Happening at the Writer’s Center in White River Junction


Submitted 3 months ago
Created by
Sara Tucker

A writing workshop for teens, a women's writing circle, a pinot and a prompt, and more

When I was working on my second book, I got stuck. Really stuck. So one Saturday morning, I got in the car and drove to White River Junction, where the Writer’s Center is located. Four weeks later, I was unstuck, thanks to instructor Joni Cole and the little group of writers who had signed up (along with me) for her Page Producers workshop.

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The book, An Irruption of Owls, came out a year later.

Sometimes I pop over to the Writer’s Center for the two-hour evening workshop called Promp & Pinot. It’s fun and stimulating (even without the pinot), and it only costs $25, pinot included, a bargain.

I see from the center's latest email that Joni has started a writing workshop for teens. What a great idea. I wish I could sign up just to hear what teens write about when they’re in a safe and supportive atmosphere, which is how I think of Joni’s workshops.

According to Joni's website, she has been teaching creative writing for 20 years, not only at the Writer's Center but also in graduate programs, workshops, and conferences around the country. She serves on the faculty of the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and teaches in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College. She also leads expressive writing workshops at women’s shelters, the VA hospital, and the restorative justice program.

And—get this—she has a new book out. It's called Good Naked: Reflections on How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier. Poets & Writers magazine lists Good Naked as one of its "best books for writers."

I can't imagine how she does it.

The following workshops are coming right up—the first one is this Sunday. To sign up, email Joni (jonibethcole@gmail.com). To find out more about the Writer's Center, see "Further Reading" at the end.

Sunday Surges: A Workshop for Concentrated Feedback and Motivation (Room for just 2 more)

August 12 – September 9 (skipping September 2)
​4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Instructor: Joni Cole $145 This four-session, weekly workshop for fiction and creative non-fiction writers is a great way to generate material, revise with direction, and make solid progress on your prose project. Each meeting provides you with a deadline to assure you are producing consistently. You will be asked to read aloud excerpts from a work-in-progress (three or so double-spaced pages, given time constraints) at each of our meetings. The discussion of these “surges” allows for quality feedback, and fosters teachable moments that benefit every participant in the group. Not to be under-recognized is the tremendous value of writing within a supportive community, and having readers along the way. If your goal is to launch or make steady progress on a novel, memoir, essay, or other type of narrative work, this group is for you. (This workshop requires no outside reading. Come to the first class with pages in hand to read for review.) Preregistration required. Contact: jonibethcole@gmail.com

Prompt & Pinot
August 17 and/or August 24 (Sign up for one or both!)
​6:15 – 8:15 p.m. Instructor: Joni Cole $25 per session Need a little writing inspiration? Here’s a more laid back yet productive one-session workshop that uses the time-tested device of a writing “prompt” (and a glass of Pinot or fizzy water or both) to stimulate your creativity, tap into your story ideas, and release your unique writing voice. You’ll also pick up tips on technique and experience first-hand how motivating and fun it can be to be part of a community of other writers. Open to anyone who wants to imbibe in the creative process. Registration required:  jonibethcole@gmail.com

Women’s Writing Circle
August 29 – September 26
9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Instructor: Joni Cole $125 Join our five-week WOMEN’S WRITING CIRCLE as a way to gain insights about life, love, laughter, and loss. The Circle is also a great way to connect with a community of other women. We write from a “prompt,” share, and find meaning in the process. No writing experience is needed, but the group does provide a greater awareness of how to craft your words into powerful prose. Registration is required. For more info or to confirm your place in the circle, contact:  jonibethcole@gmail.com

Page Producer Workshop (daytime)
September 6 – October 11
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Instructor: Joni Cole $200 This six-week workshop (fiction and creative non-fiction writers of all levels welcome) is a great way to push your writing forward thanks to ongoing deadlines, encouragement, reader response, and writing within a supportive community. Find your voice, launch a project, or make solid progress on an existing work. Preregistration required. Info: jonibethcole@gmail.com

Page Producer Workshop (evening)
September 6 – October 11
6:15 – 8:15 p.m. Instructor: Joni Cole $200 This six-week workshop (fiction and creative non-fiction writers of all levels welcome) is a great way to push your writing forward thanks to ongoing deadlines, encouragement, reader response, and writing within a supportive community. Find your voice, launch a project, or make solid progress on an existing work. Preregistration required. Info: jonibethcole@gmail.com

Spinning Stories: A Teen Writing Workshop
September 18 – October 9
5;00-7:00 p.m. Instructor: Judith Hertog $160 This fun-filled writing workshop for high schoolers is an opportunity to make new friends and  unleash your creativity.  We will work on freeing up your imagination, developing writing and story-telling techniques, boosting your confidence, learning to take and give feedback, and, most importantly, sharing stories and having fun. Judith is a writer and journalist who teaches creative writing at Colby Sawyer College.  Minimum 5 participants. To register, contact judith.hertog@gmail.com.

​Projects in Progress (for all genres)
Second Friday of the Month
6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Instructor: Kim J. Gifford $30 per session Have a book in the works? A memoir you need help organizing? Searching for feedback on your latest short story? Come join our monthly workshop. We meet for approximately two hours one Friday each month. In addition to feedback from our peers, I offer comments and take your latest chapter, story etc. home for review. We offer a lot of support and advice on how to move forward and will take your project to its well-written completion. I am capping the class at 6 to 8 students on a first-come, first-serve basis. To register (required), contact Kim Gifford: kimbi802@gmail.com.

 Further Reading

The Writer’s Center (website)

The Writer’s Center Facebook page

Joni’s website

 Show above: My father-in-law's Baby Hermes typewriter with the French "Azerty" keyboard.

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