The Mom Writer Workshop
If you're a mom and a writer, you know how hard it is to sit down and be creative, let alone get into that mental mindset of writing a story. However, once you start writing, you feel more creative in every area of your life, which also helps the kids. It's so wonderful to get that little moment of satisfying "me" time. I've designed a program for moms who are fiction or memoir writers. It's based on my experience as a mom and novelist, as well as my MFA and twenty years of teaching experience. I wrote both of my published novels and many more while raising my kids, but it wasn't easy, and I know a lot of writers who give up when they have kids. But it's not necessary! You can pursue your dreams at the same time as encouraging their dreams. I've been helping fellow mom writers for many years. Before the pandemic, I taught workshops for mom writers in both Los Angeles and New York City, and now my program is a synchronistic class online, available to mom writers everywhere. I've brought moms together into a writing community that is both fulfilling and joy-inducing, while being time-efficient, resulting in published books. I give my mom writers real, proven strategies to find time to write and to be efficient in the writing so that you produce stronger-quality early drafts. Our classes, workshops and critique groups are designed for a range of abilities, and I keep the price low to help as many people as I can. Send me an email if you're interested in joining our uplifting group of mom writers. Sign Up here:
Fiction Classes for Kids and Teens
I've been teaching kids in various subjects including writing for over thirty years, from teaching sports to English as a Foreign Language to creative writing. Right from the beginning when I was a teen teaching swimming, my goal was always to make it fun and connect with each kid. Kids learn best when the teacher cares about them. I see the intrinsic beauty in each kid and I help them believe and see that their words and their stories are important. Also, I make sure it's not boring! I use interactive and multi-sensory techniques to engage the kids, even when I teach them online, based on techniques I developed when I was the curriculum director for WriteGirl in LA, a wonderful mentoring organization based around writing. I've worked with kids in crisis, both in alternative schools, the juvenile detention system and private sessions. It is one of the most fulfilling parts of my life and I view it as a great honor to be a mentor and guide to the kids I teach.
I love to do school visits both in person and online! I believe in encouraging kids to go for their dreams. I love to talk about easy ways to improve their writing, which tends to be quite popular since not every kid wants to become a novelist, but every kid writes every day, either online or texting or essays for school. For my talks, I discuss whatever the school needs me to discuss: the social issues my novels cover, like human trafficking, white privilege, mental health, the spectrum of biases, and body image, or pursuing one's dreams and pursuing creativity. I'm open to whatever the school wants. I also do interactive multi-sensory writing workshops, hands-on classes designed to make writing fun. At this time, for my in-person school visits, I've paused all bookings. During the Covid crisis, as a service to all, I'm doing fun interactive 30 minute school writing workshops via Zoom for free for schools anywhere, ages first grade to twelfth grade. Also, if you're a teacher or a parent, and you have a particular kid you'd like me to encourage, I'm also very happy to talk to them. My goal is to uplift kids everywhere, and especially, to help those who are struggling.
Contact me via my email on my contact page if you’re interested. I'm not doing in person events but I've been working with kids on Zoom since March, and I know how to make it a ton of fun.
PENS ON FIRE is designed as a book for teachers to give writing experiments to teens. I wrote it with Keren Taylor at WriteGirl (writegirl.org) when I was the Curriculum Director of WriteGirl. For years, Keren and I had worked together to create engaging monthly writing workshops for over 100 teens and mentors. Over the course of that time, many teens would tell us that they wished teachers at school taught writing this way.
If you are writing a book report on TRAFFICKED, go to my blog. I have many blog entries about my research and the issue of human trafficking in America and around the world.
Some of my favorite books on writing are:
WRITING DOWN THE BONES
by Natalie Goldberg
by Stephen King
THE ART OF DRAMATIC WRITING
by Lajos Egri