Current Offerings

Women’s Writing Workshops:

8-Week Series / Connecticut

(Please note: Space is limited & the fall/winter series filled with a waiting list) 

Jumpstart, restart, and deepen your writing in a supportive circle of women. Discover and generate new material, explore and diversify, or make progress on an ongoing project. Expect intriguing prompts, short and long writing periods, opportunities to read your work aloud, and inspiring, helpful feedback. Near the end of each workshop, we read and discuss one participant’s work-in-progress.

When: all workshops are held on Thursdays, 1:00-4:00 pm

March 2, 16, 30; April 13, 27; May 11, 25; June 8, 15 (in case of cancellations due to weather, June 15th is a makeup day)

Where: my home along the Farmington River in Collinsville (there is always plenty of parking). Directions will be sent.

Sliding scale fee: $45-40-35 (per workshop) or $360-320-280 (for 8-week series)

Please pay middle to high on this sliding scale so that I can continue to offer the low rate and thereby keep our circle inclusive. You choose: pay per workshop or in full at our first session.

To register: Use the form below to send a message saying: “Please reserve a spot for me. I choose to pay $_____ per session -(OR)- at our first workshop.”

Space is limited; first come, first serve. Your registration is a commitment to pay for the series.

Cancellation Policy: You are responsible for your reservation; this is standard policy for writing workshops. Emergencies happen and if you cannot attend for any reason, please contact me ASAP (so I don’t worry about you). If there is a waiting/substitute list and someone can take your place, there will be no cost to you. These policies make it possible for Write Like a River to support your voice, and the voices of other women writers in your community.

Write Like a River:

Book Writing Package (6-12 months)

with Chivas Sandage

Currently, there are no openings. If you would like to be on the waiting list for possible openings next year (probably late 2017), please use the form below to contact me directly.  

“Chivas really delivered…it was invaluable. I have absolute trust in her mind and heart.” Sherry Horton, author of Witness Chair: A Memoir of Art, Marriage, and Loss

Do you want to write your book this year? Can you imagine having your own editor/coach who reads your work closely and provides supportive, honest feedback and consistent inspiration? Are you ready for new strategies to create and protect time to write? Do you want resources and info tailored for you, including mini-tutorials and handouts on subjects ranging from craft to publishing? Do you long for a breakthrough in your writing?

I am excited to announce openings for two writers who want to start, make serious progress, or complete a book this year!

Could this be right for you?

  • Do you want a book coach who is an author, editor, and writing teacher—someone who is passionate about and dedicated to working with writers? Do you want a coach who prioritizes you and commits substantial time and her undivided attention to reading, thinking about, and responding to your writing?
  • Do you have some experience? Perhaps in professional, academic, and/or creative writing? Perhaps you have participated in writing workshops, or a private writing group?
  • Current genre openings: nonfiction (narrative, memoir, biography, and essay collection); poetry; and fiction (experimental novel, short story collection).

Choose between two tracks:        

  • The Practice Track (1-year package) is ideal for those who want to build or maintain a writing practice while making steady progress on a book project. After each 3-week writing period, you send approximately 20 pages. During week 4, you receive an in-depth consultation scheduled so you get feedback in a timely manner while also having time to revise, research, and/or get started on your next chapter.
  • The Fast Track (6-8 month package) is ideal for those who are ready to commit to writing your book now! Every 2 weeks, you produce approximately 20 pages. We schedule your in-depth consultations so that you get feedback fast—something writers find profoundly satisfying and helpful—while maintaining your momentum. Your goals and preferences determine your pace.

How it works:

