workshops and manuscript development
Thursday, March 23, 2023, 7:00 - 8:15 pm ET. Pick up the pen and get messy in this (monthly) guided online freewriting session. We'll share our writing intentions and complete short and sweet writing exercises. No prior experience necessary, just a willingness to experiment on the page.
$20 per participant.
"This is what I did for myself this year. Writing from the heart is a better gift than things from Amazon!"
"Thank you for your kindness and care."
"It was exactly what I needed."
"Your workshop offered me permission to write."
Tuesday, March 28, 5:00-6:00 pm, Lee Library, 100 Main Street, Lee, MA
Pick up the pen and get started in this free, guided workshop with simple writing prompts. Learn practical tips for sustaining a writing habit you can stick with and enjoy. Open to all adults. Space will be limited. Masks encouraged. Registration required: firstname.lastname@example.org
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Lee Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
REGISTRATION FULL- Chaneling Melville! Seven writers, one workshop per month for seven months. Starts November 19, 2022 with a tour and class in Melville's study and continues one Saturday each month (2:00 - 5:00 pm) through May. (I'll present a class on April 15, 2023, "Travel Writing from Home.")Details HERE.
Travel Writing from Home with Lara Tupper (Saturday, April 15, 2023, 2:00 - 5:00 pm) - When traveling to a new place, near or far, we tend to notice and appreciate the details of our surroundings. The challenge is to apply this outlook to our everyday lives at home. We'll look to Melville and other well-travelled writers of the Berkshires (and beyond) for insights; we'll discuss ways to approach familiar settings with fresh eyes. No writing experience necessary, just a willingness to observe.
Thursday, June 1, 7:00-8:30 pm and Thursday, June 8, 7:00-8:30 pm
Becket Athenaeum, 3367 Main St, Becket, MA 01223 - FREE
Pick up the pen and get started in two free, guided workshops with simple writing prompts. Learn practical tips for sustaining a writing habit you can stick with and enjoy. Open to all adults. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Lee Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. Pre-registration required: info@BWLibrary.org or (413) 623-5483
Registration will open in late summer: This workshop is for prose writers with work in progress (fiction or nonfiction) who'd like to commit to weekly sessions and receive specific feedback on one (10-page) piece. You'll share your writing with the group and I'll offer craft guidance about where to take your writing next. Class size will be limited.
WHEN: Five Mondays, 6:00 - 8:00 pm ET (Dates TBD)
Workshop drafts = 10 pages, double-spaced. More details upon registration.
WHAT to expect from each session:
-Craft discussion on revision, points of view, structure, research and how to sustain helpful writing habits.
-A friendly and supportive group of writers to cheer you on and help you improve.
-Specific feedback on your work from Lara.
-Reading and "homework" suggestions.
COST/ENROLLMENT: Please reach out to inquire via the CONTACT page.
TESTIMONIALS from previous participants:
It was so interesting and fun to connect with other writers, to hear Lara's feedback, and to see how it ended up shaping my own work.
I found Lara's approach useful because everyone was disarmed. No need to be defensive. I could take in more of the feedback and revise.
The best part of the workshop series was Lara's gentle, positive guidance and support over the five-week period. Equally important was the opportunity to exchange ideas with fellow writers about each other's work. There was great camaraderie, which made the experience invaluable.
The workshop with Lara was helpful to me in many ways. And fun. Lara's expert melding of the principles of writing with examples from participants' own work provided a basis for lively and non- judgmental conversations. I enjoyed being with a group who are committed to exploring various approaches to their writing. Reading other's work carefully helped me know more about my own.
It was great to have a deadline and to get constructive feedback. Interacting with other writers and their work was enjoyable and surprisingly helpful in improving my ability to edit my own work. It was also comforting to see other writers struggling with the same challenges I face when writing. In addition to being very knowledgeable and organized, Lara is a compassionate teacher and skilled facilitator. It was an added bonus to connect with other people in a meaningful way.
Online or in person. After 20 years of teaching in universities and retreat centers, I now bring workshops to companies seeking stress relief for employees. I believe creative expression allows us to bring our best selves to work. As evidenced in studies by Dr. James Pennebaker, expressive writing helps us to clarify ideas and intentions on the page. This practice is particularly valuable in workplace settings with high turnover and high stress levels, where expressive writing boosts employee morale.
This class includes a brief overview of the health benefits of expressive writing/journaling, short writing exercises and tools for sustaining stress reduction through writing. No prior writing experience necessary. Please reach our for further details via the CONTACT page.
Gift certificates now available for workshops, private coaching or manuscript development. Please reach out via the contact page.
