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
How the WEBINAR 3-PACK works:
Click on the webinar below to read all about it and its presenter:
January: Life Inspires Ideas: Ignite Your Daily Practice, with Suzi Banks BaumFebruary: The Heroine’s Journey as a Narrative Structure, with Maureen Murdock March: Narrative and Poems, with June Gould April: Are You There, God? It's Me Again: Coming-of-Age Stories for Every Age, with Sherri L. SmithMay: Spiritual Narrative: Claiming It, Writing It, Publishing It, with Jan PhillipsJune: Narrative of Healing: Writing Through the Intersection of Struggle and Community-Self Care, with traci kato-kiriyamaSeptember: The Narrative of Embodiment: Reclaiming the Feminine Self, with Dixie KingOctober: Narratives of the Unconscious, with Susan TiberghienNovember: Narrative of Truth: The Power of Reality in Storytelling, with Pamela Varkony
NOTE: You have to register TWICE: First using the Register button on the left, under the event details, to pay; SECOND, with Zoom (using a link in your confirmation email), to get the access information.
4 Wednesdays: February 6, 13, 20, 27
1:00–2:30 PM Eastern / 10:00–11:30 AM Pacific // Check your time-zone HERE.
REGISTER even if you can't attend all four sessions "live," because we will promptly email you the recording of each session.
In this workshop, we’ll use the stages of The Heroine’s Journey as a framework to explore our own character arc. Whether you're writing memoir or fiction, this structure can work for you. The journey entails an initial separation from the mother and feminine values, seeking recognition and success from the metaphorical father, experiencing spiritual aridity and death, turning inward to reclaim the power and spirit of the sacred feminine. For each of the four weekly sessions, we’ll explore one stage of your journey.
Maureen Murdock, Ph.D., is the author of the bestselling The Heroine’s Journey, which explores the rich territory of the feminine psyche. This groundbreaking book has been translated into 13 languages, and a documentary, Women of Heart, about the impact of her work, is being made by Australian filmmakers. Maureen is also the author of Unreliable Truth: On Memoir and Memory; Fathers’ Daughters: Breaking the Ties That Bind; Spinning Inward: Using Guided Imagery with Children; and The Heroine’s Journey Workbook. She is the editor of an anthology entitled Monday Morning Memoirs: Women in the Second Half of Life and has published a memoir, Blinded by Hope: One Mother’s Journey Through Her Son’s Bipolar Illness and Addiction, under a pseudonym. She teaches “Writing Down the Soul,” an eight-month memoir- writing program at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and has taught memoir writing in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program for 28 years.
Cost: $119 for members / $149 for nonmembers / FREE to webinar 3-pack subscribers
NOTE: You have to register TWICE: FIRST, here, to pay; SECOND, with Zoom (link in confirmation email), to get the access information.
4 Sundays: March 3, 10, 17, 24
7:00–8:30 PM Eastern / 4:00–5:30 PM Pacific // Check your time-zone HERE.
“Sometimes we need a story more than food to stay alive,” writes Barry Lopez in Arctic Dreams. In this workshop, we will analyze, and discuss the many political, personal, and broken narratives of our time as well as the “new narrative,” which strives to represent emotional and bodily experience with honesty and without pretending that poems can be absolutely objective.
June Gould, Ph.D., is the author of The Writer in All of Us: Improving Your Writing Through Childhood Memories and co-author of a book of Holocaust poetry, Counting the Stones. She has done a signing at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for her novel, In the Shadow of Trains. Her poetry has been published in and/or by Pearl, The Storyteller, Shemom, Inkwell, The Well Spouse Foundation Newsletter, Ship of Fools Press, University of Rio Grande, The Round Table, IWWG, The Great American Poetry Show, and The Jewish Literary Annual. This past year, she has helped a number of women edit and create their memoirs for publication. She continues to meet with her own writers’ group and lead reading groups.
Cost: $119 for members / $149 for nonmembers / free to webinar 3-pack subscribers
Conquering Your Fears of Queries and PitchesPaula Chaffee ScardamaliaOne of the prevailing myths about being a writer is that once the writer has typed, “The End,” at the end of her manuscript, her job is done. But you also have to sell your manuscript—first to an agent and/or editor, and then to the reader. Even if you are self-publishing, you need what is essentially a pitch on the back cover of your book, and you need to be able to talk succinctly about your book to reviewers and readers and others.
Your first sales tools are hooks and pitches. If you are seeking an agent or editor, then you need a query. If you’ve been intimidated by these important marketing tools, this workshop will provide you with the information, tips, and resources along with the feedback you need to craft compelling hooks, pitches and queries that will have editors and agents asking for more.