  • Your new writing life begins with a 1-hour in-depth consultation. We discuss your relationship with writing, life/work balance, and the specific project on which you want to focus. Together, we strategize around your strengths—as a person, as a writer—as well as your situational challenges and concerns. We identify your needs and goals, schedule your consultations, clarify your next steps, and design or upgrade your writing practice so that it works with your life and fits your book project.
  • During each writing period (either 2 or 3 weeks), you schedule a half hour consult by phone to check-in about any issues coming up in your writing practice, and/or challenges and progress on your manuscript. If needed, you can also ask questions by email.
  • For each consultation, you send approximately 20 double-spaced pages of prose or 10 single-spaced pages of poetry. As your editor/coach, I read your manuscript carefully, taking time to write detailed notations and comments on each page. You receive a wide range of holistic editorial support. Developmental/substantive editing addresses structure and content on the global (macro) level. Copy and line editing addresses the craft of writing on the sentence/line (micro) level. In addition, I respond on a personal, emotional level, since that is a big part of why we write—to move readers.
  • Once I return your edited manuscript, I consult with you (by phone, Skype, or in person) during a 60-minute in-depth session about your writing. I provide detailed explanations of my written comments, and offer observations, questions, ideas, craft info, and mini-tutorials as needed. Your consultations can be recorded, if you like, for your reference.
  • After 12 sessions, you can add more, based on your project goals.
  • Confidentiality is an essential aspect of our work together. Unless you give permission, I do not discuss you, your writing, or your project outside of our sessions.

What does the 12-session package cost and include?

The 12-Session Package (for 6 months to 1 year): $5,750

Each consultation cycle includes:

  • One 30-minute check-in consultation during the writing period
  • Email access for quick questions during the writing period
  • Holistic (both macro and micro-level) editing of approximately 20 pages
  • 60-minute consultation session (also recorded for you)
  • Info curated and/or created for you (including research and handouts)

À la carte options:

I offer a 60-minute in-depth consultation, which can be credited to your 12-session package upon registration. Individual manuscript consultations are also available.

What’s possible?

Every writer’s projects and goals are unique, and they often change. I welcome innovation in genre, concept, and style, including prose writers exploring a lyric aesthetic. That said, to give you a sense of what’s possible, let’s say your primary goal is to complete the first draft of a memoir. Perhaps you’re starting with a blank slate, or several notebooks filled with raw material, or a few essays that could be connected somehow.

  • If you choose the practice track, it will likely take 16 sessions over 16 months to write a standard 80,000-word manuscript. Remember, you will receive written feedback on every page so you can revise as you go (and will have time to), or be prepared with feedback to complete the second draft of your book.
  • If you choose the fast track, it will likely take 16 sessions in about 8-11 months (depending on your pace) to write a standard 80,000-word manuscript. Using the written feedback you receive on every page, you can revise as you go or be prepared with feedback to complete your book’s second draft.

For more information and to contact Chivas, please use the form below.

Brief Bio: 

Chivas Sandage’s Hidden Drive (Antrim House, 2012), was a finalist for the 2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Awards in Poetry and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her essays and poems have appeared in the Artful Dodge, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Drunken Boat, Equality TexasEvergreen ReviewHampshire Life MagazineHartford CourantKnockout Magazine, Ms. MagazineNaugatuck River Review, The New Civil Rights Movement, The Rumpus, SmokeLong Quarterly, Southern Women’s Review, Upstreet, Verse, Manthology: Poems on the Male Experience (Univ. of Iowa Press, ‘06), Morning Song: Poems for New Parents (St. Martin’s Press, ’11), Paradise Found: A Walking Tour of Northampton, Massachusetts through Poetry and Art (Levellers Press, ’14), and Same-Sex Marriage: The Moral and Legal Debate (Prometheus Books, ‘04). Two of her poems received national awards in the 2014 Outermost Poetry Contest judged by Marge Piercy.

As an Assistant Professor at Westfield State University, Sandage taught Composition, World Literature, and Contemporary Cross-Cultural Literature. She earned an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a BA from Bennington College. Connecticut Center for the Book at the Connecticut Humanities Council awarded a planning grant for a high school writing program she designed. The Northampton Arts Council, supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, has awarded artist grants for her writing, teaching, and performance work.

Currently, she is at work on Salt Wind Redemption: Love & Murder in South Texas, a narrative nonfiction book about the 2012 double shooting of Kristene Chapa and Mollie Olgin, a young lesbian couple who were attacked while on a date in Portland, Texas. Chivas is a writing consultant, teaches writing workshops and retreats in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and has taught recently in Texas and Florida.

2 Responses to Current Offerings

  1. Marie Lavendier says:

    Is there an opening for the Thursday Collinsville Writing Workshop?

    • csandage says:

      Yes, Marie, I believe there’s an opening. Maya forwarded your email & I’ll get back to you in the morning. Thanks for contacting us!

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