Private Editing/Manuscript Guidance
In addition to group workshops, I'm currenly taking clients in need of manuscript development and/or editing services (fiction or nonfiction). See the CONTACT page and send me an email to chat about this.
"Lara is a dedicated, talented teacher and writer. She brings her heart, creativity and professionalism to her work, helping people to learn, grow and explore in a wonderful way." - Robert Mulhall, CEO, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health
"Lara Tupper is one of a kind. Her gift is her poise-- her calm, nurturing presence. She helps us slow down, breathe and focus. And she's a whiz on virtual platforms; during our 'new abnormal,' that's worth its weight in gold." - Amanda Merk, Library Director at Lee Library Association, Lee, MA
"Our organization hired Lara Tupper to guide a group for a Journal Writing for Wellness seminar. Lara was excellent! She led the group in a safe, supportive way, and taught us how to uncover gratitude in our lives. She was professional, easy to understand, and was extremely knowledgeable. I found the seminar incredibly helpful, and I'm looking forward to having her come back for another session in our community. THANK YOU, Lara!" - Joanna Geiger, Marketing Manager at Salisbury Visiting Nurse Association
"The practice of journaling is an important practice at any time, but especially during this time of uncertainty. We engaged Lara to educate our team on journaling for wellness. After the session, I received messages of positive feedback thanking me for arranging the session. I encourage you to have Lara join one your team meetings...happier colleagues makes for a better workplace!"- Bridget McGregor, CPA, Senior Vice President Accounting at GID Investment Advisers LLC
"Lara brings skill, knowledge and humor to her writing classes. She makes participants feel welcome and leads experiences that help people find new perspective. Always quick with a smile, Lara is reliable, experienced and a delight to be around." - Ellen Rose Cunningham, Senior Workshop Programmer, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health
Sunday, September 19, 6:00 pm: inspired by Maine's Lobster Week. As restaurants around Maine prepare for a week celebrating the state's iconic crustacean, two authors will be dishing up their experiences in a free Zoom presentation Sunday, September 19 at 6 p.m. (ET) around Maine fiction, the lobster industry, and how the sea has shaped their writing. Lara Tupper, a Boothbay native, will discuss her new book, Amphibians. K. Stephens, who has lived in Midcoast Maine for almost 30 years, is the author of The Ghost Trap. Join Lara and K. for a lively chat featuring a brief reading from each author and 12 recommended Maine books to put on your reading list.
Thursday, September 9, 2021, 6:00 PM: My hometown! Outdoor event on the library lawn. Lara Tupper reads from her new short story collection, AMPHIBIANS. Free. Books for sale via Sherman's Bookstore. 4 Oak Street
Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538 Phone: 207-633-3112
Saturday, September 11, 2021: Books in Boothbay, Maine's Largest Book Fair, 9 AM - 4: PM. I'll be there from 9 AM - 12 PM. Please come say hello, Maine friends! Boothbay Railway Village, 586 Wiscasset Road (Route 27), Boothbay, ME 04537. Free entry. Books for sale via Sherman's Books.
Saturday, August 21, 2:00 - 4:00 PM. In store-event: Lara reads from her new story collection, AMPHIBIANS, signs books and sings some tunes with special guest, Bobby Sweet. Masks required inside. 63 State Rd.
Great Barrington, MA 01230 Phone 413-645-3256
Thursday, July 29, 7:00 - 8:00 pm: Lara Tupper reads from her new short story collection, AMPHIBIANS. With novelist Alexis Schaitkin, author of SAINT X. Dewey Hall, 91 Main Street, Sheffield, MA.
Thursday, March 25, 2021: 7:00 -8:00 pm ET - FREE VIRTUAL EVENT- Lara Tupper in Conversation with Joan Silber, her mentor and teacher.
Saturday, March 20, 2021: 1:00 - 2:00 pm ET- FREE VIRTUAL EVENT- Lara Tupper in conversation with Matt Tannenbaum, proprietor of The Bookstore in Lenox, MA. Recording archived HERE.
Saturday, November 14, 2020: 1:00 pm ET: Thank you Boston Book Festival and Massachusetts Center for the Book for featuring OFF ISLAND in #MassBookBites! Snippets of new books from across Massachusetts. My short video, with accompaniment from Bobby Sweet, is available to view HERE @47:10. I'm proud to represent the #Berkshires.
