2011 Summer Workshops

Play, Write and Playwriting: Unmasking the Play Within You.

Good writing is good writing and the theatre needs more good writers like you. This highly interactive class uses fun theatre games, class brainstorming, and writing exercises, to stretch and strengthen all your writing muscles. Saturday-Sunday (repeat): Creating Believable Characters; Monday: Structuring of Plot; Tuesday: Dialogue Contest; Wednesday: Dialogue Style: Thursday: Formatting and Marketing. No theatrical experience needed.

Sacred Acts of Healing: Writing the Transformation Story.

We’ll meet in sacred space to bridge ancient shamanic healing practices with the 21st century innovations of Energy Medicine. By utilizing the most powerful tools from indigenous and modern worlds, we’ll generate deep soul healing and access potent ways to write about it. Experience the joy of The Shamanic Journey as a way to enter Spirit World, access guidance, vision, and healing. Make alliances with nature and helping spirits to assist you in fulfilling your writing mission. Connect with your ancestors and descendants. Journey to the future to access the blueprint for your next book. Activate a new life story based on sacred acts of healing and transformation generated in class. Learn the shamanic practices of Soul Clearing and Soul Release to cut energetic cords that cause blocks to creativity. The ceremony of Soul Retrieval will be performed to reconnect you to lost soul parts and help you integrate the returning gifts into your writing lives. Energy Medicine can be a self-healing practice to use at home to sustain frequencies of transformation. Experience a sweeping sense of emotional and energetic freedom. 

Healing through Changing Our Home Environment.

We’ll start with an in-depth exploration of Feng Shui, discussing concepts and beliefs that we can apply to change our lives. We will address the biggest problem in most of our homes, clutter! We will learn practical methods to enhance our living in small or large spaces, i.e., how to create a writing corner for a small room or a library in a larger home. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of artificial lighting, wattage, and types of illumination. We’ll explore ways to create a healthy, “green” environment. We’ll look at color and how it affects our moods. You are invited to bring pictures of your problem rooms and we will apply the principles we are learning to achieve a happy and healthy environment. 

French… With Pleasure!

I invite you to come on a journey through the world of French words, looking at topics which are typically French. Each day we will have a different theme but the same approach, that is to say, we will learn about some famous French writers, artists, places and we will write simple texts in French or even, if you prefer, in English. Saturday: The theme will be French literary cafés. Sunday: Books and films taking place around Le Louvre or Notre-Dame de Paris. Monday: Saint-Tropez, Cannes, and other lovely Riviera towns popular with writers, artists and actors. Tuesday: Marguerite Duras, a famous French woman writer and film director. Wednesday: Comic strips of Asterix, the diehard Gaulois and Tintin, a well-known Belgian reporter. Thursday: The language of Dance and some exceptional French choreographers such as Marius Petipa, the choreographer of Swan Lake, or Maurice Béjart, a famous modern dance producer. I make a rendez-vous with you for “un moment de plaisir”! 

Tai Chi in Between: Writing From the Dan Tian.

Chinese Qi Gong meditation calms the mind, revives the spirit, helps heal the body and encourages creativity. Learning how to reconnect your mind, body and spirit through traditional Chinese healing exercises helps the creative process. When the body’s natural “Qi” energy centers are opened up, all things become possible: that new poem, short story, novel—anything and everything. Come and learn the art of writing from the Dan Tian. 

Plot: The Heart of Your Story.

Writers are sometimes daunted by plot, but understanding it can guide you to the heart of your story and contribute to productive revision. In this workshop, we will cover the basics of plot and structure, and strategies for assessing and replotting your work. We’ll look at recognition, reversal, scenic development, the presentation of time, use of place, active characters, well-paced conflict, and what makes resolution inevitable and satisfying.

Open Critiques/Nonfiction. This critiquing workshop is for all those who write creative nonfiction (personal essays, travel and opinion essays, and memoirs).Sign-ups are requested with Susan Tiberghien. Workshop leaders and class participants offer helpful critiques.

Open Critiques/Poetry.

Bring your poetry to this workshop. Class members and the workshop leader provide useful feedback on your poetry. This course is not progressive.

So You Think Your Life’s a Movie-Reel Magic!

