2023 Summer Workshops
Often, that moment when you first begin to write your memoir is the scariest. This workshop will help you get started by asking the right questions. Whether you’re stuck in a draft that isn’t working, having trouble organizing your story, or are just unable to get started, this workshop is designed to help you. In his book on the craft of writing, Stephen King says: the scariest moment is just before you start. This workshop takes that moment and makes it less scary by asking you the right questions about what you are writing and why. Then we will move on to how to begin, and by the end of our week you will have your opening pages and a road map of where to go next.
Through in-class readings and discussion, writing assignments and exercises, and critiquing your work, we will work toward a solid beginning and writing plan for your memoir. Stephen King also says: “You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” In this workshop, you will.
Ann Hood - I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I remember. My favorite books when I was a kid were Little Women and Nancy Drew. Later, I loved Marjorie Morningstar, Les Miserables and Doctor Zhivago, obviously choosing books by size! A Rhode Island native, I was born in West Warwick and spent high school working as a Marsha Jordan Girl, modeling for the Jordan Marsh department store at the Warwick Mall. I majored in English at the University of Rhode Island, and that's where I fell in love with Shakespeare, Willa Cather, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. When I was in seventh grade, I read a book called How To Become An Airline Stewardess that fueled my desire to see the world. And that's just what I did when I graduated from URI--I went to work for TWA as a flight attendant. Back then, I thought you needed adventures in order to be a writer. Of course, I know now that all you need, as Eudora Welty said, is to sit on your own front porch. But I did see a lot of the world with TWA, and I moved from Boston to St. Louis and finally to NYC, a place I'd dreamed of living ever since I watched Doris Day movies as a little girl. I wrote my first novel, Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine, on international flights and on the Train to the Plane, which was the subway out to JFK. It was published in 1987. Since then, I've published in The New York Times, The Paris Review, O, Bon Appetit, Tin House, The Atlantic Monthly, Real Simple, and other wonderful places; and I've won two Pushcart Prizes, two Best American Food Writing Awards, Best American Spiritual Writing and Travel Writing Awards, and a Boston Public Library Literary Light Award.