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Off Campus Writers' Workshop - OCWW


PLEASE NOTE: Workshops are in Central time. All sessions are recorded and available to view for the week following the session; links to the recordings are e-mailed to all registrants. It's not necessary to notify us if you wish to change your  attendance to either REMOTE or ONSITE; all registrants receive both the link to the session and the link to the recording.


Upcoming events

    • February 29, 2024
    • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • REMOTE - ZOOM ONLY
    Register

    You've probably heard you should get a literary agent if you want to publish a book. But why? What does an agent do (and what don't they do)? And how the heck do you get one? This session will discuss all that as well as the ever-confusing query letter. Come prepared with your own questions for the Q&A segment.

    Kate McKean joined the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency in 2006 and became Vice President in 2011. She earned her master’s degree in fiction writing at the University of Southern Mississippi and began her publishing career at the University Press of Florida. She is proud to work with New York Times best selling authors in a wide variety of genres including Daniel M. Lavery’s Texts from Jane Eyre, Alix E. Harrow's THE Once and Future Witches, as well as the many-award winning graphic novel, The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen. In addition to working with clients, she is an adjunct professor at New York University and is the author of the forthcoming book WRITE ON: Publishing, Books, and Navigating the Creative Life (Atria, 2025). 

    Kate will accept 15 single page query letters on a first come first served basis. See the Manuscript drop down on our web page for more information.

    • March 07, 2024
    • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • REMOTE - ZOOM ONLY
    Register

    Many a short story, essay, novel, and memoir have gone unpublished because the author fails to create a strong narrator, one who can act as a wise and entertaining guide to the reader. In this fast-paced-but-hopefully-coherent session, we’ll examine the work of Jane Austen, Joan Didion, Melissa Chadburn, and others in an effort to make sure your next narrator isn’t just strong, but irresistible. We’ll also try an in-class exercise to bring the lesson home.

    Steve Almond is the author of a dozen books, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His new novel, All the Secrets of the World, has been optioned for television by 20th Century Fox. He’s the recipient of an NEA grant for 2022 and teaches at Harvard and Wesleyan. His stories and essays have been published in venues ranging from the Best American Short Stories and the Best American Mysteries to the New York Times Magazine. He lives outside Boston with his wife, his three children, and his anxiety. 

    • March 14, 2024
    • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • ONSITE - 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL /REMOTE
    Register

    The description would be something like "Even if you think you can't draw, you probably can." But even if you really can't, practicing the methods of graphic literature--using the techniques of visual art, including drawing and painting, but also erasure, collage, photography and digital illustration--can enhance your poems, stories, memoirs, and essays. In this workshop, we'll discuss how studying and making comics and narrative collages can help make writers in any genre better at honing their descriptive and storytelling skills, as well as creating character, setting, and above all voice. Above and beyond that, making graphic literature is fun, and pushing yourself into a new approach can open up your writing projects and practices in ways you never thought possible.

    Whether you attend in person or via zoom, start gathering materials you might want to use for this hands-on session. The minimum is several pieces of blank paper and a pencil, but you may choose to expand your options and gather up colored pencils, crayons,  markers, maybe even collage resources such as magazines, collected images, scissors, and  glue. We will be in the downstairs room with round tables, so if you want to team up you can share materials.

    Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, as well as a founding member of Poems While You Wait. Her most recent books include the novels Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk (St. Martin’s Press, 2017) and Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey (Penguin, 2020). Her poetry collection Where Are the Snows won the 2021 X.J. Kennedy Prize and was published by Texas Review Press in fall of 2022. Her novel From Dust to Stardust, based on the life and work of silent movie star Colleen Moore, will be published by Lake Union in the fall of 2023. She lives in Chicago with her spouse, the writer Martin Seay, and teaches English and Creative Writing at DePaul University. 

    • March 21, 2024
    • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • ONSITE - 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL /REMOTE
    Register

    What do we actually mean when we call something cliché, whether in life or in art? How do we recognize it, why exactly should it be avoided, and what, for that matter, is the antidote? Our answers to these questions are arguably themselves cliché or, at the very least, incomplete. In this craft class, we’ll reconsider our common notions of what makes anything cliché and delve into the unexpected ways that clichés can affect our thinking, our imagination, our storytelling, and our everyday interaction with the world. And as writers we’ll discuss how to avoid and also make use of them in our language, in our characters and plots, in any of our ideas, so that we’re working toward the kind of truthfulness and honesty that will resonate with our ideal reader, no matter the genre, no matter how original or familiar anyone might find our work.  

    Vu Tran's first novel, Dragonfish, was a New York Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Books of the YearHis writing has also appeared in the O. Henry Prize Stories, the Best American Mystery Stories, Ploughshares, and Virginia Quarterly.  He is the winner of a Whiting Award and an NEA Fellowship, and has also been a fellow at Bread Loaf, Sewanee, Yaddo, and MacDowell. Born in Vietnam and raised in Oklahoma, Vu received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and his PhD from the Black Mountain Institute in Las Vegas. He teaches at the University of Chicago, where he is an Associate Professor of Practice in English and Creative Writing.

    • March 28, 2024
    • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • REMOTE - ZOOM ONLY
    Register

    Your ending not only delivers your book’s most memorable moments but also its premise. Still, our energies tend to peter once we’ve reached the story’s climax. We’ll discuss the “unraveling” of your story, John Barth’s “Complexified Equilibrium,” Jessica Brody’s 5-point Finale, frame stories and other shapes (circles, figure eights, etc.), and character and story arcs. At the end of the session, you’ll discover new ideas for your ending and renewed energy to get it done.

    Michelle Hoover has taught writing for more than 25 years and currently leads the GrubStreet Novel Incubator program, which she co-founded in 2011. Her students have signed 50+ book contracts. She is a 2014 NEA Fellow and has been a Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University, a fellow at MacDowell, Bread Loaf, and Sewanee Writers Conferences, and a winner of the PEN/New England Discovery Award. Her debut, The Quickening, was a 2010 Massachusetts Book Award "Must Read," a finalist for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize, and one of Susan Straight's 1001 "Library of America" Novels featured in the L.A. Times. Her second novel, Bottomland, was the 2017 All Iowa Reads selection and a 2016 Mass Book "Must Read." She is the creator of The 7am Novelist, the popular podcast and webinar series for writers. She is a native of Iowa and lives in Cyprus and Boston.

