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.

Workshop, 12/16 at 5 pm

Join us for this month’s drop-in creative writing workshop at The Astoria Bookshop: Holiday Cookies and Characters!

Back away from your manuscript, enjoy a holiday cookie (or 3), and spend the afternoon getting to know your characters outside of the world you’ve created. What would happen if you took your overachieving protagonist out for bottomless mimosas brunch or got stuck in an elevator with your ennui-filled villain? Through a mixture of discussion and out-of-the-box prompts, we’ll uncover surprising things about the people you’ve imagined and/or create new ones. 

$10 suggested contribution. BYO pen & paper. Cookies provided!

Click here to RSVP via Facebook. 

Upcoming Production

Discover your powers this fall!

Otherworld Theatre, which recently opened the world’s first venue dedicated to the performance of Science Fiction and Fantasy genres, will produce the Midwest premiere of All I Want is One More Meanwhile… a superhero comedy written by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons and directed by ensemble member Nathan Pease. Performances are September 26, 2018 – October 27, 2018 as the first mainstage show of its first season at its newly acquired theater location, 3914 N Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60613. CLICK HERE to learn more


Excited to be co-teaching this workshop at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence this fall:

From Page to Stage: Writing Creative Nonfiction for Performance with Mike Dressel and Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons

Nothing informs your story like hearing someone else perform your story! Compose a creative nonfiction story using the collaborative process created by the producers of the nonfiction reading series, No, YOU Tell It!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 until Tuesday, October 23, 2018 from 10-12 PM.

Click here for registration details.

Whether developing a true-life tale for a venue like The Moth or RISK! or working to sharpen it for publication, our “page to stage” process allows writers to gain a new perspective on the story they want to tell by hearing their words read out loud by someone else, while also improving their own stage presence.

This five-week session takes you from brainstorming, through drafting, to a finished piece of creative nonfiction.

  • Session one features generative exercises such as “I Remember” and “Sensory Blitz” to brainstorm memorable moments and sharpen sensory details.
  • Sessions two and three feature group exercises with targeted feedback for each writer. We’ll also explore revision strategies to find shape and structure, develop your “I-character,” and raise the stakes.
  • Sessions four and five address pacing in performance, strengthening story beats, and rehearsing basic stage techniques to help embody your partner’s story and give it a little oomph in the final reading.

By the end of this workshop, participants take an idea from a thematic suggestion all the way through to a polished draft, engage in useful feedback and revision techniques, and consider the importance of audience and delivery.

Click here for registration details!  & Help us spread the news!!

No, YOU Tell It! is a “switched-up” storytelling series dedicated to performing true-life tales with a twist: Each participant develops their own story on the page and then flip scripts with a partner to present each other’s story on stage. We’ve found that this shared storytelling format creates a sense of trust and ownership, and blends the collaborative process of creative writing workshops with the intimacy and immediacy of theatrical performance.

Workshop, 6/17, at 5 pm

Join us at The Astoria Bookshop on 6/17 at 5 pm for this month’s creative writing workshop:

Stepping into Scenework.

Whether you are writing a script, novel, or short story, writing’s basic building block is the “scene.” One piles on top of the next, each changing something that came before by creating and/or confronting conflict. Through a mixture of discussion and writing exercises, we’ll explore writing scenes designed to relentlessly move your story forward.

$10 suggested contribution. BYO Pen & Paper!

Click here to RSVP via Facebook.