“Above all, a writer needs to write.”  Ernest Hemingway

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Five Nights, Five Tarts

An in-city, weekly writing retreat in Larchmont Village. 

Wednesday evenings, from 7 - 10 pm

Start Anytime, Rolling Enrollment

Everyone has a wonderful story to tell -- one they fully intend to write. Some day…when the job is on track or the GPA is right or the baby sleeps through the night. When the planets are aligned or the kids are all grown or when you've finally got a room of your own.  

Many people ask me how I write.  After much thought, I have an answer.  Here it is: The secret to writing is staying in the chair. Then they ask, "How do you get there?"  

How about we write together, right now, and tell your story?

Five Nights, Five Tarts is for writers of any level, working on a project of any genre and at any stage in its development. This is your time set aside to develop your play, poem or pilot, your memoir, novel or short story, your college essay or dissertation, a love letter, a Dear John or Jane letter, your screenplay or blog. The only requirement for enrollment is a desire to write.

Five Nights, Five Tarts is a weekly space for a small group of writers to shut down their phones, computers and tablets, to step out of the ordinary day with its extraordinary demands. A space to settle into silence and switch on your imagination. 

Five Nights, Five Tarts is more a writing workshop than a writing class. I will run it, monitor it and moderate. I will read each writer’s work weekly outside of class so I am familiar with your ideas, project and plan.

Five Nights, Five Tarts is a place to enjoy the privilege of time set aside to focus on a project in the side-by-side company of other writers and a guide. Then, we eat a warm tart, read and chat. 

 Five Nights, Five Tarts Format

7:00 Reading and long-hand writing.   (One hour) 

Reading is often a preliminary activity to writing. We are sparked by a word or idea, a personality, predicament or story. Attending the voice of another is sometimes the quickest way to hear your own.

Typing is expedient, yet the physical act of filling a page with words engages us more deeply. Bring your favorite pen, notebook or pad. This time of writing by hand is an opportunity to review and relish our daily experiences, and surprise ourselves with new ideas.  

I will be in the kitchen area preparing a tart.

8:00 Solitary writing side-by-side on individual projects.   (One hour)  

This time is dedicated to your project. Many writers, or people who wish to be writers, struggle with sitting still and staying in the chair. They may relish a rush of words yet fear the more stagnant phases of writing. Some writers compulsively revise and miss out on the flow. This weekly session of simply staying in the chair and concentrating on your computer screen, notebook, tablet or legal pad will inform your writing sessions at home. Staying with the work, enduring the doldrums or engaging in the hard labor of forging ideas into words and sentences, will lead to an experience of the rewards of the craft. 

I will put the tart in the oven.

9:00 Eat tart or fruit, drink tea and talk.   (One hour)

Our final hour is group time. Writers of various levels, inclinations and types of imagination learn a lot from other writers of various levels, inclinations and types of imagination. We will eat and discuss what was read or written. You may choose to read your work aloud. Positive feedback will be welcome. 

Five Wednesdays, Five Tarts will meet in my home in Larchmont Village over a six week period, to allow for scheduling conflicts. Start any time. Enrollment is limited.  The fee is $400.00. 

Contact me via this site or obriendevon4@gmail.com.

Take your unfinished work out of the drawer or off your desktop. Set aside five Wednesdays to write. Nourish your ideas with your attention. Make progress on your project. Enjoy the solitude and the pleasure of side-by-side writing. Eat a tart or fruit and listen or share. Make Five Nights, Five Tarts your time to sit in a chair and stay there.  

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Devon O’Brien writes essays regularly for Vogue. Her essay, Freeing the Spirit (April 2012) was anthologized in the book by Rizzoli Press, Nostalgia in Vogue, alongside essays by Didion, Maynard and Atwood. She has published in many publications, including The Los Angeles Times and Variety. Last fall, Of Lice and Men -- her novella on parenting and dating -- was presented in 32 installments on The Huffington Post. Her plays have been presented in Los Angeles, London and on the east coast. She recently completed a screenplay for an independent producer. O'Brien is represented by Sterling Lord Literistic, and is currently at work on a memoir. Every summer, she teaches reading and writing at Crossroads School. 

O'Brien is a graduate of Brown University with a B.A. in Semiotics, and holds a Masters in Professional Writing (MPW) from The University of Southern California, a multi-genre program. She graduated in 2006, with honors, and awards in fiction, playwriting, screenwriting and children’s stories. 

 

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