Fall Workshops!

Hello friends,

Happy fall to all! Here in Minneapolis it’s crisp and cool and invigorating, my favorite kind of weather. I’ve just scheduled my fall series of workshops and would love to see you on my (virtual) porch for an exhilarating, fun, intensive afternoon or evening. All my 3.5-hour workshops are taught via Zoom and designed for writers of any and all experience. No preparation or skills required. Each workshop requires a minimum of five participants and is strictly capped at ten.

One-day workshop fee: $100. Note that I also offer a pay-as-you’re-able option to participants under financial duress (I’ve been there myself), up to two per class, from $10-$95, no questions asked.

Registration and payment: To register for an individual workshop, email me at alisonmcghee@gmail.com or simply send payment and note which class you’re registering for. Registration is tentative until payment is received. You may send payment via Venmo to @Alison-McGhee-1, Zelle to alisonmcghee@gmail.com, or by personal check. Please email me with any questions.

See below for our fall workshop at a glance. For details about each workshop and testimonials from past participants, please head on over to my workshop page.


Memoir in Moments: Thursday, October 13, 2022, 6-9:30 pm Central Time (note time zone)
The Transformation of Trauma: Friday, October 14, 1-4:30 pm Central Time (Note: this class is always free)
The Freedom of Form: Sunday, October 16, 1-4:30 pm Central Time (note time zone)
The Art of Writing Picture Books: Sunday, November 6, 2022, 1-4:30 pm Central Time (note time zone)
The Intuitive Leap: Tuesday, November 8, 2022, 6-9:30 pm Central Time (note time zone)
The Gift of Words: Tuesday, November 15, 2022, 6-9:30 pm Central Time (note time zone)

ALSO, I’m in the midst of designing a one-week Writing Together session for January 2023. This is a brand-new offering of morning and/or evening one-hour writing sessions offered via Zoom. Each morning and evening for one full week, I’ll open by reading a poem or micro prose piece focused on a certain emotion or experience, then offer an accompanying 20-minute prompt in which we all write together. There’s strength and joy in working together, even if it’s silent, even if our little Zoom boxes are black, and I’m so looking forward to this new offering. More details to come!

Poem of the Week, by Ron Koertge

As a little kid I had a baby doll I loved and played with, but no Barbies – I hated them. They scared me. Maybe because they were so grownup-looking. Those big boobs, the feet permanently stuck in a pointing-down position. I didn’t want big boobs, high heels, fancy clothes.

Ken creeped me out too – that coiffed hair, that shoulders-back confidence, that gleaming I’ll be the decision-maker here, little lady look in his eye. It all gave me the willies. It still does.

Cinderella’s Diary, by Ron Koertge

I miss my stepmother. What a thing to say,
but it’s true. The prince is so boring: four
hours to dress and then the cheering throngs.
Again. The page who holds the door is cute
enough to eat. Where is he once Mr. Charming
kisses my forehead goodnight?

Every morning I gaze out a casement window
at the hunters, dark men with blood on their
boots who joke and mount, their black trousers
straining, rough beards, calloused hands, selfish,
abrupt…Oh, dear diary—I am lost in ever after:
those insufferable birds, someone in every
room with a lute, the queen calling me to look
at another painting of her son, this time
holding the transparent slipper I wish
I’d never seen.

Click here for more information about Ron Koertge.


Words by Winter: my podcast

Poem of the Week, by Gerald Stern

A long time ago, one of the men from my writing class at the Minnesota AIDS Project, a beautiful writer whose memoirs I still keep in a “Favorites” file, invited us all over to his house for a potluck dinner. I remember he was lying on the couch when we arrived. He hadn’t felt well for years. He’d had to leave his job at the theater. He moved slowly.

But at one point in the evening, talking about one of his favorite performances, he suddenly drew back, hands extended, and transfixed me with a few lines from the play. I remember how his eyes blazed, how his voice changed. I saw for a minute the wildness of his young man self, in love with theater, in love with life, before disease ravaged him.

The Dancing, by Gerald Stern

In all these rotten shops, in all this broken furniture
and wrinkled ties and baseball trophies and coffee pots
I have never seen a post-war Philco
with the automatic eye
nor heard Ravel’s “Bolero” the way I did
in 1945 in that tiny living room
on Beechwood Boulevard, nor danced as I did
then, my knives all flashing, my hair all streaming,
my mother red with laughter, my father cupping
his left hand under his armpit, doing the dance
of old Ukraine, the sound of his skin half drum,
half fart, the world at last a meadow,
the three of us whirling and singing, the three of us
screaming and falling, as if we were dying,
as if we could never stop—in 1945—
in Pittsburgh, beautiful filthy Pittsburgh, home
of the evil Mellons, 5,000 miles away
from the other dancing—in Poland and Germany—
oh God of mercy, oh wild God.

Click here for more information about Gerald Stern.


Words by Winter: my podcast