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Joni B. Cole

Author Teacher  Speaker

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"A Best Book for Writers." 
Poets & Writers magazine

workshops

craft talks

1:1 coaching

freelance

teaching &

             consulting

BOOKS

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This Day SERIES

Series creator Joni B. Cole was having a bad day when she conceived the idea for the “This Day” books. Trying to deal with a serious illness in her family, job woes, and a child who refused to wear socks in the winter, she wondered if any one else was feeling so low. Surely not. But what were other women doing and feeling and thinking on this very same day? And so a book series was born out of self pity, curiosity, and a need to connect. Each book in the three-volume collection invited about five-hundred women across the country and from all walks of life to create a day diary on a single day…and share it with the reading public.

Books
Teaching

TEACHING

"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." 

Founder of the Writer's Center of White River Junction, Vermont, Joni works individually with aspiring and seasoned authors, helping them to find their voice and develop their projects every draft of the way. She teaches a variety of workshops in fiction and creative nonfiction online and in person. She has taught in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College, and as part of the faculty of the former New Hampshire Institute of Art (now part of New England College). She is also a frequent guest instructor and speaker at universities, libraries and conferences. Joni also leads expressive writing workshops at a diversity of nonprofit organizations.

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For info about workshops, click here.

Host a half-day or full-day retreat with Joni B. Cole

Consider this intensive workshop the equivalent of a 4-week master class rolled into one session. You'll receive personalized feedback on a work-in-progress. In addition, we'll cover an array of tips and techniques related to craft and cultivating a productive creative process that will leave you inspired and energized long after you return to your writing desk. To host a retreat, you simply need to provide the space and participants, and Joni will tailor the workshop to your group's specific needs.  All levels welcome. Half-day retreat: $145 per participant. Full-day retreat: $195/participant. Min: 6 participants.

Click here to schedule a workshop, talk, or a creative consult.

ABOUT + CONTACT

Photo Credit: Helmut Baer

Joni B. Cole is the author of two books for writers: Good Naked:  How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier (University of New Mexico Press , 2022); and Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive  (UNM Press, May, 2023). She is also the author of Another Bad-Dog Book: Essays on Life, Love, and Neurotic Human Behavior. Her newest essay collection (title and cover reveal soon!) is forthcoming in fall 2023. In work and life, Joni looks for the extraordinary in the ordinary, the wonder, humor, and mystery in everyday moments. This focus inspired her to create the three-volume "This Day" series that shares a day in the life of hundreds of women across America and from all walks of life (“fascinating and eye-opening" —Publishers Weekly).

A freelance writer and literary consultant. Joni is a contributor to The Writer magazine, the Jane Friedman blog, and other publications. She served as program director for Bookstock Literary Festival 2022, creating and overseeing 36 author events for this 3-day festival. In addition, she works as a creative consultant for a variety of individual clients, as well as academic and nonprofit organizations.

Joni teaches a series of online creative writing  workshops and retreats through her own Writer's Center in White River Junction, Vermont. She also teaches through Maine Media College, Dartmouth College, and other institutions. Joni also leads writing workshops at women’s shelters, the VA hospital, the Hood Museum of Art, and at a diversity of other academic and nonprofit organizations.

Guest Lecturer, speaking engagements include:  

Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop • Independent Publishers of New England • New England Library Association • Dartmouth College • Women in Publishing • 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

Nominee, USA Fellowship Award; Pushcart Prize 

Joni Cole - Radio Clips
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CONTACT

For more info or to request an interview, talk, workshop, or retreat, please contact:
 

Joni B. Cole 

jonibethcole@gmail.com 

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About
Events

EVENTS

Saturday, January 28, 2023

5 Tips for Productive Revision - League of Vermont Writers

We've all heard the adage: Writing is rewriting. But  we all know the revision process can be fraught with wrong decisions or simply a sense of overwhelm. Where do you start when confronted with a messy manuscript? How do you continue to make inspired choices that move your work forward? What are some tricks to elevating your prose, especially when you're all too familiar with the material? This talk offers five key takeaways that will help you revise faster, smarter, and with more enjoyment. As part of this event, you'll be invited to share aloud 100 word excerpts (an opening or closing paragraph, a favorite or troublesome passage, a dialogue exchange, a short scene, etc.) from a work-in-progress to help exemplify some of the concepts in this talk. 

