Writing Workshops for Everyone

We offer a variety of ongoing, weekly workshops to encourage you in your writing practice and explore craft topics, and one-day or half-day workshops packed with craft tips—all taught by experienced WIP faculty.  Our online workshops offer the same quality instruction, intimate community and inspiration as our in-person workshops. 

Weekly Workshops

Morning Jumpstarts, with Dori Ostermiller

Even the most seasoned writers have difficulty carving out time and summoning inspiration. This popular, productive morning workshop provides quiet, structured writing time among peers, some fabulous prompts to get you rolling, thoughtful, encouraging feedback on your work, and inspiring advice and craft tips.  If you’re longing to make serious headway on your projects, or looking for a shot in the arm in a supportive community of writers, bring your coffee or tea and Jumpstart your writing this season! Sells out fast! 

Tues, Thurs, or Friday mornings, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; 10-week Winter Session starts week of Dec 5 ($425)

Resistant Writers’ Support Group, with Dori Ostermiller

We all know that resistance takes many forms but is really fear in disguise.  Fear of failure.  Fear of the uphill slog.  Fear of vulnerability or exposure… And the only thing that helps most writers overcome that fear is having a schedule and the support of other writers.  That’s why I’ve created the Resistant Writers’ Support Group.  For two and a half hours a week, writers will come together, online or in person, to blast through resistance and get the work done. 

Mondays, 1:30 – 4:00 p.m.; 8-week session starts January 2 ($325)

Writing from Life, with Emily Lackey

In this weekly generative workshop, writers will receive a series of prompts to help them tap into their deepest material and move them into a sustained period of writing. Afterward, we’ll have the opportunity to share our work and receive thoughtful feedback from the group.  Weekly craft tips!

Mondays or Wednesdays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; 10-week session begins the week of January 2nd ($395)

Tonight We Write Down the Moon: A Weekly Poetry Workshop, with Sarah Browning

Our lives might be busy, our minds distracted. But once a week, for eight Tuesdays, we will hone our powers of attention, learning to distill poetry from the magic of our senses.  As poet Stanley Kunitz writes, “Our most sublime thoughts have their feet planted in the clay; our best songs are body-songs.”  Participants are writers of all levels who want to deepen their understanding of the elements of poetry–image, line-break, music, form–and practice the beauty and challenge of placing the poem on the page. In a supportive atmosphere, we’ll generate new work together, responding to exercises the workshop leader brings, and receive encouraging feedback from the group.  

Tuesdays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., 8-week session begins January 3rd ($395)

Crafting Your Memoir, with Emily Lackey

This eight-week generative online craft workshop is intended for writers who want to explore a variety of memoir-specific craft challenges, including creating dual narrative voices; the challenges of writing about real people in your life; dealing with characterization in memoir; ‘inventing’ dialogue for scenes when you may not remember precisely what was said; handling memory (or lack thereof); navigating narrative time; and believing in and owning your story. 

Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; 8-week workshop begins January 4th ($325)

The Art of Keeping a Notebook, with Tzivia Gover

Journals and notebooks are the unsung heroes of the writer’s life.  Our journals remind us that writing is more than just a path to publishing: it is a way of life.  Writers from Joan Didion to Virginia Woolf to Alice Walker (and countless others) have kept notebooks. But for many of us, the habit can be difficult to start or sustain. Or we may need guidance for how to keep our ongoing notebook-keeping relevant and vibrant. In this 6-week workshop, writers will investigate the challenges and deep rewards of writing for ourselves, looking to our notebooks both as a source of inspiration for our writing and as a work-in-progress unto themselves.

Thursdays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; 6-week session begins January 12th ($250)

The Art of Narrative, with Sarah Earle

In this 8-week weekly workshop, we’ll start each class with a brief craft discussion, then have time to practice that element with generative writing prompts.  We’ll finish each class with a short discussion of student work: each writer will have the opportunity to submit approximately 10-15 pages of writing once per session and receive in-class feedback and professional written comments from the instructor. If you’re in need of regular deadlines, thoughtful feedback, a working knowledge of craft and time to generate work, this is the workshop for you!  

Thursdays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; eight-week fall session begins February 2 ($425)  

Pleasure, Illness, and Memory: The Art of Embodied Writing, with Arya Samuelson

So often as writers, we are hindered by abstraction, a step or two removed from the experiences and feelings we are trying to convey.  In this 6-week workshop, we’ll explore the art and process of embodied writing, both on the page and as a way to put together a larger story. Through generative in-class practice, weekly craft readings, and regular assignments, we’ll learn how to inhabit vivid, sensory scenes, how to write trauma and dissociation, and how to bring the reader more fully and sensually into our work.  

Tuesdays, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST; 6-week session begins March 21st ($325)

Half-Day & Full-Day Workshops

Spinning Your Gold—Turning Family/Local History into Fiction, with Susanne Dunlap

Do you have a family story to tell? Are you wondering where to start, what to do if  all you have is rumors and hearsay to go on—and whether there’s really a story there after all? In this full-day-long workshop, we’ll tackle all these questions, and more. Using the Mini Blueprint, we’ll start by sketching out the basics of what makes a compelling story arc. Then we’ll discuss research techniques, and how to be true to a period when you have few facts to go on—or how to sort through an abundance of facts to get to the actual story. And then I’ll introduce you to a powerful tool, the Inside Outline, and get you started with it so you can hit the ground running as you map out the essential structure of your story. This solid day of work can set you well on your way to writing that story that’s been niggling at you.  