Wednesday, July 15, 2020: 7:00 pm- 8:00 pm: Author Talk with Lara Tupper, who'll discuss her new novel, OFF ISLAND. Hosted by the New Lebanon Library. The link to join the event will be available on July 15 on the NLL website: www.newlebanonlibrary.org
Friday, June 19, 2020, 7:30 pm: Hosted by Mia Boynton of Monhegan Memorial Library on Monhegan Island, ME, where Lara's new novel, OFF ISLAND, is set. Christina brought art history to life in her latest novel, A PIECE OF THE WORLD. We'll discuss Paul Gauguin, Andrew Wyeth and our mutual love for Monhegan. Zoom link HERE (or click above): https://monheganlibrary.com/events/
Thursday, March 26, 6:30 EST via ZOOM: Lara Tupper and other authors from Encircle Publications read from their work.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 7:00 pm: Lara Tupper in conversation with Bill Roorbach about her new novel, OFF ISLAND. 273 Congress Street, Portland, ME
Saturday, March 7, 2020, 1:00 pm: Book party and reading from OFF ISLAND. 3367 Main Street, Becket, MA. My local library! With special guest Bobby Sweet. Plus, paint by numbers, mystery prizes and treats.
Why and How I Teach
As a creative writing adjunct professor at Rutgers University (2002-2010), I taught fiction and nonfiction courses to students with rich stories to tell. For the past eleven years, I've served as writing faculty for Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers.
In addition to traditional writing workshops in fiction and non-fiction (in which members read one another's writing over the course of several meetings), I offer non-traditional classes (day, weekend or week-long), both online and in person. Please see "Past Events," below, for details. I believe in creating a safe, supportive environment in which writers can feel free to be messy and bold. I believe in honest kindness and kind honesty. I like to make jokes. I can't promise they'll be funny. I'll never force you to share words that need to remain private. I consider it my privilege to hold space for your creative efforts.
For more information, please get in touch via the CONTACT page.
Kind endorsements from class participants:
"Lara is tough but tender."
"This instructor is kick-a$$. Love her!"
"Lara is a very focused and compassionate teacher."
"She rocked the house! It was perfect. I just want to see her sing!"
"I like that you're in the world, Lara Tupper."
"Lara is a world class writer and teacher."
[Lara] is an inspirational presenter."
"I recently took your class, The Traveling Mindset, which was terrific! Your workshop offered me permission to write. Thank you for your kind guidance." -Amy, Kripalu Center
"Your workshop has helped me stay connected to myself—I’m now writing every day. I think I can speak for all of us [in class] when I say you are a great mentor. Thank you for your kindness and care." –Elaine, Kripalu Center
"I had a breakthrough, thanks to you-- I truly enjoyed your weekend workshop. It was calming, centering, inspiring and affirming. It was exactly what I needed." - Kathleen, Genesis Center
"Thank you again for your wonderful and evocative workshop on Gratitude Journaling. The freedom and trust with which people wrote and shared their work is a testament to the safe atmosphere that you created." -Gloria, Kripalu Center
"Thanks for a great class - it was one of the highlights of the weekend for me. What made it nice was the gentle community building, the short and easy 'go-around-the- room' at the start, and brief, meditative centering." -David, Kripalu Center
"Thank you for the workshops you offered today. I appreciate you bringing your gift to others and I resonate with the energy you share in your teaching. Best to you!" - Janel, Kripalu Center
"Everyone was singing your praises! You had a great crowd. You have such a lovely down to earth sincere presence and open manner, it was a pleasure to meet you in person and to be a part of your workshop."
"We loved the collage workshop - in fact, [my wife] has done it a number of times since then with close friends and her sister. Breakthrough stuff. Thanks for opening that door for her!" - Ned Leavitt, founder, The Ned Leavitt Literary Agency
"See what R and R at Kripalu and one hour with you can do? Thanks, Lara, for initiating this first of many writing journeys that will find their way to the world of readers." - Bill, Kripalu Center
“Lara Tupper is a teacher with the ability to bring forth the very best in her students. In only a two hour session at Kripalu, Lara turned a room full of people (about 72) into confident writers – pros and novices alike. We wrote from the heart, soul and depth of past and present feelings. The sharing of our stories made all of us believe in our own creativity, abilities and in ourselves.” - Berkshire Festival of Women Writers representative Lorrin Krouss
"The writing class was my favorite. She is amazing!"
"Ms. Tupper, who presented the writing workshop on New Year's Eve, ran a fantastic session and stimulated an urge to write fiction that I'm very excited about."
Kripalu's Best of the Berkshires Week: The Berkshire region has long been an enticing place for writers. Learn about four prominent authors who lived and wrote nearby: W.E.B. Du Bois (of Great Barrington), Nathaniel Hawthorne (of Stockbridge), Herman Melville (of Pittsfield), and Edith Wharton (of Lenox). In this informal writing workshop, we'll read brief excerpts from the authors, consider their ties to the area, and try some brief writing exercises of our own. No prior writing experience necessary.
