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Welcome to the Nonfiction Authors Association

The Nonfiction Authors Association is a supportive community for writers to connect, exchange ideas, and learn how to write, publish, promote, and profit with nonfiction books.

Nonfiction Authors Association Membership

Membership benefits:

=> Exclusive Author Advisor email sent every Friday with curated media leads, educational podcast recordings , and featured templates, checklists and reports from our massive database of member resources.

=> Author Brainstorm Exchange, monthly meetings held with Zoom breakout rooms where members and publishing pros connect and share ideas, challenges, and solutions.

=> Popular members-only Facebook group to connect with fellow members and industry pros.

=> Meet-the-Members program to share and interview and/or book announcement with our email list, blog, and social media community, plus get featured on NonfictionBookClub.com .

=> Group consulting calls held monthly, exclusively for VIP and Thought Leader members.

=> Discounts off the year-round Nonfiction Book Awards program and author toolkits , VIP and Thought Leader members get free access to the author toolkits. Thought Leaders get a free entry in the Nonfiction Book Awards.

=> Discounts off live and self-study courses, including the Book Publishing Master Course and Book Marketing Master Course , both with optional professional certification . Thought Leader members attend ALL courses for free.

=> Discount off the Nonfiction Writers Conference , a virtual event held entirely online since 2010. VIP and Thought Leader members attend for free.

=> Discounts with NFAA partners including Lulu, Office Depot, Findaway Voices, and more.

Ready to write, publish, and promote your nonfiction book? You don’t have to do it alone!

Join the Nonfiction Authors Association

How can the Nonfiction Authors Association help you?

Click any image below to choose your own publishing adventure. (Nonfiction writers can have just as much fun as fiction writers, right?!)

You are an ideal member for the Nonfiction Authors Association if you…

  • Are an experienced or aspiring nonfiction writer and feel you have more to learn about writing, publishing or promoting nonfiction books.
  • Need help getting started with writing your nonfiction manuscript.
  • Feel overwhelmed by the publishing industry and unsure what steps to take next.
  • Want to learn new book marketing tactics that actually get results.
  • Have a desire to make an impact on the world.
  • Want to connect with fellow writers who have similar challenges and goals.
  • Would like to figure out how to actually earn money from your efforts–perhaps even turn it into a career.

Join the Nonfiction Authors Association

The fact is that nonfiction authors have long been a neglected community. Most writers’ groups and writers’ conferences focus on fiction. But if you’re a nonfiction author, your needs are different. Your marketing tactics are different, your sales process is different, and your goals are probably different. Many nonfiction authors are also entrepreneurs, speakers, consultants, coaches, medical, financial and legal professionals, and service-based business owners. Writing and promoting a nonfiction book can be a phenomenal way to grow your business. The possibilities are truly endless and we can help you discover them!

You don’t have to do it alone. We can help you navigate your publishing journey. In addition to our vibrant community, our members have access to a tremendous amount of educational content. In fact, we don’t know of another trade association–of any kind–that provides its members with as much educational content as NFAA!

Learn about membership in the Nonfiction Authors Association .

Attend the Next Nonfiction Writers Conference

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Yes, we were ahead of the times, and this means we know how to deliver an effective event. Our conferences are multi-day events conducted each year in May. Depending on the registration level you choose, NFWC events include:

  • Live webinar-style presentations, including Q&A with speakers
  • Complimentary Ask-a-Pro sessions, one-on-one phone consultations with publishing industry pros
  • Private Facebook group for attendees and speakers to connect
  • LIVE Pitch-the-Agents session, attendees can apply to participate
  • Recordings and transcripts available
  • Bonus handouts and materials provided by most speakers

Find out for yourself why NFWC attendees return year after year!

Learn more about the upcoming Nonfiction Writers Conference .

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New nonfiction book club site.

New Nonfiction Book Club site

The Nonfiction Book Club features books by NFAA members, book award winners, and lists for recommended reading. Find your next read here: NonfictionBookClub.com (And join NFAA to get featured here!)



