Category Archives: Training & Workshops

Training, workshops, internships, and other learning opportunities for writers.


Pennwriters 2013 Conference- Register Now!

2013Conferenceflyer_001 (612x792)The 26th Annual Pennwriters Conference Registration is open and filling up fast. Registration for the Pre-Conference Writing Intensives is open as well:





Check out the Pennwriters site and register while there is still space available. Don’t miss a great conference filled with workshops, industry professionals, and fellow writers.

Workshops from The Word Studio

Real Writing, Real Writers
writers in workshop at The Word Studio

The Word Studio’s mission is to enrich writers’ works and lives. Our small workshops and private mentoring attract people who aim to grow as writers, to gain support and community, to complete projects, and to publish, whether via traditional means or by self-publishing. Opened by Janet Benton in fall 2010, The Word Studio is in a lovely second-story space at 86 Bethlehem Pike in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, a short walk from the Chestnut Hill East and West train stations, with plenty of parking.
Query and Pitch Clinic
with Agent Marie Lamba
Are you working on a fiction or memoir manuscript that you’d like to sell? Spend four Marie Lamba hours with an agent who’s also a novelist, and get ready to present your work to agents at this year’s writers’ conferences!  Class limited to eight participants.
Class 1: How to write a query and create a pitch. The ins and outs, do’s and don’ts, based on Marie’s working knowledge of today’s market.

Class 2: Share your query letter with the group and get feedback. Deliver your pitch and query and get an immediate response from Marie and class members.

Dates: Sunday, April 7 and Sunday, April 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. Fee is $225.

Marie Lamba is associate literary agent at the Jennifer DeChiara  Literary Agency in NYC (, where she represents young-adult and middle-grade fiction, along with general and women’s fiction and some memoir. Marie is also the author of the young adult novels What I Meant . . . (Random House, 2008), Over My Head, and Drawn. Her articles have appeared in over a hundred publications, including Writer’s Digest. See

Navigating the Maze of Your Fiction
with Nomi Eve
 Writing novels or stories can be like entering a maze. Writers are often unsure of what paths to follow, and blind alleys and false corridors beckon. Whether you are a veteran writer or new at the craft, this short course will provide you with some highly effective “navigation” tools. This will be a skills-based, roll-up-your-sleeves experience. All writing will be done in class, and at each of our six sessions, we’ll explore an essential and often overlooked quality of good writing. Topics include these:

  • What the heck should I write about?
  • Sensory writing
  • Scenic writing
  • The stop-motion technique
  • The effective use of timelines

You’ll leave the course with concrete and effective tools to help you navigate your own creative maze. Class is limited to seven members.

DATES: Meets six Sunday mornings from 10 to 11:30 a.m. , on April 7, April 14, April 21, April 28, May 5, and May 12.

Fee is $300.

Nomi Eve is a graduate of Penn State University Nomi Eve photo and of Brown University’s MFA program. Her first novel, The Family Orchard (Random House, 2000), was a Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection and an L. A. Times bestseller and has been translated into ten languages and published in twelve countries.  Her next novel, Henna, is forthcoming from Scribner’s in 2014. Her short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train and other journals. Nomi teaches creative writing and literature at Penn State Abington.

Writing from Life with Ilene Raymond Rush
This course will teach you how to shape your experiences into meaningful first-person essays and articles using the techniques of fiction writing. We’ll cover how to generate ideas, how to employ narrative techniques, and how to expand personal (and sometimes minor) experiences to achieve a more universal meaning that readers and editors can appreciate. We’ll look at some eIlene Raymond Rushxamples of published essays to see how they succeed. Students will write in-class and out-of-class writing assignments and will end up with one finished 750-word piece and ideas for five personal essays. Ilene’s intention is to help each writer create publishable work. To learn about Ilene, see column to left. Class is limited to seven members.Dates: Meets five consecutive Mondays, 7 to 9 p.m., January 28 and February 4, 11, 18, and 25.Fee is $250.
Writing Intensive with Janet Benton
Now in its 14th year! Looking for a supportive, engaging community of writers? This private workshop offers one, along with structure, feedback, guidance on craft and process, and concrete goals to enable you to make real headway. Of seven published area novelists profiled in a 2010 Inquirer article, two spent years in this workshop.At each meeting, we critique the work of two writers; Janet also leads a discussion of techniques related to those works and supplies writing prompts to sharpen skills and awareness. Each submission receives written critiques from Janet and members. Each writer can submit up to 20 pages of a novel, a short story, or a work of creative nonfiction (such as a memoir) twice. See info. on Janet to left. Class is limited to seven members

Dates: Meets eight times, every other Thursday night from 7 to 9 p.m. (but first class will be on a Wednesday). Wednesday, January 23, then February 7 and 21, March 7, April 4 and 18, and May 2 and 16.

Fee is $480.

Private Mentoring with
Janet Benton
Would you like someone to help carry your book? Writing can be a solitary pursuit, but working with an editor will ease the isolation and bring an invaluable outside perspective to your efforts. Whether you’re on your first book or your fifth, drafting the first chapter or holding a heavy manuscript in your hands, this work will sharpen your writing, your awareness, and your skills. Doing this work with someone you can trust will also increase your chances of publication. Here is some of what you’ll get from working privately with Janet:Due dates The writer’s best friendEncouragement What keeps writers going

Input Detailed, useful suggestions that will move the work along and fuel the fire

Technical know-how  Up-close information to help you become more aware of your methods and to increase quality and power

Meaningful and effective, this work gets books written and strengthens writers! Email

Upcoming Writing Workshops

There are many upcoming workshops in the Area and I thought it best to post about them here in more detail rather than only in emails and on the calendar. Permission to post granted but not an endorsement.


Journaling Workshop with Kathleen Pooler & Susan G. Weidener

Have you always wanted to explore the light and the dark, the small and large moments of your life, but weren’t sure how to go about it? Have you felt the need to keep a written record of your thoughts, experiences, dreams and desires? One way to gain awareness and discover feelings is through the creative art of journaling. But what exactly is journaling and how does it transport us on a voyage of self-discovery? Start off the new year by taking this journey with a workshop that offers insight, discussion, techniques and writing time to begin your voyage of self-discovery through journaling.

