Writer’s Circle Fall Classes Will Spark Creativity in Authors of All Ages

by The Village Green
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When novelist and Maplewood resident Judith Lindbergh realized her son’s Language Arts homework required him to adhere to a formula that left little room for imagination, creativity, and self-expression, she felt compelled to change the way children approach writing.

The Writer's Circle founder Judith Lindbergh explains the elements of setting and building an authentic narrative world

The Writer’s Circle founder Judith Lindbergh explains the elements of setting and building an authentic narrative world

Watching her boys play outside, creating characters and story lines, inspired Lindbergh to start a children’s writing workshop called ‘Story Magic’ that emphasized imagination and play.

The author began teaching twice weekly, and while applying her personal philosophies about writing, she was thrilled to witness her first young writers blossom. In fact, two of her original students still study with her today and have become accomplished teen writers.

Since 2010, The Writer’s Circle has grown rapidly, consistently adding new classes and workshops for both children and adults, as well as growing additional locations in multiple towns throughout the state.

The popularity of the programs proves that “there’s a need for creativity-based writing,” says Lindbergh, who adds that TWC’s mutli-genre workshops appeal to writers across various levels of expertise. From short story writers and memoirists to poets and playwrights, all are welcome.

“Our class model brings a lot of camaraderie,” the novelist says. “We start to form a community.”

Whether you’re a published author, a closet writer, or someone who hasn’t put fingers to keyboard creatively since college, Lindbergh says The Writer’s Circle provides an environment where all can blossom.

With its roots in the Maplewood-South Orange community, as TWC has flourished, offshoots have begun in Ridgewood, Montclair, and Summit.

“The Writer’s Circle has been blessed with so many wonderful teachers in our area who want to give back to their communities which has enabled our expansion,” explains Lindbergh.

In addition to being gifted instructors, all are published authors, with the exception of one, who is an educator, TWC’s founder notes.

“It’s wonderful because they’ve been through the ropes, from first draft all the way to publication,” Lindbergh says. “They have the expertise but also compassion for the struggle of the writer and they can help the students get through the hard points as well as the fun part of writing.”

The Writer's Circle sci-fi / fantasy class with Paul Witcover.

The Writer’s Circle sci-fi / fantasy class with Paul Witcover.

Lindbergh outlined a sampling of the upcoming offerings, which begin Monday, Sept. 21. Space is currently available and registration can be completed through the website:

Story Magic (3rd -5th Graders)

Through group dynamics, imaginative prompts, and role-playing exercises, students learn the basic elements of story creation and put their inspirations on paper. Children gain confidence in a fun, non-judgmental environment where everyone supports each other’s ideas.

“We love to see reluctant writers turn around and not hate it and if we make you a writer fantastic, even better,” Lindbergh says.

The Young Storymakers

Taught by Lindbergh, this invitation-only workshop is for younger students with an insatiable drive to write. Email or call for more information about joining The Young Storymakers.

Writing & Selling Your Memoir

This class, taught by a literary agent, takes readers through the process of telling their most personal stories in a compelling, relatable, and readable manner while crafting a “good hook” and finding their voice.

Where Do I Begin? 

“This is a great class for those who haven’t written since college or who have secret stuff in drawer but don’t know how to get it going,” says Lindbergh. “The class meet Thursday mornings, and each week introduces different aspect: character, plot, creative fiction and non-fiction. The critiques are gentle, as they should be when you’re really raw. It’s a great beginners or refresher class.”

Annual Writer’s Retreat 

A second annual Writer's Retreat will be held Nov. 6 - 8 at St. Marguerite's Retreat House in Mendham.

A second annual Writer’s Retreat will be held Nov. 6 – 8 at St. Marguerite’s Retreat House in Mendham.

TWC’s second annual Writer’s Retreat will be held Nov. 6-8 at St. Marguerite’s Retreat House in Mendham.  The weekend retreat offers adult students time and space to write in an inspiring location without the distractions of daily life. Each writer will have their own small, private room, sharing communal bathrooms. Linen and bedding is supplied.

“Our motto is: We want every writer’s work to come to its own best level. Each writer has a place to grow and we try to help them get there,” Lindbergh says.

The Writer's Circle students listen intently to advice on revising their stories.

The Writer’s Circle students listen intently to advice on revising their stories.

For a glimpse at some of the work that has come out of the Summer Intensive workshop held at Drew University, Lindbergh suggests perusing Brave New Words, an online journal celebrating the creative vision of TWC’s students.

Registration for fall workshops and the writer’s retreat is ongoing and can be completed online. For more information, visit The Writer’s Circle website or call 973-900-0415.


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