Describe, Don't Prescribe: How to Give Helpful Feedback in a Writing Group (Guest Instructor: Joanne Lozar Glenn)
Thursday, Oct. 7, 7 to 9 p.m.
Online via Zoom

 

It can be hard knowing what to say when someone asks you to respond to their writing. Unfortunately “feedback” has often been misconstrued as praise, constructive criticism, or the now-proven-ineffective “compliment sandwich,” making it hard, perhaps impossible, to create what every writer in a writing group that you attend or lead deserves: a safe space where they can experiment with or develop craft. 

 

In this workshop, you will

  • learn about four useful models for providing helpful feedback 

  • practice giving feedback using actual, anonymous, excerpted writing drafts

  • explore how to shape feedback so it’s appropriate for fresh vs. more developed drafts and emerging vs. experienced writers 

 

The workshop concludes with a reflective discussion and Q&A. You’ll also receive a handout you can use to apply these methods in your own writing group or class, and informed perspectives for responding to writing in a way that encourages your fellow writers to unearth their best work while respecting the value of every voice. 

About Joanne

Writer-editor-educator Joanne Lozar Glenn leads writing groups and destination writing retreats. She is a fellow of the Ohio Writing Project, a certified AWA facilitator, and a member of two writing groups. Her work has been published in Beautiful Things (River Teeth), Peregrine, Hippocampus, Under the Gum Tree, Brevity, and other print and online journals. Her most recent book, Memoir Your Way: Tell Your Story Through Writing, Recipes, Quilts, Graphic Novels, and More (Skyhorse Press, 2016), was co-authored with the five other women (The Memoir Roundtable) and is available here on Amazon.com.

Cost: $49. Please register by clicking on the PayPal link below. A Zoom link will be emailed to participants the day before the event.

 
Legacy Writing Series: The Tapestry of Life (Instructor: Sue McCollum)
Third Fridays, 2 to 4 p.m., Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Nov. 19, Dec. 17 (4 sessions)
Online via Zoom

 

Join certified Women’s Legacies Circles™ facilitator Sue McCollum for a four-part series of life review and reflection to mine the hidden gems in your stories. Using prompts to generate memories and identify values, you’ll begin the process of writing your ethical will or legacy letter to children, grandchildren, friends, or groups who are important to you. We will not be critiquing each other’s writing, but you will be encouraged to share pieces of what you write in small groups. All work is held confidential.

 

Sept. 17, Harvesting Highlights: What do you want to include in your legacy letter(s) or ethical will? Let’s look at you in the context of your larger story and make decisions about what’s most important for you to pass on to future generations.

 

Oct. 15, The Road Less Traveled: Let’s expand on some life themes. We’ll write about the times you’ve been a pioneer, the lessons you’ve learned from those unique experiences, and the wisdom you want to share.

 

Nov. 19, Old Story/New Story: No life is perfect. There are times we haven’t lived up to our full potential and later regretted our decisions. What have you learned from these experiences? Let’s reframe those old stories into new ones and share the wisdom gained.

 

Dec. 17, Precious Possessions: December is gift-giving time. Do you have a treasure you’d like to gift a special person? This month, we’ll identify a few and write legacy letters about why they’ve been important mementos in our lives. 

About Sue

Sue McCollum is certified as an Amherst Writers and Artists and Women’s Legacies Circles™ facilitator, and is a graduate of Loyola College’s pastoral/clinical counseling program. She is also the co-author of Write Your Stress Away: Tame the Tension in Your Life and co-founder of The Get Well Project. Sue believes our most important gifts to future generations are our wisdom, blessings and love as seen through the lens of legacy.

 

Cost: $130 for the series or $40 each. The PayPal link below is to register for the full series. If you wish to register for the classes individually, or if finances are a hardship and you wish to inquire about a sliding scale, please contact lisa@marketstreetwriters.com

 
The Gift of Legacy (Guest Instructor: Sue McCollum)
Saturday, May 15, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Online via Zoom

“If our lives are to have lasting meaning, we must use them as a sacred link, consciously connecting the past and the future.” – Rachael Freed, Women’s Lives, Women’s Legacies

 

We have been taught to believe that a legacy involves leaving our material possessions for loved ones. The grandfather clock goes to the eldest son and the youngest child receives grandmother’s wedding china. These things all have meaning, but they don’t fully capture who you are and the life you’re living. What’s missing are the fruits of a life well lived. They’re found in every tree you’ve saved by buying recycled paper, every friend you’ve cheered with your jokes and laughter, and every stranger to whom you’ve shown kindness.

 

Legacy writing touches the essence of who you are. It captures your thoughts, values, wisdom, stories, and the love you have to share with future generations.

