Write to be Healed Journaling Workshop:

This program is designed by Janine De Tillio Cammarata after more than 30 years of writing in and working with her personal journals.

It has been proven that self-inquiry through physically writing in a journal has the ability to heal. This workshop specifically focuses on using a journal to heal from injury, illness, loss or tragedy. It also is designed to empower, enlighten, and support anyone on their personal life path. 

Even if you aren't a writer, you can journal. Like anything else, it's a practice and the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Journaling allows us to search within our mind to get to the heart of where we want to be in our lives and what is stopping us. In this workshop, many techniques and exercises are used to build your journaling practice to healing and self-awareness.

It can be personalized for individual or group workshops.

 


 

The Writer’s Journal: A Guide to Creating Characters to Build Stories

Janine De Tillio Cammarata

 

Program Theme

Fictional character development within the framework of a story map.

Themes to touch upon:

  • Generating ideas

  • Write to entertain

  • Analyzing characters

  • Co-develop and collaborate with peers

  • Inferences on character behavior and emotions

  • Flexible thinking

  • Creating a lifelong love of writing

  • Immersion in the process

  • Use effective techniques, descriptive details, and clear event sequences

  • Share various tools for publishing in print and digital

 

Program Description

The Writer’s Journal: A Guide to Creating Characters to Build Stories

 

Goal: Inspiration for creating characters is all around us. Introduce journal writing to record daily observations and collect data, facts, and ideas—people, the world, setting, recording details, dreams, feelings, and news. Use these observations in creating a story from main character to conflict to resolution.

 

Activities:

 

Share my writing process using examples of characters from The Puzzle Quests’ books, Shimmer’s Eggs and Saving Atlantis.

Create characters to develop stories.

 

Introduction: Use of a photo prompt to create a character.

 

  • Use of a photo prompt to develop a character (collaborative group participation)

    • Physical description, such as hair and eye color, shape of face, gender, age, height, color of skin

    • Emotion based on facial features

    • Surroundings

 

  • Use current photo or own idea to create a character using Creative Character Worksheet Word Web

    • Answer additional questions about character

      • What does character like to do, hobbies, skills?

      • What are their favorites—color, food, movies, etc.

      • Best friend

      • Do they have pets?

      • Family? Siblings

  • Effectively collaborate with diverse partners, express storyline clearly, and build on feedback.

  • Create plot

    • Brainstorm:

      • What character loves or what is most important to them.

      • What character wishes for.

      • What character fears, what is afraid will stop wish from coming true.

      • What character dislikes.

    • Problem unfolds when what the character loves or wishes for is threatened or prevented by their fear.

    • Discuss conflict and situation where character has to face fear.

  • Resolution

    • Events and elements leading to the problem, the climax, falling action, to resolution.

  • Events to thicken plot

    • Ask questions about fear.

    • What could go wrong in the story?

    • Sub-plots

  • Continued journal prompts for deeper character understanding. For example, who would your character respond to the following:

    • Friends want you to swim in a pond your parents said to stay away from. What do you do?

    • A student on the bus is pushing your friend around.

    • Someone wants to copy your test answers, how do you respond?

    • You found a stray dog and you aren’t allowed to keep it.

  • Use examples from The Puzzle Quests: Shimmer’s Eggs and Saving Atlantis

    • Examples of character development

    • Moving past getting stuck

    • Resolving the problem

    • Letting the character’s personality flow. No judgment or editing

    • Reading the story out loud when editing for effectiveness

 

Activities and detailed lessons are based on grade, length of class, and number of visits.

Available for 3/4/5th grades, middle school, and high school. 

School-wide assembly program also available upon request.

 

What others are saying about

The Writer’s Journal: A Guide to Creating Characters to Build Stories

 

"Thank you for getting even my most reluctant writers excited and writing today! You’re the best! Top notch, high quality writing instructor!!”

—Marcy Philo, 4th grade teacher, Karigon Elementary School

 

"It was a wonderful day! The students thoroughly enjoyed it and were inspired. Next time you visit, I hope to schedule two days.  One of the best quotes:  'Can we continue this tomorrow?’"

--Kathy Kutny, Librarian, Waterford-Halfmoon School District

 

"Thank you so much for visiting! My kids truly enjoyed your lesson. I've never had so much fun or participation during an author visit. We were all excited to continue working on our pieces!"

--Shannon Race, 4th grade teacher, Karigon Elementary School


To schedule a visit or plan a workshop, please click here.

