Writing Classes

Class Size

Our workshops and seminars 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. 

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.

New Refund Policy

Our new refund policy will go into effect for all Fall 2014 classes and seminars. This refund policy does not apply to Summer 2014 classes and seminars. Since it was announced in spring, the seminar On Submission: Understanding Your First Readers will still follow the old 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 follow:

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 6-week classes, we have half-day, 1-day, and 2-day seminars. See the current list below.

Neil Perry Instructor: Nathaniel Perry
Cost: $90 Members | $100 Non-Members
Saturday, July 26, 2014 | 9:00 AM-4:00 PM

Limited to 12 students.

In this seminar, we will think deeply about what makes poems tick. We will look closely at the meter(s) and rhythms that underlie all English-language poetry. Any poem, bet it a strict sonnet or the wildest free-verse, has the history of meter at its heart, and we’re going to explore that as best we can. There will be writing exercises, discussions of specific forms, and ample time for discussion of poems whose meter makes them sing.

Read more: Seminar: Meter and Melody: Thinking About Poetry Forms

Jane McGuire Instructor: Jane McGuire
Cost: $100 Students 
Saturday, August 2, 2014 | 1:00 PM-4:00 PM 
and Sunday, August 3, 2014 | 1:00 PM-5:00 PM

Limited to 12 students.

Join us for an intensive two-afternoon writing workshop for students eager to move forward with their college essays. A seasoned teacher and admissions expert will provide an overview of successful essays and how to avoid common pitfalls, lively discussion and brainstorming, and varied writing exercises to generate engaging personal essays that capture authentic voice and vision. Getting started is the hardest part, but with expert advice and feedback, you’ll be well on your way! LIMITED TO RISING HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS. SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE.

Read more: Seminar: Writing the College Application Essay

Samar Farah Fitzgerald Instructor: Samar Farah Fitzgerald
Cost: $60 Members | $65 Non-Members
Saturday, August 30, 2014 | 1:00 PM-5:00 PM

Limited to 12 students.

Ever feel indecisive about what point of view is best for the story you want to tell? This seminar will explore the artistic advantages of third-person storytelling. We’ll break down the mechanics of the third-person point of view, question established myths about the third person, and take a close look at famous examples of third-person narratives. We’ll also use short writing prompts to become more comfortable with the point of view.

Read more: Seminar: The Art of Third Person

Alison Penning

Instructor: Alison Penning
Cost: $60 Members | $65 Non-Members
Sunday, September 7, 2014 | 9:00 AM-1:00 PM

Limited to 12 students.

When you submit a story or essay to a journal, what happens to it? How many pages will editors read before making a decision, and how can you get them to keep reading? Learn where to send your work, how to write strong cover letters, how to interpret rejection letters, and more. Bring one story or essay you want to submit to journals.

Read more: Seminar: On Submission: Understanding Your First Readers

We offer a variety of 6-week classes, daytime and evening. Our workshops are limited to 12 students, except where otherwise specified. See the current list below.

Anna Kovatcheva Instructor: Anna Kovatcheva
Cost: $142 Members | $158 Non-Members
6 Wednesdays, July 9-August 13, 2014 | 9:00 AM-11:30 AM


What makes a love poem good, not laughable? What makes an imaginary world feel real, even as it is full of impossible things? How can our lived experiences be “creative”? This course will introduce you to some of the techniques of successful poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Together, we’ll help each other tell the best stories we want to tell—through brief readings, short writing exercises, and sharing and critiquing one another’s work. Students have said about instructor Anna Kovatcheva and her previous classes:

A fantastic instructor."
Helped me feel like I was really improving."
[Anna] was informative and motivational and I found myself really loving going to class."
One of the best [instructors] I have ever had. I'm so glad I took this class to better my writing."

Read more: Intro to Creative Writing

Jennifer Niesslein Instructor: Jennifer Niesslein
Cost: $189 Members | $210 Non-Members
8 Wednesdays, October 01-November 19, 2014 | 1:00 PM-3:30 PM

Limited to 12 students.

