Writers' Day History


 Roland MerulloRoland Merullo - The Demons of the Blank Page
This talk focused on the non-craft obstacles to writing success: Writer’s Block, Procrastination, Perfectionism, Time Management, Choosing Readers, Dealing with Advice and Criticism. "Writing success—however the writer defines that—is not merely a question of mastering the craft," Roland Merullo says, "it's also intimately linked to our own state of mind, conquering the “demons” that get in the way when we sit down to work.” For more information on Roland visit RolandMerullo.com

Author Charles CoeCharles Coe - Writing About Those Close to You: The Joys and Terrors
Writing about complicate relationships with the people in your life can be a challenge. What do you have the right to share with the world about someone else? How can you tell stories that are honest but fair?

Author Penny GuisingerPenny Guisinger - You Should Get a Grant for That! Applying for Funding to Support Your Writing – A Nuts and Bolts Approach
Who gets these grants anyway, and how do you really apply for them? There is money out there for writers and other artists, and while it’s not always easy to find, there are things you can do to narrow your searches, write better proposals, and make your application stand out in the slush pile. For more information on Penny Guisinger, visit: http://pennyguisinger.com/

Author Bruce DeSilvaBruce DeSilva - Writing the Crime Novel, or Five Ways to Grab Attention
Bruce DeSilva turned to fiction after working as a journalist for 40 years. He briefly sketched how he became disillusioned with his original craft, how fiction gave him a fresh avenue for addressing serious issues that continue to concern him, and how an unusual combination of circumstances and luck contributed to his success as a fiction author. With practical and inspirational words of advice about how to go about completing a novel, even if you are working a full-time job.
For more on Bruce DeSilva, visit: http://www.brucedesilva.com/

FALL 2014

Cait Johnson, authorCait JohnsonUtilizing the Child Voice
This presentation will introduce compelling examples of a child’s voice in writing and include an exercise to help attendees see through a child’s eyes and express what we see in an honest way.
For more information visit: http://www.caitjohnson.com/ 

G. Michael Dobbs, writer and former talk show hostG. Michael DobbsInterviewing 101

The presentation discussed topics including interviewing techniques, how to prepare, ways to break the ice, and the need for preliminary research. For more information click the link below.
For more information visit: https://www.thereminder.com/opinion/mikedobbscolumn/ 

Dave Patterson, blogger, musician, and songwriterDave PattersonAdvice from a Reluctant (but Successful) Blogger: Patterson discussed the importance of blogs and how you can make your blog work for your web presence. For more information visit: http://davidrpatterson.me/ 

Judy Polan, singer-songwriter and author

Judy Polan - The Joys and Quandaries of Freelance Writing

Judy Polan, a writer who switched careers from a successful singer-songwriter to that of a busy design and travel writer offered ways to find your voice a freelancer, create pieces that might fit into more than one publication, locate the proper home for your work, and navigate the editing process. For more information visit: http://www.judypolan.com/p/home-page.html

Ellen Meeropol, authorEllen Meeropol - Hearing Voices and Seeing Scenes: Building Blocks of Writing Fiction

Attendees used exercises and discussion to create a grounded sense of place in which characters flourish. They also explored the art of balancing summary and scene. For more information visit: http://www.ellenmeeropol.com/ 

Suzanne Strempek Shea, authorSuzanna Strempek Shea - My Hometown

Attendees examined strong examples of fiction that use home turf to great advantage and discussed pitfalls. Some information will also be pertinent to nonfiction writers. For more information visit: http://www.suzannestrempekshea.com/

Dana SawyerDana Sawyer - Wrangling the Lengthy Writing Project

Learn how Sawyer kept his lengthy and involved projects on track and stayed energized. Sorting through stacks of research and choosing a structure are just some of the challenges facing writers of longer and researched works. For more information visit: http://www.dana-sawyer.com/

Kate ForestKate Forest - Self Care Yoga® and Creative Connection for Writers 

This session taught simple yoga sequences to release tension in the back, neck, shoulders, hands, and mind in just a few moments. And the session included reflective writing. For more information visit: http://www.kateforest.com/


Author Elizabeth PeaveyElizabeth Peavey - The Best Truth: How Honest Are You Willing to Be?

Talks about memoir writing. Click here for more information on Elizabeth.

Author Frances Susanne BrownFrances Susanne Brown - Mining History: A Story Seed Goldmine

In this session participants explored some roles history can play, enabling writers to create and publish unique pieces.

