Workshops and Retreats
From Imagination and Memory :
Creative Writing Workshop
(Offered this Spring at Westport Writers Workshop)
Kitchen Table Writers offers six- and eight-week writing workshops, as well as occasional
writing retreats, to spark your creativity in a nurturing setting, and help you hear and trust
your own unique writing voice.
We carry a multitude of stories inside us, whether they live in our banks of memory, imagination, or both. We've been telling stories since we first leapt off the bus to report what happened in school that day or swore to our mothers, honest-to-god, we weren't the ones who ate the butterscotch-oatmeal cookies she made Uncle Joe.
Storytelling is natural. So is writing. But sometimes we forget that. In this workshop, we'll remember. We'll remember the voices we first heard telling stories around our kitchen table and down at the corner store. We'll remember the voices we first used in our own writing, before anyone ever critiqued or graded us. And we'll begin to trust those voices again.
This is a generative workshop based on the Amherst Artist & Writers method. What makes it different from other writing workshops is:
1. Each week, we'll write together to creative prompts - exercises - inside the workshop.
2. Although you may write in absolutely any genre, all work we create will be treated as fiction, even when you write with the "I" narrator.
We'll read our work out loud - and listen carefully to each other read. In this workshop, we learn how to be mindful listeners. What was strong in the work, I will ask you. What do you remember from what you just heard? What stayed with you? What worked? What made you care? We will give feedback on the strength of each person's just-written work.
And then we will write again. And again. You will quickly get used to this rhythm: Write, read, listen, respond. I provide a supportive environment where you will feel comfortable writing freely, and also learn to listen for specific elements of successful writing craft in others' work. You'll gain confidence in your own writing voice while sharpening your ability to discern elements of satisfying writing.
When we write in the moment like this - too quickly to let our own critical inner voices pipe up – vivid, fresh stories bubble up from our memory and imagination in delightful and surprising ways. Whether you are writing your first short story, your third novel, flash fiction, a blog, poetry or epic letters to the editor...there's room at this table for you. Join us! You'll be amazed at what comes pouring out of you.
Meeting Times: 8 Tuesdays, 10 am to 1 pm
Sessions: April 2, 7, 21, 29 May 7, 14, 21, 28
For further information or to enroll: Email
(Note: It's Robison not Robinson.)
Writers of all experience levels, genres and ages are welcome.
There is no writing sample required for this workshop. The only requirements are a readiness
to be a constructive workshop member and the willingness to write.
Enrollment limited to 7 workshop members
Community Writing Workshops
Kitchen Table Writers partners with different communities to offer Creative Writing Workshops based on the Amherst Writers & Artists method. Through grants and donations, enrollment can be free or at low cost to community members. Past community workshops have been Powerful Mothers Writing - a long-term workshop with mothers of kids living with any kind of disability, and with women living in poverty. Prior writing experience of any kind is not required; the willingness to write and to listen closely are.
Each week, we meet in small groups of six writers and write to evocative prompts of poetry, prose, music, everyday objects, a myriad of things. All are encouraged but never pressured to share their work aloud. Emphasis is put on the idea that we are all writers--that everyone who writes is a writer and putting words to the stories of our lives is a powerful act. As listeners, we focus solely on what is strong and what is working in the tender, new work we share. We ask each other: what was strong? What do you remember from what you just heard? What stood out? And then we write some more.
All work in these workshops is treated as fiction and confidentiality is essential. We respect each person's unique writing voice and the differences in our life experiences. This is a writing group, NOT a therapy group.
If you are part of an agency or community group and would like more information on a six-week series of workshops, contact Jen at:
We write with pen and paper
unless physically prevented from doing so.
"From the moment I walked into Jen’s workshop, I felt valued as a writer. Jen creates a calm and safe environment, cognizant of all details such as comfortable seating and food to nibble on!
- Diane F.
"She takes care to listen closely. I felt inspired to continue writing after each session, and her fun, evocative prompts helped keep me and everyone in the room busy at our pages."