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The Writer’s Studio

The Writer’s Studio at University of Chicago is a creative home to writers of all genres and ambitions. We offer open-enrollment, noncredit classes designed to inspire and challenge as well as manuscript consultations and free community events. Whether you are dabbling in creative or professional writing or honing your craft, we strive to offer engaging classes and community that serve your needs.

About the Program

Ranging from introductory to advanced, the Writer’s Studio offers one-day, four-week and eight-week classes held at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago. Many of our classes are workshop-based, focusing on creation of new or revised work alongside discussion of student and published writing.

While there is no need to apply for admission to our classes (you can simply register), we encourage students to choose courses based on their level of experience. For beginners, we suggest starting with introductory courses such as Basic Creative Writing, Introduction to Creative Nonfiction, Introduction to Dramatic Writing, etc. For writers with more experience, we invite you to sign up for our advanced courses, including Advanced Prose Workshop, Advanced Short Story Writing, etc. Classes that are not clearly distinguished as beginner or advanced are generally intermediate.

About Our Community

Writer’s Studio faculty and students create powerful work in and out of the classroom. We are proud of the literary and creative accomplishments of students, alumni and instructors (see our growing list of publications and awards). To strengthen relationships and writing, we hold regular events on and off campus, including open mics and readings, as well as our free annual Business of Writing Seminar and programs at Chicago literary institutions such as Printers Row Lit Fest. Above all, we endeavor to help our students live the writing lives that they envision within a vibrant, supportive community, whether those visions include publishing, performing or simply pushing the bounds of their creative expression.

Your writing matters. Get to work on it.

Click a course title to read the course description and register for the course.

Courses

Writer's Studio Master Series: Toni Morrison's “Powerful Spell” 06/6/2017

WRIT 52181 | Master Series: Toni Morrison's “Powerful Spell”

Here’s your opportunity to put yourself in the shoes—or at the desk—of one of our era’s greatest writers. This session will blend a close reading of the first chapter of Toni Morrison’s Beloved with an opportunity to experiment with her techniques in your own work. By focusing on Morrison’s use of setting, scene elements, and character interaction, we will learn how to establish what’s at stake for your story, what drives the action, and what will keep your readers turning the page. (Please read the first chapter before coming to class. For a digital copy, email writersstudio@uchicago.edu.)

Please note that the instructor for this course has changed from Randall Albers to Alexis Pride.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Alexis Pride
3 PD/CPDU
Course Code: WRIT 52181
Section: 17S1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates: Jun 06
Tuition: $85.00
Days/Times: Tue
6:00 PM–9:00 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
June 5, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Writer's Studio Writing & Walking in Memoir & Creative Nonfiction
06/19/2017 to 07/17/2017

WRIT 42403 | Writing & Walking in Memoir & Creative Nonfiction

There is a long and varied history of the writer as flanuer- the passionate wanderer. Sometimes the writing that follows is transformed by the very act of walking or deepened by discoveries made along the way, but it is always changed by looking at one’s environment anew. We will read writers such as Virginia Wolf, Philip Lopate, and Adam Gopnik to see how urban writers and poets wrote about walking and applied the observational skills developed through using their senses as they wandered their environments mindfully. As we stroll around Chicago, we will also move from our interiority to the world around us and observe how it enriches our writing.

No class July 3.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Dina Elenbogen

Dina Elenbogen

Dina Elenbogen

Dina Elenbogen has published a memoir, Drawn from Water: an American Poet, an Ethiopian Family, an Israeli Story; a poetry collection, Apples of the Earth; as well as award-winning nonfiction pieces and poems. She is the recipient of the 2012 Graham School Excellence in Teaching Award for the Humanities, Arts, and Sciences.

