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.

Writers in Progress Gift Cards Are Now Available!

The perfect gift for the writers in your life! Choose your amount—anything between $25 and $500—and we send the gift card directly to the recipient via email.

Gift cards never expire, and they can be used incrementally until they’re depleted.

Covid-19 Update:

In these uncertain times, we need our beloved writing community more than ever!  In some ways, now is the perfect time for creative work, which requires quiet reflection and solitude; but it’s difficult to write in a vacuum, and challenging to believe in the relevance and validity of our own voices when the world is in turmoil. 

We’re here to support you and your writing practice, by offering online workshops with the instructors you know and trust.  We use Zoom as our online platform.  To participate in a workshop, simply register as usual, and then we will be in touch with a link and password for your online class.  It couldn’t be easier.  All our online groups are limited to 8 or 9 participants and offer the same individualized attention, thoughtful feedback, inspiration and craft instruction that Writers in Progress workshops are famous for.  

We hope this new way of working together online will help jumpstart your projects, support your practice, and keep us all connected and encouraged during these difficult days. Your participation in our online workshops helps us remain strong as a community until we can open our doors again, so Thank You!

Looking forward to writing with all soon!

-Dori Ostermiller and the Writers in Progress Team

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, supportive feedback on your work, and your morning coffee, tea, fruit and muffins in our light-filled Florence studio.  Jumpstart your writing life this season! Craft tips and inspiring quotes each week…

Tues, Thurs, or Friday mornings, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; 10-week spring session starts week of March 9  ($405)

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!

Wednesdays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; 10-week session begins March 17 ($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 March 24 ($325)

The Art of the Story: A Craft Workshop, with Emily Lackey

In this workshop, writers will learn the individual craft elements essential to great story-telling. Each week, we will start with a brief warmup, a craft tip, and a series of prompts designed to add specific craft elements to each writer’s toolbox.

Mondays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; 8-week session begins April 5 ($325)

Revision Intensive: A Six-Month Series, with Emily Lackey

Revision is a critical step of every writer’s writing process. It’s where meaning is made, stories are shaped, and craft is refined. In this six-month Revision Intensive, writers will meet twice a month to study strategies for mastering the parts of their drafts that need the most work, discuss innovative ways to see their drafts anew, set goals for the month ahead, and dive deep into the work of revision. This intensive will help writers of all genres to master the craft elements that will make their drafts stronger, give them time and space to put these lessons to use, and provide the accountability and support to get their drafts done.

Second and fourth Sunday of each month, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; six-month session begins May 9 ($500)

Half-Day & Full-Day Workshops

Narrative Pacing, with Jacqueline Sheehan

Every story has a beginning and an end, but how does a writer best navigate the space of time in-between? This task of manipulating narrative time is one of the hardest jobs a writer has to face. In this workshop,  we will examine the elements of pacing and learn exercises and tools for expanding and compressing, slowing down or speeding up narrative time. Through examples and specific exercises, we’ll explore the mechanics of pacing and gain a stronger understanding of how to manipulate the time in our own stories.

Saturday, March 27, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Justice and Joy: Writing Powerful Political Poetry, with Sarah Browning

In times of extremity and peril, when so many communities are under daily attack and the future of our very home, this planet, is imperiled, how do we express our outrage? How do we reach people in their hearts, where change begins? Contemporary poets are taking an enormous variety of approaches to this question, both thematically and stylistically. We’ll take a look at some model poems, refer to resources to find more. Then, with the help of some inspiring prompts, we’ll try our hand at writing poetry that inspires change. Everyone welcome!

Saturday, April 3, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST ($75)

Blueprint Your Book: Crafting Compelling Scenes, with Susanne Dunlap

Whether you’re writing fiction, nonfiction, or memoir, the most important moments are rendered in scenes. Scenes are where you plunge the reader into the action, immerse them in the heart of a situation, or take them along for the ride on your character’s emotional rollercoaster. They provide the  forward momentum that keeps your reader turning the pages. In this half-day workshop, we’ll identify different kinds of scenes and explore the craft of creating them, as well as explore the interplay between scene and narration.

Saturday, April 10, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Through the Trap Door: Using Images to Access the Subconscious, with Tzivia Gover

In this three-hour workshop, we will explore the imaginative power of imagery that arises from our subconscious and dreams.  Through innovative techniques and prompts designed to access these generous depths, we will call up language that brings new emotional power to our writing. You will leave with tools and techniques for breathing fresh life into your writing!  Writers of all levels and genres are welcome!  

Saturday, April 17, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Writing a Book Proposal That Sells, with Jessica Papin

Nonfiction manuscripts often begin as proposals before growing into full-length book projects. More and more publishers are asking for proposals from memoirists as well. But how do you begin? This 3-hour workshop with literary agent Jessica Papin will outline the steps of writing a successful proposal, including researching comps, identifying your audience, understanding your platform and presenting your book project in a way that will make it shine. Leave with a plan for writing a proposal that sells!

