"I am trying to check my habits of seeing, to counter them for the sake of greater freshness. I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I'm doing." - John Cage

Friday, August 28, 2020

Starting 9/17 Revision Workshop for Fiction and Memoir


Revision Workshop for Fiction and Memoir: Exploring prose

Sep 17, Oct 15, Nov 19, Dec 10

In this intimate workshop, the goal is to revise your first draft by pushing further to the next level, strengthening your writing skills, and simultaneously exploring meaning in your writing. This workshop is deadline- and goal-oriented to complete the next draft of a project for publication.  You will get professional feedback for developing the heart of the subject as well as the structure and organization of your project. Learn techniques to creatively unearth what really matters so that your writing stands out as surprising and original to an editor.  Expect readings and deadlines to keep you accountable and move your writing forward. We will meet on Zoom 5-8 pm. $240 for four months.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Virtual Workshop Series: Tools to Write a Blog that Stands Out in a Crowd

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor – Anne Lamott
I try to leave out the parts that people skip.   - Elmore Leonard

This series includes guidance from an editor, discussion of your specific questions and detailed notes for each workshop and most importantly, the power of joining a community of writers.

In this workshop series we will learn techniques to:

·         Find your blog’s purpose
·         Create juicy content
·         Build traffic and community
·         Make time to blog
·         Connect with your audience
·         Techniques to write quality content in less time
·         Develop Purpose and Audience
·         Revitalize a blog
·         Edit your own blog posts
$75 includes workshop 6/17 and 6/24 plus one 30-minute coaching session for your blog
Part 1 Workshop Wednesday 6/17 6:30 pm – 8 pm  
Part 2 Workshop Wednesday 6/24 6:30 pm – 8 pm  
Part 3 30-minute coaching session completed before 6/29

Monday, April 27, 2020

Literary Submissions, Artist Residencies, and Publication Workshops: Tips and Trends in an era of physical distancing

A Series of Virtual Workshops

In a supportive community of writers, discuss tips and trends for submitting your work out into the world. Learn where to research resources for finding the best venue for a writing project and how to prepare a manuscript. If you are ready, push the SUBMIT button!  

$65 for all 3, otherwise $25 each

The workshop series will include the latest info in this new environment of physical distancing:
  • where to find the resources you need to get published in all genres
  •  guidance from an editor
  • discussion of your specific questions
  • detailed notes for each workshop
  •  the power of joining a community of writers
Workshop #1 Wednesday 5/6 6:30 pm – 8 pm
Literary magazine submissions, chapbooks, and contests for all genres

Workshop #2 Saturday 5/16 10:00 am -11:30 am
Writer residencies, conferences, and workshop opportunities in the era of physical distancing for all genres

Workshop #3 Wednesday 5/20 6:30 pm – 8 pm
Author Platform and Options for Publication for all genres

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Lisa Starr will read and present at the 2020 Virtual Sierra Poetry Festival 4/18/20

Lisa Starr will be reading at the 2020 Virtual Sierra Poetry Festival on April 18th

Lisa is a Rhode Island Poet Laureate Emerita and spent the last thirty years running an inn (The Hygeia House) and The Block Island Poetry Project, and raising two amazing children on a small island off the coast of Rhode Island. The business sold, the kids grew up, and Lisa relocated to Westerly, where she is at work on her next collection, Pot Luck, a book of poems about children.
In a beautifully written essay in Parabola in 2019, Lisa described what her friendship with Mary Oliver felt like while taking care of Mary in the end of her life. You can read Lisa’s full essay in Parabola.

“In the days following Mary’s death, as we slowly tidied up the bedroom and tried to get used to the startling absence of her tiny body, surely we each took our own inventory of that spare room where she slept and worked for the last three years of her life—the work table and the typewriter, the twin bed and the night stand with her well-worn copy of A Year With Rumi, and the small yellow legal pad on which she wrote the words and phrases that still came, though to her great dismay, with less and less frequency.  They don’t come around much, she said, but when they do I always let them in. “ – Lisa Starr

Lisa Starr’s poem What It Takes was published also in Parabola. I loved using this poem as a model for my own writing. I’ve included the writing prompt below if you want to generate some new writing with this poem’s inspiration:

What It Takes
All it takes is one blue rowboat tied to a buoy,
and its reflection, and this moment
for me to go remembering everything.
Then a murmur, the sound of water lapping,
the breeze snapping, and the way the leaves
resist the letting go, or don’t…
the wheels of a bicycle soaring downhill
with some gravity-glad rider—
all of it, all of it complicit.
What I’m talking about is the sheer, shimmering
faith of the rope that connects the boat to the buoy
and the hands that tied the knot, and the fathers
who teach their sons and daughters
these simple things I see all day
and sometimes, not at all.
Moments like this become miracle, oracle,
and my heart knows again that the whole world—
this one—is just my own face in the mirror,
and I know that I am the boat and the buoy
and the rope—and like faith, that holy smoke—
I am brilliant, and bobbing, and blue.

Prompt using elements of this poem: Describe an image visually in your memory of some vehicle of transportation – a boat, bike, car, airplane, motorcycle, skateboard, etc. Include descriptions of auditory images surrounding this vehicle and your associated memories. Half way through your writing, write “What I’m talking about is…” and begin to answer that statement. Close the poem by writing “I know I am…” and continue to this vein to create a metaphor.

The Poet Laureate of Rhode Island from 2008-2013, a two-time recipient of the Rhode Island fellowship for poetry, a former college instructor, waitress, freelance writer and publicist, Lisa has published three full-length collections of poetry: Days of Dogs and Driftwood (1993), This Place Here (2001), and Mad with Yellow (2009). I look forward to hearing her read at our Virtual event April 18th!