Léna’s extensive experience in leading groups includes work with kids, teens, adults, and mixed ages. Whether in small groups of three to six students, or large gatherings of ﬁfty or more, she has tailored presentations and exercises to each group, adapting old workshops and creating new ones.
Red Rocks and Brownstones.
A discussion about Léna’s ﬁrst novel, EDGES, begins with a ﬁve minute reading followed by a discussion of the different elements in the book: What are the themes? Why does Luke feel that he
has to leave his father? What does he need to learn? Why isn’t life immediately better for Ava when she stops drinking? What are the different ways that the characters in EDGES solve their problems? Do they work? How does the imagery and landscape of the novel mirror the internal processes of the characters? What are their points of view? The session continues with the EDGES back-story, a frank sharing of how the book came to be. An open Q&A period
concludes our time together. 40-60 minutes. For ages 14+.
Truth, Literature and Unicorns.
Léna has lived her entire life among writers, whether famous or struggling, and as friend and family. She has a unique perspective on the sometimes blurry lines between biography, realistic ﬁction, and genre ﬁction. This discussion examines the degrees to which all authors dramatize their personal history, and how their world view and spirituality can determine what they deﬁne as fantasy,high-ﬁction or
20 minutes. For ages 14+.
Mining Your Life for Your Fiction.
Because all ﬁction, including fantasy, comes from somewhere in the writer’s psyche, this practical workshop develops skills for tapping that process. Madeleine L’Engle ﬁrst sketched the Mrs. Ws of A WRINKLE IN TIME during a journey through Arizona’s Painted Desert; HARRY POTTER came to JK Rowling while waiting for a train. Léna’s own EDGES was borne out of her time as a substance abuse counselor for youths in rural Utah. A big hit at the 2011 Leaky Con in Orlando, this workshop helps widen your lens to see characters wherever you are and wherever you’ve been. Writing exercises that explore character, setting and vibe help participants know where to ﬁnd their story.
60 minutes. For ages 10+.
A Wrinkle in an Hour’s Time.
Through personal and group writing and dramatic exercises, participants in this workshop explore their relationship to individuality, diversity and community, and create their own piece based on some of the themes put forth in Madeleine L’Engle’s classic A WRINKLE IN TIME.
60 minutes. For ages 8 to 80.
The Modern Diarist.
Léna explores the practice of blogging as a writer’s daily workout and as a means toward developing personal voice. The discussion includes choices in authorial transparency, the evolving concept of the digital thumbprint, and other questions of online ethics.
30 minutes. For ages 11+
These presentations and workshops are just a sample of Léna’s programs. Through her work with Writopia Lab she also runs week-long and semester- long creative writing workshops for kids