealing with characterization in memoir; ‘inventing’ dialogue for scenes when you may not remember precisely what was said; handling memory (or lack thereof); navigating narrative time; and believing in and owning your story. 

Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; 8-week workshop begins September 8 ($325)

Tonight We Write Down the Moon: A Poetry Workshop, with Sarah Browning

Our lives might be busy, our minds distracted. But once a week, for eight Tuesdays, we will cultivate our power of observation, writing poems that love on our five senses. Each week, we’ll generate new writing together, responding to exercises and creative prompts. We’ll study published examples and learn craft tips.  Participants will also receive constructive professional feedback on a poem.

Tuesdays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., 8-week session begins September 21 ($395)

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!

Mondays or Wednesdays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; 10-week session begins the week of November 1 ($395)

Revision Intensive: A Six-Month Series, with Emily Lackey

Revision is a critical step of every writer’s writing process. It’s where meaning is made, stories are shaped, and craft is refined. In this six-month Revision Intensive, writers will meet twice a month to study strategies for mastering the parts of their drafts that need the most work, discuss innovative ways to see their drafts anew, set goals for the month ahead, and dive deep into the work of revision. This intensive will help writers of all genres to master the craft elements that will make their drafts stronger, give them time and space to put these lessons to use, and provide the accountability and support to get their drafts done.

Second and fourth Sunday of each month, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; six-month session begins November 14, 2021 ($500)

Half-Day & Full-Day Workshops

Everything You Need to Know to Get Published, with Emily Everett and Emily Lackey

In this half-day workshop, editor Emily Everett and writer Emily Lackey will give you a behind-the-scenes look at both sides of the submitting process. Writers will learn the secrets to submitting from a writer—finding the best places to submit their work, knowing when a piece is ready to submit, and how to keep everything organized—and from an editor—what those rejections really mean, what to expect from the editorial process, and what really catches an editor’s eye. Writers will learn from these two industry experts everything they need to know about getting published in today’s literary landscape.
 
Saturday, September 11, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

What’s the Worst that Could Happen? with Jacqueline Sheehan

They say that what doesn’t kill your character makes her, well, more interesting, but it’s hard to see your characters suffer. In order to create a compelling story, though, you have to let your characters fail. Spend the morning with a best-selling novelist and master plotter, learning a myriad of tools for getting your characters into the kind of trouble that feels inevitable, but not gratuitous.   

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

Microsoft Word for Writers, with Don Lesser

Learn the tips and shortcuts that help writers work more efficiently! In this workshop, writers will master the tools in Microsoft Word that make their creative lives easier—spacing, formatting, styles, section breaks, page numbers, and headers and footers. In addition to these critical skills that help with drafting, we’ll also cover the tools that are critical for editing, such as track changes, comments, and markups. 

Saturday, September 25, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ($50)

Blueprint Your Book: Fine-Tuning the Fundamentals, with Susanne Dunlap

Explore fundamental questions necessary to determine a book’s purpose, shape, and scope. Also begin to outline and hone your stories’ initial structures. Together, we’ll brainstorm these crucial elements, draft our answers, and receive encouraging, thoughtful feedback on our efforts. Writers of all genres are welcome to register!

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

Tarot for Writers, with Kris Waldherr

Back by popular demand! The tarot may be hot these days for predicting the future, but did you know it can also be used as a tool for writing and creativity? Whether you’re a writer, an artist, or simply yearning to lead a more creative life, by the end of this workshop you’ll have gained a working overview of the seventy-eight cards that make up the tarot, easily accessible methods for utilizing its symbolism and wisdom, practical ways to break creative blocks and gain inspiration, and simple techniques for reading tarot for yourself and others.

Saturday, October 2, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ($75) 

Character Need and Desire, with Jacqueline Sheehan

We know that our protagonist must have a strong desire and that desire must be thwarted by an equally powerful challenge. We’ve been told this countless times. But your character’s obvious external desire is not necessarily the most important thing driving the narrative. In order for our hero to transform, there must also be an internal story that reflects an underlying psychic wound or flaw.  We can call these external and internal desire lines, or story A and B. In this ½ day workshop, we will look at clear examples of these internal and external plots in published works and learn tools for defining and developing our own characters’ inner needs and outer wants.

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

Writing Toward Survival, with Tatiana Johnson-Boria

The stories that are closest to our hearts–those we most need to write–are sometimes the hardest ones to tell. In this generative workshop, writers will immerse themselves in the experience of healing, testifying, and reclaiming power over their most troubling stories. This workshop will explore why and how the use of language is powerful in terms of confronting and mending our relationship with trauma.  

Date TBD

Pathway to Plotting, with Jacqueline Sheehan

Is your book a collection of scenes or is it a well-structured story? Great scenes can be so satisfying to write, but a book is more than a collection of moments strung together, no matter how perfect those moments may be. This workshop will teach writers how to build a pathway forward for their main characters with a fifteen-beat sheet which is widely used by screenwriters. In this three-hour workshop, we will learn all fifteen beats (or plot points), then experiment with writing a few, taking us to a midpoint in our stories. 

Saturday, October 23, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Creating Characters Through Habit and Ritual, with Kira Rockwell

By nature, humans are ritualistic beings. From brewing our morning coffee to tending our gardens, we are steeped in habits that define our day-to-day lives and hint at our deeper histories. When explored in your work, these small moments of ritual, either sacred or secular, provide a treasure trove of character action and development. Through a variety of writing exercises, in-class discussions of published work, and plenty of time to share, writers will explore how detailing the rituals of their characters’ lives can add critical action and characterization to their works in progress. 

Saturday, October 30, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST ($75)

The Magic of Dialogue, with Jacqueline Sheehan

Effective dialogue should work on several levels at once, advancing the story, revealing your characters’ hearts, minds and backstories, and intensifying the conflict to keep readers riveted. But how do we write dialogue that does all this while also sounding believable–especially when real speech can be so clunky?  In this half day workshop, bestselling novelist Jacqueline Sheehan will guide writers in learning essential tools for generating speech that will fire up your narratives.  Come ready to experiment and have fun! 

Saturday, November 6, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Blueprint Your Book: Focus on the Reader, with Susanne Dunlap

It’s a joy to write just to satisfy yourself, to answer a need to get your stories down on paper and express your thoughts and ideas. But if you are looking to put your novel or memoir out into the world, it’s also important to consider your reader, right from the beginning. This workshop helps you step back and look at what you’re writing through your potential reader’s eyes—a process that can be very revealing for you as the writer too.

Sunday, November 13, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Research and Backstory, with Jacqueline Sheehan

Research and Backstory are essential ingredients in narrative—they bring authority, authenticity, and depth to a story. But making those fascinating facts work for you and not against you is tricky. In this morning workshop, we discuss the best sources and practices for research, and how to distill enough backstory into our pieces to lend authenticity, without making them dull.

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

Writing Torward Home, with Sarah Earle

When writing personal essays, home—whether searching for it, considering it, or extricating yourself from it—is often a central or contributing theme. In this half-day course, we’ll read writers exploring these concepts, and respond to writing prompts that will help us bring our own understanding into a fuller relief.

Saturday, December 11, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Community Writing Workshops

 

 
Community Writing Instructors:
 
June 6: Emily Everett
September 5: Sarah Browning
October 3: Michael Mercurio
November 7: Dori Ostermiller
December 5: Tzivia Gover
 

Community Writing Workshops—Now Online!

Come join us for a morning of writing among peers!  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.  Rotating instructors. A great way to jumpstart your writing projects!  Suggested donation of $10.

First Sunday of every month,  9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m

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 Through November