Get Inspired – The Martha’s Vineyard Times

This summer’s Islanders Write will have more writing workshops on a wider range of topics than ever before. These breakout sessions will be focused on the craft of writing and the business of selling your work, and will be offered throughout the two days of the event.

We are delighted to announce the lineup for this summer’s workshops, and the teachers who will be facilitating them. We welcome back Judith Hannan, Mathea Morais, and Kelly DuMar, and welcome Alice Early, Jennifer SmithTurner, Noël Foy, Laurie Lindeen, and Moira Silva, who will be joining us for the first time.

The workshops at Islanders Write are free to attend. No advance registration necessary. Try one, or take them all.

Wake Up and Write!

Since we canceled Islanders Write in 2020 and 2021, we decided to extend the program for an additional day for summer 2022. Judith Hannan will get us going on both mornings with her popular Wake Up and Write! workshop. Hannan, an author and essayist — whose essays are now appearing in The MV Times — will lead participants in a series of quick writing prompts to encourage free association and the revelation of scenes and stories.

Debut Authors: A Survival Guide

Alice Early, whose debut novel, “The Moon Always Rising,” was published in 2020, will share all the information that she wishes someone had told her. This includes how to find the right type of publisher for your book, what to do about an agent, how to navigate the publishing world, and strategies to promote your book in ways that won’t make you crazy.

Hybrid Publishers

Are you feeling flummoxed trying to figure out the complicated world of self-publishing? Poet and “Child Bride” author Jennifer Smith Turner will enlighten you and reveal the things nobody tells you when you step onto the self-publishing path. With a focus on hybrid publishers, Turner will explain what hybrid publishers do, how to find one, and how her novel by Ella sold thousands of copies.

Writing the Query Letter

Mathea Morais, who is the director of literary arts at Featherstone, author of “There You Are,” and an English teacher, will answer your questions about the all-important agent query letter—from figuring out how to target appropriate agents to writing your pitch.

The Impact of Stress on Writing

It’s hard enough to write, and trying to get published brings on a whole new set of stressors. Noël Foy turns to neuroscience to provide tips on managing your writer’s block and publishing angst. Foy is an anxiety coach, founder of Neuro Noel Consulting, and the author of “ABC Worry Free.”

Using Personal Photos as Tools for Writing

poet and playwright Kelly DuMar will be giving a two-hour workshop on writing from personal photos. DuMar’s photo-inspired process nurtures spontaneity and imaginative self-expression. Whether you’re writing poetry or prose, memoir or a blog, family history or a monologue, your personal photos will be an excellent prompt to compelling writing. If you are interested in taking this workshop, bring one to three photos from your photo album with you.

Writing the Family

Writing about your family is a potential minefield. It doesn’t matter if your family is harboring secret scandals or is bland and boring. (But really, who’s ever heard of a bland and boring family?) Writing about family members is complicated territory to navigate. Laurie Lindeen — who has written extensively about her family members in her memoir “Petal Pusher,” as well as writing about her son, her rock star ex-husband, and her father in the New York Times essay “Johnny Goes to College” — has developed strategies through writing exercises to help people write honestly and openly about their families.

The Six Senses of Memory

Laurie Lindeen has graciously agreed to teach two workshops at this year’s Islanders Write. This workshop is designed to promote the senses as a way of creating Memorably crystal-clear, aromatic, soft-to-the-touch images for your readers. In a series of guided exercises, Lineeen will show you how you can develop and sharpen your writing by employing your senses of sight, smell, taste, sound, touch, and intuition.

Processing the Pandemic in Writing

Moira Silva will also be teaching two workshops. Silva will explore ways to write about your experience during the pandemic, whether it be one of grief or silver linings, of loneliness or finding new forms of connectedness.

Setting the Table: Building Narratives Around Food

Food has power. In this generative workshop, writers will mine their food-related memories to better understand their perspectives. Moira Silva uses this foundation as a way to explore techniques for rendering vivid scenes, settings, and characters. Writers will draw inspiration from excerpts by Michelle Zauner, Jessica Harris (who will be at this year’s Islanders Write), Anthony Bourdain, and Carmen Maria Machado. Participants will leave feeling enthused about developing in-class drafts using their new skills in multisensory scene creation.

Islanders Write is an MV Times event. It takes place at Featherstone Center for the Arts all day on Sunday, July 31, and Monday, August 1, with an opening night event on Saturday, July 30. For more information, visit islanderswrite.com.

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