Happy New Year 2019 -💖- the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop

Happy New Year 2019 from all of us here at the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop! We are looking forward to another year filled with inspiring and creative writing workshops and retreats, readings and a variety of other ways to connect with new and old CWW writers and artists. Thank you to all of our CWW participants, teachers, friends and all of you who helped make this year creatively productive and inspiring.

2018 was a wild ride but looking back on the events of the past year we are overwhelmingly grateful for the ways we were able to connect with new and old friends through writing and art. Over the past year CWW held retreats and workshops in Europe and the United States, and connected with other writers at readings and events throughout the country.

We kicked the year off at AWP 2018 in Tampa, FL. This year’s AWP marked several important moments for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. It was there we released our first ever anthology, CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing, published by C&R Press. The anthology featured over fifty writers sharing their personal writing manifestos, essays on the craft of writing, and writing exercises to show where the field of literature is heading in the 21st century. This release coincided with a reading at the Spontaneous Reading Party, where CREDO authors Rita BanerjeeJanine HarrisonKevin McLellan,  Nell Irvin PainterAnca L. Szilágyi, and Diana Norma Szokolyai shared their work along with other authors from C&R Press and Women’s National Book Association. It was also during this event that we announced our call for submissions for our next anthology, Disobedient Futures. The speculative literature anthology asks writers to imagine what the future cultures of America and the world might look like, and submit their work on the following topics: Disobedient Women, Disobedient Class, Disobedient Tribes, and Disobedient Futures. Submissions will be accepted until February 14, 2019.

We also continued to host our national and international writing retreats in 2018. In April, we traveled to New Orleans, LA, where Rita Banerjee, Diana Norma Szokolyai, and literary agent Natalie Kimber held writing workshops on subjects like finding a literary agent and Rasa theory, all while participants enjoyed staying in a house in the famous Algiers Point neighborhood. In July, we traveled to Paris, France, where we were joined by authors Kathleen Spivack and Kristina Marie Darling for poetry and memoir writing workshops in one of the most famous literary cities in the world. In August, we returned to Granada, Spain with author Tim Horvath to use the diverse and unique city to aid in our writing processes.

It was also in 2018 that we held several great literary readings and events. Earlier in the year, CWW Creative Director Rita Banerjee released her new poetry collection Echo in Four Beats. This included a workshop on Literary Manifestos and What’s at Stake? in Weehawken, NJ, followed by a launch party that same night, which included writers Dallas Athent and Jonah Kruvant. That same month, Banerjee was a part of the literary panel “Fantasy As Reality: Activism & Catharsis in Speculative Writing,” which was part of the Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation and Witness (April 19-21, 2018) in Washington, D.C., along with poets Christina M. Rau and Marlena Chertock. The panel demonstrated how non-realist poems and prose can offer a space for political critique and empowerment. The panelists also held a reading entitled “Disobedient Futures,” which included CWW Communications and PR Manager Alex Carrigan.

On June 2nd, CWW’s Artistic Director, Diana Norma Szokolyai, was a featured performer at the Grolier Poetry Bookshop’s 90th Anniversary Celebration. She performed her poetry with musical collaborators Dennis Shafer (saxophone) and Audrey Harrer (harp). Cambridge Writers’ Workshop was also represented by readings given by faculty member Kathleen Spivack and contributor to CREDO, Kevin McLellan. That afternoon, Diana Norma Szokolyai also led a Writing Workshop on Literary Manifestos and Jumpstarting the Process of Writing inside the Grolier Poetry Bookshop  using exercises like her own “What’s At Stake” and Kathleen Spivack’s “Words as Inspiration” from CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing.

In September, the CWW also made an appearance at the Brooklyn Book Festival. Along with hosting a table at the event, the CWW held a reading at WORD Bookstore, featuring several CWW members and affiliates, including Rita Banerjee, Diana Norma Szokolyai, Alex Carrigan, Amanda Toronto, Emily Smith, Stephen Aubrey, Madeleine Barnes, Elizabeth Devlin, Jonah Kruvant, and Devynity Wray. These authors welcomed the festival by sharing some of their original poems, short stories, and play excerpts.

We wish to give a warm congratulations to the CWW Co-Directors Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai for some notable honors in 2018. Rita Banerjee’s book Echo in Four Beats was nominated for the National Book Award in Poetry by Finishing Line Press. Diana Norma Szokolyai’s poem “Shadows of the Pantry” was shortlisted for the prestigious Bridport Prize, received honorable mention in the 87th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, and will be published in 87th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition Collection.

