Log in

International Women's Writing Guild

Log in

Virtual Track Events

Our 2023 Virtual Conference will run from June 2 to 22 and includes an opening panel on spiritual memoir, 9 workshops, an IWWG anthology launch  from our work with women writers in Afghanistan, and a closing open mic. Please join us! Please note there is a special rate for those already registered for in person.




Kick off Panel - BREATHING OUT: Writers on the Integration of Religion and Spirituality in Their Work

May 31, 2023
7:00 - 8:30 PM EST

Piety. Devotion. Respect for the sacred. Sanctity. Holiness. Reverence for the gods. Moral obligation. Conscientiousness. Divinity. Consciousness. Faith. No matter our roots and upbringing, we’ve all been shaped—personally, socially, culturally, legislatively—by religious and spiritual beliefs. How does a contemporary writer navigate this uneasy, uncertain terrain as artist, truth-teller, and bookseller? What risks, challenges, and triumphs—personal and professional, and at all phases of the book process—do writers encounter when they foreground, as subject matter, their religious/spiritual experiences? This panel, facilitated by Marj Hahne, features five North American women writers with debut or recent full-length books, who will discuss these questions as well as read from their work.

Marj Hahne

Facilitator, freelance writer, and writing teacher

Ma-Nee Chacaby  

Author of A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder

Mary Alice Hostetter  
Author of Plain: A Memoir of Mennonite Girlhood

Joy Ladin 

Author of Shekhinah Speaks; The Book of Anna; The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective; Psalms; and Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey between Genders

Jan Phillips 

Author of Still on Fire: Field Notes from a Queer Mystic; No Ordinary Time: The Rise of Spiritual Intelligence and Evolutionary Creativity; Finding the On-Ramp to Your Spiritual Path: A Roadmap to Joy and Rejuvenation; and God Is at Eye Level: Photography as a Healing Art

Rachel Rueckert  

Author of East Winds: A Global Quest to Reckon with Marriage

Poem a la Mode (Intensive)

June 2, 2023
1:00 - 4:00 PM EST

Lyric. Narrative. Dramatic. What defines and distinguishes these poetic modes? What does each mode effect? Likely, we naturally write our poems on a continuum between lyric and narrative, with the occasional persona poem asserting itself, but bringing more consciousness to a poem’s voice will strengthen our drafts and revisions. In this workshop, we’ll devote each of the three days to one mode each, discussing successful models of the day’s mode and generating our own poems in that mode.

Marj Hahne is a freelance editor, writer, and writing teacher, and a 2015 MFA graduate from the Rainier Writing Workshop, with a concentration in poetry. She has performed and taught at over 100 venues around the country, as well as been featured on public radio and television programs. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, anthologies, art exhibits, and dance performances. Committed to making poetry hospitable for everyone, she launched a YouTube channel featuring videos in which she reads poems to dogs and pairs poems with craft beers, craft spirits, and coffees.



Unfolding the Mysteries of Memoir Writing: Getting The Yin and Yang Of It

June 5, 2023
6:00 - 7:30 PM EST

Anyone who has survived a tragedy, a trauma or the turbulence that tests us all has most likely wondered if they should write a book about the experience. This is how we’re made. We’re born creators, born to help each other—and writing a book to help others navigate the potholes is a natural inclination. But where do we begin? How do we deal with the emotional parts, the spiritual dimension, the psychological toll of it all. Questions plague us, cloud our thoughts, dissuade us, and we die never having done the one daring thing: telling our true story.
This workshop will address these questions and more:
Where do I start?
How do I find a publisher?
Do I need an agent?
How do I write a proposal?
What if I don’t have a platform?
How do I find an editor?
Where will I find the time?

