Ira Wood's Readings, Workshops and Performances
Ira Wood is the author of three novels, The Kitchen Man, Going Public, and Storm Tide, with Marge Piercy, with whom he has also written So You Want to Write, an award-winning text about writing fiction and memoirs. He has written screenplays for Universal Pictures and his short pieces have been published in ‘Ploughshares’, ‘The Sun,’and the ‘Utne Reader’ among many magazines. Since 1996 he has been the editor-in-chief of Leapfrog Press, one of America’s premiere ‘boutique’ publishers, which the Boston Globe calls “the pulse of what’s hot in the publishing world.
Check Out a Recent Story in Ploughshares.
Ira Wood’s remarkable way with writing students, his hilarious and poignant readings, and his lectures about the state of the publishing world for writers (and most importantly, the opportunities that exist for those willing to take advantage of them) have won exuberant praise all over the country.
Ira can be engaged for any of the following (alone or in combination):
1. The SO YOU WANT TO WRITE workshop,
2. The State of the Publishing World Today and How Writers Can Take Advantage of It , and
3. A Reading from Ira's Work.
The SO YOU WANT TO WRITE workshop:
SO YOU WANT TO WRITE is an interactive workshop for writers of fiction and/or the personal narrative (defined as memoir or autobiographical fiction). According the sponsor’s requirements, the workshop has been adapted to be as short as an afternoon and as long as five days. It can be co-taught with best-selling novelist and poet Marge Piercy or presented by Ira alone. Thousands of students across the country have taken the workshop in venues as diverse as the Esalen and Omega Institutes; the Hassayampa, Aspen and Port Townsend Summer Writers Conferences; the Hamline University MFA Program; and the State of New Hampshire Writers Project.
A good number of the workshop’s participants have gone on to place their work with New York publishing companies, independent presses and literary magazines. The highly praised book So You Want to Write: How to Master the Craft of Writing Fiction and Memoir, about to be released in its Second Edition, is based on the workshop. It is a Featured Selection of the Writers Digest Book Club and was chosen a Best Book of the Year for Writers by The Writer Magazine.
The workshop can be tailored to touch on all or any of the following:
• How to begin a piece so that a reader can’t put it down,
• How to create compelling characters,
• How professional writers use dialog,
• How to narrow a strategy for telling the story of your life,
• How to write about painful material without coming off as a victim,
• How to deal with deeply personal material about your family,
• How to get published when you are continually rejected.
Click Here to learn much more about the workshop.
The State of the Publishing World Today and How Writers Can Take Advantage of It:
In his capacity as Co-Publisher and Managing Editor of Leapfrog Press, one of the country’s most highly regarded nationally distributed independent publishing companies("The pulse of what's hot in the book publishing world!" -The Boston Globe), Ira has both edited and supervised marketing on best selling and critically praised titles for over ten years. Contrary to the gloom and doom about the downfall of books, Ira has identified many new and exciting opportunities for writers who are willing to change their thinking and enter the 21 st Century. His informative and entertaining lectures on the state of the publishing business today have garnered standing ovations and given hope to many writers who are continually rejected and don’t know where to turn.
Ira’s popular Presentations About the Publishing Industry Today Cover the Following:
• The Difference Between Creative Writing and Creative Publishing
• How to Get a Publisher to Work For You
• How Much Money Do Famous Writers Make
• How to Use Your Fear and Anger to Sell Books and Get Yourself Published
• What Rejection Letters are Really Saying
• The Saddest Author/Publisher Story Ever Told and How It Turned Into a Success
• Why "Sure Fire Hits" Often Fail
• The Secret Life of Editors and Agents
• The 10 Most Destructive Things Writers Can Do
• What to Do if You are Continually Rejected
• A New Paradigm: The Role of the Writer in the 21 st Century
What The Sponsors Say About Ira's Publishing Lectures:
"I don't quite know where to begin to thank you for giving so generously of your time, talent and experience at our New Hampshire Writers' Project 8th Annual Writers Day. I know that our members gained so much from hearing your honest, sometimes frightening, and often inspiring talk about the state of the publishing world. Your talk got high remarks on the workshop evaluations and I know that what our members appreciated more than anything was being addressed as professionals rather than hobbyists. Thank you for making Writers' Day such a wonderful success."
