Writing Classes


Lake George through the senses, with Georgia O’Keefe
July 14th, 2022
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Johannah Spero

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In this fun, interactive workshop, we will focus on imagery as a literary device, taking inspiration from majestic Lake George—in person and as seen in Georgia O’Keefe’s artwork. From journaling to guided meditation to exploration of the outdoors, participants will transpose their interaction with nature into sensory descriptions—which will become lines of poetry. The workshop will culminate in an individual and group poem to memorialize Lake George, as O’Keefe has done in the canon of American art.

About the instructor: With a BA in English literature from UMass Amherst and a Masters in Teaching from Simmons College, Johannah Davies Spero was a high school English teacher for over a decade before becoming a full-time writer—and is the author of 6 award-winning novels under the name JD Spero. Still, when given the opportunity to teach, she enjoys connecting with new writers, young and old. She has done author visits in school classrooms across the Northeast and has taught writing workshops locally at the Hyde Collection and Chingachgook’s Women’s Retreat and, most notably, following the footsteps of Stephen King at Exeter High in New Hampshire. After living in the Boston area for over twenty years, she returned to her hometown of Lake George to raise her three sons—although her family will always root for Boston sports teams.

Cost: $30 for the workshop only
$40 for the workshop and a day pass
Click here to register


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Writing with Bernice Mennis
July 27th, 2022
1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

We all have a deep well within us: memories, experiences, insights,
observations, words said and unsaid.  The poet William Stafford says
that if we follow the threads of our minds and hearts gently, they will
lead us to the “holyland.”  In this workshop we will create a space to
follow those threads, conscious and less conscious, and see where we
are led.

Cost: $20 for the workshop only
$30 for the workshop and a day pass
Click here to register


Journal Writing as a Tool for Self-Discovery and Manifesting Your Best Life
August 1st, 2022
9:30am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Lynn Sickles

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Do you wish you would set aside a whole day to write in your journal but find that you never do it for one reason or another?  Here is your chance to spend the day with your journal and like-minded women in a beautiful setting on the shores of Lake George. During this day-long retreat we will discuss the importance of journal writing and how it can help us navigate the twists and turns on our life journey.  We will spend the majority of our time together writing and some sharing of our thoughts about the process.  Different journal writing techniques will be used and prompts provided.  Writing times for each prompt will vary from as little as 3 minutes to 20 plus minutes.  

Morning session:9:30-11:30

Lunch break:11:30-1:30

Afternoon session 1:30-3:30

Bring your journal and favorite pens.  This will be a thought-provoking and fun workshop.  I look forward to writing with fellow journal writers.  New and experienced journal writers are welcome to attend. 

Instructors Bio: Lynn is a certified life coach and holistic health and wellness coach, owner of Lynn Sickles Coaching. She is also an experienced journal writer and workshop facilitator.  She strongly believes in self-care and having a healthy lifestyle as key ingredients on our path to overall wellness and to living a healthy, happy, peaceful and balanced life.  She regularly presents workshops at Wiawaka, has been a presenter at area employee wellness programs, is on the faculty at Saratoga Continuing Education and has had a monthly journal writing circle in the Glens Falls/Saratoga area.  She is a member of the International Association for Journal Writers and incorporates journal writing in all her programs.

Cost:$35 for the workshop and day pass
Lunch can be purchased separately 
Click here to register


The Power of Sharing Stories
August 8th-11th, 2022
2:00-4:00pm
Instructor: Joyce Rubin

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Stories tell us how to relate and communicate and provide opportunities for sharing perspectives and interpretations. For 2 hours a day, over 4 days, this workshop is designed to give you a chance to gives voice to your stories in response to some I have written. In the beautiful Wiawaka center we will delight, inform, surprise or even unburden speakers and listeners . Participants will be encouraged and guided to write an original memoir.

Teacher biography: The group leader is Joyce H. Rubin, retired educator in New York City for 30 years and Instructor for Department of Education, Skidmore College for 13 years. Mrs. Rubin served as Department Chair for 4 years.
She published her first book of poetry and prose in 2017, called “How Do You Know It’s Saturday? “

Cost: $60 for the workshop and day pass for all four days
Material fees:$15

Click here to register


Journaling as Brainstorming, with Jane Austen
August 18th, 2022
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Johannah Spero

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In this thoughtful, introspective workshop, we will explore the technique of journaling as a way of jump-starting the creative process, taking inspiration from Jane Austen, author of the classic Pride and Prejudice. Using various quotes from Jane Austen novels, participants will choose one or two to use as a basis for free-writing. From this popular and cathartic technique, we will explore ways—through one-on-one guidance and peer reviews—to turn an unstructured journal entry into a cohesive art form—be it a poem or flash fiction story or personal essay.

About the instructor: With a BA in English literature from UMass Amherst and a Masters in Teaching from Simmons College, Johannah Davies Spero was a high school English teacher for over a decade before becoming a full-time writer—and is the author of 6 award-winning novels under the name JD Spero. Still, when given the opportunity to teach, she enjoys connecting with new writers, young and old. She has done author visits in school classrooms across the Northeast and has taught writing workshops locally at the Hyde Collection and Chingachgook’s Women’s Retreat and, most notably, following the footsteps of Stephen King at Exeter High in New Hampshire. After living in the Boston area for over twenty years, she returned to her hometown of Lake George to raise her three sons—although her family will always root for Boston sports teams.

Cost:$30 for the workshop only
$40 for the workshop and a day pass
Click here to register


Writing Workshop with Liza Frenette
August 19th, 2022
9:00am – 4:00 pm
Instructor: Liza Frenette

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Have you had enough screen time? Come write by hand in journals or notebooks; come discover stories within as you take a day for yourself to sit in a rustic building on the lake and write. 
Writing instructor Liza Frenette, an author, journalist, poet and essayist, will lead writing sessions using word prompts and positive response. This isn’t a “how-to” workshop – it is a “go within” workshop. There is no need to have a work in progress; all material generated will be new. 
We will be listening to poems and short pieces, and then doing spontaneous writing based on prompts, followed by positive recall. Optional shared reading will take place at the end of the day. 
We will be writing on small, silly, and serious topics ranging from nature, witnessing, a labyrinth walk, what’s in a name, life in a pandemic, or persona reflection.
It is about being present, noticing life, and finding your voice, whether that be for yourself, for stories to pass on to family, or for publication. The workshop will open pathways to that voice. The day will include time outside to walk the labyrinth or sit along the lake and write, as well as time for lunch.  

Cost:$50 for workshop and day pass does not include meals
Click here to register


Using your Pen to Write with Inspiration
August 24th, 2022
1:30 – 4:30 pm
Instructor: Bernice Mennis

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We all have a deep well within us: memories, experiences, insights,
observations, words said and unsaid.  The poet William Stafford says
that if we follow the threads of our minds and hearts gently, they will
lead us to the “holyland.”  In this workshop we will create a space to follow those threads, conscious and less conscious, and see where we
are led.

Bernice is part of northcountryearthaction, a “squad” of for local women who try to bring consciousness to our community about the climate crisis and different actions that are necessary to  protect our precious and fragile earth.    She lives in and wanders the woodlands of West Fort Ann, has taught environmental literature, and  has been a feminist for most of her conscious years on this earth.

Cost: $20 for the workshop only
$30 for the workshop and a day pass
Click here to register