The Festival is pleased to offer online (weekly video) writing workshops during C-19 shelter-in-place 2020. Each is taught by a published writer and seasoned instructor. Workshops limited to eight writers 

Each workshop will discuss elements of the writing craft as well as peer and instructor feedback. All workshops include a one-on-one 30-minute phone critique with instructor. Times, lengths and costs vary. Please complete the online application form and payment portal. Writers will be notified of acceptance. Email questions to 

Courses will be added on a rolling basis.  

Summer 2020

Jacquelyn Mitchard Headshot

Strategies and Solutions in Fiction— 6 Weeks

Join Jacquelyn Mitchard for a wide-ranging series of lectures and discussions on every craft element of the practice of fiction. Together, we will consider the building blocks of successful narrative prose, read work aloud, as well as participate in-class discussion of select readings, writing exercises and prompts, and peer and instructor critique of your submissions. Writers will prepare a 2,500-word selection to share with the class for critique. The first meeting will feature procedures and introductions, the second and third critical analysis of assigned reading and critique of one student’s work, classes four-five will comprise critique of several student contributions and an exercise, class six will include a critical analysis of an assigned reading, and publication strategy questions and answers.
Jacquelyn Mitchard is a New York Times bestselling writer of fiction and non-fiction and the author of 22 books. She has won or been short-listed for The Bram Stoker Award, The Heartland Prize for Fiction, the Shirley Jackson Award, the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction and the Bluebonnet Prize. Her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was the inaugural selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club.


   Tuesday, July 7 to Tuesday, August 11

   Tuesdays 6p.m. to 8p.m. (E.S.T.)



Kirsten Bakis

Novel Writing Workshop7 Weeks

This course is designed for serious writers writing or revising a novel. Accepted writers will share their narrative vision, workshop and read aloud chapters, and develop a novel outline. Writers can share up to 9,000 words of their manuscript.  

  • 4k workshopped by the entire class and instructor 
  • 1,500 read aloud in class
  • 3,500 words reviewed one-on-one with instructor 

First class will be introductions; classes 2, 3, 4 and 5 workshops; classes 6 and 7 read back pages generated during class.

“Kirsten’s structure for us in the “virtually” challenged and challenging times made everything fall together in such an easy manner. No small task. The group has been so dynamic, the interchange valuable as supportive.” -Diane McPhail

Kirsten Bakis‘s novel Lives of the Monster Dogs was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, won a Bram Stoker Award, was shortlisted for Britain’s Baily’s Prize. She teaches at the Yale Writers’ Workshop and at the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center.

   Tuesday, July 7 to Tuesday, August 18

   Tuesdays 2pm to 4:30 pm (E.S.T.)



Patricia Ann Mcnair Headshot Color

Explorations in Flash Forms – 6 Weeks

Flash fiction, mini-memoir, prose poems, short-shorts, palm-of-the-hand stories: these are a few of the wide variety of brief prose forms participants will study and attempt in this generative, multi-genre course. Each week we will look at different examples of these structures, and each week we will make new work. Participants may submit one of these pieces for an optional one-on-one consultation with the instructor, to be scheduled once the course begins.

Patricia Ann McNair has published nonfiction and fiction. Her essay collection And These Are The Good Times (essays), was a Montaigne Medal finalist. The Temple of Air (stories), won Southern Illinois University Devil’s Kitchen Readers Award. Responsible Adults (stories) is forthcoming in winter 2020. She is the director of undergraduate creative writing programs at Columbia College Chicago. McNair was nominated for the Carnegie Foundation’s U.S. Professor of the Year.

   Wednesday, July 8 to Wednesday, August 12

   Wednesdays 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (E.S.T.)



Sarah Strong

Poetry Workshop – 6 Weeks

This course is designed for poets of all levels who want to develop and hone their craft and commitment to writing. Participants will workshop poems written during the course, explore revision strategies, and discuss a small but diverse selection of modern and contemporary poems to better understand how a poet’s tools can be deployed. Poets of all backgrounds and identities welcome.

  • Rigorous and supportive workshop environment
  • 5 of your poems workshopped by the entire class and instructor
  • 2 poems revised and workshopped further in small group
  • Individual meeting with instructor
  • Strategies to maintain an ongoing writing practice

Sarah P. Strong is the author of the poetry collections Tour of the Breath Gallery, winner of the Walt McDonald First-Book Award, and the forthcoming The Mouth of Earth, runner-up in the Test Site Poetry Series Prize. Their work has appeared in many journals, including The Nation, The Southern Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Rattle, Poetry Daily, and The Sun. They are the recipient of a CT Artist Fellowship Award and a Promise Award from the Sustainable Arts Foundation. They are also the author of two critically acclaimed novels. Strong teaches creative writing at Central Connecticut State University and the University of Hartford.

   Saturday, July 11 to Saturday, August 15

   Saturdays 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (E.S.T.)