Even though you look at scenes from Academy Award winning movies every day, this class is not just for screenwriters. Many students are memoirists, novelists, essayists, poets or even beginning writers taking the class because they’ve heard, “…Linda knows how to get you to good story and get you there fast!” You will learn how to find your A, B and C stories, find the arc of those stories, create protagonists that you believe and root for and antagonists that change as much as your hero. You will learn to write believable dialogue, research your project, write bios for each of your characters and create the structure of a saleable script. There will be lectures, writing exercises and by the last day, you will have written a two-page, two-person scene that you cast from other students in the class and put on its feet! It’s fast, it’s fun. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. The information is cumulative from Saturday on so come early and stay late! Or, as Margo Channing would say: “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!” – All About Eve, 1950 

The Muse Salon: Bringing out the Depth in Writing through Music.

The Muse Salon fuses jazz, philosophy, transformation, intuition and something else to take your stories from good to spectacular, to places and depths that you had never imagined. Bring your completed or in-progress manuscripts to use as hands-on examples and learning tools.

Open Critiques/Fiction. Join writers in an opportunity to read fiction and obtain constructive feedback. Attendance determines how many read each evening, but everyone will eventually get a chance to share a story.

Writing Fiction and Memoir: One Page at a Time.

Sat. and Sun. repeat: Making Scenes. Mon.: Writing Male Characters. Tues.: The Beginning, Middle and End; Wed.: Writing a Memoir for THE SUN, Thur.: Critiquing Yourself and Others.

The Intensive Journal Workshop®.

“The Intensive Journal process is our inner workshop, the place where we do the creative shaping of the artwork of our life.” – Ira Progoff, Ph.D. Working with this process can enable us to have access to our source of inner wisdom that can guide us to live an authentic, meaningful, and creative life. 

The Building Blocks of Popular Fiction.

This six-part, no-repeat course is packed with immediately useful tools to help you craft your novel. Learn how brainstorming can help create characters, intensify conflict, maximize setting, and discover what really matters in a sex scene. 

How to be a Diva.

This workshop employs creative performance as a prompt for writing, bringing out our inner creative Divas (divine) Devas. Emphasis is on unleashing the creative forces, as a group and individually, through activation and performance. Time is devoted in each class to writing from Diva prompts (classic scenes from films such as Casablanca, Cabaret, and other multimedia examples from music videos, etc.) and sharing. Emphasis is on drawing inspiration from iconic examples across different genres and, by exploring our personal reactions in group and individual writing exercises, connecting to our own expressive impulses! Each day of the workshop will offer different prompts and exercises. We all should out our inner Divas! 

Discovering Your Characters: Listening Then Crafting. (Sat., Mon., Wed.)

Sat.: We will invite characters onto the stage and allow them to speak. Bring a draft in progress, an idea or just your interest for developing a strong character to compel story forward, whether fiction or creative nonfiction. We will do some in class writing and planning in order to discover characters that surprise and lead us forward into the story, in preparation for the next class. Mon.: We will observe the details of character that have surfaced, drawing valuable information about plot and motivation from these details. We will talk about how to resist superficial, clichéd characters by letting our characters speak truth, with an authentic voice which then creates richness of story. We will discuss place both interior and exterior, major and minor characters, the strengths and fatal flaws of characters, difficult characters and those who are stuck. Wed.: From the material generated up to this point, participants will learn more about how to select from the raw to craft artful story, how to unfold knowledge in a way that each piece contributes to a larger truth, how to know the scale of one’s story, how to craft a classical plot versus a minimalist place. And, most importantly, how to develop and shape the character’s effect, which transforms a story and gives it a beating heart. 

Letters and Literature: Writing Life, Love and Longing.

This course about letter writing offers inspiration for exploring intention, voice, form, subject and audience in literature. Through the use of examples given us by George Eliot, the Comtesse de Noailles, Jane Austin, Clementine Churchill, and many others, we will see how this epistolary art brings forth our lives, our histories, and our future. Together, as writers with strong voices and tender hearts, we will write every day and create hope, feel desire and manifest legacy. 

Writing from the Silence Space.

This offering centers around utilizing drumming and percussion instruments to access our writing muse and using silence as a method of entering dialogue, drawing inner knowing, and translating what we learn and know about the creative world. Writing from silence is a unique opportunity to enter, reflect, and translate the inner self. 

