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 September 5th ($425)

Resistant Writers’ Support Group, with Dori Ostermiller

For three hours each week, writers will come together, online or in person, to blast through resistance and get the work done. Each session will start with a brief check-in, an inspiring quote or craft tip and a selection of imaginative prompts to get you rolling.  Then, we’ll write together for two hours (!), after which there is another quick check in to access progress, creating accountability and support. Minimal sharing/responding. This group is perfect for anyone with a longer writing project who craves productive writing time, accountability, inspiration, and encouragement.  

Mondays, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.; 7-week fall session begins September 11 ($285)

7-week fall session begins September 11th ($285)

Writing Down the Moon: A Poetry Workshop, with Sarah Browning

Our lives might be busy, our minds distracted. But once a week, for eight Wednesday mornings, we will hone our powers of attention, learning to distill poetry from the magic of our senses. 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. 

Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., 8-week fall session begins September 13  ($325)

The Art and Craft of Historical Fiction: A Reading & Writing Workshop, with Susanne Dunlap

Stephen King once said that reading is the creative center of a writer’s life. Often the best way to learn about a genre is to read and study it, and then apply what you learn to your own writing. This workshop will examine parts of four historical novels by some of the most skilled authors writing in the genre. You’ll have a month to read each book, or as much of it as you like, and we’ll discuss the books in our meetings, exploring a particular craft element. After discussions, you’ll have time to apply the craft technique to your own project and work on your writing, guided by a prompt.  

September 4th, October 2nd, November 6th, and December 4th, from 6 – 8:30 p.m. ($195)

How to Show: A Four-Week Craft Workshop, with Kira Rockwell

How to Show is a four week, skill-centered workshop that takes the common idiom, “Show vs Tell,” one, two, three steps further, to show you how to effectively employ this advice to strengthen your work. This workshop is designed to equip you with the practical tools and know-how needed to show your audience Character, Relationships, Arcs, and Consequences. Students will gain skills that will strengthen their structure, characterization, pacing, and embodied writing practices. 

Tuesdays, 6 – 8:30 p.m., four-week session begins October 3rd  ($195)

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. 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 – 8:30 p.m.; 6-week session begins October 5th ($215)

Crafting Your Memoir, with Cathy Luna

This eight-week generative online craft workshop is intended for writers who want to explore a variety of memoir-specific craft challenges. These include 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 session begins October 18th ($325)

Writing from Life, with Emily Lackey

No matter what we write, our experiences, observations, and inclinations are the greatest inspiration and fodder for our work. 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. 

Mondays or Wednesdays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; 10-week session begins the week of October 30th ($395)

Half-Day & Full-Day Workshops

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!

Saturday, September 9th, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. ($75)

Unearthing the Deeper Story: An In-Person Writing Retreat, with Arya Samuelson

Everyone can agree that revision is necessary for helping a story or book become the strongest version of itself, but how do we accomplish that? How do we see our work with fresh eyes again and again? How do we unearth the deeper story – the story beneath the story, longing to be revealed? In this new workshop, participants will bring in up to 5 pages of writing that feels stuck, stale, or has simply been gathering dust. Over the course of the day, we will breathe new life into your story by learning transformative revision practices through solo writing time, partnered practices, and group feedback.

Sunday, September 10th, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ($150)

Setting Yourself Up for Revision Success, with Susanne Dunlap

You’ve finished the first draft of your manuscript, and now it’s time to revise. Your first instinct is to head to page one and slog through. But that’s often a mistake. Thankfully, there is a way to get your ducks in a row for that revision so you don’t spin your wheels just making the prose prettier (which you will get to, of course). It’s called the 3D Revision Method, and it uses powerful tools that help you step away from your manuscript and give it a good, honest look, revealing plot holes, info dumps, missing character arcs and more. The goal is to create a revision plan, which could save you several drafts. 

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

Starting Off Strong: Crafting a Great Opening, with Emily Everett

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and the first pages of your story, essay, or book are just that: an opportunity to hook readers (or editors) and show them why they have to keep turning those pages. In this half-day workshop led by literary magazine editor Emily Everett, writers will learn how to craft beginnings that intrigue and entice readers, but also check all the boxes essential for good storytelling: setting the scene, introducing the cast, and establishing the plot and the conflict/stakes. 

Saturday, October 21st, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Stories from the Shadows: Giving Voice to Unvoiced Characters, with Tzivia Gover

In this imaginative workshop, we’ll give voice to marginalized or misunderstood characters, restore the stories of characters who didn’t get their due, or rescue overlooked characters by giving them a plotline all their own. Explore how to slip between the lines of familiar myths, fairy tales, or iconic stories from popular culture to find characters who have something to say, but haven’t had a chance to say it! 

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

You Are What You Say, with Jacqueline Sheehan

Direct speech is the most effective and also the most underutilized tool for revealing who your characters really are and what they want. When you give each character an authentic, distinct voice and persona, it’s a joy to read their conversations. But effective and entertaining dialogue also takes readers straight to the hearts of your characters, revealing their backstories, desires and dilemmas like nothing else. Spend the morning with a NYT bestselling author learning techniques for writing dialogue that is compelling, psychologically revealing and rich with meaning and subtext. 

Sunday, November 5th, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. ($75)

Delivering the Laughs, with Megan Tady

Sometimes the best way to tell a story is with humor. Especially a hard one. Those who don’t understand it, think that humor is the easy way out. But it’s not. To do it well is difficult and rare. In this half-day workshop, author Megan Tady will help you to put the funny into your prose. We’ll also master the specific techniques needed to nail comedic timing, shape comical descriptions of your characters without veering toward cruelness, avoid cliches by deeply connecting to your characters, and trust your readers so you don’t “over-funny” your book. 

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

Propulsion: How to Keep Your Readers Hooked, with Cleyvis Natera

An action-packed plot is not the only way to keep your readers turning pages.  We can create tension through many other aspects of writing craft.  In this generative workshop, participants will be guided through a series of craft insights to better understand narrative tension as a critical aspect of propulsive writing. By the end of the workshop, students will have a deeper understanding of how to inject propulsion into existing prose, or the seeds for a new short story or novel chapter. 

Date TBD ($75)

Community Writing Workshops

Community Writing Instructors:
September 3, 2023: Sarah Browning
October 1, 2023: Cathy Luna
November 5, 2023: Michael Mercurio
December 3, 2023: Tzivia Gover
January 7, 2023: Arya Samuelson

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 December 1st