Wake up and write! Now you can subscribe to the Literary Kitchen for weekly writing prompts. You’ll get a new writing assignment / writing prompt emailed to you every Saturday morning. Easy and affordable way to keep your writing practice fresh. $5 a month. Cancel any time.
The cute FedEx guy just brought me so many boxes of this beautiful new issue of Hip Mama. Subscribe and I’ll send you one right away.
This issue features an inspiring interview with the super-pregnant Michelle Tea, personal essays on parenting young adults, getting knocked up DIY style, talking to our kids about racism, and so much more. There are yummy potato recipes, etiquette from Punk Rock Miss Manners, and a genderqueer paper doll no family should be without.
SUBSCRIBE & you’ll get this issue and 3 more.
Ariel has a new article at Psychology Today
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR FALL & WINTER CLASSES
I was at a loss after finishing my MFA program… But after eight years of infrequent publishing and no time to write, I found an alternative that works for me. Three years ago, I hooked up with Ariel Gore’s online Literary Kitchen workshops and finally found a group that was the right fit for me: writers not full of privilege (and themselves) who offer honest criticism and support at the same time, and whose work I truly enjoy reading. And that infrequent publishing? It’s not so infrequent anymore.
—Margaret Garcia, Poets & Writers
Lit Star Training
The Original Literary Kitchen Online Writing Workshop
Taught by Ariel Gore
September 6 – Early November This class is full. Email arielgoremedia at gmail dot com to get on the waiting list.
A new session of Lit Star Training — the 8-week+ writing course taught by Ariel Gore — starts September 6. Writers in Lit Star Training spend at least a few hours each week on their writing and online critiques. You can log in any time of the day or night. Writers in the group are new and seasoned, wanting to work on memoir or fiction. The class works as well for those writing to weekly assignments (with no big projects in mind) and for people who are starting or working on existing book projects.
The class is $295 — a $90 deposit will hold your spot. You can pay the deposit right here:
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SPECIAL 4-WEEK SESSION OF LIT STAR TRAINING – THIS CLASS IS FULL
A $55 deposit saves your spot.
December 19 – January 1
You’ll get 12 assignments in 14 days and lots of great feedback (an-assignment-a-day & take 2 days of your choosing off.)
Ariel Gore is a fabulous workshop facilitator; I’ve been taking classes from her since 2001. In each of the workshops, she brings together a diverse group of writers with varying degrees of competency; and, whether the writer is seasoned or a beginner, she understands exactly where each person is coming from and she meets them there. Not only did I find my unique voice, I learned how to be a thoughtful listener and how to provide insightful critique. I would recommend her workshops to anyone interested in memoir and the art of a good story.
—Lani Jo Leigh
Ariel’s workshops jump-started my psyche. I’m back into looking at the world as a writer instead of as a would-be writer. I have her to thank for that. Workshops are almost at your own pace. Always encouraging. She has a knack for assembling a great group of writers together every time.
—Margaret Elysia Garcia
Ariel Gore’s writing workshop pushed me past the borders of my creativity and into an exciting unknown place of writing within myself. If you’ve ever put to pen to paper and wondered what you were really capable of Ariel’s workshop will take you there.
I thoroughly enjoy Ariel’s workshops. Writers from a variety of backgrounds gather together, bringing in work with all kinds of themes, and as each piece is workshopped, Ariel’s ear for the crucial aspects of great storytelling kicks right in. Her feedback is thoughtful, insightful, precise, and multilayered.
When I started writing with Ariel, I had zero idea how to write for audience. In work shopping with her, I have found my voice and with practice have found different ways to formulate story. I have learned how to incorporate dialogue and am so much more confident with my work. I recommend this workshop to all aspiring, practicing, and practiced writers.
New Prose by Ann Rogers-Williams
From three blocks away you can spot them in one little huddle, gently holding on to each other’s sleeves as they slowly weave their way down Main Street. Ella, Marge and Cele navigate their way around the uneven terrain of the sidewalk pushed up by the roots of great old Chestnut trees. Cele is always in front with her walker slowing the other two down, but they never seem to mind as they chatter their way down the street—ever mindful of tripping hazards. They maneuver around them as if they were dodging land mines.
