Common Threads: Building a Collection with Kate Finegan & Stephanie Trott

This Weekend Workshop Intensive will offer time and space to start or make progress on a collection of prose, poetry, or hybrid work. This collection might end up being a linked series, a chapbook, or even a full-length manuscript. Writers will use an existing piece as the basis for their collection and will apply strategies to identify and tease out themes and images within that piece. In addition to craft notes and written exercises, three live Zoom sessions will offer space for writing and discussion. Whether you’re currently working on a collection or not, this weekend will lay a foundation for future work that gets at the heart of what obsesses and delights you. Please note this is a generative workshop; it is not feedback-focused, though there will be opportunities to share your work.

In addition to written craft notes, exercises, and an interactive forum, we will meet live on Zoom on Friday at 7 p.m. & Saturday/Sunday at 4 p.m. (ET) for roughly 1.5 hours.

What participants have to say...

This was a fabulous workshop. There was a really great balance between reading and generating work, as well as between prompts and discussion during Zoom calls. I love starting out with the reading since it always introduces me to writing I might not have come across otherwise and gets me thinking in new ways about the workshop theme. I also appreciated that there were so many prompts to choose from, since that allows for a lot of variety and self-direction in creating new work.

I will try not to fangirl too hard here but! This was one of the most rewarding and productive workshops I've taken. The content of the program was the perfect mix of insights, prompts, and group work.

After half a year of quarantine, my gosh did it feel amazing sharing a space with almost 20 writers. The focus and intention of the Zoom room was thrilling.

The breakout rooms had plenty of time with each other and the transitions were very smooth. The prompts, encouragement to experiment, craft notes, and readings were all on fire. I did some of my best work in a long time.

I always LOVE the writing sprints. Sometimes it's the only writing I get done all day; I leave with something tangible I can continue to work on later, and I can incorporate all the things the discussion is bringing up while it's still actively floating around in my mind.

Kate has this incredible ability of introducing new and different ways of "questioning" our work and guiding writers to find the story and themes and images that are lurking under its surface. I could not have done the writing and revision I did over the weekend without this workshop.

About Kate Finegan

About Kate Finegan

Kate Finegan is editor-in-chief of Longleaf Review and novel/novella editor at Split/Lip Press. You can find her on Twitter @kehfinegan and at

About Stephanie Trott

About Stephanie Trott

Stephanie Trott is Fiction Editor for Longleaf Review. She lives and writes in southeastern Massachusetts, though she'll always be a Jersey girl at heart. She holds an MFA in fiction from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she was a poetry editor at Ecotone. A lover of rocky beaches, little dogs, and strong coffee, her fiction appears or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Blood Orange Review, and New South.