 

In this workshop, we will look at you in the context of your larger story – one that encompasses past as well as future generations. You’ll have the opportunity to reflect on and write some of the stories that guide your life and the wisdom you hope to pass on.

Cost: $35. THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL. If you'd like to be placed on a waiting list, please send an email to lisa@marketstreetwriters.com.

About Sue

Sue McCollum is certified as an Amherst Writers and Artists and Women’s Legacies Circles™ facilitator, and is a graduate of Loyola College’s pastoral/clinical counseling program. She is also the co-author of Write Your Stress Away: Tame the Tension in Your Life and co-founder of The Get Well Project. Sue believes our most important gifts to future generations are our wisdom, blessings and love as seen through the lens of legacy.

 
Writing from the Heart: A Women's Creative Writing Workshop
SECTION A: Mondays, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., April 12 - May 10 
Online via Zoom

 

Amherst Writers & Artists founder Pat Schneider said, "Everyone is born with creative genuis." This means you! In this 5-week generative workshop, you’ll receive a wide variety of writing prompts to fire up your imagination, write in whichever genre(s) you choose, and read your work aloud if you wish. All feedback will celebrate what is strong and memorable in your writing. Come and share your stories in this wise and encouraging community! Women writers at any level of experience are welcome.

 

This is an Amherst Writers & Artists workshop. To learn more about this workshop method, click here.

Cost: $30 to drop in. Please send an email to lisa@marketstreetwriters.com for availability.

 
Celebrating Voice: Write Around the World with AWA
(with Summer Hardinge)
Saturday, May 1, 1 to 3 p.m.
Online via Zoom

Pat Schneider, founder of Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) and author of Writing Alone and With Others, said, “You have a voice, just as surely as you have a face, and it is already full of character, passionate and nuanced and beautiful."  Summer Hardinge and I, both members of Amherst Writers Capital Region, invite you to join us for this special workshop to celebrate your unique voice! This workshop is one of many fundraisers that will be led by trained AWA facilitators around the world during the month of May. All proceeds will benefit Amherst Writers & Artists. If you have enjoyed participating in AWA workshops, or perhaps want to try one out, please consider joining us for this one. We look forward to writing with you!

Cost: Donation of any amount; $35 suggested.

 
Flowering from Within: Journaling and Self-Compassion
(with CCT Instructor Laura Banks)  
Fridays, 2 to 4 p.m., April 9 - 30 (4 weeks)
Online via Zoom

“for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing”

– Galway Kinnell, “Saint Francis and the Sow” 

 

This has been a difficult year, and each of us carries the weight of these times in unique and personal ways. Wisdom traditions offer the possibility that our grief and losses can become rich soil for transformation. Along these lines, the benefits of self-compassion and its connection to resilience, personal growth, and flourishing are solidly established by a growing body of research. Yet many people struggle with the concept of self-compassion and how to experience the mindfulness, connection to our common humanity, and kindness that self-compassion can engender. This workshop is designed to explore the cultivation of self-compassion through journaling, meditation, discussion, and engaged, embodied exercises. Join Laura Banks, Certified Compassion Cultivation Training© (CCT) Instructor, and Lisa Colburn, Certified Journal to the Self® instructor, as we look at our lives through the lens of self-compassion and discover the art of “flowering from within.”

 

During this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to:

 

  • Learn more about the research behind self-compassion, including common challenges to developing self-compassion

  • Explore specific practices that increase self-compassion, such as reflective journaling and meditation

  • Experiment with journaling prompts designed to prime and cultivate self-compassion

  • Write and reflect in community

  • Receive a list of resources to support your personal journaling and self-compassion practices

 

Cost: $125. Please register via the PayPal link or send an email to lisa@marketstreetwriters.com if you would prefer to pay by check. If finances are a hardship for you at this time, a sliding scale can be arranged.

About Laura

Laura Banks is a Certified Compassion Cultivation Training© (CCT) Instructor, dual certified by the Compassion Institute and Stanford University. She is inspired by and seeks to strengthen her own and others' capacity to thrive and find meaning throughout life, especially through the cultivation of compassion. You can find out more about Laura by visiting www.lauralbanks.com.

 
Finding Balance: A Journaling Workshop
Sunday, March 21, 6 to 7 p.m. [did not run]
Online via Zoom

 

The Spring Equinox, a time when day and night are in balance, occurs on March 20. This seems like a good time to take stock of our lives and ask some essential questions about how we might find better balance for ourselves. In this one-hour workshop, you will be offered several writing prompts, which you can respond to however you wish. The writing you do in a journaling workshop is just for you, although there will be opportunities to share reflections on your writing. Come and explore your fascinating interior landscape!