10 PD/CPDU
Course Code: WRIT 42403
Section: 17S1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Jun 19 to Jul 17
Tuition: $295.00
Days/Times: Mon
10:00 AM–12:30 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
June 16, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Writer's Studio Basic Creative Writing
06/19/2017 to 08/14/2017

WRIT 51800 | Basic Creative Writing

This course will introduce you to creative writing, from generating ideas to revising drafts. Find your voice and develop your craft through in-class and at-home writing exercises, and through discussions of your own and your fellow students’ written work. You will also study canonical and contemporary models drawn from fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, and you will be encouraged to try your hand at each of these genres.

No class July 3.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Sarah Terez Rosenblum

Sarah Terez Rosenblum

Sarah Terez Rosenblum

Sarah Terez Rosenblum’s debut novel, Herself When She's Missing, was called “poetic and heartrending” by Booklist. She writes for publications and sites including Salon, The Chicago Sun Times, Curve Magazine, and Pop Matters. She was a 2011 recipient of Carve Magazine's Esoteric Fiction Award, 1st runner up for Midwestern Gothic's 2015 Lake Prize, and a finalist for Washington Square Review’s 2016 Flash Fiction Award. In addition, she was shortlisted for Zoetrope All Story’s 2016 Short Fiction Contest, receiving an honorable mention. In 2014, she founded the Truth or Lie Live Lit Series.

20 PD/CPDU
Course Code: WRIT 51800
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Jun 19 to Aug 14
Tuition: $575.00
Days/Times: Mon
6:00 PM–8:30 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
June 16, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Writer's Studio Fiction Workshop: Revision
06/20/2017 to 08/15/2017

WRIT 32851 | Fiction Workshop: Revision

Learn to develop and polish your works in progress to uncover their unique qualities and bring them closer to what they are meant to be. Most of our time in this eight-week workshop will be spent discussing student work and exploring various techniques for revision, although we will also consider new perspectives through our discussion of published stories. Previous coursework in fiction writing strongly recommended. Come to the first class with a printout of a work in progress (5,000 words or less).

No class July 4.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Stephanie Friedman

Stephanie Friedman

Stephanie Friedman

Stephanie Friedman has had work published in Michigan Quarterly Review, among other venues. She holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and an MA in English from the University of Chicago.

20 PD/CPDU
Course Code: WRIT 32851
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Jun 20 to Aug 15
Tuition: $575.00
Days/Times: Tue
6:00 PM–8:30 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
June 19, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Writer's Studio Advanced Prose Workshop
06/21/2017 to 08/9/2017

WRIT 53899 | Advanced Prose Workshop

This repeatable workshop is designed for advanced fiction and nonfiction writers working to develop and hone their work. As a mixed-genre class, writers will have the opportunity to learn from a wide range of styles, techniques, and voices.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Paul McComas

Paul McComas

Paul McComas

Paul McComas is the author of two novels and two short-story collections, and the co-author of a novella, a short-plays collection, an in-process scholarly film book, and—with Maya Kuper—the alt-rock musical “Unplugged”: A Survivor's Story in Scenes & Songs. He has won teaching awards from Northwestern (in continuing ed) and National-Louis universities.

20 PD/CPDU
Course Code: WRIT 53899
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Jun 21 to Aug 09
Tuition: $575.00
Days/Times: Wed
6:00 PM–8:30 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
June 20, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Writer's Studio The Full Writer
06/21/2017 to 07/26/2017

WRIT 82601 | The Full Writer

A writing life requires rigor, stamina, flexibility, and curiosity, not to mention a solid grounding in craft. This six-week class is designed to cover the four Ps of writing: Practice, Process, Product, Publish. Students will experiment to find their optimal writing practice; discuss and explore ways to understand and develop process; and cultivate the balance required to create personal work in all genres, yet set boundaries and nourish a confident voice. To this end, students will workshop, discuss published works, and complete weekly homework, all in the interest of creating publication-ready products.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Sarah Terez Rosenblum

Sarah Terez Rosenblum

Sarah Terez Rosenblum

Sarah Terez Rosenblum’s debut novel, Herself When She's Missing, was called “poetic and heartrending” by Booklist. She writes for publications and sites including Salon, The Chicago Sun Times, Curve Magazine, and Pop Matters. She was a 2011 recipient of Carve Magazine's Esoteric Fiction Award, 1st runner up for Midwestern Gothic's 2015 Lake Prize, and a finalist for Washington Square Review’s 2016 Flash Fiction Award. In addition, she was shortlisted for Zoetrope All Story’s 2016 Short Fiction Contest, receiving an honorable mention. In 2014, she founded the Truth or Lie Live Lit Series.