Saturday, December 10, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. ($150) 

Unearthing the Deeper Story: A Revision Workshop, with Arya Samuelson

Do you have a book, story, poem, or writing project that has been gathering dust? In this 3-hour workshop, we’ll breathe new life into your work using transformative revision practices. We’ll explore how to unearth the deeper story beneath the surface, guiding your writing towards its fullest, most potent expression. You can expect to emerge with new ideas and fresh perspectives on your story, a restored sense of excitement, and a multitude of revision practices to become your own best editor. This class is open to all genres.  

Saturday, January 14th, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST ($75)

Dynamics of Dialogue, with Jacqueline Sheehan

Dynamic dialogue accomplishes at least four things at once: it advances the story, reveals your characters’ hearts, minds and backstories, intensifies the conflict to keep readers riveted, and infers a layer of unspoken meaning, or subtext. But how do we create dialogue that does all this while still sounding believable?  In this half day workshop, bestselling novelist Jacqueline Sheehan will guide writers in mastering essential tools for writing authentic-sounding speech that will fire up your narratives!  Come ready to experiment and have fun! 

Saturday, Jan 28th, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST ($75)

How to Build a Strong Book Foundation, with Susanne Dunlap

Writing a book-length work—of fiction, nonfiction, or memoir—is a truly daunting feat of intellect and imagination. It helps to have a few building blocks—a foundational idea of where you are going and how you’ll get there. This workshop is designed to help you discover and develop the foundation of your story–whatever your genre.  We will go through a series of exercises that focus on creating a believable world and rounded characters (or bringing real people to life on the page), developing enough propulsion to sustain a narrative, and much more!  You’ll leave the workshop with a framework for your story, flexible enough to allow for the inevitable discovery of drafting.

Saturday, February 4th,  9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST ($75)

Writing to Astound, with Michael Mercurio

All writers, no matter how accomplished, feel the pressure of finding the right words to invigorate their prose, enliven their poetry or bring their stories to life. The right word choice and arrangement can surprise and astonish readers or entice editors and agents to keep reading… Think of the power that wordplay, (rhyme, alliteration, lyricism, connotation) holds for you as a reader when you are transported by an author! Join poet (and self-described etymological obsessive) Michael Mercurio for this three-hour workshop, and you’ll come away with lots of tools to punch up your writing, astound your readers, and make your work truly stand out. 

Saturday, February 11th, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST ($75)

Writing Sex, with Emily Nagoski

There are so many reasons to write sex.  Done right, a well-placed sex scene adds depth, nuance and heat to your narratives.  And there’s no better way to reveal character!  But writing about sex is intimidating, and it’s one of the trickiest things to pull off…   Spend a fun, illuminating morning with best-selling author/world renowned sex educator, Emily Nagoski, learning to write sex in a way that is subtle, believable and well, sexy.  Participants move through a series of exercises based on  findings from the science of sex, then transform this knowledge into riveting scenes.

Saturday, February 18th, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Pathways to Publication, with Susanne Dunlap

You’ve finished your manuscript (or almost, anyway). Congratulations! Now it’s time to think about how you’ll get it into readers’ hands. Spend a morning with a prolific author who has experience in almost every publishing avenue–from traditional publishing to hybrid publishing to self-publishing.  We’ll discuss the benefits, pitfalls and practical steps for each of these options. During the morning, you will start to chart your path forward, and by the end of the workshop, you’ll have a plethora of tools and resources to help you take the next steps toward getting your book into print!

Saturday, March 4th, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Writing the Well-Structured Scene, with Kira Rockwell

What attributes make up a well-structured scene? What can you do if you get stuck? How can you spice things up along the way? In this one day seminar, you’ll learn tips and tricks to building scenes in satisfying ways. We’ll touch on elements such as active choice, specificity, turning points, and consequences. Feel free to bring a project that you are currently working on, a fresh idea, or even a blank page. 

Saturday, Mar 11th, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ($150)

Setting as a Superpower, with Jacqueline Sheehan

Master storytellers know that a well-conceived setting does so much more than set the stage for our characters and plot. A great setting can engage readers sensually, orient them in time and space, intensify pacing and conflict, create atmosphere, nuance and subtext. In this morning workshop, we will explore the superpowers of our settings, understand the key ingredients for settings that really work, and learn how to avoid the most common setting mistakes writers make. 

Saturday, March 25th, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST ($75)

Community Writing Workshops

Community Writing Instructors:
December 4, 2022: Tzivia Gover
January 8, 2023: Susanne Dunlap
February 5, 2023: Michael Mercurio
March 5, 2023: Emily Lackey
April 2,  2023: Sarah Browning
May 7, 2023: Dori Ostermiller

Community Writing Workshops—Now Online!

Come join us for a morning of writing among peers!  After a short warm up, we’ll engage in a sustained writing period in response to a variety of prompts.  We’ll share some of our work and receive supportive feedback.  Rotating instructors. A great way to jumpstart your writing projects!  Suggested donation of $10.

First Sunday of every month,  9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m

Please use the form to the right to RSVP for our Community Writing Workshops. All Community Writing workshops will be held online for the foreseeable future. 


    Manuscript Intensive Series, with Dori Ostermiller

    “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

    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.

    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…

    Applications Accepted Through June 15