Our writing workshop program—launched last year—has been a tremendous success and we are excited to continue the program, bringing you low-cost workshops led by celebrated and award-winning writers. Check out our fall lineup below:


Ann Packer: Advanced Fiction Writing
6:30-9pm, Tues. evenings, Sept. 9 - Oct. 14


Courtney Zoffness: Revising Your Work for Submission
6-8:30pm, Every other Thurs.,
Sept. 11 - Oct. 23


Gabriel Roth: The Novel
6:30-9pm, Every other Thurs., Sept. 18 - Dec. 4


Patrick Ryan: Young Adult Fiction
6:30-9pm, Every other Tues., Sept. 23 - Dec. 2


Simon Van Booy: Workshop for Beginners
7-9:30pm, Wed. evenings,
Sept. 24 - Nov. 5


Jessica Francis Kane: Finding Your Voice
6:30-9pm, Tues. evenings, Oct. 14 - Nov. 18


Stefan Merrill Block: The Story Laboratory
6:30-9pm, Wed. evenings, Oct. 15 - Nov. 19


Terese Svoboda: Focusing Your Fiction
6:30-9pm, Mon. evenings, Oct. 27 - Dec. 1



by Gabriel Roth


You start by thinking about all the things a novel should do: tell a compelling story, create vivid characters and reveal them in all their particularity, illuminate the human condition in general, reveal ordinary experience with a vividness that enables us to see the familiar world anew, open fresh possibilities for language... you can easily spend a whole afternoon just listing the requirements, and you should.


Then you divide the list into three categories. You can use a new sheet of paper with three columns, or you can just mark the first sheet with three symbols, like maybe an asterisk and a pound sign and a smiley face.


  1. Category One is “Things I Can Do.”
  2. Category Two is “Things I Can Maybe Do Without.”
  3. Category Three is “Things I Need to Learn.”

  4. And then you go down the Category Three list and set yourself assignments: Describe with startling freshness three things that happened to you today. Make flowcharts of the plots of six novels you admire. Write a scene in which two characters reveal all their hopes and weaknesses in eight lines of dialogue apiece. (I have completed all of these assignments, because description, plot, and dialogue were on my Category Three list.)




We are now offering this 12-week workshop in two successive 6-week sessions. Students have the option of signing up for only one session at a time​, or paying a discounted rate for both. Sign up for one of our three offerings this fall and let the murder and mayhem begin! 

SJ Rozan: Elements of Crime Fiction Writing

Session 1: ​6:30-9pm, Thurs. evenings, Sept. 18 - Oct. 23

Session 2: ​6:30-9pm, Thurs. evenings​, Oct. 30 - Dec. 11


Alison Gaylin: Crafting the Perfect Crime Novel

Session 1: ​6:30-9pm, Mon. evenings, Sept. 15 - Oct. 27
Session 2: ​6:30-9pm, Mon. evenings, Nov. 4 - Dec. 8


Jonathan Santlofer: Advanced Crime Fiction

Session 1: 6:30-9pm, Mon. evenings, Sept. 15 - Oct. 27 
Session 2: 6:30-9pm, Mon. evenings, Nov. 4 - Dec. 8


by Dawn Raffel


I’ve been an editor for a very long time—let’s say several lifetimes in dog years—and I’ll let you in on a secret. Although your workshop colleagues will (ideally) read your entire manuscript carefully, generously, and kindly, an editor will begin making a decision in about a minute.


Yes, editors are people who love books, love writers, and love the thrill of discovery. If a good editor chooses to work with you, he or she will pay exquisite attention to every hiccup of language. But that will happen only if the editor makes it past the first few pages. READ MORE


by Erika Dreifus


"Quiet: Though this term may be used to refer to luxurious writing, it’s often used today as a criticism. A novel deemed quiet may center on one character’s internal journey, or there may be relatively little going on in the story from a plot perspective. Quiet novels typically lack solid hooks and are rarely considered high concept."


—Lynne Griffin, "Literary Lingo Explained," The Writer  


I learned these dispiriting lessons about "quiet" fiction nearly a decade before reading The Writer's literary lingo list last summer. My education began back in 2001, when a literary agent began circulating my first book-length fiction manuscript, a World War II-focused novel titled The Haguenauer Line.




Margaret Atwood, interviewed by Dawn Raffel

Atwood discusses wonder tales, Scheherezade, post-9/11 dystopias, and Picasso's response to cave paintings.


Dawn Raffel: You make distinctions between types of fiction that might fall under what you call the “wonder tale” umbrella: Science Fiction [Martians, spaceships], Speculative Fiction ["Things that really could happen but just hadn't completely happened when the authors wrote the books"], Sword and Sorcery Fantasy, and Slipstream Fiction [surreal and strange]. Yet you seem less than delighted by the need to categorize at all. Do you feel that new technologies—electronic delivery systems rather than brick-and-mortar stores; hybrid-object books that combine text with visuals and sounds—might obviate the need for categories? Or will the blogosphere create ever narrower slices? Is it just a human need to categorize?  


Margaret Atwood: I think it’s a human need to name – to tell this from that. On the most basic level, we need to distinguish – as crows do – the dangerous creature from the harmless one, and – as all animals do – the delicious and healthful food object from the rotting, poisonous one. In literary criticism it’s very helpful to know that the Harlequin Romance you sneak into when you think no one is looking is not the same, and is not intended to be the same, as Moby Dick. But stories and fictions have always interbred and hybridized and sent tendrils out into strange spaces.…





Calling All Women Writers

Shebooks—a curated collection of short e-books written by women, for women—is currently accepting submissions! To find out more information about the organization, please click here.


view submission guidelineS


by Victor LaValle


I met my best friend, Mat, in graduate school. We were in the same writing program, shared similar backgrounds and senses of humor and that’s really all a good friendship takes to get going. We were in the same lectures, shared a workshop once, and spent much of our outside time going over the books we were reading for school, the feedback we’d been getting on our fiction, and our ambitions for our careers after we graduated. We both enjoyed the great luck of publishing first books soon after leaving school.






Need a place to write?


Don't want to spend a fortune for your literary sanctuary? Our writing studio is located in a beautiful, sky-lit space on our top floor. It provides the perfect setting for writing. We even provide M&Ms!  


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