Speaking Engagements and Events

I give talks, workshops, and lectures on topics which include use of technology, creativity, and the brain; writing for healing; memory, fiction, and nonfiction; and how-to strategies for all things writing process.

I also am available for readings of my own creative work.

Please contact me if you are interested in scheduling an event.

Upcoming Events

In January, I’ll be giving a workshop at the West Conn MFA Residency on learning theory and how our ability to learn affects our writing.

Past Events

In June, I was supposed to travel to Ireland to present my talk on Writing, Technology, and Creativity at the Arts and Society Conference in Galway. But then, COVID.

So I sent in a virtual poster instead.

West Conn MFA Residency, January, 2020

Remembering that Writing Is Fun WEST CONN final

West Conn MFA Residency, August, 2019

A reading of my lyric essay
The Point of the Paradox” and a lecture on Writing, Technology, and Creativity 

Lecture on Writing, Technology, and Creativity
for the Global Studies Conference in Krakow, Poland

July, 2019

And then I went trekking in the Tatras mountains.


Writing for Healing: 
An invited workshop series
Chautauqua Institution’s
Special Studies Program

Based on the book Expressive Writing: Words that Heal by Pennebaker and Evans

June 27 to July 1, 2016

What could be more healing than writing and learning together in this beautiful place?

File Jul 30, 5 51 16 PMPictured:

Lake Chautauqua and our classroom

File Jul 30, 5 53 24 PMWhat students said about the workshop:

“Thank you for giving us the gift of your class. It has been challenging and inspiring.

After Tuesday I was so emotionally wrought, it was only through endurance I returned on Wednesday. I’m glad I did! I now have this great toolkit I can draw from in seeking inspiration.” –Carrie

“You have certainly filled me with lots of new thoughts and perspectives to plough through life’s happenings. I’m grateful for all the handouts to supplement the materials in the book. I’m looking forward to processing what I’ve learned and writing new narratives in a way to healthy living.” –Jacquie

Sara Whitestone Named Guest Writer
Johns Hopkins Conference on Craft

June 19 to 26, 2016

Sara Whitestone, an accomplished writer, photographer, and writing teacher, has been named Guest Writer for the 2016 Hopkins Conference on Craft in Annapolis, Maryland.

Whitestone, a faculty member at John Jay College (City University of New York), has published essays, fiction, poetry, and photography in a range of online and print publications. She has lectured and presented at New World Stages, Chautauqua, the 2015 Hopkins Conference on Craft, and other venues where external beauty and internal words merge.

For Hopkins, Whitestone will help lead writing Sara and Emma largeexercises for students in both conference courses, Reading the Sea and On the Bay, and she will lead a special luncheon presentation as part of the Reading the Sea course.  The June 19-26 conference is based at St. John’s College in Annapolis, with events around the Chesapeake Bay.

Whitestone is a contributing editor at GFT Press, and her works have appeared in The Portland Review, Word Riot, The Piedmont Virginian, Literary Traveler, SLAB, and elsewhere.  Whitestone’s current project is a fictional autobiography titled Counting to 100. To learn more about Whitestone’s inner and outer adventures, visit sarawhitestone.com.

Since 2004, the Conference on Craft has offered summer courses to students in the MA in Writing, MA in Science Writing, and Master of Liberal Arts programs at Hopkins. Venues have included Florence, Italy; Bar Harbor / Acadia National Park, Maine; the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, plus Baltimore and Washington. Whitestone was a participant at one of the Maine events and returned in 2015 to lead discussions in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

“We are pleased and gratified to have Sara return to the conference,” said Director David Everett. “She brings a special heart and eye to writing and the visual arts, which will further expand the experience for students this summer in Annapolis.”

(6/14/16, David Everett)

Authorcon                      March 19, 2016

Invited author talk entitled “Work in Process: Writing from Creation to Publication”
at The Samuels Public Library, Front Royal, VA

Authorcon 2016 2

Johns Hopkins Conference on Craft

June 12, 2015

Invited author talk for the MA in Writing Program
Nature, Place, and Environment
A Mountain Immersion in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia


Answering thoughtful questions about my process in writing my Nature of Fear essay,


speaking on a panel about writing and publishing, workshopping student writing,


and all the while experiencing the beauty of the mountains . . .

As a writer and teacher of writing, there could be no better day than this. David Everett, director of the Johns Hopkins MA in Writing program wrote,

“Thanks so very much to you, Sara Whitestone. You were smart and perceptive at the panel discussion, and you gave so much to our writers with hours of extra time one-on-one. We won’t forget your dedication and openness.”

New World Stages, New York City

November 16, 2015

Outside of New World StagesSara at DAT New World Stages

Dramatic Adventure Theatre invited me to read my Travel and Nature Essay, “Patina,” which explores layers, both physical and metaphorical, of the Grand Canyon.

Shenandoah University
Winchester, VA

September 22, 2014

Guest Speaker for Creative Writing in Online Genres

taught by Professor Michelle Brown

I enjoyed interacting with Dr. Brown’s students about all the different ways to communicate online, as well as discussing publishing possibilities. To read what student Maddie Armstrong took away from our time together, read her post on the class blog here.

My lecture to the class was also documented by the Shenandoah University online newsletter, the SUN-e, which can be viewed here.

Michelle Brown at CNF class

Professor Michelle Brown returned the favor  in October by speaking to my John Jay College Creative Non-Fiction class about trauma, writing, and the healing process.

Why Young Women Need to Write
Clarke County, VA August 2, 2014

I had an intensely engaged writing session with these women at the outdoor education center of Blandy Farm and Arboretum.

Emma-Kate and Margaret, Blandy

Thank you Margaret and Emma-Kate for letting me watch you find out who you really are!

Emma-Kate and Margaret writing prompt

Why Young Women Need to Write

A Writing Workshop for Women Age 16 to 24 Who Want to Discover Their Voice

Through writing prompts, discussion, and times of quiet work, you’ll explore your own voice that is somewhere down inside you.

This event was planned and hosted by Margaret Dodson.

Why Women Need to Write:
A Writing Workshop for Women

Who Want to Rediscover Their Voice

Winchester, VA   June 20-21, 2014 

Through writing prompts, discussion, and times of quiet work, we remembered that we each of us has a very unique voice–somewhere down inside us.

For more on why women need to write read this.

Date and Time:
Friday, June 20th from 6:30 to 9:00pm
Saturday, June 21 from 10:00am to 12:30pm

Location: Winchester, VA
Throx Market Station Conference Room

Duration and Cost: 5 hours, $50.00 per person

Participants: This workshop is limited to 8 women.

 Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA
April 17, 2014

Trauma Narratives

Lecture for Professor Michelle Brown’s
ENG 399 Trauma Narratives Class

On her blog Professor Brown wrote:
Thanks to author Sara Whitestone, creative writing faculty in the English Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who addressed our class on April 17th. Professor Whitestone spoke about clinical research on trauma writing that intersects in interesting ways with the trauma theory we have been reading and incorporating into our own class writing.