Lorraine’s Events and Appearances

  • Saturday, May 2, 2015, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
    Writing Family, Understanding Self
    A one-day memoir retreat for women and men hosted by Women’s Writing Circle
    Fairfield Inn, 5 North Pottstown Pike, Exton, Pennsylvania (40 minutes west of Philly, 30 minutes south of Boyertown)
    Directions at www.marriott.com/hotels/maps/travel/phlex-fairfield-inn-philadelphia-great-valley-exton

    $130 includes workshop, lunch, and mini-reflexology sessions with the wonderful Elle Levenson ($110 early bird rate for those who sign up by April 11)

    Two easy steps to reserve a spot:

    1. RSVP to Susan Weidener at
    2. Write a $130 check ($110 for early birds) made payable to Susan Weidener and mail to:

      Susan Weidener
      75 Jennifer Drive
      Chester Springs, PA 19425

    Want to stay overnight at the hotel?

    Call 610-524-8811 and ask for the Women’s Writing Circle rate:
    $89 per room (two double beds) per night
    $94 per room (one king bed) per night
    To get the workshop rate, you must book a room by April 10. Applicable to Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2. Check-in is 3 pm, check-out is noon.

    Writing Family, Understanding Self

    Everybody comes from a family story and inherits a legacy of love, yes, but also truths, myths, damage, prejudices, passions, and strengths. In a great family memoir, the writer explores that whole tapestry, consciously plucking and weaving threads that both explain and define his or her identity. In the act of writing and shaping a story, the writer recognizes and makes decisions about the key moments and influences of his or her own history.

    Writers will learn to:

    • Choose imagery from pictures or memory to write the strongest opening and closing scenes
    • Find the question that rests at the center of their family experience
    • Explore the use of incident and consciousness shifts to motor a memoir along
    • Identify their story’s master insight
    • Arrive at the resolution of their story, which is not necessarily redemption
    • Mine the tension between the family’s public image and private reality
    • Tie their story as much as possible into the larger cultural conversation

    What to bring:

    Several family photographs that hold an emotional charge for you, even if you’re not sure why. For a look at one of my old photos, featuring my Uncle Primo, and my musings on it, visit Susan Weidener’s website.

  • Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 6 p.m.
    My Journey as a Journalist
    A private talk for the Zonta Morristown Area Meeting
    The Cosy Cupboard, 4 Old Turnpike Road, Morris Township, NJ
    Directions at www.cosycupboardtearoom.com/contact.html

    Lorraine talks about what has changed, and what has endured, during her ongoing decades-long journey as a writer. The talk covers the early days in the hallowed halls of Fordham University and on the health desk at Family Circle Magazine in the 1980s and moves through the worlds of weekly and daily journalism, playwriting, literary journals, and books.

  • Saturday, June 6-7, 2015, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Writing Family, Understanding Self
    A two-day memoir retreat for women and men
    Cuppa Pulp Writers’ Space, 119 Main Street, Suite 2, Nanuet, New York 10954
    $200 includes workshop and mini-reflexology sessions with the wonderful Elle Levenson ($150 early bird rate for those who sign up by May 1)
    (Lunches on your own at one of the many wonderful eateries in the neighborhood.)
    Register at www.cuppapulp.com/cilk119/event/lorraine-ash/

    Live too far to commute?

    These hotels are all within five minutes of Cuppa Pulp:

    NOTE: Nyack, New York, which has terrific restaurants and a local arts scene, is 10 minutes away.

    Questions? Contact Lorraine.

    Writing Family, Understanding Self

    Everybody comes from a family story and inherits a legacy of love, yes, but also truths, myths, damage, prejudices, passions, and strengths. In a great family memoir, the writer explores that whole tapestry, consciously plucking and weaving threads that both explain and define his or her identity. In the act of writing and shaping a story, the writer recognizes and makes decisions about the key moments and influences of his or her own history.

    Writers will learn to build their own stories in these sessions:

    On Saturday

    CHOOSING A STRONG OPENING

    • Select imagery from pictures or memory to write the strongest opening scene
    • Find the question that rests at the center of their family experience

    MOTORING THROUGH THE MIDDLE

    • Explore the use of incident and consciousness shifts to motor a memoir along
    • Mine the tension between their family’s public image and private reality
    • Identify their story’s master insight

    On Sunday

    CLOSING IN A POWERFUL WAY

    • Arrive at the resolution of their story, which is not necessarily redemption
    • Reference the imagery from the opening to choose a closing scene

    BOOSTING MARKETABILITY

    • Tie their story as much as possible into the larger cultural conversation

    What to bring:

    • Several family photographs that hold an emotional charge for you, even if you’re not sure why
  • Thursday, July 9, 2015, 7:00-8:45 p.m.
    Secrets of Writing the Family Memoir
    Montclair Write Group Free-For-All Writing Workshop Series
    Montclair Public Library, 50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, NJ

    (For more about Montclair Write Group events, e-mail and ask to receive the weekly e-update.)

    In a great family memoir, the writer grows in self-awareness by examining his or her whole family story—public and private, past and present—and consciously embracing or rejecting different parts of the legacy. This mini-workshop is great for writers embarking on a memoir project or those who have a memoir under way and want to deepen aspects concerning a family member.

Previous appearances are listed on the Past Events and Appearances page.