Pen & Pose: A Workshop in Yoga & Writing.

What if all of the experiences, emotions, images and stories you’ve lived were embedded within your tissues, organs, breath and skeletal structure? Could your habitual way of physical and psychological posturing be shifted by excavating your own depths? Join us for a highly experiential and ecologically friendly attempt at deep drilling. We’ll intersperse mindful movement with mindful writing, using prompts that change daily. Dress comfortably and bring your favorite notebook, pen, an open attitude, and a mat if you have one. This class is for both neophytes and seasoned practitioners of both yoga and writing. For more information on Yael’s approach to both yoga and writing, visit www.Yelements.com 

Beyond the Margins: A Master Class in Writing in the 21st Century.

We will write about the many ways your private and personal lives intersect with the great social and cultural movements of our time. You will hear and be inspired by the words of others and reinforce your conception of the enormous power of community and words. You will come away from this workshop with many ideas for your future writing. 

What in Goddess' Name Is a Prose Poem?

"What is poetry and if you know what poetry is what is prose," Gertrude Stein states rather than asks, suggesting that the distinction is either unknowable or unessential. Is the prose poem a hybrid, elegant and inventive, or a mongrel, unrefined and unharmonious? We will read sample prose poems to investigate the poets' choices, particularly whether or not prose better serves the poem than line breaks, and then use those poems as launching pads for our own prose poems.

Finding the Me in Memory: Tools for Women in Transition.

Let’s probe the courageous question posed by the poet Mary Oliver: “What is it you want to do with this one, wild, precious thing called your life?” Using memory as our own personal Lost and Found Department, step-by-step we’ll read a different part of the map of where we’ve been and—by telling the story of those places and faces—discern the paths we want to travel next. You should gain a more focused picture of how to write the next chapters of your life—the work you’re called to do, the company you’re meant to keep, and the conditions you need to live a life that fits. Topics involved in authoring your next chapters include: Sat.: Finding and Re-Membering the Themes of Your Life. Sun.: Choosing the Verbs You Want to Live. Mon.: Houseguests, the Art of Choosing Companions. Tues.: Re-Minding the Body: Opening the Missing Conversation Between Mind and Body. Wed.: Piece of Mind/Peace of Mind: Re-Covering from Loss. Thur.: Be-Longing: Building a Home for the Writer Within. We’ll use writing as a tool for helping you as you seek that genuine voice, the one you “slowly recognize as your own, the one that keeps you company as you stride deeper and deeper into the world.” 

Legal Pitfalls: How to Protect Yourself and Your Work in Print and Electronic Publishing.

We will review the legal issues every writer should be familiar with in order to navigate successfully in today’s complex print, electronic and self-publishing environments. The sessions will focus on decisions and potential problems in specific areas, using actual situations as illustrations. The major topics covered will include reviewing and negotiating terms of agency and publishing contracts; print-on-demand and self-publishing; websites and blogs; fair use and plagiarism; registration of copyrights and trademarks; minimizing the risk of defamation in nonfiction and fiction; and contractual disputes with publishers about such issues as rights granted, options, reversion of rights, and royalty payments. 

Shimmering Images and Inherited Stories: Building A Memoir from the Truths They Tell.

In this class you will discover key memories you carry inside yourself that reveal the plot of a memoir, and unearth inherited stories you carry even deeper to reveal that memoir’s theme. So armed, you will learn how to winnow and shape the material of a life lived into a book-length memoir that moves in a direction and completes not only the narrative arc of the story on paper, but completes the arc of the story you are living. This is a deeply transformative act. During the week, you will talk about family, share shimmering images of your life, discuss the craft of writing, create fresh prose from prompts, rewrite, read materials provided by Lisa, work in groups, share your writing in a variety of forums, and unmask the elusive structure of memoir.

The Image, the Word, the Story: Tools for Transformation.

