Tag Archives: creative writing

Telling Birth Stories: New online workshop starts Nov. 1!

Telling Birth Stories: An Online Writing Workshop

with Award-winning author & journalist, Elayne Clift

This baby is shown just after a water birth. - Photo (c) E. Vest

How do you write a good birth story? What makes any story compelling? How can we tell our own birth stories, as remembrance and as a gift to other women?

In Birth Ambassadors: Doulas and the Re-emergence of Woman-supported Birth in America (Praeclarus Press, 2014), Christine Morton and Elayne Clift include stories by women for whom a doula was present at their birth. These beautifully crafted first-persons narratives give voice to the extraordinary experience of giving birth. Join the growing chorus of women whose voices, and birth stories, are being heard!

This 4-week online workshop guides participants – moms, dads, midwives, nurses, doulas, docs – through the elements of good storytelling as they relate their personal experience while giving or assisting birth. Weekly prompts will serve as a guide to setting the scene, involving characters, using dialogue, making wise word choices, and more. Work will be shared each week among participants who will respond to each other. Elayne will offer in-depth feedback and suggestions for each piece and facilitate dialogue among participants.

If you’re interested in painting a word portrait that carries your audience with you as you tell your birth tale, please register by Oct. 15. Register by Oct. 5 for one of two chances to receive a signed first edition of Birth Ambassadors! Space is limited to 8 participants!
WHEN: The online workshop will begin November 1 and conclude Nov. 22.

COST: $80/pp (sorry, no pro-rations)

QUESTIONS: eclift@vermontel.net 802-869-2686

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Elayne Clift (M.A.), a specialist in gender issues and women’s health, has been an international educator and advocate on maternal and child health issues for more than 25 years. She is Sr. correspondent for the India-based syndicate Women’s Feature Service, a columnist for the Keene (NH) Sentinel and the Brattleboro Commons, and a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books. Her articles, prose and poetry appear in numerous anthologies and publications internationally and her novel, Hester’s Daughters, a contemporary, feminist re-telling of The Scarlet Letter, was published in 2012. She lives in Saxtons River, Vt. (www.elayneclift.com)

Announcing Workshops!

From Harriet Tubman to Harry Potter: Exploring Our Archetypal Journeys
Saturday, May 3; 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.;
The Writer’s Center, White River Junction, Vt.
$45
What do King Arthur, Luke Skywalker, Harriet Tubman and Harry Potter have in common? Sure, they all have a great story to tell. But it’s more than an exciting narrative: Each of them has been on an archetypal journey – a heroic exploration, full of adventure, fraught with risk, and ultimately rich with reward. As they seek to find meaning in a complex world, each of these characters is changed forever by their experience, an experience peopled with mentors, villains, jesters, and other archetypes. This workshop will help us explore our own archetypal journeys as we reach for the “Golden Fleece” in our lives. For more info or to register, email  eclift@vermontel.net or call (802) 869-2686.

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Strong House Inn is proud to present a

 Creative Writing Workshop

with award-winning writer Elayne Clift

September 12 – 14, 2014

Back by popular demand…..

BREAKING SILENCE: WRITING OUR WAY TO THE TRUTH OF OUR LIVES

 “What would happen if just one woman told the truth about her life?”   That simple question, posed by poet Muriel Rukeyser, became iconic in the 1970s, when women writers of the “Second Wave” first began telling their stories openly and honestly.  Rukeyser’s answer to her own question was “The world would split apart.” 

 Beginning with an evening talk about the history and meaning of women’s diaries, journals and memoirs, we will explore the enforced silence of “good girls and fine ladies” that kept women marginalized and invisible for centuries — until a few brave souls among them put pen to paper, which they have done (often surreptitiously) throughout history.  Their courage and musings inspired others, including such 20th century writers as Virginia Woolf, May Sarton, Alice Walker, Gloria Steinem, Sharon Olds, Sylvia Plath and a host of others. 

 What will these women inspire in us as we break our own silence in order to tell some truths about our lives (without going down any dark rabbit holes)?  Short readings and writing prompts will get the juices flowing and an advance reading list will be provided for those who want to explore this topic more deeply.  Come prepared to be surprised by what you remember, reflect upon, write, laugh about, and share.