Practicing the Poetry of FlowMyra Shapiro
Not ready to pitch to an agent? Take the opportunity to enter the world of New York poet Myra Shapiro and immerse yourself in the fluidity of writing poems inspired by the lines of others.
Meet-the-Agents SessionsAppointments will be made in advance for timed 5-minute pitches
Schedule8:00 am • Registration & Coffee, Tea & Pastry
8:30 am • Introductions & Opening Remarks
8:45 am • Donna Baier Stein10:30 am • Paula Scardamalia
Noon • New Authors Panel & Book Signing over Catered Lunch
1:30 pm • Agents Panel
2:30 pm • Myra Shapiro; Meet-the-Agents Sessions
4:15 pm • All Voices Open Mic (attendee poetry & prose readings)
5:30 pm • Wrap-Up
"Community matters. I found a safe place to have a voice.
There are all levels of writing, and all levels matter."
– past conference participant
Download a printable flier here.
4 Mondays: April 8, 15, 22, 29
After 40, I began to wonder why Judy Blume, author of the famous Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret—every 80s girl’s guide to puberty—hadn’t written a sequel for the peri- and post- menopausal set. After all, we don’t just come “of age” when we’re teens; it happens at every stage of our lives. In this workshop, we’ll delve into what it means to write coming-of-age stories for Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood, and the Golden Years. We’ll explore myths, rumors, archetypes, and rites-of-passage for each of these stages. Then we’ll mine our own memories and fears to tell the sorts of stories that serve as companions, confidantes, mentors, and friends for readers of every age.
Sherri L. Smith is the author of several novels and comics for young people, including Flygirl, the 2009 California Book Awards Gold Medalist; The Toymaker’s Apprentice, which won the 2016 SCIBA Book Award for Middle Grade; Orleans, a “cli-fi” adventure; Pasadena, which won the 2017 SCIBA Book Award for Young Adult; and Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen?, her first middle-grade nonfiction book. Her books appear on multiple state lists and have been named Amelia Bloomer and American Library Association Best Books for Young People. She teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing program at Goddard College and the MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program at Hamline University.
FREE to Members and Nonmembers!
8:00-9:00 PM (Eastern) / 5:00–6:00 PM (Pacific) / Check your time-zone HERE.
REGISTER HERE even if you may not be able to attend "live," so that you can receive the webinar recording.
Please join us on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 8 p.m. (Eastern) for an intimate, in-depth discussion of poetry with IWWG member Cynthia Manick. She will read from and discuss her poetry collection, Blue Hallelujahs. Cynthia will be interviewed in our IWWG Digital Village online by longtime IWWG member, Christine Graf.
Praise for Blue Hallelujahs
“Cynthia Manick's Blue Hallelujahs bring us to a broil like Koko Taylor's "white-toothed love coils on repeat." Here, we have a gospel of womanly sharpness, a kitchen sinked and hot combed diary of the way Blues grinds into the 21st century. Gifted with the ability to smolder into surprise and swelter, Manick's reflections on discovery and loss will bring you to a "slow applause under the skin." Thank you for this bouquet of sheet music filled with church organ and pistol smoke, Ms. Manick. We gone need it to get to the other side.”
—Tyehimba Jess, author of leadbelly, winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series
“When writing we create a different type of language; an escapism or body underneath the words. That body is filled with stories both imagined and factual, fanciful images and sometimes real human monsters, all created to shed light on something.”
—Cynthia Manick, from her PEN America PEN TEN interview. You can read the entire interview here: https://pen.org/cynthia-manick-pen-ten/
Cynthia Manick is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). A Pushcart Prize nominated poet with a MFA in Creative Writing from the New School; she has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, the MacDowell Colony, Poets House, and the Saltonstall Foundation of the Arts among others. Winner of the 2016 Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry and the 2018 Elizabeth Sloan Tyler Memorial Award; Manick is Founder and Curator of the reading series Soul Sister Revue. Her poem "Things I Carry Into the World" was made into a film by Motionpoems, a organization dedicated to video poetry, and has debuted on Tidal for National Poetry Month and Reel 13 Shorts. Manick’s work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day Series, Bone Bouquet, Callaloo, Kweli Journal, Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB), Muzzle Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Christine Graf is a commercial and fine artist by profession. She’s just completed a poetry manuscript titled, Shopping For Love Online, poems about internet dating. She’s been published in the Aurorean, Xanadu, Main Street Rag, Common Ground, Bryant Literary Review, Christian Science Monitor, Georgetown Review, Timber Creek Review, Hiram Review, Pinyon Literary Journal, Deronda, Theodate, MOBIUS, Chaffin Journal, Red Rock Review, Pegasus, Rockford Review and Green Hills Literary Lantern, Earth’s Daughters Journal, Front Range Review, Third Wednesday Journal, Edge Literary Journal, Cumberland River Review, Evening Street Review and Rat’s Ass Review. Christine was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2016 and won second prize in the Myra Shapiro Poetry Contest. She’s the poetry editor of Studio And Gallery Magazine, a publication that supports the arts. She is also a poetry and writing coach.
