From the moment I heard my first story,
I started looking for you. --Rumi
Welcome to The Story Within.
The Story Within Creative Writing Workshops provide substantive writing instruction and inspiration to new writers and those who are already well-published. Open to the public and offered at St. John's College and The Writer's Center in Bethesda, students are nurtured, mentored and taught to strengthen their writing skills in an environment that is both exciting and safe. Every aspect of literary craft is addressed as is the business of publishing. Classes include the discussion of published works to learn how stories are constructed, in-class writing exercises to practice elements of craft, and the discussion of student work written outside the classroom. Those who wish to work one-on-one may do so as well .Short stories, novels, and creative nonfiction manuscripts are developed at your own pace in a supportive environment. Writing is a means of discovering and expressing the story within. Memories become memoirs, observations become essays, and life becomes literature.
"I envy Oliver's students, who must thrive under her understanding and enthusiasm. I happened to pick up "The Story Within" during a week when I was in a foul mood about writing in general, and by the time I was halfway through, to my amazement, Oliver had made me want to sit down and get back to work.”--Cynthia Gorney, Graduate School of Journalism, U.C. Berkeley, Contributing Writer, The New York Times Magazine and National Geographic Magazine
"I found a voice I didn't know I had and I found the courage to use it. Laura's astute insights and suggestions took me beyond where I thought I could go." --C. Schwarz, Annapolis, MD, St. John's writing workshop participant
Laura Oliver is the author of The Story Within: New Insights and Inspiration for Writers (/Penguin Books,2011,) named by "The Writer Magazine" as one of the best writing books of the year, and additionally selected by "Poets and Writers Magazine" as one of the best writing books ever published. In addition,Oliver is an award-winning writer and creative writing workshop instructor at St. John's College and The Writer's Center. Oliver has also taught both fiction and essay writing to juniors and seniors at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Oliver's fiction and essays are published in national newspapers, magazines and top-tier literary reviews (The Washington Post, Country Living Magazine, The Writer Magazine, The SUN Magazine, Glimmer Train Stories, Charleston Magazine, Portland Magazine, The Baltimore Review,) and she writes essays regularly for Annapolis LIfestyle. Among other distinctions, she is the recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Fiction, an Anne Arundel County Arts Council Annie Award winner, a two-time Glimmer Train Short Fiction award finalist, and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Oliver holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing and Literature from Bennington College, a Bachelor of Arts in English from Washington College, and has completed writing seminars in creative non-fiction at the University of Iowa.
Oliver has completed professional education seminars on positive psychology taught by the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania and numerous professional education seminars sponsored by the Maryland Psychological Association. She speaks on writing as a transformational tool at Annapolis Wellness House, Anne Arundel Medical Center, and the Life Center of Chesapeake Hospice.
photo by Laura Dobbs
“Packed with new ideas and deeply engaging, The Story Within inspires, instructs and entertains. Laura Oliver is an immensely talented writer, teacher and storyteller. This book is fun to read and will make you a better writer.”
--Jon Franklin, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism and the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.