Tara Skurtu is back by popular demand! Tara’s last workshop, Writing from Memory, was such a hit that we couldn’t resist offering another great workshop… or two. These workshops are meant to compliment each other and would make for a very productive and creative weekend. We realize not everyone has the time to take both, but we’re warning you, it might be hard to choose… As a little incentive, we are offering a 10% discount to everyone who signs up for both.



How to Be a Better Writer

Creative writing is a process of constant discovery—part instinct, part craft. We learn our stories while we write them. We’ve all had this experience: Fueled by a bout of inspiration and instinct, you write a first draft. You love this draft, you’re proud of yourself. Then, the next day, you read it again: I thought this was so much better yesterday! Have no fear, you’re on the right track, and here’s the magic formula:

(final draft) – (first draft) = editing and revision!

In this intensive writing workshop you’ll bring in a short draft of poetry or prose and, in a fun, relaxed environment, we’ll read aloud, discuss what’s working and why, and offer constructive critiques. You’ll leave with writing tips and tricks for your craft toolkit and gain feedback that will guide you towards that “leave-alone-able” draft you’re after. And, as an added bonus, you’ll become less afraid of having your work “out there.”

Saturday May 4, 2019

10:00 am – 2:00 pm


Venue to be announced but somewhere central in Vienna

Workshop Registration Form


How to Get Your Writing “Out There”

Do you want to take your creative writing to the next level? Would you like to see it eventually—yes, I’m about to say it—published? This intensive workshop is all about A) polishing your work to get it to that “leave-alone-able” state; and B) walking you through the submission process. From cover letters to bios to choosing where to send your writing, we’ll go over how to know when your work is ready to send and how to get it “out there” in the world!

Sunday May 5, 2019

10:00 am – 2:00 pm


Venue to be announced but somewhere central in Vienna

Workshop Registration Form


Story Coach

Do you have an idea or a draft of a novel, short story, memoir, non-fiction, or personal essay that you would like guidance with? These 1:1 sessions are designed for those who wish to learn more about the craft of writing, re-writing and the process of getting published

Topics covered: developing story ideas, strong beginnings, point of view, tension, character development, and finding the emotional truth of the story.

Instructor: Kirsten Donaghey is a published writer, editor, and story coach and the co-founder of Write Now.

For more information send Kirsten an email at




Exploring the Art of Writing: 3 workshops with Catherine McNamara

Get ready for a weekend of writing with award winning writer, Catherine McNamara.  Come away inspired, informed, and energized. Catherine is one of those special writers who effortlessly lures you into the lives of her characters, and paints beautiful sensual pictures as the backdrop. If you live in Vienna, but have come from somewhere else, the workshop on Location is definitely for you. Catherine will talk about a sense of place, of leaving, and arriving, and how place shapes and touches us. All workshops include exercises, tips, and discussions.


Saturday March 30 – A Practical Guide to Submission and Revision, 10:00 – 12:30, €65

Where are you with regard to submitting your work? Do you try too hard to perfect your text? Do you dash off work without carefully considering guidelines? Do you show your work around before you submit? How do you handle rejection? In this workshop I will speak about the 100-rejection Challenge which will help you get over the defeat of rejection. I will talk about submission strategy and objectives with regard to literary reviews and competitions, dealing with short stories and flash fiction. I will give you a rundown on UK, European and American literary reviews, and point out websites that carry key information. I’ll also talk about the reality of finding an agent who believes in your work, and the road to publication. What is real in the business of writing, and where will you find meaningful satisfaction?

Saturday March 30 – Sensuality in Writing: A Study of Restraint and Explicitness, 2:00 – 4:30, €65

Some of the clunkiest writing occurs when authors give us sex scenes. Why is this? Why does too much become hilarious or vulgar, while some writers find an arousing balance between suggestion and representation. How is this done? In this workshop we will do a series of exercises to learn this craft, to find a balanced voice to explore this central but tricky subject. We will be comparing texts of the great sensual writers – Anais Nin and Henry Miller, James Joyce – with more contemporary writers such as Haruki Murakami, Mary Gaitskill, Aimee Bender, Toni Morrison, Milan Kundera, James Salter, and Kristen Roupenian, author of last year’s New Yorker phenomenon, ‘Cat Person’. We will also glance at the Guardian’s Bad Sex Award – why do these texts written by capable writers strike a dud note? How can we avoid this in our own texts?

Sunday March 31 – Location, Voice and Authenticity, 10:00 – 2:00, €120

Many of us who travel or live abroad are drawn to characters and stories that belong to these different worlds. How can we tell these stories with authenticity and respect? What aspects of a location should we convey, to avoid cliché and add to the story? How do we make an environment convincing to the reader, one that is not our birthplace or where our birth tongue is not spoken? How do we effectively adopt the voice of a member of a different gender, persuasion, race, age, origin? All fiction relies upon story-telling that convinces and transports the reader, but what are today’s rules? In this workshop we will consider the topic of cultural appropriation and ask ourselves, do we have the right to tell another’s story? What must we keep in mind? We will examine Kazuo Ishiguro’s story ‘Crooner’, set in Venice, from his collection Nocturnes, a sublime example of voice and location, and the many voices in Nam Le’s book The Boat. We will also discuss some of my own stories set in West Africa, the search for authenticity, and the risks and riches of using personal experience in your work. How does one create the new reality of fiction, from events or places in life? We will also be doing a series of exercises about each aspect of the topic – location, voice, authenticity – to help give you the bones of a new story or project.

Classes are limited to 10 participants. 10% discount if you sign up for all 3 workshops.

Venue: Döblinger Haupstrasse, 1190


Workshop Registration Form