Sunday, July 31

9:15 – 9:45 am
Wake Up and Write! 
Judith Hannan
Essayist, author, and workshop leader Judith Hannan will lead participants in a series of quick writing prompts to encourage free association and the revelation of scenes and stories.

Judith Hannan is the author of the memoir “Motherhood Exaggerated” (CavanKerry Press), and an essayist whose writing has appeared in numerous publications such as Lilith Magazine, the Washington Post, and The Martha’s Vineyard Times, for which she pens a twice-monthly column. 

10 – 11 am
Debut Authors: A Survival Guide
Alice Early
Publishing is full of surprises. Alice Early will share what she wished someone had told her about topics like choosing the type of editor your book needs, finding an agent (do you even need one?), navigating the reshaped publishing world, and how to promote your book in ways that won’t make you crazy.

Alice Early, a recovering international business workaholic, published her first novel, “The Moon Always Rising,” in 2020. 

11 – 12 pm
Writing the Family 
Laurie Lindeen
Nothing is more interesting to readers and complicated for writers than writing honestly and openly about our families. Some of us are so worried about how our parents, children, partners, siblings, and extended family members (as well as our imagined readers) will receive our written recollections that we paralyze ourselves. For others, our feelings may be so heated or charged that we render ourselves unreliable narrators. In this workshop, you will do a number of writing exercises that will help you feel comfortable and free you up to write about your family.

Laurie Lindeen has written extensively about her family members in her memoir “Petal Pusher,” as well as in New York Times essay “Johnny Goes to College”; all were required to sign off to fact checkers ensuring the veracity of Lindeen’s memories. For the past decade, Laurie has led memoir-writing bootcamps, retreats, and courses in the Midwest and Western states. 

12:30 – 2:30 pm
Using Personal Photos for Poetry and Prose 
Kelly DuMar 

In this workshop, you will write creatively from a personal photo. This technique allows you to express new truths and dig into the deeper and hidden meanings of an image as you reveal personalities, identity, relationships, conflicts, universal truths, and beauty. No matter the quality of the photo, you will find powerful hidden meanings and revelations worthy of development into creative prose and poetry. Whether you’re writing poetry or prose, memoir or a blog, family history or a monologue, writing from personal photos will help you express the truth of what you feel –– and know –– and are surprised to find you have so much to say. 

  • Each participant should bring between one and three personal photos to this workshop. Photos can be of a family member or close friend, they can be recent or from your childhood, a favorite travel photo or a photo of you or your family on the Vineyard. In other words, any photograph that is meaningful to you. 

Kelly DuMar is a poet, playwright, and workshop leader who guides new and experienced writers to generate new writing across genres. Kelly’s fourth poetry collection will be published in January 2023, by Lily Press. 

3 – 3:45 pm

Decrease Stress and Enhance Your Writing Process
Noel Foy 

Did you know your thinking brain gets hijacked when you’re highly stressed? When this happens, it impedes your writing, creativity, organization, critical thinking, mental flexibility, and self-regulation. Learn about the impact of stress on writing, and how to use neuroscience findings, practical language, and productive responses to reduce and better manage typical stressors experienced by writers. 

Noel Foy is an anxiety coach and founder of Neuro Noel Consulting, and the awardwinning author of “ABC Worry Free.” 

Monday, August 1

8:15 – 8:45 am
Wake Up and Write!
Judith Hannan
Essayist, author, and workshop leader Judith Hannan will lead participants in a series of quick writing prompts to encourage free association and the revelation of scenes and stories. (See bio above.)

9 – 10 am
The Six Senses of Memory
Laurie Lindeen
How do we, as writers, recreate the crystal-clear images in our minds so that our readers can really see and imagine them? Let the six senses of memory do the heavy lifting for you! In a series of guided exercises you can develop and sharpen your writing by employing your senses of sight, smell, taste, sound, touch, and intuition. (See bio above.)

11 – 11:45 am
Hybrid Publishing
Jennifer Smith Turner 
Are you feeling flummoxed trying to figure out the complicated world of self-publishing? With a focus on hybrid publishers, Jennifer Smith Turner will share what she’s learned since the publication of her first poetry book in 2003 through the publication of her awardwinning novel in 2020. Turner will explain what hybrid publishers do, how to find one, and how her novel sold thousands of copies. Jennifer will share her lessons learned that participants can apply for themselves. 

Jennifer Smith Turner’s debut novel, “Child Bride,” won several literary awards including Best E-Book for 2020 by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and Biblioboard, and the 2020 Sarton Women’s Book Award. 

12 – 1 pm
Moira Silva
Setting the Table: Building Narratives Around Food

Food has power. In this generative workshop, writers will mine their food-related memories to better understand their perspectives. We’ll use this foundation as we explore techniques for rendering vivid scenes, settings, and characters. Writers will draw inspiration from excerpts by Michelle Zauner, Jessica Harris, Anthony Bourdain, Tom Junod, Sandra Cisneros, and Carmen Maria Machado. Participants will leave feeling enthused about developing in-class drafts using their new skills in multisensory scene creation.

Moira Silva’s food writing can be found in Edible Vineyard, Cook the Vineyard, and Taproot Magazine.

1 – 2 pm
Writing the Agent Query Letter
Mathea Morais

This workshop will examine the all-important agent query letter. From figuring out how to target appropriate agents to writing that very important pitch, Mathea Morais will go step-by-step through the query letter process. Attendees will come away with a better understanding, not only of how to write a query letter, but whom to send it to.

Mathea Morais is the director of literary arts at Featherstone (formerly Noepe Center for Literary Arts), the author of “There You Are” (Chicago Review Press), and has taught English and creative writing to young people for more than 15 years. 

2:15 – 3:15 pm
Moira Silva 
What Remains? Processing the Pandemic 

We all have our March 2020 stories. Add those to the ways in which our lives have changed since then, and there is plenty to explore on paper! This workshop will explore ways to write about your experience during the pandemic, whether it be one of grief or silver linings, of loneliness or finding new forms of connectedness. During discussions, drafting, and sharing, writers are encouraged to discover their own truths while holding space for those whose perspectives may be different.

Moira Silva is the co-creative producer of Covid Monologues MV: A Project to Nourish, Inspire & Connect.

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