What our Students Say…

“I began my book, Super Bloom, years ago during a Writers in Progress workshop, and I loved the warm and supportive feedback from fellow writers.  Dori Ostermiller was the first person to read my full manuscript, and she gave me invaluable guidance and edits to steer me in the right direction.  Forever grateful!”

–Megan Tady, author of Super Bloom

“Through Writers in Progress workshops, I have come to believe that I have a story worth telling. I’ve learned how to flex my memory muscles, to identify themes and develop complicated three-dimensional characters instead of two-dimensional heroes or villains. I’ve learned to maintain integrity in writing about people who are still alive.  Before meeting Dori and participating in these workshops, I’m not sure I would have called myself a writer, nor would I have considered writing a lifelong endeavor that has brought me joy, and yes, sometimes frustration, but also healing…”

-Daphne Thompson Addabbo

“The Manuscript Intensive Series was a valuable, supportive and enjoyable way to improve my draft. Not only did I learn where some scenes were muddled, too long, or too brief; I also felt I learned as much from critiquing other submissions as I did from reading my own.  I could not recommend these sessions more strongly. Plus, I feel I made some wonderful new friends.”

–Rita Bleiman


“The workshops always have a supportive tone, and provide room for both seriousness about craft and the light-heartedness necessary to write ‘shitty drafts.’ It was liberating and deepening to explore the side of writing that includes process, creativity, dream-mind, etc… And I found the comments on my pieces to be very sharp, insightful and encouraging.” 

Nell Lake, author of The Caregivers

“Tzivia, is a talented, compassionate, experienced, thoughtful and fun facilitator!! The topic, as is always the case at WIP, was rich and rewarding and timely and helpful for my writing practice. WIP always provides a fun, smart, safe place to open the door to true learning…” 

–Steve Bernstein, author of Stories From the Stoop



“Dori has the uncanny ability to share the power of her rooted writing practice while witnessing and supporting mine. Writers in Progress is a haven where stories feel safe to come out onto the page…”

–Bernadette Giblin

“Dori Ostermiller was my first and best teacher of memoir. Her workshops are gentle and rigorous, deep and thought-provoking. But most of all, Dori is a truly inspired teacher. She gave me the courage to write into the darkest and richest parts of myself. I could not have written my first book without her.”

-Alison Smith, author of Name all the Animals

“As a veteran of several WIP workshops, as well as an MFA program, I have been very impressed at how Writers in Progress runs its classes. They set a supportive and respectful tone that allows one to share one’s work knowing that the discussion will be aimed at making the work better, something that is not always the case in other writing workshops. Dori and Jacqueline (the instructors I have worked with) clearly know how to teach and are fully prepared at each session. Their comments as well as the comments of the others in the groups are focused on what works and what needs something more. Highly recommended.”

–Don Lesser

“It was an amazing journey being in the year-long Manuscript Intensive Program under Dori’s sensitive direction. Being able to commit to regular deadlines was extremely helpful, as I have procrastination down to a fine art. I learned so much about craft and how to improve my writing through working with her and the 5 other participants. By reading other people’s work with a discerning eye and hearing their comments and suggestions for my installments, I got a fresh perspective on my work and, having completed a first draft over the year, am energized and excited to work with the feedback I received as I launch into the second draft. I highly recommend applying for the opportunity to be a part of this in depth exploration and learning.


–Jane Mortifee


“I came to Writers in Progress needing to learn about narrative flow and character development. The workshops did that, and more. At first, I needed support and encouragement to keep writing. Then, as my book began to take shape, Dori tailored her feedback and exercises to develop the skills I needed. I highly recommend her…”

-Kris Holloway, author of Monique and the Mango Rains

“Always insightful and supportive, Dori’s comments on my novel helped me understand what was working and what wasn’t.  Her critique helped me see several possibilities and work toward a satisfying revision.”

