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International Women's Writing Guild

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IWWG Online Events

IWWG has exciting online offerings, including writing workshops, open mics, free writes, and more.  Check back often to find the latest events.  We hope to see you online soon!

Upcoming Events

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    • Tuesday, May 16, 2023
    • Tuesday, June 27, 2023
    • 6 sessions
    • ONLINE
    • 7

    Intensive Writing Circle

    Life Writing Intensive Workshop

    The "Life Writing Intensive Workshop" will feature six different approaches and styles that help writers "bring to life" the people in their lives and their own experiences. The two-hour sessions will include discussion of example texts, writing exercises, and feedback on writing. Our discussion will develop around the narrative techniques employed by the writers of the following texts: Anna Funder, Stasiland, Laurie Lee, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, Rebecca Loncraine Skybound, Anton Chekhov, A Life in Letters, George Szirtes, The Photographer at Sixteen, and Louisa May Alcott, Death of a Soldier. 

    Carmen Bugan, George Orwell Prize Fellow, is the author of five poetry collections, among which Lilies from America: New and Selected Poems (a PBS Special Commendation). Her memoir, Burying the Typewriter: Childhood Under the Eye of the Secret Police, was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, and her monograph on Seamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile has received wide recognition. Her book, Poetry and the Language of Oppression: Essays on Politics and Poetics(Oxford University Press, 2021), was named "an essential book for writers" by Poets & Writers; her new book of poems, Time Being, was praised by the Irish Times poetry editor for its "disciplined precision". Bugan was a Creative Arts Fellow in Literature at Wolfson College, Oxford University, a Hawthornden Fellow, the Helen DeRoy Professor in Honors at the University of Michigan, and has also taught at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. She has a doctorate in English literature from Balliol College, Oxford. Dr Bugan is on the faculty at the Gotham Writers' Workshop in Manhattan, The Poetry School in London, the Oxford Writing Mentors, serves on the Advisory Board of the Geneva Writers' Group, and teaches creative writing worldwide.

    • Thursday, May 18, 2023
    • Thursday, June 08, 2023
    • 4 sessions
    • ONLINE
    • 12

    Writing Circle

    Channeling Grief and Loss Through Poetry

    Writing poetry is a means to channel our grief allowing for personal expression. In this course, we explore how poetry can be a sacred container for the holy act of grieving. Each of our grief journey's are uniquely our own and the objective of this course is to create space to get closer to our feelings around loss and express our own unique stories through poetry. The class is not meant to replace therapy or grief counseling, but rather is a course focusing on how we can use the craft of poetry to cultivate sacred space and express our stories of grief with love and honesty. 

    Author of the poetry collection, City of Pearls (UpSet Press 2019), Sham-e-Ali Nayeem is a Hyderabadi Muslim American poet, sound practitioner, interdisciplinary artist and recovering social justice lawyer. She has released two albums, City of Pearls (2019) and Moti Ka Sheher (2023) featuring musical interpretations from her book. Sham-e-Ali is the recipient of the 2022 Leeway Transformation Award and the 2016 Loft Literary Center Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship.

    • Wednesday, May 31, 2023
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • ONLINE

    BREATHING OUT: Writers on the Integration of Religion and Spirituality in Their Work

    (Kick off panel for virtual conference - open to the public for this session - if you are registered for the virtual conference series, no need to rsvp)

    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.


    • Wednesday, May 31, 2023
    • 7:00 PM
    • Thursday, June 22, 2023
    • 9:00 PM
    • ONLINE

    Summer Virtual Conference
    June 2023

    • Wednesday, June 07, 2023
    • 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
    • via Zoom


    Finding the Dimensions of
    Your Story in its Setting

    **Please note all times are listed in EST**

    We tend to spotlight character and plot when writing fiction, but often setting is where the real story begins. A claustrophobic place wrought with a tenuous history that forces characters together is often the beginning of determining the parameters of conflict and defining the dimensions of your world. For this workshop, we’ll go beyond thinking about place as merely the backdrop of your story—we’ll look for the story in the place! We’ll try to understand how the dimensions of a story can instigate the tensions and conflicts of a character’s world, and we’ll go beyond verisimilitude to construct the layers of a place. Like a tiered cake, we will build from the ground up, interrogating the ways that physical geography, history, and characters can lead to dynamic characterizations of setting that inform the conflict of your story. By the end of the workshop, you should have some concrete ideas for how to address setting in your writing in a more purposeful and nuanced manner.