How do you turn a simply competent piece of prose into work that stands out? Revision! In this class, we'll workshop participants' writing to help each essay or short story reach its greatest potential, as well as read examples of editing in progress. All participants will get written feedback from the workshop leader (a professional editor), and each class will begin with a short discussion of craft and/or markets. Best suited for intermediate and advanced writers; both fiction and nonfiction writers welcome.

Read more: Test Class Article

Kristen Rembold SQ Instructor: Kristen Staby Rembold
Cost: $142 Members | $158 Non-Members
6 Tuesdays, July 8-August 12, 2014 | 6:30 PM-9:00 PM

If you’ve written a number of poems and are ready to try assembling a chapbook, this class is for you. How do your poems talk to each other? What strategies have other poets used? We'll consider many different ways to pattern and contrast your poems. Students will work on compiling, editing, and ordering their chapbook manuscripts, and will receive feedback from the instructor and their peers.

Read more: Poetry Chapbooks (Advanced Poetry Workshop)

Jay Varner SQ Instructor: Jay Varner
Cost: $142 Members | $158 Non-Members
6 Wednesdays, July 9-August 13, 2014 | 6:30 PM-9:00 PM


In this advanced workshop, you’ll have a chance to work on either revisions or new material. Along the way, we’ll read select craft essays and examples of successful creative nonfiction. However, the primary focus will be on your writing—not just larger concerns like structure and development, but also more focused issues like sentence structure and word choice. The goal is to leave the course with publishable material. STUDENTS MUST HAVE COMPLETED TWO PREVIOUS NONFICTION CLASSES TO ENROLL.

Read more: Advanced Creative Nonfiction Workshop

jennifer niesslein Instructor: Jennifer Niesslein
Cost: $142 Members | $158 Non-Members
6 Tuesdays, July 8-August 12, 2014 | 9:00 AM-11:30 AM

You know how, when you start a draft, you have this perfect, ideal essay in your head? In this workshop, we’ll work together to make each essay match that perfect ideal as closely as possible. All participants will get written feedback from the workshop leader, and each class will begin with a short discussion of craft and/or markets. If the workshop collectively likes doing short writing exercises, we can do them—if not, we won’t. Expect a fun, collaborative environment.

Read more: Creative Nonfiction Workshop

bethany carlson current Instructor: Bethany Joy Carlson
Cost: $142 Members | $158 Non-Members
6 Mondays, July 7-August 11, 2014 | 6:30 PM-9:00 PM

Get your book into the hands of its fans with modern self-publishing. Learn how to professionally polish and package your book, surpass readers’ expectations, generate sales momentum—and attract the attention of a publisher when your query letter’s not doing the job. Familiarize yourself with the tools to produce eBooks, print books, and audiobooks. Learn how to use crowdfunding not only to generate capital, but also to create buzz. Dig deep with market research. Go from Author to Publisher with Professional Self-Publishing.

Read more: Self-Publishing (eBooks, Print Books, & Audiobooks)

John Most color Instructor: John Most
Cost: $142 Members | $158 Non-Members
6 Thursdays, July 10-August 14, 2014 | 9:00 AM-11:30 AM

We will read, write, and discuss poems in order to refine what makes our poems poetic. We will look at poems and poets that have influenced our own writing and invent writing experiments built upon rewriting, memories, and diction. This class is designed to be flexible, so what’s best for the class comes first. Each student will have the opportunity to meet with the instructor individually as well as receive a written response to his/her poems. Students have said about instructor John Most:

John inspired me to send my work out."

Greatly helped me grow as a writer."
Fabulous, inspiring, generous."
I would take any poetry class taught by John Most."

Read more: Daytime Poetry Workshop

Andrew Martin Instructor: Andrew Martin
Cost: $142 Members | $158 Non-Members
6 Tuesdays, July 8-August 12, 2014 | 6:30 PM-9:00 PM


In this workshop, we’ll write and discuss fiction of all kinds. The work you bring to class—stories, novel excerpts, and the many rest stops in between—will be the foundation of the course, but we’ll also read some exemplary published work and generate material through in-class improvisations. And we’ll revise; oh man, will we revise. All levels of experience are welcome, as long as you’re ready to write and be a supportive, tough-minded reader.

Read more: Fiction Workshop