15 PD/CPDU
Course Code: WRIT 82601
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Jun 21 to Jul 26
Tuition: $445.00
Days/Times: Wed
2:00 PM–4:30 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
June 20, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Writer's Studio Online Writing Group
07/8/2017 to 09/1/2017

WRIT 52850 | Online Writing Group

Do you need structure, deadlines, insight, and a creative community to produce your best work? This eight-week, multi-genre (fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry), online writing group is designed to provide that and more. As a member, you will generate and revise your creative work (up to 4000 words of prose or eight pages of poetry at a time) alongside a supportive, dedicated cohort of writers. Regardless of location and schedule, this group can help you find motivation, inspiration, and creative breakthroughs under the guidance of a professional writer.

No class over Memorial Day Weekend.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Hannah Gamble

Hannah Gamble

Hannah Gamble

Hannah Gamble is a poet, essayist, editor, and educator. Her first book, Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast, won the National Poetry Series in 2011. You can find her writing on the Poetry Foundation website and in magazines such as The Believer, jubilat, Fanzine, and the American Poetry Review.

20 PD/CPDU
Course Code: WRIT 52850
Section: 17U7
Location: Online
Dates:
Jul 08 to Sep 01
Tuition: $575.00
Days/Times:



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
July 3, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Writer's Studio Master Series: Searching for it in Jack Kerouac's On the Road 07/13/2017

WRIT 42180 | Master Series: Searching for it in Jack Kerouac's On the Road

With its propulsive force and thrumming momentum, On the Road has long been heralded (and occasionally reviled) for its spontaneous prose style, a seemingly effortless translation of thought to the page. Beneath that surface is a hard-scrubbed effort, a mining of mind and craft that provides valuable lessons on the writing process and the struggles that define it. Through close reading, discussion, and in-class prompts, we will probe his use of point of view; commanding and sensory details; intimate and imagistic descriptions; and spontaneous prose. Mining his work challenges us to reach beyond what we think we think to get at what we really think, to discover the less evident, often-uncomfortable mysteries that fuel writing that resonates and shimmers on the page.

This class will be held at the American Writers Museum, where the On the Road scroll is on exhibit. There will be time to explore the museum’s exhibits before class begins. In preparation for class, please read the first chapter and 6-10 in Part III of On the Road. For a digital copy, please contact writersstudio@uchicago.edu.

There will be a pre-class reception and chance to explore the museum from 6-6:30. Class will begin at 6:30.

Location: American Writers Museum, 180 North Michigan Avenue, 2nd Floor

Price includes museum entry.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Lauren Cowen

Lauren Cowen

Lauren Cowen

Lauren Cowen is the author of three essay collections, including the New York Times Bestseller Daughters and Mothers, and a host of pieces in publications such as Chicago magazine. Her work has also been featured on NPR.

3 PD/CPDU
Course Code: WRIT 42180
Section: 17U1
Location:
Dates: Jul 13
Tuition: $100.00
Days/Times: Thu
6:00 PM–9:00 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
July 11, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Writer's Studio Jumpstart Session: Writing Killer Scenes 07/15/2017

WRIT 52102 | Jumpstart Session: Writing Killer Scenes

Scenes are what audiences remember most from the fiction, films, and plays that dazzle and devastate us. In this three-hour workshop, we’ll parse the elements of a scene, identify what elevates scenes from the prosaic to the dramatic, and, taking lessons from masterful scene writers, use in-class exercises to shape our own scenes for maximum story impact.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Susan Hubbard

Susan Hubbard

Susan Hubbard

Susan Hubbard is an award-winning screenwriter whose work has screened internationally. She co-wrote feature film Realization, and has pitched to Hollywood executives. She holds an MFA in cinema art & science. Her play, Thundersnow, was produced in Chicago in 2015.