Join our email list and download our 12-page report to learn how to sell your books to libraries and how to find out how many libraries are already carrying your book! DOWNLOAD THE REPORT HERE

Upcoming Events for Nonfiction Writers

Upcoming Events for Nonfiction Writers

NFAA hosts a weekly podcast, free monthly webinar events, online courses, an annual conference, member-only events, and more. SEE EVENT DETAILS HERE



We offer a tremendous amount of educational resources, a supportive member community, partner discounts, and many more benefits to help you navigate your publishing journey and achieve your goals. JOIN US!


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Table of Contents

  • Scribe’s Book Writing Workshop
  • The Ongoing Support Offered
  • How It Works
  • How to Join

Scribe’s Book Writing Workshop for Nonfiction Authors

nonfiction writers workshop

I’ve been to some of the best book writing workshops in the world, and also some of the worst.

The worst are glorified sales pitches; “free” writers workshops put on by coaches or publishing companies who want to sell you something.

The best workshops, on the other hand, offer experiences that can change your life. They provide expert guidance to overcome the fears and obstacles that every first-time Author faces :

  • Feeling overwhelmed by the scope of the project.
  • Not knowing where to start.
  • Feeling alone in the process.

Most importantly, the best workshops get you results . They give you a foundation and set you on a path to not just write your book, but publish it, too.

Choosing the right workshop for you depends on your goals. If you just want to have fun and explore book writing, go to a local $300 workshop first because it’s low risk and an easy way to start.

But if you’re committed to both writing and publishing, you should choose a workshop with a proven track record of helping writers become published Authors.

This is what we’ve developed at Scribe—a nonfiction book writing workshop for professionals who want the best guidance in the world on writing and self-publishing .

In this post, I cover:

  • The key difference between Scribe’s workshop and other book writing workshops.
  • The immense ongoing support that makes it more than just a workshop (including weekly group coaching calls and quarterly masterclasses with me).
  • The 3-day agenda and breakdown for how we run our workshops.

With Scribe’s book writing workshop, as long as you do exactly what we tell you to do, you’ll finish your book . We can guarantee this because we have a proven process that’s guided thousands of Authors from idea to published book.

As you’ll learn below, the workshop we offer is a part of our Guided Author Program , which involves group coaching and other forms of ongoing support after the workshop finishes. Click here to learn more, or schedule a consult to connect on a call with our team.

What Differentiates Scribe’s Book Writing Workshop?

Typical book writing workshops are primarily tactical. They consist of a variety of lectures and writing exercises that provide Authors with the information they need to write a book.

But let’s be honest— information isn’t the real reason people attend a book writing workshop . There are hundreds of blog posts on how to write a book or improve at the craft of writing.

We’ve published a 500+ page book on writing and publishing called The Scribe Method that anyone can read. And we’ve also made our online course, Scribe Book School , completely free for anyone who wants all the information necessary to write a book.

The real reason people attend book writing workshops (whether they acknowledge it or not) is to get the emotional support and accountability that’s needed in the book writing process.

They want the opportunity to join a community of writers and book coaches who will:

  • Keep them accountable.
  • Help them feel less alone on the journey.
  • Support and push them to actually finish and publish their book.

Because writing a book isn’t just a tactical endeavor. It’s a deeply emotional one, too.

In Scribe workshops, of course we give you strategic, actionable advice on the process of writing a book.

But we don’t just help you learn to write or sort your concepts into a book. We help you learn to work through the struggle of the creative process .

We do this by helping you focus on the specific value you’re delivering to your readers. When you focus on the change you can make in their lives, it makes your book about a purpose bigger than you.

And that is what gives you the motivation to keep going when it’s hard.

The vast majority of writing workshops and coaches fail for this exact reason—they only give information, and they don’t address the emotional issues that surround writing a book.