We’re on the verge of a new era, an epochal shift from the Age of Information to an Age of Transformation. Each of us is a co- creator, a carrier of the new consciousness. The future is within us, like the oak in the acorn, and it is unfolding in the creation of our lives, our stories, and all our artistic expressions. We are the light of the world and the time is ripe to mine our depths, access our wisdom, and unleash our creative energies with bold and rebellious originality. Our creations are flares in the night sky. Our stories are pathways to ourselves and others. Our attention and focus, clarity and compassion: these are our tools for building the future. Connect the dots between evolutionary creativity and spiritual intelligence. Experience the alchemy of transforming your life experience into creations that can heal yourself and others. Transcend dualities and experience the joy of a higher consciousness. 

Inviting the Image to Speak: Writing from SoulCollage®.

SoulCollage® was developed by writer, artist and therapist Seena Frost, who’s been using the process and teaching it for over 20 years. In the last centuries, imagination has been demoted. Now, with recent emphasis on soul-tending, imagination is gaining a higher status again. There is widespread honoring of feminine functions. Psychology, science and religion are rediscovering the transformative power of images. SoulCollage® is a process where we choose images and form them into small collages on 5 x 8 cards, eventually creating a “personal deck of soul-tending cards.” We learn to dialogue with the images as they have the power to bring us to our deep center. They can also be powerful writing prompts. To start, we’ll use the concept of a primary energy and allow it to inform our writing—perhaps a central image/theme that emerges from the collective energy in a collage. The process can be deeply informative and poetic. We’ll work with the concept of “the one and the many” in that we all have an individual personality, are living our particular “story,” yet we’re part of the whole, the universal, bound by our humanity to one another. Though the sessions build upon one another, they are designed so each can stand alone. Sat. and Sun. repeat with new material presented at each weekday session. 

Editorial Essentials: How to Edit Your Writing Before You Show It to Anybody.

Too often what most writers consider their final draft is in dire need of editing. Learn to submit truly professional writing. Covering the major tricks of the editor’s trade, this workshop gives you strategies for—and practice in—everything from rooting out redundancy to choosing the right words for specific contexts. 

The Healing Spirit of Story: The Ancient Art of Dollmaking.

Everyone has a story to tell. As writers, we bring our unique skills and experiences to any story. But what if you don’t have the whole story? What if pieces of yourself or your story remain to be found? Maybe you need a new key, a different technique to unlock the gifts of your writer’s heart? Come join me on a magical journey—a path across the veil between the worlds where you will meet characters, ancestors, animal guides and much more—where you will fly unfettered by the incessant inner critic, where you will renew your spirit, dreams and stories. Let go, and allow your creativity to shine. Through this ancient technique of doll-making and meditation you will experience a new dimension of yourself. Awe and joy included. No art experience needed. 

The New Rules of Book Publishing: How to Build Confidence, Community, and Connection in the Digital Age.

Book publishing is an exciting enterprise, especially if you understand how the business is changing and creating more opportunities for writers. This workshop frames the five types of publishers, (including self publisher) and their business practices in regard to the evaluation of book proposals and manuscripts. You will learn how to write your proposal from a position of strength and how to build a following of loyal fans to stand behind you. Upon completion of this course, you will have a solid draft of your book proposal and marketing plan. Sat.: The Five Types of Publishers and Their Practices. Sun.: How to Create the Golden Rule for You and Your Book. Mon: How to Be in a “relationship” with Your Readers. Tues.: What are the Four Forms of Social Media? Wed.: How to Choose the Right Social Media Tools for You and Your Book’s Message. Thur.: How to Write and Talk about Your Book in the Digital World. 

The Blank Page: Writing Adrift, Writing A Draft.

Eunice will use every device she knows in order to release your words, in your own voice, on a blank page, with Critics Forbidden—on pain of being captured in a cartoon. She doesn’t identify this workshop by either subject matter or genre since a first draft is where we as writers elicit and observe and hear our words aloud in order to see what opportunities exist in this miraculous first draft—this excavation of clay (first draft) out of which we will shape a pot (subsequent drafts). All writers use a version of this enabling process, and you are invited to use it too! 

The Wonder of Words: Writing for Your Life. (Sat.-Mon.).

Writing is a way of finding and creating meaning is our lives as well as creating art. We will write every day from prompts, poetry, props, music, and in-class experiences. Each class is different and unfolds in relation to the energy of the group. You will learn to write consistently from that place where words flow, time is suspended, and unplanned connections are made, and to engage all of your senses in the process of writing. We will explore process, product, and publication. You will confront your critic and find joy in the creative process. Come with lots of paper and ink. You will write freely and fast!