 

Cost: Donation of any amount; $20 suggested. All proceeds from this workshop will benefit Loudoun Hunger Relief, which has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

 
Finding a Writer's Residency or Conference That's Right for You (Guest Instructor: Christine Koubek) [POSTPONED]
Thursday, Jan. 14, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Online via Zoom

 

Whether you write fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction, the chance to get away and devote time to writing, reading, and learning is on many writers’ wish list. In this webinar, Christine Koubek will show you how to pursue this dream, whether you have already been published or are just starting your writing career. 

 

From artists’ residencies where writers—and sometimes visual and music artists—work in private and get together at dinnertime to talk shop, to conferences that offer a mix of workshops and independent time, there is something for everyone. We'll take a look at the various options for people new to publishing vs. those that are geared to writers more experienced in the craft. Each conference and residency varies by length of time, cost, type of artist mix, and more.

 

We’ll also discuss how to apply, as well as tips on how to create your strongest application possible. By the end, you’ll have a list of resources to explore and a clearer idea of the conferences and residencies that might best serve your writing goals. 

 

Cost: $35

About Christine

Christine Koubek’s award-winning essays and stories have appeared in The Washington Post, Poets & Writers, Bethesda, and more. She received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairfield University, and her work has been supported with residencies from the Ragdale Foundation, Virginia Center for the Arts, and Noepe Literary Arts Center. In addition, she received a fiction fellowship to attend the Eckerd College Writer's Conference, Writers in Paradise. You can learn more about Christine at https://christinekoubek.com.

 
 
Creating Storybooks Kids Will Love (Guest Instructor: Barbara Leary)

Thursday, Dec. 10, 7 to 8:15 p.m.

Online via Zoom

 

 

Is there a story in your imagination that you've dreamed of holding in your hands and reading to a child? Something the little ones you love will treasure forever? It's never been easier to turn a story into a cherished keepsake for the children in your life and share it with the world. In this webinar, we'll cover the fundamentals of writing kidlit, how to find and select an illustrator, and share some tips on publishing your own work. This webinar is for everyone who believes in the magic of childhood and a captivating story. Our emphasis will be on picture books for children in preschool and elementary grades.

Cost: $30

About Barbara

Barbara Leary will share what she learned through the process of writing and publishing her three children's books inspired by her granddaughters: Virginia Loves Dogs, Caroline and the Not-Mamma, and The Climbing Tree, which won first place in the Writer's Digest 2020 Self-Published Book Awards in the category of Early Readers / Children's Picture Books. When she's not practicing her storytelling skills on her granddaughters, Barbara works as a communications consultant and teaches graduate-level communications courses at Georgetown University. She also writes creative nonfiction and the occasional short story. In 2018, she edited and published Backstage at The Lost Colony, a tribute to America's longest-running symphonic outdoor drama, written by Dwayne Walls, Jr.

 
Set Your Writing Goals!

Wednesday, Dec. 30, 7 to 8 p.m.

Online via Zoom

The cusp of a new year is a great time to reflect on your writing life and how you'd like it to evolve. We'll use a series of journaling prompts to help us evaluate our successes from 2020, imagine where we'd like to take our writing in 2021, and set some concrete goals. All writers are welcome! 

 

REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS NOW CLOSED. $15

 
How to Submit Personal Essays to Literary Journals, Magazines, and More (Guest Instructor: Christine Koubek) 
Registration is now closed

 

Thursday, Oct. 1, 6:30 to 9 p.m. (last half hour optional Q&A)

Online via Zoom 

 

Personal essays are perhaps the genre that has the largest array of publication possibilities. Literary journals, newspapers, magazines, alumni publications, and more all publish this form. And many literary journals open their submission windows for new work in September. The challenge is finding the right publications for your story, along with submission guidelines, pay rates, and style preferences. 

 

In this workshop, you’ll learn where to find writer’s guidelines for popular newspaper and magazine essay columns (many with tips from the editor), how to create a submission plan to increase your success, and the pros and cons of submitting essays to newspapers and magazines vs. literary journals. By the end, you’ll have a list of resources and actionable tips to move your submissions forward. Give that essay on your hard drive (or in your journal) a chance to be published! 

 

This interactive, collaborative workshop is open to all writers.

 

Cost: $55. Please register via the PayPal link or send an email to lisa@marketstreetwriters.com if you prefer to pay by check. 

About Christine

Christine Koubek’s award-winning essays and stories have appeared in The Washington Post; Poets & Writers; Brain, Child; Bethesda; Chautauqua literary journal, and more. She received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairfield University, as well as residencies from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and The Ragdale Foundation. You can learn more about Christine at https://christinekoubek.com.

