Writing Workshops

Writing Workshops at Byrd’s Books

We have two to choose from: Sundays with Judith Marks-White or Tuesdays with Linda Chiara!

SUNDAY AFTERNOONS from 3:30-5:30pm: This workshop is with Judith Mark-White. This is a very casual, all-skills-level prompt-writing workshop that is a lot of fun for all. Monthly on Sunday afternoons at 3:30, the group gathers to write from a choice of provided prompts, shares their work and their feedback. This workshop is a great way to break a writer’s block, jump-start your writing or see if writing is something you would like to try. All skill levels are welcome, please bring something to write or type on. Each session is $15.00, with a minimum of 6 participants. Dates: September 16th, October14th, November 4th, and December 12th. See Judith’s bio below. To sign up click HERE, or call the store (203) 730-2973.

TUESDAY EVENINGS from 6-7:30: This workshop is with Linda Chiara and is structured so the participants each bring a body of work in progress- three typed, double-spaced sheets to share with the rest of the group (6 copies). Each person reads their work and discussion follows. The intention of this workshop is to improve and refine work headed to publication. Further instruction is available with Linda, privately. Each session is $15.00, with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 6 participants. Dates: September 18th, October 2nd and 23rd, November TBA, December 4th and 18th. To sign up, click HERE, or call the store (203) 730-2973.

 

Judith Marks-White     

Addicted to black and white composition notebooks, Judith Marks-White began writing as soon as she could hold a pen in her hand.   Prior to becoming an independent free-lance writer, she was employed at Time Inc.Time-Life Books.   Her work soon evolved into humorous writing when, in 1985, she joined the staff of the Westport News in Connecticut where her column. The Light Touch (now under the heading: In Other Words) has appeared for the past twenty-eight years.  It here that her humorous and reflective voice takes hold as she views life through her own “funny glasses.’  Her articles and feature stories have appeared in magazines and newspapers throughout the country.

Ms. Marks-White has been involved in the design and instruction of creative writing programs in Connecticut, and has taught writing for many years. She was an adjunct Professor of English/Writing at Norwalk Community College for many years where she won Teacher of the Year Award for 2005 “for imparting wisdom with contagious enthusiasm” and where she continues to teach a course in the Art and Marketing of Humor Writing.

Ms. Marks-White is the recipient of numerous writing awards from the Connecticut Press Club, Matrix: Women in Communications, and the New England Press Association (NEPA).  She received a first place award for Best Humorous Personal Column from the National Federation of Press Women and continues to receive award recognition for her columns from the Connecticut Press Club.   In March of 2003, she was honored as one of the Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen Outstanding Women in Connecticut celebrating her achievement and dedication to public service through the art of column writing.  She considers her awards special as it emphasizes her love of the satirical essay as she entertains her audience with her take on the human condition and the small foibles we all experience in our daily lives.  She continues to carry the theme of humor into her novels.  

            In November 2009, ELLE magazine featured Bachelor Degree as a Reader’s Prize Book

Ms. Marks-White along with authors, Judith Viorst and Colette Dowling was a keynote speaker for “Perspectives: A Woman’s Viewpoint” sponsored by the Westport Young Woman’s League and Redbook magazine. Her talk: “Help, I’m Turning into my Mother” is just one of the humorous topics on which she has spoken to many groups and organizations.   She is a member of The National Federation of Press Women, Pen America, National Association of Pen Women, The Connecticut Press Association and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.

Among her many published works include her speech: “The Marketing and Writing of Humor” which appeared in Press Women Magazine.  Her feature articles and humorous essays have appeared in many magazines, newspapers and anthologies.  She lectures widely on the subject of humor and how it impacts the lives of women today.

Ms. Marks-White turned her attention to novel writing.  Seducing Harry was her debut novel.  Her second novel, is Bachelor Degree. Both are published by Random House/Ballantine.  She is presently working on her third novel.

Ms. Marks-White is a regular contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul Books and other anthologies.  Her latest essay: Ghosts of Husbands Past is included in the Anthology: Wedding Cake for Breakfast.  Each story addresses the first year of marriage as seen through the eyes of 23-authors.

