Authors,do you want to get started with marketing your book but you don’t know where to begin? Maybe you’re nearing your publication date and looking to put a marketing plan together or you’re building an audience around your existing books. Or maybe you haven’t finished a book yet, but you want to grow an audience that’s interested in hearing more of your voice. If so, this workshop can help you create an author platform that attracts and engages your target audience, and teach you how to craft compelling content for a variety of social media platforms. This workshop is designed to get you set up to make sales online through a compelling author website, an email list eager to hear more, a thriving social media presence, securing features on blogs and podcasts, and so much more. Join me to learn the ins and outs of book marketing so you can grow an audience around your work and cultivate lifelong fans.
Rowana Abbensetts (she/her) is a Guyanese American writer, mom, and entrepreneur. With a lifelong passion for writing, reading, literature, and the arts, Rowana enjoys spending time with her family, especially her daughter Symone, who inspires her to write more stories to empower Black girls to take care of their mental health & wellness. Rowana is the Founder & Editor-In-Chief of Spoken Black Girl Publishing, which publishes Black women and women of color writers from across the diaspora. She is the author of Departure Story, a novel that captures her Caribbean ancestry and the coming of age experiences of Black women and girls in the United States. Rowana’s work has been published in Moko Magazine, Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, Culture Push, and Free Verse Magazine. As a freelance mental health and wellness writer, Rowana has written for Insider, GoodRx, Well +Good, Bold Culture by Streamline Media, The Tempest, Insider, and Electric Lit. When she’s not writing, Rowana enjoys painting, visiting art museums, and spending time in nature.
A generative, 4-session workshop exploring various innovative, contemporary sonnet forms, including: double sonnets, shadow sonnets, American Sonnets, dedicated sonnets, contrapuntal modes, sonnet coronas, sonnet ballades, curtal sonnets, ekphrastic sonnets, and sonnets in translation. We will flirt with the feel of the sonnet, to paraphrase Marvin Bell, in all its raptures, laments, and furies—assuming an atmosphere of trust, respect, and confidentiality, writers will read sonnets, write sonnets, and share their work with one another, if they desire. Sonnetmania is open to all levels. Pre-registration required. Limited to 15 participants on a first-come, first-serve basis. This workshop is influenced and inspired by The American Sonnet: An Anthology of Poems and Essays(Iowa University Press, January, 2023), edited by Dora Malech and Laura T. Smith — a treasure for sonnet-lovers.
Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her partner and several intense mammals. Recent books include a creative nonfiction chapbook, Ribald (Bull City Press Inch Series, Nov. 2020) and Dor, which won the Wandering Aengus Press Prize (September, 2021). Her debut fiction collection, Every Mask I Tried On, won the Brighthorse Books Prize (April 2018). Alina's poems, essays, and fiction can be found in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, World Literature Today, Pleiades, Poetry, BOMB, Crab Creek Review, and others. She serves as poetry editor for several journals, reviewer and critic for others, and Co-Director of PEN America's Birmingham Chapter. She has served as a judge for numerous literary prizes, including the River Heron Review Poetry Prize, FRiction Literary Prize for Flash Fiction, F. Scott Fitzgerald Museum & Foundation Writing Prize, Poetry Foundation’s Pegasus Award for Literary Criticism, among others. She is currently working on a novel-like creature. More online atwww.alinastefanescuwriter.com.
Storytelling & Climate Futures hinges on the fact that storytelling brings us closer together. Stories reveal what is important, what our values are, what is worthy of preservation. Poetry has been revealed to increase empathy, and is an effective teaching tool, particularly when it comes to topics like climate change. Storytelling has been a cornerstone of the Black tradition since before the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It was (and still is) a way to harbor memory, pass on tradition from generation to generation, and honor the histories that make up Black life. We will be looking at a couple of climate themed poems by Indigenous and Black authors (Camille Dungy and Craig Santos Perez) in order to build our own climate storytelling familiarity.
Ashia Ajani is a Black environmental storyteller & educator hailing from Denver, CO, Queen City of the Plains and the unceded territory of the Cheyenne, Arapahoe and Ute peoples. They are the author of Heirloom, forthcoming April 2023 with Write Bloody Publishing and co-poetry editor of The Hopper Literary Magazine.Their words have been featured in Sierra Magazine, Atmos Magazine, World Literature Today and Apogee Journal, among others. Ajani believes another greener world is possible.
Voice is the writer’s fingerprint, a unique combination of inheritance, culture, language, experiences and identity. Voice also is the primary encounter between the writer and the reader/ listener. Often our voice is colonized by institutions and educations and gets lost in requirements, expectations, and decorum. The authentic voice of our characters, our speakers and ourselves are buried in a world of performance. In this workshop, writers work to liberate their individual voices to truly speak/tell/present their stories/poems/pieces. Specific exercises allow us to unearth our voices, while exchanging with one another to create an exciting writers’ dialogue. We produce pieces where our voices, interior and exterior, come to life.
