WALPOLE, N.H. – An opportunity has arisen to focus on writing, despite the chaos and uncertainty that surrounds folks today. In fact, what better to time to write than when forced to retreat from all the distractions of everyday life? To facilitate current limitations of face-to-face interaction, these popular workshops are now conducted via Zoom, a video conferencing app that is being widely used to gather groups together safely.
No need to be familiar with Zoom or be a member to join the workshop. The process is as simple as opening the invitation email sent to each participant, to arrive at a previously appointed time, and clicking on the link to join the “meeting.” A trial run with each participant individually, and then as a group, will iron out any kinks. Those who are technologically challenged need not worry.
A session is comprised of eight three-hour workshops. Each participant is offered a slot in the group deemed most appropriate for his or her level of experience. Because two to three sessions run simultaneously, it is crucial that all interested individuals get in touch by email or phone to discuss all possibilities. The spring sessions will begin at different times in April.
With just a bit of tweaking, the sessions follow the usual structure: a craft lesson, followed by a free-write, and lastly the critique of participants’ drafts. These workshops are nurturing yet rigorous, with an emphasis on craft. Participants learn how to be better writers by studying those aspects of writing that shape a successful manuscript, like the stance of the narrator, tone, and the creation of effective dialogue.
Pam Bernard is author of four books, the most of recent a verse novel titled “Esther.” She is also a painter, editor, and adjunct professor at Franklin Pierce University. She received her MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College and B.A. from Harvard University. Her awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Her collection of poems, “Across the Dark,” was a finalist in the National Poetry Series.