Past Workshops


Much of what we write, whether we acknowledge or not, is a deep, subconscious remote factorial of what we are, and what are our experiences. We are drawing from the same pool deep inside us for everything we write. The pool is your own, original, unique, unblemished. And there are dark corners and sublayers in that pool you don’t even know if they exist, or anything about them until they surface. It is believed that behavior and personality were derived from the constant and unique interaction of conflicting psychological forces that operate at three different levels of awareness: The preconscious, The conscious mind AND The unconscious mind.  We use them to our best advantage. In this generative session, there’re 5 segments which are as different from each other as possible. Just like coffee, which gets stronger the longer you brew, with each segment the difficulty level will go up a bit.

opening our mind to new possibilities… wonderful. i love the tecniques you are mentioning is there a book on them please? Thank you so much, I hadn’t felt that creative in a very long time!

parv, Workshop participant

I loved the last three prompts and have some ideas for drafts I’m excited to work on. Taking away two very rough narratives! Interesting to take a class b4 I am fully awake here in California!

Diane Gillette, Workshop participant

Thank you, Mandira and Sage! LOVE IT. Best prompt: The couples with mixed dramas!

Amy Goldmacher, Workshop participant

Fantastic prompts! Worth getting up crazy early for, thank you Mandira 🙂

Nina Inamdar, Workshop participant

i love the prompts mandira

Melissa Nunez


  • Identity as theme: Why? How? Where?
  • Tyoes of Identity
  • Quiz and Thought Experiments
  • Prompts
  • Group Writing and Reading with feedback

Yesterday, caught up with Mandira Pattnaik’s workshop which I missed on Sat morning due to stuff, but no worries as the recording hosted by the fab. I actually committed words to paper for the first time in ages. Thanks Mandira & team

Jan Kaneen

Big thanks to Mandira Pattnaik for an excellent workshop over the weekend…t’was really good!

Beda Higgins

Absolutely fantastic session with Mandira. Check out her upcoming workshop with the Crow Collective too. These Saturday Retreat West sessions are like bright sparks in dark weeks. Thank you so much, Mandira, for illuminating the day.

Electra Rhodes

Flash 360 Beginners All-Purpose Writing Workshop Flash 360 is a hands-on workshop that integrates classroom learning with publishing experience to explore Flash Fiction writing, the fastest growing genre within literary fiction of stories under 1000 words.

July 9, 2022


  • Discussions on flash-writing craft, and structure of flash fiction (opening, tension, resolution.
  • Variations you can make
  • Structures that work for you
  • Get ready to write one flash piece in class based on your instructor’s prompt through guided support on how to write an attention-grabbing opening, how to build suspense, and how to close the narrative satisfactorily. This exercise is followed by Reading and peer-feedback in an encouraging atmosphere.
  • Guidance with the submission process, including writing & formatting Cover Letters.
  • This comprehensive workshop also includes one piece of your choice (plus bio and Cover Letter) which is eligible for Editorial Critique after the class.

I’m still grateful for the flash fiction workshop on Saturday. It was amazing.

Victor Uzochukwu

Expressing my gratitude for a wonderful, interactive and fun workshop… I carry home some good learning and I hope I can share good work with you in the near future. 

Sonia Dogra

Thank you Mandira for this feedback.  I appreciate this effort from the bottom of my heart.  I can’t thank you enough.

Sudha Subramanian

Motifs and Metaphors

Crow Collective Workshop

May 21, 2022


  • INTRODUCTION: Much of the power of a story lies in its subtext, the stuff between the lines, and under the surface that gives the action of the story meaning. Discussions on subtext, what lends depth to the plot and to the characters, and how it must be weaved into the narrative seamlessly, and how the inner meaning must be built organically and in just-the-right amount.
  • Divided into eight segments, this workshop examines all aspects of writing with Motifs and Metaphors including inserting them in the right areas, using different familiar and unfamiliar forms, images, motifs in motion, motifs from poetry, metaphors from classical fiction and fairy tales
  • Lots of exercises, and hands-on approach towards adding that elusive resonance and universality to your writing
  • Discussion on analogy, conceptual blending, ideasthesia
  • Brief readings of example stories
  • Why conflicts of metaphors are usually missed by most writers
  • Discussion on example stories

Great workshop. It was packed with brilliant stuff. The examples you chose were varied and interesting and inspiring. I especially like the part where you discussed how something can be both joyful and sad ie Plath’s balloons. I treated myself to a copy of Ariel and am revisiting Plath. Thank you! I also really enjoyed the hermit crab part. It was an unexpected bonus! It’s funny, I’d never thought of hermit crab flashed in the way you were describing. 

Anika Carpenter

I loved your workshop and I’m really looking forward to having you back in September.

Sage Tyrtle

Lots of good information, suggested readings, and prompts. I left with quite a few stories I can’t wait to finish.

Kimberley Shiel

Wonderful workshop. You packed in a lot of information and knowledge. Thank you!

Jonaki Ray

SEPTEMBER 18 & 25, 2022

That was a fun filled two hours. Lots of learning. It was Inspiring to hear great stories crafted to perfection from fellow participants. You can’t expect anything less when you learn from the best. Thank you!

Sudha Subramanian

Soooooo many ways to write. This has been amazing.


The power of metaphor in short writing!

Audrey Stibbe

The class was very informative and important. I was surprised by how we may go to poetry to use metaphors.

Olwen Wilson

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