Journaling: A Voyage of Self-Discovery
Co-Created by Kathleen Pooler and Susan G. Weidener
Saturday, February 23, 2013
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Fairfield Inn, Exton, PA
For more information:


“Truth is stranger than fiction.” – Mark Twain

In this workshop we will explore the exciting world of creative nonfiction including memoir, the personal essay, flash nonfiction, and the micro essay. We will focus on all phases of the writing process, from discovering and generating creative nonfiction material, to revising and shaping written work. Selected readings will be provided for discussion as well. Open to beginners and
to those who already have written creative nonfiction. The workshop includes a private writing consultation with Minter.

Saturday afternoons from 3-5pm, for 6 meetings, from January 26th-March 2nd or Tuesday evenings from 7-9pm, for 6 meetings, from January 29th-March 5th

Workshop Registration Details:

If you are interested in registering for a workshop, or if you have questions about them, please email Minter at . A $50 deposit (or full payment) will be required to secure a spot and it is recommended that you register soon since space is limited. All workshops are $200. Electronic participation is also available for those who are unable to attend in person. Note: a minimum of five participants is required for workshops to run. Also, we are now offering a $10 discount for those who refer new participants.

About Minter: Minter Krotzer’s prose has been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Many Mountains Moving, The Saint Ann’s Review, The Arkansas Review , Upstreet, Night Train , Before and After: Stories from New York ( WW Norton), Louisiana in Words (Pelican Press), God Stories (Random House), and Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Twenty-Five Words or Fewer (WW Norton). She has received creative writing fellowships at the New School, where she received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction, Bennington College, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Squaw Valley Writers Conference, the Moulin à Nef in France and Ragdale. Click here to read a recent interview with Minter on Apiary literary magazine’s website. (

Big Blue Marble is an independent bookstore located in Mount Airy at 551 Carpenter Lane, Phila, PA 19119 (215) 844-1870 (


Poetry Workshop with Hal Sirowitz at Big Blue Marble Bookstore

“Hal Sirowitz is the bard of the deadpan delivery. His poems are like a mad combination of the haiku and the Borscht Belt – they make me laugh and smile with happiness at the pain of being alive.” -Jonathan Ames (Author and creator of the HBO series “Bored to Death”)

The poetry workshop you’ve been hearing about. Led by poet Hal Sirowitz (with Minter Krotzer’s accompaniment), we will mostly read and write poems in free verse although at times we will explore other forms. Selected poetry will also be read and discussed. The former Poet Laureate of Queens, NY, Hal has taught poetry across the country and abroad. The workshop concludes with a private writing consultation with Hal and Minter.

Wednesday evenings from 7:15-9:15pm, for six meetings, from February 6th-April 3rd (excluding February 27th, March 6th, and March 27th)

Workshop Registration Details:
If you are interested in registering for a workshop, or if you have questions about it, please email Minter at . A $50 deposit (or full payment) will be required to secure a spot and it is recommended that you register soon since space is limited. All workshops are $200. Electronic participation is also available for those who are unable to attend in person. Note: a minimum of five participants is required for workshops to run. Also, we are now offering a $10
discount for those who refer new participants.

About Hal: Hal Sirowitz is the author of six books of poetry, Mother Said, My Therapist Said(Crown/Random House), Father Said , Before, During & After (Soft Skull Press), the newly released Stray Cat Blues (Backwaters Press) and a recent completed collection of prose poetry, A Hole in My Heart. His work has been translated into nine languages including Icelandic and Turkish. Garrison Keillor has read his work on NPR’s Writer’s Almanac and he has included Hal’s poems in his anthologies, Good Poems and Good Poems for Hard Times . Hal has performed and appeared on MTV’s “Spoken Word Unplugged,” PBS’s “Poetry Heaven,” NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and “Fresh Air with Terry Gross.” Awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, Hal is the former Poet Laureate of Queens, New York. Click here to read a recent interview with Hal on Garrison Keillor’s website. (

About Minter:
Minter Krotzer’s prose has been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Many Mountains Moving, The Saint Ann’s Review, The Arkansas Review , Upstreet, Night Train , Before and After: Stories from New York ( WW Norton 2002), Louisiana in Words (Pelican Press), God Stories (Random House 2008), and Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Twenty-Five Words or Fewer (WW Norton). She has received creative writing fellowships at the New School, where she received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction, Bennington College, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Squaw Valley Writers Conference, the Moulin à Nef in France and Ragdale. Click here to read a recent interview with Minter on Apiary literary magazine’s website. (

Big Blue Marble is an independent bookstore located in Mount Airy at 551 Carpenter Lane, Phila, PA 19119 (215) 844-1870 (


Philadelphia-based author/journalist Anndee Hochman is offering a local version of her popular Mexico writing workshop.

Heart & Craft: Write Out of Your Comfort Zone will take place on Sundays from 2-5 p.m. starting February 3, at Anndee’s home in Mt. Airy (Northwest section of Philadelphia).

Beginning and experienced writers of fiction, poetry and memoir will find inspiring readings & discussions, provocative prompts and thoughtful critique of ongoing work.

$200 for 10 weeks. Contact Anndee at to register.


Area 6 Events


DATE/TIME: Begins Thursday, March 10; 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Nine 2-hour sessions meeting once per month, plus reserved monthly peer critique group, and a dedicated online group.

  FEE: $250.00

FACULTY:  This program will be co-taught by four professional authors: NY Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry, Marie Lamba, Dennis Tafoya and Jon McGoran (scroll down to the bottom for their bios!)

LOCATION: The class will meet in the coffee shop at the Borders Bookstore in Valley Square Shopping Center (on Route 611 just north of Street Road/132 in Warrington).  The store is in the center of the mall.

