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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    • Friday, August 26, 2022
    • 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
    • via Zoom


    Free Write 
    with Alina Stefanescu

    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 is currently working on a novel-like creature. More online

    • Friday, September 09, 2022
    • 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
    • via Zoom


    Free Write 
    with Sherre Vernon

    Isn't that Fantastic?

    In this workshop we will start in our lived experience and move into the fantastic, dream-like possibilities that language play can open for us.

    Sherre Vernon (she/her/hers) is the author of two award-winning chapbooks: Green Ink Wings and The Name is Perilous. 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 FictionsFlame Nebula, Bright Nova, her full-length poetry collection, is available here. To read more visit and tag Sherre into conversation @sherrevernon.

    • Tuesday, September 13, 2022
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • via Zoom


    Poetry Palooza Kickoff Event

    *** More info coming soon ***

    • Thursday, September 22, 2022
    • Thursday, October 13, 2022
    • 4 sessions
    • via Zoom
    • 23

    Workshop Series

    Uprooted: Refugees of the Heart and Home 

     "I believe one carries the shadows, the dreams, the fears and the dragons of home under one's skin..."  ~Maya Angelou 


    Have you ever been forced to leave your home? As thousands flee embattled streets of Ukraine, and others escape political strife and natural disasters, our writings will explore the myriad realms of displacement - leaving home, losing home and the hope of finding home again.  Our uprootedness journey will take us through immigrant pasts,  Afghanistan evacuations, Trail of Tears,  Japanese internment, Oklahoma's Black Wall Street , Syria, Somalia and Haiti, urban renewal and eminent domain.  While we express our longing  for home and the sense of it, we acknowledge others who seek the same. Our words can bear witness to a world of 84 million displaced people, 27 million of whom are refugees. 

    Inspirations: Suheir Hamad, Bonnie Raitt, Traci Kato-Kiriyama, Usha Akela,  the Beatles,  Elie Wiesel, Jacqueline Woodson, Warsan Shire, Juan Felipe Herrera and Edwidge Dandicat.

    Dorothy Randall Gray is author of the bestseller, Soul Between the Lines (Avon/Harper Collins), a recent volume of poetry Sharing the Same Sky, and numerous anthology selections.  Her other published works include Muse Blues, Woman, Family, The Passion Collection, and A Taste of Tamarinda. A two year LA Poet-in-Residence Dorothy's  "When I Was A Tree" poetry film was awarded Official Selection by the Film & Poetry Video  Symposium. Her work is also featured in the upcoming Eve Ensler/Aja Monet production, VOICES. She is a former board member of the International Women's Writing Guild, NPR commentator, and UNESCO delegate. Her workshops have inspired thousands throughout the US, China, Iceland, and India. They have served a variety of audiences including beginning and seasoned writers, graduate and high school students, creative aging groups, and incarcerated populations. A global activist Dorothy is a Hedgebrook Fellow who has shared the dais with the Dalai Lama, performed poetry in Iceland, danced with tribal boys in India, and boogied with James Baldwin in NYC.

    • Friday, September 23, 2022
    • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • via Zoom


    Free Write 
    Anya Achtenberg Sefara-Rabi

    Writing Place and Placelessness

    A sense-of-place writing workshop to address place in a world of historical amnesia, diaspora, flight, trauma that knocks us out of place, gentrification; place as investment property, as profit. The poisoning of the sacred. Climate catastrophe. 

    All this with a deeper dive into craft than conventional approaches—ways of working with craft that liberate and focus our writing, that work with a specificity that goes beyond having “lotsa details”. A deep dive into craft that helps make place in writing for you, your experience. And, of course, time for generative writing explorations—

    And, oh, we will write.

    ANYA ACHTENBERG SEFARA-RABI is an award-winning fiction writer and poet whose publications include the novel Blue Earth; novella The Stories of Devil-Girl; poetry collections The Stone of Language, and, I Know What the Small Girl Knew. Individual pieces are published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Gargoyle Magazine; Harvard Review; DC’s Beltway Poetry Quarterly; Tupelo Quarterly; Journal of Feminist Studies in     Religion; Malpais Review; and Poet Lore. Writing awards and distinctions have come from Southern Poetry Review; Another Chicago Magazine;Coppola’s Zoetrope: All-Story; New Letters; the Raymond Carver Story Contest; the Minnesota State Arts Board, and others. Her novel History Artist, multivocal and genre-bending,with an ensemble cast of characters centered around a young Cambodian woman born at the moment the U.S. invasion began, is 5 minutes away from completion in novelist time;and, close, too, is a poetry and unprose collection, Matadors at the Crossing. Her occasional blog Writing in Upheaval explores Anya’s organic approach to writing craft that expands creativity; counters historical amnesia; and examines how trauma and narration connect, and how history sits in us. Anya teaches two series of fiction, memoir, and multi-genre creative writing courses, Writing for Social Change: Re-Dream a Just World Workshops; and, The Disobedient Writer Workshops; consults with writers of fiction and nonfiction, prose and poetry, in English and in Spanish; and is blown away by the brilliant, original, diverse and urgent work of engaged writers, women and others, who have found their way to her, and to each other. See 


    • Saturday, September 24, 2022
    • Saturday, November 12, 2022
    • 8 sessions
    • Digital Village
    • 8

    Imagination and Justice: Meditation and Free-Writing Circles

    with Lisa Freedman

    Every Saturday from 10 am to 12 pm from Sept. 24 through Nov. 12 for eight sessions

    An activist’s faith can never be unquestioning … can never oversimplify, as believers and activists are often tempted or pressured to do.   Adrienne Rich

    These freewriting circles are intimate and expansive. We hold space for the complexities of our own and each other’s stories. Each time we meet, we start with a few minutes of silence followed by a short guided free-write and share to check in. Then Lisa guides us in two more rounds of meditation, free-writing, and sharing. The sharing is always optional.