4 Wednesdays: May 1, 8, 15, 22
3:00–4:30 PM Eastern / 12:00–1:30 PM Pacific // Check your time-zone HERE.
This webinar is for the woman who is ready to write about the role that religion/spirituality has played in the narrative arc of her life. It will guide participants through a process of self- examination as spiritual cartography—we chart the major influences, map out the dangerous patriarchal pitfalls, clarify the crossroads where we learned to divine our own bodies and transcend institutions that desacralized the Feminine. It opens up our own stories to reveal the magnificent conflicts religion has offered us as grist for the mill, allowing us to find our prophetic voices even as the churches we loved oppressed, silenced and minimized us.
By the end of this workshop, you will:
Jan Phillips is a writer who connects the dots between evolutionary creativity, spiritual intelligence, and social action. Her life has been shaped by two years in a Catholic convent, one year on a global peace pilgrimage, and sixty-nine years of being gay. Dismissed from the convent, excommunicated from her church, Jan created a life that redefines spirituality as the expression of her ultimate commitments. She is the author of ten award-winning books and facilitates writing and storytelling workshops around the U.S. and Canada. Her agent is currently shopping around her spiritual memoir, Unveiled—The Making of a Lesbian Mystic. Jan is the founder/director of the Livingkindness Foundation, which has built a computer center for a village in Nigeria and supports projects for racial diversity in the U.S. Jan has performed with Pete Seeger, presented with Jane Goodall, and worked for Mother Teresa. She is currently the Interim Co-Executive Director of the IWWG.
Boston & New England–area writers — Please join us for our 4th annual creative writing retreat in Medfield, MA, with four outstanding IWWG instructors. Our Writing the Heroine’s Journey Retreat offers you professional and personal insights into writing memoir, myth, prose, poetry and monologue, as well as exceptional enrichment of your creative life. Experience the gifts of the Guild community during our annual regional event in MetroWest Boston!
The Heroine’s Journey as a Narrative Structure for Memoir & Myth
Maureen Murdock In 1949, Joseph Campbell presented a model of the mythological journey of the hero which has since been used as a template for the psycho-spiritual development of the individual. This model, however, did not address the task for today's woman, which is to heal the wounding of the feminine that exists deep within herself and the culture. Now, more than ever, women are speaking their truth as the feminine demands healing. In this workshop we will explore the stages in The Heroine's Journey, which redefines the heroic quest for women. The journey entails an initial separation from feminine values, seeking recognition and success in a patriarchal culture, experiencing spiritual aridity and death, and turning inward to reclaim the power and spirit of the sacred feminine. As women claim their voice and name their experience, this workshop will provide a framework for their voice to be heard. Come prepared to write your own narrative as a heroine’s journey.
The Alchemy of Journaling: Emerging from Darkness as HeroineSusan Tiberghien
Why are we afraid to see ourselves as heroines? Why are we afraid of the dark? The two questions go together. If we enter the dark, we will emerge as heroines: vibrant, creative, compassionate. In this workshop we will look first at journaling as an exercise in self-discovery. We will look at examples from C.G. Jung, Etty Hillesum, and Marion Woodman. We will see journaling as alchemy with its three steps: entering the dark, nigredo; distilling the memory, albedo; polishing the gold, the new consciousness, rubedo. Through active imagination, we will find a memory, a dream, an image and take it into the dark, we will distill its meaning, and find its worth. We will become alchemists. Our gold will be a new awareness of our own creative self. We will be heroines.
