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17th Writers' Day

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Join other aspiring and published writers for our 17th Writers' Day featuring Suzanne Strempek Shea, Jonathan Green, Lisa Romeo, Karol Jackowski, and Sophfronia Scott.

Please Note: Our new location will be Bay Path’s East Longmeadow, MA campus, the Philip H. Ryan Health Center. Registration and check-in begin at Noon and continue throughout the sessions. 


Session One: "Immersion Starts with 'I' " with Suzanne Strempek Shea and Jonathan Green
12:30 - 1:35 p.m.
Authors and journalists Suzanne Strempek Shea (This is Paradise) and Jonathan Green (Murder in the High Himalaya) began their careers as freelance writers, went on to publish numerous books, and continue to write for a variety of publications both regional and international. Much of their research has been done via immersing themselves into a community, family, subject’s life and daily work. This talk will look at how and why they’ve followed some of their most memorable subjects, what some of the challenges of the process are, and some basics like proposing the idea of sticking yourself to the backs of a subject’s shoes. Each author also will talk about the books, newspapers, magazines and specific stories and writers influential to them in this work. Bring your notebooks for a writing exercise to get you thinking about what projects you want to immerse yourself in, and how you might get started in a process that often results in full and rich notebooks. 

Session Two: "Publishing: The Long and Short of It" with Lisa Romeo
1:50 - 2:55 p.m.
Do you see yourself writing a book? Articles? Essays? Blog posts? Op-Ed pieces? All of them? In this session, explore the many options for publishing the story you want to tell. Some writers aim for a book from the start but might be wise to begin by writing about their chosen topic in short forms: articles, opinion pieces, and personal essays for newspapers, magazines, and websites. Advantages to starting short include building craft skills, making research discoveries, earning paychecks, experimenting with different ways to present material, gaining reader feedback and general focus for the work - and perhaps even attracting an agent or publisher. Lisa will share her own experience publishing short pieces on the way to writing Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss and offer advice on finding venues, submitting work, and transitioning back and forth from short to long.

Session Three: "Spiritual Writing" with Karol Jackowski and Sophfronia Scott
3:10 - 4:15 p.m.
Just what is spiritual writing? What riches might be found along the path to it? How much faith, if any, does one need in order to explore the “spiritual” in writing? Who is the audience for this kind of writing? Is it OK to be funny in this often very-serious genre? Is it OK to write about tragedy? MFA faculty members Karol Jackowski, author of books including the bestselling Ten Fun Things to Do Before You Die, and Sophfronia Scott, whose titles include the recent acclaimed memoir This Child of Faith, will join moderator and MFA Director Leanna James Blackwell in a lively discussion of those topics and more. The session will include readings by the authors and a question-and-answer session. Expect inspiration, serious insight and, yes, also laughter, as you learn about the many dimensions of this popular genre from two veteran authors.

Cost & Registration:

  • One workshop is $30
  • two workshops, $55
  • three workshops, $75

Register for  Writers' Day

Register Here

  • Pre-registration is strongly recommended to ensure a session runs. 
  • Drop-ins accepted only if there is space available.
  • Minimum of seven participants/maximum 40 participants per session.


Philip H. Ryan Health Science Center
1 Denslow Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01028

A limited number of copies of the authors' books will be available for purchase and signing. 
Refreshments will be served.