Writing at the Mark Twain House


"The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning..." - Mark Twain

4th Annual Writers' Weekend

- Join us for our Fourth Annual Writers Weekend & Book Fair! Three days of lectures, workshops, writing sessions, and book-signings at our Museum Center with the top writers in the Northeast. April 17th – 19th, 2015. Register here.

This year we welcome keynote speakers Dani Shapiro and Books on the Nightstand podcasters Ann Kingman & Michael Kindness!

Workshop topics will include: the poet as imposter, memoir, self-publishing, writing beginnings, jump-starting your novel, finding an agent, voices from first-time authors, dialogue, playwriting, and so much more. This year we'll offer over 40 workshop choices!

The Royal Nonesuch National Humor Writing Contest

Submit 7,000 words or less of any original work of humor. Submissions will be judged by our award-winning Twain House staff, Twain experts, Trinity College faculty, and celebrity guest judges. A youth category for Young Authors under 18 will also be available. First prize is $1,000!

This year, our outstanding celebrity judges include Josh Hanagarne, Lisa Brown, Lucy Ferris, Tim Federle and Jessica Lawson.

Submissions are due by July 10th and the winners will be announced in the fall.  For further contest rules and submissions, check out our page here.

Classes & Workshops

- Hone your writing with our six-week writing classes in Fiction, Memoir, Poetry, Playwriting, Humor, Storytelling, Freelancing, and more. Classes are offered in the spring, summer, and fall featuring acclaimed instructors. Register here. For further descriptions and author bios, check out our Events and Programs calendar-- that's where all the fun nitty gritty information is.

- Dive into new topics with Weekend Writing Workshops—intensive three-hour experiences with varied subjects like Songwriting, Writing for Children, Self-Publishing, and more. Twelve exciting subjects per year. Register here. For further descriptions and author bios, check out our Events and Programs calendar-- that's where all the fun nitty gritty information is.

COMING UP (click workshop titles for pricing & registration):

March 11th - April 15th: Writing Memoir with Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (6-week class)

March 12th - April 16th: Writing Children's Books with Pegi Deitz Shea (6-week class)

March 14th & 21st: Freelance Writing with Theresa Sullivan Barger (2-part workshop)

March 25th - April 29th: Writing Political Poetry with Edwina Trentham

March 28th: Getting Started: The First Steps to Telling a Story with Jo Anne Burgh (workshop)

April 29th - June 3rd: Writing Humor with Hank Herman (6-week class)

May 6th - June 10th: Fiction Writing with Melanie Farenello (6-week class)

May 6th - May 27th: Self-Publishing with Patrice Fitzgerald (4-week class)

May 6th - May 27th: Writing from Found Texts with Yeliz... (4-week class)

May 6th - May 27th: Memoir Writing Workshop with Judy Mandel (4-week class)


Writing in Mark Twain’s Library

A unique opportunity to write inside the Twain House. Bring a laptop or pencil & paper to conjure your literary inspiration in the home of the master himself. Registration is coming soon!

Writing for Kids & Teens!

- Enroll your young authors in the Mark Twain Players—a Playwriting Workshop we run in conjunction with Hartford Stage. The class culminates with a performance at a Twain event. Enroll here.

- Teens are invited to apply to our Neighborhood Studios Summer Writing Apprenticeship—six weeks paid summer work as a journalist on the grounds of the Twain House. Look for applications from the Greater Hartford Arts Council here.

- We offer outreach and in-house writing programs for schools. Call us at (860) 280-3130 for more infromation on booking our Director of Writing for a program.

We can’t wait to read what you’re working on—are you the next Mark Twain?

For information and scheduling on any of these programs, please email Julia.pistell@marktwainhouse.org, or call her at (860) 247-0998 x 208.

Julia Pistell
Director, Writing at the Mark Twain House


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Writing at the Mark Twain House

Improve and develop your writing where Twain wrote. Our Writing at the Mark Twain House programs, launched in 2010, have created deep bonds among participants and instructors alike. Click here.