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Workshop descriptions | Upcoming workshops

Creative self-expression is a basic human need, like the need to be nourished with food. Encouraged, it can flourish to enrich individuals and societies; thwarted, it diminishes both. In workshops, I try to share the joy, fun, depth, and solace I have found in poems, stories, and songs. I also love folding origami boxes and envelopes, and have recently been teaching this meditative craft.

Workshops can be designed for all ages, from pre-kindergarten through adults. They may concentrate on poetry, fiction, songs, short essays, journaling, playwriting, or a combination of more than one form. All of my workshops are designed to validate the personal experience of participants and to help them express themselves with freedom and confidence.

Workshops may range from a single, one-hour classroom visit to residencies of one to two weeks. I have also designed an eight-week course in creative writing for adults. A singing performance or reading may be added to any workshop.

Workshop fee range: $350 to $650 per day, plus expenses, according to the following schedule:

Single workshop session................................$350.00
Two sessions in a single day..........................$450.00
Three sessions in a single day........................$550.00
Four or more sessions in a single day..............$650.00

Readings and singing performances are negotiable.


Here are examples of some workshops I have conducted:

From the Inside Out: Your Own Story, Your Own Words: A workshop that concentrates on making personal experience vivid, direct, and accessible. This workshop may be tailored to any age level, and can be as short as one day or as long as a week.

KISS: Keep It Short & Shapely: A workshop that concentrates on the art of writing the short essay, including personal essays intended for broadcast on radio.

Ghost Ranch

Make Your Own Folk Song: Songwriting with History Writing a song about an event in history can bring history to life, making it memorable and personal. In this workshop designed for teachers, participants will learn to shape a collection of facts, images, and personal experiences into a song. Teachers will learn how to use and expand the workshop activities to help your students learn and preserve their local history through original songs. This workshop can also be presented as a two- to three-day workshop for children.

Road Scholar/Creative Writing for Adults: Choose from two different five-day workshops designed to unleash creativity and hone writing and revising skills with readings, in-class exercises, and gentle critiques. See upcoming Road Scholar classes listed below!

Sizzle and Sing: Writing with the Senses: A workshop designed for beginning writers, concentrating on personal writing that uses the senses of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling to make writing more vivid and lively.

Ghost Ranch writers

Murder, We Wrote: A one- to two-week playwriting and acting workshop for middle or high school students, also featuring actor/playwright Arla Ralston. Working collaboratively, students solve a murder mystery, write the final scenes, rehearse, and perform.

Sources of Song: A performance/workshop, conducted with singer/songwriter Julie Adams, that explores the many and varied sources of songs, from personal reflections to weird noises.

Download printable one-page brochure PDF file.

Upcoming Workshops

May 1-6, 2016: Sensory and Specific: A Creative Writing Course. A week-long Road Scholar program at Cedar Lakes Crafts Center near Ripley, West Virginia. Writing with all five senses makes for vivid, memorable language in poems, essays, and memoirs. Take the plunge into the "five rivers," as poet Mary Oliver calls the senses. Examples, discussion, exercises, and some laugh-out-loud wordplay for beginners and seasoned writers. Visit the Road Scholar website to learn more and register.

July 31-August 6, 2016: Summer Creative Arts Festival at Ghost Ranch. Sign up for any workshop during Ghost Ranch's Creative Arts Festival, and you'll get a free bonus: This year I'm leading free, open-to-all evening sessions of creative play with words and visual images. Activities will range from origami to cut-up poetry to invented animals. I promise you'll laugh a lot, and you'll take home great ideas to share with friends and family. Visit the Ghost Ranch website to learn more and to register for classes including poetry, painting, collage, and more.

October 2-8, 2016: KISS: Keep It Short & Shapely, Short Essay Writing at Ghost Ranch. Writing such an essay can employ the research skills of a journalist, the critical eye of an editor and the performance techniques of a storyteller. At Ghost Ranch, writers also tend to bring to their essays healthy measures of humor, wonder, compassion and the inimitable camaraderie that thrives at the ranch. Visit the Ghost Ranch website to learn more.

October 23-28, 2016: From the Inside Out: Your Own Story, Your Own Words. A week-long Road Scholar program at Cedar Lakes Crafts Center near Ripley, West Virginia. Honor your personal story with vivid creative writing. You'll hear examples of luminous writing, respond to a writing prompts, share stories, and learn to clarify your writing. You'll gain new skills you can apply to personal writing in any form: journaling, memoir, poems, essays, even songs. Visit the Road Scholar website to learn more and register.

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