    Julie Iromuanya is the author of Mr. and Mrs. Doctor (Coffee House Press), a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, the Etisalat Prize for Literature, and the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize for Debut Fiction. Her scholarly-critical work most recently appears in The Journal of Black Studies, Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, Callaloo: A Journal of African American Arts and Letters, and Afropolitan Literature as World Literature (Bloomsbury Publishing). She is a 2020 George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation fellow, and she was the inaugural Herbert W. Martin Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Dayton. Iromuanya earned her Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is an assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Program in Creative Writing at the University of Chicago and affiliate faculty of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. Her second novel, A Season of Light, is forthcoming from Algonquin Books (2024).

    • Sunday, June 18, 2023
    • 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
    • ONLINE

    New Anthology, Arrows of Light, Launch Celebration,

    Readings and Discussion 

    (open to the public: if you have already registered under the virtual conference series, no need to RSVP)

    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.

    • Thursday, June 29, 2023
    • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    • Online


    Open Mic with Susan Comninos
    *** All Times are Eastern Standard Time ***

    Featured Author: Susan Comninos reads from her debut book of poems, "Out of Nowhere" (SFA/Texas A&M, '22)

    Susan Comninos is a widely published poet and author of the recent book of poems, “Out of Nowhere” (SFA/Texas A&M, 2022). Her individual poems have appeared in the Harvard Review Online, Rattle, The Common, Prairie Schooner and North American Review, among others. Since 2017, she’s taught writing to undergraduates at Siena College, The College of St. Rose, and most recently, SUNY Albany, as well as diverse groups of adults in the community. She lives in upstate New York.

    • Friday, June 30, 2023
    • 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM


    Friday Free Write with Robin Stein
    Create a Sensational Memoir

    (only click when it's time for the event to start, or a few mins before)

    When you write a memoir, make it come alive for your reader by bringing in the five senses. What did you see that winter’s morning when you peered out the window? What did you hear your parents saying? What smell wafted in from the kitchen? How did your first bite of breakfast taste? How did the doorknob feel in your hand as you left the house?

    Through writing exercises and short readings, we will explore ways to draw readers into your world. We will discuss how to craft a memoir which conveys personal history along with universal themes. How do we weave symbolic threads through our writing? How can we employ objects to reflect emotion and ideas? How can we make our story resonate for others?

    Whether you write memoir, fiction, poetry or creative non-fiction, you will discover ways to use the senses to create authentic and engaging pieces. Workshop members will be encouraged to share their writing and ideas with the group. We will follow Mary Oliver’s Instructions for Living a Life: “Pay attention, be astonished, tell about it.”

    Robin Stein grew up in New York City across the street from the Jackson
    Heights Public Library. She started writing at age five and never stopped. After studying literature at Queens College, she attended Boston University Law School. While practicing consumer and environmental law, she kept writing.
    She received a poetry grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and her work appeared in Sidelines, Home Planet News, the new renaissance, day tonight/night today, 50 Give or Take and The Paterson Review.

    Her children’s book, My Two Cities: A Story of Immigration and Inspiration, is a memoir in verse about Hanni Myers who fled Vienna as a child at the start of World War II.. Robin and Hanni speak to audiences of all ages about this important story. Learn more at the website:

    • Thursday, July 20, 2023
    • 4:00 PM
    • Monday, July 24, 2023
    • 11:00 AM
    • Philadelphia

    Summer Conference

    Summer Conference 2023
    Writing for Equity and Inclusion

    Join us this summer!  You can stay connected and get all relevant conference information on the conference event site here:

    Summer Conference.