    Holding the silence together is a bonding activity, and as the weeks unfold, we connect more deeply through our writings. This is how we help each other take writerly risks to reveal our experiences and imaginings. And this is how we support each other as we dare to share our voices and visions with the world.

    Meditators, writers, dreamers, and activists at every level of experience are welcome. All genres are welcome. These circles are a place to write or re-write material that dwells (or wants to dwell) in the realm where the personal is political. You may already be working on a relevant project, or you may be starting a new one. Either way, you and your stories, your writings are welcome here.

    Participants receive the prompts and background materials each week. These come from many sources, including Ada Limon, Ross Gay, adrienne maree brown, and Ilya Kaminsky.

    While this is a generative, free-writing circle, participants are often surprised by the power of the words that land on the page. Those of us in the first Imagination & Justice Circle, which took place in the fall of 2021, are delighted to have our writings (with just a little bit of editing) collected by the IWWG in the anthology, Roots/Trunk/Sky, which you can read here:  Read Anthology

    Lisa Freedman is a writer, activist, and New School Writing Program faculty member. She founded Breathe/Read/Write as a contemplative response to the chaos of the U.S. elections in 2016. BRW combines meditation and freewriting so participants clear the static and astound themselves with the flow and clarity that comes when they set their pens on the page. As a practitioner of Shambhala Buddhism, Lisa knows how inspiring it can be to share the open space of silence. And she has a knack for choosing free-write prompts that connect writers to what they need to say. Lisa leads BRW circles for The NY Zendo, the International Women’s Writing Guild, The Poetry Barn, and the New School’s Social Justice Hub, among others. Her work with BRW earned a 2021 NYFA Community Artists Corp Grant. 

    Lisa holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School. Her creative work can be found in these anthologies: Resist Much, Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the ResistanceLiterature from the First 20 Years of Art & Understanding; and Grabbing the Apple: An Anthology of New York Women Poets. Her poetry and prose also appear in Satya Magazine, POZ, Poetry Ration, and others. For more info, see the Breathe/Read/Write Eventbrite page and Lisa’s Writing Coach website.

    • Sunday, October 02, 2022
    • Sunday, October 16, 2022
    • 2 sessions
    • via Zoom

    Workshop Series

    Write a Cozy Mystery  

    Are you a fan of Bree Baker’s Seaside Café Mysteries? What about the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries by Miranda James? Do you find yourself watching British detective shows like Father Brown and Midsomer Murders? Are you completely hooked on the new Jane Seymour series Harry Wild? If so, you are a fan of a mystery subgenre called a Cozy. 

    According to book sale statistics, romance is the best-selling genre of commercial fiction, followed by the crime/mystery genres. But what is a cozy mystery?

    In this two-part workshop, you’ll write a cozy mystery with best-selling author Abby VanDiver. Abby is the author of several popular cozy mysteries, like her Ice Cream Parlor series. She has the inside scoop (pun intended) for you and will take you through all the steps to getting your cozy mystery ready for publication. Here’s what Abby will cover in the workshop:

    • What exactly is the definition of a cozy?

    • What are the essential elements of any cozy mystery story?

    • What are the must-have conventions (called tropes) that cozy mystery readers want and expect?

    • How to identify and hide your clues and create some red herrings.

    • What is your hook?

    • How to create your amateur sleuth with depth.

    • How to build your cozy world and fun touches – hobbies, occupations, businesses and more

    As a special bonus Abby will show you how to format your manuscript from the beginning in MS WORD so it is ready to be self-published if that is your choice.

    Not only are cozies fun to read, but the sleuths in these stories are almost always educated, independent women who rely on their intuition to ferret out the criminal among the denizens of the cozy world they inhabit.


    WALL STREET JOURNAL, USA TODAY and internationally bestselling author, Abby L. Vandiver, who also writes as Abby Collette, has always enjoyed writing. Combining that with her love of mystery she has published using a Hybrid approach, self-published and been traditionally published. Abby has penned more than twenty books and short stories. Her cozy mystery series, the Ice Cream Parlor series, is published with Penguin Berkley. Abby has authored her first Women’s Fiction novel, Where WildPeaches Grow, under the pen name Cade Bentley for Lake Union Publishing (coming August 2022). Abby resides in South Euclid, Ohio and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and facilitating self-publishing and writing classes online with Cleveland Literary and at her local library. Learn more at

    • Monday, October 03, 2022
    • Monday, November 21, 2022
    • 8 sessions
    • Digital Village

    Writing Circle: Making Your Poems from the Inside Out

    with Marj Hahne

    Consider this: A poem is a body of words, not a body of thoughts and feelings. Yes, our thoughts and feelings and experiences may catalyze our poems, but how we choreograph our words, how we make meaning (not what our words say or mean), is what moves a poem from self-expression to literary art. How do we make such poems, textual/subtextual bodies that enact and transform experience (rather than report or describe it) so that discovery or rediscovery is possible for both writer and reader?

    We build them from the inside out, which requires relating to language primarily as material, as our artistic medium (and secondarily as meaning). For each session of this 8-session writing circle, we will examine, via the interrogation and discussion of model poems, one of multiple local or global strategies that make a poem poetry, followed by a generative or revision exercise to practice that strategy.
    This Writing Circle is for you if you’re seeking:

    • a breakthrough in, or jumpstart to, your poem-making
    • practical, immediately applicable craft strategies for drafting and revising
    • a structure for learning and practicing in digestible pieces
    • fresh distinctions for interrogating and illuminating your poems

    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 (BARK & BARD) and pairs poems with craft beers (MASH), craft spirits (DISTILL), and coffee (PO-JOE).


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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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