For more information, visit https://leagueofvermontwriters.org/

Thursday February 16, 2023

Jumpstart Your Creativity: A Prompt Workshop
Enfield Public Library, Enfield, NH
12:30 - 2 p.m.

In this workshop you will write from a prompt and be invited to share for appreciation. Who knows what you’ll discover on the page—a memory, a riff, some interesting wordplay …? During the workshop, Joni will also share 5 insights on how to make the most of your own creative process in any endeavor. 

Friday, February 17, 2023

Wit, Wisdom, and a Writing Workshop
Orford Library, Orford, VT 
5:30 - 7

In this fun, instructive workshop, you’re invited to write from a “prompt” and see what happens on the page. You'll also have the opportunity to share your effort aloud for verbal responses and appreciation. Expect to leave with lots of tips on craft, and how to enjoy a positive and productive creative process. Come one, come all, and leave all self-doubts at the door!

For more information, call the library at: 603.353.9166

or email: orfordfreelibrary@mytopsmail.com

Monday, February 20, 2023

A Master Class on Narrative Craft (via a Prompt)
Dartmouth College

6 - 7:30 p.m. 

In this workshop for members of the Dartmouth Writers Society, participants will write from a prompt as a segue into a master class on the narrative techniques you can use to achieve powerful prose. You'll also leave with tips for productive revision, and ways to work with (not against) your creative process. Nonfiction and fiction writers welcome. Bring something to write on/with, and leave all self doubts at the door. 

Wednesday February 22, 2023

Q&A for Emerging Writers
Howe Library, Hanover, NH

Hosted by Clamantis Literary Magazine and the Howe Library
6:30 - 8 p.m. 

Come to this open forum with questions and insights in hand as we discuss everything from productive revision, to a happier creative process, to tips for emerging writers seeking publication. This event is sponsored by the Dartmouth Writers Society but is open to the public and all aspiring authors.

February 24 (3 pm) – February 26, 2023 (2ish)

Good Naked Weekend Write-Away (just a few openings left)
Hotel Coolidge in White River Junction, VT

Facilitator: Joni Cole (plus one guest instructor)
$375 (includes dinner Friday evening, lunch and dinner Saturday, Sunday light brunch, plus snacks throughout the weekend)
(Only a few spaces left)

One of the most productive things we can do as writers is shed our fears and share our efforts. To that end, this gathering of about 20 writers offers a weekend of interactive workshops, quality instruction, and no Power Point presentations. Our prompt sessions provide a crash course on narrative craft. Our workshops on “Fast Feedback” and “Maniacal Editing” and other issues offer tips for productive revision every draft of the way. Plus, our “Open Mic Openings” event gives you the opportunity to read aloud for appreciation, feedback and instruction. Come. Write. And learn from our collective wisdom. Newbies and seasoned authors welcome. Please leave all self doubts at the door. To confirm your participation or request more info: email jonibethcole@gmail.com

March 1, 2023

Good Naked: Exposing the Myths and Popular Practices that Undermine Your Creativity
Women in Publishing Summit
Time: 10 - 10:50 am (Room A)

Oh, the things we believe! So many of the ways we think we should write actually get in the way of a positive and fruitful creative process. This talk lays bare those counter-productive practices—most of them based on long-standing myths of how “real writers” work—and offers a host of ideas that can help you write more, write better, and, yes, even be happier. (Because who isn’t happier when writing more and writing better?) Expect to leave this lively, eye-opening session with lots of actionable do-this-not-that insights that will help you get started, stay motivated, inspire your creative process right through your final revision!

