WriterHouse

Writing Classes

Class Size

Our workshops are capped at 12 students, and the minimum to hold a class is 5. We've been in workshops elsewhere that had 16 or more students, so we feel 12 is a reasonable size. A few of our classes are designed to have smaller groups and that number is specified in the description. The prices of these are increased accordingly. Most of our seminars are capped at 12 students; a few seminars are capped at 18, as noted below. 

Inclement Weather

If the weather is questionable, we will send an email to your class list. We will also change our outgoing voicemail message, put a notice on our home page, and post messages to Facebook and Twitter. Here is the complete policy from our FAQ.

If you have other questions about our class policies, please see our FAQ.

Refund Policy

If you need to cancel your enrollment for any reason, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Our refund policy for cancellations is as follows:

3 weeks before the class or seminar start date: Eligible for a full refund.

1-3 weeks before the class or seminar start date: Eligible for a full credit towards a future class or seminar.

Less than 1 week before the class or seminar start date: Not eligible for credit or a refund.

In the event that we have to cancel a class or seminar for lack of enrollment or any other reason, you are eligible for a full refund or credit towards a future class. If your payment was made via PayPal, you will be eligible for a full refund, minus the nonrefundable PayPal fee.

We have a limited amount of funding to help those who want to take a class or seminar but can't afford it. In order to apply, please download and fill out our Scholarship/Subsidy Form and send it to us with your class registration and partial payment. We ask that anyone who receives subsidies please remember us with a donation when you are able.

In addition to our regular eight-week classes, we have half-day, one-day, and two-day seminars. See the current list below.

Mary Carroll-Hackett Instructor: Mary Carroll-Hackett
Cost: $90 Members | $100 Non-Members
Saturday, January 31, 2015
9:00 AM-4:00 PM

This seminar is now full!

In this one-day seminar, we'll explore writing methods, prompts, and journaling, allowing us access to our personal definitions of a "spiritual life." Examining the spiritual genre in terms of craft and technique, we'll ask questions such as: "How do I write spirituality without preaching or falling into dogma?" and "How can writing offer guidance—for others and for myself?" We'll explore what makes compelling spiritual writing—writing that opens the ordinary yet sometimes difficult tensions between faith and human life.

Read more: Seminar: Writing the Spiritual Life

rufi thorpe Instructor: Rufi Thorpe
Cost: $60 Members | $65 Non-Members
Saturday, February 14, 2015
9:00 AM-1:00 PM

Limited to 12 students.

Want to learn how to write memorable characters? This seminar will cover all the basics of character design so you can build your own unique, compelling, alive-feeling characters that are strong enough to carry a novel or story. In-class readings will be taken from both great literary fiction and great genre fiction; you'll also get a chance to start working on (re)writing characters of your own. Narrative poets and screenwriters are welcome, too!

Read more: Seminar: Writing Rounded Characters

Amie Whittemore Instructor: Amie Whittemore
Cost: $60 Members | $65 Non-Members
Sunday, February 22, 2015
1:00 PM-5:00 PM

Limited to 12 students.

What makes a piece of writing a prose poem and not poetic prose? In this seminar, we'll explore how prose poetry is informed by the qualities of both poetry and prose, and how those qualities intersect. We'll closely read and dissect prose poems by authors such as Carolyn Forché, Robert Hass, and James Wright, and we'll experiment with writing our own. Participants are encouraged to bring in a draft of a prose poem for discussion. This seminar is appropriate for poets of all levels, but curious fiction writers are welcome, too!

Read more: Seminar: Prose Poetry

Chloe Benjamin Instructor: Chloe Benjamin
Cost: $60 Members | $65 Non-Members
Friday, March 20, 2015
9:00 AM-1:00 PM

Limited to 12 students.

During the publication process, literary agents act as middlemen, matching manuscripts with publishing houses—but how does an author find an agent? In this seminar, we'll explore each step of the process, from effectively targeting agents and writing query letters to crafting synopses and writing samples. This seminar is open to writers at all stages, both those with book projects and those who would simply like to learn more about the agenting process.

