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Long Island writing, photography classes to jump-start a hobby this winter

Courses are devoted to creative expression, photography and more.

Long Island author Ellen Meister is teaching a

Long Island author Ellen Meister is teaching a continuing education writing course at Hofstra University in Hempstead. Photo Credit: Susye Greenwood

Maryann Calendrille, co-owner of Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor, believes she has a good read on one way to beat the winter weather: writing.

For more than a decade, Calendrille has hosted a winter writing workshop at the bookstore welcoming writers of all levels to develop a narrative voice, whether it be for fiction, nonfiction or poetry. “The quiet of winter provides the perfect setting for writers to slow down and get to work on writing projects long dreamed of,” Calendrille says.

Canio’s Books offers writing workshops throughout the year, but the five-week winter session is a bit “quicker” and “more reflective than others,” Calendrille says.

This winter workshop will run 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursdays with writing exercises assigned and feedback given to each participant throughout each session.

WHEN | WHERE 5:30-7 p.m. beginning Jan. 18; 290 Main St., Sag Harbor. Space is limited.

INFO 631-725-4926,

COST $150

Across Long Island, there are opportunities for self-improvement whether with regard to fiction or fitness. Here is a sampling:


The Greater Long Island Running Club’s Runsmart training program will be on the move Saturday mornings through April at various Nassau County Parks.

The 10-week program is open to runners of all ages and abilities. At its helm is strength and conditioning coach Deborah Blair and Bob Cook, owner of the Farmingdale sporting goods store Runner’s Edge.

Runsmart is one in a series of programs offered by the Greater Long Island Running Club in conjunction with the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation & Museums. Along with the Runsteady and Runstart courses, Runsmart seeks to promote accountability and inclusion, organizers say.

As of early January, upward of 100 people were signed up for the Runsmart program, which has seen a steady increase each year since its inception in 2009.

WHEN | WHERE 8:30 a.m. Saturdays beginning Jan. 27 through April

INFO 516-349-7646,

COST $35


Long Island author Ellen Meister, whose works include “Dorothy Parker Drank Here,” “Farewell, Dorothy Parker,” “The Other Life” and “The Smart One,” will teach an introductory not-for-credit course on creative writing at Hofstra University Tuesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. beginning Jan. 30, providing rare access to an established novelist.

“You’ll learn how to find inspiration and overcome creative blocks,” according to the course description. “With writing prompts designed to help your inner creativity blossom, this class will awaken your potential.”

Creativity comes at a cost: Four sessions are $230.

With “gentle critiques” from Meister, students will learn to “write clear sentences, vivid descriptions, authentic characterizations, lively dialogue and compelling stories,” the course description states.

WHEN | WHERE 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays Jan. 30 to Feb. 27 (no class Feb. 20); Hofstra University, Hempstead

INFO 516-463-7200,

COST $230


Kathryn Szoka teaches a range of workshops at Canio’s Books each year, but this season’s offering puts the focus on nature on the South Fork. As part of the photography in winter workshop, Szoka will discuss technical and aesthetic aspects of photography and photographs.

Participants will meet four consecutive Thursday mornings starting Jan. 18. Weekly assignments and critiques will be given to students. Digital or film cameras required.

WHEN | WHERE 9:30-11 a.m. Thursdays beginning Jan. 18 at 290 Main St., Sag Harbor. Space is limited.

INFO 631-725-4926 or email

COST $150


Local artist Jade Kuei will host beginner and advanced sketch classes at Dolphin Bookshop & Café for children ages 6 to 14 through the spring. The separate 10-week sketch workshops will provide instruction on general sketching and drawing techniques. No sketch experience is necessary.

Children ages 6 to 8 will meet 4:15-5:15 p.m. Fridays and ages 9 to 12 5:30-6:30 p.m. Fridays or 4-5 p.m. Wednesdays. Advanced sketch artists ages 12 to 14 will meet 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays. Materials are included with registration.

WHEN | WHERE The Dolphin Bookshop & Café, 299 Main St., Port Washington

INFO 516-767-2650,

COST $195

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