3 PD/CPDU
Course Code: WRIT 52102
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates: Jul 15
Tuition: $85.00
Days/Times: Sat
9:30 AM–12:30 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
July 14, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Writer's Studio Jumpstart Session: Research for Writers 07/22/2017

WRIT 52104 | Jumpstart Session: Research for Writers

Where do you start? How do you stop? Using research in your poetry, fiction, or nonfiction can add depth, color, perspective, and more. In this session, we'll read excerpts of work that do a good job of blending outside information with the rest of the piece. We'll talk about occasions for research and surprising places to find information. Bring your questions!

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Sandi Wisenberg

Sandi Wisenberg

Sandi Wisenberg

Sandi Wisenberg is the author of The Sweetheart Is In; Holocaust Girls: History, Memory, & Other Obsessions; and The Adventures of Cancer Bitch.

3 PD/CPDU
Course Code: WRIT 52104
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates: Jul 22
Tuition: $85.00
Days/Times: Sat
9:30 AM–12:30 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
July 21, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Writer's Studio Creative Play: The Pleasure of Writing
07/24/2017 to 08/14/2017

WRIT 82401 | Creative Play: The Pleasure of Writing

No matter the difficulty of getting the voice or characters or movement right, you need to stay in touch with your own pleasure in order to meet the challenges and keep at the task of writing the best piece you can write. In this class, we will use various imaginative games emphasizing creative play and purposeful experimentation. You will generate writing and learn rewriting techniques that lead to engaging, finished stories. These playful activities will be useful for writers at any stage of development, from beginner to advanced, who want to stay in touch with the pleasure of writing.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Randall Albers

Randall Albers

Randall Albers

Randall Albers is Professor/Chair Emeritus in the Department of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago, was founding producer of the Story Week Festival of Writers and is a recipient of Columbia’s Teaching Excellence Award. His work appears in Writing in Education, TriQuarterly, Writer’s Digest, Brevity, and elsewhere. Two chapters from his novel-in-progress, All the World Before Them, have been nominated for Pushcart prizes.

10 PD/CPDU
Course Code: WRIT 82401
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Jul 24 to Aug 14
Tuition: $295.00
Days/Times: Mon
10:00 AM–12:30 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
July 21, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Writer's Studio Beyond Slam: Poetry on its Feet
08/2/2017 to 08/23/2017

WRIT 12402 | Beyond Slam: Poetry on its Feet

You may be familiar with the poetry slam: competitive performance poetry created in Chicago in 1982. Slam is here to stay, but the old tropes have fallen away, leaving the strongest elements of performance poetry as a gift to us all. In this workshop, write your life in poems, hone solo performance skills from a professional poet/slammer, and come closer to what poetry was originally meant to be: an aural tradition.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Mary Fons

Mary Fons

Mary Fons

Mary Fons is a nationally-ranked slam poet; proud Neo-Futurist; founding editor of Quilty; and co-host of Love of Quilting. Mary’s publications include Make + Love Quilts: Scrap Quilts for the 21st Century; and essays in the Write Club Anthology and Madonna & Me. See more at MaryFons.com.

10 PD/CPDU
Course Code: WRIT 12402
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Aug 02 to Aug 23
Tuition: $295.00
Days/Times: Wed
2:00 PM–4:30 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
August 1, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Writer's Studio Master Series: Character, Scene, & Pace in James Joyce’s “The Dead” 08/5/2017

WRIT 52182 | Master Series: Character, Scene, & Pace in James Joyce’s “The Dead”

James Joyce’s masterful short story experiments in Dubliners set the stage for later works like Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses. This class will enable you to learn something of Joyce’s techniques from the inside, first by studying his classic story, “The Dead,” and then by experimenting in your own work with his techniques of character development, scene building, and pacing in order to sharpen the interactions and movement of your stories. The emphasis here will be upon purposeful play and finding your own way into the process of creating engaging, powerful, firmly paced stories. (Please read “The Dead,” available online, before class.)

