In-Person Events

    • Sunday, April 07, 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM (EDT)
    • Cicatelli Associates Inc. Conference Center, 505 Eighth Avenue, 20th Floor, NY 10018
    • 59
    New Workshop
    Putting Your Emotions on the Page

    Donna Baier Stein
    Writing offers us a chance to not only experience but also express our emotions. This may mean using words to understand and work through difficult feelings . . . or to celebrate the high points in our lives. Somehow, through writing what's deep inside us, we reveal our own and our fictional characters' humanity. And isn't this part of what makes a book compelling to read? The great New England poet Robert Frost said, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” Human emotions run the gamut from dark to light. Putting yours on the page makes for vivid writing and impactful reading. Writing prompts will be provided along with tips on showing your characters’ emotions through dialogue, gesture, action, and more.

    onquering Your Fears of Queries and Pitches
    Paula Chaffee Scardamalia

    One 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.

    Concurrent sessions

    Practicing the Poetry of Flow
    Myra 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 Sessions
    Appointments will be made in advance for timed 5-minute pitches


    8:00 am • Registration & Coffee, Tea & Pastry
    8:30 am • Introductions & Opening Remarks
    8:45 am • Donna Baier Stein
    10:30 am • Paula Scardamalia
    • 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.

    • Thursday, April 18, 2019
    • 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Wherever you fire up your computer!

    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:

    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.

    • Friday, May 10, 2019
    • 6:00 PM
    • Saturday, May 11, 2019
    • 5:00 PM
    • The Montrose School, 29 North Street, Medfield, MA 02052
    • 50

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    • Friday, July 12, 2019
    • 2:00 PM
    • Friday, July 19, 2019
    • 10:00 AM
    • Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA

    (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."

    • Our 42nd year of coming together!
    • Over two dozen workshops ranging from three to six days in length and spanning fiction, poetry, memoir, creative nonfiction, screenwriting, playwriting, writing as performance, social justice, multi-genre, and mixed media
    • Critique sessions in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction
    • A multimedia open studio on Monday night
    • Two book fairs 
    • Nightly open readings

    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.

Past events

Friday, July 06, 2018 IWWG Summer Writers Conference 2018: Connect, Create, Collaborate
Saturday, April 28, 2018 Boston "Writing from Your Life" Retreat
Sunday, April 15, 2018 Spring Big Apple 2018: Women, Creativity & Craft: Write, Pitch, Publish!
Saturday, January 27, 2018 4th Annual California Dreaming
Saturday, October 07, 2017 Niagara Creative Writing Conference
Friday, July 07, 2017 40th Annual IWWG Summer Conference
Saturday, May 06, 2017 2nd Annual Boston "Writing from Your Life" Retreat
Saturday, April 22, 2017 Spring Big Apple 2017
Saturday, March 25, 2017 California Dreaming 2017
Saturday, March 25, 2017 Florida Fling 2017
Saturday, November 05, 2016 Flagship City Creative Writing and Poetry Conference
Friday, July 15, 2016 39th Annual IWWG Summer Conference
Saturday, April 30, 2016 Boston "Writing From Your Life" Retreat
Saturday, April 16, 2016 Spring Big Apple 2016
Saturday, February 27, 2016 2nd Annual California Dreaming
Sunday, February 21, 2016 Florida in February Sunday Salon
Friday, July 24, 2015 38th Annual Summer Conference
Saturday, April 25, 2015 Spring Big Apple 2015
Sunday, March 15, 2015 California Dreaming: West Coast Regional Conference