DESCRIPTION: This writing-intensive program takes that idea that’s been knocking around in your head all these years and gets it onto the page. This 9-month course covers every aspect of writing and developing the novel, including:

  • Building your platform
  • Creating a flexible book outline
  • Crafting  Believable Characters
  • Developing the story idea
  • Voice, POV and Person
  • Figurative and Descriptive Language
  • Developing various versions of the storyline synopsis
  • Writing and Finishing the First Draft
  • Social Media and Networking for Writers (before, during and after the sale!)
  • Identifying Your Market; Insider tips on the writing business
  • Learning how to find an agent and/or publisher Outline the Novel
  • Preparing for Revisions
  • Finding the right Agents and Publishers
  • Setting a Practical and Possible Daily Word Count
  • Time management for writers Working the markets
  • And much more.

BONUS is that literary agents and a film agent will be scouting the finished books for potential clients!

TO REGISTER FOR THIS PROGRAM: Contact Jonathan via e-mail at, or via phone at 215-808-0945 to reserve your spot today.  If responding by e-mail include the name of the program in the subject line, and provide us with your contact information.

CHECK/MONEY ORDER: Payable to: Jonathan Maberry — PO Box 84 — Southampton, PA 18966.   You can also opt to bring check, money order or cash to the first class (but please register first in order to hold your place).


 JONATHAN MABERRY is a NY Times bestseller, multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author and Marvel Comics writer.  His novels include PATIENT ZERO and THE DRAGON FACTORY (in development for TV), THE WOLFMAN, ROT & RUIN, DUST & DECAY (2011), GHOST ROAD BLUES, DEAD MAN’S SONG, BAD MOON RISING, THE KING OF PLAGUES (2011), DEAD OF NIGHT (2011), ASSASSIN’S CODE (2012), and THE VISITORS (2013).  He has also written a number of nonfiction books and is a popular writer for Marvel Comics (DOOMWAR, PUNISHER, CAPTAIN AMERICA, WOLVERINE, MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN, etc.).  Jonathan is the co-founder of the Liars Club –a Philly-based group of celebrated authors who support reading, literacy, and publishing; and runs the Writers Coffeehouse, a free monthly networking session for writers of all kinds.  Visit him on the web at

Writing as D. H. Dublin, JONATHAN McGORAN is the author of the forensic crime thrillers Body Trace, Blood Poison and Freezer Burn, all from Penguin Books. Writing as Jonathan McGoran, his short fiction appears in the anthology The Stories in Between and is podcast at and His satire has appeared in Philadelphia CityPaper. A charter member of the Philadelphia Liars Club, McGoran is also a member of the Mystery Writers Association and the International Thriller Writers. When not writing under his own name or as D. H. Dublin, McGoran is editor of The Shuttle, a monthly newspaper in Philadelphia.

MARIE LAMBA is author of the humorous young adult novel What I Meant… (Random House Books for Young Readers), which Publisher’s Weekly dubbed “an impressive debut.” Marie’s essay, “The View from the Outside,” is published in the anthology Call Me Okaasan: Adventures in Multicultural Mothering (Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, May 2009). Her features have appeared in more than a hundred magazines including Garden Design, Your Home, and Sports International, and her most recent piece, “Plotting a Novel Group,” can be found in the 2009 Novel Writing Yearbook issue of Writer’s Digest. For more info, visit

DENNIS TAFOYA ‘s first novel, Dope Thief, was published by Minotaur Books in 2009. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the International Thriller Writers, and the Liars Club, a Philadelphia-area writers group. His second novel, The Wolves of Fairmount Park, will be released by Minotaur in June of 2010. His short story “Above the Imperial” will appear in Philadelphia Noir, coming from Akashic Books in November as part of their award-winning City Noir series. He lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania . _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

**This Week at the Kelly Writers House**

** Now call 215-746-POEM (215-746-7636) for KWH updates **

Monday, February 28th at 12:00pm in the Arts Cafe: A lunch pro-
gram with MATT KATZ. Introduced by Dick Polman. Please RSVP
to or call 215-746-POEM (215-746-7636).

Monday, February 28th at 7:00pm in the Arts Cafe: LIVE AT THE

Tuesday, March 1st at 6:00pm in the Arts Cafe: A reading by non-
fiction writer JAY KIRK. Introduced by Greg Djanikian. Co-sponsored
by the Creative Writing Program.

Wednesday, March 2nd at 6:00pm in the Arts Cafe: Feminism/s pre-
sents performance artist KAREN FINLEY.

Thursday, March 3rd at 8:00pm in the Arts Cafe: Whenever We Feel


Our hours are Monday thru Thursday, 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM, Friday,
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Saturday, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM, and Sunday,
6:00 PM – 11:00 PM.

All events take place at the Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk,
and are free of charge.If you have any questions or would like further
information, please e-mail us at, or call 215-
746-7636. For a more detailed Writers House calendar, visit our web-


Monday, February 28th at 12:00pm in the Arts Cafe: A lunch pro-
gram with MATT KATZ. Introduced by Dick Polman. Please RSVP
to or call 215-746-POEM (215-746-7636).

MATT KATZ, a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, covers New Jer-
sey Gov. Chris Christie, a rising national star on the GOP scene.
 From 2008 until this past January, he wrote about Camden, NJ, one
of the poorest and most dangerous cities in America, and authored a
four-part series about the failure of New Jersey’s unprecedented seven-
year takeover of city government. In the summer of 2010, Matt went to
Afghanistan, where he covered the U.S. military’s efforts at reconstruction
under fire. Before coming to the Inquirer, Matt was a municipal and edu-
cation reporter for the Daily Record in North Jersey and later the Courier-
Post in South Jersey, where he also wrote a dating column, “The Bach-
elor Pad,” that was syndicated nationally by Gannett Newspapers. Matt
is a native of Queens and Long Island, and he graduated from George
Washington University in Washington DC.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Monday, February 28th at 7:00pm in the Arts Cafe: LIVE AT THE

CATZIE VILAYPHONH, 2010 Arts and Change Grantee, will create
“Laos in the House,” an innovative writing and performance workshop.
The show will promote and provide an accessible art form via live
storytelling among Lao American refugees in Philadelphia.

