Workshops

PAYMENT POLICIES: Workshops are not pro-rated for missed sessions. Payment in full is due prior to the start of a class. If you cancel your participation with less than 48 hours notice before the start of a workshop, please note that you will be charged a $50 fee.

Page Producer Workshop (daytime)
Thursdays
August 1 – September 5
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Instructor: Joni Cole
$200
Unlike a lot of community writing groups that offer feedback but no insight into narrative techniques, this six-week workshop really helps you gain skills and confidence. Our renowned Page Producers workshop (open to fiction and creative non-fiction writers of all levels) is a great way to push your writing forward thanks to ongoing deadlines, quality instruction, reader response, and writing within a supportive community. Find your voice, launch a project, or make solid progress on an existing work. Expect weekly deadlines to share pages aloud for verbal feedback. You will also have the opportunity to submit up to 10 double-spaced pages to the group for a more “formal” critique. Preregistration required. Info: jonibethcole@gmail.com

Abundance: A Yoga and Writing Workshop
Saturday
August 3
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Upper Valley Yoga (down the hall from the Writer’s Center)
Instructors: Deb Heimann and Joni Cole
$55
In this intimately-sized 3-hour “retreat” we welcome all who wish to revitalize their spirit through a combination of yoga and expressive writing. As part of the yoga practice, we will refresh through breathing exercises, poses to open channels of vitality, and heart-centered intention. We also will write from a “prompt” as a means of exploring our thoughts and feelings on the page, and sharing our journey forward. Absolutely no yoga or writing experience is required to attend this retreat. Min. participation: 5;  Max: 10.  Pre-registration is required by contacting either one of the instructors: dhremote@earthlink.net or jonibethcole@gmail.com.

Writing Intensive: Drafting, Developing, and Revising Your Work
Sunday
August 4
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Instructor: Joni Cole
$115
Writers face a lot of very real challenges, from the intimidation of a blank page, to a sense of staleness during the drafting process, to a dearth of quality feedback. Fortunately, there are very real solutions to these challenges—which is the focus of this 3-hour intensive. During this interactive workshop, we’ll cover techniques of narrative craft essential to empowering your prose. You’ll find your muse (and likely not where you expected). And you’ll get instructive feedback to help you write forward productively. (None of those generic responses that leave you deflated, or less than inspired.) Bring 3-4ish double-spaced pages to read aloud. Open to new and seasoned writers serious about making progress. Space is very limited. For info or to register (required) email: jonibethcole@gmail.com.
Note: This Writing Intensive Workshop is happy to go on the road. If your writing group or community (5-8 participants) is interested in hosting this workshop, please contact Joni.  

Sunday Surges: 4 Classes of Quality Feedback and Motivation
Sundays
August 18 – September 15 (skipping 9/1 for Labor Day weekend)
​4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Instructor: Joni Cole
$145
This four-session workshop for fiction and creative non-fiction writers is a great way to generate material, revise with direction, and make solid progress on your prose project. Each meeting provides you with a deadline to assure you are producing consistently. You will be asked to read aloud excerpts from a work-in-progress (three or so double-spaced pages, given time constraints) at each of our meetings. The discussion of these “surges” allows for quality feedback, and fosters teachable moments that benefit every participant in the group. Not to be under-recognized is the tremendous value of writing within a supportive community, and having readers along the way. If your goal is to launch or make steady progress on a novel, memoir, essay, or other type of narrative work, this group is for you. (This workshop requires no outside reading. Come to the first class with pages in hand to read for review.) Preregistration required. (Minimum 4 participants; maximum 6.) Contact: jonibethcole@gmail.com

Women’s Writing Circle (daytime)
Wednesdays
August 28 – September 24
9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Instructor: Joni Cole
$125
It’s all about creativity, appreciation, and jumpstarting… whatever needs jumpstarting! Join our Women’s Writing Circle to discover for yourself why this workshop is so motivating and uplifting. We write from a “prompt,” and inspire purposeful conversations and connections. We also seem to laugh a lot. (And commiserate, and sometimes cover difficult terrain.) No writing experience is needed at all so leave all self doubts at the door. (There is no wrong way to write from a prompt!) If you are interested in generating ideas for future writing, however, this is one of the easiest and most productive ways to get some first thoughts on the page Registration is required by contacting:  jonibethcole@gmail.com

