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 session starts week of March 14th ($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)

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.; eight-week session begins March 21st ($395)

What’s Your Big Idea? Theme in Memoir, with Cathy Luna

The best memoirs tap into something universal in the human experience, teaching us something important about a larger theme (loss, courage, freedom, coming of age, etc.). But how, as writers, do we unearth the themes or big ideas at the heart of our own stories? In this four-week workshop, we will learn essential craft elements and techniques to help illuminate the big ideas within our own true stories. Through specific craft exercises, examining published excerpts, generating new work and receiving supportive feedback, writers will develop a strong sense of their memoir’s big themes, as well as learning powerful tools to uncover their stories’ deeper meanings. 

Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; four-week session begins April 4th ($175)

The Writers’ Round Table: A Weekly Workshop, with Emily Lackey

Whether you’re writing a novel or memoir, short stories or essays, a critical component of our work as writers is to receive feedback from readers. It’s also important to develop a deep understanding how narrative works through reading the work of others. In this weekly workshop, writers will begin each class with a conversation of craft and a discussion of a student’s work. Then, we’ll put those lessons to use with generative prompts and time to write. 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! Each writer will have the opportunity to submit up to 20 pages and receive in-class feedback and written comments from the instructor.  

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

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 April 13th ($250)

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 April 26th ($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 May 22nd ($395)

Half-Day & Full-Day Workshops

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)

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. 

Sunday, April 9th, 1 – 4 p.m. ($75)

What’s the Worst That Could Happen? with Jacqueline Sheehan

They say that what doesn’t kill your character makes her, well, more interesting, but it’s hard to see your characters suffer. In order to create a compelling story, though, you have to let your characters fail. You have to let them get hurt. You may even have to take away the things or people they care about… Not just because conflict reveals characters’ true nature, but because if the stakes in your novel (or short story, or memoir) aren’t high enough, readers won’t turn the page. But there are ways to test the people in your story that reveal their inner strength. Spend the morning with a best-selling novelist and master plotter, learning a myriad of tools for getting your characters into the kind of trouble that feels inevitable, but not gratuitous.   

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

Tarot for Writers, with Kris Waldherr

Back by popular demand! 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, by the end of this workshop you’ll have gained:

  • a working overview of the seventy-eight cards that make up the tarot
  • easily accessible methods for utilizing its symbolism and wisdom
  • practical ways to break creative blocks and gain inspiration
  • simple techniques for reading tarot for yourself and others.

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

What Editors Want in a Personal Essay, with Meghan Nesmith

Personal essays are both hugely popular and hugely misunderstood. How can a writer convince an editor that their own deeply intimate story will be of interest to a broader audience? In this workshop, writers will learn the basics of pitching personal essays, including finding the right editor and venue for your work. Then, we’ll look at how to craft personal essay pitches that highlight the universality of our stories, find a “hook” to make our stories timely, and demonstrate to an editor that our stories will resonate with readers. 

Saturday, May 6th, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Submitting Your Work: A Half-Day Intensive, with Emily Lackey

Every writer dreams of the day her work is in print, but the road from dreaming to publishing is treacherous, filled with pitfalls, politics, and more places to submit than a writer knows what to do with. In this half-day workshop, writers will discover the fundamentals of submitting their work to literary journals, websites, and magazines. We’ll discuss how to find the right venue for your work, how to organize your submissions, what to include in a cover letter, and how to deal with and respond to inevitable rejections (or acceptances!). This professional workshop is a must!

Saturday, May 13th, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 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.

Saturday, June 3rd, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ($150)

Exploring Autofiction, with Sarah Earle

Autofiction, most broadly defined as the autobiographical novel, continuously divides critics, publishers, and writers alike. Some fear that autofiction is “growing like a tumor in the body of prose writing,” while still others claim that at its core, it “bears witness to something real and deeply felt.” Despite the debate, the number of novels associated with autofiction is on the rise. In this half-day class, we’ll dig into the rich and varied examples of autofiction out there and talk about its authors’ motivations. 

Saturday, June 10th, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($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