Write On Golden Pond

A weekend Master Class in writing
with Academy Award winning writer Ernest Thompson at his home.


Limited enrollment for writers of all levels of experience.

Call 603-744-3652 or email WOGP@WhitebridgeFarmProductions.com for more information and to register.

Watch the video message below from Ernest Thompson about our upcoming workshop!

Academy Award winning-writer Ernest Thompson invites you to his farm in the idyllic Lakes Region of New Hampshire for a weekend that will change your life forever. Writers of any experience and background and from every corner of the country have attended and hundreds of stories have been created.
Yours should be next.

Open to eight writers only — of any age, experience or background — this weekend is all about process. Do you get stuck on page 6 or find yourself rewriting your first scene over and over until you really, truly and sincerely hate it? Write On Golden Pond teaches you how to barrel through; there’s no time in two days to stall and Ernest won’t let you fail. Nobody fails at Whitebridge Farm.

Whatever your interest is — film, theatre or prose — whether you’ve had plays produced or movies made or books published, or if you’ve never put pen to paper but have long dreamt of being a writer, or would just like to get better at organizing your thoughts and ideas and FINISHING, this weekend will reinforce your creative confidence. Each writer creates a new short play — five pages max — in an inspiring, safe and distraction-free environment, with constant hands-on guidance from Ernest and his partners. Why a play? Because it lends itself well to the five tenets of storytelling: Emotion, Character, Plot, Dialogue, Message. And it’s a tangible entity that can come immediately to life. You’ll see.


On a Friday evening, eight writers assemble at Ernest’s bucolic New Hampshire farm for a cocktail party and to meet the handful of professional actors who’ll serve as prototypes and be available to read the eight short plays that will be written over the weekend.

Why plays, when attendees run the gamut of screenwriters and novelists, journalists, poets, lawyers and teachers? Because the short play, to a man who’s written dozens of them and has fostered more than a hundred through years of teaching, is the perfect and containable medium. If Dylan or Springsteen can create a story in a four-minute song, Ernest, a prolific lyricist himself, tells his fellow writers, we can, too, in a five-minute play. We can fit a lot of passion into five pages. And we can finish. It’s part of the deep satisfaction of the weekend: everybody goes home with a completed project; there’s no time to procrastinate and no one gets to fail.

Each workshop has a theme, one of the five tenets of storytelling – Emotion, Character, Plot, Dialogue, Message. Writers can hop on at any stop and several have gone the loop twice or more, but the themes serve as starting points for Ernest and the writers to discuss where stories come from and how they get built.

By the end of the first night, the eight writers attending will have shared life experiences and secrets and emotions and be bursting with ideas and will retire to their respective homes or the myriad charming hotels and B&Bs in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region and return Saturday morning with outlines for their new plays. A friendly and gentle colloquy follows – these are Positive-Energy-Only workshops – and the writers sequester themselves in a room in Ernest’s sprawling house, by a fireplace in the winter, down by the pond, in the meadow, or the barn or on the screen porch in the summer.

In the late afternoon, each writer has one-on-one time with Ernest, letting him read and discuss the new script’s strengths and potential challenges. And, after a final pep talk from Ernest, the now-bonded writers head off for a night of writing their second drafts.

Sunday morning, back to the table. Actors materialize, the scripts are read aloud, the other writers weigh in. Some are veterans and have been published or had their scripts made into movies for the big screen, some have had plays done in New York, and serve as big brothers and sisters to the newcomers; some of them have never before put pen to paper but may always have dreamed of writing, and become proof of Ernest’s long-held contention that everyone is an artist; everyone has a story to tell. Write On Golden Pond is the perfect, safe place to explore one’s creativity in a warmly supportive and reassuring environment.

The spirit at Whitebridge Farm is electric and infectious; great stuff is happening. One by one, the writers quietly go back to work, creating a third draft and sometimes a fourth. The excitement in the house has to be experienced to be believed and no one is more moved by it than Ernest himself, making sure that each writer has what he or she needs, encouragement and confidence high on the list.

When the writers are ready, each has rehearsal time with the actors, and with Ernest, and then, as if by magic, an audience fills the theatre seats, and the writers see their new plays come to life, some hearing for the first time something they’ve written. The experience is transcendent, galvanizing and liberating. Some of our writers come back for eight or nine sessions; one has never missed a Write On Golden Pond workshop. Come join us; you’ll see why.

Call 603-744-3652 or email WOGP@WhitebridgeFarmProductions.com
Space is limited.


              Golden Opportunities: In NH Magazine              
                                       Write On Golden Pond/Act On Golden Pond: In Imagine Magazine                                                                                      Boot Camp for Script Writers: In NH Magazine     
                           Multi-Award winning author to lead writer, actor workshops: In the Union Leader

Photos below from past Write On Golden Ponds: