The International Women's Writing Guild


For registration and more information, click on the conference name below.

Our conference is truly, consistently, a place where women find, remember, (re)locate themselves as women and writers.

~2016 Summer Conference participant

Fri.-Fri., July 7-14
Muhlenberg College
Allentown, PA


Upcoming events

    • October 07, 2017
    • 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    • The Writing Center & Studios at Space to Create, 310 East Tenth Street, Erie, PA 16503

    Niagara Creative Writing Conference

    Saturday, October 7, 2017 

    The Writing Center & Studios at Space to Create

    310 East Tenth Street, Erie, PA 16503

    (use the parking-lot entrance)


    The Flagship City Creative Writing and Poetry Conference returns in its second year, as the Niagara Creative Writing Conference

    Morning and afternoon workshops (appropriate for all skill levels of women age 18 and older) will give you the instruction and intensive writing time you crave, our book fair will give Guild members the opportunity to sell books and related materials, and our All Voices Open Mic will give you the chance to have your voice heard in a warm and supportive environment.

    Click for downloadable conference flyer

    SCHEDULE for the DAY

    8:00-8:30 AM:  Registration with coffee & tea bar

    8:30-8:45 AM:  Welcome & Keynote by Erie County Poet Laureate Marisa Moks-Unger

    9:00-10:30 AM:  The Story of Your Life with Mary Beth Coudal

    10:45 AM-12:15 PM The Narrative Arc in Fiction with Cathleen O'Connor

    12:15-1:00 PM Luncheon catered by Chef Lisa of Dinner Is Served & Member Book Sale*

    1:15-2:45 PM:  Standing Up & Speaking Out: Writing the Op Ed  with Marsha McGregor

    3:00-4:00 PM:  All Voices Open-Mic Reading*

    4:00-5:00 PM:  Wine & Cheese Reception

    5:00 PM:  Closing Remarks

    *Guild members are invited to participate in a book fair to be held during lunchtime. All attendees will have the opportunity to share your writing (3 min. max.) at the open-mic reading. 

    Keynote Speaker

    Marisa Moks-Unger, Poet Laureate of Erie County, PA, is the author of a poetry chapbook, Mud and Stars (Nightballet Press, 2015). She is a former secondary English teacher in the City of Erie School District, and currently the owner of an internet startup called We Write It Right, a full-service writing and editing company. Marisa organized last year’s Flagship City Creative Writing and Poetry Conference to serve local women writers, and 100 Thousand Poets for Change to enable others to give voice to social justice issues.

    Instructor Bios & Workshop Descriptions

    Mary Beth Coudal  Memoir

    The Story of Your Life  

    Find the moments of your life story when you turned one way and not another—the small quiet moments and the big public events. Look at and write about the stories from your life journey. This fun and creative writing workshop inspires you with writing prompts, drama games, and experiential exercises to remind you of who are and where you’ve been. Experienced, occasional, and beginning memoirists are invited to write, read, play, learn, chat, laugh, cry, and share. 

    Mary Beth Coudal is an award-winning journalist, blogger, and copywriter. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times,, and Self magazine. At the blog To Pursue Happiness at, she asks the big questions. For fun, she is a teacher and an actress.

    Cathleen O’Connor – Fiction

    The Narrative Arc in Fiction

    If you think the word “arc” implies a nice balanced curve, think again! In fiction, the narrative arc is made up of the scenes and episodes in your story that keep the tension building and the reader glued to your book. It is the framework on which you build your story. In this workshop, we will explore four key components of the narrative arc that are vital to get you to that satisfying ending that every reader wants. We’ll use an example to illustrate the narrative arc, and then youll get to test the narrative arcs of your own fiction projects. Time for writing and discussion will be provided.

    Cathleen O’Connor, Ph.D., is an author, speaker, and intuitive coach who works with other writers. She is currently at work on a screenplay and romance fiction and is co-editor of The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory, a special project focused on keeping the love of reading alive for those with short-term memory loss. She is the author of 365 Days of Angel Prayers and The Everything Law of Attraction Dream Dictionary (Adams Media, 2010). Cathleen has been quoted in The Huffington Post and featured as an expert work-life balance source in various publications, including the Canadian magazine Alive. 

    Marsha McGregor  Nonfiction

    Standing Up & Speaking Out: Writing the Op Ed

    Expressing our opinions on the topics we are most passionate about requires not only compelling writing but a solid framework upon which to build a persuasive message. Well explore some of the tools you can use to articulate your personal convictions in a public forum.

    Marsha McGregors literary nonfiction has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Kenyon Review Online, Brain Child, Brain Teen, Fourth Genre, Ascent, Literary Mama, and four anthologies. Her personal essays appear frequently in Cleveland Magazine. A Peter Taylor Fellow for the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, and a fellow for the Kenyon Review Writing Workshop for Teachers, she leads writing workshops for small groups, library systems, and literary organizations, specializing in personal essay and memoir writing. She is a certified Lifetime Arts Teaching Artist. A selection of her work can be found at

    Cancellation Policy: Full refund minus $25 admin fee through September 22. No refund starting September 23.

