Course Descriptions

WINTER - SPRING 2014

Writing Motherhood
—for mothers of all ages and writers at all stages

Every mother has a story to tell. Discover how to find your stories in everyday moments of motherhood—from the transformative power of firsts to the inevitability of the empty nest. Learn to carve out the time and space for writing as you join a community of mothers eager to capture their experiences on paper. Exploratory exercises spark your imagination and daily writing prompts jumpstart your pen. By the end of the semester, you will have filled a notebook with memories to preserve, publish, or pass on.
92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY
January 22 — March 12, 2014 Wednesdays, 10:00 — 11:30 am
To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.415.5500

Writing Womanhood
—a workshop in memoir

Women’s lives are inscribed with circles. Let the image of a circle be your guide and muse for this exploratory workshop in memoir. Learn to write about the overlapping circles in your life: familial (in-laws and outlaws), intimate (friends and lovers), and tangible (the kitchen sink, our bodies, the moon). Examine the subjects you keep circling back to as well as those you avoid or circle around. Our focus is not on product but rather on the practice of writing in a notebook every day—two pages or 15 minutes. All levels.
92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY
January 22 — March 12, 2014
Wednesdays, 12:00 noon — 2:00 pm
To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.415.5500

FALL 2013

Writing Motherhood
—for mothers of all ages and writers at all stages

Every mother has a story to tell. Discover how to find your stories in everyday moments of motherhood—from the transformative power of firsts to the inevitability of the empty nest. Learn to carve out the time and space for writing as you join a community of mothers eager to capture their experiences on paper. Exploratory exercises spark your imagination and daily writing prompts jumpstart your pen. By the end of the semester, you will have filled a notebook with memories to preserve, publish, or pass on.
92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY
September 25 — November 13, 2013 (eight weeks)
Wednesdays, 10:00 — 11:30 am
To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.415.5500

Writing Womanhood
—a workshop in memoir

If your life were a book, what title would you give it? Which characters would populate the pages? Where would the action take place? Learn to write from the text of your everyday life in this safe and supportive workshop in memoir. Our focus is not on product but rather on the practice of writing in a notebook every day—two pages or 15 minutes. Each week we explore a different “chapter” of womanhood as we revisit the homes we have lived in, the people we have loved, the things we have lost, the lessons we have learned. Discover the wisdom that comes from writing alongside women at different chapters in our lives.
92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY
September 25 — November 13, 2013 (eight weeks)
Wednesdays, 12:00 noon — 2:00 pm
To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.415.5500

WINTER - SPRING 2013

Writing Motherhood
Learn to write from the text of your everyday life in this supportive and inspirational workshop for mothers of all ages and writers at all stages. Discover how to carve out the time and space for writing as you join a community of other mothers eager to explore and record their stories. Each week we will tap into a timeless topic of motherhood: the transformative power of firsts, the myth of Supermom, the inevitability of the empty nest. We will use scents, photos, and other props to awaken our memories, and impromptu "writing starts" to jumpstart our pens. By the end of the semester, you will have in hand your first Mother's Notebook—written in just fifteen minutes a day and filled with stories to preserve, publish, and pass on. Open to new and continuing students.

92YTribeca (the 92nd Street Y's downtown location)
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
January 16 — March 13 (eight weeks, no class February 20)
Wednesdays, 10:00 — 11:30 AM
To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

Writing Womanhood: Love, Loss, and What I Ate
From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to Nora Ephron's recent off-Broadway hit, stories of love and loss have been told and retold through the ages. In this mixed-level workshop in memoir, you will be inspired to tell your story of love: two pages a day in your writer's notebook. We will begin with romantic love and move on to family and friendship, the love of a place, the love of an idea or a thing. No sooner do we begin writing about love than we find ourselves writing about loss—the loss of a partner, a parent or child, a job or house, our youth. So that we don't get carried away by abstract notions, we will ground our writing in concrete terms as we recall the foods we ate, the clothes we wore, the weather. To inspire our daily writing, we will read essays by Joan Didion, Anne Lamott, Jamaica Kincaid, Ann Hood, Mary Karr, and others. Please bring a notebook and pen, an open mind, and a soft heart.

92YTribeca (the 92nd Street Y's downtown location)
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
January 16 — March 13 (eight weeks, no class February 20)
Wednesdays, 12:00 noon — 2:00 pm
To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

WINTER - SPRING 2012

Writing Motherhood
for mothers of all ages and writers at all stages
Mothering provides endless material for writing, while writing brings clarity and wisdom to mothering. Learn to write from the text of your everyday life in this supportive and inspirational workshop that is sure to awaken your memories and ignite your pen. Discover how to carve out the time and space for writing as you join a community of other mothers eager to explore and record their lives. By the end of the semester, you will have in hand your first Mother’s Notebook, filled with stories to preserve, publish, and pass on.
92Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
February 29 — April 25 (eight weeks)

Wednesdays, 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

Writing Womanhood: COMING OUT OF THE NOTEBOOK
a revision workshop
So you have been writing for months, or years, and are ready to take the next step? Discover how to move from first to final draft in this supportive, hands-on workshop for writers ready to "come out of the notebook." Each week, we will explore a technique of revision that lets us "resee" our writing, then workshop exploratory drafts in small groups. By the end of the course, you will have in hand two or three finished pieces, ready to preserve, publish, or pass on. Bring your notebooks, with favorite entries tagged. For continuing students, or with permission of the instructor.
92Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
Feabruary 29 — May 2 (nine weeks)

Course will culminate in an evening reading on Thursday, May 3, at 7:00 PM
Wednesdays, 12:00 to 2:00 PM

To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

FALL 2011

Writing Motherhood
for mothers of all ages and writers at all stages
Mothering provides endless material for writing, while writing brings clarity and wisdom to mothering. Learn to write from the text of your everyday life in this supportive and inspirational workshop that is sure to awaken your memories and ignite your pen. Discover how to carve out the time and space for writing as you join a community of other mothers eager to explore and record their lives. By the end of the semester, you will have in hand your first Mother’s Notebook, filled with stories to preserve, publish, and pass on.
92nd Street Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
October 12 — November 16 (six weeks)

Wednesdays, 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Registration begins early August. Visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

Writing Womanhood
an exploration in memoir
Women live their lives in cycles—seasonal, biological, interpersonal. This fall, we will use the image of a circle as our guide and muse. We will begin with a story circle and end with circle writing. In between, we will write about the overlapping circles in our lives: family (in-laws and outlaws), intimate (friends and lovers), and tangible (the kitchen sink, our bodies, the moon). Because circles both include and exclude, we will consider what it means to belong and how it feels to be left out. And we will examine the subjects we keep circling back to as well as those we avoid or circle around. Along the way, you will discover that you belong to a new circle: a circle of women who write.
92nd Street Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
October 12 — December 8 (nine classes)

Wednesdays, 12:00 to 2:00 PM

No class week of Thanksgiving — Last class Thursday, December 8, at 7:00 – 9:00 PM Registration begins early August. Visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

WINTER - SPRING 2011

Writing Womanhood Retreat
Join Lisa for a one-day writing retreat that is sure to awaken your memories, spark your imagination, and ignite your pen. Our focus will be on mindfulness as we discover our stories in everyday moments. Enjoy a light breakfast and a healthy lunch. Wear comfortable clothes. Bring a notebook and pen.
92nd Street Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
Sunday, May 15
10 AM to 2:30 PM
To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

The Literate Parent: A Book Group
Join Lisa for a book discussion on Ann Hood’s latest book, The Red Thread, which follows several families as they attempt to adopt daughters from China. Participants are invited to an author reading the following week, sponsored by Pen Parentis Literary Salon.
92nd Street Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
Wednesday, May 4
10:30 to 11:30 AM
To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

Writing Motherhood
—an introductory workshop for mothers of all ages and writers at all stages

92nd Street Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
January 26 — March 16 (eight weeks)

Wednesdays, 12:30 to 2:00 PM

To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

Writing Womanhood
-an exploration of memoir for new and continuing students
92nd Street Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
January 26 — March 16 (eight weeks)

Wednesdays, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

FALL 2010

Writing Motherhood
—an introductory workshop for mothers of all ages and writers at all stages
92nd Street Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
September 15 — November 3 (eight weeks)
Wednesdays, 1:00 to 2:30 PM
To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

Writing Womanhood
—an exploration of memoir for new and continuing students
92nd Street Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
September 15 — November 3 (eight weeks)
Wednesdays, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

WINTER — SPRING 2010

Writing Motherhood
—an introductory workshop for mothers of all ages and writers at all stages
open to new students
92nd Street Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
January 27 — March 17 (eight weeks)
Wednesdays, 12:00 to 1:30 PM
To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

Writing Motherhood II: Coming Out of the Notebook
—an advanced workshop for writers ready to move from first to final draft
open to continuing students or with special permission
92nd Street Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
January 27 — March 17 (eight weeks)
Wednesdays, 10:00 to 11:30 AM
To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

FALL 2009

Writing Motherhood
—for mothers of all ages and writers at all stages
92nd Street Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
September 30 — November 18 (eight weeks)
Wednesdays, 10:00 to 11:30 AM
Open to new and returning students
To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

SPRING — SUMMER 2009

The Path of the Pen: Writing Our Lives
—an introduction to memoir for new and returning students
New York Open Center
83 Spring Street, New York, NY
April 15 — May 20 (six weeks)
Wednesdays, 8:00 to 10:00 PM
Free introductory class on Wednesday, April 1, at 8 PM
To register, visit opencenter.org or call 212-219-2527, ext. 2.

Writing Motherhood — Spring Awakening
—a mini-series for new and continuing students
92nd Street Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
May 13 — June 3, 2009 (four weeks)
Wednesdays, 10:00 - 11:30 AM
To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

WINTER — SPRING 2009

Looking through the Writer's "I"
—an introduction to memoir
YWCA of Bergen County
112 Oak Street, Ridgewood, NJ
January 13 — March 10 (eight weeks, no class Feb 17)
Tuesdays, 1:00 to 2:30 PM
To register, visit ywcabergencounty.org or call the YWCA at (201) 444-5600.
Download Flyer

Writing Motherhood
—for mothers of all ages and writers at all stages
92nd Street Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
January 21 — March 11 (eight weeks)
Wednesdays, two sessions
10:00 to 11:30 AM (for returning students)
12:30 to 2:00 PM (for new students)
To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

The Path of the Pen: Writing Our Lives
—an introduction to memoir for new and returning students
New York Open Center
83 Spring Street, New York, NY
April 15 — May 20 (six weeks)
Wednesdays, 8:00 to 10: 00 PM
Free introductory class on Wednesday, April 1, at 8 PM
To register, visit opencenter.org or call 212-219-2527, ext. 2.

FALL 2008

The Path of the Pen: Writing Our Lives
—an introduction to memoir for new and returning students
New York Open Center
83 Spring Street, New York, NY
September 17 – October 22 (5 weeks, no class October 8)
Wednesdays, 8:00 to 10: 00 PM
Free introductory class on Wednesday, September 10 at 8 PM
To register, visit opencenter.org or call 212-219-2527, ext. 2.

Writing Motherhood Mini Series
—for mothers of all ages and writers at all stages
92nd Street Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
October 29 – November 19 (four weeks)
Wednesdays, 10:00 to 11:30 AM
To register, visit 92y.org or call 212.601.1000, ext. 1.

WINTER 2008

The Path of the Pen: Writing Our Lives
New York Open Center
83 Spring Street, New York, NY
February 25 - March 31 (six classes)
Mondays, 8:00 to 10: 00 PM
Free introductory class on Monday, February 11 at 8 PM
To register visit http://www.opencenter.org/content/view/1589/82/
or call 212-219-2527, ext. 2.

Words in Motion—Winter Retreat
—a one-day creativity workshop that is guaranteed to get you and your pen moving!
Art of Motion
17 Chestnut Street, Ridgewood, NJ
Friday, March 14
11:30 AM to 2:30 PM
No experience expected in movement or writing. Beginners welcome.
To register, call the Ridgewood Community School at (201) 670-2777.
Download flyer

Writing Motherhood
—for mothers of all ages and writers at all stages
YWCA of Bergen County
112 Oak Street, Ridgewood, NJ
January 8 - February 12 (six classes)
Tuesdays, 9:30 to 11:00 AM
To register, call the YWCA at (201) 444-5600.
Enrollment is limited.

The Writers' Circle
—for new and returning students or by permission of the instructor
YWCA of Bergen County
112 Oak Street, Ridgewood, NJ
January 8 - February 12 (six classes)
Tuesdays, 1:00 to 2:30 PM
To register, call the YWCA at (201) 444-5600.
Enrollment is limited.

FALL 2007

Writing Motherhood
—for mothers of all ages and writers at all stages
September 11 - October 30*
Tuesday, 9:30 to 11:00 AM
YWCA of Bergen County, Ridgewood, NJ
*session two starts November 13

The Writers' Circle
—for new and returning students or by permission of the instructor
September 11 - October 30*
Tuesdays, 1:00 to 2:30 AM
YWCA of Bergen County, Ridgewood, NJ
*session two starts November 13

Words in Motion—Fall Retreat
—a one-day creativity workshop that is guaranteed to get you and your pen moving!
No experience expected in movement or writing. Beginners welcome.
Friday, October 19
11:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Art of Motion, Ridgewood, NJ

SPRING 2007

Words in Motion—Spring Retreat
Friday, May 4
11:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Art of Motion, Ridgewood, NJ

WINTER 2007

Writing Womanhood
—for women of all ages and writers at all stages
January 16 - March 13
Tuesday-Two Sections
9:30 to 11:00 AM and 1 to 2:30 PM
YWCA of Bergen County, Ridgewood, NJ

Words in Motion-Winter Retreat
Friday, March 10
11:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Art of Motion, Ridgewood, NJ

FALL 2006

Writing Womanhood
—for women of all ages and writers at all stages
September 19 - November 14
Tuesday, 1:00 to 2:30 PM
YWCA of Bergen County, Ridgewood, NJ

Words in Motion-Fall Retreat
Friday, October 13
11:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Art of Motion, Ridgewood, NJ

Course Descriptions

WRITING MOTHERHOOD

Have you always wanted to chronicle your experience of motherhood, but never knew how to begin? Are you looking for an outlet for self-expression, or a way to connect with other mothers? Whether you are a new mother or a grandmother, someone who has long aspired to write or someone who has never written before, discover how to write from the text of your own life in this supportive writing workshop that is sure to renew your spirit, awaken your memories, and ignite your pen. Our focus is not so much on documenting the lives of our children as it is on exploring our experiences as mothers—at every age and stage. By the end of eight weeks, you will have in hand your first Mother's Notebook, filled with stories to preserve, publish, or pass on.

WRITING MOTHERHOOD II: Coming Out of the Notebook

So you have been writing for months, maybe years, and are ready to take the next step? Discover how to move from first to final draft in this supportive, hands-on workshop for writers ready to "come out of the notebook." Each week, we will explore a technique of revision that lets us resee our writing, then workshop exploratory drafts in small groups. By the end of the course, you will have in hand two or three finished pieces, ready to preserve, publish, or pass on. Bring your notebooks, with favorite entries tagged.

LOOKING THROUGH THE WRITER'S "I"

Henry James once said that writers see things other people walk by. But writers of memoir look both outward and inward as they examine their place in the world. In this gathering of the Writers' Circle, we will explore the possibilities—and the perils—of personal narrative with an eye toward understanding the "I" in memoir. We will play with perspective as we consider what it means to be both the narrator and the main character of our stories. We will hone our powers of observation so we can accurately mirror our experiences on the page. And we will develop our capacity for introspection, through what is known as our third eye. By the end of the course, you can expect to have sharpened your vision and deepened your insight as you learn to look at your life through a writer's eye. There will be ample time for reading and writing, conversation and contemplation, in a safe and supportive circle of writers. Please bring a notebook and pen.

The Path of the Pen: Writing Our Lives

People write for many different reasons—for insight and direction, healing and forgiveness, communication and comic relief. Whether you are looking for a path to self-discovery or the road to publication, learn to write from the text of your own life in this inspirational and experiential workshop in memoir. As part of a collaborative exploration of our personal journeys, we will use scents, photos, and other props to awaken our memories. We will tell stories to warm up for writing. And we will jumpstart our pens with impromptu writing starts—words and phrases that will give you a clear set of footprints to follow onto the blank page. As you begin to mine your memory—and the moment—for material to write about, you will discover how to silence the critical inner voices that stifle creativity, throw away the rules that bind the imagination, and carve out the time and space for writing. By the end of the workshop, you will have in hand your first writer's notebook—created in just 15 minutes a day and filled with stories to preserve, publish, or pass on.

THE WRITERS' CIRCLE

Women's lives are inscribed with circles—from a baby's teething ring to the rims of granny's reading glasses. But the circles that mean the most are those formed by people who come together with a common purpose. Now you can join hands with other women who want to mine their memories for stories to preserve, publish, or pass on. We will start with a story circle and end with circle writing. In between, we will write and write and write about the overlapping circles in our lives: family, friendship, community, worship. As you find the words to tell your stories, you will discover that you belong to a new circle—a circle of women writers.

WRITING WOMANHOOD

Women live their lives in chapters—from girlhood to grandparenting. Learn how to write from the text of your own life in this safe, supportive writing workshop for women. Discover the wisdom that comes from exchanging stories with women at different chapters in their lives. In the pages of your Woman's Notebook, you will write about the homes you have lived in, the people you have loved, the places you have visited, the lessons you have learned. By the end of the semester, you will have in hand the beginnings of several chapters from your own story of womanhood.

WRITING FROM THE MIDDLE: MICROMEMOIRS

Everyone these days is writing a memoir—not just people toward the end of life but also people in the middle. What is memoir? How is it different from autobiography? How do I begin turning the experiences of my life into stories on a page? Whether or not you have tried your hand at writing, come to this fun, supportive workshop and learn how to write your own micromemoirs—two pages or less—on such macro themes as beginnings, endings, first loves, reunions, obsessions, confessions, heroes, and journeys.

MAKING SENSE OF OUR LIVES

Have you noticed how a song on the radio, an old photograph, the smell of apples baking, or the prickle of pine needles underfoot can bring back another time in your life? Have you always wanted to capture these unexpected moments on paper? In this experiential writing workshop, we will enlist the senses to awaken long-forgotten memories, and we will use these memories as inspiration for vivid, sensory writing. We will devote each week to writing from one of the five senses as we seek to make sense of our lives on paper.

THE WRITING ROOM

Have you always wanted to write but rarely find the time? Are you unsure how to get started, or are you struggling to keep going? Come to the Writing Room, a supportive writing practice workshop, and watch your memories awaken, stories unfold, characters emerge, ideas take root, and notebooks fill. Each week we will write to prompts that inspire spontaneous, raw material, and we will be invited to read aloud our writing without comment or critique. You can count on getting the writing done in the Writing Room.


Workshop Intensives

WORDS IN MOTION

—A One-Day Creativity Workshop
(co-led with choreographer/dancer Lynn Needle) —a seasonal weekend writing retreat

Writing is a physical act that connects the movement of our hand to the beat of our heart. Indulge your body and spirit—and ignite your imagination—in a one-day creativity workshop that combines writing with movement, composition with choreography. The workshop begins with a warm-up that is guaranteed to get you—and your pen—moving. We will go on to complete a series of short, spontaneous writings inspired by guided prompts. Then we will move into creativity clusters to put our words in motion, incorporating simple stretches, yoga poses, modern dance postures, pantomime, improvisation—whatever moves us in the moment. No experience is expected in dance or writing.

THE WRITERS' CIRCLE

—A Weekend Writing Retreat
This seasonal writing retreat is similar in theme and approach to the ongoing course by the same name described above. Held on the pastoral grounds of a cooperative community founded in the 1940s by a group of artists, writers, academics, and idealists, the Writers' Circle inspires participants to write and write and write about the many circles in their lives. The day includes a picnic lunch, a visit to a nearby apple orchard and farmer's market, and a silent walk around the mile-long road that encircles the community.

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