Spring/Summer 2018 Writing Classes with Martha Frankel – Writing as if No One’s Looking Over Your Shoulder

“I think writing is fun and freeing, and I believe that everyone has a story… they just need to learn how to tell it,” says Martha Frankel, a published memoirist and director of Woodstock Bookfest (formerly Woodstock Writer’s Festival). Martha started teaching writing classes because so many people talk about how hard it is to write.

In this 6-week class, you’ll learn to write with a voice that reflects the true you, the voice that isn’t afraid to show both your weakness and your strength, the voice that isn’t concerned, first and foremost, with what others will think.

You know, a voice that isn’t constantly telling you no one, NO ONE, could possibly be interested in what you have to say.

Through innovative and fun writing prompts, you will learn to write dialogue and description, create characters that ring true, see the best in the worst people and the worst in the best, find beginnings and endings that make sense. With criticism that is meant to encourage rather than shut you down, you will learn to piece your story together in a way that invites readers in.

Martha supplies inspiration, cookies, and tissues. Because no matter what you think, there will be tears. As well as laughter.

Wednesdays: 10:00 am  12:00 pm
Two sessions of 6 weeks each: June 6 – July 18, 2018 (no class on July 4) OR August 15 – September 19, 2018 (maximum 6 students)

Location: BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY
Class fees: $190 for members, $200 for not-yet members; no materials fee

Pay your class fee online! Or you can call us at 845.679.2079 to pay over the phone with a credit card.



Martha Frankel, executive director of the Woodstock Bookfest, began her writing career at the original Details magazine, writing a column about plastic surgery called Knifestyles of the Rich and Famous. She went on to write book reviews, essays and celebrity profiles for other magazines, such as Movieline, Cosmopolitan and The New Yorker.

Her memoir, Hats & Eyeglasses, chronicling her family’s lifelong love affair with gambling and her own later addiction to online gambling, was published in 2008 (Tarcher/Penguin Group). Hats and eyeglasses, an old gambling expression, describes an unfortunate run at the table. In Frankel’s childhood, gambling equated to friendship, food and laughter. “We bet on everything, from sports to how much our mothers would lose at Weight Watchers,” Frankel recalls in the book. Nowadays, Martha finds friendship and laughter in all sorts of places, including her radio show, Woodstock Writers Radio, heard every Sunday morning on Woodstock’s WDST 100.1, and online anytime by going to Radio Woodstock. In addition to Hats and Eyeglasses, Martha co-wrote a lifestyle book, Brazilian Sexy, and is delighted to have an essay in Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting, an anthology edited by her friend Ann Hood.

Writer and editor Kitty Sheehan is a former elementary teacher, corporate trainer, consignment store owner, and graphic designer. A native Iowan and graduate of the University of Iowa, Kitty founded and directs the Dartbrook Writers Retreat. A freelance copywriter, she is also a social media editor and consultant for several brands. She has participated in numerous panel discussions on social media trends and memoir. Kitty edits manuscripts and essays for writers of all genres.

Kitty’s essay, “Irish Wake-up Call,” appears in the anthology Shades of Blue, edited by Amy Ferris, published by Seal Press, 2015. She is editorial director for the annual Woodstock Bookfest in Woodstock, NY, and a regular workshop teacher at the event.

A resident of the Hudson Valley, Kitty is a past contributor to Hudson Valley Magazine. Visit her website at kittysheehan.com and find her on Twitter at @KittyASheehan.