    • April 04, 2024
    • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • ONSITE - 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL /REMOTE
    Register

    The world has opened up after the pandemic, and we are traveling again, leaving the quotidian for new adventures. Travel gives us the opportunity for new ways of seeing and can lead to writing that shimmers on the page with sensual detail, while challenging our worldview and delighting the soul. In this workshop, we will draw from examples in fiction and nonfiction to examine images that transform a scene and lead the reader to unexpected places. Participants of all genres welcome in this generative workshop, where a series of short exercises will mine memories to create vivid and transportive writing.

    Dipika Mukherjee is the author of the novels Shambala Junction and Ode to Broken Things, and the story collection, Rules of Desire. Her work is included in The Best Small Fictions 2019 and appears in World Literature Today, Asia Literary Review, Del Sol Review, and Chicago Quarterly Review, Newsweek, Los Angeles Review of Books, Hemispheres, Orion and more. Her poetry collection, Dialect of Distant Harbors, was published by CavanKerry Press in October 2022 and a collection of travel essays, Writer’s Postcards, has been accepted for publication by Penguin Random House (SEA). She teaches at the Graham School at University of Chicago and is core faculty at StoryStudio Chicago. She holds a PhD in English from Texas A&M University.

    Dipika will accept manuscripts for critique. Please see the Manuscripts page for details.  

    • April 11, 2024
    • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • ONSITE - 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL /REMOTE
    Register

    We are living in historical times . . . We are always living in historical times, maybe, but it is hard to deny that the coalescence of what we’re living through now is anything less than exceptional. In this generative, cross-genre class, we’ll consider the ways we as writers might respond to the current moment, and all of the questions and possibilities surrounding that work. We’ll examine historical and contemporary examples of creative political response, reading and discussing work across genres about climate change and the pandemic. Writers will respond to writing prompts, share their work, and come away with a deeper understanding of what it means to make political art, personally.  

    Amanda Goldblatt's fiction and essays can be found at GuernicaChicago ReviewFence, and elsewhere. She was a 2018 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow, and has worked with writers as a contingent instructor at several institutions, most recently Northeastern Illinois University. Her debut, Hard Mouth—an adventure novel about grief—was published by Counterpoint in 2019.

    • April 18, 2024
    • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • ONSITE - 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL /REMOTE
    Register

    “All memory is subversive,” says the writer Eduardo Galeano. In fiction, memory reveals itself as flashback. Diving into the past can “subvert” a typical narrative in great ways–providing context, creating layered characters, disrupting a conventional storyline, and adding depth. But flashbacks also risk weighing down a novel, killing its pacing, and feeling arbitrary. In this talk, we will get curious about flashbacks. When should flashbacks be inserted and why? How much memory is necessary? How can we write flashbacks that propel a story rather than paralyze it? The lecture will focus on novel writing, and will include readings, exercises, and ideas to get you thinking about how flashback can be a revelatory tool.

    Frances de Pontes Peebles is the author of the award-winning novels The Seamstress and The Air You Breathe. She is a 2020 Creative Writing Fellow in Literature from The National Endowment for the Arts. A native of Pernambuco, Brazil, she holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her short stories have appeared in O. Henry Prize StoriesZoetrope: All-StoryMissouri ReviewIndiana Review, and Guernica. She teaches at StoryStudio and serves as Visiting Associate Professor of Fiction at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.

    • April 25, 2024
    • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • ONSITE - 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL /REMOTE
    Register

    Sometimes writers tell stories in the same way, in the same style, and with the same voice. Often, we’re so comfortable with our storytelling voice that we can lose sight of what our story is really about. How can we break loose and revise in order to get at something new and important, or discover new ways of telling? This intensive workshop will provide you with exercises intended to move you out of your comfort zone, shake your story loose, and help you rethink how you can tell it.

    Christina Clancy is the author of Shoulder Season and The Second Home (St. Martin's Press). Her work has appeared in The Sun MagazineThe New York TimesThe Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and in various literary journals. She has a PhD in creative writing from UW-Milwaukee and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

    • May 02, 2024
    • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • ONSITE - 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL /REMOTE
    Register

    The key to publication is often simple persistence, but the hectic pace of modern life often makes it challenging to write and submit on a regular basis. In this workshop, we'll discuss some of the barriers authors face and look at structures that can be put in place to better support a writing practice that will helps you not just survive, but thrive and publish. 

    Mary Anne Mohanraj is author of A Feast of SerendibBodies in MotionThe Stars Change, and thirteen other titles, including her forthcoming cancer memoir, Tornado. Other recent publications include stories for George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards series, Perennial: A Garden Romance (Tincture), stories at ClarkesworldAsimov’s, and Lightspeed, and an essay in Roxane Gay’s Unruly Bodies. Mohanraj founded Hugo-nominated and World Fantasy Award-winning speculative literature magazine Strange Horizons, and serves as Executive Director of both DesiLit  and the Speculative Literature Foundation. She is Clinical Associate Professor of fiction and literature at the University of Illinois Chicago. Visit her at maryannemohanraj.com 

    • May 09, 2024
    • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • REMOTE - ZOOM ONLY
    Register

    Some years ago Charles wrote an essay about "the request moment" as a catalyst for stories. In that essay he argued that stories often begin when one character asks another to perform a particular action as a proof (of friendship, love, or personal identity) and to do it within a limited amount of time (i.e., please do it soon). In this talk, Charles would like to reconsider the request moment by paying particular attention to the ways that request moments can edge toward psychological violence and emotional blackmail. He also is interested in the characterizations of the person who asks (or demands), and, given those ingredients, what sorts of stories may result. In all cases, the request moment tends to increase the dramatic tension of the story by putting demands on the protagonist.

    Charles Baxter is the author of the novels The Feast of Love (nominated for the National Book Award), First Light, Saul and Patsy, Shadow Play, The Soul Thief, and The Sun Collective, and the story collections Believers, Gryphon, Harmony of the World, A Relative Stranger, There’s Something I Want You to Do, and Through the Safety Net. His stories have appeared in several anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and The O. Henry Prize Story Anthology. His craft books, The Art of Subtext, Burning Down the House, and Wonderlands, have provided insight and inspiration to writers everywhere. He has won the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. Baxter lives in Minneapolis.

    • May 16, 2024
    • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • ONSITE - 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL /REMOTE
    Register

    When we write fiction, we create realities. As such, the realities we experience on the page often have a great deal to do with point of view and its vast possibilities. How does a narrative mind work? In any given sentence, where is the language coming from? What IS omniscience, anyway? In this workshop, Michael Zapata (author of The Lost Book of Adana Moreau and founding editor of MAKE Literary Magazine) will guide writers through inquiries into narrative distance and POV, and discuss craft techniques and artful strategies found in cinematography, stream of consciousness, omniscience, and multiplicity, among others, to create works of fiction that both create and bend reality. The workshop will also include a writing exercise and a Q&A. 

    Michael Zapata is a founding editor of MAKE Literary Magazine and the author of the novel The Lost Book of Adana Moreau, winner of the 2020 Chicago Review of Books Award for Fiction, finalist for the 2020 Heartland Booksellers Award in Fiction, and a Best Book of the Year for NPR, the A.V. Club, Los Angeles Public Library, and BookPage, among others.  He is on the faculty of StoryStudio Chicago and the MFA faculty of Northwestern University. As a public-school educator, he taught literature and writing in high schools servicing drop-out students. He currently lives in Chicago with his family.

    • May 23, 2024
    • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • ONSITE - 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL /REMOTE
    Register

    Creating an unlikeable character is often a necessary “evil” in fiction writing. After all, bad behavior by some can serve as the needed foil to the likeable characters in your story. But how do we avoid crafting the one-dimensional villain (assuming this isn’t your objective)? And what are the keys to writing an unlikeable protagonist—in realistic fiction—that won’t turn off readers? These points and others will be examined with the use of literary examples and exploring writing process techniques that help to avoid the pitfalls of the cliché.

    Dr. Alexis Pride is the Interim Director of Graduate Programs at Columbia College Chicago and a professor of creative writing in the English and Creative Writing department. Pride also works as a contracted writer for Level 4 Press, Inc., where she co-authors novels that are optimized for film/television adaptation. Among her works are All I Want for Christmas (published in August 2022, Level 4 Press), which hit #1 for new releases on Amazon during its first week, and Satchel Paige, a forthcoming novel. Her other publications include Where the River Ends (Tanksley-Simpson Publishing), and short stories in TriQuarterlyF Magazine, and elsewhere. Pride also served as the Fiction Editor for the inaugural issue of Allium, A Journal of Poetry & Prose, the multi-genre literary magazine published by Columbia College Chicago.

    • May 30, 2024
    • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • ONSITE - 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL /REMOTE
    Register

    What makes a strong, cohesive short story collection? Many writers feel confident in their individual stories but question how to bring them together into something greater. How do you find a central theme to build the collection around? Which should come first: the finished stories or the idea that unites them? How can you be sure that your stories are interacting with one another in compelling and resonant ways? Are your stories too different from one another—or not different enough? Award-winning author Abby Geni will share her insights about the daunting task of creating a collection that is more than the sum of its parts. We will discuss the process of writing stories that balance and complement one another. We will talk about how to order your stories, how to make sure they build on one another, how to determine which are the strongest and weakest, how to revise each piece with the larger whole in mind, and how to know when your collection is complete.

    Abby Geni is the author of The Wildlands, The Lightkeepers, The Last Animal, and a forthcoming short story collection, The Body Farm, which will be published in the spring of 2024. Her books have been translated into seven languages and have won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and the Chicago Review of Books Awards, among other honors. Her short stories have won first place in the Glimmer Train Fiction Open and the Chautauqua Contest and have been published or are forthcoming in numerous journals, including The Missouri Review, Epoch, Ninth Letter, and New Stories from the Midwest. Geni is a faculty member at StoryStudio Chicago and frequently serves as Visiting Associate Professor of Fiction at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Past events

February 22, 2024 Brian Turner - The Lyric Nature of Science
February 15, 2024 Mary Otis - More Than a Feeling: Emotion in Fiction
February 08, 2024 Suzanne Nugent - The Path to Production: Adapting Your Novel for Screen
February 01, 2024 Mary Robinette Kowal - Unlocking Story Structure Using the MICE Quotient
January 25, 2024 Denny Bryce - Writing Dual/Multiple Timelines
January 18, 2024 Jeannie Vanasco - Tuning the Telling in Memoir
January 11, 2024 Heather Sellers - How to Write What Scares You (Without Scaring Away Your Readers)
January 04, 2024 Nadine Kenney Johnstone - Micro-Memoir (Tiny True Stories)
December 21, 2023 Sandra Scofield - The Heart of Narrative: The Scene
December 14, 2023 Publishing Panel
December 07, 2023 Sarah Stern - Discovering Your Poem's True Intention: Inspiration and Revision
November 30, 2023 Juan Martinez - Dirty Tricks: Five Ways to Jumpstart Your Work
November 16, 2023 Lori Rader Day - Writing the White Whale
November 09, 2023 Kelly McMasters - Food and Memory
November 02, 2023 Diana Goetsch - ACTUALLY WRITING: The Outer, Inner, and Secret Practice
October 26, 2023 Goldie Goldbloom - The God Head: Generating and presenting rich worlds and characters.
October 19, 2023 Susanna Calkins - Red Herrings, Misdirection, and Other Ways to Deceive Your Readers
October 12, 2023 Julia Fine - Landscape and Worldbuilding
October 05, 2023 Rebecca Makkai - Can't Go Over It, Can't Go Under It
September 28, 2023 Dana Kaye - Growing an Engaged Community of Readers
September 21, 2023 Fred Shafer - Reading Like a Reader (Session 3 of 3)
September 14, 2023 Fred Shafer - Reading Like a Reader (Session 2 of 3)
September 07, 2023 Fred Shafer - Reading Like a Reader (Session 1 of 3)
August 17, 2023 Paula Mikrut - A Discussion on Stray Dandelions: Decline/Accept
July 20, 2023 Tonya Coats - Maya Angelou Essay from Even the Stars Look Lonesome
June 22, 2023 Peter Hoppock - Points of View in Lauren Groff's Delicate Edible Birds
June 01, 2023 Kelly McMasters - The Landscape of the Personal
May 25, 2023 Abby Geni - The Science of Story
May 18, 2023 Jennifer Solheim - Let’s Make Trouble: Characters, Conscience
May 11, 2023 Joseph Scapellato - Narrative Density
May 04, 2023 Marcy Posner and Joanna McKenzie - Publishing Today: What’s working in today’s ever-changing publishing market
April 30, 2023 MEANINGFUL CONFLICTS~ LAUNCH PARTY
April 27, 2023 Rachel Swearingen - Cultivating Mystery and Delight in Fiction
April 20, 2023 Kathleen Rooney - Send in the Clowns: Using Humor to Deepen Emotional Impact
April 13, 2023 John McCarthy - Imagining and Intuitive Perception
March 30, 2023 Michael Zapata - Last Evenings on Earth: Writing Speculative Fiction
March 23, 2023 Joan Silber - Generosity in Fiction
March 16, 2023 Sandra Scofield - Aboutness
March 09, 2023 Brian Turner - Doorways into Surprise and Delight
March 02, 2023 Patricia Ann McNair - Alternate Endings: An exercise in discovery and letting go
February 23, 2023 Micah Fields - Writing vs. Typing: A craft talk on composition and artful prose
February 16, 2023 Karen Bender - How to Open a Story? Exploring Strategies
February 09, 2023 Editor Panel - Which literary magazines and journals are looking for your work?
February 02, 2023 Charles Baxter - We Were Strangers
January 26, 2023 Hollie Smurthwaite- The Art of Brainstorming
January 19, 2023 Robert Anthony Siegel - Exploring the Power of the Image through Haiku
January 12, 2023 Steve Almond - A Wrinkle in Time: How to Embrace Your Chronology and Tell the Story Straight
January 05, 2023 Taylor Byas - Making Room for Mess and Magic
December 15, 2022 Amy Butcher - The Single-Scene Narrative Essay: Standalone Powerhouse or Book-length Framework
December 01, 2022 Christina Clancy - Unputdownable! How to create and sustain momentum throughout your story, essay or novel
November 17, 2022 Kate Hannigan - So You've Got an Idea for a Kids’ Book, Now What? Getting your middle-grade novel out of your head and onto the page (Coffee and Conversation following at Peets)
November 10, 2022 Goldie Goldbloom - The Roles of Love and Pity in Opening a Story NOW ZOOM ONLY
November 03, 2022 Penny Sansevieri - Secrets of a Bestselling Amazon Book Page
October 27, 2022 Peter Orner - Indelible
October 20, 2022 Matt Bird - The Secrets of Character Now Zoom Only
October 13, 2022 Vu Tran - What Movies Can Teach Us As Writers
October 06, 2022 Rebecca Makkai - Interiority Complex
September 29, 2022 Fred Shafer - The Paragraph in Fiction Writing (Session 4 ONLY)
September 22, 2022 Fred Shafer - The Paragraph in Fiction Writing (Session 3 ONLY)
September 15, 2022 Fred Shafer - The Paragraph in Fiction Writing (Session 2 ONLY)
September 08, 2022 Fred Shafer - The Paragraph in Fiction Writing (Session 1 ONLY)
September 08, 2022 Fred Shafer 4-Pack - The Paragraph in Fiction Writing
August 11, 2022 Beth DeSchryver - A Discussion of H.H. Munro's The Open Window
July 14, 2022 Paula Mikrut - A Discussion on The Fourth State of Matter
June 26, 2022 OCWW 75th Anniversary Celebration
June 16, 2022 Peter Hoppock - The Enduring Resonance in Anton Chekhov's The Lady with the Dog
May 26, 2022 NO LONGER ONSITE - Vu Tran- To Be Or Not To Be Empathetic?
May 26, 2022 REMOTE: Vu Tran- To Be Or Not To Be Empathetic?
May 19, 2022 REMOTE: Rebecca Makkai-The Origins of the Original
May 19, 2022 NO LONGER ONSITE - Rebecca Makkai-The Origins of the Original
May 12, 2022 NO LONGER ONSITE - Jennifer Solheim-Narrative Perspective: From Character and Writer to Text and Reader
May 12, 2022 REMOTE: Jennifer Solheim-Narrative Perspective: From Character and Writer to Text and Reader
May 05, 2022 REMOTE: Kathleen Rooney-Traversing the Space Between Revision and Publication: Preparing Your Work for Submission Across Genres
May 05, 2022 ONSITE - Kathleen Rooney-Traversing the Space Between Revision and Publication: Preparing Your Work for Submission Across Genres
April 28, 2022 Zoom Only-Micah Fields- The Postcard: An Introduction to Writing Masterfully Short Essays and Short Fiction.
April 22, 2022 LAST CHANCE RECORDING OF Goldie Goldbloom- Writers Blocks and Techniques for Bypassing Them
April 21, 2022 NO LONGER ONSITE -Goldie Goldbloom- Writers Blocks and Techniques for Bypassing Them
April 21, 2022 REMOTE: Goldie Goldbloom- Writers Blocks and Techniques for Bypassing Them
April 14, 2022 REMOTE: Abby Geni- The Elements of Story
