Spring/Summer 2024 Workshops


Next Meeting: May 6

Join me for this free monthly event for reminiscence writers. Sign up on arrival to read on a first-come, first-served basis, and receive group feedback from like-minded people. Listeners welcome as well as readers.

When: First Monday of every month (except holidays), from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Join us in person at the Pinney Library Community Room, 516 Cottage Grove Rd.
Free. No advance registration required. Food and beverages are welcome!

Want to see what kind of stories are shared? Visit my blog, True Stories Well Told

Start Writing Your Life Story

In Person, offered through Arts Lit Lab, 6 weeks starting April 16th

The stories of our lives connect generations and communities. Whether you want to share your own life experiences or pass on your family’s stories, this workshop will help you get started and stay motivated.

Each week we’ll discuss aspects of writing from life, including wordcraft, storytelling techniques, organizing your project, and the complications of writing about living people. If you’ve taken Guided Autobiography but are looking for more storycraft instruction, this workshop delivers what you need.

Suggested themes and prompts will help you write 2-3 pages each week. Class sessions include time to share what you’ve written in a supportive environment. You’ll leave with lots of ideas to keep you writing. Attendees should bring paper and pen/pencils for in-class exercises.

4/16 – 5/21, Tuesday afternoons 3:30-5:30
Where: Arts Lit Lab, 111 S. Livingston Street, in the Education Room
Fee: $168
To register: follow this link.

Summer Fun & Games for Writers

In Person, offered through Pinney Library, 6 weeks starting June 26th

We’ll use short writing exercises to trigger your creativity while expanding your writing skills. Practice writing about places, characters, and scenes with short assignments designed to be as fun as they are helpful in finding your voice as a writer. Some writing exercises will take place in class and others will be “Field Trip” assignments between class meetings. We will…

  • Explore capturing characters with telling details.
  • Conveying a sense of place.
  • Dig into “show don’t tell” with action in scenes.

Class sessions include time to share what you’ve written in a supportive environment. You’ll leave with lots of ideas to keep you writing. Attendees should bring paper and pen/pencils for in-class exercises.

Who: Open to all fiction and nonfiction writers, ages 12-112.
When: Wednesday afternoons 3:30-5:30, June 26, July 3, 10, 17
Where: Pinney Library Community Room, 516 Cottage Grve Road
Fee: Free
To register: Use this link. Registration opens June 12.

call a librarian at 608-224-7100 or email pinney​@madisonpubliclibrary.org.

Save the Date: Thursday-Sunday October 10-13


2024 Farm/Art DTour* Immersive Writing Retreat

In Person, sponsored by Wormfarm Institute, 4-day experience, now in the planning stages

Working title:  “Responding to Experience: Writing the Personal Essay”

I have enjoyed contemplating my own response to the Farm/Art DTour in past years and want to share that experience with others. I plan to convene a small group of writers connecting over a shared experience that can be perplexing, amusing, and stimulating. I’ll be your guide as we experience something worth writing about, reflect on our personal response to that experience, and produce daily journal reflections plus a rough draft of a personal essay.

*What’s the Farm/Art DTour? Read a description on the Wormfarm website here. Want to know more? Read an article I wrote about it for the Wisconsin Academy’s “People and Ideas” magazine here.

“The tour always feels very cinematic to me,” she says. “You’re in this autumn landscape, the rolling hills, the moving car—it’s more than the actual stops. It’s the restaurants and shops on the main streets of the towns, the weather, the landowners and the art installations, the roadside culture stands with vendors. They’re all celebrating the creative and cultural economy.” — Sara Daleiden, 2022 DTour artist

Who: Creative nonfiction writers welcome to apply.
When: Thursday October 10-Sunday October 13, 2024.
What we’ll do: Each day begins with writing craft discussion and daily prompts (think treasure hunt) for the afternoon’s immersion. We will spend Friday and Saturday afternoons as a group, driving the DTour route and immersing ourselves in a dozen or so site-specific art installations, pasture performances, and more. In the evenings, we’ll cook and reflect together, or enjoy private writing time.
Where: We’ll stay at a nature/spiritual retreat center in northwestern Dane County or Sauk County (details to come) 
Fee: Estimated to be about $1000.
Find out more: Email me to indicate your interest; I’ll keep in touch as the plan come together.

Workshops not for you?
Try individualized memoir coaching

I help you write and share your life stories, coaching you as you write a compelling story from your memories. Throughout, I’m at your side to help you get started and stay motivated. Print-on-demand makes it possible to share your story with just a small circle or offer it to the world.

Intrigued? Got questions? I have answers! Let’s talk.