Susan Tiberghien, an American-born writer living in Geneva, Switzerland, is the author of four memoirs: Looking for Gold, A Year in Jungian Analysis; Circling to the Center, An Invitation to Silent Prayer; Side by Side, Writing Your Love Story; Footsteps, In Love with a Frenchman, and the popular writing book, One Year to a Writing Life. Her new book, Writing Toward Wholeness, Lessons Inspired by C.G. Jung, was published by Chiron Publications March l, 2018. She has published extensively narrative essays in literary reviews and anthologies. For over 20 years Susan has been teaching creative writing at C.G. Jung Societies and Institutes, the International Women’s Writing Guild, and at writers’ centers and conferences, both in the US and in Europe. Recently she did an online course, Journaling to the Soul, for the Jung Society of Washington. An active member of International PEN, she founded and directed the Geneva Writers’ Group (240 English-language writers) for 25 years. Married with six adult children and sixteen grandchildren. www.susantiberghien.com
Vanessa Jimenez Gabb is the author of the poetry collection, Images for Radical Politics, which was the Editor's Choice in the 2015 Rescue Press Black Box Poetry Contest, and the chapbooks midnight blue and Weekend Poems. Her work has appeared in such places as The Brooklyn Rail, The Poetry Project Newsletter, PEN Poetry Series, jubilat and The Brooklyn Poets Anthology, and in 2010 she co-founded the online literary project, Five Quarterly. She holds an MFA in Poetry from CUNY Brooklyn College, where she was the recipient of the 2010 Himan Brown Award, and she has taught English and Creative Writing at St John's University, Newark Academy and for Brooklyn Poets. She is from and lives in Brooklyn, NY. www.vanessajimenezgabb.com
Kelly DuMar is a poet and playwright as well as an empathic and astute guide who leads expressive writing workshops for new and experienced writers. Author of three poetry collections and many plays, Kelly is also author of Before You Forget - The Wisdom of Writing Diaries for Your Children. She produces the Our Voices Festival of Boston Area Women Playwrights, held at Wellesley College, now in its 13th year, and she produces the annual Boston Writing Retreat & the weeklong summer Play Lab for the International Women’s Writing Guild, where she serves on the board. Kelly founded the Farm Pond Writers Collective to guide women writers to write from their personal photos, develop their artistic voices and connect deeply with their creative lives. She shares her nature photos and creative writing in her daily blog, #NewThisDay. www.kellydumar.com
Friday Schedule6:00 pm • Arrival and Registration
6:30 pm • Maureen Murdock
Saturday Schedule9:30 am • Registration & Coffee, Juice, and Pastry
10:00 am • Introductions & Opening Remarks by host Kelly DuMar
10:15 am • Susan Tiberghien
11:45 am • Catered Lunch & Book Fair (network with other writers and purchase books by Guild members in attendance)
12:45 pm • Vanessa Jimenez Gabb
2:30 pm • Kelly DuMar
4:15 pm • All Voices Open Mic (attendee poetry & prose readings)
5:00 pm • Wrap-Up & Goodbyes
Find nearby hotel lodging here.
Find directions to the Montrose School here.
4 Thursdays: June 6, 13, 20, 27
Where in your body do you hold pain, delight, disease, joy, trauma, memory, or celebration? What people inspire you and ground who you are in your relation to your art and the world at large? In this workshop, we will explore the intersection of struggle, the people who get us down or keep us going, and the healing that ensues through the process of writing. From quotes by inspiring figures to daily practices in wellness to brief readings of work and a plethora of writing prompts, we will connect the dots in our lives and write through the intersections!
traci kato-kiriyama is a writer/actor and one half of the award-winning PULLproject Ensemble; director/co-founder of Tuesday Night Project; presenter of the Tuesday Night Cafe series (currently the longest-running Asian American-produced mic series in the country); and the author of the poetry collection signaling (The Undeniable Press, 2010) and a book of poems still in the birthing process, forthcoming from Writ Large Press. She has been presented as a performer, poet, theatre deviser, guest lecturer, speaker, facilitator, emcee, and Artist-in- Residence at innumerable venues across the continent, from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, and Hawai'i to Philadelphia, Florida, New York, and Toronto.
(Note: If you are looking for a REGISTER button, and do not see it on the left, please scroll all the way to the bottom. This may require you to use both the inner and the outer scroll bars.)
"This conference, with all these strong, inspiring women, served to remind me that it doesn’t matter what else is going on; I am always going to be valuable, strong, someone who writes worthwhile things, who has a voice that needs to be heard and will not be silenced."
NOTE: All workshops run for 90 minutes each day, Saturday through Thursday, and are open to all, unless otherwise indicated. You do not need to select your workshop preferences ahead of the conference (unless you wish to attend one of the advanced seminars; see those descriptions for information on applying). During the conference, we encourage you to sample: you may attend any workshop on any day; our faculty generally design their workshops such that each session is a self-contained unit of learning.