April 14, 2022 ONSITE: Abby Geni- The Elements of Story
April 07, 2022 ONSITE - Rick Kaempfer and David Stern-The Mysterious World of Hybrid Publishing
April 07, 2022 REMOTE: Rick Kaempfer and David Stern-The Mysterious World of Hybrid Publishing
March 31, 2022 REMOTE: Frances De Pontes Peebles- Time in Fiction
March 31, 2022 ONSITE - Frances De Pontes Peebles- Time in Fiction
March 24, 2022 ONSITE - John McCarthy- Image and Emotional Information
March 24, 2022 REMOTE: John McCarthy- Image and Emotional Information
March 17, 2022 ONSITE - Emily Gray Tedrowe- Crafting Strong Dialogue
March 17, 2022 REMOTE: Emily Gray Tedrowe- Crafting Strong Dialogue
March 10, 2022 REMOTE: Megan Stielstra- The Body Intervenes: Creative Nonfiction and the Body
March 10, 2022 No Longer ONSITE - Megan Stielstra- The Body Intervenes: Creative Nonfiction and the Body
March 03, 2022 Caitlin Horrocks: Shell Games,with Jennifer Egan Joining for Q and A After the Break
February 24, 2022 Jane Satterfield and Ned Balbo- Ekphrastic Poetry
February 17, 2022 REMOTE only: Joseph Scapellato -My Novel Is Falling Apart! Practical Strategies for Beginnings, Middles, and Endings
February 17, 2022 No Longer ONSITE - Joseph Scapellato-My Novel Is Falling Apart! Practical Strategies for Beginnings, Middles, and Endings
February 10, 2022 REMOTE: Christina Clancy- The First Twenty Pages: How to Wow an Agent or Editor with a Strong Beginning.
February 10, 2022 REMOTE: Abby Geni- The Elements of Story Cancelled, Christina Clancy will be the speaker.
February 03, 2022 REMOTE: Michael Zapata- The Reality-Inventing Power of Structure
January 27, 2022 REMOTE: Audrey Niffenegger- Imaginary Friends: Building Relationships Between Fictional Characters
January 20, 2022 REMOTE: Jay Bonansinga- The Ten Habits of Highly Effective Writers
January 13, 2022 REMOTE ONLY: Mary Ruth Clarke - High Drama Scene Contest (Turn the Page Series, Session #3)
January 06, 2022 REMOTE ONLY: Ian Belknap - Prospector of the Past: Unearthing the Gold in Your Lived Experience
December 16, 2021 ONSITE - Leonard Rubin- Defaming, Ridiculing, Disparaging: How Far Can a Writer Legally Go?
December 16, 2021 Remote - Leonard Rubin- Defaming, Ridiculing, Disparaging: How Far Can a Writer Legally Go?
December 09, 2021 Alice B. Mc Ginty-The Psychological Connection: Emotional Power in Writing
December 02, 2021 Heather Sellers- The Art of Reflection
November 18, 2021 Christine Sneed- "Let's Make a Scene" (Turn the Page Session #2)
November 11, 2021 Susan Scarf Merrell-The Outline Tells You Everything
November 04, 2021 Denny S. Bryce-2021 Book Marketing: Online All-The-Time or What?
October 28, 2021 Charles Baxter-Captain Happen: Some Notes on Narrative Urgency (Turn the Page session #1)
October 21, 2021 Samantha MacLeod-Writing Sex Scenes You’ll Respect in the Morning
October 14, 2021 Taylor Byas-The Pantoum and the Sonnet
October 07, 2021 Kristin A. Oakley- Creating Unforgettable Characters
September 30, 2021 Fred Shafer- Silence in Fiction Session Four
September 23, 2021 Fred Shafer- Silence in Fiction Session Three
September 09, 2021 Fred Shafer- Silence in Fiction Session Two
September 02, 2021 Fred Shafer- Silence in Fiction $35 Four Pack Value
September 02, 2021 Fred Shafer- Silence in Fiction Session One
August 12, 2021 Thomas Tepper: Learning from "A White Heron"by Sarah Orne Jewett
June 17, 2021 Peter Hoppock:What Makes Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?” So Good?
June 03, 2021 Elizabeth Wetmore: Setting and Place
May 27, 2021 Rebecca Makkai - You Talkin’ to Me? The 'Ear' of the Story
May 20, 2021 Jennifer Solheim - Getting from Abstract to Concrete in Fiction (or, How to Make the Political Personal)
May 13, 2021 Zachary Martin - The Paths to Publication
May 06, 2021 Caitlin Horrocks: Confessions! With Christina Baker Kline in 2nd Half Q/A
April 29, 2021 Dean Bakopoulos - The Reason Life is So Strange: Some Thoughts on Options
April 22, 2021 Vu Tran: From Premise to Promise
April 15, 2021 Natalie Bakopoulos - The I Who Writes and the I on the Page: Strategies in First-Person Narration
April 08, 2021 Esther Hershenhorn - The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same! Writing and Publishing Children’s Books Today
April 01, 2021 Kathleen Rooney - A Flash in the Pan: Getting Started on Short-Short Fiction and Nonfiction
March 25, 2021 Rachel Swearingen - Move Me: Strategies for Getting Unstuck and Energizing Your Prose
March 11, 2021 Ian Belknap: Freshening Language
March 10, 2021 Abby Geni- The Element of Story
March 04, 2021 Kimmery Martin: Building a Writer’s Platform
February 25, 2021 John McCarthy - Mess Up Your Sentences (Correctly): Writing Imaginative, Emotive, and Engaging Syntax
February 18, 2021 Nadine Kenney Johnstone: Mining Your Memories
February 11, 2021 Chen Chen: Elegy in a Time of Pandemic
February 04, 2021 Agent-Editor Panel: Publishing from Both Sides
January 28, 2021 Mary Ruth Clarke - Back by Popular Demand: The Compelling Scene Contest
January 21, 2021 Patricia McNair: Ordinary Moments, Extraordinary Content
January 14, 2021 Libby Fischer Hellman: Building Suspense
January 07, 2021 Matthew Bird - Believe, Care, Invest
December 17, 2020 Ignatius Valentine Aloysius - Digging Deep into Revision
December 03, 2020 Brian Turner - Writing the Impossible: Navigating Love & Loss in Language
November 19, 2020 Jane Huffman: Poetry for Prose Writers
November 12, 2020 Charles Baxter: Wonderlands in Fiction
November 05, 2020 Keetje Kuipers - Outsiders Writing the Outside
October 29, 2020 Goldie Goldbloom - Conveying Emotion and Mood: The Music and Rhythm Of Sentences
October 22, 2020 Megan Stielstra - Sprung from Necessity: On Urgency and the Personal Essay
October 15, 2020 Joseph Scapellato - When What They Want Is Not Enough: Alternative Approaches to Character
October 08, 2020 Christina Clancy: Creating Characters Who Step Off the Page
October 01, 2020 Marcelo Hernandez Castillo - Poetry of Abundance: Exploring the Contemporary Long Poem
September 24, 2020 Fred Shafer - The Experiments the Reader Doesn’t See ( Session 4)
September 24, 2020 Fred Shafer - The Experiments the Reader Doesn’t See (4 Pack)
September 17, 2020 Fred Shafer - The Experiments the Reader Doesn’t See ( Session 3)
September 10, 2020 Fred Shafer - The Experiments the Reader Doesn’t See ( Session 2)
