Writing Through the Senses

“Observation is the first act of the imagination,” said poet William Carlos Williams. But these days, we spend most of our time shut up in dimmed rooms, staring at screens–and our writing shows it. This workshop is designed to get the writer back into the body, back in touch with physical reality, invigorating the writing with the richness of the sensual, a portal to memory and the imagination.

But perception is just half the journey.  Who hasn’t been captivated by a wayward scent, a certain effect of light, and been at a loss to transfer the experience it into words? Not only will you learn to observe more keenly, but you’ll develop the tools to turn vivid sense impressions into rich, startling language.

This virtual weekend intensive, offered on Zoom, combines lecture and generative exercises, in-class discussion and experiential assignments, designed for writers who could use a creative jolt, a bit more play in their practice. Suitable for fiction writers, memoirists, poets and anyone ready to get their heads (and those of their readers) out from behind those screens and back into the savory dimensionality of sensual reality.  


Evening sessions: Fri, Sat, Sun: 5-7pm Pacific, 8-10pm Eastern

Saturday & Sunday Morning sessions: 10am-12pm Pacific, 1-3pm Eastern


Janet Fitch’s first novel, White Oleander, was a #1 New York Times bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club selection, translated into 24 languages and  made into a feature film. Her second novel, Paint It Black, a national bestseller, was made into a 2017 feature film, written and directed by Amber Tamblyn. Her most recent books are a duet of novels set during the Russian Revolution, The Revolution of Marina M. and Chimes of a Lost Cathedral.  She leads weekend writing intensives through the Community of Writers, and is longtime staff at the Summer Workshops, which she herself attended as a young writer. www.janetfitchwrites.com


Admission: $330

Limited Financial Aid is available. Contact us to learn more.