 
 
The Ins and Outs of the Braided Essay 
(with guest instructor Randon Billings Noble) 

 

Saturday, August 1, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Online via Zoom

 

The word “essay” comes from the French essayer: “to try.”  In this morning workshop we’ll try our hand at writing braided essays. Braided essays are divided into sections whose themes (usually three, sometimes more) repeat in a particular pattern the way each strand of a braid takes a turn at the center of the whole. That’s easy to see (sort of), but harder to do. In this workshop we’ll look closely at two braided essays – one longer, one flash – to see how it’s done. We’ll also write, starting with a series of generative exercises and ending with some draft-work towards a braided essay of your own.  Please come ready to read, write, think, try, dare – and play.

  

This workshop will benefit beginning writers, advanced practitioners, and everyone in between.

 

Cost: $60. Please register by clicking on the PayPal link. If you would prefer to pay by check, please send an email to lisa@marketstreetwriters.com.

Market Street Writers is pleased to host essayist Randon Billings Noble as a guest instructor for this event. Randon's stunning full-length essay collection, Be With Me Always, was published in 2019 by the University of Nebraska Press to wide acclaim. Her individual essays have appeared in the Modern Love column of the New York Times, The Massachusetts Review, The Georgia Review, Passages North, Shenandoah, Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. Her hermit crab essay "The Heart as a Torn Muscle," originally published in Brevity, was listed as Notable in The Best American Essays 2016. Currently she is the founding editor of the online literary magazine After the Art and editing a lyric essay anthology to be published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2021. Randon is a true master of the essay form, and if you're interested in creative nonfiction you won't want to miss this workshop! To learn more about Randon, visit randonbillingsnoble.com.

 
The “Hermit Crab” Essay: How to Use Borrowed Forms to Structure Your Work (with guest instructor Randon Billings Noble)

 

Saturday, May 30, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Online via Zoom

 

Join essayist Randon Billings Noble in exploring a curious new sub-genre of creative nonfiction: the so-called “hermit crab” essay. Hybrids in the truest sense, hermit crab essays borrow their structures from ordinary, extra-literary sources (a recipe, a syllabus, an instruction manual, etc.) to use as a framework for a meditation on a chosen subject. In this workshop, we will do a close reading of several hermit crab essays, discuss the importance of choosing the right “shell,” and generate new work.  This workshop is suitable for beginners, advanced practitioners, and everyone in between.  

 
Cost: $55. Please register by clicking on the PayPal link. If you would prefer to pay by check, please send an email to lisa@marketstreetwriters.com.
About Randon
Market Street Writers is pleased to host essayist Randon Billings Noble as a guest instructor for this event. Randon's stunning full-length essay collection, Be With Me Always, was published in 2019 by the University of Nebraska Press to wide acclaim. Her individual essays have appeared in the Modern Love column of the New York Times, The Massachusetts Review, The Georgia Review, Passages North, Shenandoah, Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. Her hermit crab essay "The Heart as a Torn Muscle," originally published in Brevity, was listed as Notable in The Best American Essays 2016. Currently she is the founding editor of the online literary magazine After the Art and editing a lyric essay anthology to be published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2021. Randon is a true master of the essay form, and if you're interested in creative nonfiction you won't want to miss this workshop! To learn more about Randon, visit randonbillingsnoble.com.
 
Focus on Form: Crafting the Personal, the Lyric, and the
Hermit Crab Essay (with guest instructor Randon Billings Noble)

 

Saturday, May 30, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Market Street Writers, Leesburg, VA. Please note there is a small dog in residence.
 

The word “essay” comes from the French essayer: “to try.”  In this daylong workshop we’ll try our hand at writing several different kinds of essays – personal/familiar, segmented, and hermit crab.  We'll look at different examples and consider the ways form can intensify content.  We’ll also write, starting with a series of generative exercises and ending with some draft-work towards an essay in the form(s) of your choice.  Please come ready to read, write, think, try, dare – and play!

 

This workshop will benefit beginning writers, advanced practitioners, and everyone in between. Please bring a bag lunch and a notebook and pen. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

 
POSTPONED
Flowering from Within: Journaling and Self-Compassion
(with Laura Banks)

 

Saturday, May 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Unitarian Univeralist Congregation of Sterling, 22135 Davis Drive, Sterling, VA

“for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing”

– Galway Kinnell, “Saint Francis and the Sow” 

 

The benefits of self-compassion and its connection to personal growth and flourishing are solidly established by a growing body of research. Yet many people struggle with the concept of self-compassion and how to experience the mindfulness, sense of connection, and kindness that self-compassion can engender. This workshop is designed to explore the cultivation of self-compassion through journaling, meditation, group discussion, and engaged, embodied exercises. Join Laura Banks, Certified Compassion Cultivation Training© (CCT) Instructor, and Lisa Colburn, Certified Journal to the Self® instructor, as we look at our lives through the lens of self-compassion and discover the art of “flowering from within.”

