Upcoming Fall Writing Workshops


Let’s Talk About It: Understanding Race and Culture Through Portraiture and Writing
Wednesday, September 30, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM EDT
Cost: Free
Register here

Please join the National Portrait Gallery and DC-based writer Willona Sloan as we engage in creative writing exercises designed to encourage meaningful dialogue around topics that include race and cultural identity. Through guided looking of works of portraiture from the collection of the Portrait Gallery we will write to celebrate and affirm diverse perspectives and identities with the goal of fostering community across cultures. This program is intended for writers of all levels who are 18+.

Virtual Teacher Workshop | Portraits Inspiring Student Writing about Current Events
Session I – Strike a Prose for Teachers
Wednesday, September 16, 2020 3:30 — 5:00pm EST
Cost: Free
Register here
Learn teaching strategies while generating new writing of your own in this creative writing workshop. We will use portraits of social justice activists from the Portrait Gallery’s collection as the inspiration for creative writing that explores current political issues, including the ongoing protests for police reform and racial equity. The workshop will include guided nonfiction and poetry writing exercises.

Virtual Teacher Workshop | Session II – Portraits, Pens & Protests
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 3:30 — 5:00pm EST
Cost: Free
Register here
In this workshop, we will share strategies for using portraits to inspire creative writing about current political events. The workshop will include interactive discussion and mini-writing exercises, designed to help you implement these strategies in your classroom. The workshop will build on Session I but may also be taken as an independent workshop.

wine tasting
Virtual Writing Hour
Tuesdays, 5:00 – 6:00 PM EST
Cost: Free
Register here
I host a weekly, free virtual writing happy hour on Tuesdays. Please join us whenever you can. We look at one work of art that inspires the writing prompt. You can also work on your own writing during the time.  It’s just a fun way to gather in a collective creative space.


Virtual Workshops: Poems & Zines

Here are two new workshops that I will be hosting online in May and June. Check them out!

DIY Zine Making Workshop


Date: Saturday, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM (dates available in May and June)
Cost: $25
To register, please email me.

During this interactive workshop, you will learn the steps to take to create, publish, and distribute your own zine. Think of this as a crash course in DIY zine-making! We will develop your zine’s mission statement, and do brainstorming exercises and activities that will help you plan the content for your zine.

Bring plenty of paper and a pen, markers, scissors, and glue (if available). You will be asked to bring three images that represent something important to you. We will start to create your zine during the workshop and work on designing your layout.

We will discuss how to develop strong personal essays that express your ideas and perspective. We will talk about best practices for conducting interviews with bands, artists, and activists, and practice developing interview questions that lead to great stories.

Words Have Power: Poetry Writing Workshop


Date: Wednesday, May 13, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST or Wednesday, June 10, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Cost: $25
Register here

Join us for a celebration of the power of social action poetry! We will draw inspiration from reading and discussion of poems by women of color who have used their words to fight for social justice, and create a poem of our own.

During this workshop, you will practice experimenting with voice, rhythm, and poetic form to develop a poem that communicates a social message, connects with readers, and tells a compelling story. You will also learn how to create a mini-zine to showcase your poem.

Class readings may include works by Joy Harjo, the current United States Poet Laureate; Suheir Hammad; June Jordan; Adrienne Rich; or Natalie Diaz, and participants will be provided with a suggested reading list for additional study.


Virtual Creative Writing Happy Hour

Load up your cheese plate and join me for a virtual, creative writing hour at the National Portrait Gallery!

wine tasting image

Virtual Writing Happy Hour

Bring your own happy hour beverage of choice and write with us at the Virtual Writing Hour at the National Portrait Gallery. Our goal is to create a virtual space where writers can create, connect, and draw inspiration from the Portrait Gallery’s online exhibitions. We will provide writing prompts, and you are also welcome to bring your own writing project-in-progress. We will write for about 30 minutes and end each session with a brief discussion or reading.

The happy hours will be held on Tuesdays at 5:00 PM, beginning on Tuesday, April 21.  Choose the date you wish to join us. Register here.

Creative Writing Prompt Newsletter

I hope you are well. I am planning to start a weekly newsletter with creative writing prompts for adults and children for the next couple of months, with the goal of inspiring creative writing, reducing anxiety, and providing a little joy! It will also help me to alleviate some of my own anxiousness.

If you want in, please send me your email address at creativegeniusdc@gmail.com or you can send me a DM. If you are already on my mailing list, please email me to let me know that you would like to receive this newsletter.

Take care,


Strike A Prose Adult Series – Postponed

Who Am I and Who Are We? (creative nonfiction)
This is workshop has been postponed. New date TBD.

What does it mean to be “American” in 2020? In this creative nonfiction workshop, you will draw inspiration from Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today, which features 50 artists responding to the current political and social context in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. We will employ techniques from fiction and nonfiction writing to explore issues of identity, self-representation, and connectedness, as we tackle exhibition themes such as immigration, race, sexuality, violence, community, and family.

Strike A Prose: Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
This is workshop has been postponed. New date TBD.

In this creative writing workshop, you will develop flash fiction inspired by the short videos in Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today, which features 50 artists responding to the current political and social context in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. We will watch and discuss videos featured in the exhibition, and practice writing characters, setting, conflict, and action for flash fiction stories that grab readers’ attention.

Strike A Prose: Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
This is workshop has been postponed. New date TBD.

In this poetry writing workshop, you will draw inspiration from Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today, which features 50 artists responding to the current political and social context in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. We will discuss how to use works of art to inspire your writing; how to experiment with voice, rhythm, and form; and how to develop poems that communicate a social message, connect with readers, and tell a compelling story.

video: Hugo Crosthwaite, A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez

Sip & Write on Tuesday, March 10

Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Time: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: Capitol Cider House, 3930 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20011
Cost: $25
Register here

Sip on cider and write!

Ernest Hemingway’s daily writing goal was to start by writing “one true sentence.” In this writing workshop, you will practice writing fearlessly, taking risks, and digging for your own version of truth. Open to writers of all levels. Writing prompts will be provided. You will walk away with three new pieces of writing and some new writing buddies.

Your ticket also includes one pour of cider.

Cook + Write

I am really excited to host this fun workshop that will make even people who hate winter (like me!) enjoy the season.


Wednesday, Feb. 19, 7:00 – 9:30 PM
Cookology Culinary School
Ballston Quarter
4238 Wilson Blvd, Ste 3110,
Arlington, VA, 22203
Cost: $45  Register here

In this wintry-themed writing workshop, which combines comforting cuisine and creative writing, we will gain inspiration from the beauty, wonder, and mystery of winter. We will write short stories with memorable characters, setting, conflict, and action, as we enjoy winter-inspired Nordic comfort foods. You will also learn Nordic recipes through a cooking demo by Ed Hardy, who studied with Sweden-raised celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.

Menu: Glass of Glögg, dill butter and vasterbotten cheese popcorn, Swedish meatball “slider” with lingonberry and cucumber, gravlax and sour cream on potato gaufrette, and mini pancakes with lingonberry jam and ginger cream.






Vision Board Workshop

I had the distinct honor to host a vision board workshop at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. It was a really beautiful and positive experience for me. Such great creative energy in the room!


Vision Board Workshop 2

Vision Board Workshop 4

Vision Board Workshop on Jan 18

vision board

Come create your vision for 2020! View and discuss works of art, creative writing, and art making as writer and literary host Willona Sloan leads participants in the creation of vision boards that reflect their personal visions for the future and their visions for the future of Africa.

Date: Saturday, January 18, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Location: Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20560
Cost: FREE
Register here.