Date TBD

Mundane to Meaningful: How to Craft Powerful Personal Essays
Maine Media Center, Rockport, Maine - Online
6:30 – 8 p.m. (Plus a 20-minute private consultation per participant)
Instructor: Joni B. Cole

The personal essay form not only offers you stories to share with your family, it is also especially popular in today's wide variety of print and online publishing venues. But how do you tap into meaningful story material? How do you turn a memory or life experience into a powerful essay? In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn how to structure essays and the key narrative techniques that make readers care, understand, think, laugh, or all of the above. Expect submission deadlines, brief in-class writing exercises, instruction on craft, and feedback discussions that serve every participant’s work from the first draft to the final form. You should leave with at least one essay close to being finished, as well as several new ideas. Open to writers of all levels. Max enrollment: 12.

Register through Maine Media: https://www.mainemedia.edu/workshops/item/from-mundane-to-meaningful-how-to-craft-powerful-personal-essays-online/

                   PREVIOUS EVENTS

Tuesday, Dec. 6

Enfield Public Library, Enfield, NH
Story Gifts: A Prompt Workshop that Keeps on Giving
12:30 - 2 p.m.

 

In this workshop you will write from a prompt to tap into your stories, or simply discover the fun and freedom of capturing your thoughts on the page. Whether the result is a meaningful memory or simply a flow of thoughts, this writing is meant to celebrate your voice, and perhaps give you something to pass on to someone else– a story gift, if you will (in lieu of yet another fruitcake!).

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Independent Publishers and Authors of New England (IPNE)
Annual (Virtual) Conference 
5 - 6 p.m.
Good Naked: Exposing the Myths and Practices that Undermine Your Creativity

Oh, the things we believe! So many of the ways we think we should write actually get in the way of a positive and fruitful creative process. In this talk, Joni lays bare those counter-productive shoulds—most of them based on long-standing myths of how “real writers” work—and replaces them with practices and mindsets that are foundational to helping all of us write more, write better, and be happier. Expect to leave this lively (semi-interactive) session with lots of actionable do-this-not-that insights that will inspire your creative process from the blank page to your final draft! For more info: https://www.ipne.org/

Friday, November 18, 2022

Still North Books, Hanover, NH

5:30 - 7 p.m.

FREE and open to all

Workshop: Sip-n-Prompt 

Come if you love the experience of writing from a prompt to tap into your creativity and stories. Also come if you've never written from a prompt, to discover how fun and weirdly meaningful this experience can be. Everyone who cares to share will be invited to read aloud for appreciation and insights. Writers, newbies, people looking for something to do on a Friday, all are welcome and leave any self-doubts at the door! 

Registration required at the bookstore.

Friday, Nov. 11 2022

Burlington Writers Workshop - Online
10 a.m. - noon 
Good Naked: Wit, Wisdom, and a Writing Workshop

Don’t worry; there will be no shedding of clothes, but this lively, interactive session will expose the creative process in all its glory. Together, we’ll discover practical ways to mine meaningful material and make the most of the creative process from your first draft through your final revision. This workshop also serves as a mini masterclass on craft, with key takeaways that serve across genres. Come prepared to write in response to a guided prompt and share aloud your efforts for insights, feedback, and appreciation. Most importantly, leave all self doubts at the door. 

Registration required: https://burlingtonwritersworkshop.com/events/

Tuesday, Nov. 1

Norman Williams Public Library, Woodstock, VT
6 - 7:30 p.m.
Good Naked: Wit, Wisdom, and Writing Workshop 
(Just in time for NaNoWriMo!)

Good Naked: Wit, Wisdom, and Writing Workshop (Just in time for NaNoWriMo!)

In this fun, instructive workshop, you’re invited to write from a “prompt” and see what happens on the page. You'll also have the opportunity to share your effort aloud for verbal responses and appreciation. Expect to leave with lots of tips on craft, and how to enjoy a positive and productive creative process. Come one, come all, and leave all self-doubts at the door!

INFO

October28, 2022

Still North Books, Hanover, NH

5:30 - 7 p.m.

FREE and open to all

Workshop: Sip-n-Prompt 

Come if you love the experience of writing from a prompt to tap into your creativity and stories. Also come if you've never written from a prompt, to discover how fun and weirdly meaningful this experience can be. Everyone who cares to share will be invited to read aloud for appreciation and insights. Writers, newbies, people looking for something to do on a Friday, all are welcome and leave any self-doubts at the door! 

