Constructing Powerful Openings

A first page is the first impression. The first chance to make people sit up and take notice of your work.

“Marley was dead, to begin with.” A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens.

Join us today at The Astoria Bookshop at 5 pm to kick-off a new year by exploring how to write powerful openings. Through a mixture of discussion and writing exercises, we’ll take a look at various story starter techniques and use them to revise an existing piece of work.

$10 suggested contribution. BYO Pen & Paper!

Sunnyside Sip-N-Scribe

Join us on 11/14 at 7 pm for a special Sip-N-Scribe at Sunnyside Plays.

Sip-N-Scribe is a fun evening of creative writing prompts, idea swapping, and drink-sipping. The goal is to experiment with something new on the page in an informal, relaxed way, all while enjoying an evening out with your friends and making new ones.

One drink minimum (beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages available)
$5 suggested donation

Click here to RSVP via Facebook.

Push away from your keyboard, get ready to put pen to paper, and come mingle with other writers in person. No one is here to write the next Great American novel. But hey, if that happens, please include us in the special thanks!

Workshop, 8/18 at 5 pm

31-29 31st St, Astoria, NY

Creating Sensory Details: How often have you heard this famous refrain: Show, don’t tell. But how exactly? And why? Most writers interpret it to mean that one should write vividly with detailed images and sensory information (show) rather than dull summaries (tell). Working through a series of writing exercises, we’ll explore the scientific impact sensory details have to emotionally engage readers.

Click here for more info and to RSVP via Facebook.

Story Starters

Great second session with the 7th graders at Madison Junior School this week. Each student created four distinct openings using various story starter techniques. Love watching their personal narratives take shape!


Memoir Residency

Honored to be a returning as a teaching artist this spring at Madison Junior School in New Jersey for their memoir unit.

Here’s a fun shot from my first day working with 200+ 7th graders! Started the wheels spinning to generate seed ideas for their personal narratives.

By the end of the unit, each student will draft, revise, and polish a personal story. This summer, I’ll edit and publish the finals into an anthology of their work. Such a thrill to help these young writers become published authors.

Workshop, 4/21 at 5 pm


31-29 31st St, Astoria, NY

Crafting Mythic Quests: Myths represent the ways that ancient cultures sought to explain the origins of the world and of existence itself. Sounds like a killer creative writing prompt to me! Through a mixture of discussion and writing exercises, we will explore the mythic realm of quests, break down the hero’s journey, and write into a time before time began.

$10 suggested contribution. BYO pen & paper.

Click here to RSVP via Facebook.

Workshop, 3/17 at 5 pm

Wacky Revision Techniques! All writing is rewriting. Well, great, but how does a writer approach their first, third, twelfth revision from a fresh perspective? In this workshop, we’ll go through a series of fun, bizarre, and efficient methods to tackle those tough revisions. Feel free to bring in something you’ve been working on already and/or practice materials will also be provided.

$10 suggested contribution. BYO pen & paper.

Click here for more info and to RSVP via Facebook.

Storytelling Workshop at Success Academy

Lovely NYC day crafting and sharing stories with the Public Affairs team at Success Academy Charter Schools. So happy to hear they enjoyed the session as much as I did!

Huge shoutout and thank you to Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons for her amazing storytelling workshop today. My team can’t stop talking about how great it was!!! ✍️ – Heather Kirtland Tsonopoulos, Chief of Staff, Success Academy Charter Schools

Workshop, 2/17 at 5 pm

SENSORY BLITZ! How often have you heard this famous refrain: Show, don’t tell. But how exactly? Most writers interpret it to mean that one should write vividly with detailed images and sensory information (show) rather than dull summaries (tell). Working through the series of writing exercises designed to blitz your and, thus, the readers’ senses, we’ll explore the show, the tell, and what they both mean in writing.

$10 suggested contribution. BYO pen & paper.

Click here for more info and to RSVP via Facebook.