Brattleboro Literary Festival / Marlboro College Writing Workshops

The Brattleboro Literary Festival, in collaboration with Marlboro College, is pleased to announce three new writing workshops featuring choices in both fiction and nonfiction to kick-off the 2015 festival. Our workshop leaders are authors Howard Axelrod, Suzanne Kingsbury and Tim Weed.

The workshops will take place on Friday October 2, from 1:00 and 4:45 PM at the Marlboro College
Graduate Center in downtown Brattleboro, VT.
Please see details below to learn more about topic choices and the instructors who will lead.



HHoward Axelrodoward Axelrod~Where I’m Calling From-—Narrative Voice in Memoir

Find your voice, we’re told, but where to look?  The truth is we’re all gifted with various voices, and they arise, as necessary, for the various roles we play and the various audiences we have.  Your memoir’s narrator has a particular role as well, formed by where they are speaking from, why they are speaking, and to whom.

In this class, we’ll talk about how to tune your memoir’s voice: how your narrator’s address (in both senses of the word) can help clarify more than the voice itself.  Please submit for workshop two pages of your memoir.  In class, we’ll look at two short published excerpts, do a quick in-class exercise, then workshop your writing with an eye towards narrative power.


HOWARD AXELROD‘s memoir, The Point of Vanishing, about the two years he lived in solitude in northern Vermont, is forthcoming from Beacon Press in September, 2015. His work has appeared The Moral Intelligence of Children (Random House), The New York Times MagazineShambhala Sun, Harvard Magazine, and The Boston Globe. He received the Michael C. Rockefeller fellowship from Harvard, and has been awarded residencies from the Blue Mountain Center, Ucross, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Axelrod has taught literature and writing at Harvard, University of Arizona, and Grub Street.


SuzanneSuzanne Kingsbury~Creating Mastery and Genius on the Open Page

During this mind-blowing workshop for writers of all genres, you are shown how to access your unique genius and reach the vision of where you want to go on the page without the hindrance of the critical mind, our single biggest obstacle to creating extraordinary writing. Cutting edge brain science has shown that judgement and deconstruction can be detrimental to the creative process. Keeping this in mind, you will be shown how to write without self-censor, accessing a creative intelligence you may never have known you had and bursting through limitations that hold us back from true brilliance.  Reflection and feedback on your work will focus on your singular strengths as an author, so that you learn to rely on your inherent gifts and build your work from there.  Craft tools will be customized to match your personal writing style and will include how to divine intimacy with your reader, the genesis of narrative strength, establishing mood through description, how to ground point-of-view character in scene, using arc and frame to construct strong architecture in your work and how to write prose (or poetry) that sings and, finally, sells.

This one-of-a-kind workshop creates evocative, compelling work that tends to surprise writers with its potency.  If you are looking for a chance to meet the exceptional writer within and access the vast scope of your own creative talent, this workshop is for you.  Its effects last long after you walk out the door.

Suzanne Kingsbury is the award-winning, internationally-acclaimed author of two coming-of-age novels The Summer Fletcher Greel Loved Me and The Gospel According to Gracey.  Her work has been widely anthologized and you may have seen her name in Rolling Stone Magazine (European edition), the Huffington Post, Glamour, the LA Times, People Magazine and many others.  She is the founder of Gateless Writing, an international organization, founded in 2007, that has helped writers of all genres sign with top agents, garner six-figure book deals, win prestigious awards and move into the spotlight with their writing.  The 2013 Writers Guide identified her as one of the nation’s experts on creativity and the imaginative process.


TimTim Weed~Page Turning Fiction

What makes certain fiction so irresistible? What gives it the power to colonize the imagination so completely that putting it down is like parting with a beloved friend?

In this workshop, using brief passages from great novels and stories as illustrative models, we’ll delve into a few of the key micro-ingredients that go into page-turning, emotionally immersive fiction, such as dramatic tension, defamiliarization, point of view, and vivid descriptive writing. A combination of seminar-style discussion, generative writing exercises, and a focus on individual work samples will give participants a firmer grasp on principles that will make their fiction more likely to be published and widely read.

Although it is appropriate for students of any level, this workshop will be most useful for writers with experience or at least a strong interest in writing fiction. Please submit two pages of a story or novel in progress.

TIM WEED’s debut novel, Will Poole’s Island (Namelos, 2014), was named one of Bank Street College of Education’s Best Books of the Year. He is the winner of a Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction award, and his work has appeared in Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, Bloom, Talking Points Memo, Writer’s Chronicle, Fiction Writers Review, and many other reviews and magazines. Tim teaches fiction at Grub Street in Boston and in the MFA Writing program at Western Connecticut State University, and works as a featured expert for National Geographic Expeditions in Cuba, Spain, and Patagonia.

If you have any additional questions, please email Workshop Director, Tim Weed, or Angela Hamilton, Events & Enrollment Coordinator for Marlboro College Admissions and Non-Degree Programs Assistant,