To register: https://www.stillnorthbooks.com/sign-up/sip-n-prompt-joni-b-cole

October 20-22, 2022

Erma Bombeck Writers' Conference, Dayton, OH
Good Naked: Wit, Wisdom, and a Writing Workshop

This lively, interactive session exposes the creative process in all its glory. You'll discover practical ways to skirt self doubt, mine meaningful material, and make the most of the creative process from your first draft through your final revision. Come prepared to write in response to a guided prompt and share aloud your efforts for insights and appreciation. Bring something to write on and leave all self doubts at the door.

https://udayton.edu/artssciences/initiatives/erma/workshop/registration.php

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Women Business Owners Network Gratitude Conference
(In Person)
Location: Echo Leahy Center, Burlington, VT 
11:30 - noon
Keynote Talk: Finding Gratitude in Unexpected Places

Our family and friends, our co-workers and employees, our teachers and mentors, our good fortune and successes…. Acknowledging all the good things in our life offers so many physical and psychological benefits. But what if we expanded our sense of gratitude to those people or circumstances that we typically think of as obstacles or setbacks... but end up offering surprising rewards?

For more info: https://wbon.org/

Saturday,  Sept. 17

Burlington Writers Workshop - Online

5 Tips to Productive Revision
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
Instructor: Joni B. Cole

We've all heard the adage: Writing is rewriting. But for too many aspiring authors the revision process is fraught with wrong decisions, or simply a sense of overwhelm. Where do you start when confronted with a messy manuscript? How do you continue to make inspired choices that move your work forward? What are some tricks to elevating your prose, especially when you're all too familiar with the material? This master class on revision offers five key takeaways that will help you revise faster, smarter, and with more enjoyment. As part of the class, participants will be invited to share aloud 100-150-word excerpts (an opening or closing paragraph, a favorite or troublesome passage, a dialogue exchange, a short scene, etc.) from a work-in-progress to help exemplify some of the concepts in this talk. Required reading: Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier https://unmpress.com/books/good-naked/9780826364364 

 

Registration required: https://burlingtonwritersworkshop.com/events/

Tuesday, Sept. 13

Enfield Public Library, Enfield, NH

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Good Naked: Wit, Wisdom, and Writing Workshop

Come one, come all! Join author and writing teacher Joni B. Cole as she shares insights from her new release Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier. (“Who says books about writing have to be dull, dry, and pretentious?...In Good Naked, [Cole] is part teacher, part cheerleader, and part laugh-out-loud humorist. What’s not to love?” The Writer magazine). Cole, a seasoned workshop leader in MFA programs and writing conferences across the country, will lead participants in an interactive workshop that invites you to write from a “prompt” and see what happens. Expect to share your writing aloud for verbal responses, insights, and appreciation. Come. Have fun. Write on!

Sept. 1

Still North Books, Hanover, NH

5:30 - 7 p.m.

FREE and open to all

A Pub Date. A Prompt. A Party!

Come one, come all to this celebration of the creative process...and the pub date of the new and expanded version of Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier (listed as one of the “Best Books for Writers” by Poets & Writers magazine). Join author and writing teacher Joni B. Cole in this fun, interactive workshop where everyone writes from a prompt, shares aloud, and feels a whole lot happier than if they'd stayed home on the couch. Bring something to write on/with and leave all self doubts at the door. 

PLUS! $2 Creative Juices Sangria when you buy the book!

                   

Saturday April 23, 2022 - 10AM - Noon  

Waterbury Public Library - 28 North Main Street Waterbury, VT 

Good Naked: Wit, Wisdom, and a Writing Workshop

As part of this online gathering you will be invited to write from a “prompt” as a means of mining your own meaningful story material. Whether you consider yourself a writer, an artist, a wannabe, or an enthusiast for new experiences, this event offers participants a chance to uncover the creative potential within all of us. Come, learn, have fun, and leave your self doubts at the door. 

For more info: (802) 244-7036

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