2008 - 2009 - 2010
am so happy that I did not let my insecurities keep me away. It was
the perfect mix of people and, of course, Irene was great. J.B.
whose own beautiful writing is almost enough to learn from by itself,
has a style of teaching that is rare in that she wraps her critiques
in a very gentle, positive blanket.... It makes you feel encouraged
even when there's a lot of rewriting to do. After working with Irene,
I couldn't wait to get back to my book and have been writing feverishly
ever since. (It's 5:00 am now!)
needs were met head on and I far surpassed my goals. Never one to
consider myself a team player, I found the group experience incredibly
powerful and motivating. Seeing everyone's progress in such a short
time, under Irene's direction, was truly amazing.
lives are deeper as we become a part of the community of writers that
you are creating.
David & Lauren
year, the people who come to her workshop are from all walks of life
yet alike in their love of writing. The Adirondack atmosphere is like
none other. We all are able to check our inhibitions at the door and
embark on a wonderful journey for the weekend
This was my
first writer's retreat and it was the best thing I could have done
with three days, both personally and professionally. It addressed
what I wanted to get out of the weekend, which was focus and constructive
criticism about my writing, which in turn gave me momentum to move
toward my goals.
alchemy going on here - each "part" of the retreat, excellent
in itself, contributes to a "whole" that far exceeds all
likely expectations. All that we, the participants, have in common
is a love of writing; our ages, writing expertise and backgrounds
are diverse. But the energy and excitement generated in this all too
brief three-day period fuels some remarkable writing and renews commitment
to a writing life. Everyone - novice and "pro" - grows in
this creative environment.
I embarked on the Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat with enthusiasm
and some reserve. Since college days...I have written only poetry....
No problem. I felt from the beginning that I was among friends and
peers. Not only was the group, under her leadership, congenial and
inspiring...she is an outstanding teacher in a quiet, unobtrusive
way, a delightful woman whom I would love to know better and number
among my friends. P.L.
signed up for the first retreat, not knowing what to expect. I was
unfamiliar with memoir writing, but I got hooked ....I developed an
idea for a book I would like to write. At the second retreat, I was
able to solidify and finish a few chapters....At the third retreat,
I was able to regain the energy and focus I had been losing over the
year. The true power of Irene's teaching methods became especially
clear at the third workshop. Not only did I see the new members of
the group noticeably improve their writing after a few days (which
happened each retreat I attended), but I was blown away by the boldness
and strength the returning members exhibited in their new work. It
was evident we had all been working with Irene's advice in mind. I
know I'm now writing
pieces I never could have imagined I was capable of.
of Irene Sherlock's students shared their feelings about Irene's
showed me how to dig deep, to unearth my story, and then revisit
the tale, to hone it. She is an elegant and eloquent guide through
the creative landscape."
MFA student Laura Baione Hayden
I had been a writer for many years, involved in television and films,
and thought I knew it all, my one semester studying with Irene at
Western Connecticut State, taught me much more than I could cover
in one short paragraph of praise. She is an incredibly creative
writer and an inspiring teacher.
was lucky enough to be part of Irene Sherlock's writing class at
Ann's Place several times. Her class changed my life. Although my
job is time consuming and exhausting I now find time to write in
my journal and prepare for my future as a writer. Irene was so generous
with her time and knowledge about what it takes to fine tune and
polish a piece of writing.
rare and wonderful it has been to have found a writing mentor like
you, who offers such gracious guidance, inspiration, and integrity
to aspiring writers! Of course I benefited greatly from your expert
writing instruction, but more than direction on technique, your
skill and willingness to connect with my ideas and to actively reach
into the meaning in my writing have had the most enduring impact
on my work. You have the unique ability to both look into the written
words on the page to explore their meaning, and the unwritten, underlying
stories yet needing encouragement to be told. This kind of support
for the writer to explore new directions, to stretch and grow, and
to more confidently access the unexpected has led to some of the
most fruitful and satisfying writing I could ever hope to do. Through
the kind sharing of your own experiences that both serve the material
and feed the writer, you have encouraged me to better connect with
myself, with others, and with the world at large through my writing,
which in the end is the best result. I wish for myself, as well
as for the many others likely to discover what I already know, the
great good fortune of being able to write with you once again someday
in the future!