Read more: Seminar: Finding an Agent

Bella Stander SQ Instructor: Bella Stander
Cost: $90 Members | $100 Non-Members
Friday, March 20, 2015
9:00 AM-12:00 PM

Limited to 12 students.

Learn about setting realistic goals; making a marketing plan; pitching your book; dealing with publicists, booksellers, and media; bookstore events, and readings. Not suitable for self-published authors or those whose books are produced by subsidy publishers. Attendees must have a forthcoming or recently published book from a commercial trade publisher, a publishing contract, or a literary agent.

Read more: Seminar: Book Promotion 101

Kyle Dargan Instructor: Kyle Dargan 
Cost: $60 Members | $65 Non-Members
Saturday, March 21, 2015
9:00 AM-1:00 PM

 NEW SEMINAR! 

Limited to 12 students.

While passion, even rage, has its place in life and in poetry, it can often alienate a writer from readers as opposed to engaging their hearts and imaginations. At the same time, restraint merely for the sake of accommodating readers' sensibilities risks alienating the poem from the author and his or her experiences. This seminar will focus on moving away from anger or capitulation and moving towards empathy as one strategy for engaging the frustrating issues of our lives. We will examine a small group of example poems for their strategies, move on to discussing the drafts of poems that participants bring to the workshop, and, time permitting, finish with some writing exercises.

Read more: Seminar: Poetry: Not Rage, Not Restraint

Jane Friedman Instructor: Jane Friedman
Cost: $65 Members | $75 Non-Members
Sunday, March 22, 2015
1:00 PM-5:00 PM

Limited to 18 students. This seminar will be held in the expanded WriterHouse main event space.

Get an unbiased, in-depth look at the e-book publishing scene, when you should consider self-publishing, and if you do, how to be effective in your efforts, without damaging your credibility or investing more money than you should. Learn about the most popular services available to distribute your e-book (Amazon, Nook, Apple, Kobo, and more), plus what you can expect from these services, and how they turn a profit. Technical information on formatting e-books, uploading to major services, and dealing with digital files will also be covered. Please bring a laptop with you.

Read more: Seminar: The Basics of Independent E-Book Publishing

Don Fry new Instructor: Don Fry
Cost: $10 Members | $25 Non-Members
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
10:00 AM-11:00 AM

Limited to 3 students.

How would you like to start solving your biggest writing problem in sixty minutes? Join writing coach Don Fry and two fellow writers in a one-hour coaching session. Each writer gets twenty minutes, while the other two listen. You learn a lot by listening to the other two writers' sessions. We'll explore your writing process to help solve your deepest problems, such as writer's block, drowning in information, procrastination, juggling writing and life, suppressing your Internal Critic, inability to stop revising, and breaking into publication. Open to all writers at any level.

Read more: Small Group Session with Writing Coach Don Fry (March)

Joan Mazza Instructor: Joan Mazza
Cost: $45 Members | $50 Non-Members
Sunday, April 12, 2015
1:00 PM-4:00 PM

Limited to 12 students.

Whether you write a blog, journal, poetry, fiction, or memoir, you can develop habits for writing every day and find the time to do so. In this seminar, we'll discuss strategies to stay in your “writing mind,” how to catch ideas and track them, and how as little as fifteen minutes a day can keep you writing. We’ll do some writing in class to prompts and explore creating your own for times when you feel dry.

Read more: Seminar: The Secrets of Writing Every Day

We offer a variety of eight-week classes, daytime and evening. Our workshops are limited to 12 students, except where otherwise specified. See the current list below.

Andrew Martin Instructor: Andrew Martin
Cost: $189 Members | $210 Non-Members
8 Wednesdays, January 21-March 11, 2015
1:00 PM-3:30 PM

 Space still available—come and register at the second class meeting. 

Good writers are always good readers. This class will combine friendly, thoughtful, book-club-like discussions of a wide selection of contemporary short stories, both well known and not so well known, with in-class writing exercises designed to complement the discussion and to generate story ideas. Participants will also be invited to bring in contemporary stories they admire, or have questions about, for discussion.