Jan Phillips, Author, Speaker, Artist & Activist
Jan Phillips, author Still On Fire, No Ordinary Time, Creativity Unzipped, The Art of Original Thinking, Divining the Body, Marry Your Muse, God is at Eye Level, Making Peace, Born Gay, A Waist is a Terrible Thing to Mind, Finding The On-Ramp to Your Spiritual Path.
Jan’s TED-X Talk,

Quiet the Mind so the Heart Can Write

June 6, 2023
4:00 - 5:00 PM EST

Our world is cluttered with distractions. While we try to manage, it is difficult to write when we cannot counter the noise. This workshop will focus on incorporating simple breathing techniques to silence disruptions so you can create. Not only can this deepen the artistic experience, but it can break through writer’s blocks. I will also suggest how to set up your personal writing space with fewer distractions. This technique works for all writing genres. No prior experience with meditation, breathing, or relaxation techniques is necessary.

Margaret R. Sáraco, author of the poetry collection, If There Is No Wind (Human Error Publishing, 2022), is a yoga practitioner and former Pilates instructor. She learned the art of meditation when she was an actor in New York City, where there are many distractions. Besides writing poetry and short stories, she has written two plays and is working on a novel. She enjoys leading writing workshops and creating community. Margaret has also written many articles on contemporary life, music, health, and feminism. Her second poetry book is due out in 2023. A retired, middle school math teacher, she taught meditation to her students, who welcomed the
diversion from their math studies.

Developing Your Character & Their Arc of Change

2-part workshop: June 7 & 14, 2023
7:00 - 8:30 PM EST

A strong character change arc keeps readers turning pages, but how do you create one? The building blocks of a character's change come from their Goals, Motivation and Conflict - both internal and external. Over the course of the two workshops, we'll work on these areas, delve deep into who our characters are, what they want, what they desire and what's getting in their way. You'll leave with a great foundation for your character -- and some ideas for the scenes that will push them through their arc.

Rona Gofstein is a published author and an Author Accelerator certified fiction book coach who loves working with writers who have longed to make their book writing dreams a reality. She describes her style as intensive feedback combined with compassionate enthusiasm because she knows that on this journey, writers need clarity, support and encouragement. She has spoken on writing craft and business across the country and is the past president of the New Hampshire RWA chapter and Board Universe. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and sons, misses the 24-hour diners of her home state of New Jersey and is always up for getting coffee or talking about books, writing, and where to go out for dinner. You can reach her at

Mindful Editing

June 8, 2023
4:00 - 5:00 PM EST

Before you complete the last line and hit “submit,” give your creative writer-brain a day off and engage your inner editor. Even with minimal but careful attention to style (sentence structure, syntax, grammar, and punctuation), you can greatly improve your writing. In this workshop, Andi Penner will share with you the self-editing process she has honed over years as a graduate student, English professor, technical writer and editor, and poet. Andi advocates clear, correct, and error-free writing to help you enhance your reputation as a writer who cares about her medium, i.e., words on a page. In this workshop, you’ll learn and practice basic editing concepts and skills in a fun, safe environment. You’ll leave with new knowledge and several resources (print and online).

Andrea (Andi) M. Penner, an IWWG member for 3 years, recently retired from a long and varied career in college teaching, administration, technical writing, and editing. She’s also published two collections of poetry, When East Was North (2012) and Rabbit Sun Lotus Moon (2017). Andi has won teaching awards for her work at the University of New Mexico and San Juan College (also in New Mexico). Andi, who is passionate about sharing her expertise with and learning from the community of writers, lives and writes in Albuquerque, New Mexico and brings a Southwest flavor to her teaching and writing.

Two Lands, Two Languages, Two Minds
(Cross-Cultural Generative Poetry Workshop)

June 9, 2023
1:00 - 2:30 PM EST

Reading excerpts from my poetry collections Generation One Point Five and The War Still Within as examples, I will share a process that non-native speakers can use to translate their lives to English. As a Korean-American poet, I often describe my writing process as two minds trying to communicate on the same page, across the gaps between identities; I naturally write in both languages because I think in both languages. So I will use my poem, “The Gap,” to demonstrate the effect of different languages represented as different minds. Then, participants will use the “gap method” to create their own short poem. We will reflect on the experience of learning a new language as an immigrant, engaging deeply with both the process and the outcome of sharing our stories in translation. Because history endures in poetry, we’ll read “1991, Seoul, South Korea” from “Comfort Woman” and explore the possibilities that emerge for untold stories to be retold by writers decades, even centuries, later.