Beyond Just a Workshop: The Ongoing Support Offered to Every Participant

Let’s face it—you aren’t going to finish your book during a workshop. You’re typically just getting started or right in the middle of it (if anyone tells you that you can “write a bestseller in a weekend” they are a fraud out to scam you).

Without ongoing support once it ends, you’re far less likely to ever finish your book, let alone publish it.

At Scribe, we provide a level of ongoing support that far exceeds your typical book writing workshop. After our workshop ends, you get access to:

  • Weekly Group Coaching Calls
  • Quarterly Masterclasses
  • An Active Community of Writers
  • Three 1-on-1 Calls with Your Editor

Below I’ll explain how each of these work.

1. Weekly Group Coaching Calls

Scribe Media's book writing workshop Zoom call

Following your workshop, you’ll be invited to join a weekly group coaching call with our senior book coaches.

They’ll help you and your peers work through obstacles you encounter while writing your book. You can get personalized feedback on the challenges you’re facing and also learn from the challenges your peers are working through.

For example, one of our Authors was trying to sort through a manuscript he’d written that clocked in at over 200,000 words. He sent a chapter to an editor who instantly saw the problem: he was trying to pack too many promises into one chapter.

The editor challenged him to zoom all the way out to identify the transformation he was promising his reader in the book—and then break down that transformation into one specific promise he would deliver per chapter.

In one 30 minute call, the Author got an immense amount of clarity. He finally understood how to revise his chapters and cut the mountain of material in front of him down to a cohesive, well-structured manuscript.

We see these types of breakthroughs happening every week for our Authors. And the weekly cadence works as a form of accountability to help them make consistent progress.

2. Quarterly Masterclasses with a 4x New York Times Best-Selling Author

Each quarter, you’ll be invited to attend a masterclass taught by me. I host them online via Zoom, so you can attend from anywhere in the world.

I cover topics that range from book marketing to published Author AMAs to the fears that stop Authors in their tracks.

The masterclasses are 1 hour long, with special guests who share their wisdom and always open the floor to Q&A.

Those who attend come away with a balanced perspective of what the Author journey entails. That way, when they hit the highs and inevitable lows, they know they’re not alone—and they know how others have made their way to become successful Authors.

3. Become a Member of Our Exclusive Writing Community

In addition to weekly group coaching calls and quarterly masterclasses, you also receive access to a private online community that includes me, the Scribe editors from your workshop, and your peers.

Our community has created a culture of camaraderie and support that provides motivation and inspiration for each other.

Authors share their creative battles and also the moments that drive them to keep pushing:

Retail Pride: A post from the Scribe Guided Author community

Book writing— as I’ll discuss more below —is an emotional journey.

Authors find the support found in our community to be invaluable as they navigate the ups and downs of the process.

4. Three 1-on-1 Calls with Your Editor

While our weekly coaching calls give Authors a forum to ask questions and learn from each other, we also provide 3 individual coaching sessions with an editor. This allows the Author to get specific feedback on the direction of their work.

Before each session, Authors send their editor the work they’d like reviewed. It can range from structural content (such as their positioning and outline) to sections of their manuscript (such as a chapter they’ve written).

In this one-on-one setting, editors can leave specific, actionable advice directly on the Author’s work, including global notes to amplify the quality of their entire manuscript.

Authors then get personal time on the call to ask questions and ensure they have a solid plan for moving forward.

How It Works: The 3-Day Agenda of Our Book Writing Workshop

In most book writing workshops, the work doesn’t begin until you arrive. There aren’t specific exercises to complete beforehand or materials you’re meant to show up with.

And as a result, it takes longer to reach a stage where critiquing and real feedback begin.

With our workshop, your work begins before it even starts.

We have you review a set of teaching videos from Scribe Book School and fill out a book positioning template (outlining your objectives, audience, and book idea).

This way, you’ve already begun to think about your book, and you show up with material that our coaches can work with to help you find holes, think through different angles, and improve what you’ve already created—right from the start.

This format increases productivity during the workshop and ensures that Authors leave with actionable feedback.