Read more: Contemporary Short Stories

Clifford Garstang SQ Instructor: Clifford Garstang
Cost: $189 Members | $210 Non-Members
8 Tuesdays, January 20-March 10, 2015
6:30 PM-9:00 PM

 Space still available—come and register at the second class meeting. 

Let’s dig deep. Take a look at your story or novel. What work is the opening doing? Is there a better option for point of view? What’s the structure of your plot? Is there a plot? Do you really know your characters? What’s at stake? How does the setting contribute? Does your dialogue move the story forward? Is the work about something? These are the crucial questions we’ll ask ourselves as we read classic and contemporary stories and critique participant work. Required text: Best American Short Stories 2014.

Students who enroll in Clifford Garstang's fiction workshop are also encouraged to sign up for Andrew Martin's Contemporary Short Stories reading class.

Read more: Digging Deep: A Fiction Workshop (Evening)

John Most color Instructor: John Most
Cost: $189 Members | $210 Non-Members
8 Tuesdays, January 20-March 10, 2015
6:30 PM-9:00 PM

 Space still available—come and register at the second class meeting. 

Using the twentieth century as a boundary, we will read and discuss a variety of poets, from H.D. to Wole Soyinka, from Marianne Moore to Raymond Queneau, in a casual book-club-like setting. A significant portion of our discussion will be participant-driven, in that participants will be asked to share memorable poems with the class. This class welcomes anyone that is interested in learning more about poetry.

Read more: Twentieth Century Poets: A Reading Group

Sharron Singleton SQ Instructor: Sharron Singleton
Cost: $189 Members | $210 Non-Members
8 Thursdays, January 22-March 12, 2015
1:00 PM-3:30 PM

 Space still available—come and register at the second class meeting. 

This workshop will help you transform your thoughts, feelings, and memories into the art of poetry. The workshop will combine discussion of specific concepts and principles of contemporary poetic craft with the opportunity for each participant to share his or her work every week. For writers of all levels.

Students who enroll in Sharron Singleton's poetry workshop are also encouraged to sign up for John Most's Twentieth Century Poets reading class.

Read more: Daytime Poetry Workshop

doug nordfors new Instructor: Douglas Nordfors
Cost: $189 Members | $210 Non-Members
8 Wednesdays, January 21-March 11, 2015
6:30 PM-9:00 PM

 Space still available—come and register at the second class meeting. 

This class will be a “user-friendly” workshop for beginning or experienced poets. Through the examples of their own work, participants will discuss two classic approaches: poems in which style, content, and form (free verse or otherwise) "click into place," and poems that work upon the reader in a more mysterious way. The class will be free to evolve in any way the writers as a group deem important, and weekly poem assignments will be optional.

Students who enroll in Douglas Nordfors's poetry workshop are also encouraged to sign up for John Most's Twentieth Century Poets reading class.

Read more: Evening Poetry Workshop

Michael Cordell SQ Instructor: Michael Cordell
Cost: $189 Members | $210 Non-Members
8 Wednesdays, January 21-March 11, 2015
6:30 PM-9:00 PM

This class is now full.

Learn the fundamentals of screenwriting to increase the odds of getting your script read. This eight-week class covers key elements of screenwriting, including story structure, character development, dialogue, and exposition. We'll talk about how Hollywood thinks (to the extent that anyone knows how Hollywood thinks), and the class will also be encouraged to submit a story outline or the first ten pages of a screenplay for class critique. The main focus is writing the commercial screenplay, but the elements discussed will be relevant to most good storytelling.

Read more: Intro to Screenwriting

Rebecca Taylor Instructor: Rebecca Taylor
Cost: $189 Members | $210 Non-Members
8 Tuesdays, January 20-March 10, 2015
1:00 PM-3:30 PM

 This class is now full. 

"To be a person is to have a story to tell," wrote Isak Dinesen. In this eight-week creative nonfiction workshop, we'll explore ways to use lived experience, observation, research, inquiry, and memory, however tangible or illusive, to form a narrative. There will be examples from literature, writing exercises, and opportunities for experimentation, but most of all, you'll write, bring your work before other writers, and learn from each other’s work. All levels are welcome.

Read more: Daytime Nonfiction Workshop