    In 2023 our conference will be in Philadelphia at Chestnut Hill College and will feature over 70 workshops, critiques, open mics, performances, and awards. Registration includes all workshops, 4 nights in a single room and all meals (Thursday dinner through Monday breakfast). Please note that our primary residence, Fitzsimmons hall, is now full. We will be opening a room block in the adjacent Fontbonne Hall. Please call or email to get more information and a registration link!  

    • Friday, July 21, 2023
    • 8:30 AM
    • Sunday, July 23, 2023
    • 10:00 AM
    • 4

    2023 Summer Conference

    Ten Tips: An Intensive Workshop on
    Writing Your Personal Story

    This advanced workshop is limited to ten participants, assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. 

    Submission Deadline: June 23, 2022. Once you have received notice that you are registered, please submit electronically no more than five double-spaced pages of personal narrative to, Use the subject line: Submission for Memoir Intensive. Work can be taken from a single long piece or several shorter, stand-alone pieces Be sure to include at least one of your opening paragraphs or pages and one of your closing sections. Please use Times New Roman, 12-point type and submit your work as a .doc so the instructor and other participants can add observations. Preference will be given to full-week registrants. Manuscripts will be distributed to all participants in advance of the conference.

    Annie Dillard once said, “You have to take pains not to hang on the reader’s arms, like a drunk, and say ‘And then I did this and it was so interesting’.” What is it, exactly, that can make your personal narrative truly engaging? Not simply a recollection of your experience or an information dump.  Working together we will be looking at how to find the kernel, the heart of your story, the image or concept that teems with life, even at its most deceptively subdued. Using this kernel, we will then explore and apply ten techniques useful for writing the openings, middles, and closings of your own personal essays, autobiographical short stories, and memoirs. Personal stories can be made to matter; this workshop demonstrates how. Participants are invited to submit ahead of time up to 5 pages of their own personal writing to foster collaboration and focus feedback.

    Judith Huge has spent over thirty years developing innovative approaches to both learning and writing. As president of her own national consulting firm, teacher of both undergraduate and graduate-level college courses, and director of writing workshops across the country, she has made a difference in the way thousands of people find, craft, and promote their voices through writing.  She currently teaches intensive writing workshops for the Osher Learning Center ( University of South Florida) and Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill (Cape Cod, Massachusetts), among others She is a co-author of 101 Ways You Can Help: How to Offer Comfort and Support to Those Who Are Grieving (Sourcebook, 2009), as well as “A Middle Aged Woman and the Sea,” a tale of loss and transition (Women in the Wild, A Traveler’s Tale Anthology.)

    • Friday, July 21, 2023
    • 8:30 AM
    • Sunday, July 23, 2023
    • 10:00 AM
    • TBD
    • 4

    2023 Summer Conference

    Advanced Fiction Writing

    The workshop is
     limited to eight registrants on a first-come, first-served basis. $50 fee. To reserve one of the eight spaces, submit a manuscript (3,000 words or less) electronically by 
    no later than June 15 to, subject line: Submission for Advanced Seminar in Fiction Writing. You will be invoiced for $50 fee when you register. Manuscripts will be distributed to all participants in advance of the conference.

    Lynne Barrett is the award-winning author of three short story collections The Secret Names of WomenThe Land of Go, and Magpies, which received the Florida Book Awards Gold Medal for General Fiction in 2012.  Her anthology Making Good Time, True Stories of How We Do, and Don't, Get Around in South Florida, was published in Fall 2019 by Jai-Alai Books. What Editors Want: A Must Read for Writers Submitting to Literary Magazines, published by Rain Chain Press, has recently gone into its second printing. The essay on which it is based, published in The Review Review, was featured in the L.A. Times Book Blog and republished in Glimmer Train's digest. Barrett edited Tigertail: Florida Flash, and  co-edited Birth: A Literary Companion and The James M. Cain Cookbook, a collection of Cain's nonfiction.

    Her short stories have appeared in many journals including the Orange Blossom ReviewNew Flash Fiction Review Mystery TribuneNecessary Fiction,The Miami Rail Fort Lauderdale Magazine,  Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine,  Painted Bride Quarterly, Night Train, and Real South. And her essays have been published in The Hong Kong Review, River Teeth's "Beautiful Things" series, andThe Southern Women's Review.