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Randall Albers

Randall Albers

Randall Albers

Randall Albers is Professor/Chair Emeritus in the Department of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago, was founding producer of the Story Week Festival of Writers and is a recipient of Columbia’s Teaching Excellence Award. His work appears in Writing in Education, TriQuarterly, Writer’s Digest, Brevity, and elsewhere. Two chapters from his novel-in-progress, All the World Before Them, have been nominated for Pushcart prizes.

3 PD/CPDU
Course Code: WRIT 52182
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates: Aug 05
Tuition: $85.00
Days/Times: Sat
9:30 AM–12:30 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
August 4, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Writer's Studio Storytelling Bootcamp
08/12/2017 to 08/19/2017

WRIT 72202 | Storytelling Bootcamp

Everyone has a story, and lately it seems like everyone in Chicago is taking to the stage to tell theirs. But what makes for truly riveting storytelling? The answer involves the essential elements of good storytelling (great protagonist, real conflict, and a satisfying resolution) enveloped in a performer who looks the audience in the eye and uses gesture and voice to give life and drama to the tale. Learn all of these steps and bring your story to life in this two-day storytelling seminar.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Julie Ganey, Stephanie Wilson Medlock

Julie Ganey

Julie Ganey

Julie Ganey is a storyteller, teaching artist, and performer who has appeared on stages all over Chicago. She is a company member at 2nd Story, and her piece “When the Fairies Came” appears in their anthology, Briefly Knocked Unconscious by a Low-Flying Duck.

,

Stephanie Wilson Medlock

Stephanie Wilson Medlock

Stephanie Wilson Medlock co-founded Indigan Storyteller and helped launch the International Storytelling Festival in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Her novel, The Lives of Things, was optioned by Totem Films. Her work appears in Feathered Flounder, Still Crazy, Persimmon Tree, Tues/Night, and Celebrating Animal Rescue.

10 PD/CPDU
Course Code: WRIT 72202
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Aug 12 to Aug 19
Tuition: $295.00
Days/Times: Sat
10:00 AM–4:00 PM (with a one-hour lunch break)



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
August 11, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

WRIT 72202 | Storytelling Bootcamp

Everyone has a story, and lately it seems like everyone in Chicago is taking to the stage to tell theirs. But what makes for truly riveting storytelling? The answer involves the essential elements of good storytelling (great protagonist, real conflict, and a satisfying resolution) enveloped in a performer who looks the audience in the eye and uses gesture and voice to give life and drama to the tale. Learn all of these steps and bring your story to life in this two-day storytelling seminar.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Julie Ganey, Stephanie Wilson Medlock

Julie Ganey

Julie Ganey

Julie Ganey is a storyteller, teaching artist, and performer who has appeared on stages all over Chicago. She is a company member at 2nd Story, and her piece “When the Fairies Came” appears in their anthology, Briefly Knocked Unconscious by a Low-Flying Duck.

,

Stephanie Wilson Medlock

Stephanie Wilson Medlock

Stephanie Wilson Medlock co-founded Indigan Storyteller and helped launch the International Storytelling Festival in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Her novel, The Lives of Things, was optioned by Totem Films. Her work appears in Feathered Flounder, Still Crazy, Persimmon Tree, Tues/Night, and Celebrating Animal Rescue.

10 PD/CPDU
Course Code: WRIT 72202
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Aug 12 to Aug 19
Tuition: $295.00
Days/Times: Sat
10:00 AM–4:00 PM (with a one-hour lunch break)



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
August 11, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

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