Note: We have an hour each day of the workshop devoted to 1-1 editor consultations, so you can continue to get personalized feedback on your work and further develop your outline.

The 3-day agenda of our workshop goes like this:

We kick off by talking about Author psychology and the shift in identity that takes place when you decide to write a book.

This is because, for many Authors, the battle with Imposter Syndrome either has already begun or will soon. By addressing the identity shift around becoming an Author from the start, we help our Authors know what’s coming and how to deal with it when it does.

Then, we spend the rest of the day in small groups, each led by a senior editor, where we workshop the book positioning doc that you and your peers have drafted.

Positioning is the most important part of your book and your answer to the question that every reader asks:

Why should I read this book?

Failing to define this early on in the book writing process is one of the mistakes that leads new Authors to experience writer’s block.

Ideally, you want to get your positioning correct before you even start your book. Fixing your positioning later in the process can require significant revisions.

And if you never define it, you’ll end up with a bad book.

On Day 2, we discuss the book writing journey and the psychological milestones you’ll encounter along the way.

Confidence ebbs and flows throughout the writing process. We help you learn to set the right expectations: sometimes you’ll feel accomplished, other times you’ll hate your work. By preparing for the hard times, you won’t be caught off guard when they come, and you’ll be able to overcome them sooner rather than later.

Then we teach you the overall process for writing your first draft. We walk you step by step through developing a writing plan . This helps you envision your daily writing practice and set project timelines. That includes:

  • Identifying the milestones of your book, such as finishing your vomit draft (AKA your first draft).
  • Finishing your editing.
  • Publishing your book.

Failing to create a writing plan is the second most common reason why most Authors never finish. By defining when and where you’ll write your book, you have a reliable plan that helps you reduce overwhelm and stay on track.

We also talk you through the principles of good writing and editing . And we leave lots of time for detailed Q&A to discuss tactical questions and how to address emotional hurdles when they come.

On Day 3, we start with a Q&A with me. Then we head into teaching you about:

  • The publishing process.
  • An overview of marketing your book.
  • Details of the support you can expect from us and the Author community as you write, edit, and publish.

We devote a large part of the final day to an interactive “Fear Solving” process. We provide strategies you can use to uncover and work through your fears by tapping into the purpose behind your work.

We do this in a workshop-style format so you can hear each other’s responses and build confidence in your own capability to finish your book.

We end the workshop by prompting each Author to make a commitment to write their book and share their wisdom with the people it’s meant to help. It’s empowering to state your commitment out loud. It sets you up to persevere through the entire process.

How to Join Our Book Writing Workshop

We offer the Scribe book writing workshop as a part of our Guided Author program . It’s the kick-off that leads into the ongoing coaching and support as you work on your book.

We have a calendar of scheduled workshops throughout the year. You have the option to join one of our virtual workshops if you prefer to attend remotely. Or, you can attend an in-person workshop at our office in Austin, Texas.

In addition to everything I’ve covered above, you also receive a full manuscript evaluation when you’ve completed your first draft.

Our editors point out exactly what needs to be done to your manuscript. For example, they help you learn how to improve the structure, see where readers might get lost, and spot inconsistencies in voice or tone. Ultimately, you get a roadmap of the edits needed to make your book great.

But honestly, as much as our Authors love going through the program—the 3-day workshop, weekly group coaching, quarterly masterclasses, and writing community—the real value is in the results . It’s in the transformation that happens in their lives and businesses.

We’ve seen Authors:

  • Start entirely new businesses thanks to their books.
  • Attract a new level of client they’ve always wanted.
  • Develop courses based on their book material.
  • Grow their teaching abilities exponentially.
  • Go on to become massive bestsellers.

Hundreds of Authors have gone through the program. If this sounds like the kind of transformation you’re looking for, check out our Guided Author Program to learn more or read testimonials from our Authors. If you’re ready to take the next step, schedule a consult with our team. 