DR. TANJI GILLIAM, 2010 Arts and Change Grantee, has a created a
project entitled “do you have any scars?/The Architecture of Violence”.
It is a photography, video, and literary project that gives voice to women
who have been impacted by domestic violence, broadly defined. Tanji
hopes that this work will encourage other circles and communities of
black women and promote dialogue and inspire healing.

2010 Arts and Change Grantee MONIQUE E. HANKERSON will pro-
duce A Voice That Bears a Likeness to My Soul, a photographic and
poetic journey that will document the story of ten homeless LGBTQ
youths in Philadelphia. She hopes to shed light on homelessness and
force people to become advocates of those in need.

LORELEI SHINGLEDECKER, 2010 Arts and Change Grantee, will
document an oral and photographic history of her Filipino female rela-
tives in the United States – those who immigrated and those who
were born here–exploring their experiences assimilating and resisting
Western culture, the dichotomy of a traditional or Western life, and
the notions of success and beauty.

2010 Arts and Change Grantee BENITA COOPER will facilitate
“Seniors Storytelling Day”, an interactive performance art event bring-
ing Philadelphia teenagers and seniors together to collaborate on
documenting and re-telling the stories of the seniors. Benita hopes to
develop a stronger sense of community by building a common ground
for understanding between generations.

The Leeway Foundation, which began in 1993 as a foundation dedi-
cated to supporting women artists in the Philadelphia area, is com-
mitted to art making as an integral part of social change, to move-
ment building, and anti-oppression work where Leeway is account-
able, accessible, part of and governed by, the communities Leeway’s
programs support.

Leeway is guided by the values of fearlessness in action, speech,
and self-examination and commits to breaking down boundaries and
barriers with creativity, respect, and openness to the process.

Leeway funds women and trans artists creating social change.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tuesday, March 1st at 6:00pm in the Arts Cafe: A reading by non-
fiction writer JAY KIRK. Introduced by Greg Djanikian. Co-sponsored
by the Creative Writing Program.

JAY KIRK’S fiction and creative nonfiction have been published in Har-
per’s, GQ, The New York Times Magazine, Peregrine, The Nation,
Chicago Reader, Philadelphia City Paper, Saturday Night and Nerve.
His work has been anthologized in Best American Crime Writing 2003,
Best American Crime Writing 2004, and Best American Travel Writing
2009. He was also included in the anthology, Submersion Journalism:
Reporting in the Radical First Person from Harper’s Magazine (New
Press, 2008). He was a recipient of a 2005 Pew Fellowship in the Arts,
as well as a 2007 Individual Creative Artists Fellowship from the Penn-
sylvania Council on the Arts. His first book, Kingdom Under Glass: A
Tale of Obsession, Adventure, and One Man’s Quest to Preserve the
World’s Great Animals (Holt, Henry & Company, 2010) is about the
taxidermist-sculptor Carl Akeley.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wednesday, March 2nd at 6:00pm in the Arts Cafe: Feminism/s pre-
sents performance artist KAREN FINLEY.

No other contemporary performing artist has captured the psycholo-
gical complexity of this decade’s political and social milestones as
KAREN FINLEY has in the past ten years. In her inimitable style, Fin-
ley has embodied some of the most troubling figures to cast a long
shadow on the public imagination, and has envisioned a kind of cath-
arsis within each drama: Liza Minnelli responds to the September 11
attacks; Terri Schaivo explains why Americans love a woman in a
coma; Martha Stewart dumps George W. Bush during their tryst on
the eve of the Republican National Convention; Silda Spitzer tells the
former governor why “I’m sorry” just isn’t enough; Jackie O cries,
“Please stop looking at me!”

Finley’s new book and transcripts of her performances The Reality
Shows blazes through a dark and vivid era. These seething performance
pieces are fully contextualized with introductions by the author and a
time-line of cultural and political milestones since the beginning of the
twenty-first century.

Karen Finley’s raw and transgressive performances have long provok-
ed controversy and debate. She has presented her visual art, perform-
ances and plays internationally. The author of many books including
A Different Kind of Intimacy, George & Martha, and Shock Treatment,
she is a professor at the Tisch School of Art and Public Policy at New
York University. Visit The Feminist Press to find out more about Fin-
ley’s book The Reality Shows.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thursday, March 3rd at 8:00pm in the Arts Cafe: Whenever We Feel

ELIZABETH ROBINSON’S most recent books are The Orphan & its
Relations (Fence) and Also Known As (Apogee). Three Novels, a col-
lection of poetry, is forthcoming this year from Omnidawn. Robinson
has been a recipient of grants from the Fund for Poetry and the Foun-
dation for Contemporary Arts. She co-edits EtherDome Chapbooks
and Instance Press. With Jennifer Phelps, she is also co-editing an
essay collection, Quo Anima, on contemporary women poets and

The Collage Poems of Drafts (just published in 2011) and Pitch: Drafts
77-95 (2010) are the newest poetry books by RACHEL BLAU DU-
PLESSIS from Salt Publishing. She is a poet-critic whose other works
include The Pink Guitar and Blue Studios. Forthcoming from Iowa is
Purple Passages: Patriarchal Poetry and its Ends.

The Writers House is proud to host a number of ongoing writing and
reading groups. For more information about joining the following groups,
contact the group organizers listed below.