What's Being Said?

  • "The Puzzle Quests: Shimmer's Eggs is amazing. Haven't been able to put it down. What a wonderful magical adventure!!"

    Melissa


  • "I SO enjoyed your work, I didn’t want to put it down, and then didn’t want it to end. I am very excited for the next book in the series, to continue my adventure with the sisters."

    Judi


  • "I really enjoyed this book. I love Celtic stories. I really enjoyed the dreaming aspect to the book as well. How in our dreams we can go anywhere . The characters in this book , knew that and took advantage of it.

    I had read "Warriors Within", which was her first book. I looked forward to reading this sequel (Eyes of the Goddess) and was not disappointed. I look forward to her next book!!"

    V. McCarney


  • "I just wanted to let you know that I loved your book. I have been an avid reader of fantasy based novels or most of my life and I found this one refreshing and highly engaging. I truly hope there will be a few more books in this cycle. Thanks!"

    Rebecca


  • "I usually read mysteries or non fiction. Every once in a while I like to try something different. If you like J.R.R. Tolkien or the Chronicles of Narnia this is a good fit. I enjoyed the story line and the character development. I wonder if and when book 2 will be available?"

    Marla


  • "The girls' best treat yesterday (Halloween) was picking up their personalized copy of Shimmer's Eggs from our favorite author! The girls were beta readers a couple of years ago before it went to press!

    Time travel, enduring friendships, and persevering during hard times...this book is best for midde elementary aged readers...but I loved it too! Heart-warming, an adventure-filled story about childhood bonds that wishstand place and time!"

    Felicia


  • Adult Writing Workshop Reviews

    "Through this class I was finally able to complete something that I am confident about."

    "It bumped my thinking from left-brain to right-brain--a whole new mind!"


     

  • Adult Journaling Workshop Reviews

    "Being able to take time to journal and focus on myself has been an incredible experience."


     The Writer's Journal School Program

    “Janine Cammarata, a natural teacher of her craft, is able to ignite a spark even in your most reluctant writer!” 

    --Marcy Philo, 4th grade teacher, Karigon Elementary School, Clifton Park, NY

     

     

    "Thank you so much for visiting! My kids truly enjoyed your lesson. I've never had so much fun or participation during an author visit. We were all excited to continue working on our pieces!"

    --Shannon Race, 4th grade teacher, Karigon Elementary School, Clifton Park, NY

  • Adult Writing Workshop Reviews

    "Through this class I was finally able to complete something that I am confident about."

    "It bumped my thinking from left-brain to right-brain--a whole new mind!"


     

  • Adult Writing Workshop Review

    "This well-thought-out course covered the essentials of creative writing in a logical progression. Class discussion and activities as well as assignments were thought-provoking and stimulating."


     

  • "Your book is excellent – a picture of Celtic landscape and adventure remained in my mind long after I completed the novel - I am looking forward to your sequel!"

    Mary


  • "I loved learning about the Celtic lore that is written about in this book! Can't wait to read the next one :)"

    Cie


  • "I bought The Warrior Within at a fundraiser although it was not the type of book I usually purchase. I have been missing out..! I was immediately hooked and disappointed that it took so long for Eyes of the Goddess to be published. Please know that I purchased Eyes of the Goddess through Amazon and appreciate how quickly it was delivered. I am amazed a the skill of the author in being able to transition from the present to the past without losing the reader in the process. I love the Celtic aspect and the storyline continues to keep me addicted to this trilogy. I am eagerly waiting for the next (and unfortunately the last) book to be published. A whole new world of books has been opened to me though my initial purchase of The Warrior Within"

    Ann Frantti


  • "Eyes of the Goddess, Book Two of the Fianna Cycle, takes up where Warriors Within left off. Present-day New York City is entwined with 3rd century Ireland by their respective inhabitants, Michaela Sommers and Maecha Ruadh Mac Art, heiress to the throne of Tara. Michaela is involved in a search for the drug lord who killed her father, Police Narcotics Officer Jack Sommers, while Maecha is about to embark on a voyage to Alba (ancient Scotland) to free her father, King Cormac, who had been kidnapped by the Picts. The two worlds are connected by the dream travel of Michaela, the chief druid Finnius Amergin, and Natalie, a child who exists in NYC but is destined to save ancient Ireland from ruin. Cammarata's keen knowledge of Celtic lore and skill in martial arts combine to create an exciting story of ancient battles, gods and magic, honor, loyalty and love. Young adults who love a good adventure story will certainly love this one. While Eyes of the Goddess can be read as a stand-alone, readers will want to start with Warriors Within to experience the full epic tale."

