Beverly Donofrio + Kaylie Jones | Writing Your Life


This memoir workshop is for anyone who has the urge to write about his or her life. We will write in class from long-tested prompts that will spark your creative energy. The work will be read aloud and discussed in class, and we will give you a virtual toolbox of literary techniques to take home with you as you plunge more deeply into your writing. We will help you start your story in the right place; discuss the use of transitions, including how to summarize effectively (how to gallop through time); how to shift, when necessary, to someone else’s point of view (when you weren’t there but the stories are so familiar you are an expert and can therefore tell them); and how to use dialog in memoir, and many other crucial elements of craft.


Beverly Donofrio, called a Master Memoirist by The Daily Beast, has published three memoirs, her first, the bestselling Riding in Cars with Boys, was made into a popular movie, her second, Looking for Mary, was a Barnes and Noble “Discover” pick, and her latest, the critically acclaimed, Astonished, is still collecting accolades. She has published three children’s books, her latest, Where’s Mommy was named by The New York Times a best picture book of 2014, and her essays have appeared in many anthologies and periodicals, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Mademoiselle, Marie Claire, More, Allure, Spirituality and Health, The Village Voice, The Huffington Post and Slate. Her award-winning NPR documentaries can be heard through Sound Portraits. She gives workshops around the country and is currently on the faculty of the low-residency MFA program at Wilkes University. She is working on a collection of essays and life stories.

Kaylie Jones is a novelist, memoirist, creative nonfiction writer, and editor. Her memoir, Lies My Mother Never Told Me, was released by Harper Collins in 2009.

Her third novel, A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries (Bantam, 1990) was adapted as a Merchant Ivory Film in 1998. Celeste Ascending was published by Harper Collins in 2000 and her novel, Speak Now, was released by Akashic Books in 2003. Her novels have been translated into many languages including French, Dutch, German, and Japanese. Kaylie taught fiction at The Writer’s Voice from 1988 to 1996, before helping to create the MFA Program in Writing of LIU’s Southampton campus, now the SUNY Stony Brook MFA Program in Writing, where she still teaches. Currently, she chairs the James Jones First Novel Fellowship, which awards $10,000 annually to an unpublished first novel. Many of the winners have gone on to publish to critical acclaim. Kaylie is also the proud editor of the Long Island Noir anthology, published by Akashic Books in spring 2012. Kaylie’s newest endeavor is her imprint, Kaylie Jones Books, which has published seven books to date. Kaylie’s novel, The Anger Meridian, was published by Akashic Books in July 2015 to glowing reviews. She is presently working on a memoir about motherhood, entitled No Grit, No Pearl.

Just $250 per participant, your day includes a delicious lunch delivered to your workshop, Friday night’s Little Bites and Big Libations (appetizers, spirits and desserts) at a social evening with other participants, our instructors and panelists. Your day will also include admission to Friday night’s keynote event.

Or treat yourself to The Whole Shebang for $450. Here’s what you’ll get:

Take in the Story Slam on Thursday night. Join the One Day Intensive of your choosing on Friday, in one of Woodstock’s beautiful private homes, complete with a fabulous lunch. Then sail into the weekend: attending all the wonderful panels, breakfast, both Little Bites and Big Libations Cocktail Parties, and both evening events. And share the bounty from our always-stuffed goody bag.


Beverly Donofrio


Kaylie Jones

Location TBA
Friday March 23, 2018
9AM – 5PM