Westport Writers Workshop Celebrates ‘National Poetry Month’ with New Spring Classes

WESTPORT, CT—Westport Writers Workshop (WWW) is offering a combination of online and in person classes this spring at their new space located at 25 Sylvan Lane, Unit J, Westport, Conn. Their new location features a gallery-like space with a large workshop/community space that enables them to collaborate with other local arts organizations. 

Their spring workshops begin the week of March 28th and open registration is now open. With over 100 workshops a year to choose from, WWW welcomes writers of all skill levels and genres with classes and workshops that are designed to suit any schedule, with options in the morning, afternoons, and evenings. Saturday-only workshops and one-week writing-intensive programs are also held at various times throughout the year. ​

Several of their spring workshops include a creative nonfiction class (Writing About Your Life), Poetry (April is National Poetry month), an Introduction to Screenwriting workshop, an in-person Write to Prompts class (Just Write), and a new workshop on Writing Novels, as well as the classes listed below:

Workshop in Poetry – All Levels with Charles Rafferty: This class is for students interested in learning about the genre from Charles Rafferty, whose poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and O — Oprah Magazine.  Each week, participants will share a poem, and the instructor will lead a discussion of the manuscript, highlighting what is working well and suggesting ways to improve it. As time allows, there may also be general discussions of craft and perhaps some in-class writing.

WHERE: Online via ZOOM

TIME: 7 Tuesdays, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

DATES: March 29, April 5, 12, off, 26, May 3, 10, 17

Introduction to Novel Writing with Rahla Xenopoulos: Embarking on the exciting and, at times daunting business of writing a novel. The class will focus on banishing the pesky inner critic, developing characters, establishing themes and structure, excavating and exploring your story, and deciding on a narrator.

WHERE: Online via ZOOM

TIME: 7 Fridays, 10am to 12noon

DATES:April 1, 8, off, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20

Flash Fiction with Liz Matthews – IN PERSON: In flash fiction, writers become attuned to language on the sentence level. This is good practice for writers of all genres, as you’ll learn how to transform abstract ideas into specific moments. We’ll pay close attention to pacing, metaphor and imagery, endings, and poetic techniques to employ in writing flash. There is room to experiment and take more risks with poetry or prose told in 1,000 words or less. Each week students will study examples of both well-known and more obscure writers who have mastered this form. During and in between workshops, you’ll receive unique writing prompts for continual inspiration and support.   

WHERE: In person at:  25 Sylvan Road South, Suite J, Westport, CT 06880

TIME: 7 Thursdays, 10am to 12noon

DATES: March 31, April 7, 14, off, 28, May 5, 12, 19

Writing Books for Kids with Christine Pakkala: Have you always wanted to write a picture book or a book for children or teens? This writing workshop is targeted for adult writers of picture books, early and middle grade and young adult fiction. The goal will be to support each writer’s efforts to develop and hone new projects as well as works-in-progress. We will explore the art of creating characters that young people care about and with whom they can identify. In addition, we will exercise our ability to bring emotion to our narratives, to bring setting to life, and to strengthen our plots for greatest impact. The weekly sessions will employ positive, non-threatening feedback in a small group environment. Workshop members are invited to bring up to five double-spaced, 12-point-font pages of writing to the first session. Please note: email your pages to the instructor as well as the entire group. Please keep your word count to a maximum of 1250 words.

WHERE: Online via ZOOM

TIME: 7 Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

DATES:March 30, April 6, 13, off, 27, May 4, 11, 18

Writing About Your Life (Beginner) with Phoenix Glass-Destruge: Thinking about writing a memoir or personal essay? Perhaps you’ve already begun but aren’t sure where to go next. Maybe there are subjects you wish to ignore, that feel taboo, or worse yet, boring. You may ask yourself, “Why would anyone care about what I have to say?” or “How could I possibly share this part of myself?” If you’ve had these fears, or any fear related to writing, I promise you, you are not alone. These concerns are part of the process and mean you are doing something right. Here is the truth: your story matters. It is not too dark nor too dull. Mary Oliver said the writer, “stands between two marvelous and complex things—an experience (or an idea or a feeling) and the urge to tell about it in the best possible conjunction of words.” The merging of experience and written word will be the objective of this workshop, where each week writers will bring pages of new or revised writing to read aloud and receive feedback on what is working and what might be strengthened.

WHERE: Online via ZOOM

TIME: 7 Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 12 noon

DATES: March 29, April 5, 12, off, 26, May 3, 10, 17

For more course offerings this spring and to register, visit the Westport Writers Workshop website. Westport Writers’ Workshop is an independent literary arts center offering enriching, supportive creative writing classes, as well as literary readings to the local public in Connecticut. Their organization also provides free writing workshops to underserved populations in their own communities. To learn more, visit the WWW SCHOLARSHIPS and SUPPORT US pages.

About Westport Writers Workshop:

Since 2003, the Westport Writers’ Workshop has been offering workshops for every level of writer, from novice to published! Our instructors offer friendly, supportive writing workshops designed to encourage, inspire, and spark your imagination.

With over 100 workshops a year to choose from, we welcome writers of all skill levels and genres. Our workshops are designed to suit your schedule, with options in the morning, afternoons, and evenings. We also host several Saturday-only workshops and one-week writing-intensive programs throughout the year. You can learn more about our workshops by visiting our WORKSHOP page. Let Westport Writers’ Workshop help you discover and develop your own unique writing talent and voice.

Our Philosophy: You can expect a supportive group led by an experienced instructor. You’ll write, read, and learn from each other. Focus is always on the quality of the writing – not on the subject matter. Writing begets writing. The more you commit to your writing, to showing up for your writing group, the more you will write. By joining a community of writers, you will become a stronger writer and influence others to refine their craft. Our philosophy and practices are inspired by Amherst Writers & Artists and Pat Schneider’s book, Writing Alone and With Others.

Our Mission: The Westport Writers’ Workshop is an independent literary arts center offering enriching, supportive creative writing classes, as well as literary readings to the local public. Our organization also provides free writing workshops to underserved populations in their own communities.

Our History: In 2003, Jessica Bram founded Westport Writers’ Workshop. In 2010, Jessica moved the workshops into the second floor of the historic building on 3 Sylvan Rd. South in Westport. In 2013, Valerie Leff bought WWW and became the Director. In 2014, Valerie created a Board of Directors and transformed the business into a nonprofit with a mission to offer enriching, supportive creative writing classes, as well as literary readings to the local public, and free writing workshops to underserved populations in their own communities. In 2018, Michelle Bradley came on board as the Executive Director, and in summer 2019 when Michelle’s family was transferred to Chicago, Liz Matthews took over as the Director. In March of 2020 with the onset of COVID-19, the workshops transitioned to the Zoom platform and were offered remotely. The organization now offers both in-person and online classes and has grown to include writers and instructors outside of our immediate community.

westportwriters.org

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Posted on March 20, 2022, in Arts and Culture, Health & Wellness, School Buzz, Town Buzz and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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