    Joan Weiskotten

    Young Adult Librarian
    Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library

  • Adult Writing Workshop Reviews

    "Through this class I was finally able to complete something that I am confident about."

    "It bumped my thinking from left-brain to right-brain--a whole new mind!"


     

Events & Workshops

  • JOURNALING WORKSHOPS

    Must register for each workshop separately:

    WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15--Piracci Board Room

    WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19--Piracci Board Room

    WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17--Piracci Board Room

    WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7 - Piracci Board Room

    WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5 - Piracci Board Room

    Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library from 6:30-8:30pm

    Adults 18+

    Whether it's in a notebook, blog, or sketchpad journaling can help you lead a whole and fulfilling life. It's a way to keep track of goals, life activities, dreams, and is very fun! Learn the many ways to express yourself! Each workshop will be different so come to them all!

    Bring your own journal! We have the rest!

     

  • Write Stories to Save Atlantis

    MONDAYS, October 29, November 5, 19, 26 from 3:30-4:30pm

    Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library, Piracci Board Room

    Join author Janine De Tillio Cammarata as she shares excerpts from her latest middle grade book, The Puzzle Quests: Saving Atlantis, and provides prompts for you to change or expand the story. Learn to create characters to write your own story. No experience necessary. Bring a notebook.

    For children in 3rd-5th grades, registration required and is for the four date series.

     

     

    Register Here



    Fan Fiction and Other Creative Writing

    MONDAYS, October 29, November 5, 19, 26 from 4:30-6:00pm

    Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library, Piracci Board Room

    Join Janine De Tillio Cammarata as she shares excerpts from her latest Middle Grade book, The Puzzle Quests: Saving Atlantis, and provides prompts for you to change or expand the story. Plus, create characters to write your own story or other fan fiction. No experience necessary. Bring a notebook. 

    Please register to attend this four date series. Registration opens August 27 at 9:30am

    Register Here

  • JOURNALING INTO ESSAY WRITING

    Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library: PIRACCI BOARD ROOM

    WEDNESDAYS, September 19 and October 17 FROM  4:00-6:00 PM

    For teens in grades 9 to 12 or home school equivalent.

    Writing is necessary for school and life, but it doesn’t have to be boring! Join Janine De Tillio Cammarata as she explores different types of journaling that can be woven into narrative and descriptive essays. No experience necessary. Bring a notebook and an essay that you are working on (optional). Please register to attend.

    Register Here

  • THE PUZZLE QUESTS: SAVING ATLANTIS

    BOOK RELEASE EVENTS!

    Rose and her growing band of knights get the chance to save Atlantis during their next puzzle quest. When Rose attempts to save this world on her own, her team is thrown into danger and the safety of Atlantis and her friendships are compromised. Will Rose see the value of working as a team before she is trapped in Dragonia forever?
     

    Saving Atlantis is the second book in The Puzzle Quests’ series of adventures that span across time and generations. No matter where you are, there is hope.

     

    Ages 8-12

     

     

    PRE-ORDER HERE: Free poster to first 100 orders online or at events.

    Book Events:

    Market Block Books
    Saturday, September 22 from 11am-1pm
     
    Arts Center of the Capital District
    Business of Art--Extended Series
    9/28-10/14
    Public Reception: Friday, September 28 from 6pm-8pm
      
    Albany Book Festival, SUNY Albany Campus
    Saturday, September 29 from 10am-4pm
     
    The Writer's Journal: School Writing Program
    Berlin Middle School
    October 23
     
    Berlin High School Featured Presentation
    October 23
     
    The Writer's Journal: School Writing Program
    Mechanicville Elementary School
    Grades 3-5
    November 13, 14, 15
     
    Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza
    Saturday, November 3 from 3-5pm
    3-3:30 collaborative writing event
    3:30-5 chat and book signing
     
    The Glens Falls Chronicle Book Fair
    Queensbury Hotel
    Sunday, November 4 from 11am-3pm
     
    The Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library
    Book Release Beach Party!
    Sunday, December 2 from 1-3:30pm
     
    Northshire Bookstore Saratoga
    Saturday, February 16, 2019 from 1-2:30pm
    1-1:30pm collaborative writing event
    1:30-2:30pm chat and book signing
     
    If you would like me to come to your school or bookstore for a writing workshop or book signing, please contact me!