Writers in Progress Manuscript Intensive Series, with Dori Ostermiller

“Dori and my fellow manuscript members provided a welcoming and environment to become a more skillful storyteller. Through the support, guidance, and structure of this remarkable group, I completed a first draft of my manuscript! Thank you Studio 359!”
Cristian Escalona, 2017
“I never would have completed my manuscript without the structure of this group and Dori’s loving guidance. She holds an incredibly safe, nurturing yet critically honest space for creativity and the pages to emerge. It’s impossible to measure the value of this program!”
Carla Savetsky, 2018
“Signing up for the manuscript intensive workshop was one of the best decisions of my life. …It offered the structure, direction and support I needed to finish my memoir. A remarkable opportunity for anyone engaged in writing a book.” author of Headstrong
JoAnne Jones, 2016, author of Headstrong

Applications Accepted Through November 

Writing a book in isolation can feel like climbing Mt. Everest with no oxygen and no guide!  In order to support and guide writers through this daunting task, we offer the Manuscript Intensive Series, a year-long program for writers with prose manuscripts in progress that call for critical response and new writing.  Writers can be working on novels, short story collections, memoirs or essay collections.  This group will provide the structure, support, inspiration and critical feedback to help writers complete a book-length manuscript.

Program Guidelines:  Participants are writers who have made some headway in a writing project (approximately 50 – 100 pages), and are seeking support, structure and editorial guidance in order to complete it.  Writers agree to meet the deadlines for manuscript submission, to read and critique in advance the manuscripts of other group members, and to discuss them at the Friday evening/Saturday intensives.

The basic structure of the group includes seven deadlines with extensive feedback, five Friday evening/Saturday craft and critique intensives and two ‘online’ workshops.  The critique intensives will run every five-six weeks or so, on a Friday night (6:00 – 9:00) and the following Saturday (9:30 – 4:00) (See dates below) in our lovely studio at the historic Arts & Industry Building, 221 Pine Street, Florence, MA.

Admission to the group also includes three private conferences with Dori.  These conferences serve to help writers envision the overall shape of their manuscripts, address specific challenges and provide individualized support for issues of craft, process or time management, as needed.   Manuscript group members are also given the opportunity to use the WIP studio to write together one day a week, and receive a special 20% discount on any additional WIP workshops and retreats during the year. Additionally, manuscript group members receive a 20% discount on editing/consulting services with Dori for a full year after the group’s culmination.

Unlike other area groups, this manuscript series is limited to just 6 writers, who will make a commitment for the full year.  Intensives take place at Writers in Progress studio (and online) and include manuscript critiques, writing prompts, take-home exercises, handouts, and discussions on craft and process.  We will also spend some time at the end of the series discussing agents and queries. Saturday intensives at the studio are brown bag, so participants can either bring their own lunches or can dine at one of the many cafés and eateries within walking distance of the studio.

Manuscript submissions for each intensive include up to 43 pages of double-spaced prose (up to 301 pages total for the year) and are sent to all group members 2 weeks ahead of each scheduled intensive.  Members are responsible for getting their manuscripts to all participants by the dates indicated on the calendar.   The series will culminate with a celebration and public reading.  Accommodations are not included, but Dori will be happy to help locate nearby lodging for Friday night/Saturday intensives.

This is serious work that gets books written! Dozens of finished manuscripts have emerged from this process, and many have gone on to publication, including Dinah Mack’s Pirates of Cologne, Dusty Miller’s Alice Ott Mystery Series, Ruth Lehrer’s Being Fishkill, JoAnne Jones’s Headstrong, Steve Bernstein’s Stories from the Stoop, and Dori’s Outside the Ordinary World, among many others…

Cost: $3,350. includes all tuition and materials (handouts, over 50 hours of instruction, many pages worth of detailed professional critique on installments, individual conferences, publishing advice, studio time and refreshments during intensives).  A $500 deposit is due at the time of registration.  While you are obligated to pay the entire tuition if you are accepted into the program, you may arrange to pay the tuition in installments to fit your needs.  Apply Now – SPACE LIMITED!

Write a 1 page letter to Dori, describing your project, your progress to date, your short and long term goals, and why you believe the Manuscript Series is a good fit for you.  Send the letter, along with 10 -15 pages of your manuscript, by mail or email, before November 30th to:

Dori Ostermiller
Writers in Progress
c/o 17 Norwood Ave.
Florence, MA 01062

When applying, please mail your deposit as well.  If you are accepted, the deposit is non-refundable.  If you are not accepted, it will be refunded in full.

Manuscript Intensive 2021Calendar

Application Deadline – November 30, 2020

Applicants will be notified by December 20

February 20 – 1st Manuscript Group Deadline

March 5/6 – Manuscript Intensive

April 24 – 2nd Manuscript Group Deadline

May 7/8 – Manuscript Intensive

June 19 – 3rd Manuscript Group Deadline

July 3 – email feedback due

August 28 – 4th Manuscript Group Deadline

September 10/11 – Manuscript Intensive

October 23 – 5th Manuscript Group Deadline

November 5/6 – Manuscript Intensive

December 18 – Manuscript Group Deadline

January 8, 2022 – email feedback due

February 12 – Final Manuscript Group Deadline

February 25/26 – Final Manuscript Intensive