Workshop in the Woods with Joyce Maynard
If you’re an aspiring writer with a personal story to tell, and you’re ready to get out of your isolation and into a pleasant haven in the woods, join us for our first-ever in-depth exploration of the art and craft of writing memoir, Workshop in the Woods with Joyce Maynard, best-selling author and longtime teacher of personal narrative.
It will take place (Marin County regulations permitting) August 7-9 in Inverness, one of the most magical places in Northern California, at a historic, nine-bedroom former inn above Tomales Bay, surrounded by gorgeous forest and less than an hour north of San Francisco.
It will be rustic. Think camping but with bedrooms, indoor plumbing, space to write and good cheese. Attendance is limited to 10 lucky writers who seek to develop their skills in long or short-form storytelling.
Covid-19 precautions will be in place with limited contact between attendees, and gatherings taking place in the great room or the airy wraparound porch. Limited to 10 students.
Over the course of the weekend, the work of each writer will be individually workshopped, with a close, tough-love approach that examines issues of story structure, language, voice, dialogue, point of view, and emotional authenticity.
Beginning by examining the raw material of our experiences, Joyce will look at the difference between simply reporting what happened and creating a story arc for readers and listeners that lets us explore not simply what happened, but what it meant, as well as the core question, what is my story really about? She’ll examine a writer’s personal responsibility when telling stories from his or her own life, and look at how to establish a daily writing practice.
To participate in the workshop, each writer will be expected to submit, in advance, a work of memoir (a free-standing essay or excerpt from a longer work) of no more than 2000 words or—alternatively—a letter that lays out, briefly, the story she or he wants to tell. We’ll take it from there.
Workshop in the Woods will take place over two nights and days, from Friday at 5 until Sunday at 1 PM. Tuition includes housing (single or shared room), dinner Friday night, breakfast and lunch Saturday, breakfast Sunday, and hearty amounts of beverages - adult and otherwise. (Dinner Saturday is on your own, in Inverness town or nearby Point Reyes Station.)
All bathrooms are shared, and students are responsible for their own linens and towels. Like we said, rustic. But stunningly beautiful and quiet and ready to kick your creative process into high gear. Parking is plentiful. And there will be time for hiking, which can be done from the Inn’s front door.