With 2018 over, the CWW is now looking forward to what 2019 has in store. We are still looking for literary submissions to our Disobedient Futures anthology, so please read over our guidelines to find out how you can submit. We are also planning to once again host retreats in New Orleans and Paris, featuring Stephen Aubrey, Carly Dwyer, and Kazim Ali. More information about the retreats will be announced in the coming months.

We hope to see you sometime this year!

 

Happy New Year 2017! -♥️- Cambridge Writers’ Workshop

happynewyear2017-cwwHappy New Year 2017 from the directors, staff, and board of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop!  We hope you’re all as excited for 2017 as we are!  We’re planning a delightful, productive year for our writers and artists with plenty of opportunities to travel, write, practice yoga, and network, and we’re looking forward to seeing you at our retreats, workshops, readings, and literary fest events in 2017!

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop had a wonderful year in 2016.  Over the last twelve months, we’ve had a chance to hold retreats and readings across America and the world, meet exciting writers and artists, and have found new ways to inspire our own writing.  Our year began with  the 2016 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Los Angeles, California. At AWP 2016, we got a chance to promote CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing, advertise our new literary internships, and discuss our Summer Writing Retreats in Granada, Spain, Barcelona, Spain, and Narbonne, France, as well as our Spring Writing Retreat in Newport, Rhode Island. We also hosted our third AWP event at Sabor y Cultura. At our event, there were featured readings from authors such as Rita BanerjeeJess BurnquistJulialicia CaseAriana KellyGwen E. KirbyKatie KnollEllaraine LockieOndrej PazdirekHeather Aimee O’NeillBrenda Peynado, Esther Pfaff, Jessica PiazzaJonathan ShapiroEmily Skaja, and Emily Smith.

After AWP 2016, we were off to our second annual Spring Writing Retreat in Newport, Rhode Island. We were joined by award-winning and internationally-renowned authors such as Jade SylvanDiana Norma Szokolyai, and CWW yoga instructor Elissa Lewis. The event was a chance for writers to spend a long weekend in historic Newport and near the beach, participating in writing workshops (such as Sylvan’s workshops on “writing yourself naked”) and craft of writing seminars, yoga classes, and cultural tours of the historic Newport village. We live blogged the entire event as well, sharing dozens of photos from our trip while also allowing our writers to share their thoughts on the experience.

During the summer we hosted our Summer in Granada and Summer in Barcelona and Narbonne Writing Retreats. In Barcelona and Narbonne, we explored the cities and all of their historical, literary, and romantic charm. The retreat included craft of writing seminars and creative writing workshops, literary tours of the cities, and one-on-one manuscript consultations. We were also joined by writer and professor Bret Anthony Johnston and literary editor Heidi Pitlor. CWW directors Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai taught workshops on spacial poetics and world building, and also led workshops for participants to share their work and use the Liz Lerman method for critiquing writing. We live blogged our retreat on our website, so be sure to check out the sights and classes from our trip. We were really happy to experience this with all of our participants, who traveled from all over to come write and explore these cities with us.

In Granada, wrote in the city’s winding streets, absorbed its Moorish history, and were inspired by its evocative landscapes. The retreat included craft of writing seminars and writing workshops and yoga classes. We were joined by novelist Alexander Chee and poet and activist Frederick-Douglas Knowles II, who taught classes on historical fiction and hip-hop and poetry, respectively. Rita Banerjee led workshops on narrative stakes and emotion and suspense. We also live blogged this trip, so you can see all the exciting things we did on this trip.

We also hosted creative writing workshops and craft of writing seminars at The Cambridge Center for Adult Education throughout the fall. In addition to Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai, we were joined by Jade Sylvan and Cambridge writer Laura van den Berg for creative writing workshops and craft of writing seminars every other weekend in Cambridge, MA. This is something we hope to repeat this year, and we hope we can bring in new faculty and participants as well.

We hosted a Brooklyn Bookend Reading at Molasses Books during The Brooklyn Book Festival. Some of the writers had emerged onto the literary scene with a bang, while others had recently published their first or second books, and had received prestigious awards in the past. The event featured Stephen AubreyRita BanerjeeMadeleine BarnesEllaraine LockieBen PeaseAnne Malin Ringwalt, Kate McMahon, Emily SmithBianca Stone, and Diana Norma Szokolyai, along with a beautiful interludes of music from accomplished songwriters Erica Buettner and Elizabeth Devlin.

We also hosted a literary crawl event during Lit Crawl NYC 2016. Our Literary Vaudeville event featured performances and readings from Rita Banerjee, Diana Norma Szokolyai, Megan Fernandes, Claire Ince, Emily Smith, Christina M. Rau, and Frederick-Douglass Knowles II.