The Scribe Crew

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2021 Narrative Nonfiction & Memoir Workshops

August 1 – 6 , 2021 in the virtual valley.

In 2021, the Community of Writers will once again present its annual summer workshops online due to the global pandemic.  Disappointed though we are not to gather in person, we’re delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to writers during this difficult time. In order to be as effective as possible, the Nonfiction & Memoir Workshop will have its own week this year, separate from the Fiction Workshop. This six-day workshop will accommodate just 20 participants. Financial aid available.

This program is directed by Michael V. Carlisle and Sands Hall .

These workshops are designed to assist serious writers by exploring the art and craft as well as the business of writing. The week includes daily morning workshops, craft lectures, panel discussions on editing and publishing, staff readings, and brief individual conferences. The morning workshops, led by staff writer-teachers, comprise tracks devoted to both memoir and narrative nonfiction. In addition to having a manuscript addressed in workshop, participants may have the same manuscript read by a staff member, discussed in individual conference. This is not the conference for travel, self-help, how-to, or scholarly works. If you are working on fiction, please see our Fiction Workshop.

Please note that time is an important factor in the virtual valley. Morning  workshops begin at 8:30 a.m. on the West Coast, at 11:30 a.m. on the East Coast, with, of course, all the time zones in between—and beyond. Similarly, panels and readings that take place during Pacific time will be somewhat later depending on where you live. As you prepare your submission, you will also want to ponder how the timing will work for you, and ensure that your schedule includes time to read manuscripts, prepare critiques, and attend the online sessions.

Our goal is to create a conference with the same intensity, intimacy, and productivity as our usual week in the Valley. We hope you’ll join us!

A Message to our Community About our Community.

Although we will miss gathering physically together this summer, we’re excited that the breadth of online options might allow us to come together year-round in ways that are otherwise impossible to imagine. In addition to our summer workshops, we’ve been hard at work  putting together online offerings  that allow isolated writers to come together in all seasons for learning, camaraderie, and inspiration.

Teaching Staff

Click on the portraits to learn about these authors and their work.  or view as list.

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Agents & Editors

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Important Details

  • 20 writers attend through Zoom
  • Participants’ manuscripts are critiqued in daily morning workshops
  • Afternoon & evening panels on art & craft, staff readings, and panel discussions on editing & publishing
  • Individual one-on-one conferences
  • Readings by prominent staff writers and special guests
  • Open Workshop led by Sands Hall

Tuition is discounted to $850 . See Fees & Deadlines, below.  Financial aid  is available. Admissions are based on submitted manuscripts.

Application Deadline: April 28, 2021 The Application Form link is at the bottom of the page. Please make sure to read all the information here before applying.

We make no admissions decisions before all the submissions have been read and evaluated.

Daily Schedule

Morning workshops meet daily from 8:30-11:30 (Pacific), with a different staff member leading discussion each day. Workshops are limited to ten participants. In the course of the week, every participant has their manuscript addressed, with two manuscripts discussed each session.

To avert online fatigue, our afternoon and evening schedules in the Virtual Valley are lighter than when we can gather in person. Nevertheless, we’ll offer panels, readings, and other presentations on the art, craft, and business of writing. Participants should be sure to set aside time for the reading and evaluation of workshop manuscripts.

Individual Conferences

Each participant has the opportunity to meet for a twenty-minute, one-on-one conference with a staff member other than the one who led their workshop. Unless other arrangements need to be made, these conferences are scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Open Workshop A special afternoon workshop led by Sands Hall

Several afternoons during the week, S ands Hall leads the Open Workshop, which provides another opportunity for participants to share their writing with their conference peers. Work is read aloud and discussed in a spontaneous and productive format. No additional fee.

Fees & Deadlines

Application guidelines.

