Writers Workshop

In-Person Event

Sunday September 26

1 - 3 PM

Join our popular Writers Workshop, featuring two spectacular instructors. 

Tsering Wangmo Dhompa is the first Tibetan female poet to be published in English. She teaches memoir and poetry at Villanova University.


Alan Drew is the author of the novel, Gardens of Water. He is Associate Professor of English at Villanova University where he directs the creative writing program. 

Workshop 1: 1-2 PM
Seeing Images: Imagining the Familiar

In this poetry workshop, intended for beginner poets and writers of any genre who are eager to experiment with poetry for the first time, we will celebrate the power of imagery. How do we turn up our ability to understand reality in surprising ways? How do we build images and make meaning? Images move, inspire, perplex us, and they also move the poem forward. Dhompa will take detours to the haiku form and other exercises to activate the five senses through imagery.

Tsering Wangmo Dhompa is the author of the poetry books, My Rice Tastes Like the Lake, In the Absent Everyday, and Rules of the House (all from Apogee Press, Berkeley) and three chapbooks. Dhompa’s first non-fiction book, Coming Home to Tibet was published in the US by Shambhala Publications in 2016 and by Penguin, India in 2014. She was born in India and raised in the Tibetan refugee communities in India and Nepal. Dhompa has a PhD in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She teaches in the English Department at Villanova University.



Tsering Wangmo Dhompa


Alan Drew

Workshop 2: 2-3  PM
Character Building: Breathing Life into Your Characters

The most accomplished fiction writers create compelling characters who leap off the page with energy and emotional complexity.  In this fiction writing workshop, we’ll explore the ways writers construct their fictional characters to make them feel whole and alive in the world.  Harnessing a “tool-box” of techniques, we’ll dive into writing exercises intended to help us breathe life into characters who will resonate with readers.


Alan Drew is the author of the literary thriller, Shadow Man (Random House, 2017), which the Wall Street Journal named as one of the ten best mysteries of 2017, and the critically acclaimed debut novel, Gardens of Water (Random House, 2008).  His novels have been translated into a dozen languages and published in nearly two-dozen countries.  He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was awarded a Teaching/Writing Fellowship.  An Associate Professor of English at Villanova University where he directs the creative writing program, he lives near Philadelphia with his wife and two children.  Learn more about his books at www.alan-drew.com.