Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The 4th Annual IWWG Boston Area Conference: Writing the Heroine’s Journey – In Poetry, Prose, Memoir & Drama, will be held in Medfield, MA, May 10 and 11, 2019

The 4th Annual IWWG Boston Area Conference: Writing the Heroine’s Journey – In Poetry, Prose, Memoir & Drama, will be held in Medfield, MA, May 10 and 11, 2019
The International Women’s Writing Guild (IWWG) will host its 4th Annual Boston area writing conference, featuring four outstanding IWWG instructors, on Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, 2019. The conference offers new and experienced writers craft insights into writing memoir, poetry, prose and monologue, and will be held at The Montrose School, 29 North Street, Medfield, MA from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. May 10, and from 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on May 11.

This year’s conference theme focuses on writing the “heroine’s journey,” a narrative process developed by author of the bestselling The Heroine’s Journey, Maureen Murdock. In 1949, Joseph Campbell presented a model of the mythological journey of the hero that has since been used as a template for the psycho-spiritual development of the individual. This model, however, did not address the task for today's woman, which is to heal the wounding of the feminine that exists deep within herself and the culture. Now, more than ever, women are speaking their truth as the feminine demands healing.

Throughout the conference, writers will apply insights and themes of The Heroine's Journey, which redefines the heroic quest for women in memoir, poetry, prose and drama. Attendees will experience all four workshops, including: Boston area playwright and poet, Kelly DuMar, presenting: Voices of Unsung Heroines - Writing Photo Inspired Monologues for the Stage; Brooklyn, NY based poet, Vanessa Jimenez Gabb, presenting How the Political is Personal: The Heroine Probes Context in Poetry; Geneva, Switzerland based author Susan Tiberghien, presenting The Alchemy of Journaling: Emerging from Darkness as Heroine; and California based author and Pacifica Graduate Institute faculty member, Maureen Murdock, presenting The Heroine’s Journey as a Narrative Structure for Memoir & Myth.

The conference opens Friday evening with Maureen Murdock’s workshop exploring the stages in 
The Heroine's Journey. As women claim their voice and name their experience, this workshop will provide a framework for their voice to be heard. Come prepared to write your own narrative as a heroine’s journey.

In Susan Tiberghien’s workshop, The Alchemy of Journaling, she asks, why are we afraid to see ourselves as heroines?  Why are we afraid of the dark? If we enter the dark, we will emerge as heroines: vibrant, creative, compassionate. We will look at examples from C.G. Jung, Etty Hillesum, and Marion Woodman. We will see journaling as alchemy with its three steps: entering the dark, nigredo; distilling the memory, albedo; polishing the gold, the new consciousness, rubedo.  Through active imagination, we will find a memory, a dream, an image and take into the dark, we will distill its meaning, and find its worth. 

How is the Political Personal? Vanessa Jimenez Gabb will invite participants to think about the ways we can generate poetry based on the heroine's journey to bring attention to the various systems of which we are products, privileged, oppressed. We will reflect on and write our respective journeys through poetry, and share with one another so that we may realize their collective power. 

Kelly DuMar invites participants to write the voices of unsung heroines.You hear them, you see them, you know them – these women from your families, your personal history, and your community – but their stories are as yet unwritten,” she says. In this workshop you’ll develop a draft of a short, dramatic monologue for the stage, inspired by voices of unsung heroines. Bring 1-3 photos of unsung heroines (from your life or from history) to write from.

The mission of the non-profit IWWG is to foster the personal and professional empowerment of women through writing. Our regional conferences, as well as our online digital village of writing webinars, and our annual summer, writing intensive at Muhlenberg College, offer women writers the support necessary to hone their writing craft and benefit from ongoing personal and artistic development.

Writers of all levels and genres are welcome. The space is wheelchair accessible. The cost is $130 for IWWG Members; $150 for non-members, and $95 for students with ID. It’s possible to register for just Friday or just Saturday. There is a new member special of $185 (includes $75 Annual IWWG membership dues). Registration fee includes snacks and lunch. To learn more about the workshops, presenter bios, and to register online, go to You may also contact Dana at or Kelly DuMar at

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Clearing. Play by Helen Edmundson. Hub Theatre Company--Boston.


  Review by Doug Holder

Imagine--if you were arrested for speaking your native tongue. If the land you poured your sweat, your spirit, your very life was taken away with hardly a second thought. Imagine being deported to another country, culture, that will probably view you as yet another alien, pocking the landscape. No this ain't "Let's Make America, Great" territory, but 17th century Ireland, when Oliver Cromwell's English army ravaged the countryside, seizing land, separating families, and killing up to 620,000 people between 1641 and 1653.

In " The Clearing" by Helen Edmundson and directed by Daniel Bourque, presented by the Hub Theatre Company of Boston, the play focuses on the fate of two couples who are affected by draconian British law and its barbaric manifestation. Basically, the play centers around a young couple expertly played by Brashani Reece ( Madeline Preston) and Matthew Zahnzinger ( Robert Preston). The actors show the slow burn and raging fire of a crumbling marriage, as they are consumed by cruel fate.

Jeff Gill, a veteran actor, was certainly a standout in this performance. He plays the British Governor,  a man with a craggy face and persistent hacking cough. The couple pleads their case in front of him to no avail. Gill sticks out like an angry wound, stating between coughs, " Ireland is a whore. And a whore can't be trusted." He is an unblinking stooge of the state, and blathers off his senseless edicts like any drunk on a bar stool.

At certain points it was heard to hear the actors, especially when they addressed opposite sides of the audience. I could definitely see the hand of the director , as the scenes flowed, and were well-orchestrated. 

Hats off to Lauren Elias  a co-founder of the Hub Theatre Company, and her band of friends and actors.