New Publications by Summer 2015 Paris Retreat Alumnae

issue18cover_front_300The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is proud to announce that one of our 2015 Summer in Paris Writing Retreat participant has had her work published in The Quotable. G. Evelyn Lampart’s story “Visions” is part of Issue 18 of the journal, a quarterly publication of quotable writers.

G. Evelyn Lampart is both a practitioner and a consumer of mental health services. In this  unique role, she runs an art program in the mental health clinic that served to help her heal. Evelyn is also a student at the Writers Studio in New York City. Her writing  appears in Rozlynan anthology, Nous 5, Dirty Chai,  R.KV.R.Y., Poetica, and The Quotable.

We’re also proud to announce that Kathleen Crisci’s “Sturm und Drang” won second place for essay/memoir in Epiphany Magazine‘s spring contest. It will appear in the next issue.

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Kathleen Crisci
received an MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2008. Since then, she has been published in Many Mountains Moving and Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, as well as in an anthology, DIRT, published by Seal Press in 2009. She is a co-founder of Uptown Writers, a venue for writers of all stripes in northern Manhattan. Currently, she is working on a novel.

Ploughshares Blog: “On Questioning Narrative Sequence” by Emily Smith, CWW Managing Ed. Intern


At the Contemporary Museum of Art in Montreal, Ragnar Kjartansson’s “The Visitors” plays on nine screens in a dark theater. Each screen features a single musician set to the backdrop of a room in a chateau, which is in disrepair: one woman in a pale lace dress plays cello with a French door open to the outside gardens, one man plays guitar in a claw foot bathtub. All nine musicians chime in to sing: “Once again, I fall into my feminine ways.” In the theater, museum-goers experience all nine screens at once: a simultaneous narrative. In a second theater, which exhibits Kjartansson’s “World Light,” four screens play different scenes from a Halldor Laxness novel at the same time. In the same moment, viewers watch a woman pull on her dress and stockings in the morning, while across the room she fights with her future lover. The presentation of “World Light,” a Nordic story told in its entirety in one moment, calls into question the sequencing of narrative—that is, that a narrative should be read from beginning to end, or that those components should be separate at all.

Read more.

Spring in Newport, Rhode Island Writing Retreat: Day 3

On our final day, participants enjoyed a session of energizing yoga with Elissa. After yoga, some people went for a stroll by the ocean and the faculty made brunch for the participants. Jade and Elissa made delicious, fluffy, flax-seed vegan pancakes. Norma made a scrumptious onion, cheese and seasalt omelette. Orange juice, coffee and fresh fruit made the farewell brunch refreshing.

During the meal, the faculty and writers sat around the table and discussed writing goals for the future. We even vowed to stay in touch and will keep sharing our work and workshopping on the Cambridge Writer’s Workshop NING member network (learn more about that here).

It was amazing how we created such a supportive community in the space of just three days. We were sad to see everyone leave, but can’t wait to see some of our writers returning at our upcoming retreats in Barcelona & Narbonne as well as Granada!

Spring in Newport, Rhode Island Writing Retreat: Day 2

We started Day 2 bright and early with energizing yoga taught by Elissa Lewis. Our belief is that yoga can clear and prepare the mind for writing during the day. Elissa rounded out yoga with brief foot massages.

The first writing class began with “What’s at Stake?” In the first part of class, we discussed various spheres of risk in literature, including the personal, professional, political, and social. In the second part of class, writers brought in their work to workshop with a focus on “what’s at stake,” and we enjoyed giving feedback on fiction, nonfiction and poetry pieces. After class, we had free writing time, and then the group went into town for a cliff walk!

The cliff walk was inspiring, with the steep bluffs edging down to the green, blue, and grey ocean. We passed the mansions on our right and surfers and seagulls down below on our left.

After we returned to the house, Jade Sylvan taught the second part of “Writing Yourself Naked.” Then, writers met with the faculty for one on one manuscript consultations. After dinner in Newport, we ended the night with performances (including a xylophone rendition) of our work showcasing the elements of voice we had developed from the Your Voice workshop.

Spring in Newport, Rhode Island Writing Retreat: Day 1

After arriving at the Newport, Rhode Island retreat location—a Cape Cod style home nestled into a quiet neighborhood near the beach—we kicked off the retreat with a Welcome Lunch and orientation. Our delicious lunch was catered by Pasta Beach and made by a chef from Bologna, Italy.

After lunch, CWW Faculty Member Jade Sylvan taught Writing Yourself Naked and took us on a meditative walk down to the ocean. Before we left for the walk, Jade gave us a writing prompt to think about: the last time we spoke. Then, Yoga Instructor Elissa Lewis guided us through hip opening yoga. At the end of the day, Executive Artistic Director Norma Szokolyai taught her Your Voice workshop. She started the craft of writing seminar with citrus bliss essential oil, which connected us with the hip opening practice.

Following the workshops, we ate dinner and gathered around to talk informally about writing. We broke for the night and got some sleep in preparation for the exciting workshops held on Day 2!