Ellen Meeropol, author of House Arrest


“Emily Lackey has a great ability to effectively answer questions while keeping the process moving forward. Her knack for connecting with people is awesome… A great workshop, with tons of info laid out efficiently by an instructor who connects with participants in a wonderfully personable and empathetic way…”


–Rocky Thompson


“Emily Lackey is brilliant, insightful, generous and creative in her comments. She has a deep understanding about how writing comes together, and gets the best from her students…”

David Stevens

“Jacqueline Sheehan’s workshop was very rich, insightful, and had much valuable information that I know will help me improve the dimension and complexity of my male characters. I got substantial feedback from the group, and Jacqueline followed up with an email with additional resources.  Great workshop!”

–Opal Gayle



“Emily is professional, knowledgeable, experienced, and honest. She shared tools, skills, and knowledge, as well as her personal experiences with submissions. Emily uses humor and candor with a professional, caring demeanor. She is prepared and delivers a workshop that is invaluable, whether you’ve never submitted or have submitted many times before. I gained new knowledge and skills, and learned where I could change some of the things I’ve been doing in submissions. Emily is encouraging, great with workshop time management, personable, and in tune with what the people in the room need.”

–Kimberly Hoff


“Dori is a gifted teacher with the sharpest insight I’ve ever come across. The quality of her feedback is deep and powerful. She begins and ends with this premise: that we are already serious writers—whether budding, frightened, stuck or in progress—who wish to improve our craft.”

-Julia Mines

My time in the Manuscript Intensive gave me the confidence, skills and courage to write and publish my first mystery novel, and the faith to move full steam ahead on the sequel. Dori is a dedicated teacher, a great coach, and a brilliant editor. She inspires and guides the group  in the creation of powerful support teams. I loved the diversity of the writing that Dori brought forth from each student. I am absolutely sure I could not have created and published my mystery series without Dori.”

-Dusty Miller, author of Danger in the Air: an Alice Ott Mystery


“Signing up for the writing intensive workshop was one of the best decisions of my life. I registered because it was the best program I found that offered the structure, direction and support I needed to finish my memoir about my experience with Traumatic Brain Injury. I finished the book. And the writing process and supportive environment Dori created helped me to make measurable gains in brain functioning. Dori Ostermiller offers a remarkable opportunity for anyone engaged in writing a book.” 

–JoAnne Jones, author of Headstrong


“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 – it’s been that vital for me!”

—Carla Savetsky

“Before Writers in Progress, before I met Dori, before I took the Manuscript Course, I had some stories…I told a bunch of these stories to my students for years. Then one day I saw an ad in the paper for Writers in  Progress. I took a few of Dori’s writing workshops and started to put the spoken word down on paper. The give-and-take from my fellow writers and especially from Dori fed me and encouraged me and nurtured me and guided me and at times flattered me and other times flattened me. I delved deeper and more honestly than ever before possible.  The stories took shape and became a book!”  

Steve Bernstein, author of Stories from the Stoop. 



“In the manuscript course, I learned how to critique other writers work, and persevere in my own, making revision of my own work less cumbersome and often enjoyable… Dori has supported and encouraged me in ways that kept me writing until I completed a first draft.”

– Daphne Thompson

“Writers in Progress offered me constructive feedback to help formulate my plot and hone my perspective, so I could find the right shape for my book.  Dori is a skilled and gentle leader, who offers a warm and safe studio for writers to receive the honest feedback that will enhance any piece of writing and make it into the valuable art that lies at its heart.  Her one-on-one consultations were so sharp in detailing how to move forward in my writing… She is a beautiful and talented writer and a pleasure to work with.”

–Linda Rowland

“I highly recommend WIP’s manuscript series.  Dori is not only a wonderful writer, she is a superb adviser and group leader, fostering a positive and cooperative environment.  This is not a “blood on the floor” proposition.  The group sets a rigorous but manageable schedule and provides detailed and insightful feedback, taking the time to point out and celebrate what is working in addition to identifying with specificity areas that need attention and giving suggestions for improvement.  My experience in the 2012-2013 group has been richly rewarding, and with Dori and my fellow group member’s guidance and support, I will complete the first draft of a novel.  

–Rich Buckley