International Women's Writing Guild

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IWWG Writing Circles

The Guild is known for its soulful women. Its joyful workshops. Its acclaimed teachers and facilitators. But perhaps most of all, the Guild is known for its sense of community. Over the last year, this connectedness has become more important than ever.

Now, after a great deal of feedback and input from our members, the Guild is embracing another way of honing into our vibrant community. This summer, we are delighted to launch a series of writing circles. 

These writing circles will vary based on your needs and interests. Some will be facilitated by a Guild instructor to provide extra focus and structure. Others will be self-led by the group members. Some will be organized by geography and some will be organized by genre. But no matter what, you will be provided with the resources you need, including Zoom tech support.

If you have a writing circle you would like to facilitate through the IWWG, please email with your interests (genre, geography, etc) and we will begin to set those up for you.

Facilitated Writing Circles

Writing Circle: Making Your Poems from the Inside Out

with Marj Hahne

8 Weekly Sessions, beginning October 3, 2022
12:00 - 2:00 PM EST

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Consider this: A poem is a body of words, not a body of thoughts and feelings. Yes, our thoughts and feelings and experiences may catalyze our poems, but how we choreograph our words, how we make meaning (not what our words say or mean), is what moves a poem from self-expression to literary art. How do we make such poems, textual/subtextual bodies that enact and transform experience (rather than report or describe it) so that discovery or rediscovery is possible for both writer and reader?

We build them from the inside out, which requires relating to language primarily as material, as our artistic medium (and secondarily as meaning). For each session of this 8-session writing circle, we will examine, via the interrogation and discussion of model poems, one of multiple local or global strategies that make a poem poetry, followed by a generative or revision exercise to practice that strategy.
This Writing Circle is for you if you’re seeking:

  • a breakthrough in, or jumpstart to, your poem-making
  • practical, immediately applicable craft strategies for drafting and revising
  • a structure for learning and practicing in digestible pieces
  • fresh distinctions for interrogating and illuminating your poems

Marj Hahne is a freelance editor, writer, and writing teacher, and a 2015 MFA graduate from the Rainier Writing Workshop, with a concentration in poetry. She has performed and taught at over 100 venues around the country, as well as been featured on public radio and television programs. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, anthologies, art exhibits, and dance performances. Committed to making poetry hospitable for everyone, she launched a YouTube channel featuring videos in which she reads poems to dogs (BARK & BARD) and pairs poems with craft beers (MASH), craft spirits (DISTILL), and coffee (PO-JOE).


MultiGenre Creative WRITING CIRCLE

with Carmen Bugan

October 23, 30 and November 6, 13, 20, and 27
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST

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In this multi-genre writing circle, we will cover the following topics: the writer's voice across several genres; poetry; short story; essay; memoir; and the novel. Writers will write about turning points in their lives by using the conventions of each genre. We will reflect on how the subject of the story/ the content is illuminated by these changes in language patterns and emphasis. It will be a deep engagement with the oldest technical consideration of subject matter and style as we explore the writing voice. Examples from literature will show how other writers handled this question of finding the best way to tell their stories.

Carmen Bugan, George Orwell Prize Fellow, is the author of five poetry collections, among which Lilies from America: New and Selected Poems (a PBS Special Commendation). Her memoir, Burying the Typewriter: Childhood Under the Eye of the Secret Police, was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, and her monograph on Seamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile has received wide recognition. Her book, Poetry and the Language of Oppression: Essays on Politics and Poetics (Oxford University Press, 2021), was named "an essential book for writers" by Poets & Writers; her new book of poems, Time Being, was praised by the Irish Times poetry editor for its "disciplined precision".. Bugan was a Creative Arts Fellow in Literature at Wolfson College, Oxford University, a Hawthornden Fellow, the Helen DeRoy Professor in Honors at the University of Michigan, and has also taught at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. She has a doctorate in English literature from Balliol College, Oxford. Dr Bugan is on the faculty at the Gotham Writers' Workshop in Manhattan, The Poetry School in London, the Oxford Writing Mentors, serves on the Advisory Board of the Geneva Writers' Group, and teaches creative writing worldwide.

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Phone: (617) 792-7272

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The International Women’s Writing Guild

888 8th Avenue, #537
New York, NY 10019

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