September 03, 2020 Fred Shafer - The Experiments the Reader Doesn’t See ( Session 1)
August 20, 2020 OCWW's Summer Series Program
May 28, 2020 Abby Geni - First Chapter-Remote Session
May 21, 2020 Amy Hassinger - Voice: The Solo Symphony- Remote Session
May 14, 2020 Just Added: Ellen Bass - From Detail to Discovery
May 07, 2020 Joanna Mackenzie/Marcy Posner - Finding Your Agent 101- Remote Session
April 30, 2020 Jane Hertenstein - The Memoir/Fiction Hybrid: Writing that Doesn’t Fit a Category- Remote Session
April 23, 2020 Brian Turner: 10 Tools from the Writer's Rucksack
April 16, 2020 Jennifer Solheim - Sounds and Silences Remote Session
April 02, 2020 Ben Hoffman - Strangeness and Originality -Special Remote Evening Session
March 26, 2020 Mark Belden-Writing From Abundance Remote Session
March 19, 2020 Abby Saul - What You Should Know About Genre and Comparative Titles( Remote Session)
March 12, 2020 Frances de Pontes Peebles - The 23rd Draft: The Art and Logic of Revision
March 05, 2020 Ines Bellina - Social Media for Your Writing Life
February 27, 2020 Rachel Jamison Webster - The Inner Argument
February 20, 2020 John McCarthy - Transcending the Narrative: reimagining how we write emotions in poetry and prose
February 13, 2020 Kate Hannigan - Tapping Your Inner Ten-Year-Old: Writing Fiction and Nonfiction for Young Readers
February 06, 2020 Sophie Lucido Johnson - It's Kind of Funny, Actually: The Basics of Humor Writing
January 30, 2020 Mary Ruth Clarke - The Scene's The Thing: Compelling Scene Workshop and Contest
January 23, 2020 Stuart Dybek- Poetry for Fiction Writers: What Fiction Writers Can Learn from Poems
January 16, 2020 Eric Rampson - Give as Good as You Get: The Workshop Workshop
January 09, 2020 Eileen Favorite - Writing the Novel Synopsis
January 02, 2020 Goldie Goldbloom - The Poetics of Place: Making Landscape Essential to Fiction (rather than a boring digression)
December 19, 2019 Rebecca Makkai - Researching Into the Void
December 12, 2019 David Berner - Don’t Think; Just Write: How to Stop Overanalyzing and Simply Tell a Good Story
December 05, 2019 Patricia McNair - In Love and Kissing in the Dark: A Short Story Workshop
November 21, 2019 Nadine Kenney Johnstone - Write Your Truth
November 14, 2019 Will Boast - Play It Another Way: Experimenting with Tone
November 07, 2019 Zoe Zolbrod - Deeper than the Sum of its Parts -SPECIAL OFF-SITE EVENING SESSION
October 31, 2019 Sara Connell - Every Story is a Ghost Story
October 24, 2019 Vu Tran - What's In a Character
October 17, 2019 Randy Nichols - Find Yourself on the Write Side of the Law
October 10, 2019 Jac Jemc - The Unifying Power of Motif
October 03, 2019 Joe Scapellatto - Prose Poetics: Letting Your Sentences Sing
September 26, 2019 Fred Shafer - The Two Plots - Session 4
September 19, 2019 Fred Shafer - The Two Plots - Session 3
September 12, 2019 Fred Shafer - The Two Plots - Session 2
September 05, 2019 Fred Shafer - The Two Plots - 4 PACK
September 05, 2019 Fred Shafer - The Two Plots - Session 1
May 30, 2019 Abby Geni- Writing a Literary Thriller
May 23, 2019 Matthew Bird- Crafting Compelling Scenes and Meaningful Themes
May 16, 2019 Emily Clark Victorson, Andrea Hall, and Anna Michels- Meet the Editors
May 09, 2019 Michelle Fallkoff-Dialogue Tips for Young Adult and Adult Fiction
May 02, 2019 Sharon Darrow-Emotion and Revision: Finding the "Emotional Core" of Character in Writing for Children and Young Adults.
April 25, 2019 Jennifer Solheim-Want to Improve your Writing? Rx: Read Like a Writer
April 18, 2019 Jay Rehak- Publishing Cohort-Written Fiction: Putting it Together
April 11, 2019 Mary Anne Mohanraj- Writing the Taboo
April 04, 2019 Kelly McNees- Create Conflict that Propels your Plot
March 28, 2019 Eric Rampson-An Arc of Arcs or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Story Structure
March 21, 2019 Abby Saul and Tina Schwartz-The Agent Challenge
March 14, 2019 Joseph Scapellato-Finding Shape and “Stepping Up”: Practical Alternatives to Plotting Fiction
March 07, 2019 Mary Robinette Kowal - Conceptualizing the Modern Short Story
February 28, 2019 Rachel Swearingen - The Magic and Mechanics of Imagery
February 21, 2019 Jay Bonansinga - Storytelling Fundamentals for the Digital Era
February 14, 2019 John S. Green - Book Readings That Sell Your Book
February 07, 2019 Rebecca Makkai - We Need To Talk
January 24, 2019 Stuart Dybek- Closure
January 17, 2019 Richard Thomas - Writing Short Stories: The Art, The Structure, and Why You Should
January 10, 2019 Sara Connell - 21 Ways to Get Published
January 03, 2019 Jay Rehak -Team-Writing an Episodic Novel
December 27, 2018 Rebekah Frumkin - Writing Humor
December 20, 2018 Jane Hertenstein - Holiday Flash
December 13, 2018 Emily Tedrowe– Taking Character Development to the Next Level
December 06, 2018 Mary Ruth Clark - Writing Cinematic Scenes
November 29, 2018 Patricia McNair - Is it Hot in Here or Is It Just My Writing? How to Handle Sex on the Page
November 15, 2018 Steven Trumpeter - Radical Revision
November 08, 2018 Goldie Goldbloom - When All the World Was Green: the Deep Mystery of Gorgeous Fiction
November 01, 2018 Rebecca Johns - Diving Deep into Three Act Structure
October 25, 2018 Vu Tran - What Movies Can Teach Us As Writers
October 18, 2018 Kelly McNees - Muscle Up a Sagging Middle:How to Build and Sustain Page-Turning Momentum
October 11, 2018 Hannah Gamble - Resistance in Writing
October 04, 2018 Amanda Goldblatt - Associative Structures: Making Relationships & Resonance
September 27, 2018 Fred Shafer- The Music of Sentences #4
September 20, 2018 Fred Shafer- The Music of Sentences #3
September 13, 2018 Fred Shafer- The Music of Sentences #2
September 06, 2018 Fred Shafer- The Music of Sentences #1
September 06, 2018 Fred Shafer-The Music of Sentences 4 Pack 2018-2019 Members Only
May 31, 2018 Kelly McNees- Writing Great Endings
May 24, 2018 Keir Graff - Book Reviews and the Library Market
May 17, 2018 David W. Berner — Writing Great Beginnings
May 10, 2018 Sarah Terez Rosenblum - Writing Sex - Off-Site Evening Event
May 03, 2018 Jac Jemc — Haunting as Narrative Driver and Resonance Builder - Evening Event
April 26, 2018 Abby Saul & Tina P. Schwartz - Agent Hunting 101
April 19, 2018 Mary Anne Mohanraj - Writing Complex Identities
April 12, 2018 Barbara Barnett and Richard Davidson - The Path to Publishing Success