Workshop Descriptions and Presenter Bios, click here.
For Travel Options to Muhlenberg College, click here.
**Registration & Cancellation/Refund Policy**
June 28: Last day to register for package that includes campus housing.
After June 28: Only Commuter registration is available.
Cancellation (in writing) on or before May 28: Conference registration will be refunded in full, minus a $75 administrative fee. In In lieu of a refund, you may substitute, by arrangement with The Guild, someone to attend in your place.
Cancellation after May 28: Conference registration is nonrefundable in full. The cancellation/refund policy will not be waived.
4 Sundays: September 8, 15, 22, 29
As women, we struggle to understand our body, claim it, love it, and maintain rights over it. Too often we have learned to view our female body through the eyes of those who objectify, abuse, and debase it. As an act of sheer survival, we disembody ourselves, rejecting the feminine aspects of Self. Yet, ironically, our body is the catalyst for our writing: we cannot be disembodied and put words to paper. In this workshop, we’ll explore the narrative of embodiment, examining how our relationship with our body impacts our conception of self, our experience of the world, and our identity as a writer.
Dixie L. King, Ph.D., began writing about women’s relationships with their bodies while working on her doctorate in cultural anthropology. Her article “Food, Sex, and Salvation: The Role of Discourse in a Recovery Program for Eating Disorders” (Many Mirrors: Body Image and Social Relations, ed. Nicole Sault), based on her dissertation research, explores the complex relationship women have with their body and the social and political forces that shape it. She has taught workshops focusing on body and self in both anthropology and psychology, helping students explore how our sense of self is embodied in how we interpret and negotiate both our physical and social space as women. She recently completed a feminist fantasy, and is currently working on a memoir. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University in 2016.
4 Mondays: October 7, 14, 21, 28
October 7, 14, 21: 11:00 AM–12:30 PM Eastern / 8:00–9:30 AM Pacific / 5:00–6:30 PM Geneva
October 28: 12:00–1:30 PM Eastern / 9:00–8:30 AM Pacific / 5:00–6:30 PM Geneva
Check your time-zone HERE.
Margaret Atwood writes that story originates in the dark, in the unconscious. How do we access our unconscious? How can our narratives contribute to a rise in consciousness, our own and the world’s? In this workshop, we’ll explore journaling, active imagination, and dreamwork as modes for discovering the narratives of our unconscious, and we’ll see how to shape them into polished stories—fictional and nonfictional—that serve our individual and collective consciousness.
Susan Tiberghien has been teaching creative writing for over 25 years, for the International Women’s Writing Guild, at C.G. Jung Societies, and at writers’ centers and conferences in the U.S. and Europe. She is the author of four memoirs—Looking for Gold: A Year in Jungian Analysis, Circling to the Center: An Invitation to Silent Prayer, Side by Side: Writing Your Love Story, and Footsteps: In Love with a Frenchman—and the acclaimed writing book One Year to a Writing Life: Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer’s Art and Craft. Her latest book is Writing Toward Wholeness: Lessons Inspired by C.G. Jung (Chiron Publications, 2018). An active member of PEN International, Susan founded and, for twenty-five years, directed the Geneva Writers’ Group (250 English-language writers). She recently did an online course, “Journaling to the Soul,” for the Jung Society of Washington, DC. Married, with six adult children, sixteen grandchildren, and her first great-grandchild, Susan lives in Geneva, Switzerland, where she takes heart in its international call for peace and justice.
4 Sundays: November 3, 10, 17, 24
4:00–5:30 PM Eastern / 1:00–2:30 PM Pacific // Check your time-zone HERE.
We all have our stories, ones that are funny, sad, inspirational, tragic—and true. Writing your truth can inform, influence, heal, and entertain your reader, as well as yourself. As journaling provides a private mirror to reflect on your life, telling the tales of your journey can have great power—and never more so than now, when women’s experiences resonate across the culture.
Pamela Varkony is a nonfiction writer and a former columnist for Tribune Publishing. Her work appears in newspapers, magazines, and PBS and NPR on-air commentaries, and her poetry has been published in The New York Times. Recognized by the Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association with an “Excellence in Journalism” award, Pamela often uses her communication skills to advocate for women’s rights and empowerment both at home and abroad. She has twice traveled to Afghanistan on a fact-finding mission and as an embedded journalist. Pamela was named the 2017 Pearl S. Buck International Woman of Influence for her humanitarian work. She was born and raised in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where she and her husband, Zsolt, maintain a summer home. They reside in Sun City Center, FL, along with two very spoiled cats.
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