Elmaz Abinader is an author and a performer. Her most recent poetry collection, This House, My Bones, was The Editor’s Selection for 2014 from Willow Books/Aquarius. Her books include a memoir: Children of the Roojme, A Family’s Journey from Lebanon, a book of poetry, In the Country of My Dreams… which won the Oakland PEN, Josephine Miles Award. Recently she was awarded a Trailblazer Award by RAWI (Radius of Arab Writers International) Her plays include Ramadan Moon, 32 Mohammeds, and Country of Origin. She has been a frequent contributor to Al-Jazeera English. She has been anthologized widely including the New Anthology of American Poetry, and in The Colors of Nature. She has been a fellow at residencies in Marfa (Lannan) Macedonia, Brazil, Spain and Egypt and a Senior Fulbright Fellow. Her teaching includes Master Workshops for Hedgebrook In India as well as for VORTEXT. Elmaz is one of the co-founders of The Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA/Voices) a writing workshop for writers-of-color. She teaches at Mills College, is a fitness instructor at http://www.fitnessinsmallspaces.com and lives with her husband Anthony Byers iin the Bay Area. www.elmazabinader.com
“Punctuate” means “to point out,” from a Latin word meaning “to prick, pierce.” Isn’t that, really, all we want our writing to do: pierce the reader? In this interactive, hands-on inquiry for writers of all genres, we’ll discuss sample verse and prose to observe the effects of the period, comma, colon, semi-colon, slash, em-dash, parentheses and ellipses, as well as the absence of punctuation, then practice applying these choices to our own writings.
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.
Let's re-record the narrative! Give a new, fresh voice to re-tell your history, your way! In this workshop, Jacinta V. White will take you through what she learned in her research for her book, Resurrecting the Bones: Born from a Journey Through African American Churches & Cemeteries in the Rural South.
Whether you're writing poetry, a short story, a novel, or creative non-fiction, you will be provided tools that will inspire you to dig a little deeper...into your creative genius, archives/historical documents, what you know, and what you think you know already.
This is spiritual, healing work in which we will combine genealogy and creative writing with a foundation from our past but also with the wisdom of beginning anew. Both sessions will provide inspiration, poignant tips and questions to consider, and prompts for you to work with outside of class time.
As a lover of all things creative, Jacinta V. White merges her perspective as an artist, professional, and community advocate for change. Jacinta is sought out to work with others on better understanding the role and value of arts in our lives for healing and to build community.
Jacinta has her BA in Speech Communications from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. And after receiving her MPA in Nonprofit Management from Georgia State University, she decided to redirect her love for art and community by starting The Word Project, a company through which she offers writing and creative workshops to help individuals and groups process tough issues. The Word Project also publishes the international, online quarterly Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing.
Also a corporate trainer, first with Forsyth Tech Community College, and now on her own with Deeper Dive Consulting, Jacinta works with organizations and companies like EMC Arts, Kramer Leadership, UNCSA, and the City of Winston-Salem by offering leadership development training and coaching
“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” —Muriel Rukeyser
In writing memoir about our lives, women are writing what we know, not what we are allowed to know or expected to know, or, above all, permitted to tell. We will inevitably be criticized.
We often fear being judged if we put our truth on the page. We fear being criticized for being too angry, too vulnerable, too revealing, too sad. We’re told to stay small, not to take up too much space and, above all, to be likable, nice, straight, able-bodied, and mentally sane.
This workshop is an opportunity to reveal your secrets to yourself and others. Write about what you never had the courage to write, what you never have wanted others to know about you. Put your secrets on the page and you can omit and edit later. Allow yourself to reveal your innermost thoughts, secrets, experiences, feelings because we have all had them. Carolyn Heilbrun writes: “Women are telling their stories to publicly tell other women what their lives have been like.” The purpose of art is to change the conversation.
We will look at excerpts from memoirists who have had the courage to put their truth on the page about such topics as sexual abuse, desire, shame, dealing with family secrets: Chanel Miller, Katherine Harrison, Mary Karr, Jeanette Walls, Honor Moore
During the workshop, you will have an opportunity to write your truth and read it aloud or share it in the chat if you wish.
