The French word travail (and Spanish trabajo), like its English equivalent, are derived from the Latin trepaliare – to torture, to inflict suffering or agony. The word peine, meaning penalty or punishment, also is used to signify arduous labour, something accomplished with great effort. The German Arbeit suggests effort, hardship and suffering; it is cognate with the Slavonic rabota (from which English derives “robot”), a word meaning corvee, forced or serf labour. In romance languages, words from the Latin laborare have come to mean ploughing or tilling the earth, although in Italian, lavoro also means work in general. The Latin meaning was anything accomplished with difficulty and struggle. Meaning “physical effort, exertion” is from c. 1200; meaning “scholarly labor” or its productions is from c. 1200; meaning “artistic labor” or its productions is from c. 1200
1250-1300; Middle English shoppe (noun), Old English sceoppa booth; akin to scypen stall, shippon, German Schopf lean-to, Schuppen shed

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Generally these workshops are kept to 2-3 meetings held here at the Conservatory and will include a sample of one on one time with me for each participant. Usually, I incorporate times for you to write to writing prompts or exercises as well as time to share your work and give and receive feedback from other writers– when and if you are comfortable with that.

Watch this website to see what workshops may be coming and how to sign up.

How It Works

All workhops are held here at VCW, unless otherwise indicated. For upcoming workshop descriptions with dates and fees click here. There will be information about how to register and pay. If you have questions, you can email or call me at 414-278-8933. In most cases, workshop participants need to be over 18 years of age. Most workshops are for writers of all experience levels. But some are better suited for experienced writers. I always encourage writers to bring writer friends with them—but if that isn’t possible, you’ll meet new friends here.


Fees start at $50.00 and are paid in advance. I accept checks or cash by paper mail.

The Vest Conservatory for Writers
2125 N. Newhall St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202