Pen Central is the Seacoast’s (Portsmouth/Kittery) hub for writing workshops, tutorials, consultations, editing, and readings.
We are dedicated to nurturing beginning, practicing, and established writers. Our fiction, memoir, and poetry workshops offer a community for learning, inspiration, and mutual support.
Our writers come from all walks of life. They come to explore a desire to write, hone their craft, and revise for publication.
We’d love to hear from you about what kind of writing workshops you’re interested in! Please take a moment to respond to our brief survey.
Kimberly Cloutier Green, one of Pen Central’s founding members and workshop leaders—and the 9th Poet Laureate of Portsmouth, NH—invites everyone to watch for announcements about the upcoming PPLP project that will engage writers in a workshop series around a common question and set of prompts. Look for announcements here and on the PPLP website page at www.pplp.org.
Write a micro story of about three sentences using the following words in any order: turtle, suspicious, blue, key
Who’s telling the story? How does it end?
Six Word Memoir
Tell your whole story, in six words. Here’s an example: “Torched the haystack. Found the needle.” Tom Boardman
This is a “word snapshot” that captures one moment in summer, the first line could have 5 syllables, the second line could have 7 syllables, and the third line could have 5 syllable. Or not.
Using Charles Simic’s poem “My Shoes” as a model, write a poem about a well-used pair of summer shoes or slippers… the idea being to capture not only something of the life of the wearer (you) but also something of the spirit of your summer. Have fun fully describing the shoe or slippers and (in the process) suggest why it is that these shoes matter. What do they hold of summer, of you?
Shoes, secret face of my inner life:
Two gaping toothless mouths,
Two partly decomposed animal skins
Smelling of mice nests.
My brother and sister who died at birth
Continuing their existence in you,
Guiding my life
Toward their incomprehensible innocence.
What use are books to me
When in you it is possible to read
The Gospel of my life on earth
And still beyond, of things to come?
I want to proclaim the religion
I have devised for your perfect humility
And the strange church I am building
With you as the altar.
Ascetic and maternal, you endure:
Kin to oxen, to Saints, to condemned men,
With your mute patience, forming
The only true likeness of myself.