Maureen Murdock, Ph.D. teaches memoir writing in Pacifica Graduate Institute’s memoir certificate program, “Writing Down the Soul” and has taught memoir for IWWG for the last 22 years. Since 1990, she has taught memoir writing in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program where she received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in 1995. Her new book, Memoirists Are Contemporary Mythmakers which examines memoir through the lens of myth will be published in 2024.A 30th anniversary edition of her best-selling book The Heroine’s Journey and The Heroine’s Journey Workbook has been published by Shambhala Publications. Murdock is also the author of Unreliable Truth: On Memoir and Memory; Fathers’ Daughters: Breaking the Ties that Bind; Spinning Inward; and Blinded by Hope: My Journey through My Son’s Bipolar Illness and Addiction, published under a pseudonym. Her books have been translated into 18 languages including Polish and Farsi. Her blog about mental illness, addiction and the criminal justice system is on her website: www.maureenmurdock.com
Pitching before a manuscript is truly ready is one of the most common mistakes writers make. That's why book coach Julie Artz developed this self-audit toolkit that uses a manuscript's pitch or jacket copy and a 2–3 page synopsis to identify story-level issues.
In this session, you will learn how to:
There will be time at the end for Q & A about Julie's self-audit toolkit, querying, and more.
Julie Artz spent her young life sneaking into wardrobes searching for Narnia. When people started to think that was creepy, she went in search of other ways to go on mystical adventures. Now she finds those long-sought doors to magical story worlds in her work as an author, editor, and book coach.
An active member of the writing community, she has volunteered for SCBWI, TeenPit, and Pitch Wars and is a member of EFA, the Authors Guild, and AWP. A social and environmental justice-minded story geek, Julie lives in an enchanted forest outside of Redmond, Washington, with her husband, two strong-willed teenagers, and a trio of naughty furry familiars. She's been coaching writers across genres and age categories to both indie- and traditional-publishing success since 2016.
Magical Realism and the Power of Place: From Hauntings to Home, Using Magic and Myth to Craft Powerful Poetry & Prose
March 18, 2023
Come with Khalisa on this fantastical journey that blends the magical and the real. Where people have wings, horses can talk, and messages appear on the walls. Magical realism is an honored tradition that dates back centuries, and has been used by some of literature's greatest writers to break and bend what the mind believes as possible, particularly by Black and Indigenous writers. In this writing intensive workshop, we will walk through how place, setting, and innate objects can come alive in your poetry with magic and wonder. Using literary greats, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Angela Carter, Franni Choi, Ben Okri, Salman Rushdie, Toni Morrison, Haruki Murakami, and Isabel Allende we'll look at examples that span diverse cultures and traditions. Transform your writing by leaving the natural world and exploring the supernatural and how it enhances and illuminates poetry and story.
Khalisa Rae is an award-winning storyteller, poet, and activist, and the author of the acclaimed poetry collection, Ghost in a Black Girls Throat, the chapbook, Real Girls, Have Real Problems,and the sold-out play production, 7+ Deadly Sins of Being a Woman. As a arts and humanities historian and lover of Black Southern narratives, stories and poetry have been featured in the Cameron Art Museum, Southern Humanities Review Anthology, NC Museum of History and more. A lifelong advocate for women's rights and steward and literary education, Khalisa has taught on both the collegiate level, public school, and is a former Catapult instructor. As a trained performer and playwright, her powerful work has been featured in countless literary journals and magazines such as Pinch, PANK, Autumn House, Jezebel, Bitch Media, Blavity, NBC-BLK. Her powerful feminist poetry has landed her an Appalachian Arts and Entertainment Award, a Gwendolyn Brooks Prize, numerous Pushcart nominations, among countless others. Khalisa Rae is currently the founder of Think in Ink: BIPOC Literary Collective, Women Speak reading series, and the forthcoming YA novel in verse, Unlearning Eden. Find her online at khalisarae.com.
For this workshop, you will be asked to bring drafts of old poems that aren’t “working” for you. These might be finished poems, or they might be scraps of incomplete poems, sentences or paragraphs. We will use several techniques to infuse new life into them. You will leave the workshop with at least one new draft that surprises you. Writers who are new to poetry, but have old bits of prose to repurpose, are welcome.
Sherre Vernon (she/her/hers) is the award-winning author of Green Ink Wings (Elixir Press) and The Name is Perilous (Power of Poetry). Her debut full-length poetry collection, Flame Nebula, Bright Nova was released in 2022 by Main Street Rag. Sherre has been published in journals such as TAB and The Chestnut Review, nominated for Best of the Net, and anthologized in several collections including Fat & Queer and Best Small Fictions. Read more of her work at http://www.sherrevernon.com
Art is everywhere and you can create a poem or story from just about anything. Have you ever written a poem from a list? Have you ever used your senses to stimulate your imagination? Have you ever stared at the pictures on the wall and wondered what they are showing you? Have you ever tried to summarize your life story in just a few words?
Tanya shows writers at any stage how to turn a simple shopping list into poetry, how to compose 45-word, even 6-word poems using your senses, how to tell the story behind the pictures on your walls, and how to get in touch with your creativity by finding joy in the everyday!
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.
Credit/Refund Policy: If you withdraw from a workshop or class:
Please note that notification of withdrawal must be processed via email email@example.com. If IWWG must cancel a class for any reason, we will provide a full refund or credit towards another workshop.