A journal of feminism, gender, and sexuality. For more information con-

The Green Couch
A literary journalism project that publishes once a semester and is open
for submissions! For more info contact Jessica Lowenthal at

Jabberwocky: Writing for Children
Interested in writing for kids — stories, poetry, picture books?
will bring together all those interested in writing, illustrating, or
being involved in the world of literature for children. If you’ve ever
considered writing for kids, come check out Jabberwocky! For more
information please contact both Tracy Byford at
and Kermit Oswald III at

A Lacan discussion group. For more info contact Patricia Gherovici at

Penn Appetit
A journal of food and food writing. For more information contact

Penn and Pencil Club
A creative writing workshop for Penn employees. For more information,
contact John Shea at

Pennomicon is a writing group for those who create worlds of fantasy,
science fiction and horror. Whether your medium is short story, novel,
or screenplay, bring an idea to discuss, pages to read, or a writer’s
block to smash, in the company of like minded visionaries. Please
contact Matthew Spizuco ( for details.

Penn Review is the premier mainstream magazine devoted to the literary
and visual arts on Penn’s campus. The magazine accepts literary and
visual arts submissions for annual publication. For more information,

The Plays’ The Thing
An open-ended monthly play reading and thinking group, designed to
get people together to study the genre of writing for theater and to share
and discuss their work. For more info contact Christine at

Writers Workshop
For writers, published or working in that direction, interested in sharing
their stories while giving and receiving feedback. This is a mixed genre
group — fiction writers, memoirists, creative nonfiction writers and
essayists. Writing is submitted via the Internet, but critiqued in person
using a traditional writers workshop format with scheduled meetings.
For more information, please contact Martha Turner (

Suppose An Eyes
A poetry workshop where poets can come to share and discuss their
work. For more information contact Pat Green at

34th Street Poets
Meets weekly to workshop poems that range from experimental forms
to carefully crafted sonnets.

Virginia Woolf Discussion Group
For Virginia Woolf, the politics is in the writing. With this in mind, our
discussions will focus on Woolf’s language and how it functions in her
texts. For more information, contact Judith Allen at

Write On!
Is a group for Penn students working with middle school students on
expository and creative writing projects. For more information contact


James Gleick, author of “The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood”  

Tuesday, March 1 @ 7:30PM
Philadelphia Central Library
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 1
(between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)

Contact: 215-567-4341

Author Michael Sims of The Penguin Book of Victorian Women in Crime  

Monday, February 28 @ 7:30PM
Philadelphia Central Library
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA
(between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)


Contact: 215-567-4341

Poetry Reading Series
On Thursday, March 3, Farley’s Bookshop in New Hope, PA will feature poet Marie Kane beginning at 8 PM.  Marie will delight us with various readings from her prolific and widely-honored body of work.
Farley’s is located at 44 South Main Street, New Hope, 18938. The reading will be followed by a Q&A and discussion with the poet.
About the Poet
Marie Kane is the 2006 Bucks County Poet Laureate.  She has received a recognition award for her poetry from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, and an award for her teaching of young writers from The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.  She co-chaired, and then chaired, the James A. Michener Art Museum scholastic poetry contest for ten years.  After twenty-eight years of teaching High School English in Central Bucks in PA, she  retired in 2007.  She continues to influence young poets through the Montgomery County Poet Laureate organization on their PoetryWITS website.  Her publishing credits include The River, Stirring, The Bucks County Writer, U. S. 1 Worksheets, Wordgathering, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Hot Metal Press, the Delaware Valley Poets Anthology, The Poet’s Touchstone, two Inglis House Chapbooks, The Meadowland Review, the Shreveport, Louisiana Library electronic poetry board, and others. 
One of her poems, “Radio Interview,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2010.  She is a Second Place winner in the 2008 Poetry Society of New Hampshire’s National Contest, and an Honorable Mention winner in their 2010 contest, a 2008 Honorable Mention winner in the Inglis House National Contest, and a Second and Third place winner in their 2010 Contest.  She was a finalist in the 2009 Robert Fraser contest and her chapbook, Survivors in the Garden, was a semi-finalist in the 2008 Black Lawrence Press National Chapbook competition.  Recently, she has enjoyed being a juror in regional and national scholastic poetry contests.  She lives in Yardley, PA, and is very happily married to Stephen Millner, an artist.

Dear writers, editors, and other creative folks,
I’m writing to let you know about two special events at The Word Studio in March and April, one about strategies for getting into print, the other about writing deeply on the theme of home. The attached pdf gives a quick view with pictures, and the email below offers more thorough descriptions, as does www.thewordstudio.usI’d also like to let you know about two new writing groups: The Word Studio Manuscript Group (a yearlong group for writers aiming to complete a work of fiction or creative nonfiction) and a workshop for beginning writers called Writing from Life. Short descriptions follow the event descriptions. Thanks for reading, and If you have an audience that would be interested, thanks for passing the news along. I hope The Word Studio can become a meaningful place this year for you or for someone you know.  

THE WORD STUDIO was founded in 2010 by Janet Benton, an experienced writer, editor, and teacher,

to offer editorial support, workshops, and community to writers in the Philadelphia region.

UPCOMING EVENTS at 26 E. Mt. Airy Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19119
SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.



Novelist Pam Jenoff went from being an unpublished author to an international bestseller with no special contacts or shortcuts. The author of four published novels, Jenoff will share the lessons she’s learned that have enabled her continuing success. Topics will include perfecting your query letter, getting an agent, finding the right market, promoting your book, and surviving in the changing book business.  Bring your lunch and enjoy a discussion and questions with Pam from 12:45 to 1:30 in our lovely space. Pam Jenoff worked at the Pentagon and the State Department and is currently an attorney and a law professor. The Kommandant’s Girl was an international bestseller and was nominated for a Quill award;  The Diplomat’s Wife, Almost Home, and A Hidden Affair were also acclaimed. Her fifth novel is due out shortly. Her Web site is Attendance limited. To sign up, use the link to PayPal at or write to $45 by check or $48 through PayPal.