Personal Writing Consultation. (Tues.-Thur.).

Writing is done is solitude which May Sarton calls “the richness of the soul.” It is sometimes a lonely pursuit. Come to a personal mentoring session and discuss your writing questions or dilemmas. Some possible topics are setting personal goals; finding time to write; how/where to submit; preparing a manuscript; finding a publisher; giving, organizing and preparing for public readings. These sessions will be motivational and center on you as an individual and your writing concerns. Email Linda at loschneide@aol.com to make an appointment for a 30-minute session at Yale.

Writing Effective Dialogue.

More than any other element of a novel, short story, memoir or screenplay, the handling of dialogue separates the talented amateur from the published writer. Topics in this workshop include developing your ear, dialogue mechanics (speaker attribution, “beats,” etc.), adaptation of fiction to screenplay, and interior monologue. 

The Voice in Our Poems: How are we heard?  What can we listen for?

We'll write each day and read the poems of others to discover our uniqueness and how we may best express it. 

The Smart Writer’s Guide: What to Know Before, During and After Writing a Book. (Sat.-Mon.):

Some women think about writing a book, others are somewhere along in the process or have a manuscript in a drawer with not the faintest idea of how to launch it into the world. If you, recognize yourself, or just want to know what goes on behind the scenes—how a book is written, how it’s sold, and what happens after—it’s never too soon, or too late, to begin. From simplifying the writing process, to finding the right agent, to the various types of publishers and what you can expect from them, to promoting your book in person and on the web, everything will be discussed. In addition, you’ll get clear, concise tips on how to stay motivated and how to avoid the pitfalls that could derail your writing career. Questions welcome.

Raising Your Photography to a New Level - Making Your Good Pictures Great. (Tues.-Thur.):

Whether you’re shooting for fun, profit, using a throw-away camera or an expensive digital one, you’ll learn how to turn a basic photo into a great one, and have fun doing it. Tues.: We’ll study contest winning photos and discuss framing, cropping, and composition that improve images as well as shooting indoors and out, posing your subjects, and working with children. To increase writing sales, we’ll briefly cover markets, client needs, guidelines, copyrights, model releases, record keeping, adverticals, and more. Wed.: Bring your camera. After showing examples of how to improve specific location shots taken around the campus, we’ll go on a “photo shoot,” working as a group and individually. Thur.: We’ll gently critique the digital photographs you’ve taken and would like discussed.

Writing from the Natural World: An Exploration of Inner and Outer Nature.

What if the primary text of the world is the world itself? What if every lichen-covered stone and caroling creek can help us understand who we are and how to live? In this course we will go to nature with a listening spirit, open to its meaning and messages. Whether you write poetry or prose, this class invites you to deepen your relationship with your natural creativity through writing from the natural world. We’ll also explore how different writers and poets respond to similar natural stimuli, and examine what shifts within when we seek out nature as a source of wisdom in our writing and our lives. 

From Journal, To Essay, To Memoir.

This course treats the different forms of creative nonfiction—offering techniques, updated examples, and writing exercises for each—and shows how they can fit together into a mosaic-shaped memoir. Saturday: Journal writing (seeds for stories). Sun.: Personal essays. Mon.: Opinion essays and travel essays. Tues.: Poetic prose and prose poems. Wed.: Memoir, a Window into Your Lives. Thur.: Memoir as Mosaic, plus Publishing/Marketing.

Open Critiques/Nonfiction. This critiquing workshop is for all those who write creative nonfiction (personal essays, travel and opinion essays, and memoirs).Sign-ups are requested with Susan. Workshop leaders and class participants offer helpful critiques.

The Laughter of Women: Sublime to Outrageous and the Irony in Between.

Punch up your writing with humor, make your point stick, create your voice, and claim your power. Women’s humor works especially well in community. Our community will discover our unique voices through writing, reading, and laughing. Do come and enjoy yourself.

Open Critiques/Popular Fiction. (Sun.-Tues.). Bring three pages, double-spaced, of your mystery, thriller, romance, science fiction, fantasy, or young adult novel. Sign up when you arrive in the classroom. We’ll offer helpful feedback to as many as we can in the time allotted.