Spring 2015 Workshops

Our writing workshop program—launched in 2013—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.


This spring, workshops will be led by Stefan Merrill BlockGabriel RothTerese SvobodaSimon Van Booy, Dawn Raffel, and Alexander Chee.

Alexander Chee: Autobiography and Fiction
6:30 - 9pm, Every other Monday, Febuary 23 - May 4


Dawn Raffel: 

Revising and Editing Your Work For Publication
7 - 9:30pm, Wednesdays, Febuary 25 - April 11


Simon Van Booy: Workshop for Beginners
7 - 9:30pm, Wednesday evenings, Mar. 4 - April 15


Gabriel Roth: The Novel
6:30 - 9pm, Every other Thurs., March 12 - May 21


Terese Svoboda: Focusing Your Fiction
6:30 - 9pm, Tuesday evenings, Mar. 31 - May 5


Stefan Merrill Block: The Story Laboratory
6:30 - 9pm, Thursday evenings, April 2 - May 7



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.”




Apply to the 2015 Emerging Writers Fellowship Program



This grant is generously funded by a grant from the Jerome Foundation, matched by additional funds from individuals. Nine writers will be selected in 2015 for a one-year fellowship. Applications are due to by 11pm on January 31, 2015. READ MORE


by Dawn Raffel


I’ve never been a wake-up-at-five-in-the-morning-and-write-every-day kind of gal. I have nothing but admiration for people with that seat-of-the-pants-to-the-chair discipline, but that’s never been me. Instead I tend to wait — to cogitate and agitate — until I absolutely must put something on paper, until, whether because of an imposed deadline or internal pressure, it’s simply imperative. Partly, this is because I’ve often worked two jobs while raising two kids, but that’s not the whole story. I’m sure that given infinite free time, I’d be more productive on the page than I am now, and I’m equally sure that I’d still find myself procrastinating and sometimes “blocked.” Procrastination, in its weird way, is part of the process.... READ MORE







by Terese Svoboda


You've got the words. They're swirling around in your head all day – all night for the more unfortunate among us. You've probably got an idea about what to do with those words, a story that's been sitting in your head for weeks or even months, and you're sure that whenever you access it, it will come forth, shining and beautiful. You're sure of this at your core or you'd jettison all those words, forget it, take up basket-weaving. No, the story is there. A cop filling out a ticket with a shadow behind him, a girl on a bike with an odd-shaped bundle, your parents hiding an envelope in a drawer you've got the key for. The not-quite-articulate surrounds this idea... READ MORE


by Stefan Merrill Block

I didn’t discover serious graphic novels until my early twenties, and—as much as I enjoy them now—the form is freighted for me with envy and regret. I always wanted to be a writer, but the truth is that, as a kid, I wanted equally to be a visual artist. Graphic novels might have been a natural fit for me, if only my second career as an artist had not died of shame when I was thirteen.

I was never an exceptional drawer, but, like Sammy Clay in Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, I was “an enterprising thief.” In my late-childhood throes of infatuation with comic books, my own so-called artwork was nothing but painstaking plagiarisms of my favorite illustrations; the hulking, kinetic musculature that I borrowed from back issues of Daredevil, The Amazing Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Men....





Clips on Craft:

Writers Talk Writing
at The Center


Check out these short videos of authors discussing the craft of writing, featuring the advice of such creative minds as Megan Abbott, Christian Jungersen, Anita Shreve, Katy Simpson Smith, Michael Carroll, Alden Jones, and more! WATCH HERE



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!  Read more


News from our
Writers' Studio


Our Writers' Studio members have been busy upstairs, and we want to share some of their successes with you. Click here to find out about recently published works and awards.