Page Producer Workshop (evening)
Thursdays
August 29 – October 3
6:15 – 8:15 p.m.
Instructor: Joni Cole
$200
Unlike a lot of community writing groups that offer feedback but no insight into narrative techniques, this six-week workshop really helps you gain skills and confidence. Our renowned Page Producers workshop (open to fiction and creative non-fiction writers of all levels) is a great way to push your writing forward thanks to ongoing deadlines, quality instruction, reader response, and writing within a supportive community. Find your voice, launch a project, or make solid progress on an existing work. Expect weekly deadlines to share pages aloud for verbal feedback. You will also have the opportunity to submit up to 10 double-spaced pages to the group for a more “formal” critique. Preregistration required. Info: jonibethcole@gmail.com

Writing Your Best Self: Preparing a College-Admissions Essay
Tuesdays
September 10 – 24, October 1
4:00 – 6:00 pm  
Instructor: Judith Hertog
$160 (Minimum 5 participants; maximum 12)
This 4-week workshop for high school juniors and seniors is a low-stress opportunity to learn to write your best college admission essay. You will explore your own writing voice in a fun and supportive environment that will inspire you to think about who you are, what you care about, and how to put this into words. You will produce several drafts of personal essays, from rough ideas and sketches to a polished final draft that you can use for your college application. Note: A discount may be available if you are experiencing financial hardship. For info or to preregister (required) email Judith Hertog at: judith.hertog@gmail.com.
Judith is an experienced writing instructor who teaches creative writing and composition at Colby Sawyer College. She is also a widely published freelance writer and essayist.  www.judithhertog.com

Practicing Non-Judgment: A Meditation and Writing Retreat
Friday
September 20    
5:30 – 8 p.m.   
Shambhala Center of White River Junction (158 S Main Street)  
Hosts: Jeffrey Slayton and Joni Cole
Free, but donations are appreciated
As humans, part of our mind’s natural capacity is to analyze and try to make sense of our experience. When this process is unconscious we can have a tendency for our analysis to turn into habitual judgement of others and ourselves. While our amazing capacity to make sense of our experience can positively inform our relationships, harboring harsh, perhaps old, and unfounded judgments–whether directed outward or inward–can take a toll on our happiness and health. This workshop offers participants the opportunity to practice ways of letting go of blame and judgment; to shift our minds into a more open, supportive, and tranquil space. During this retreat we will practice sitting and walking meditation.  We also will write from a “prompt,” as a means of inspiring a freedom of expression and rich creative flow. Absolutely no meditation or writing experience is required to attend this retreat. Please join us!  For more info: contact: shambhala.whiteriver@gmail.com or jonibethcole@gmail.com

How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier: A Full-Day Retreat
Saturday
November 2
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Joni Cole
$175
Location: Old Clary Farm, 684 Taylor Farm Road, Greensboro, VT
This retreat will help you cultivate a healthy and productive creative process that will serve you now, and for the rest of your writing life. You’ll learn tips and techniques to get started and stay motivated. You’ll receive quality instruction on craft. You’ll also find inspiration and generate new material through writing prompts and other forms of sustenance, most notably gathering within a supportive community. As part of the retreat, everyone is encouraged to bring 3-4 pages of writing to share for appreciation and quality critique. Both nervous beginners and seasoned authors are welcome—this workshop meets you where you’re at in your writing life, and moves you forward from there. Minimum participation 5. Max 8. Please leave your inner critic at home. (Bring a brown bag lunch; beverages and snacks provided.) To register, email Isa Oehry at isa@isaoehry.com.Note: Workshop registration must be paid in full prior to the retreat, and is non-refundable for cancellations within two days of the event.

Projects in Progress (for all genres)
Second Friday of the Month
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Instructor: Kim J. Gifford
$30 per session
Have a book in the works? A memoir you need help organizing? Searching for feedback on your latest short story? Come join our monthly workshop. We meet for approximately two hours one Friday each month. In addition to feedback from our peers, I offer comments and take your latest chapter, story etc. home for review. We offer a lot of support and advice on how to move forward and will take your project to its well-written completion. I am capping the class at 6 to 8 students on a first-come, first-serve basis. To register (required), contact Kim Gifford: kimbi802@gmail.com.

