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 Fall Session starts week of Sept 6 ($425)

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 September 8 ($425) 

Poem Lab, with Michael Mercurio

Why a Lab and not a Workshop? Because this class is an opportunity to play “mad scientist” with your poems, to experiment in free-writing and to discover your voice through revision. Each of our 8 sessions will start off with a brief reflection on the craft of writing poetry, as well as a poem to serve as inspiration/prompt. Writers will have ample time to generate new work and share it with the group in a conversational and reflective fashion. As appropriate to the interests of the group, we will also leave time for talking about the challenges and rewards particular to the poetry life, including specific craft elements, publishing, and the ever-popular question: How much rhyme is too much rhyme?

Tuesdays, 6:00 – 9:00 pm, eight-week session begins September 13 ($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 October 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 October 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 October 9 ($500)

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. 

9 Mondays, 1:30 – 4:00 pm, starting October 17  $295

Keeping the Channel Open, with Arya Samuelson

This workshop is dedicated to opening the creative channel and keeping it open through practice, curiosity, and community. They say that it takes 21 days to form a habit, so we’ll commit to 21 days of daily writing, to unlearn habits of self-censorship and inhibition, and create new grooves that allow your imagination and artistry to flow. Whether you’re struggling with a specific project or just feeling uninspired, you will emerge from this class with an abundance of new ideas, a strong writing practice that sparks daily inspiration, community connections with fellow writers cheering you on, and a renewed confidence and exhilaration about your own writing process.

Four Monday nights, 6-8 pm, November 14, – December 5, 2022 ($225)

Half-Day & Full-Day Workshops

Writing Romance, with Kris Waldherr

Ever fantasize about writing a romance novel? You’re not alone! Thanks to Netflix’s “Bridgerton,” new audiences are discovering—and penning—this most comforting of literary genres. In this morning workshop for new romance writers, as well as writers interested in incorporating romantic elements into their fiction or narrative non-fiction, we’ll cover the core ingredients that go into creating a satisfying romance: character development; plot structure; genre tropes; reader expectations; and “sizzle” levels.

October 1, 2022, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm ($75)

Imagery Workshop, with Michael Mercurio

A good image will ensure that your work is enjoyable. A great image will ensure that your work is unforgettable. But what does it take to create great imagery for your piece of writing? And what is “imagery,” anyway? We’ll start with the basics, using notable excerpts from poems, stories, and essays to identify different types of imagery, and talk about the possibilities inherent in each. After that, I’ll share some prompts to kickstart you in drafting your own images, and share some tools you can use to make imagery a consistent part of your writing practice.

October 8, 2022, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm ($75)

Writing the Hermit Crab Essay, with Sarah Earle

In this half-day class, students will be introduced to the concept of the hermit crab essay and spend time reading and discussing published examples together.  Then, they’ll explore, feeling out their options, picking up shells and deciding if their heft, size, and weight feel right for the story they will contain.  By the end of the class, students will have generated the first draft of a hermit crab essay and have the opportunity to gain feedback from teacher and peers about how they might move their essay forward. 

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

Scrivener for Beginners, with Don Lesser

Scrivener, by Literature and Latte, is a word processor designed for writers. It excels at working with a manuscript’s structure and content, as well as helping to organize research materials. It is currently in Version 3 for the Mac and Windows. It is, however, not especially intuitive and you can get lost in some of its more advanced features. In this class, we will demystify Scrivener’s main features—what Scrivener calls its binder, outliner and text editor—as well as the other features such as the scrapbook and corkboard. In addition, the class will cover tips and techniques for getting the most out of this amazing but sometimes intimidating tool! For Windows and Mac users of all levels.

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

Raising the Stakes, with Jacqueline Sheehan

Editors and agents often say that if there are no stakes, there is no story.  But what are ‘stakes,’ and how do you create them in your writing? In this workshop, writers will learn to up the ante in their narratives by increasing the internal and external conflicts acting upon a character. In-class writing exercises will help us explore what’s at risk in our stories and why, and give us tools to amplify the tension.  Spend the morning with best-selling author Jacqueline Sheehan, discovering how to keep readers on the edge of their seats!

Sunday, October 23, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. ($75)

How to Find an Agent, with Emily Lackey

Finding the right agent for your book is one of the most important and thrilling steps on the way to publication. But the world of literary agencies can be overwhelming, even intimidating. Which agencies might be right for your project, and how do you find a perfect match for your genre? In this workshop, writers will work through the steps of navigating this important partnership, from research to query letters, from book concept to submitting your book to editors. Through discussion, examples, tools and tips, you’ll learn what agents are seeking, how to keep them reading, and the do’s and don’ts of queries. The best part is that you’ll learn from a writer who has survived the process of querying and lived to tell the tale!

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

Writing the Body, with Arya Samuelson

Our bodies are made of stories. Heat. Sensation. Illness. Spasms. Tears. Even in numbness or dissociation, the body speaks volumes. Writing the body is one of the most powerful ways to draw in a reader. As soon as someone names a sensation– an ear twitch, a quickened pulse, the ache of longing in a shoulder — we can practically feel it as our own. Through meditations, in-class writing, and class sharing with constructive feedback, we’ll explore how to tap into the body’s language and unearth its stories. No matter your writing background, ambitions, or genre, this class will help you tap into your embodied wisdom and discover new stories waiting to be told.

Saturday, November 5, 9:30 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75) 

What Have I Done? Writing About Parenting, with Emily Lackey

Now, more than ever, writers are exploring the darker truths of parenting. The failures. The mistakes. The challenges. The wonder. The worry. And the hope. In this workshop, writers will dig into the cultural myths and impossible expectations around parenthood to explore the humiliations, poignancies, and possibilities of this stage of life. Using imaginative prompts, short readings, interactive activities, and optional opportunities to share new work and receive encouraging feedback, writers will mine their parenting experiences for inspiration. Tips on submitting work to parenting publications will also be offered. This motivating session will illustrate how parenthood is the perfect muse for creative writing.

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

Writing Spirituality, with Kira Rockwell

Writing Spirituality is a workshop devoted to writing that is inspired by our connection to the soul. We will make use of reflective writing exercises on topics such as nature, ritual, and folklore, create space to generate and share new work, and look at readings with analysis on form and content. We’ll read various essays and texts that invite audiences to reach beyond the binary of secular and religion, and consider the sacred within and around us. Whether you have experiences with faith, a complex or nuanced relationship with religion, or are in the midst of de/reconstructing what spirituality means to you, this workshop is a reflective space to explore. Readings will consist of authors such as Robin Wall Kimmerer, Sasha Sagan, Sue Monk Kidd, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, and Peter Wohlleben.

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

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) 

Community Writing Workshops

Community Writing Instructors:
July 3rd: Kira Rockwell
August 7: Michael Mercurio
September 4: Kris Waldherr
October 2: Arya Samuelson
November 6: Ken Rosen
December 4: Tzivia Gover

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