Past Events

Strike a Prose: High School Edition – Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

This workshop is for teen writers. In this creative writing workshop, we will gain inspiration from the portraits and words of icons such as Michelle Obama, LL Cool J, and Toni Morrison, who are featured in the National Portrait Gallery exhibition Contemporary Americans. We will explore themes such as social justice, hope, and the American Dream, and write our own stories or poems in response. Open to high school students (in 9th-12th grade).

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Strike a Prose: Middle School Edition – Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

In this creative writing workshop, we will gain inspiration from the portraits, lives, and words of Michelle Obama, LL Cool J, and Toni Morrison and others who are featured in the National Portrait Gallery exhibition Contemporary Americans. We will view and discuss works of art, learn how to develop characters and settings, and write short stories. Open to middle school students (in 7th and 8th grade). Each participant must be accompanied by an adult. Fee: $12 (includes registration for one child and one adult).

Strike a Prose: Elementary School Edition – Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

In this creative writing workshop, we will write stories inspired by the portraits of American icons such as Michelle Obama, LL Cool J, and others who are featured in the National Portrait Gallery exhibition Contemporary Americans. We will learn how to develop characters, create conflict and action, and use our imagination to write exciting stories. Open to elementary school students (in 4th-6th grade). Fee: $12 (includes registration for one child and one adult).

Nordic Nights: Snack, Sip, Cook + Write – Cookology Culinary School, Ballston Quarter

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.

Vision Board Workshop – Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

Come create your vision for 2020! View and discuss works of art, do creative writing, and engage in art making. Create a vision board that reflects your personal vision for the future and the vision for the future of Africa.

Strike a Prose: Writing for Justice (nonfiction) – National Portrait Gallery

In this creative writing workshop inspired by The Struggle for Justice, you will explore themes of democracy, social justice and freedom as you build a blended essay. The exhibition features images of activists and leaders from American movements for social justice. Through reading, discussion and guided writing exercises you will reflect on what it means to fight for something you believe in.

Strike a Prose: Crafting Dialogue (fiction) – National Portrait Gallery

We will focus on writing dialogue by drawing inspiration from the special exhibition In Mid-Sentence, which features some of the most iconic conversations and speeches in 20th century American history. We will also practice composing subtext, diversions and misdirection as we explore how to write about things said and things left unsaid. This workshop will be highly collaborative and interactive.

Strike a Prose: Write from Your Soul (cross-genre) – National Portrait Gallery

We will view powerful images of the legendary opera singer and activist in the exhibition One Life: Marian Anderson. Anderson once said, “Everyone has a gift for something.” In this creative writing workshop, you will reflect on your special gifts, talents and dreams. We will also look at how Anderson fought for civil rights as a black woman and an artist and imagine how we can use art to change the world.

Life as Metaphor: Personal Essay Writing

Life is beautiful. It’s also messy. In this personal essay writing workshop, writers will use the messiness of real life for inspiration. Participants will practice drawing from experiences, asking hard questions, and diving in deep to reveal their true selves through their creative work. Hosted at The Writer’s Center.

Strike a Prose: Persistent Women

In this writing workshop series, we focused on writing strong female leads, using fiction and nonfiction writing prompts. The writing workshop will be held in connection with Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

Strike a Prose: Writing Self-Portraits 

Creative writing workshop series at National Portrait Gallery. In this writing workshop series inspired by Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today, we created writing that reflects on how we see ourselves and how we obscure how others see us.

Strike a Prose, Jr: Creative Writing for Families 

Workshop Inspired by Unseen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar at Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

Strike a Prose, Jr: Creative Writing for Teens 

Workshop Inspired by Unseen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar at Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

Strike a Prose: Creative Writing Inspired by Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now

Workshop series held in conjunction with Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now at Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Classes addressed complex themes such as race, history, family, and identity.

Strike a Prose: Creative Writing Inspired by “UnSeen”

In this series of creative writing workshops, we will draw inspiration from artwork in the exhibition UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales Day and Titus Kaphar to develop new writing. Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry writing prompts will be provided. (April – May 2018)

Sweat of Their Face Writing Workshops

This series of writing workshops will be held in connection with the exhibition “The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying American Workers” at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition combines art and social history with representations of American laborers across genres and centuries of art. (January 2018)

Sylvia Plath Inspired Writing Workshops

This series of writing workshops hosted by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, was held in conjunction with the exhibition “One Life: Sylvia Plath”. (October 2017)

In Solidarity: RAWI Creative Writing Workshop

RAWI (The Radius of Arab American Writers) is sponsoring a one-day workshop in Washington, DC. As part of a series of  workshops held in different cities, the In Solidarity: RAWI Creative Writing Workshop is designed for Arab-and Muslim-American writers, writers of color, and writers from any marginalized communities. (March 2017)

Bill Viola: The Moving Portrait

This series of writing workshops was hosted at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in conjunction with Bill Viola: The Moving Portrait. (March 2017)

Create Space for Creative Writing in Your Busy Life

Learn how to make time and space for creative writing in your life. In this workshop, we will explore the elements of creative writing and work through exercises designed to help you develop the habits of a successful writer. (May 2016)

Social Justice Writing Workshopsocial justice

In this workshop, we will discuss how to write for different audiences (supporters, critics and the uniformed); how to use data and research to build your content; and how to interview people. This class is open to writers of all levels interested in creating social change. (November 2015)

Twenty Minutes a Day  

Learn how to generate new writing, tackle revisions and even submit your work for publication, using the time you have. (October 2015)

Creative Writing Workshop

Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature offers a creative writing workshop in connection with the Reykjavík International Literary Festival. (September 2015)

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A Happy Writing Hour

The Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature and the Reykjavík International Literature Festival offer a happy writing hour at the Iðnó Theatre festival bar.  (September 2015)

Write Your Own Adventure: Wine & Writing Class

Writing, wine and adventure. Join us for a celebration of the finer points in life in this fun Spanish wine and cheese tasting class and creative writing workshop. (July 2015)