Thursday, April 22, 6 – 9 p.m. ($75)

Happily Ever After: Finding the Perfect Ending, with Emily Lackey

An ending can make or break a story. In narrative, an ending can break it by not providing an authentic sense of closure, or it can make it by surprising the reader in a way that keeps them thinking about the story for years to come. But how do we make sure to stick our endings? In this half-day workshop, writers will discover the five things that strong endings do well, study examples of successful endings in literature, and explore strategies for finding the right ending to our stories. Perfect for writers of all genres!

Saturday, April 24, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Tarot for Writers, with Kris Waldherr

The tarot may be hot these days for predicting the future, but did you know it can also be used as a tool for writing and creativity? Join acclaimed tarotist and author Kris Waldherr for a three-hour workshop designed to introduce you to the mysteries of the tarot. Whether you’re a writer, an artist, or simply yearning to lead a more creative life, this workshop is for you! No previous tarot experience required. Handouts included. Participants should come equipped with tools for writing, and a tarot deck (preferably a Rider-Waite or Goddess Tarot deck).

Saturday, May 1, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Pitch Perfect: Querying and Other Paths to Publishing, 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. This workshop will address query letters to agents for traditional publishing and the basics of how to write a synopsis of your entire book. We’ll also explore the benefits and pitfalls of hybrid and self-publishing—which can be a perfectly valid way to get your book out into the world. Finally, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of all paths to publishing.

Saturday, May 15, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Research and Backstory, with Jacqueline Sheehan

Research and Backstory are essential ingredients in narrative—they bring authority, authenticity, and depth to a story. But making those fascinating facts work for you and not against you is tricky. Research can lead down a rabbit hole of evermore-tantalizing tidbits of information, bogging down process and product. Backstory is research’s evil twin, occasionally turning into an information dump that can overshadow plot. In this morning workshop, we discuss the best sources and practices for research, and how to distill enough backstory into our pieces to lend authenticity, without making them dull.

Saturday, May 22, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Accessing Memoir with Food, with Sarah Earle

Of all the five senses, taste has a particularly powerful ability to both conjure memory and unite our lived experiences.  The fragrance of frying garlic, the yeasty warmth of fresh bread, the bite of chili sauce or the juicy pulp of a Christmas orange – not only can taste memory bring us back, but it can be a door to that which is left unexplored. Writer Natalie Eve Garrett, editor of Eat Joy, writes “Food can be such a lovely way into the heart of a story.”  In this half-day workshop, we’ll read and discuss short personal essays with food at their center, as well as dive into writing exercises that use food memories as a conduit for the love, disappointment, grief or joy that lie deeper. 

Saturday, May 29, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST ($75)

Blueprint Your Book: The Inside Outline, with Susanne Dunlap

This powerful tool, developed by Jennie Nash (book coach to multiple bestselling authors), will transform how you think about your project. It goes beyond the question of structure and plot to help you map out what really moves your story along. In this workshop (taught over two consecutive Saturdays), you’ll be able to start tying the external, plot-based events of your story to the internal, emotion-based truths that inform it. This workshop is great for both writers who like to outline and writers who don’t. It’s ideal if you’re just starting a manuscript, are partway through your draft, or are about to launch into a revision.

Saturday, June 5, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. & Saturday, June 12, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($150)

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.

Sunday, June 13, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Revising Like an Editor, with Michael Mercurio

One of the hardest parts of the revision process is knowing when a piece is done. How can you tell when it’s ready to send to an editor? In this workshop we will practice reading our own work with an editor’s eye for improvement, and we’ll practice some easy nuts-and-bolts ways to kickstart your revisions. You can expect to gain confidence as a critical reader of your own writing, and discover the playful, joyful side of revision. (No, really!) 

Saturday, June 19, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Writing from the Senses, with Jacqueline Sheehan

Emotions are the key to crafting compelling scenes and winning a readers’ sympathy. But how do we access our characters’ emotions without telling the reader how they feel?  The sensory details that infuse our lives—the smell of a favorite meal; the texture of a loved one’s skin; the sound of gun firing; the heat-prick of fear or arousal—these things add richness, nuance and believability to our writing.  As skilled storytellers, we must learn how to capture, through sensory detail, the emotional nuances that drive our narratives and bring our characters to life.  Through exercises, examples, writing and feedback, we’ll learn how to enhance emotion and story with powerful sensory images and specific detail.

Saturday, July 17, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

 

Community Writing Workshops

Come join us for a morning of writing among peers in our bright, beautiful space!  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.  A great way to jumpstart your writing projects!  Rotating instructors. Suggested donation of $10.

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

Community Writing Workshops—Now Online!

January 3: Sarah Earle
February 7: Tzivia Gover
March 7: Susanne Dunlap 
May 2: Dori Ostermiller
June 6: Emily Everett
 

Please use the form to the right to RSVP for a Community Writing Workshop. All of our 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 November