4th Annual Boston Area Retreat - Writing the Heroine’s Journey: In Memoir, Poetry, Prose & Drama

  • Friday, May 10, 2019
  • 6:00 PM
  • Saturday, May 11, 2019
  • 5:00 PM
  • The Montrose School, 29 North Street, Medfield, MA 02052
  • 15


  • This registration includes membership to IWWG for one year ($75 value) for first-time members.

Registration is closed

Boston & New Englandarea 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.

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. www.maureenmurdock.com

The Alchemy of Journaling: Emerging from Darkness as Heroine
Susan 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

How the Political is Personal: The Heroine Probes Context in Poetry

Vanessa Jimenez Gabb
There is content. And then there is context. In this workshop, we will explore the heroine's journey by considering not only what our paths are but also how and why we we find ourselves here, in our particular moments. We will focus on thinking more intentionally about the ways we can engage with and generate poetry based on our material selves: how can we use the heroine's journey to bring attention to the various systems of which we are products, privileged, oppressed? We will be given the opportunity to reflect on and write to our respective journeys through poetry, and share with one another so that we may realize their collective power. 

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

Voices of Unsung Heroines - Writing Photo Inspired Monologues for the Stage
Kelly DuMar
You hear them, you see them, you know them – these women from your families, your personal history, and your community – but their stories are as yet unwritten. In this workshop you’ll develop a draft of a short, dramatic monologue for the stage, inspired by voices of unsung heroines – a woman from your personal life or from history, a woman from the past or present who has not been noticed or praised for doing hard work, being brave, or achieving her dreams by overcoming hardship. This workshop will help you artistically express and creatively share your unsung heroine’s experiences through the medium of theatre in an engaging way for an audience. Bring 1-3 photos of unsung heroines (from your life or from history) to write from. Beginning and experienced writers are welcome!

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 Schedule
6:00 pm • Arrival and Registration
6:30 pm • Maureen Murdock

Saturday Schedule
9:30 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

Download a printable flier here.

Find nearby hotel lodging here.

Find directions to the Montrose School here.