Writing Workshops

Sinister Wisdom Spring 2021 Writing Workshop Series
Sinister Wisdom is thrilled to announce our line up of writing workshops. Sign up will begin on February 1st. Participation fee for each one hour workshop is a sliding scale donation of $6-25 per workshop.
Stay tuned to www.sinisterwisdom.org/writingworkshops for more information!

Attend all five workshops!

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Fanfic, Lesfic, and Literature: Remembering our History with Queer Storytelling

A Sinister Wisdom Writer’s Workshop with Brianna Dym

Saturday, February 27th, 12PM EST

From the Xena Uber to the Great Lesbian Migration, fanfiction has always played an important role in shaping lesbian literature. For this workshop, join us in uncovering the historical connections between queer women's fandom and the world of publishing. For over 50 years, fandom and fanfiction has been a space for writers to critique the absence of women in books, movies, and televisions shows, while also offering a space for queer women to explore sapphic themes either absent or written out of popular media. We will draw from popular tropes and writing conventions employed in fandom to generate some of our own creative works. By examining what fanfiction centers (characters and their relationships), we will imagine stories of our own that can do the same, while also discussing why character-driven narratives are so impactful and important to lesbian literature.

Brianna Dym is a 4th year Information Science PhD student at CU Boulder. She works with Dr. Casey Fiesler in the Internet Rules Lab studying marginalized online communities and how they leverage technology to empower themselves. Her research into fan communities has focused on LGBTQ+ means of mentorship and empowerment through fanfiction and organizing support groups online.

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Sowing Your Seeds

A Sinister Wisdom Writer’s Workshop with Cassie Premo Steele

Saturday, March 13th, 12PM EST

Dig in the dirt. Get grounded. Sow your seeds. In this workshop combining mindfulness practices, ecofeminist poetry, and practical stress reduction techniques, participants will use the energy of spring to write more deeply and fruitfully. All writing prompts will be body-positive and queer and lesbian embracing, and no one will be asked to share their writing.

Cassie Premo Steele is a lesbian and ecofeminist author of 16 books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction who has taught writing classes for many years using a unique method that creates safe space and nurtures supportive community. www.cassiepremosteele.com

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Writing the Fantastical: A Sinister Wisdom Generative Fiction Workshop

with Stephanie Andrea Allen

Saturday, April 10th, 2021 12pm ET

The purpose of this workshop is to help lesbian and queer writers generate ideas for fiction writing, including long and short form stories. Writers will read and discuss one or two stories, (circulated before the workshop), and spend time generating ideas from writing prompts. While writers may write in whatever genre they choose, the workshop will focus on speculative fiction by exploring the ways in which the quotidian might inspire the fantastical. Stephanie Andrea Allen, Ph.D. is a Black lesbian writer, scholar, and publisher. Her work can be found in various online and print publications, and her collection of speculative short fiction, How to Dispatch a Human: Stories and Suggestions, is forthcoming March 2021 from BLF Press.

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Coming Back to Your Senses: Writing with Awareness

A Sinister Wisdom Writer’s Workshop with Nickole Brown

Saturday, May 8th, 12PM EST

With so much of our lives spent in the disembodied world online, this poetry intensive will focus on reconnecting you to your senses, encouraging greater awareness of yourself and your environment, and strengthening your poems by helping them sing with the texture of the well-observed world. Through a combination of close-readings of writers both old and new, generative exercises, and traditional workshops, this generative session will help writers refresh their senses and descriptive powers through a deep practice of awareness and an unflinching dedication to scrubbing away one’s preconceived notions of a thing in order to see it anew.

Nickole Brown received her MFA from the Vermont College, studied literature at Oxford University, and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. She worked at Sarabande Books for ten years. She’s the author of Sister, first published in 2007 with a new edition reissued in 2018. Her second book, Fanny Says (BOA Editions), won the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Poetry in 2015. The audiobook of that collection became available in 2017. Currently, she teaches at the Sewanee School of Letters MFA Program and the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNCA. She lives with her wife, poet Jessica Jacobs, in Asheville, NC, where she volunteers at two different animal sanctuaries. A chapbook about those animals called To Those Who Were Our First Gods won the 2018 Rattle Chapbook Prize, and a long sequence called The Donkey Elegies was published as a chapbook by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2020.

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All About Love: The Art of Crafting Love Poetry

A Sinister Wisdom Writer’s Workshop with Marlee Miller

Saturday, June 5th,12pm EST

This workshop will focus on the age-old tradition of crafting love poems. People have written extensively about love since the beginning of time. So how do we write about a subject in a way that resonates if it’s the most popular one being explored by artists in any medium? In this workshop, we will do exercises that respond to the different experiences and sensations associated with love in all the various forms it comes in. In many ways, the English language is limited in its vocabulary for all the different types of love that exist. Whether it be platonic, romantic, familial, or even a love one might have for a physical place...that’s where our writing comes in. This workshop will be led by Marlee Miller. She is a writer and performance artist who draws inspiration for her work from love, dreams, social justice, mental illness, and the process of exploring identity. Marlee is a VONA (Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation) alum and her love poems have appeared in Issue 117 of Sinister Wisdom. Link to Marlee’s Website: https://www.marleemilart.com

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"Empowerment comes from ideas."

Gloria Anzaldúa

“And the metaphorical lenses we choose are crucial, having the power to magnify, create better focus, and correct our vision.”
― Charlene Carruthers

"Your silence will not protect you."

Audre Lorde

“It’s revolutionary to connect with love”
— Tourmaline

“The problem with the use of language of Revolution without praxis is that it promises to change everything while keeping everything the same. “
— Leila Raven

"Live your lives, honorably and with dignity."

Andrea Dworkin

“Gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught.”
― Leslie Feinberg