Candlelight Writing Workshops

Email to register for Upcoming Workshops

at River Bend Book Shop

March – “Food as Memory” – a four-week Candlelight Writing Workshop taught by food author and journalist Beth Hillson. Held at the River Bend Bookshop, 2217 Main St., Glastonbury.

From Beth:” We all have stories to tell. Capturing them is tricky.  We’ll use our connections to food to unlock memories and tell our tales. Entice your taste buds, tantalize your recollection and join Beth. You’ll be amazed how easily your stories will flow. We will gather four Mondays at 6:30 p.m. March 2, 16, 23, 30.  (No meeting 3/9.) Space is limited. No previous writing experience is necessary. Cost: $160. Contact:

Beth Hillson has an MFA in creative non-fiction and is writing a memoir through the lens of food.  Her work has appeared in many publications including The Hartford Courant, Yankee, FamilyFun, Gluten Free & More, Connecticut Magazine, and the Huffington Post. She is the author of three books.


April“Tell the Story You’ve Been Waiting to Tell” – a six-week workshop taught by Candlelight Writing Workshops founder Jane Gordon Julien. Held at the River Bend Bookshop.

From Jane: “It’s time to stop waiting. Move forward with your storytelling life. Whether it’s a fictional story or a factual rendering, now is the time to get it out of your head and onto the page. For six Wednesdays: April 1, (no class April 8), April 15, April 22, April 29, May 6, and May 13, we will gather to push the boundaries of our writing lives – wherever they have been – into new realms. Space is limited. For writers of all skill levels. Cost: $240.  Contact:

An essayist and journalist, Jane Gordon Julien is a longtime contributing writer for The New York Times. Her work has been published in magazines and newspapers throughout the nation, including the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Northeast Magazine, NBC/, and for the Associated Press and was recently included in the anthology, “Words Matter.” She has served as an adjunct journalism professor at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and a guest lecturer at the University of Connecticut. Jane holds a master’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College, where she was assistant editor at the literary journal Lumina, and a bachelor’s degree from the highly acclaimed University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.


May“Write About Your Life” – a six-week workshop taught by Candlelight Writing Workshops founder Jane Gordon Julien.

From Jane: “Select a life experience about which you want to write and get the help you need to articulate it clearly and compellingly. We will meet at the River Bend Bookshop for six Wednesdays: May 20, May 27, June 3, June 10, June 17, and June 24. Space is limited. For writers of all skill levels. Cost: $240. (This workshop includes a visit from Andrew Julien, publisher of The Hartford Courant. Andrew will talk about The Courant’s Sunday section, Insight, which encourages personal stories from readers.)  Contact: 

Registration for Fall Workshops…

Workshop: Creativity Through Writing: Finding your Voice through Storytelling

Workshop: The Art of Story Structure

Workshop: How to Submit for Publication & Manage Rejection

Here’s what happening this summer at the Candlelight Writing Workshops at River Bend:

Writers’ Accountability Group

Candlelight Writing Workshops and River Bend sponsor a Writers’ Accountability Group that meets regularly at the bookshop. The next meeting – our inaugural meeting – is 6:30PM on Monday, September 23. It’s free and open to all writers to share a few paragraphs of ongoing work.


Writers’ Social

For writers seeking support and a chance to meet other writers, the River Bend Bookshop and Candlelight Writers Workshops are co-hosting a writers’ social at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, November 6, at the book shop, located at 2217 Main St., Glastonbury. All are welcome! The events are free and open to the public, please RSVP on Facebook or by calling the shop. 

Bring written work; we will pull three names out of a hat to read for three-five minutes each. Questions? Please call the book shop at 860-430-6608.


Writing Prompts

Candlelight Writing Workshops offers free weekly writing prompts. Go to Notes on Writing and challenge yourself.

Writing the Personal Essay

Learn to write a compelling personal essay


If you have something you need to say but are unsure how to say it, the Candlelight Writing Workshops is offering a two-part essay-writing workshop on consecutive Thursdays, June 13 and June 20, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the River Bend Bookshop, 2217 Main St., Glastonbury.

The personal essay offers one of the simplest paths to becoming a published writer. Numerous publications, including The Hartford Courant, are seeking to publish personal essays. The Hartford Courant’s publisher and editor-in-chief, Andrew Julien, will make a guest appearance to discuss the types of essays in which The Courant is interested.

To register:


Wednesday Night Craft Class and Workshop: “Get Started and Keep Going: Creating a Writing Life” April 3 – May 22, 2019