April 05, 2018 Amy Hassinger - What is Creative Non-Fiction and Why is it the Next Big Thing in Your Writing Life?
March 29, 2018 Abby Geni - Making Revision Manageable
March 22, 2018 Peter Ferry - Never Give Up: The Writing, Resting, Shopping, Despairing, Evolution and Redemption of a Short Story
March 15, 2018 Matt Bird - Writing for Strangers
March 08, 2018 Susanna Calkins - Bringing in Research While Telling a Compelling Tale
March 01, 2018 Nadine Kenney Johnstone - Make Your Story Meaningful
February 22, 2018 Mary Ruth Clarke-Adapting Fiction for the Performing Arts: Is It a Play? TV Show? Movie?
February 15, 2018 Jay Bonansinga - Writing the Modern Page-Turner
February 08, 2018 Stuart Dybek - Rewriting Is Telling Yourself The Story Again and Again and Again
February 01, 2018 Natasha Tarpley - Writing For and About Children of Color
January 25, 2018 Goldie Goldbloom - Meet Your Conflicts Head On!
January 18, 2018 Hannah Gamble - "Moves" to Spice Up Your Writing: Using the Absurd to Convey Emotional Truths
January 11, 2018 Richard Thomas - What Editors Look for in Short Fiction: Key Elements Paired with Your Unique Voice
January 04, 2018 Amy Jo Cousins - Hot Romance on a Cold Winter Day
December 14, 2017 Jennifer Solheim - Shake Up your Thinking with the Tools of Oulipo: Generate New Work or Reenvision Character, Scene, Plot and More in Works-in Progress
December 07, 2017 Eric Rampson - Go Do The Voodoo That You Do So Well: Finding (and Using) the Fun in Your Writing
November 30, 2017 Zoe Zolbrod - Using Your Personal Life to Enrich Your Writing
November 16, 2017 Kelly McNees - Five Elements Essential to Snagging an Editor's Interest
November 09, 2017 Esther Hershenhorn - Children’s Book Writing Group 101: The WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY AND HOW!
November 02, 2017 Rebecca Johns - Creating Characters- Off-Site Evening Event
October 26, 2017 Christine Sneed - The Writer's Voice
October 19, 2017 Jamie Freveletti - Tips from an International Best-Selling Author
October 12, 2017 Rebecca Makkai - I'm Stuck
October 05, 2017 Lori Rader-Day - Point of View, Your Story's Foundation
September 28, 2017 Fred Shafer 30th Anniversary Celebration Luncheon
September 28, 2017 Fred Shafer - Showing vs Telling Revisited Session 4
September 21, 2017 Fred Shafer - Showing vs Telling Revisited Session 3
September 14, 2017 Fred Shafer - Showing vs Telling Revisited Session 2
September 07, 2017 Fred Shafer - Showing vs Telling Revisited
September 07, 2017 Fred Shafer - Showing vs Telling Revisited Member 4 Pack
May 25, 2017 Rebecca Makkai - Making a Scene
May 18, 2017 Abby Geni - Setting & Description
May 11, 2017 Lori Rader Day - Using Mystery Tools for Any Story
May 04, 2017 Christine Sneed - Breaking Into the Literary Fiction Market
April 27, 2017 Ellen T. McKnight - Best of Both: Plot and Pace with Depth
April 20, 2017 Ellen T. McKnight - Best of Both: Depth and Artistry with Plot
April 13, 2017 Ellen Blum Barish - Identifying Your Writer’s Voice
April 06, 2017 Frances De Pontes Peebles - Keeping The Pace
March 30, 2017 Jamie Freveletti - Writing Action and Conflict
March 23, 2017 Mary Robinette Kowal - The Rest of the Cast
March 16, 2017 Abby Saul - Copy that Sells Your Book
March 09, 2017 Mare Swallow - Building Your Literary Community
March 02, 2017 Zoe Zolbrod - Strategies for Structuring Memoir and Long Narratives
February 23, 2017 Randy Richardson - The Art of Self-Promotion *SPECIAL EVENT*
February 16, 2017 Patricia McNair - The Writer's Road Trip
February 09, 2017 Rachel Harvith - Make Your Dialogue Work
February 02, 2017 Sarah Hammond - The Big Idea
January 26, 2017 Susanna Calkins - Critiquing and Being Critiqued
January 19, 2017 Shawn Shiflett - Building Characters From Real People
January 12, 2017 Christine Maul Rice - How to develop your unique voice on the page
January 05, 2017 Eric Rampson - Creating and Using Humor
December 15, 2016 Richard Thomas - Neo Noir and the Fiction of Darkness
December 08, 2016 Peter Ferry - Character Devolpment
December 01, 2016 Samantha Hoffman - The Art of Revision
November 17, 2016 Christine Sneed - Conflict in Genre v. Literary Fiction
November 10, 2016 Dana Kaye - Launch Your Own Publicity Campaign
November 03, 2016 Jennifer Day - Reading, Writing and the Value of Literary Criticism *SPECIAL EVENT*
October 27, 2016 Rebecca Johns - Structuring Your Novel *Special Event*
October 20, 2016 Jane Hertenstein - Flash Memoir
October 13, 2016 Jennifer Rupp - Book Readings That Sell Your Book
October 06, 2016 Rebecca Makkai - Build It Up
September 29, 2016 9/29 Fred Shafer - The Role of Questions in Fiction Writing
September 22, 2016 9/22 Fred Shafer - The Role of Questions in Fiction Writing
September 15, 2016 9/15 Fred Shafer - The Role of Questions in Fiction Writing
September 08, 2016 Fred Shafer - The Role of Questions in Fiction Writing
August 25, 2016 OCWW Summer Prompt Session
May 26, 2016 Rebecca Makkai — Ending It All
May 19, 2016 David Michael Kaplan — Revising Prose For Power and Punch
May 12, 2016 Stuart Dybek — How To Write Stories That Are Smarter Than You Are
May 05, 2016 James Sherman — Playwrighting
April 28, 2016 Neil Tesser — Seeing The Music
April 21, 2016 Kelly James-Enger—Six-Figure Freelancing
April 14, 2016 Scott Onak — Free Your Writing
April 07, 2016 Ellen T. McKnight—Orchestrating Tension
March 31, 2016 Andy Nathan—Blogging for Your Business
March 24, 2016 Tina Schwartz—Top Five Questions Writers Most Frequently Ask
March 17, 2016 Paul McComas—Stories in the Spotlight
March 10, 2016 Meade Palidofsky — Memoir Theatre
March 03, 2016 Jill Pollack — The Science of Stories
February 25, 2016 Wendy McClure — Craft & Revision
February 18, 2016 Richard Chwedyk—Why Science Fiction Matters
February 11, 2016 Scott Whitehair — Presentation Styles
February 04, 2016 Cheryl Besnjak - Copyright Law
January 28, 2016 Andy Nathan - Internet Marketing
January 14, 2016 Pitch to Your Peers
December 17, 2015 OCWW Holiday Party
December 10, 2015 Esther Hershenhorn: Writing for Children
December 03, 2015 Rick Watkins on Character: The True Essence of Story
November 26, 2015 Thanksgiving
November 19, 2015 Writing the Next Chapter
November 12, 2015 Allie Pleiter: Dynamic Dialogue
November 05, 2015 Jody Nye: Structuring Your Novel
October 29, 2015 Paul McComas: Beginning Hooks


