Joyful Quill

Writing for dreamers, doers, and dabblers

Prose and Practice workshop

This workshop will be offered on-demand. It is an opportunity for those who want to focus on one project and hone their writing craft. We will generate ideas, select a structure, and start a piece; we will play with sentences, study metaphors, and revise our piece, working towards completion.

We will use Priscilla Long’s book, The Writer’s Portable Mentor, as a guide.  Jenny & Lesley have studied with Long and have integrated her exercises into their own writing practices. Participants will need a copy of this book. To reap the most benefit from these sessions, writers will aim to engage in daily writing practice. There will be weekly homework assignments.

Responses to our writing will hew to the Amherst Writers and Artists approach of supporting our development as writers.

You may come to all the sessions, or only those that most interest you. This is a 26-hour program; we are open to working with people’s schedules.

Week 1: Writing practice, productivity, your material, and the importance of words
Week 2: Structure, part I; and color
Week 3: Structure, part II; and people on the page
Week 4: Sentence craft: simple and compound sentences
Week 5: Sentence craft: complex and compound-complex sentences
Week 6: The list sentence, the phrase and the fragment
Week 7: Passive voice, transitions and the art of the paragraph
Week 8: Art of the paragraph
Week 9: Punctuation, metaphor and simile
Week 10: Metaphor, simile, intro to revision and deepening strategies
Week 11: Revision and deepening; submit 750 words of draft
Week 12: In-depth feedback on draft
Week 13: Endings and submitting work

Cost for Prose and Practice:


Scholarships available.

Interested? Please let us know and we’ll be in touch.