Author Helen PeppeHelen Peppe - From “The Diving Board”– Characters Who Are Alive and Kicking  

Her presentation discussed the emotional and legal implications of writing about real people when family, class, race, and sex enter the story. Click here for more information on Helen.

Author Suzette Martinez StandringSuzette Martinez Standring - The Art of the Column

Click here for more information on Suzette.

Author and publisher Jan FreemanJan Freeman - The Publisher's World

Talked about founding Paris Press, her publishing background, and the skills needed to run a nonprofit publishing company.

Author Gail DonovanGail Donovan - Writing for Young Readers: Creating the Books that Made You Fall in Love with Reading

Author and blogger T. Susan ChangT. Susan Chang - Finding Flavor in Food Writing: or Escape from "Delicious!"

We spend most of our lives describing food as “delicious!” or “mmm!” or merely grunting. We never talk and eat at the same time. So how do we mine our language for a vocabulary to talk about food?

FALL 2013

Alan Hunter

Allan Hunter - Writing Your Memoir: Practical Guidelines to Help you Bring your Project to Completion (and enlist some powerful skills in the process)

Talks about strategies for writing a memoir. Click here for more information on Allan.

Janice BeetleJanice Beetle - How to Connect with the Media

Presentation with Judith Kelliher on connecting the world of writing with media. For more information on Janice, click here.

Judith KelliherJudith Kelliher- How to Connect with the Media

Presentation with Janice Beetle on connecting the world of writing with media. For more information on Judith, click here

Nuala Ní ChonchúirNuala Ni Chonchuir - Writing Winning Short Stories

Author of books including the newly published short story collection Mother America, talks about what makes a great short story. Click here, for more information on Nuala.

Jim BrosnanJim Brosnan - Remembering: An Exercise in the Personal Essay

This talk included an overview of the elements that create an interesting personal essay including setting, sensory details, character development and internal and external dialogue, and possible links with historical moments. Click here, for more information on Jim.


Lise HainesLise Haines - The Journey of the Novel

Talked about a novels path from start to finish and added in her own experience as a writer. Click here for more information on Lise.

Steve StrimerSteve Strimer - The Benefits of Small Press

Taught the advantages to having a small press. Click here to learn more about Steve Strimer

Suzanne Strempek SheaSuzanne Strempek-Shea - The Nonfiction Book Proposal 101

Focused on the components that can make or bread a non-fiction book proposal. Click here to learn more about Suzanne Strempek-Shea

Susan StinsonSusan Stinson - Researching the Novel

Discussed strategies behind doing research that will light up your book. Click here to learn more about Susan Stinson.

FALL 2012

Aine GreaneyAine Greaney - Fitting a Writing Practice Into Even the Busiest Schedule

Author of Writer With a Day Job, described how to continue to fit writing into even the busiest schedule. For more information on Aine Greaney click here

Anthony DariesAnthony D'Aries - Turning Essays into Book Chapters

Author of The Language of Men: A Memoir, on essays and how to turn them into a book. For more information on Anthony D'Aries, click here.

Jacqueline SheehanJacqueline Sheehan - Using Psychology to Create Memorable Fictional Characters

Author of the novel Picture This, taught us how to use psychology to create memorable fictional characters. For more information on Jacqueline Sheehan, click here.

Kate WhouleyKate Whouley - When Your Characters Are Real

Author of Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words, on writing nonfiction. For more information click here.


Peter SarnoPeter Sarno, Publishing an E-Book

Founder of PFP Publishing, Sarno discusses the process of publishing E-Books. Click here to learn more.

Shonna HumphreyShonna Humphrey - Self-Editing

Author of Show Me Good Land, shows how a hands-on approach is designed to reduce editing to its most basic forms. For more information on Shonna Humphrey, click here.

Morgan RogersMorgan Rogers - A First Novelist's Journey

Author of Ruby Red Heart in a Cold Blue Sea, Morgan Rodgers took participants through the journey of her first novel. For more information on Margan Rogers, click here.

Elizabeth SearleElizabeth Searle - Writing Fiction

Elizabeth Searle helped participants fill there writer’s toolkit with information and inspiration for living your version of the writer’s life. For more information on Elizabeth Searle, click here.

FALL 2011

Adam BraverAdam Braver - Fiction with Historical Facts

Adam Braver spins his novels from historical incidents or persons, as he did with November 22, 1963, which fictionalizes the day on which President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and with others in which Abraham Lincoln was illuminated via 13 different perspectives, and in which Sarah Bernhardt made her farewell tour of America. Participants received inspiration about and information on how to write their own fact-based fiction. For more information on Adam Braver, click here.