Video: Learn More About Granada, Andalucía, Spain & Apply to Our Summer in Granada Writing Retreat

Join the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop on our summer writing retreat to the cultural oasis of Granada, Spain. Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Andalucía, Granada is one of the gems of Spain and has inspired writers from Washington Irving to Salman Rushdie to Ali Smith. Let the old city stimulate your writing with its winding streets, Moorish history, and evocative landscapes. Work on your existing manuscript, or look to the beauty and warmth of Granada to inspire all-new projects.

The retreat offers the opportunity for writers of all genres and levels to work alongside award-winning authors & editors to hone their craft and expand their writing skills, while working on new or existing projects. Our Andalucían writing retreat will take place from July 28-August 5, 2015, and the cost of the workshop is $3950, which includes lodging and breakfast, a tapas tour of Granada, craft of writing seminars, and writing workshops.

The retreat will be held at the Hotel Guadalupe (Paseo de la Sabica, 30, 18009 Granada, Spain). Faculty includes David Shields (fiction, book-length essay), Alexander Chee (fiction), Rita Banerjee (poetry, fiction), and Diana Norma Szokolyai (poetry, nonfiction).


In addition to workshops and lessons, participants can opt-in for daily yoga lessons, which help soothe the mind and body by creating opportunities for personal exploration and inspiration. Please note that this yoga/meditation opt-in will only be added to the writing retreat by popular demand (if enough writing retreat participants sign up for it). Taught by CWW’s very talented yoga instructor Elissa Lewis, our yoga classes focus on both the structural and spiritual and can be personalized according to any physical demands you may have.

If you’d like to join us in Granada, please apply online at by April 15, 2016, and include a $5 application screening fee, along with a writing sample of either five pages of poetry or ten pages of prose. (Due to limited seats, early applications are encouraged, but check for rolling admission after deadline, depending on availability).


Featured Faculty:

David ShieldsDavid Shields is the internationally bestselling author of twenty books, including Reality Hunger (named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications), The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead (New YorkTimes bestseller), and Black Planet (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award). Forthcoming from Knopf in February 2017 is Other People: Takes & Mistakes. The recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, Shields has published essays and stories in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Esquire, Yale ReviewVillage VoiceSalonSlateMcSweeney’s, and Believer. His work has been translated into twenty languages.


Alexander Chee was born in Rhode Island, and raised in South Korea, Guam and Maine. He is a recipient of the 2003 Whiting Writers’ Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in Fiction, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Ledig House, the Hermitage and Civitella Ranieri. His first novel, Edinburgh (Picador, 2002), is a winner of the Michener Copernicus Prize, the AAWW Lit Award and the Lambda Editor’s Choice Prize, and was a Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of the Year and a Booksense 76 selection. In 2003, Out Magazine honored him as one of their 100 Most Influential People of the Year. His essays and stories have appeared in Granta.comOutThe Man I Might BecomeLoss Within LossMen On Men 2000His 3 and Boys Like Us. He has taught fiction and nonfiction writing at the New School University, Wesleyan University, Amherst College, and the Fiction program at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He lives in New York City and blogs at Koreanish.

RitaBanerjeeRita Banerjee received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington.  Her writing has been published or is forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl Magazine, Poets for Living Waters, The Monarch Review, The Fiction Project, Quail Bell Magazine, Jaggery, Catamaran, The Crab Creek Review, The Dudley Review, Objet d’Art, Amethyst Arsenic, Vox Populi, Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure, Chrysanthemum, and on KBOO Radio’s APA Compass in Portland, Oregon.  Her first collection of poems, Cracklers at Night, was published by Finishing Line Press and received First Honorable Mention for Best Poetry Book of 2011-2012 at the Los Angeles Book Festival, and her novella, A Night with Kali, is forthcoming from Spider Road Press in 2016.  Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, she is currently working on a novel and a book of lyric essays.

DianaNormaDiana Norma Szokolyai is a writer/interdisciplinary artist/educator and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Based in Brooklyn, NY, she is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival) and Roses in the Snow (first runner-­up Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival). She also records her poetry with musicians and has collaborated with several composers. Her poetry-music collaboration with Flux Without Pause led to their collaboration “Space Mothlight” hitting #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015, and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive. Szokolyai’s work has been published in Quail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, The Fiction Project, The Boston Globe, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, and Up the Staircase Quarterly, as well as anthologized in The Highwaymen NYC #2, Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Always Wondering and Teachers as Writers. Szokolyai earned her Ed.M. in Arts in Education from Harvard University and her M.A. in French Literature from the University of Connecticut, while she completed coursework at the Sorbonne and original research in Paris for two years. She is currently at work on three books and recording an album of poetry & music.


Elissa Lewis is the Yoga & Arts Coordinator of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. She began her journey with yoga in 2006, when she moved to France and made the practice part of her daily routine. She saw yoga as a lifestyle, not only a class, helping her to clear her mind and have more compassion for herself and others. In 2010 she moved to New York and completed her teacher training at Laughing Lotus, a creative, soulful yoga studio that teaches the student to ‘move like yourself.’ She’s taught private and group classes in Manhattan and Brooklyn ever since. Visit her website for informative yoga sequences and information.

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop at AWP 2016 Recap!

