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 Summer Session starts week of June 1st  ($405)

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 June 7 ($325)

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 June 9 ($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!

Wednesdays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; 10-week session begins June 9 ($395)

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 November 14, 2021 ($500)

Half-Day & Full-Day Workshops

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)

What’s Your Big Idea? A Half-Day Workshop with Cathy Luna

How, as writers, do we uncover the themes or big ideas at the heart of our own stories? In this half-day workshop, we will examine several best-selling memoirs for their themes and play with a variety of active techniques to help uncover and illuminate the big ideas within our own true stories. Workshop participants will leave with a strong sense of their memoir’s theme as well as how to structure their story around this central idea. 

Saturday, July 10, 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)

 

Shaping Your Memoir, with Cathy Luna

You have an important story to tell, but what’s the best way to tell it? Memoirists grapple with many of the same structural questions that face novelists and other storytellers: where does my story begin and end? In what order should the events unfold? Should I tell it chronologically, or organize events in a different way (framed, collage, braided, circular, etc.)? What structure will keep my readers engaged and also illuminate the universal themes at the heart of my story? In this half-day workshop, we will examine and play with various ways to map, scaffold, and structure our stories. 

Saturday, August 7, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Character Psychology 101, with Jacqueline Sheehan

All great stories begin with strong characters, and a little psychology goes a long way towards developing those characters into people that readers will feel invested in.  Spend the morning with psychologist and bestselling author, Jacqueline Sheehan, uncovering your characters’ strongest desires, giving them believable obstacles, motivating wounds and fascinating flaws that will make them more human. We will generate new material through creative prompts that illuminate our characters’ psyches!  Bring writing implements and a desire to go deep!

Saturday, August 14,  9:30 am – 12:30 pm ($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!

June 6: Emily Everett
September 5: Sarah Browning
October 3: Michael Mercurio
November 7: Dori Ostermiller
December 5: Tzivia Gover
 

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