Workshops with Molly
Molly will be on book tour for her forthcoming memoir Body Full of Stars from January through March 2018. She will start teaching again in early April.
To inquire further about any of the workshops below, and to reserve your spot in one, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MOLLY ON HER TEACHING
I'm big on process. As a teacher, I want to help democratize expression and bring writing as craft back to the masses. It is, undeniably, a powerful tool for transformation. My workshops explore the interplay between raw material and revision, how to cultivate a generative practice, and the art of blending the universal with the personal. I work to connect a writer to syntax, voice, structure, and "charge" topics--as well as to others in the group. We aim to make meaning.
MEMOIR AND NARRATIVE VOICE
This workshop is for anyone at any stage of a writing practice. It focuses on unearthing your voice (whether it’s irreverent, soft, mysterious or brash...). Narrative voice is that elusive thing writer folk talk about. But how do you “get” it? The good news is you already have it. You just need to find it. As we explore the tools of personal narrative, we ask where the “I” exists and how we use it best. In an effort to write your character (i.e. you), we’ll name, dismantle and use those things we hang our identity upon: what is foreign or familiar, what do you like or dislike, etc. We play with language, learn how to capture an audience and make the most personal details universal. You will participate in free-writes, interactive workshop critiques of longer pieces and weekly writing assignments. You will stretch your “way of expression” and discover ultimately what makes yours yours. Revision will become a trusted friend. At the end of 8 weeks, our intimate group will have cracked our preconceptions and developed our skills for effective storytelling. You will go home with a writing practice under your belt, and the confidence to greet the creative writer within you every day.
8 weeks (this workshop will resume in the fall in Molly's new location)
The storyteller in context (NEW)
What is the role of the storyteller? It’s a critical question. In this workshop, we use the elements of craft to intentionally place our personal stories in a series of contexts: ancestral, political, psycho-social, geographic and linguistic. If our story functions as the center of a tree trunk, we explore what concentric rings expand out from it and thereby hold it in place. How do those rings add to understanding our very particular story and the era we have lived in? Do they offer a new lens? Can they invite us to see both beyond ourselves and deeper within ourselves? We explore where and when the individual story intersects with the collective story. We will discuss how indigenous cultures use/d ritual (usually a physical expression) to either release or cement a story, and where that has a place in modern life. Each writer will participate in free-writes, workshop critiques, composition of essays, and weekly explorations. Expect to generate: paragraphs, vast ideas, new awareness. We are all bards; we are capable of change-making with story. After our time together, you will emerge with a better sense of your remarkable range, as a writer and human. *This workshop is for anyone who is eager to put pen to paper.
6 weeks, Tuesday mornings, 9-noon, April 3 through May 8
Transform Your Old Story
We all cling to one story about ourselves. It’s familiar. It’s been played on repeat. We have somehow become cozy friends with it. Even when it limits who you can be. We tell this story, and others like it, over and over again. We do this because it’s comfortable. Sometimes it gets us attention. Sometimes we don’t know what else to do. Many of us know that we do this. But now, what can we do about it?Enter the 26 letters of the alphabet. Enter verbs and nouns. Enter your pen. Language is no small thing. It shifts politics, relationships, mindsets and the everyday. How we say, or write, something changes how we experience(d) it. This can be powerful work. In this weekend workshop, we will use the transformative power of words to re-script our personal narratives. Consider it exploratory. We will stir your story up to the surface and then dive in with writing from unexpected perspectives, movement, speaking aloud, tone play, un-remembering, re-remembering, conversation across selves, and ultimately, the creation of a new version of thisstory. We will pay close attention to how we use each word. As you work this way with any story of yours, you begin to integrate a new understanding of your past, present and future. This can be liberating. Writing is both our birthright and an underused tool. Let us use it.
4 weeks, Wednesday nights, 6-9pm, May 2 though May 23
“I felt I could get personal. I felt pressed to work. I’m sure it was much the same for our whole group – we were exposed and challenged but safe to grow our writing in any direction we chose. Molly, keep the bar high. Don’t make the workload easier. You have such a good way with people and you share your knowledge so well – I was amazed at the quality and consistency of your attention to everyone’s work.”
“Your complete lack of pretension was so nice… there was no eager ego there. That made it easier for us to blubber along trying to find our feet. Really Molly you do have a touch. You’re a natural who has also put a lot of thought into how to make the class work well. You are great at critiques, very concrete and helpful. Doing this class has woken me up to literature. I am now thrilled with words! What a gift! I take pleasure in putting my own words together now, am trusting I have something to say with them and that they can pull things from the depths that I will want to know. Much to be grateful for, dear Molly.”
“When you speak to anyone, your voice and your body language make the person feel invited into creativity, into writing. When people read short pieces, you have the ability to pick out the little seeds that can grow into something. Your students learn from what you say to each person. As an educator, it seems to me that the relationship piece which you provide with your personality, your very being, is key to creating an environment in which we can learn. I think people can only learn when they are learning something they care about from someone they care about and who cares for them.”