Writing Workshops at Canio’s

New workshops for 2020 offer creative opportunities:

Winter’s Insight begins mid January. This four-week prose workshop will focus on developing the interior mind-scape of characters. Go deep into a small scene; expand a moment in time; discover something new in your writing.

Ashawagh Hall Writers Workshop : new members welcome to apply for spring session starting late February. For those working on a book project for publication. Ten sessions; fee: $250. Contact Maryann at the shop for details.

Nature writing with poet/author/organic farmer Scott Chaskey. Workshop will meet in late March/early April. Details to come. Scott Chaskey is author of Seedtime: and This Common Ground:

Poetry workshop with poet Mark Doty, May 9.  Author of the forthcoming What is the Grass: Walt Whitman in My Life, acclaimed poet and memoirist Mark Doty leads a one-day poetry workshop. Mark Doty’s poetry collections include Deep Lane and My Alexandria. His memoirs: Heaven’s Coast, Dog Years and Firebird. Literary criticism includes The Art of Description and Still Life with Oysters and Lemon.


We’re committed to encouraging the creative process in the various forms it takes. Canio’s community writing  workshops are open to all interested in developing their authentic voice on the page. We offer memoir, fiction writing and poetry workshops throughout the year. Workshops are taught by special guest writer/teachers as well as members of our own staff.


Our popular series of Master Writers Workshops continues with two new sessions on offer: Memoirist Louise DeSalvo returns to Canio’s to offer a session entitled “Turning Pages Into Books” on Monday, September 21. This session is for experienced writers working on assembling their writing into a coherent whole.  Also this fall, poet and memoirist Mark Doty returns for another Master Workshop. Details forthcoming

Throughout the year, co-owner Maryann Calendrille offers prose writing workshops and editorial consultation. Our next session will be Hot Memoirs in late July into August. Call the shop for details and sign up to receive emails about the latest events.

Past Workshops

Spring workshops take their inspiration from wet soil after  early rain, from  ospreys circling overhead, from lengthening daylight drawing out our imagination.  “Sowing seeds: the writers garden” is a five-week session on nature writing. Exercises help you get started, plant seeds, weed the rows, cultivate your next personal essay or memoir excerpt. Writing set in a specific landscape, defining our connection to the natural world, digging in the dirt of metaphor, that’s what this workshop is about. Contact the shop for further information and to register.

012709 Our most recent memoir writing session, “Necessary Stories,” is soon to conclude. We began in autumn and writing right through the hectic winter holidays, we arrived in the New Year with a folder full of good work to carry us forward. My workshops are always rooted in and inspired by the turning of the seasons. My next session will begin in March with the intention of sowing seeds. Meanwhile, the second session of writing with Thomas Merton is underway and reaching the halfway point. Writers in this group write deeply considered essays on spiritual topics. The rewards of their  efforts have been many.

040908 Hot memoirs sizzled this summer. Despite the heat, the busy social scene, house guests and the allure of beaches, these writers cooked!  It was a dedicated group, their attention focused despite distractions of the season.  Who said the Hamptons is just a playground? One thing that helped: Natalie Goldberg‘s new book: Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir.  Most of us have used  Writing Down the Bones to get started. Now Old Friend continues the conversation.   It really helped free me up, said one participant.  I recommend Old Friend especially to those new to writing personal narrative.   Writers familiar with academic or technical writing will find Goldberg’s work especially encouraging.  She helps us bring out our more authenic, unique voice.

Once summer’s heat dissipates, we’ll be forming an autumn writing group.  Time to sharpen pencils,  open a fresh notebook, and meet yourself on the page. Contact Canio’s Books for more about Autumn Memoirs.

20 July 08: Local farms are about bursting with delicious vegetables, flower gardens are in high color…fiery reds, salmon pinks and sunny yellows of a fecund summer. In the heat of it all, we offer a summertime writing workshop: Hot Memoirs: a five-week intensive. The workshop is designed for serious beginning writers interested in developing personal essays into fuller memoir. The small group setting allows for individuals to read and critique one another’s work in a cooperative and encouraging atmosphere. Led by Maryann Calendrille, M.F.A. and co-owner of Canio’s Books. Space is limited and registration is required, so please contact the shop at 725-4926. Or send e-mail to info@caniosbooks.com.

3 Responses to “On Writing”

  1. 1 RUDY HOGLUND October 15, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    hello, Ladies.

    I am living in Leesburg, VA with a new job [ I love it and they seem to love me ]. hope all is well back home. just checking out your web site again and remembering Kathryn, your Vanishing Landscapes: East End Long Island. Is that book as well as an exibit?

    miss you, Rudy

    • 2 canios December 5, 2008 at 10:27 pm

      Hello Rudy,
      Great to hear from you; and thanks for your interest in The Vanishing Landscapes (c) book. It’s not yet a reality, but perhaps in the new year!

      Anyway, please stop by when you next visit.

      WE MISS YOU.
      ~ Kathryn

  2. 3 Jenine Boisits February 18, 2015 at 1:25 am

    Hi–I love Canio’s! I moved to Sag Harbor in 2013 and I remember very clearly the first time i stepped into the comfortable little store. I was motionless for a bit, trying to absorb everything around me through all my senses at once. Oh,that old book smell that I’ve loved since I was a young girl, and the sight of all those books, shelves and shelves of them is always like a brand new experience! After browsing for at least an hour or so,on every visit, vowing to leave with only ONE book at every visit, I always end up at the little desk with at least four or five books in my arms. And one of the nicest things is that I live walking distance to Canio’s and the walk home is always with great anticipation to get home as quickly as I can to read my new books! I publish a writing journal for new writers called Beginnings —Keep up the great work, Canio’s–and if you meet any new writers trying to get published, send them my way!

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Canio’s Books is located at 290 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963, 631.725.4926. Call or email us, caniosbooks@verizon.net. While we love you to SEE you, you can also order new titles at our online storefront or some of our second hand inventory HERE. Thanks for visiting!

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