In 2016, we welcomed our second round of interns to the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, and these interns include the wonderful AM Ringwalt, Anna-Celestrya Carr, Erynn Porter, and Shannon Sawyer, all of whom have helped the CWW greatly this year. They’ve helped manage our social media and written up posts about our events, shown their talent for graphic design, grant writing, audio/visual media development and corresponding with writers and hosts in French, Spanish, and English, and have provided much valuable assistance on our retreats and literary events this year.  We’re excited to have, on our team, and we can’t wait to show you what they’ve helped us plan for 2016!

* * *

While 2016 proved to be a very exciting year for all of us, our staff is quite ready to move on to our next round of exciting events. The CWW will once again table at AWP in Washington DC from February 8-February 10, 2017, and will be announcing our AWP Reading in downtown Los Angeles shortly!

neworleans2017posterwcThe Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Spring in New Orleans Writing Retreat will take place from March 23-26, 2017, and will coincide with the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival.  Known for its Spanish and French architecture, live jazz, cajun food, and street festivals, New Orleans offers an inspirational and one-of-a-kind environment for creative writers. During the retreat, we will be staying in the lovely Algiers Point neighborhood, just a short ferry ride away from the Historic French Quarter.  Our retreat features multi-genre workshops, as well as craft seminars and time to write.  The faculty includes award-winning writers Dipika Guha, Emily Nemens, Rita Banerjee, and Diana Norma Szokolyai. Genres include playwriting, nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.

portland2017posterThe Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Spring in Portland Writing Retreat will take place from April 22-24, 2017.  While you’re in the home of writers Cheryl Strayed and Ursula K. Le Guin, feel free to go bicycling and explore the terrain, hike, or relax at local cafes for people watching—no matter how you choose to spend your time, this city is full inspiration. We will be staying in the Alberta Arts District during the retreat, an area that is sure to inspire our participants and help them create.  The retreat offers multi-genre workshops, as well as craft seminars and time to write. The faculty includes award-winning writers Adam Reid Sexton, Kerry Cohen, Rita Banerjee, and Diana Norma Szokolyai. Genres include fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

granada2017posterAnd the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Granada Writing Retreat will take place from August 2-6, 2017.  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.  During the retreat, we will be staying at the Hotel Guadalupe, just a short walk from the Alhambra.  The retreat offers multi-genre workshops, as well as craft seminars and time to write. The faculty includes award-winning writers Tim Horvath, Alexandria Marzano-LesnevichRita Banerjee, and Diana Norma Szokolyai. Genres include fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

We hope you are all as excited for our 2017 events as we are. If you have any questions we may not have answered, you can email us at info@cambridgewritersworkshop.org, and for inquiries, please email the CWW Directors, Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai, at directors@cambridgewritersworkshop.org.  You can also follow us on FacebookTumblr, and Twitter for more information and updates on any of these events. We look forward to making 2017 a year full of creativity, writing, and renewal, so join us as we make 2017 rock!

— Alex Carrigan, CWW Managing Intern

“Transformations & Disobedience” – A Brooklyn Book Festival 2016 Reading

BBFReading2016-2

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is proud to announce our partnership with the Brooklyn Book Festival.  Join us our Brooklyn Book Festival 2016 Reading, “Transformations & Disobedience,” an evening of stories, poetry, and song, at Molasses Books (770 Hart Street, Brooklyn, NY 11237) on Saturday September 17!  The evening will kick off at 8 pm, and will feature readings from a wonderful array of talented writers such as Stephen AubreyRita BanerjeeMadeleine Barnes,Ellaraine LockieBen PeaseAnne Malin Ringwalt, Kate McMahonEmily SmithBianca Stone, and Diana Norma Szokolyai, along with a beautiful interludes of music from accomplished songwriters Erica Buettner and Elizabeth Devlin!

Stephen Aubrey descends from hardy New England stock. He is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, dramaturg, lecturer, storyteller and recovering medievalist. His writing has appeared in Publishing Genius, Commonweal, The Brooklyn Review, Pomp & Circumstance, Forté and The Outlet. He is a co-founder and the resident dramaturg and playwright of The Assembly Theater Company. His plays have been produced at The New Ohio Theater, The Living Theater, The Ontological-Hysteric Theater, The Flea Theater, The Collapsable Hole, Wesleyan University, The Tank, The Brick Theater, Symphony Space, the Abingdon Theater Complex, UNDER St Marks, The Philly Fringe and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where his original play, We Can’t Reach You, Hartford, was nominated for a 2006 Fringe First Award. He is also the editor of two ‘pataphysic books, Suspicious Anatomy and Suspicious Zoology, both published by the Hollow Earth Society. He has an MFA from Brooklyn College where he received the Himan Brown Prize and the Ross Feld Writing Award and a BA with Honors from the College of Letters at Wesleyan University. He is an instructor of English at Brooklyn College and holds the dubious distinction of having coined the word “playlistism” in 2003.

ritabanerjee-smRita Banerjee is the Executive Director of Kundiman and the Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her writing appears in The Rumpus, Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. Her first collection of poems, Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press), received First Honorable Mention for Best Poetry Book of 2011-2012 at the Los Angeles Book Festival, and her novella, A Night with Kali (Spider Road Press), is forthcoming in October 2016. Finalist for the 2015 Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Award and the 2016 Aquarius Press Willow Books Literature Award, she is currently working on a novel and book of lyric essays.