Tanya Ko Hong (Hyonhye) is an internationally published poet, translator, and cultural curator championing bilingual poetry and poets. Born and raised in South Korea, she immigrated to the USA at the age of eighteen. She holds an MFA degree from Antioch University, Los Angeles. Tanya’s work has won the the Dritëro Agolli award, at the  International Korçare Poetry Festival, Yun Doon-ju Korean-American Literature Award, Ko Won’s 10th Literary Award was a finalist in Frontier’s Chapbook Contest, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Tanya is the author of five books, including The War Still Within (KYSO Flash Press, 2019). Her work appears in Rattle, Beloit Poetry Journal, Allium, Entropy, Cultural Weekly, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly (The Feminist Press), great weather for MEDIA, the Choson Ilbo, and The Korea Times, among others. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Accessing the Secrets of Your Inner Writer

June 13, 2023
7:00 - 8:00 PM EST

What do I not want to write about?  But what do I really need to put out into words?  What secrets does my inner writer hold back, for fear of judgment, exposure and vulnerability? What words have  my writing voice been hiding from myself and others? In this workshop participants will be invited to write words that they haven’t wanted to express on the page.  We often filter our writing voices through our conscious mind and intellect.   As in our dream life, our voices as writers can access and express  deep inner material that is often hidden from ourselves, but deeply longing to be expressed. Through  a series of prompts, stories,  and readings of other writers,  you will be guided to explore the caves of your inner writing voice .In this workshop, you will be very surprised and enlightened with the powerful content from your inner vault, that will spill out freely onto the page. Each class will have a short period of different prompts, stories, and writing that are designed to encourage and inspire the writer to explore the words that need to be written.  The class will also include a period of writing, followed by participants reading and sharing their words with the other writers in the class.

Maxine Poupko is a writer and Registered Nurse. She is a health advocate and teaches creative writing and art in hospitals and treatment centers. She has had stories published in The Sun, the Writing class Radio podcast, and A Waist is a Terrible Thing to Mind, by Jan Phillips. Maxine taught 2 different workshops, consecutive years, at the IWWG summer conferences at Skidmore College, Healing and Transforming Grief through the Writer’s Voice, and Women and Food, Nurturing and Nourishing the Soul. Maxine has studied Jungian psychology. She teaches meditation classes as well as using art and writing in cancer survivorship. 

The Ins and Outs of Self-Publishing

June 15, 2023
4:00 - 5:00 PM EST

You’ve decided to pursue an Indie or Self-publishing path for your book. Now what? This workshop goes over how to proceed once you’ve made that choice.
Included topics:

    • Indie publishing - what is the best approach to get a small publisher interested in your book. What services can you expect included with an Indie Publisher? What key steps do you need to take to ensure a successful relationship and launch.
    • Self-publishing - what are the tasks required to self-publish? When should you pay for experts. What should you make sure to do yourself. How to use the idea of a general contractor to understand your role as author in self-publishing.
    • Marketing and Sales - why creating a Logline helps bring clarity in a marketing strategy. How a good marketing strategy is needed to maximize sales and what key elements of a good strategy are essential.

Cathleen is a writer, speaker, teacher, coach, and intuitive who offers developmental editing, publishing, book layout, and marketing services to other writers. Books include The Everything Law of Attraction Dream DictionaryHigh Heels on the Hamster Wheel - A Fable for the Modern Woman and The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory. She successfully developed a book launch plan for her 2014 book, 365 Days of Angel Prayers, keeping it at number 1 in its category on Amazon and eventually selling the rights in 2017. She is currently at work on her first romance novel.

