“Thank you for sharing your mentoring gifts with compassion, clarity, and joy.” — Jan Meyer

Each day was a dose of love and caring as we shared our stories.” — Barbara Tarka Leonard


All of my workshops are designed to validate the personal experience of participants and to help them express themselves with freedom and confidence. I care deeply about the craft of writing, but my teaching technique is gentle coaching, never harsh criticism. I believe that learning is enhanced by a safe, supportive environment.  

I have led workshops for people of all ages, from preschool children through seniors. Topics include fiction, songs, short essays, journaling, playwriting — and, recently, origami containers! Workshops may range from a single, one-hour classroom visit to residencies of one to two weeks. A singing performance or reading may be added to any workshop. Please contact me for information about fees or to develop a custom workshop for your group. 

See pricing and register for upcoming workshops below:



MAY 31-June 2, 2019:

The Fold and the Flow: A Weekend of Writing and Origami

In this weekend workshop in Afton, VA, we will alternate sessions of personal writing with the meditative practice of origami. We’ll begin by creating a folded cover for a small handmade journal that you may use for the workshop and take home with you. 

Mixing times of quiet reflection with moments of fun fellowship, this workshop will exercise both sides of your brain and delight your senses. Visit the Galleywinter Farm website to learn more and register.


JULY 8-11, 2019:

From Haiku to Ha-ha-ha: Poetry Workshops for Kids

These short workshops (60-90 minutes) will introduce children to a variety of poetic forms and devices—and give them a chance to experiment with a poem of their own devising. Children will hear a selection of poems, from haiku to rhymed lyric poetry to unrhymed blank verse, then have a chance to write their own humorous poem.

Monday, July 8:

10:30am, Elk Valley Branch Library, ages 6 to 8 • 3:00pm, Sissonville Branch Library, ages 9 to 12

Tuesday, July 9:

10:30am, Cross Lanes Branch Library, ages 6 to 8 • 3:00pm, St. Albans Branch Library, ages 9 to 12

Wednesday, July 10:

11:00am, Main Library, ages 9 to 12 • 3:00pm Dunbar Branch Library, ages 6 to 8

Thursday, July 1:

10:30am, Marmet Community Center, ages 9 to 12 •3:00pm Clendenin Branch Library, ages 9 to 12


July 21-27, 2019:

Within the Fold: Origami Containers 

Join me in the glorious high desert region of New Mexico and learn to make beautiful and functional boxes, envelopes, picture frames, unique gift wrappings and more – with paper. In this workshop, we’ll fold a variety of containers, from elegantly simple ancient designs to ingenious modular constructions created by a modern origami master. Along the way, you’ll learn about the history and lore of origami as well as its growing applications in the fields of science, mathematics, education, medicine, and space exploration. Visit the  Ghost Ranch website to learn more. 


October 6-12, 2019:

Beauty in Brevity: The Art of the Short Essay

Writing a short essay can employ the research skills of a journalist, the critical eye of an editor, and the performance techniques of a storyteller. At Ghost Ranch, in the heart of New Mexico’s stunning high desert landscape, writers also tend to bring to their essays healthy measures of humor, wonder, compassion, and the inimitable camaraderie that thrives at the ranch. Visit the  Ghost Ranch website to learn more and register.


October 20-25, 2019:

From the Inside Out: Your Own Story, Your Own Words 

A week-long Road Scholar program at Cedar Lakes Crafts Center in Ripley, West Virginia. Honor your personal story with vivid creative writing. You'll hear examples of luminous writing, respond to writing prompts, share stories, and learn to clarify your writing. You'll gain new skills you can apply to personal writing in any form: journaling, memoir, poems, essays, even songs. Visit the  Road Scholar website  to learn more and register.