G Michael DobbsG. Michael Dobbs, Freelancing 101

As managing editor of Reminder Publications’ five publications, and as a writer whose work has been featured in publications as diverse as The Valley Advocate, Video Watchdog, USA Today and Rod Serling Twilight Zone Magazine, G. Michael Dobbs enlightened and informed participants about the world of freelance writing as seen from both sides of the editor’s desk.

Richard HoffmanRichard Hoffman- Making a Life (Not a Living!) of Poetry, or How Do I know What I Think Till I see What I Say? 

Acclaimed poet, memoirist and current chair of PEN New England discussed the ways of reading and writing of poems and how they shape reality. Click here, for more information on Richard Hoffman. 

Richard MichelsonRichard Michelson - Writing for Children

Richard Michelson’s 15 books for children have received honors including Amazon.com’s 12 best Children’s Books of the Decade, for his 2008 Martin Luther King And Abraham Joshua Heschel's Amazing March Toward Freedom and have brought him international acclaim and awards. The joys and challenges of writing in a very popular genre were featured in this veteran author’s talk. Click here, for more information on Richard Michelson.

Jeff HermanJeff Herman - Insider Secrets to Getting Your Book Publishes

Participants enjoyed a rare opportunity to glean insider insight from a veteran agent whose Jeff Herman Agency has represented 500 authors and whose legendary Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents is in its 21st edition, having sold more than 400,000 copies. Click here, for more information on Jeff Herman.

Deborah Levine HermanDeborah Levine Herman - Spiritual Writing: From Inspiration to Publication

The title of this talk is also that of a book by a Herman, who uses her gifts to help writers discover their authentic selves, often through the process of writing about the spiritual. Learn about writing in this popular sub-genre and how to go about getting spiritually related pieces to editors and publishers. Click here, to learn more.


Jonathan GreenJonathan Green - Immersion Journalism

The Art of Immersion Journalism by Jonathan Green, the recipient of the Amnesty International Media Award for Excellence in Human Rights Journalism. Click here for more information on Jonathan Green.

John TalbotJohn Talbot - Publishing

A primer on the publishing process and finding and working with an agent. For more information on John Talbot, click here.

Lewis RobinsonLewis Robinson - Starting a Work of Fiction

Starting a Work of Fiction by Lewis Robinson, author of the short story collection Officer Friendly and Other Stories and the novel Water.  For more information on Lewis Robinson, click here.

Judy PolanJudy Polan - Songwriting

A Printer on songwriting by singer/songwriter, poet and writer...known through-out New England as "The Gold Glitter Queen." Click here, for more information on July Polan.

Kim Dana KuppermanKim Dana Kupperman - Writing an Essay

The art of writing an essay by managing eidtor of The Gettysburg Review and critically acclaimed essayist. Click here for more information on Kim Dana Kupperman

FALL 2010

Barbara RocheBarbara Roche - Blogging

Blogging by B. J. Roche, former Boston Globe writer and founder of the blog Fiftyshift.com. Click here for more information on B.J. Roche.

Thomas SheaThomas Shea - Interviewing

The art of interviewing by longtime Springfield Republican columnist and reporter.

James KellyJames Kelly - Fantasy Writing

Writing fantasy by Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author. Click here for more information on James Kelly.

Diane LakeDiane Lake - Screenwriting

Introduction to screenwriting by Diane Lake, principal screenwriter of the Oscar-nominated film, Frida. Click here for more information on Diane Lake.

John SheirerJohn Sheirer - Self -Publishing

A primer on self-publishing by veteran self publisher. Click here for more information on John Sheirer.


John SheirerJohn Sheirer - Self-Publishing

A Primer in Self-Publishing, an author of traditionally published and self-published books. Click here for more information on John Sheirer.

Mel AllenMel Allen - Freelance Writing

A fifth editor of Yankee Magazine, Allen discusses his successes in free lancing writing.

Leigh MontvilleLeigh Montville - Art of Writing Biographies

The Art of Writing Biographies led by New York Times bestselling author and former Sports Illustrated reporter.

Jane YolenJane Yolen - Writing for Children

Writing for children presented by children's book legend. Click here for more information on Jane Yolen.

 Roland MerulloRoland Merullo - Fiction

Starting a fiction book by fiction and non-fiction author. Click here for more information on Roland Merullo.

M.P. ParketM. P. Parker - Research Writing

An award-winning historical novelist shared her tips with participants. Click here for more information on M.P. Parker.