From March 31-April 2, 2016, the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop took part in the Association of Writers and Writing Programs 2016 conference in Los Angeles, California. During the event we pitched CREDO anthology to presses and advertised our writing retreats: Spring in Newport, Rhode Island (April 22-24, 2016), Summer in Barcelona & South of France (July 18-26, 2016), and Summer in Granada (July 28-August 5, 2016). Visitors were able to take flyers, CWW buttons as AWP 2016 Collector’s Items, and even contribute to our daily exquisite corpse poem:

Eat me, I am the beginning of everything.
A cartesian circle of regret.
A big holy moly banging box of
babies spilling a tangle along the edge
Beware, what you see may only be a fringe of time.
Babies have many egos they fit inside a match box
full of burnt out matches
matches that are lit by cuts that are strewn on the couch
Stasis comes in many forms, couches can grip like a vise –
strangled by the need to pull yourself
inside out
Side-to-side, macaroni shifting on the walls
they danced,
knowing they were made of more than the tinkering of macaroni on the ground.
Yet the clatter brought them back to earth,
eternally bound by the falls of their feet.
Their footing finding the fall to feel but
who knows the how and when of landing
on the open sea or a small green island
a seal jumps out of the water, hungry, sun-blind and lost,
connected to nothing like wallpaper
yet feeling trapped from the blanketed sky.
Blue black bruises around my eyes
No one asks who helped me harvest them.

Our staff for the event included CWW Creative Director Rita Banerjee and Managing Editorial & Communications Intern Emily Smith, who helped set the booth up and networked with various publishers and presses. Friends of the CWW and readers at our official AWP off-site reading were also present at our table.

On April 1, the CWW headed over to Sabor y Cultura for our scheduled reading. The event featured fifteen readers: Rita Banerjee, Emily SmithJess BurnquistJulialicia CaseAriana KellyGwen E. KirbyKatie KnollEllaraine LockieOndrej PazdirekHeather Aimee O’NeillBrenda Peynado, Esther PfaffJessica PiazzaJonathan Shapiro, and Emily Skaja. The three hour reading featured a great mix of poetry, short fiction, essay, and book excerpts.

We had a great time at AWP, and we can’t wait to see you next year at AWP 2017 in Washington D.C.!

Writer’s Digest Introduces: The Well-Sold Story Weekend Presented by Paula Munier

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The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop will be at the Writer’s Digest regional event, The Well-Sold Story Weekend Presented by Paula Munier (#WDBoston – @WritersDigest), this weekend. The event takes place March 19 – 20 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel, Boston, Mass. The program is designed to help writers: see their work through a new lens, including the publisher’s and agent’s eyes; to utilize proven strategies for producing a drum-tight manuscript that hooks its reader from page one; and to be bold when promoting their book and themselves.

Paula Munier, a well-known agent, writer, editor, teacher and content strategist, is hosting The Well-Sold Story Weekend, which is open to any novelist, memoirist or short story writer who is ready to embrace the realities of publishing. The two-day event will also feature a conversation with William Martin, a New York Times Bestselling Author, award-winning writer of 10 novels, a recipient of the prestigious New England Book Award, and a Boston-area resident.

For more information on the event, check out @CamWritersWkshp for our live-tweets of the event!

5 Ways the Practice Of Yoga is Like the Art Of Writing: A Conversation Inspired by the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop

6169907365_6e87d5e1f7_oIn “5 Ways the Practice of Yoga is Like the Art of Writing,” writer Ko Im connects the two arts. The comparison came out of a conversation with the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, which often combines yoga and writing – two wonderfully creative, nourishing processes. The full article can be read here.

Ko Im is a freelance writer, lifestyle enthusiast, voice over artist and yoga instructor in New York City. She is author and narrator of Broke, not Broken — a digital travel memoir.

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Writing Retreats featured in Poets & Writers Magazine

1455965954_poets-writers-march-april-2016-1The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop was featured in the March/April 2016 edition of Poets & Writers magazine! The retreats were published under the Conferences & Residencies section of the magazine in the Poets & Writers 2016 Guide to Stress-Free Writers Retreats. The CWW is honored to be a part of the 2016 guide.

The feature included three of our 2016 retreats: Spring in Newport, Rhode Island Writing & Yoga Retreat (April 22-24, 2016), Summer in Barcelona & South of France Writing Retreat (July 18 – July 26, 2016), and Summer in Granada Writing Retreat (July 28 – August 5, 2016).  The retreats offer the opportunity for writers of all genres and levels to work alongside award-winning authors & editors to hone their craft and expand their writing skills, while working on new or existing projects.

Faculty includes Bret Anthony Johnston (Barcelona & Narbonne), David Shields (Barcelona & Narbonne, Granada), Alexander Chee (Granada), Jade Sylvan (Newport), Rita Banerjee (Barcelona & Narbonne, Granada), and Diana Norma Szokolyai (Barcelona & Narbonne, Granada, Newport).

If you’d like to join us, please apply online at by March 15, 2016, and include a $5 application screening fee, along with a writing sample of either five pages of poetry or ten pages of prose. (Due to limited seats, early applications are encouraged, but check for rolling admission after deadline, depending on availability).