(203) 247-0373 (203) 227-7761, www.judithmarks-white.com, joodth@snet.net

TESTIMONIAL: “Judith Marks-White is an excellent and supportive writing workshop leader. She is very helpful in suggesting everything from major changes in your manuscript to interesting venues for its publication. In our workshops, she used writing prompts, giving us one long prompt (from a list she creates for each session) and one very brief one (from visual cues, in this case, reproductions of New Yorker covers from the 1920s on). Then everyone reads what he or she has written, and praise and criticism are offered by all participants, including Judith. She specializes in producing an egoless, conflict-free, and cooperative atmosphere that is generous both to emerging and to experienced writers.” ~ Wendy Wipprecht

 

Linda Chiara

I am an award-winning columnist and seasoned freelance writer with over 25 years experience in both fiction and nonfiction, including short stories, essays, humor, how-to’s, and parenting issues. I also write for children ranging in age from five through teens.

My work for adults has appeared in Readers’ Digest, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Woman’s World, Ladies Home Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Christian Home and School and Baby TalkIn addition I write frequently for parenting magazines around the nation, including Connecticut County Kids, Connecticut Parent, Pittsburgh Parent, Atlanta Parent, L A Parent, Chicago Parent, etc.

My true passion, however, is writing for children. My essays for middle school children have been in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Love and Friendship and  Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Growing Up: Stories about Growing UpMeeting Challenges, and Learning from Life.

Oddey the Owl is my first children’s book and tells the true story of Oddey, a special needs owl, who was found on a barn floor after being tossed out of his nest by his siblings. Oddey was not like any other barn owl. Other owls catch mice for dinner. Oddey was afraid of mice! He was also afraid of the dark, so he had to sleep with a night light on!

Other stories and articles of mine have appeared in Boys’ Life and for many state standardized testing books, including Measuring Up to the New York State Learning Standards, Measuring Up to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, among others.

Another passion of mine is helping aspiring writers see their own work get published. To that end, I teach private classes, one-on-one sessions and through my local continuing education program.

TESTIMONIAL: 

I’ve been a professional writer and editor for the past twenty years, published in newspapers and magazines including the New York Times and the New Republic. I can tell you that I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of support and feedback from Linda’s group. I first showed up in November 2016 with a few pages of a novel I had just started writing. Despite my professional experience, novel writing was new territory for me, and I was unsure of myself. Linda and the other members of the group were so encouraging that I kept going. I’m on the verge of completing a draft of that novel, and the support of the Writers Group has been instrumental in that effort. I’ve even begun meeting on my own with a couple other writers to whom I was introduced  through Linda’s group. Every week that Linda’s group doesn’t meet, we gather in a small meeting room we reserve at the library to chart each other’s progress.

There’s always a waiting list for the Writers Group. That’s because Linda has created an environment where writers of all skill levels–from those who’ve never written creatively before, to those of us who’ve been widely published–can feel comfortable, yet also come away with ideas for how to improve. Some people, like me, return month after month. Others come and go as their schedules and desires permit. Linda possesses the rare ability to meet each of us where we are at–and on the fly, because, given the format of the group, she has to react to each participant’s writing on the spot. People have shown up with rhyming love poetry, western-themed fantasy novels, family memoirs, comic pieces, murder mysteries, and short stories about domestic violence. Linda takes all comers, and offers feedback that is free of judgment and often accompanied by a dose of humor. She only seeks to help the writer effectively achieve whatever he/she is trying to do. 

The written worksheets that Linda hands out at the beginning of every class–each a warm essay she has written for the group that is chockfull of piquant insights–could at this point comprise a small book of their own. I’ve seen other writers, many of them novices when they joined the group, flourish under Linda’s tutelage. She has personally reached out to me between group meetings more than once to offer encouragement and advice…” ~Sarah Courteau 

 

Please call the store if you have questions or would like to sign up (203) 730-2973

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