--Katie Goodman, Executive Director
New Hampshire Writers' Project
"I don't know how you manage to be so consistently amazing. Your students are raving about your workshop. Your panel discussion about the State of Publishing got everyone revved up, and I don't know when I've ever laughed so hard at a reading."
Director, The Hassayampa Writers Workshop
A Reading from Ira's Work:
But back where it all begins, Ira Wood is a novelist whose work has been praised for its outrageous humor and insights about family. The New York Times has said, “Ira Wood has a special gift for heartwarming comedy.” The author of three novels, Ira’s readings rock the house.
What the Critics have said:
About The Kitchen Man:
"Fresh, vital . . .Gabriel, 'the kitchen man' of Ira Wood's engaging first novel, is that all too rare creature in American fiction -- neither a ladies' man nor a man's man. Gabe is a mensch who not only loves women, but can also like them as friends and equals. [The Kitchen Man] is a totally convincing creation that demonstrates Mr. Wood’s a special gift for heartwarming comedy."
—The New York Times Book Review
"A delightful, laugh-out-loud first novel . . . Fast stepping, always engaging, sharp and colorful, emotionally honest . . . The Kitchen Man is about love and loyalty outside conventional categories of age, gender, and body proportions . . . a gamey kind of You Can't Take It With You with extremely recognizable people." —Kirkus Reviews
"The novel is a treat, bursting with farcical turns of events . . . teeming with characters by turns funny, touching and real. Wood has an amazing talent for creating rounded people who might very well go off and become central figures in their own books. If Gabriel Rose, lover of women and food, failed playwright and successful mensch, is on the menu, where do I place my order, please?"
—The Toronto Globe & Mail
"A wonderful warm story of a modern man's secret hopes and fears. Funny enough for laughing out loud . . . touching enough to elicit a tear, this is a fine full bodied book with remarkably human characters. A book to read and relish."
"A funny, almost zany, sad, and touching story of a young man finding himself . . . The Kitchen Man is an inside look at a modern, enlightened couple sharing an abundance of honesty and compassion."
—The Kansas City Star
“Rich in humor, sex, sharp repartee and that "primal" element—food.”
— Roanoke Times & World-News
“The Kitchen Man delights us with the sensuality of its descriptions . . . a delectable and provocative novel." —The Worcester Sunday Telegram
“A funny, highly engaging book about understanding and, far harder to do, accepting. Wood picks up the trail forged by Saul Bellow in the 50's and widened by Philip Roth in the 60's—Wood might be one of the precursors of a Jewish revival we may yet see.”
—The Gay Community News
About Going Public:
“With Going Public Ira Wood has fashioned a wickedly delicious and very modern romance full of wit, common sense and real love.”
“A sharp novel about the perverse linkage of romance and status. Wood keeps it alive by focusing on the paradox. A fine send-up of one of the few industries in which the Fortune 500 execs live on candy bars and go to work in high-tops.”
“The characters are quirky and loveable. A sweet bet of a love story.”
“This humorous and perceptively written novel concerns materialism and modern marriage in state of havoc.”
“After a tiresome decade of stories on leveraged buyouts, venture capital and junk bond sales, Going Public is a refreshing look at the real spoils of success.”
—The Cape Cod Times
About Storm Tide (with Marge Piercy):
Storm Tide “speaks with one powerful voice, moving inexorably toward tragedy even as it offers a hint of redemption.”
—TheNew York Times Book Review
“An engrossing read…genuinely suspenseful. Piercy and Wood do a fine job of fleshing out the characters, their diverse backgrounds, and their changing perceptions of one another.”
— The Washington Times
“A seamless coming-of-age story…A wise tale in a vividly rendered setting, of men and women learning to live and love more fully.”
“Marge Piercy and Ira Wood know how to play with fire and deliver a confident page burner.”
—The Los Angeles Times
“A carefully, artfully and…seamlessly told story…The reader is totally engrossed.”
If you would like to inquire about booking an event with Ira please Click Here.