Classes & Workshops

"I credit The Mark Twain House memoir writing class with helping me craft my story into something the world would want to read. Thanks to the lessons I learned in that storied space, my memoir, Finding Dad, was born.

"If you have a story to tell, this is where you start."-- Kara Sundlun, Emmy-winning TV journalist

SIGN UP NOW!

SPRING SESSION with Hank Herman

Six-week writing workshop

Wednesdays from 6 to 8 pm, May 17, 24 & 31; June 7, 14 & 21

$300; $270 for MTH&M members and Let's GO Arts! cardholders.

 

hank herman

Haven’t quite wrapped up your current writing project so that you can treat yourself to a nice summer break?  Have a project you’ve been meaning to start, but haven’t gotten around to?  Need a little push from a classroom structure to get you going?  Appreciate feedback from other motivated writers -- and from a professional instructor?  Here’s your answer!  Whether you’re working on memoir, essay, kids' fiction, humor — or anything else — “Spring Session” is the perfect workshop for you.

Hank Herman is the author of Accept My Kid, Please! A Dad’s Descent Into College Application Hell,an acclaimed memoir, and Super Hoops, a series of basketball novels for kids. His award-winning humor column, “The Home Team,” has been running for more than 20 years and is still going strong.  Hank also co-writes the Hearst Newspapers blog “Beagle Man,” alternating posts with his dog, Kemba.  The blog doubles as as a hilarious travelogue when Hank and Kemba hit the road every fall for their great adventure: a one-month-long cross-country road trip!  Hank also leads writing workshops at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, and at Trinity College and Norwalk Community College.

Register here!

summer session vendini

Writing Class: Writing for Children with Pegi Deitz Shea
March 20-April 4, 6-8 p.m.

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Want to write for children and teens? Do you have ideas but don’t know where to start and how to get published? Pegi Deitz Shea will show you the range of children’s fiction, nonfiction and poetry, help you write your book, and teach how to use constructive critique to improve your skills. Come away from the course with at least one manuscript ready to submit to an agent or editor. Shea is a two-time winner of the Connecticut Book Award for Children's Literature, and has published in all formats for children--board book, picture book, nonfiction, poetry, middle grade and Young Adult fiction. Come and work on whatever book you want!

$300 ($275 for MTH&M Members and Let's GO Arts! cardholders) Registration is limited; click here to sign up!

 

Writing Class: Creating the Story Arc
with Susanne Davis
March 20-April 24, 6-8 p.m.

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This  six-week course is for those who have a manuscript in development or design.  This could be a novel, memoir or collection of short stories.  We will look at how to develop and sustain story arc over the course of a book length manuscript.  We will draw upon the work of John Truby’s Anatomy of Story as well as Robert McKee’s Story Form and Structure, among other helpful principles of creation! 

Each week a new topic will be introduced.  We will consider the following:

What kind of plot have you got? 

How do character and plot interact?

What drives your characters?  Is it enough for a book length manuscript?

How do we build the spine of the story so that unconscious and conscious desires are revealed through action and scene?

How do we ramp up the tension that makes for compelling storytelling?

If you are writing a short story collection, what elements do you need to consider to create a cohesive collection?

In memoir, how does one weave summary and scene? 

What role does time play?

Participants will be given writing prompts to help in development of the work, and will create and discuss storyboards and/or synopsis of work, as well as selections from their work in progress.

This class is limited to 10 participants.


$300 ($275 for MTH&M members and Let's GO Arts! cardholders)
Registration is limited; click here to sign up!

 

The Writing Programs
at The Mark Twain House & Museum

The Writing Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum (MTH&M) honor and promote Mark Twain’s legacy as the writer who created the American Voice in literature. Through workshops, multi-session classes, contests, opportunities to write in Mark Twain’s library, an annual writers’ conference, and other events and activities, the Writing Programs celebrate writers and writing, focusing particularly on the genres – fiction, personal essay and memoir, travelogue, humor and satire, and social commentary – in which Twain worked.

The Writing Programs aim to bring writers of all levels, abilities, and walks of life to Mark Twain’s home and to promote a sense of community among them -- and a kinship between them and the great American author.