    In Fall 2020, a new essay was included Grabbed: Poets and Writers on Sexual Assault (Beacon Press), and a short story from the 1990s was republshed Akashic's Miami Noir: The Classics.  Her stories and essays are included in many anthologies and textbooks, including: Flash! Writing the Very Short Story, Just to Watch Them Die: Crime Stories Inspired by the Songs of Johnny Cash, Fifteen Views of Miami, Trouble in the Heartland,  Blue Christmas, One Year to a Writing Life, Delta Blues, A Dixie Christmas, Miami Noir, Simply the Best Mysteries, A Hell of a Woman, Mondo BarbieLiterature: Reading and Responding to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and the EssayThe Lexington Introduction to Literature, and many more.

    She has received the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best mystery story from the Mystery Writers of America, the Moondance International Film Festival award for Best Short story, and fellowships from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, she received her M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She teaches in the M.F.A. program in Creative Writing at Florida International University and edits The Florida Book Review.

    • Friday, July 21, 2023
    • 8:30 AM
    • Sunday, July 23, 2023
    • 10:00 AM
    • 3

    2023 Summer Conference

    Advanced Poetry Seminar

    The seminar has a limit of SEVEN participants on a first-come, first-served basis; a one- page poem of any form/content is required of each attendee in advance of the workshop; 

    Once your register, submit a one-page poem of any form/content electronically by no later than June 15 to, subject line: Submission for Advanced Poetry Seminar. 

    Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.~ Rumi 

    Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.~Maya Angelou
    Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.~ Simone Weil

    This generative workshop is based on getting to first thought, connecting with your senses and mining memories. We will form a supportive community and write daily from prompts, poems, music, art and objects. You will enter the creative process, find an authentic voice and leave with new poems and ideas for new writing. Take a risk. Join us and set your writing life on fire! 

    Please ask about fee scholarships which are available for this class if needed.

    LINDA LEEDY SCHNEIDER, a psychotherapist in private practice and poetry mentor, was awarded The Contemporary American Poetry Prize by Chicago Poetry.  She has written six collections of poetry including Through My Window: Poetry of a Psychotherapist (Plain View Press).  A former faculty member at Aquinas College and Kendall College of Art and Design, Linda facilitates workshops nationally including The Manhattan Writing Workshop which she founded and has led since 2008. Editor of two poetry anthologies by poets she has mentored, Poems From 84th Street (Pudding House Publications) and Mentor’s Bouquet (Finishing Line Press), Linda’s poetry was included in Not a Muse: The Inner Lives of Women, a World Poetry Anthology for which she produced a reading to benefit The International Women’s Writing Guild at The Bowery Poetry Club (NYC). She conducts workshops on Poetry Therapy for the National Association of Social Workers’ Annual Conference.  Linda has been the featured poet at readings in New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Taos, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids.

    • Friday, July 21, 2023
    • Sunday, July 23, 2023
    • 3 sessions
    • 6

    Memoir as Monologue is a three-Day Play Lab intensive with a public SHOWCASE performance Sept. 12, 2023, 7:00 p.m., online with guest actors, produced by Kelly DuMar. All writers will have the chance to have their monologue performed in the showcase, with a follow up Q&A. This workshop will help you artistically express what you’ve overcome and achieved, and creatively share your experience to benefit others through the medium of theater. You’ll learn how to write successful dramatic monologues based on your life that are personally meaningful, emotionally satisfying, and relevant and engaging for an audience. Through writing prompts and creative exploration, you’ll develop your ordinary and extraordinary life experiences into powerful, dramatic monologues that can be performed by an actor––or you––with universal appeal. We’ll include a discussion of elements of dramatic structure, including the role of conflict, plot, communicating subtext, voice, narrative, and the importance of set-up. New writing will be generated and revised daily. Beginning and experienced writers are welcome.  

Contact Us!

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Phone: (617) 792-7272

Mailing Address:

The International Women’s Writing Guild

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

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