PAST SEASON'S WORKSHOPS  
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June 01, 2023

Kelly McMasters - The Landscape of the Personal

May 25, 2023

Abby Geni - The Science of Story

May 18, 2023

Jennifer Solheim - Let’s Make Trouble: Characters, Conscience

May 11, 2023

Joseph Scapellato - Narrative Density

May 04, 2023

Marcy Posner and Joanna McKenzie - Publishing Today: What’s working in today’s market

April 27, 2023

Rachel Swearingen - Cultivating Mystery and Delight in Fiction

April 20, 2023

Kathleen Rooney - Send in the Clowns: Using Humor to Deepen Emotional Impact

April 13, 2023

John McCarthy - Imagining and Intuitive Perception

March 30, 2023

Michael Zapata - Last Evenings on Earth: Writing Speculative Fiction

March 23, 2023

Joan Silber - Generosity in Fiction

March 16, 2023

Sandra Scofield - Aboutness

March 09, 2023

Brian Turner - Doorways into Surprise and Delight

March 02, 2023

Patricia Ann McNair - Alternate Endings: An exercise in discovery and letting go

February 23, 2023

Micah Fields - Writing vs. Typing: A craft talk on composition and artful prose

February 16, 2023

Karen Bender - How to Open a Story? Exploring Strategies

February 09, 2023

Editor Panel - Which literary magazines and journals are looking for your work?

February 02, 2023

Charles Baxter - We Were Strangers

January 26, 2023

Hollie Smurthwaite - The Art of Brainstorming

January 19, 2023

Robert Anthony Siegel - Exploring the Power of the Image through Haiku

January 12, 2023

Steve Almond - A Wrinkle in Time: How to Embrace Your Chronology and Tell the Story Straight

January 05, 2023

Taylor Byas - Making Room for Mess and Magic

December 01, 2022

Christina Clancy - Unputdownable! How to create and sustain momentum    

November 17, 2022

Kate Hannigan - So You've Got an Idea for a Kids’ Book, Now What?   

November 10, 2022

Goldie Goldbloom - The Roles of Love and Pity in Opening a Story  

November 03, 2022

Penny Sansevieri - Secrets of a Bestselling Amazon Book Page

October 27, 2022

Peter Orner - Indelible 

October 20, 2022

Matt Bird - The Secrets of Character

October 13, 2022

Vu Tran - What Movies Can Teach Us As Writers

October 06, 2022

Rebecca Makkai - Interiority Complex

September, 2022

Fred Shafer - The Paragraph in Fiction Writing: 4 Sessions  


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