THURSDAY, APRIL 7, 11:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Susan Tiberghien of Geneva, Switzerland will lead us to write deeply, blending Jungian insight with methods honed in 20 years of teaching. Her fourth book, One Year to a Writing Life, is an Amazon bestseller in its category. This workshop will introduce us to Hestia (Vesta), the keeper of the hearth, with reflections on the longing for home in our fragmented world. We will read excerpts from contemporary authors, seeing how they find images that lead them homeward. With guided writing exercises, we will write about our own images in whatever form comes naturally–journal entries, essays, short stories or poems. We will shape these pieces into mosaic-like memoirs. Afterward, attendees can enjoy snacks and conversation with the author. This is an International Women’s Writing Guild event. Susan Tiberghien, an American writer living in Switzerland, has published three memoirs—Looking for Gold, Circling to the Center, and Footsteps: A European Album—and a popular book on writing, One Year to a Writing Life. She has taught creative writing for twenty years. Her website is Attendance limited. To sign up, use our Web site’s link to PayPal or write to $35 by check, $38 by PayPal (or $30 per IWWG member by check, $33 by PayPal).
 WRITING FROM LIFE This workshop offers those relatively new to the writing process a chance to discover and draw upon material from their own lives to craft works of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. An assortment of writing prompts and discussions will provide a solid foundation for growth. Limited to eight writers. For more information, contact 

THE WORD STUDIO MANUSCRIPT GROUP The only group of its kind in the area!  This manuscript group is a 12-month program for writers working on book-length manuscripts who aim to make major progress. The group provides a full year of structure, support, feedback, and individual guidance to enable writers to complete their fiction or creative nonfiction manuscripts and hone their talents. For more information, contact

In addition, our biweekly Writing Intensive is open for enrollment for a new session that will begin in June, and the Thursday Morning Jump-Start is open for enrollment. See   

Sarah Mook Poetry Contest
Just a friendly reminder that the deadline for entries, March 31, is fast approaching. Poems are trickling in, and we hope to see many more before the end of March. You can visit the website below for details. In addition to cash prizes, this year the winning poems will be published on the Poetry WITS website.
The Sarah Mook Poetry Contest is open to all students K-12. Donations, though not required, are always welcome and will be forwarded this year to Smile Train, a charity which provides free cleft surgery for millions of poor children in developing countries. Please pass along the word about the contest to other teachers and student poets. Thank you for your support and consideration.
Happy writing!                                                                                                                                                                 
David Mook
Sarah Mook Poetry Contest     P.O. Box 20 Lahaska, PA 18931



The Liars Club workshop series presents:

ACT LIKE A WRITER Featuring Jonathan Maberry and Keith Strunk


DATE/TIME: Begins Tuesday, February 15; 7:00 – 9:00 pm Three 2-hour sessions meeting once a week on Tuesday night

FEE: $95.00

LOCATION: The class will be held at a private residence in New Hope. (Participants will be sent address and directions.)

DESCRIPTION: If you are going to Pitch a Book, Meet an Agent, do a Book Signing, Give a Talk – or any other real-world, face-to-face event as part of your writing career, you have to know how to live the part. Distinct aspects of each author’s personality either supports or detracts from their “public persona.” This workshop examines how your audience or “public” perceives you and how to use the truthful aspects of your personality to create and support a public persona that is honest and compelling. Focus will be given to the skills necessary for strong public presentations and readings of printed work with particular attention to the “Two-minute Pitch” format often used at writer’s conferences for book pitching sessions.

INSTRUCTORS: Jonathan Maberry is a NY Times bestselling author, multiple Bram Stoker Award winner, and Marvel Comics writer. His recent works include The King of Plagues, Rot & Ruin, and Wanted Undead or Alive. Since 1978 he has sold more than 1200 feature articles, thousands of columns, two plays, greeting cards, technical manuals, how-to books, short stories, and more. He Joe Ledger thrillers have been optioned by Sony Entertainment and are in development for TV. Jonathan is the founder of the Writers Coffeehouse and co-founder of The Liars Club . He is a frequent keynote speaker and guest of honor at writers conferences including BackSpace, PennWriters, The Write Stuff, Central Coast Writers, Liberty States, and many others. Visit him online at Keith Strunk is an actor, teacher, and author. An award-winning scriptwriter, Keith has written scripts for both corporate and artistic venues, including a stage adaptation of A CHRISTMAS CAROL that has been seen on various stages in New Jersey. He is the author of PRALLSVILLE MILLS AND STOCKTON from Arcadia Publishing and has written brochures, workbooks, scripts, marketing materials, and multi-media for corporate clients including, Chase Automotive Finance, King Pharmaceuticals, Medco Health Solutions, PNC Global Investment Servicing, Princeton University, and Sika Corporation. His experience includes teaching at Rutgers University and Ursinus College, film and video production in NY and regional markets, freelance writing, and corporate training and development. He is co-founder and Managing Director of River Union Stage, a professional Equity Theater based in Frenchtown, NJ in its ninth year of operation (

TO REGISTER FOR THIS PROGRAM: Contact Jonathan via e-mail at, or via phone at 215-808-0945 to reserve your spot today. If responding by e-mail include the name of the program in the subject line, and provide us with your contact information.


PROJECT BIBLE Story-Writing Online Course


Pennwriters Inc. brings you…


INSTRUCTOR: Catherine E. McLean
DATE: February 1 – March 8, 2011


Covering more than 5 weeks and 8 class sessions, this has been dubbed “The
All-In-One Writer’s Course for Creating Stories from Start to Finish.” Make a
New Year’s resolution to improve your writing. Having a Project Bible means:

* No more going off on tangents
* No more dead-ending half way through the project
* No more false starts
* No more losing control of the plot
* No more characters taking over the original story
* No more careless mistakes or confusion
* No more dreadful first drafts requiring endless revisions

The Project Bible is a guide and reference resource that enhances creativity,
provides essential information for writing short stories and novels, and helps
you write more marketable cleaner copy. It’s a godsend because every Project
Bible is personalized and customized by you the individual–and how you write
and tell a particular story.

FREE BONUS: You will receive 3 FREE writer “Cheat Sheets”!

(NOTE: This course is for those who have a clear understanding of fiction
writing terms and who have completed one or more stories ranging from 5,000 to
over 100,000 words.)