Fast Feedback: A Crash Course For Beginners and Beyond
TBA
6:30 – 8:00 p.m. 
Instructor: Joni Cole
$45 per session
Are you looking for a quick boost of quality feedback on a creative work-in-progress (personal essay, short fiction, novel-in-progress, memoir)? This one-session workshop provides both instruction and inspiration. During the workshop, you will be invited to read aloud from your work (3-4 double-spaced pages). Whether you’re on your first draft or well into revision, we’ll meet your writing where it’s at, offering appreciation and direction. Preregistration required and space is very limited. For more info, or to register, contact: jonibethcole@gmail.com

Newswriting Mondays
TBA
Instructor: Gene Cassidy
$180
1. Learn to write fast, short and accurate. 2. Know what you’re talking about. 3. Use action words. 4. Be precise. 5. Catch your reader’s interest and don’t let go. 6. Explain a topic so that your reader understands it and knows you gave it a fair shake. 7. Edit yourself. 8. Think. Outline. Write! Eight weeks. See you there. Preregistration required. (Minimum 4 participants; maximum 10). Contact: ehcassidy@gmail.com

Prompt & Pinot
Fridays
TBA
​6:15 – 8:15 p.m.
Instructor: Joni Cole
$25 per session
Need a little writing inspiration? Here’s a more laid back yet productive one-session workshop that uses the time-tested device of a writing “prompt” (and a glass of Pinot or fizzy water or both) to stimulate your creativity, tap into your story ideas, and release your unique writing voice. You’ll also pick up tips on technique and experience first-hand how motivating and fun it can be to be part of a community of other writers. Open to anyone who wants to imbibe in the creative process.  Registration required. (Minimum enrollment 4; maximum 11.) Contact: jonibethcole@gmail.com

Spinning Stories: A Teen Writing Workshop
TBA
Instructor: Judith Hertog
$160
This fun-filled writing workshop for high schoolers is an opportunity to make new friends and  unleash your creativity.  We will work on freeing up your imagination, developing writing and story-telling techniques, boosting your confidence, learning to take and give feedback, and, most importantly, sharing stories and having fun. Judith is a writer and journalist who teaches creative writing at Colby Sawyer College.  Minimum 5 participants. To register, contact judith.hertog@gmail.com.

The Well-Told Story
TBA
Instructor: Geoffrey Douglas
$275
You have a story to tell, but aren’t sure how best to tell it. Do you begin at the beginning and go forward, or at the end and circle back? How do you move your narrative along its round-about path without becoming entangled in it? If your story is a memoir, how personal should you let yourself be? If it’s fiction, how do you develop a cast of characters your reader can believe in? These are a few of the issues you can expect to confront in this workshop, as the group responds to the stories you and others will create, submit and share.(Enrollment limited to eight.) Geoffrey Douglas is the author of four nonfiction books and more than 100 magazine pieces, many of them widely anthologized. For more information or to register, contact Geoffrey Douglas at geoffreyd@earthlink.net or 603-252-3323.

Writing Personal Stories: A Crash Course for Beginners
TBA
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Instructor: Joni Cole
$45
How do you tap into meaningful material? How do you shape a personal essay to capture and maintain a reader’s interest? What narrative techniques can you use to make your prose vivid and convey emotion? Those are some of the issues we’ll cover in this one-session workshop that will help you start and develop those stories from your life that you’ve long wanted to get on the page. We will be doing in-class writing so please bring a notepad or laptop.  Preregistration required.(Minimum enrollment 4 participants; maximum 8.) Contact: jonibethcole@gmail.com

Women’s Writing Circle (evening)
TBA
6:15 – 7:45 p.m.
Instructor: Joni Cole
$125
It’s all about creativity, appreciation, and jumpstarting… whatever needs jumpstarting! Join our Women’s Writing Circle to discover for yourself why this workshop is so motivating and uplifting. We write from a “prompt,” and inspire purposeful conversations and connections. We also seem to laugh a lot. (And commiserate, and sometimes cover difficult terrain.) No writing experience is needed at all so leave all self doubts at the door. (There is no wrong way to write from a prompt!) If you are interested in generating ideas for future writing, however, this is one of the easiest and most productive ways to get some first thoughts on the page. Registration required by contacting:  jonibethcole@gmail.com