Barnes_Headshot (1)Madeleine Barnes is a writer, visual artist, proud Pittsburgher, and graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at NYU. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in places like Pleiades, Jai-Alai Magazine, Rogue Agent, BOXCAR Poetry Review, The Rattling Wall, Yew Journal, Washington Square Review, Cordella Magazine, and Pittsburgh Poetry Review. Her chapbook, The Mark My Body Draws in Light, was published in 2014. A New York State Summer Writers Institute Fellow, she was named an Emerging Writer by the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series. Aside from poetry and art, she is very interested in cheese.

ellaraine-lockieEllaraine Lockie is a widely published and awarded author of poetry, nonfiction books and essays.  Her chapbook, Where the Meadowlark Sings, won the 2014 Encircle Publication’s Chapbook Contest. Her newest collection, Love Me Tender in Midlife, has been released as an internal chapbook, in IDES from Silver Birch Press.  Other recent work has received the Women’s National Book Association’s Poetry Prize, Best Individual Collection from Purple Patch magazine in England for Stroking David’s Leg, the San Gabriel Poetry Festival Chapbook Contest win for Red for the Funeral and The Aurorean’s Chapbook Spring Pick for Wild as in Familiar. Ellaraine teaches poetry workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh. She is currently judging the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contests for Winning Writers.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 5.49.21 PMErica Buettner is an American singer-songwriter from New England who moved to Europe at the age of 19. She landed in Paris, France where she studied French and literature and wrote the songs on her debut album True Love and Water over the course of a four-year stay in the City of Lights. In 2010, seeking sunnier shores, Erica moved to Lisbon, Portugal, where she is currently based. Over the summer of 2015, Pierre and Erica recently reunited in Paris to record their second full-length album together, to be released in 2016.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 5.52.32 PMElizabeth Devlin, with her haunting combination of lilting voice and enchanting autoharp, is a self-produced NYC singer- songwriter. Devlin defies traditional musical structure with many of her songs, building miniature narratives and magical worlds where characters, fantasies and time collide. Devlin has toured nationally, internationally, & performs in venues throughout NYC’s five boroughs. 

IMG_2265 (1)Ben Pease is a board member of the Ruth Stone Foundation and an editor of Monk Books. His first full-length collection of poems, Chateau Wichman, is forthcoming from Big Lucks Books, and more work can be found online at fugitivesofspeech.tumblr.com/works. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, the poet and artist Bianca Stone.

AMR24Anne Malin Ringwalt is a writer and musician (Anne Malin) currently studying in Boston, Massachusetts. Her words appear in Vinyl, Talking River, Rogue Agent, The Grief Diaries and DUM DUM Zine: Punks and Scholars. Like Cleopatra, Ringwalt’s debut poetry chapbook, was published by dancing girl press in 2014. She has performed throughout Boston, New York and Miami, most notably via the YoungArts Foundation (2016) and Rookie Magazine’s Yearbook Two launch at the New Yorker Festival (2014).

kateKate McMahon is a fiction writer who also moonlights as a full-time attorney. Before law school, she was chosen to participate in the selective creative writing concentration at Boston College, where she won the Cardinal Cushing Award for best short fiction and also completed a novella. Most recently, her short story “Swapped” was published in Post Road Magazine. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two small sons.

 

EmilySmithPictureEmily Smith is a Managing Editing and Communications Intern for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Originally from Sarasota, Florida, she holds a BFA in Creative Writing from the New Hampshire Institute. She writes for The Ploughshares Blog and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bustle, Brevity, Luna Luna and more.

black & white window 2 (1)Bianca Stone is a poet and visual artist, and the author of Someone Else’s Wedding Vows, and Poetry Comics From the Book of Hours. She runs the Ruth Stone Foundation & Monk Books with her husband, the poet Ben Pease in Vermont and Brooklyn.

 

 

11193261_10102624354743941_8682467326975061659_n-2Diana Norma Szokolyai is a writer and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop.  She is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows and Roses in the Snow.  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 the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015, and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive.  Szokolyai’s work has appeared in VIDA: Women in the Literary ArtsQuail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, 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.