“Not only did Catherine take time to answer all of my questions, she elaborated
on each with examples I easily understood…She knows her stuff!”
- T.W., Houston, TX

“The instruction provided is a great mix of topics that are usually covered
individually in expensive “text” books. I’m really pleased with what was
- J.B., Elizabethville, PA

“My writing, editing, and reading have moved to a new level because of the
techniques I learned in Catherine’s course.”
- E.W., Sante Fe, NM

“I found the course extremely user-friendly and helpful. I learned a lot of
tricks that will make my writing better. Her handouts were easy to understand
and very informative.”
- R.B., Jericho, NY

Pennwriters Online Courses…”Building Careers, One Course At A Time.” We have
high satisfaction scores and repeat customer rates…read more of our

Become a productive writer that consistently sells marketable stories to agents
and editors. LIMITED CLASS SIZE. Enroll now.

$89 ($99 non-Pennwriters members)


Catherine E. McLean is a longtime Pennwriters member who has given more than 30
workshops and had two dozen articles published on the devices and techniques of
writing fiction. She will be giving a workshop at the May 2011 Pennwriters
conference in Pittsburgh, PA. To learn more about Catherine E. McLean, go to

// //

By Popular Demand: New Pennwriters Philadelphia Critique Groups Starting this August

From the desk of Lisa Diane Kastner:

Beginning in August 2010, the Philadelphia Critique Group will be held twice a month:

1. The second Saturday of each month at 3 PM
2. The last Tuesday of each month at 7 PM

Both meetings will be held at 525 S. 4th. St., 240A, Philadelphia, PA on 4th Street between Lombard and South.

This change is in response to requests from local writers for critique group meetings held during the week.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at lisadkastner [at] gmail [dot] com

Thanks and I hope to see you at a group meeting.

Thank you, Lisa, for continuing to support the writers of southeastern Pennsylvania!

BOOK IN A DAY with Debra Dixon, September 25, 2010


Date: Saturday, September 25, 2010

Time: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel – Pittsburgh Airport / 1160 Thorn Run Road, Coraopolis

Cost: $125 for Pennwriters members; $150 for nonmembers
(Lunch is included in the workshop fee)

Workshop Details:

Pennwriters Area 3 will host a “Book in a Day” interactive workshop with bestselling author Debra Dixon on Saturday, September 25, 2010 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza, Pittsburgh International Airport, 1160 Thorn Run Road, Corapolis.

This intensive full-day seminar will draw from Dixon’s popular how-to book “GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict, the Building Blocks of Good Fiction,” which is in its sixth printing, and “The Hero’s Journey.” She will show you how to put together the important elements of a book and its plot skeleton.

There will be a one-hour hot buffet lunch at noon. In addition, Dixon’s books will be available for sale. Registration for the workshop will begin at 8:30 a.m. For those planning to stay at the hotel overnight, special room rates are available. You must register by Friday, Sept. 3. Make sure you mention Pennwriters when registering at the hotel.


Pay online -or- if you prefer to mail in your registration and payment, send payment by mail ON OR BEFORE WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2010 using the mail-in registration form here.

Book Endorsements:

GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict (1996)

“This book belongs on every fiction writer’s bookshelf. Anyone who has ever had a story to tell and is dying to get it down on paper will find guidance and inspiration in GMC. The presentation is clear, immediate, and relevant to all writers–from novices to seasoned professionals. Experienced author Debra Dixon has done a magnificent job of demystifying the toughest aspect of fiction writing: that of a giving a story shape, form and urgency.”

– Susan Wiggs, RITA® Award winning author of over 40 novels and novellas.

When You’re the Only Cop in Town (2002)

“Not only a great resource, but a great read. I wish I’d had this book when I started writing. Highly recommended.”

– Jenny Crusie, New York Times bestselling author

“Debra Dixon delivers again! Facts, details, perspective, the life of the small town cop. It’s all here–everything the suspense and mystery writer needs.”

– Deborah Smith, New York Times bestselling author

“When You’re the Only Cop in Town is my new Bible! An indispensable reference–no writer should be without it! Don’t even start your small town crime story without this comprehensive guide!”

– Maggie Shayne, New York Times bestselling author

About the Speaker: Debra’s a bestselling author currently at work on her eleventh book, and has served as Vice-President for Romance Writers of America, an organization of over 9,000 writers. In 2003 RWA honored Debra with the national Emma Merritt Service Award, recognizing her contributions to writers and the organization.

Her published work has been awarded the Georgia Romance Writers’ “Maggie,” A Little Romance Magazine’s ROMY, Colorado’s Award of Excellence, the Kiss of Death Award for best suspense of the year from RWA’s Mystery/Suspense Chapter, and she’s received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Innovative Series Romance. Her published books have been recognized as finalists for the Virginia Holt Medallion, Romantic Times Best Loveswept, and the National Readers’ Choice Award for romance fiction.

In addition to speaking at numerous regional and national conferences, Debra developed and continues to teach a novel writing courses for the University of Memphis as well as one-day writing workshops across the country. In late 1996, Gryphon Books For Writers published Debra’s first writing “how-to” book based on her popular GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict workshop. That book is now in its sixth printing. In late 2002, Gryphon published Debra’s second non-fiction book WHEN YOU’RE THE ONLY COP IN TOWN, a writer’s guide to small town law enforcement.

Debra lives in the South with her husband and son. When she’s not working in publishing or corporate America, she moonlights as an award-winning quilter. The current home-remodeling-project-that-will-not-end began because Debra thought it would be nice to have a quilt studio for her art. Learn more about Debra and her work online at

For more information or to receive a workshop registration form, contact Area 3 Representative Annette Dashofy.


DATE: August 2 – September 2, 2010

Join national bestseller CJ Lyons, an award-winning medical suspense author, in a highly interactive workshop designed to give you the tools you need to craft a complete fiction proposal, including a query letter, blurb, synopsis, opening hook, and pitch.

