Master Classes and Manuscript Consultations


Have you ever written a story and people have said to you, That should be a novel?  If so, then this class is for you.

Some short stories do lend themselves to expansion into novel form—but should you and can you turn the “stakes” of a short story into the journey characteristic of the classic novel?  What are other ways to amplify or open up your short piece so that it will have the depth and intensity that people read novels for? From a writer who has recently turned a story into a a novel—making a myriad of discoveries along the way–exercises and ideas at the macro and the micro level, and words for thought.

To register for this class, please click here.

The Three R’s of Creative Nonfiction: Research, Real Life, and Reflection with Lee Gutkind

Research demonstrates that people remember more information—longer—and are more easily persuaded to accept ideas and take action when that information is communicated in true stories and real life scenes.

How to write true stories that inform, compel and inspire is the challenge and the mission of this three-hour workshop led by a pioneer and leading figure in the field, Lee Gutkind, the “Godfather” behind the creative nonfiction/true story genre, according to Vanity Fair Magazine.

In this workshop, Gutkind will proceed, step by step, through the entire writing true stories process, from finding the story, to recreating scenes and building a scene-by-scene structure that is informative and compelling to read.  Participants will learn how to read with a writer’s eye and recognize structural patterns through Gutkind’s “yellow test” formula.

Writing techniques like dialogue, flash descriptions, inner point of view—and the art of imbedding information in story–will be explained and illustrated. While the message is always the mission for the writer-communicator—the messenger, the vehicle through which the message is communicated, makes the vital writer-reader-audience connection.

This is the perfect class for reporters and memoirists and for writers who want to be able to accomplish both with a personal voice and the journalist eye.

To register for this class, please click here.


A critic once said that a certain poet was conscious where she should have been unconscious and unconscious where she should have been conscious.  This points to the question of how as poets we can make the best use of the unconscious material that rises up in dreams.

While we dream of an instant poem written in our sleep, the actual meeting of language with dream experience raises questions.  What is too personal, what is too direct, what needs to be included, or excluded?

In this class we will ask participants to share a dream and a poem, and point to how dreams and poems are similar in their topography, and where they are different. What can our poems learn from our dreams?  What can we bring into our poems from our dreams, and how can we learn the language that’s sufficient to that task?  We will also look to good models of dream poets who take a variety of approaches, including Arthur Rimbaud, Antonio Machado,  Alice Notley, Jean Valentine and David Shapiro.

To register for this class, please click here.

The Class I Wish I’d Had During My MFA with Daniel Wallace

The more time that passes since my degree in Creative Writing, the more I realize how lucky I was. My colleagues were talented and my teachers were exceptional. But our MFA was not alone, I believe, in finding classes about short-story writing more rewarding than classes about novel-writing. In fact, until the very end of my MFA, I wasn’t writing a novel at all; instead, I was writing what you might call “novel-shaped-fiction.”

As a category, “novel-shaped-fiction” looks a lot like a novel. The only problem with novel-shaped-fiction is that, generally speaking, no one wants to read it.

In this class, we’ll study techniques to turn our novel-ideas into gripping, well-designed novels. Taking examples from fairy tales and classic novels such as Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Don Delillo’s White Noise, we’ll discuss tools such as repetition, sympathy for the protagonist, dramatic hooks, and character turning points. We’ll not only study how to use these tools to better outline our novels, but we’ll also discuss how to bring these elements into our messy first drafts.

To register for this class, please click here.

Getting Your Book Published with Neil White

Award-winning publisher and bestselling author Neil White will share insider secrets with attendees — from the realities of obtaining agents and contracts with the Big Five publisher to how self-publishing can (with exceptional planning and execution) work just as well for authors. Topics include: The Four Paths to Publication, Conceptualization and Positioning, Content Development for Publication, Art Direction and Design, Editing (Story, Copy, Line), Manufacturing, Marketing and Publicity, Distribution and more. Whether you are determined to go with traditional publishers, hybrid deals or self-publishing, you need to know the risks and benefits of all paths.
Neil White is Creative Director and Publisher at The Nautilus Publishing Company. His bestselling memoir, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts, was published in 2009 by HarperCollins.
To register for this class, please click here.

Manuscript Consultation with Lee Gutkind

Manuscripts must be submitted no later than December 10, 2014, and be no more than 15-20 pages in length.

To arrange a manuscript consultation with Lee Gutkind, please click here.


To register for a master class or manuscript consultation, please click here.