Under new leadership this year, The Writing Programs are being refined to more closely reflect Twain’s legacy, with a goal of making sure every participant has opportunity to connect fully and deeply with Twain and the house in which he lived during his most productive writing years.

Workshops and Classes

The Writing Programs bring a variety of accomplished and well-published writers/teachers to lead one-day workshops and multi-session classes focusing on such topics as writing for young people, creative nonfiction, memoir, humor writing, fiction, journalism, and specialties such as travel and food writing. Participants have the opportunity to develop their craft under the guidance of seasoned professionals, who offer inspiration, practical how-to instruction, and constructive feedback.

Sign up NOW for:

WRITING IN MARK TWAIN'S LIBRARY

January 26, 2017, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Not a writing class, not a writing workshop, just three hours of uninterrupted writing time in Mark Twain's own library. Join a select handful of fellow scribblers to write, reflect, and plot whatever piece of literature you're working on. The space is quiet, except for the burbling fountain in the nearby conservatory, and infused with Mark Twain's spirit. Don't miss this once-in-a-life opportunity --and get a friend to sign up to share the experience. Laptops are welcome, but make sure you charge up before you come, as we have no power outlets to offer. Also: There is no WiFi in the house. Pencils only; no pens permitted!

$50. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here to register for this or future Writing in Mark Twain's Library sessions. (April 20, July 29, and October 12, 2017).

WINTER WRITERS WORKSHOP with Hank Herman 

Six-week writing workshop - Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m.

January 18 & 25; February 1, 8, 15 & 22

$300; $270 for members of The Mark Twain House & Museum

Registration limited to 8.

Is your New Year’s Resolution to wrap up that writing project you put on hold when the holidays hit?  Have an idea you’ve been meaning to get started on, but haven’t gotten around to?  Need a little push from a classroom structure to get you going?  Appreciate feedback from other motivated writers, and from a professional instructor?  Here’s your answer!  Whether you’re working on memoir, essay, kids fiction, humor — or anything else — Winter Writers Workshop is perfect for you.

Hank Herman is the author of Accept My Kid, Please! A Dad’s Descent Into College Application Hell, an acclaimed memoir, and Super Hoops, a series of basketball novels for kids.  His award-winning humor column, “The Home Team,” has been running for over 20 years, and is still going strong.  Hank also co-writes the Hearst Newspapers blog “Beagle Man,” alternating posts with his dog, Kemba.  The blog doubles as as a hilarious travelogue when Hank and Kemba hit the road every fall for their great adventure: a one-month-long cross-country road trip!  Hank also leads writing workshops at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, and at Trinity College and Norwalk Community College.

To register, click here.

A ONE-DAY WRITING WORKSHOP: WRITE YOUR STORY IN YOUR VOICE with Susanne Davis

Saturday, January 21, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

$60; $54 for members of The Mark Twain House & Museum

Registration limited to 20.

Whether characters have begun to whisper Hear me.  Tell my story, or your own life has cracked wide open and the only way you can make sense of it is to let the words spill out on the page and order the chaos right before your eyes, this one-day workshop will help you identify the elements of story and shape story in your authentic voice.   

The day will include writing prompts and theory discussion about techniques to create strong voice on the page as author and through techniques of character, plot, dialogue, point of view and setting.  Create a world on the page that makes people hungry to keep turning pages.  This workshop is for both fiction and nonfiction writers.

Who:  Both new and practicing writers.

What: A  one-day writing workshop for fiction and nonfiction.

Where: The Webster Bank Museum Center at The Mark Twain House & Museum

When: Saturday. Jamuary 21, 2017, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Why: Because your story needs to be told.

To register, click here.

 

Mark the Date:

Writers Weekend

September 22-24, 2017

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Details in the works! Watch this space!

 

 

 

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Download Writing Brochure

Learn more about Mark Twain's writing process as it relates to his Hartford, Connecticut home.

Writing Photo Gallery

Images of Mark Twain at work and the writers he has inspired.

Writing Blog

An accompaniment to classes and literary programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum