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Be Inspired – The Martha’s Vineyard Times

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This summer, Islanders Write will be offering more writing workshops on a wider range of topics than ever before. These breakout sessions will focus on the art of writing and the business of selling your work, and will be offered throughout the two days of the event.

We are delighted to announce the program for this summer’s workshops and the teachers who will lead them. We welcome back Judith Hannan, Mathea Morais and Kelly DuMar, and welcome to Alice Early, Jennifer Smith Turner, Noel Foy, Laurie Lindeen and Moira Silva, who will join us for the first time.

Islanders Write workshops are free. No prior registration necessary. Try one or take them all.

Wake up and write!

Since we canceled Islanders Write in 2020 and 2021, we have decided to extend the program for an additional day for summer 2022. Judith Hannan will be hosting both mornings with her popular Wake Up and Write! workshop. Hannan, author and essayist – whose essays now appear in The MV Times – will take participants through a series of quick writing prompts to encourage free association and the revealing of scenes and stories.

First Authors: A Survival Guide

Alice Early, whose first novel, “The Moon Always Rising”, was published in 2020, will share all the information she would have liked someone to tell her. This includes how to find the right kind of publisher for your book, what to do with an agent, how to navigate the world of publishing, and strategies for promoting your book in a way that won’t drive you crazy.

Hybrid editors

Do you feel confused trying to figure out the complicated world of self-publishing? Poet and ‘Child Bride’ author Jennifer Smith Turner will enlighten and reveal the things no one tells you when you enter the self-publishing path. Focusing on hybrid publishers, Turner will explain what hybrid publishers do, how to find one, and how her novel sold thousands of copies.

Writing the letter of request

Mathea Morais, director of literary arts at Featherstone, author of “There You Are” and professor of English, Answer your questions about the all-important agent query letter – from determining how to target the right agents to crafting your pitch.

The impact of stress on writing

It’s hard enough to write, and trying to get published brings a whole new set of stressors. Noel Foy turns to neuroscience to provide advice on dealing with your writer’s block and publication anxiety. Foy is an anxiety coach, founder of Neuro Noel Consulting and author of “ABC Worry Free”.

Use personal photos as writing tools

Poet and playwright Kelly Dumar will give a two-hour workshop on writing from personal photos. DuMar’s the photo-inspired process nurtures spontaneity and imaginative self-expression. Whether you’re writing poetry or prose, memoir or blog, family history or monologue, your personal photos will be a great incentive for compelling writing. If you are interested in attending this workshop, bring one to three photos from your photo album with you.

Write the family

Writing about your family is a potential minefield. It doesn’t matter if your family harbors secret scandals or is bland and boring. (But really, who ever heard of a bland, boring family?) Writing about family members is tricky territory to navigate. Laurie Lindeen – who wrote extensively about her family members in her memoir ‘Petal Pusher’, as well as her son, rock star ex-husband and father in The New York Times “Johnny Goes to College” essay – developed strategies through writing exercises to help people write honestly and openly about their families.

The six senses of memory

Laurie Lindeen has graciously agreed to teach two workshops at this year’s Islanders Write. This workshop is designed to promote the senses as a way to create memorably crystalline, aromatic and soft to the touch images for your readers. In a series of guided exercises, Lineeen will show you how you can develop and refine your writing using your senses of sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch and intuition.

Dealing with the pandemic in writing

Moira Silva will also lead two workshops. silva will explore ways to write about your experience during the pandemic, whether it’s grief or silver linings, loneliness or finding new forms of connection.

Setting the table: Building stories around food

Food has power. In this generative workshop, writers will tap into their food-related memories to better understand their perspectives. Moira Silva uses this foundation as a way to explore techniques for bringing scenes, settings and characters to life. The writers will draw on excerpts from Michelle Zauner, Jessica Harris (who will be at this year’s Islanders Write), Anthony Bourdain and Carmen Maria Machado. Participants will leave excited to develop classroom drafts using their new skills in creating multi-sensory scenes.

Islanders Write is an MV Times event. It takes place at the Featherstone Center for the Arts all day on Sunday, July 31 and Monday, August 1, with an opening night on Saturday, July 30. For more information, visit islanderswrite.com.