A Few Words about Joni’s Teaching Philosophy
“My teaching begins with the assumption: If you show up in class, you’re a writer. I focus on craft. CRAFT. CRAFT. CRAFT. I don’t let writers trash people’s work, including their own. I have people share their drafts, however rough, to expose the mysteries of the creative process. My FEEDBACK starts with appreciation. I believe in building stories from their strengths up. I don’t let anything slide. I have pet peeves, mostly to do with characters who cry. (A little weeping goes a long way.) Even the most accomplished writers benefit from the DEADLINES and VALIDATION a workshop provides. I know how to help aspiring authors get started, and get out of their own way. I know how to help them FINISH. My goal is to make people want to bound to their writing desks, whistling in ANTICIPATION of the work ahead. Short of that, I want them to know that the struggle to find the right words is WORTH it. Because it is.”
Joni has taught creative writing through her own Writer’s Center in White River Junction, Vermont, in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College, and at graduate programs, workshops, and conferences around the country. She also leads expressive writing workshops at women’s shelters, the VA hospital, the restorative justice program, and a diversity of other nonprofit and educational organizations.
A freelance writer, Joni is a contributor to The Writer magazine, and her feature articles have appeared in numerous publications. She also works as a creative consultant for a variety of business and nonprofit organizations to inspire or create meaningful content.
Guest Lecturer, past speaking engagements include: Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop • New England Library Association • Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College • New Hampshire Romance Writers of America • Harvard Medical School CME • Road Scholars Program, Lifelong Learning Adventures • Burlington Writers Workshop • League of VT Writers • Bookstock, Woodstock VT • Miami Book Fair • National League of American PEN Women.