In this intensive course, you will learn the secrets to pitching, the power of your “blurb,” and lessons on how to:

* Create a query letter that sells
* Approach the submission process
* Know if your opening hook works
* Write a short synopsis
* Write a long synopsis
* Craft a high-concept pitch
* Build your brand
* Find an agent

You will have a chance to have your query letter polished by CJ and the class—and if time permits you’ll also have a chance to have your opening hooks and/or pitches evaluated as well.

FREE Bonus: “Writer’s Toolbox”–a list of resources from CJ Lyons.

(NOTE: A finished novel ready for submission is required for this course.)

Tremendously helpful. CJ is a fine teacher, with the patience of a saint.
- Corrina Lavitts
Golden Heart Finalist

CJ goes the extra mile with her willingness to help struggling writers, like myself. I would recommend this class to anyone.”
- Judith Gilbert

The class was terrific. I’ve come away with a synopsis, back cover blurb, and a head full of scene ideas. You gave me wonderful insight.”
- Debra Hemminger


Breathtakingly fast-paced.”
- Publishers Weekly

A winner!
- Romantic Times, Top Pick

A perfect blend of romance and suspense. My kind of read.”
- #1 New York Times Bestselling author Sandra Brown

Characters with beating hearts and three dimensions.”
- Newsday

Pennwriters Online Courses have high satisfaction scores and repeat customer rates—-read more of our Testimonials!

Discover how to avoid the slush pile and get your book sold and published. LIMITED CLASS SIZE. Enroll now.

$79 ($89 non-Pennwriters) $89 ($99 non-Pennwriters)


As a pediatric ER doctor, CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about. In addition to being an award-winning medical suspense author, CJ is a nationally known presenter and keynote speaker. She has been invited all over the country to present her workshops and speak to audiences ranging from physicians to first responders to romance and thriller authors including: Colorado Fiction Writers, Oklahoma Writers Federation, the University of South Carolina at Beaufort, RWA National, MWA’s Sleuthfest, Lowcountry RWA’s Master Class, Left Coast Crime, and Pennwriters, among others. Her first novel, LIFELINES (Berkley, March 2008), received praise as a “breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller” from Publishers Weekly, was reviewed favorably by the Baltimore Sun and Newsday, named a Top Pick by Romantic Times Book Review Magazine, and became a National Bestseller. LIFELINES also won a Readers’ Choice Award for Best First Novel. Her award-winning, critically acclaimed Angels of Mercy series (LIFELINES, WARNING SIGNS, and URGENT CARE) is available in stores now. Her newest project is as co-author of a new suspense series with Erin Brockovich. To learn more about CJ and her work, go to

* For more information on this course, contact Nate Hardy, Internet Activities Coordinator.

If you must mail in your registration and payment, send payment at least one week before deadline (the day of event) using the mail form at this link.

See you at the Pennwriters Conference!

***UPDATE*** 5/9:

AREA 6 MEMBERS: Join Lisa Kastner at Breakfast!

Lisa is our Pennwriters President and fellow Area 6 member. She coordinates the monthly Philadelphia Pennwriters critique group and supports writers throughout the region. Lisa is a great writer, a great leader, and a great person to know in Pennwriters.

Join Lisa at breakfast for a quick rally with other writers. Put faces to names, and make a new friend!

Jade Blackwater regrets to announce that after having fun day getting her hair done in Seattle to prepare for the Pennwriters Conference, she promptly came down with the flu and is unable to fly. Jade sends her deepest regrets, and encourages all writers to take full advantage of the Pennwriters Conference.


We’re a week away from the 23rd Pennwriters Annual Writers’ Conference to be held in Lancaster, PA May 14-16 2010. This year’s conference features keynote speakers James Rollins and Elizabeth Kann, a stellar lineup of agents, editors, and authors for workshops and pitch sessions, plus designated party time at our ‘Heroes and Villains’ Saturday Night Masquerade Ball.


So why should you attend? For starters, if you’re a member of Area 6 or another writer from the Mid-Atlantic, this is a fabulous opportunity to participate in a writers’ event right here in your region. Pennwriters offers a variety of workshops, networking, and promotional opportunities to help writers of all levels improve their work and build their business.

You don’t have to be from the East Coast to enjoy a Pennwriters event! Keynote James Rollins joins us from Northern California, and I’m flying in from Western Washington state to join the fun and support Area 6. The great thing about our membership is that we started with a strong community of writers from Pennsylvania, and have grown to include members from all across the US, and a few far-flung folks overseas. Our annual conference is the perfect time to put a face to a name/handle/avatar/penpal/writing-buddy.


AREA 6 MEMBERS: Find me at breakfast – I’ll have something to catch the eye and make it easy to spot me – and please come introduce yourself! I want to meet members, shake hands, and introduce you to one another.

I’m on the hunt for a new volunteer for the Area 6 Representative position. We of Area 6 extend a hearty thank you to Bob Michalsky for his support of Pennwriters, and wish him all the best in his endeavors! If you are ready to support writers in your area and do more with Pennwriters, then I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!


Here at the blog we’ve had Conference Coordinator Ayleen Stellhorn stop by with tips to prepare yourself to pitch, and a detailed interview discussing more about the conference.

Fellow Area 6 Member Ash Krafton has also prepared us with a link-rich post about pitching your work, plus more about editing the muse and navigating the transition from hobby writer to career author.

Follow @Pennwriters on Twitter for even more resources including tweets about Pennwriters activities as well as news, tips, and insights from members, guests, and other writing resources.

If you’re on Twitter, remember to use the #PWcon hashtag to tweet the conference, and use the #Pennwriters hashtag any time to chat about Pennwriters. Send us a @ (mention) or DM (direct message) and let us know you’re a member (tell us your name so we can find you in our roster). @Pennwriters follows Pennwriters members and guests.

If you’re on Facebook, be sure to join our Group and Page to keep up on news and announcements and to engage with our membership.

Contact me with any questions (or to be my last-minute volunteer angel).

See you all in Lancaster!