“Ooh, there’s lots of chestnuts on the ground today,” Ella says.
“Watch out for that one,” says Cele, the leader, as she rolls over the cracks of broken pavement.
Marge brings up the rear, her baby bird tufts of unruly white hair blowing crazily in the slight breeze.
All three ladies are in their mid-80s. Strong survivors of war, recession, labor disputes, parenthood, pestilence, bad food, and bad boyfriends. They are full of wonderful transparency and guilelessness in some respects, and they share a gift for weaving such dramatic stories out of the most mundane things. One of the greatest gifts they’ve ever given me and each other is their love of storytelling.
Out of courtesy to the listener they might begin their story with “Did I ever tell you this?” Or, “Stop me if you’ve heard this one.” Or, “I might be repeating myself when I tell you this, but…” There’s always a brief stall of embarrassment at the beginning but quickly the momentum of the story just takes over. I’ve never yet heard them say, “Oh, so you did hear this one before.” And stop there.
And even though it’s often the same story, there’s always something new in it. A catch in the voice. A change in a detail. A missed sequence. The same story is never the same.
Today, they are preparing for the annual Solstice event at our church. They have been working on this event for weeks. Sending out flyers, organizing the potluck refreshments, decorating the church, scheduling the Sunday school singers and, this year, dancers for the event. There’s plenty to pull off but they know what they are doing—they’ve been doing this for years.
Every year people come from the community on December 21st or 22nd, depending on the year, to participate in the Solstice celebration. Ella, Cele, and Marge usually preside over the festivities, which consist of a presentation by the Unitarian minister about the tradition of Solstice followed by music, followed by a verse and a ritual where people basically call out what they’d like to leave behind in the darkness, followed by dancing through and around the church, followed by food.
The three of them are sitting around a table tying garlands and laughing about what was left in the darkness last solstice as if they are digging through last year’s trash.
“Well, you know how people can be so somber about calling out things that they’d like to leave behind.” Says Ella, her fingers winding wire around the ends of a garland they are all working on.
“Yeah, it’s usually stuff like petty jealousy or bigger stuff like war, racism… You know, the serious things,” says, Cele, reaching for more wire and thread.
“My favorite was when some guy called out ‘I’d like to leave about 30 pounds in the darkness,’ Marge laughs.
They all laugh then, even though this happened five years ago and they’ve all heard this story at least as many times.
“Ooh, I wish I’d thought of that,” says Cele, patting her hip. “I’ve got a few generous portions to give to the darkness myself.”
Marge goes on about that night, describing how the man looked and how the whole congregation laughed and how such a small gesture just made things seem a little friendlier from then on. They spend the whole afternoon drinking decaf and laughing and retelling old stories.
At one point Cele announces to me that the three of them have known each other since they were in elementary school and that sometimes they forget who’s memory is whose. “But,” she said pulling on my sleeve, “I’ll tell you a little secret about stories, dear.”
I lean in closer to give her my full attention.
“Life is a spiral.”
“Life. It’s a spiral. Get it?”
“OK? Not really?”
“It means, dear, that our stories will never get old as long as somebody’s there to love them in a new way each time they come around,” Ella chimes in.
“Our stories will never get old,” Marge repeats.
And yours’ won’t either.
September 5 – October 31 — Right here online in the Literary Kitchen! Moe rarely teaches online. This is a great opportunity.
Prepare for winter’s storytelling season by taking this 8-week course with Moe Bowstern, longtime Fisher Poet, editor of Xtra Tuf zine and story developer for various puppet show extravaganzas, most recently Paper Eclipse Puppet Company.
We’ll spend the autumn weeks honing the vernacular language of oral storytelling, with the goal of transforming told tales into written stories while preserving the vitality of the storyteller’s art.
With quick writes and regular assignments, Moe will help you find your voice and the truth of your story.
For those interested, we’ll also devote class time to taking the developed work from the written page onto the stage for performance.
You can read and listen to Moe Bowstern’s stories right here: http://www.inthetote.com/moe-bowstern.html
The cost for the 8-week class is $275. A $75 deposit holds your spot. Sign up early as class-size in strictly limited!