Presented by Straw Dog Guild Writers Guild & The Northampton Center for the Arts
Held in memory of Eli Daniel Nemetz Todd, made possible by donations to NCFA in Eli's honor.
Finding the Voice of Your Story with Dori Ostermiller
March 4, 2018
There’s lots of talk these days about voice in narrative, but what is it, exactly? If the voice of our story is the doorway through which readers enter, how do we let them in? How can we consciously create a voice that is compelling, readable and true? In this one-day workshop, we will explore what factors go into creating voice, in fiction and memoir, study some examples of amazing voices in literature, do some writing, and learn techniques for crafting a memorable narrative voice—one that not only engages the reader but also invites surprise and discovery. There is nothing more exciting, for both reader and writer, than following a live, candid and curious mind on the page.
Dori Ostermiller holds a BFA in writing from the University of Redlands and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals. Dori has worked for over two decades as a professional editor, and has taught literature and writing at the University of Massachusetts, Westfield State College, Springfield College and Bay Path College. She is the recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist’s Fellowship, a Tobias Wolf Fiction award and a Walker Gibson award, and is the founder of Writers in Progress, a literary arts center in Western Massachusetts.
Collage and Writing with Becky Jones
March 11, 2018
The workshop will provide images, paper, scissors, glue sticks and tape, though you are free to bring images of your own, if you would like. You provide your openness to the process of discovery, along with pen and paper. People will have the optional opportunity to share both their writings and collages.
Becky Jones has been leading bereavement writing groups for 17 years. In this workshop, we have the opportunity to use one of her favorite exercises that combines collage and writing. Originally intended to explore grief and deepen connections to departed loved ones, it can be used equally well to get in touch with characters in your writing or to gain insight into an issue that is niggling away at you.
How to Begin Writing 10-Minute Plays with Meryl Cohn
March 18, 2018
One of the most common questions about writing plays is how to get started. The germ of an idea for a play may present itself in theme, in situation, or in character. We will discuss various ways to enter the life of a play and do writing exercises to get started on a 10- minute play.
Meryl Cohn's play REASONS TO LIVE was named Favorite Play by The Cape Cod Times. Awards include The 2015 Eventide Arts Jeremiah Kaplan Award, The ATHE Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, finalist for the MCC Playwriting Award, and semifinalist (twice) for the O’Neill National Playwriting Award. Meryl’s work has been produced or developed at The Skylight Theatre, The Open Fist Theatre, N.Y. International Fringe Festival, The Provincetown Theatre, W.H.A.T., The Soho Playhouse, Counter Productions, The Road Theatre, and Smith College, among others. She earned her MFA at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She is the author of the humor book DO WHAT I SAY: MS. BEHAVIOR’S GUIDE TO GAY AND LESBIAN ETIQUETTE, published by Houghton Mifflin. everal of Meryl’s recent short stories have been Glimmer Train Finalists, and she is just finishing (she hopes) her first novel.
Songwriting 101 with Pamela Means
March 25, 2018
There is no such thing as writer's block. Dubious? Come to the Pamela Means Songwriting Workshop and learn new tools, tips and tricks of the craft to tease out more brilliance from your brain. You will never suffer from blank pages again. Acclaimed songwriter, Pamela Means, will help inspire you to push the envelope, stretch and take risks as a writer. You will expand your lyrical menu through myriad exercises and broaden musical, melodic and chord choices with a teaspoon taste of music theory for songwriters. You will be pleasantly surprised with what comes up! Bring your instrument, notebook and a favorite writing utensil.
A multi-talented performer, singer, songwriter, composer and producer, Pamela Means's multiple honors include being named Falcon Ridge Folk Festival's "# 1 Most Wanted New Artist," "Wisconsin Folk Artist of the Year," "Wisconsin Female Vocalist of the Year," and her politically provocative album, Single Bullet Theory, was voted 2004's "Outmusic Outstanding New Recording." Her latest CD, Plainfield, was released last fall.