Honing your craft

More writing workshops available at Islanders Write in August.


Islanders Write is expanding the number of writing workshops offered at the day-long event scheduled for Monday, August 12, at Featherstone Center for the Arts, beginning with an 8 am Wake up and Write! Workshop. Workshops are free to attend, and advance registration is not necessary. Islanders Write is delighted to be partnering with Noepe Center for Literary Arts for the sixth summer to bring you an expanded offering of workshops that will take place throughout the day.

Islanders Write Workshop Schedule: 


8 am – Wake up and Write! (30 minutes)

Judith Hannan 

Essayist, author, and workshop leader Judith Hannan will lead participants in a series of quick writing prompts to encourage free association and the revelation of scenes and stories.


Judith Hannan is an essayist and author of “The Write Prescription: Telling Your Story to Live With and Beyond Illness” and the memoir “Motherhood Exaggerated.” She leads workshops for those affected by physical and/or mental illness, the homeless, and those within the criminal justice system. She is a writing mentor and interventionist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and a founding faculty member for Kripalu’s program in narrative medicine. judithhannanwrites.com.


9 and 11 am – Cultivating a Daily Writing Practice (60 minutes)

Justen Ahren

Consistency — showing up to write daily — is the secret to becoming creatively productive. Using prompts and discussion to jump-start your writing, this session will explore ways to develop a writing practice and achieve writing abundance. If you’ve ever felt blocked, or don’t know how to begin, or simply want to re-energize your writing, this session is for you. 


Justen Ahren leads writing workshops in Italy, Mexico, Vermont, and on Martha’s Vineyard, helping writers to cultivate creative abundance through writing. He is the founder of the Noepe Center for Literary Arts at Featherstone, and is the author of two poetry collections: “A Strange Catechism,” and most recently, “A Machine for Remembering.”


11:30 am – Using a Real Place as Your Setting — the Perks and Pitfalls (45 minutes)

Jean Stone 

Sometimes the more you know about a place, the more obstacles appear when using it as a setting. In this workshop, Jean Stone will share how to weave realistic description into scenes without overdoing it, when to take “creative license” for the sake of a great story, and how to craft believable characters without people shouting, “Wait! That’s me!” 


Jean Stone has written 20 novels published by Random House, HarperCollins, and now Kensington Books. Her most recent book, “A Vineyard Summer,” is her ninth book set on Martha’s Vineyard. jeanstone.com


12:15 pm – Navigating Literary Twitter — How to Make a Statement with 240 Characters (45 minutes)

Bella Morais


In this workshop, you will learn how to use Twitter to your literary advantage. Most agents, authors, and editors use Twitter to get to know current writers, and use the platform to connect with people in a more personal, yet informal way. This workshop will help you draft tweets and create literary accounts; it’ll go over the ins and outs of setting up a Twitter account, and hone in on the secrets to Twitter success. 


Bella Morais is a graphic designer, brand manager, and web developer. She has been working as a freelance designer since 2015, and started her company, Bella Morais Brand Development, in early 2019. Currently she is studying art with a concentration in 2D and 3D design at Wesleyan University. bellamorais.com


1 pm – Using Personal Photos for Poetry and Prose (60 minutes)

Kelly DuMar 


In this workshop, attendees will write creatively from personal photos. Writing from personal photos allows us to express the truth of what we feel — and know — and haven’t said, as we capture the beauty and deeper meaning of an image. Each participant will bring one to three photos to explore, as we shape images into poetry and prose that reveal personalities, identity, relationships, conflicts, and universal truth and beauty. 


Kelly DuMar is a poet, playwright, and writing workshop leader whose Aim for Astonishing photo-inspired process elicits profound personal awakenings, deepens connection with others, and fosters beautifully crafted writing in poetry and prose. kellydumar.com.


2 pm – Writing the Query Letter (45 minutes)

Mathea Morais

This workshop will examine the all-important agent query letter. From figuring out how to target appropriate agents to writing that very important pitch, Mathea Morais will go step-by-step through the query letter process. Attendees will come away with a better understanding of not only how to write a query letter, but whom to send it to.


Mathea Morais is the director of the Noepe Center for Literary Arts, and has taught creative writing to children and young adults for over 15 years. Her fiction has appeared in the New Engagement, Slush Pile Magazine, and Anti-Heroin Chic. Her debut novel, “There You Are,” a coming-of-age love story set in a record store in the ’80s and ’90s, will be published this fall.


3 pm – Instagram as a Voice — Setting Up Your Instagram to Brand Yourself as a Writer (45 minutes)

Bella Morais 


In this workshop, Bella Morais will go over the importance of image in this day and age. One’s image doesn’t necessarily have to be millions of photos of themselves. Rather, it can be a place to curate your literary inspiration and a way to connect with others who have the same aspirations. We will also go over the importance of engagement and hashtags, and how to stay human in the storm that is social media. (See bio above.)


For more information about Islanders Write and a complete schedule of the day’s events: islanderswrite.com.