Latest Publications

Composition and Decomposition

The workshop never stops.

Rachel is pleased to report, her workshop story about green burials is now live on

Rachel writes:

Three kinds of people go for natural burial, says Mary Woodsen. Tree huggers, people who want to save money, and the “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” crowd.

She then goes on to punctuate facts and history about our burial customs  with mini narratives about the people (dead and alive ) who are riding the new, green crest.

Wonderful, interesting reading.

Check it out.

From Kristy: Breathtaking

There are not too many stories that earn the description “beautifully told.”

This is one. Congratulations and many thanks to Kristy. Here’s her note and a link.

I finally published, big sigh of relief. Thanks to everyone for the experience, expertise and inspiration. It was truly a transformative experience.


Nailing Nails, Joan’s Story

And now, check out Joan’s story, published just the other day. Wonderful, heartbreaking storytelling here. Nice video work as well. Joan’s note to the workshop is here …

I wanted to tell you that my story was published. It went off great. Our community was so excited to see a narrative story in our paper. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity to make the story the best it could be at the workshop.

Thanks, Joan

The wounds of Newburgh

Doyle’s gritty story about kids and gangs in Newburgh appeared today. There’s a lot of hard work and fine writing here, but Doyle makes it all seem easy. He kindly gives a shout out to the workshop and to his coach, Neil. Congrats Doyle and thanks for the heads up.

I just wanted to let you know that I finally finished my workshop story. It published today. Working with Neil on this made all the difference. I came in with a loose concept and an ugly, unformed draft and went in a completely different direction after working with Neil.
I’ve been to a couple writers conferences and come home with bunches of handouts and some tips that I try to weave in here and there, but I’ve never seen such a direct result as I have with the Mike Levine Workshop.
Thank you,

Onward bound

Here’s part of a post-workshop note from Kristy to Chris.

I indeed made it home safely and am working on my to-do list. …

Immediately upon returning home, my staff and I met for the most productive planning session we have ever had. I gave them one of Mike’s columns as inspiration and we came up with an ongoing story-telling series we’re going to call “307″ — that’s the phone area code for the entire state of Wyoming. It will feature seemingly simple, slice-of-life stories from around the state. So please know that I am carrying the inspiration forward and will continue to do so.

Please let us know if you’re carrying the inspiration forward … this is what it’s all about.

Thanks and thank you Kristy.

Art and Life (and Worksop) Collide in Provincetown

Congrats to Mary Ann.

Her evocative story on artist was published yesterday (more photos in print edition, she explains).

Art and Life Collide in Provincetown

PROVINCETOWN — Matt Bollinger has pinned up a blank piece of paper, as tall as a person.

The paper is about five feet high; white, very white, very blank. It’s unfinished.

Something will come of it.

Just as something will come of his life.

He’s standing in his studio at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

He’s at work on his art, on a fellowship. But he’s also creating a life.

See the rest here.

Getting to tell stories again

Hey all,

Here’s a Workshop Notebook post from Ellen and a request as well.

If you’d like to respond, especially to the part about keeping the workshop going for tomorrow, please comment here or email me and I’ll pass it on.

Thanks, Barbara

* * * * *

“Telling people’s stories was a way of finding out about my own.  It was one of the few ways I could feel some transcendent force of life some people call God.  I hope I get to do it again.”

Those were some of Mike’s words, written and tucked away, uncovered only after he passed from this world.  For me, the Mike Levine Writers’ Workshop is a way that Mike does get to do it again.  This is a sacred time, this long spring weekend in the Catskill Mountains.  By some great miracle, we’ve been able to airlift a group of journalists, hungry for the story.  It’s a weekend when time slows down; the daily pressure-cooker gets a well-deserved respite.  And for this period, our writers want nothing but to work their craft – to learn from their coaches, to listen to their sources, and to tell something important to their readers. They find a way to get here for three days, and all of us feel richer for their efforts by the workshop’s end.  And the experience seems to stay with us, because we all want to do it again - tomorrow, next week, and next year.

Ellen Levine, May 2010 Workshop

From the Workshop Notebook

… in which we record our comments as we are going out the door at the end of the Workshop.

“The Spirit and inspiration my workshop bothers and sisters share will carry me forward on this journey to become a storyteller.”

Howard Frank, Pocono Record

Future of News Hounds

hannah-future-smHannah Banana of the Cape Cod Times reacts as the Future of News talks unfold during the 2010 Mike Levine Workshop.

“What was that about hash tags?” she wonders. Mary Ann Bragg, also of the CCTimes, is absorbed in the discussion which mixed public and journalists for the final night of the workshop.

Getting to the source


Beth Brelje of the Pocono Record, Kristy Gray of the Casper, Wyoming, Star-Tribune; Paula McMahon of the South Florida Sun Sentinel and Lee Hill Kavanaugh of the Kansas City Star listen up while Neil Swidey of the Boston Globe magazine explains how and why getting access to sources is an education process — for the source and sometimes for the the journalist. This was during the Crossing the Hurdles (… to getting your best work published) discussion led by Michael Kruse and Ben Montgomery of the St. Petersburg Times (below).