New Anthology, Arrows of Light, Launch Celebration, Readings and Discussion

June 18, 2023
5:00 PM EST

Join us for a celebration of our latest book published under the IWWG Press Imprint. Arrows of Light features original stories written by Afghan women writers, some still in Afghanistan and many who emigrated after the U.S. exit and the return of Taliban rule. These women's voices are so important right now as they start over in new countries, often having to leave their professional work and other family behind. For those still in country, their words carry even greater importance. The anthology features original photography and also original art loaned to the IWWG for publication by the Peace Pen Art, Peace Gallery Exhibition, where women artists captured their artistic interpretation of what peace might mean.

Editor Pamela D. Varkony will lead the discussion and introduce excerpts from the anthology read by contributors.  

Your support of these women through attending the event and through the purchase of the book expresses the solidarity that is a core value of the IWWG.

Pamela Varkony is a dynamic speaker who has inspired audiences from America to Australia to Afghanistan through her passion for improving the lives of others. Her insights on life, leadership, politics, and the human condition are read and heard across four continents. Considered to be a thought-leader in women’s empowerment, Pam speaks and trains frequently on the subjects of leadership, gender diversity, and their impact on corporate cultures and government policies. In 2017 she was named a Pearl S. Buck International Woman of Influence.  From 2012 to 2014 she served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Pennsylvania State Commission for Women.

All Creatures Great & Small -Solstice Celebration of Animals 

June 21, 2023
1:00 - 2:00 PM EST

From the Secret Life of Bees to Jaws and Jumanji creatures have served as pivotal inspiration for myths and metaphors, symbols of perseverance, companionship, loyalty and courage. We've learned horses heal, cats can communicate and pets protect. As we craft stories, poems and fiction we will mine these arenas as well as the worlds of centaurs and griffins, Aesop's Fables, Animal Farm, Bambi and Temple Grandin,  In exploring animals as visible victims and indicators of climate change we will also connect with activists Greta Thunberg and Wanjiru Wathuti. If there is a creature you've loved, or a wildness you'd like to revisit, come take this journey from Lassie to literature and discover your inner creature power.

Dorothy Randall Gray is author of the bestseller, Soul Between the Lines (Avon/Harper Collins), a recent volume of poetry Sharing the Same Sky, and numerous anthology selections.  Her other published works include Muse Blues, Woman, Family, The Passion Collection, and A Taste of Tamarinda. A two year LA Poet-in-Residence Dorothy's  "When I Was A Tree" poetry film was awarded Official Selection by the Film & Poetry Video  Symposium. Her work is also featured in the upcoming Eve Ensler/Aja Monet production, VOICES. She is a former board member of the International Women's Writing Guild, NPR commentator, and UNESCO delegate. Her workshops have inspired thousands throughout the US, China, Iceland, and India. They have served a variety of audiences including beginning and seasoned writers, graduate and high school students, creative aging groups, and incarcerated populations. A global activist Dorothy is a Hedgebrook Fellow who has shared the dais with the Dalai Lama, performed poetry in Iceland, danced with tribal boys in India, and boogied with James Baldwin in NYC.

Open Mic

June 22, 2023
4:00 - 5:30 PM EST

  • Your 3-minute reading includes your piece(s) + any introductory remarks. 
(PLEASE prepare your reading in advance by timing yourself.)
  • No requirement to indicate in advance your participation.
  • Please come to read or to listen!

Marj Hahne is a freelance editor, writer, and writing teacher, and a 2015 MFA graduate from the Rainier Writing Workshop, with a concentration in poetry. She has performed and taught at over 100 venues around the country, as well as been featured on public radio and television programs. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, anthologies, art exhibits, and dance performances. Committed to making poetry hospitable for everyone, she launched a YouTube channel featuring videos in which she reads poems to dogs and pairs poems with craft beers, craft spirits, and coffees.



Contact Us!

Email (quickest response):

Email Us

Phone: (617) 792-7272

Mailing Address:

The International Women’s Writing Guild

888 8th Avenue, #537
New York, NY 10019

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software