Four-day retreat with presenters Jeff Zimmerman, Lauren Behrman, Ken Nelson and Bobby Sweet. Find resilience and rewrite your story through open discussion, yoga and creative practices (journaling and song). Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Stockbridge, MA.
IS183 Art School, Stockbridge, MA: Less is more, as they say. Perhaps this is why Ernest Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words and called it his best work. In this light-hearted workshop we’ll look at tales from the popular Six-Word Memoirs series and compose our own. Warning: this writing practice is highly addictive! More artful than a tweet; less complicated than a sonnet. In honor of St. Valentine.
Setting Intention Through Journaling and Creative Expression, a four-day retreat: While the new year provides a fresh opportunity to initiate change in our lives, many of us could use support and a new way to manifest our desires. Join Kripalu faculty members Lara Tupper and Izzy Lenihan as they open up the creative passion that exists in all of us to better understand—and better act upon—the wishes you have for your life, both large and small. This program explores the catalyzing effect that journaling and other creative exercises can have in moving change and aspirations forward. Discover fun and engaging techniques designed to clear the clutter of the right brain, opening a path to skillful and intuitive action to achieve your goals. Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Stockbridge, MA
Tuesday, November 7, 2017: On Election Day 2017 (ie: the one year anniversary of Election Day 2016), join me for for a short and painless journaling exercise, completed at your leisure, wherever you happen to be. No writing experience necessary, just a willingness to consider positive intentions on this day. Part of the #ConciousnessAndCoffee movement, I invite you to spread the word and and prepare your favorite hot beverage. I'll post the specific writing prompt on the Facebook event page on November 7.
Bard College at Simon's Rock, Great Barrington, MA: Child's Play--“Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days,” said Flannery O’Connor. In this informal writing workshop, we’ll mine childhood details and draft sketches of past feats and foibles. We’ll look at published examples of writing about childhood (both from a child’s perspective and an adult’s perspective) and share our work in a supportive, friendly space. Please bring your writing tools (journal and pen or laptop) and a willingness to reminisce. berkshirewomenwriters.org.
Complete a series of writing exercises, hear recollections from others and learn tips for sustaining a writing practice at home. No prior writing experience necessary, just a willingness to recall past and present details in a supportive, friendly space. Genesis Center, Westfield, MA
A writing workshop for travelers near and far. Sheffield, MA
Yoga and writing, a four-day retreat co-taught with yoga teacher extraordinaire Cristie Newhart.
What are your true stories? And which stories can you let go of? Write and reflect on the beautiful Genesis Center grounds in Westfield, MA
Lenox Library, Lenox, MA, Welles Gallery: a memoir- writing workshop about mining childhood details.
Spectrum Playhouse, Lee MA - Write and share new work each week in this intimate and supportive writing circle.
Soak in fresh air and new writing ideas in the scenic Berkshire hills. Henry David Thoreau did his best thinking while sauntering through the Massachusetts woods; this workshop offers guided walks on Kripalu's trails, discussion of naturalist poems and essays and creative writing exercises designed to cultivate awareness. Thoreau, who walked with little regard for speed or purpose, provides an apt lesson in being present with what is. Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Stockbridge, MA
From the archive: writing stuff
Thank you, Rob Caldwell!
Hosted by Amanda Stern.
With Jim Shepard.
McSweeney's, Tin House, Smith Mag, and the Rumpus present a night of comedy, music and readings. Amy Tan, Jonathan Ames, Ricky Moody and Six-Word Memoirists read their work. (Mine is about inapproriate internet time.)
With fellow Six-Word Memoirists (on Love and Heartbreak).
With fellow Writers Room readers.
A celebration of the "Who's Still Alive" issue at Piano's, Lower East Side.
The Rutgers University Libraries' exhibition will shine a spotlight on the superlative scholarship at Rutgers by highlighting the recent publications of university faculty. Publications will be added to the Rutgers University Libraries' collections when the exhibition closes.
Moderator for panel discussion with authors Varley O'Connor, Vyvyane Loh and James Reed.
My Nana made sure the house was filled.
The Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance hosts Maine writers for an afternoon of book signings and cool plants.
My hometown bookstore.
Lenox Library, Lenox, MA: Celebrate the power of women's words in honor of International Women's Day. Readers will share short excerpts from Writing Fire: An Anthology of Women's Words (Green Fire Press) and new work.
Becket Arts Center, Becket, MA: Excerpts and songs from Lara Tupper's novel, A Thousand and One Nights, with Bobby Sweet on guitar