    • October 14, 2017
    • 12:00 PM
    • October 15, 2017
    • 7:00 PM
    • Wherever you fire up your computer!

    FREE Registration Opening Soon!

    Saturday, October 14, 2017 

    12:00 PM–3:00 PM (Eastern) / 9:00 AM–12:00 PM (Pacific)

    Sunday, October 15, 2017

    4:00 PM–7:00 PM (Eastern) / 1:00 PM–4:00 PM (Pacific)

    Find your time-zone here: International Time-Zone Converter

    FREE to Guild members & non-members

    You'll meet our leadership, hear interviews and lectures, and learn about our upcoming writing contests and fall/winter online programs, including craft talks, classes, panels, and open mics!

    New to online-course technology?  We'll teach you!


    Donna Baier Stein:  Interview, Lecture, and Reading 

    Donna Baier Stein is the founder and publisher of Tiferet, a literary journal dedicated to promoting tolerance though literature and art, and a founding editor of Bellevue Literary Review. She is the author of The Silver Baron's Wife (PEN/New England Discovery Award winner), Sympathetic People (Iowa Fiction Award Finalist), and Sometimes You Sense the Difference (poetry chapbook). Donna has received a scholarship from Bread Loaf, a fellowship from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars, four Pushcart nominations, and prizes from the Allen Ginsberg Awards and elsewhere. Her writing has appeared in Writer’s Digest, Virginia Quarterly Review, New York Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, among many other journals and anthologies. /

    Dorothy Randall Gray:  Interview, Lecture on Spirituality as a Creative Source, and Q & A

    Dorothy Randall Gray is the bestselling author of Soul Between the Lines: Freeing Your Creative Spirit Through Writing (Avon/HarperCollins). She has been a Poet-in-Residence at Hunter College, a National Public Radio commentator, an NYU faculty member, and a literary consultant to the United Nations. Dorothy’s creative writing workshops and empowerment and healing seminars have been commissioned by the National Writers Union, PEN America, Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon Institute, and other organizations. Highlights of her life include sharing the dais with the Dalai Lama, dancing with tribal boys in the hills of Kerala, India, and boogying with James Baldwin. /

    You! Yes, You:  All Voices Open Mic

    3-minute readings, limited to 12 for each day: You will be able to sign up (first come, first serve) when you register.

    • April 28, 2018
    • 9:00 AM - 5:15 PM
    • Metrowest Boston (Medfield, MA)

    Stay tuned for more info! But here's the teaser:

    THREE writing workshops with outstanding Guild faculty:

    Susan Tiberghien / Nonfiction

    Susan Tiberghien, an American writer living in Geneva, Switzerland, has published four memoirsLooking for Gold: A Year in Jungian Analysis; Circling to the Center: One Woman's Encounter with Silent Prayer; Side by Side: Writing Your Love Story; and Footsteps: In Love with a Frenchman and a highly appreciated writing book, One Year to a Writing Life: Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer's Art and CraftShe has been an instructor for The Guild since 1990, always impressed by its stature and vision. She also teaches at C.G. Jung Institutes and at writers’ centers and conferences in the States and in Europe, where she directs the Geneva Writers’ Group, an association of over 250 English-language writers.

    Maureen Murdock / Memoir

    Maureen Murdock, Ph.D., is a Jungian-orientedpsychotherapist in private practice in Santa Barbara, California. Since 1990, she has taught memoir writing in the UCLA Extensions Writers’ Program, where she received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in 1995. Her bestselling book, The Heroine’s Journey, explores the rich territory of the feminine psyche and delineates the feminine psycho-spiritual journey. Maureen is also the author of Unreliable Truth: On Memoir and MemoryFathers’ Daughters: Breaking the Ties that BindSpinning Inward: Using Guided Imagery with Children; and The Heroine’s Journey Workbook. She is the editor of an anthology of memoir writing entitled Monday Morning Memoirs: Women in the Second Half of Life and has published a Kindle short entitled The Emergence of Bipolar Disorder: A Mother’s Perspective. Maureen has written pieces for The Huffington Post on criminal justice and mental illness and has presented short memoir pieces at Center Theater in Santa Barbara and Spark Theater in Los Angeles about the men in prison she works with. Her blog is on her website:

    Kelly DuMar / Drama

    Kelly DuMar is a playwright and poet from the Boston area whose recent workshop presentations include the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, the Power of Words Conference, True Story Theater, Berkshire Women Writers, Playback North America, and the New England Theatre Conference. She is the author of a nonfiction book, Before You Forget: The Wisdom of Writing Diaries for Your Children, and won the Lit House Press Poetry Chapbook Award for All These Cures. Her newest poetry and prose chapbook, Tree of the Apple, has been published this year by Two of Cups Press. Kelly’s award-winning plays and monologues are produced around the U.S. and Canada. Her award-winning one-act play for youth, The Adventures of Rocky & Skye, was published by Youth Plays. Kelly is a past president of Playwrights’ Platform, Boston, where she led play development activities for many years. She founded and produces the Our Voices Festival of Women Playwrights at Wellesley College.

Upcoming events

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