writing workshops

Inspired by Place: A Generative Writing Workshop in Civita di Bagnoregio, ITALY

June 22-29, 2020
7 nights total
5 days of instruction, 1 day of excursion

Deepen your writing and explore the connection between writer and place in this immersive, generative writing workshop Inspired by Place, co-taught by returning Civita Institute Fellows and published writers Gabriela Denise Frank and Sharon Mentyka.

Interweaving immersive small group workshops with daily journeys through the spectacular setting of Civita di Bagnoregio, Gabriela and Sharon will guide attendees through a hands-on experience of place that inspires new writing.

Writing about place has long been a way to look both inward and outward, to explore and understand ourselves by observing the world around us. Eudora Welty describes the experience as “…by knowing where you stand …. you grow able to judge where you are.”

We will weave observation and readings, with journey and reflection as we work to develop skills in image, voice, language, structure, and narrative. The workshop is open to writers of all levels and suitable for writers of fiction, nonfiction, prose or poetry. With a small group of 8 to 10 participants and 2 workshop leaders will provide opportunities for plenty of one-on-one learning lessons, critiques, and time to write. For more information, email Gabriela or Sharon with your interest and we will be in touch!


I believe that learning to love the process of writing leads to great writing. In my one-on-one coaching and group workshops for high school juniors and seniors, I help students hone their writing process skills as well as their craft, particularly as they prepare to write their college application essays.

In the very best sense of the word, positive coaching can help students become more confident writers, with a better understanding of how to approach and best utilize the process of writing and revision, something that will serve them well during their college years and beyond.

College admissions deans routinely report that the majority of the personal application essays they receive are travelogues. They tell where the applicant has been or what she has done, but not why he did it or what they learned from it. This is not surprising. Memoir writing is tough, even for an experienced author. Yet we’ve come to expect 17-year old high school students to nail it on their own in 500 words or less.

First-person writing is rarely taught in high school English and AP English classes tend to stress writing that conforms to the College Board’s expository, analytical, and argumentative essay models. While there is no magic formula, I believe that bright, motivated students can craft great essays. And the difference between a good essay and a great one can help a qualified applicant stand out from the competition.

Visit my College Essay Coaching website for more information on the services I offer, my essay coaching process, and approximate fees.