Master of Fine Arts candidate
Western Connecticut State University
Irene Sherlock is a writing 'mentor' in every sense of the word.
She had the uncanny ability to read a piece and instinctively know
what I was striving for; and then knew what changes I needed to
make to get my work there. I've studied under many different writers,
and have rarely received the thorough, balanced critiques that Irene
gave. She delivered supportive feedback in an honest, upbeat manner
that never left me feeling deflated or discouraged-quite the opposite,
actually. Her ability to focus on the minute details as well as
the overall direction of a piece has helped me complete a draft
of my first novel and achieve a greater understanding of the craft.
Irene's thorough feedback, guidance and generosity exceeded anything
I could have hoped for.
Colleen Wright '07,
MFA in Professional Writing Program
Writing Weekend Workshop
Noon, Friday, July 18 through
Noon, Sunday, July 20, 2014
A workshop taught
by Irene Sherlock
spanning two days
to take that next step toward becoming a better writer? Whether your
focus is fiction or nonfiction, memoir or the novel, writing teacher
Irene Sherlock will help you hone your writing style and deepen your
understanding of the craft.
Morning and afternoon workshops (6 in all) will focus on the writers'
own works in progress. Participants will read aloud and receive feedback
on their work. Whether you've been writing for years, recently graduated
from an MFA program, or have just now decided to take the leap out of
your private notebooks and into a classroom, this weekend will provide
the structure and the impetus you need to reconnect and recommit to
the writing process. Come, be encouraged and engaged. Phone or email
are invited to send a maximum of ten double-spaced pages (required for
new applicants) that you wish to be workshopped during the weekend,
so that Irene can familiarize herself with your work. Also, participants
may schedule individual consultations with the instructor.
Saturday after dinner, participants will read from their work for the entire group.
This affords writers an opportunity to improve reading skills while getting a
sense of where their work stands.
hope to provide an inspiring and informative weekend for writers, thinkers and
about registration cost, cancellation policy and waiting
SHERLOCK MAKING NEWS!
new chapbook may be ordered now from Finishing Line Press. Read a review
and see ordering information here.
TO COOK" ~
Irene, with her friend Gina Weckle, have created a quirky and fun combination
cookbook and style retrospective that will make you simultaneously giggle,
reminisce and salivate. Sneak a peek and leave a comment at their blog,
Forward it to a friend and bookmark it for an easy return visit.
"FOODCHILD" ~ In addition to the Adirondack Mountain
Writers' Retreat and her university classes, Irene also teaches some
private writing classes. She also periodically offers a highly-acclaimed
workshop called "Foodchild,"
which helps participants understand how culture, family and gender shape
(literally!) our eating habits and influence the way we feel about our
Irene Sherlock's new web site,
Gina and Irene on YouTube:
Irene Sherlock's poems, essays and short stories have been published
in Alimentum, Chautauqua Literary Journal, Cloven Sphere, Cream City
Review, Connecticut Review, Dos Passos Review, Fairfield Review, Melusine,
Miranda Magazine, Poem-memoir-story, Poet Lore, Poetry Motel, Primavera,
Roux, Runes, Slipstream, Tar Wolf Review, The New York Times, White
Pelican Review and in many anthologies. Her essays have aired on WSHU
National Public Radio. In addition to work as a book editor, Sherlock
is a drug and alcohol counselor in Danbury, Conn.
2008 Irene has served as writer-in-residence at the Adirondack Mountain
Writers' Retreat, thanks in part, to funding from Poets and Writers
and New York State Council on the Arts. Several times a year, she
leads writing workshops in her home for beginners and advanced writing
years as a technical writer, I recently made my first venture into
creative writing. I was fortunate to have had Irene Sherlock as
my instructor in a memoirs writing workshop, and in a 1-semester
college level course in creative writing with focus on the human
interest story. Ms.Sherlock was masterful at generating classroom
discussion and in teaching us - by example and class exercises -
how to turn personal experiences into riveting prose. I hope to
be in her classroom again.