During this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn more about the research behind self-compassion, including common challenges to developing self-compassion

  • Explore specific practices that increase self-compassion, such as reflective journaling and meditation

  • Experiment with journaling prompts designed to prime and cultivate self-compassion

  • Write and reflect in community

  • Receive a list of resources to support your personal journaling and self-compassion practices

 

Please bring a notebook & pen, as well as a bag lunch. Snacks will be provided.

Cost: $95. Please register via the PayPal link above or send an email to lisa@marketstreetwriters.com if you would prefer to pay by check. 

 
About Laura
Laura Banks is a Certified Compassion Cultivation Training© (CCT) Instructor, dual certified by the Compassion Institute and Stanford University. She is inspired by and seeks to strengthen her own and others' capacity to thrive and find meaning throughout life, especially through the cultivation of compassion. You can find out more about Laura by visiting www.lauralbanks.com.
 
Into the Light: Writing Toward Hope in Troubled Times

 

Monday, April 6, 6 to 8 p.m.

Online via Zoom [FREE]

 

When the world offers us fear and uncertainty, our journals can offer us refuge. In this two-hour workshop we will invite Hope to the table as we write together in community. I will provide writing prompts, guided meditation, and the opportunity for each person to witness and be witnessed through their writing. Everyone is welcome, and no writing experience is required. All sharing is voluntary.

 

What you'll need: privacy, notebook and pen (or computer), and a candle.

 

This workshop is a free offering to the community, and will be held via Zoom. To register for this event on Eventbrite, click here

 
 
More Joy, Less Stress: Write Your Way to Holiday Cheer (with Sue McCollum)

Saturday, December 7, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Market Street Writers, Leesburg, VA. Please note there is a small dog in residence.

 

Stress reaches a crescendo as we approach the holiday season. The pressure to bake, decorate, shop, wrap, and host parties creates a flurry of activity. It’s difficult to prioritize, much less manage expectations. Helen Keller reminds us, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”  But when we’re stressed, it’s easy to get caught up in the “doing” and miss the true essence of the holiday season.

 

In this workshop we will use writing to look at what stresses us at this time of year. We’ll re-examine our values, and then create a vision for a heart-felt holiday. Join Sue McCollum, co-author of the newly released book Write Your Stress Away: Tame the Tension in Your Life, and Lisa Colburn, certified Journal to the Self® instructor, as we look at how writing can provide the antidote for holiday stress. Journaling workshop.

Please bring a notebook & pen.

 

About Sue McCollum:

Sue McCollum is a licensed professional counselor and certified Amherst Writers & Artists writing workshop facilitator who uses writing to empower clients to overcome personal challenges and embrace a life of health and well-being. She co-created The Write to Be Well™ writing method with Diane Hartingh Price, her partner in TheGetWellProject.com. This simple four-step writing process aims to reduce the 21st century stress that plagues all of us and jeopardizes our health. She is passionate about sharing how writing opens us to life-changing possibilities and empowers us to Get Well, Be Well and Stay Well!

 

Cost: $40. To register via PayPal, click on the yellow button. To register by mail, click on the PDF.

The Writer's Sandbox: Creative Writing for Everyone

Tuesdays, 6 to 8:30 p.m., Feb. 4 - March 17 (6 weeks; no workshop Feb. 18)

Market Street Writers, Leesburg, VA. Please note there is a small dog in residence.

You're invited to play, explore, and experiment! Writing doesn't have to be a serious business–it can be fun! In this generative workshop, you’ll receive a wide variety of writing prompts to fire up your imagination, write in whichever genre(s) you choose, and read your work aloud if you wish. All feedback will celebrate what is strong and memorable in your writing. Come and share your creative genius (everyone has it)! All writers–or aspiring writers–are welcome.

This is an Amherst Writers & Artists workshop. To learn more about this workshop method, click here. Depending on the needs of the group, I am open to running this workshop from 6:30 to 9. We will discuss at the first meeting.

Cost: $175 for the 6-week session. Register using the PayPal button below or click on the PDF to send your registration by mail. Special Offer! Bring a friend who is new to the workshop and both of you will receive 20% off! Contact lisa@marketstreetwriters.com for more details.