  • Deadline for receipt of application/submission: before midnight PST , April 28, 2021 . 
  • Applicants, including past participants, should submit a sample of their best, unpublished prose.
  • Writing sample submission manuscript may consist of an essay(s) or chapter(s)/section(s). Book chapters must include a one-page synopsis of the whole book; add to the end of ms. LIMIT 5000 words.
  • If you have previously applied to our workshop, please do not apply or bring for consideration the exact same material. You may use previously submitted material that has been revised.
  • Please do not submit previously published material (print or online). It is acceptable, however, to send work currently under submission.
  • Top left side of page: Indicate application program (Nonfiction or Memoir), and indicate what you are submitting (nonfiction book chapter(s), memoir book chapter(s), nonfiction essay, or personal memoir essay.)
  • Top center of page: Word count for submitted manuscript. (Submission ms., excluding synopsis, must be less than 5,000 words.)
  • Top right side of page: Your name in the upper right-hand corner of each page. (Please use your actual name, not the name you write under.)
  • Attach a digital file (Word.doc or PDF) of your submission ms. to the online application form. Digital files will be deleted after workshops.
  • Those who require financial aid to attend should request it in the application form. Please see our Financial Aid page for more information.
  • Pay online with a credit card or PayPal. (Online payments subject to a 3.25% service fee.)
  • Or pay with a check payable to  Community of Writers.
Mail to: Community of Writers – Nonfiction/Memoir PO Box 1416 Nevada City, CA 95959
  • Once you complete the online form, you will receive an email confirmation.
  • Notification of acceptance by June 10, 2021 . 

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Course catalog, non -fiction workshop, schools of public engagement: creative writing.

Credits : 4

The New School Writing Program follows the workshop method of teaching: An experienced writer-teacher gives students guidance by focusing on their manuscripts and on the creative acts of revision and self-editing, both in the workshop and during individual conferences. The program provides students with a framework and sustained blocks of time to focus extensively on their own writing. Graduate writing workshops meet once a week. Workshops are all conveniently scheduled in the early evenings, Tuesday through Thursday. Graduate writing workshops may include a short assigned reading list and occasional visits by guest writers who read and discuss their work. Structure and content of writing workshops are adapted to the individual area of concentration. Class sessions are principally devoted to reading and discussing students' fiction, usually short stories or excerpts from novels-in-progress. Students learn how to balance inspiration with revision; explore methods for strengthening characterization, storytelling, and style while developing their voices to the utmost; and explore those narrative forms and techniques best suited to their individual styles. Class sessions are principally devoted to reading and discussing students' nonfiction, usually in the form of personal reminiscence, reflective essay, reportage, and biography. Students learn how to choose a subject; develop a sense of structure, tone, style, and personal voice; and attend to such techniques as characterization, dialogue, imagery, metaphor, and dramatic development, as well as to the skills of interviewing and documentary research.

College : Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department : Creative Writing (CRW)

Campus : New York City (GV)

Course Format : Seminar (R)

Modality : In-Person

Max Enrollment : 15

Add/Drop Deadline : September 11, 2023 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline : November 19, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available : Yes

Status : Closed *

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 1:08am EDT 9/29/2023

Department : MFA Writing Program (NWRG)

Add/Drop Deadline : February 5, 2023 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline : April 16, 2023 (Sunday)


Upcoming Online Creative Nonfiction Writing Courses

September courses, writing autobiographical fiction, with jack smith.

Learn to depart from "what really happened," and write compelling fiction from your own life experiences.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Short Story

writing autobiographical fiction

October Courses

Even smaller: adventures in short-form writing, with tina barry.

Course full. Contact us to join waitlist.

Less is more in this bite-sized writing class, where you'll learn how to tell complete stories under the tightest word counts.  

Fiction , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story

Even Smaller micro writing course

The Lyric Essay: Invitation to Play

With elizabeth winder.

Create dynamic, genre-bending works of musical prose in this playful and exploratory lyric essay workshop. 

Creative Nonfiction , Personal Essay

lyric essay course invitation to play

Writing the Memoir-in-Essays

With margo steines.

Learn how to tell your story through the memoir-in-essays, a form that allows writers to interweave the facts of their lives in interesting and evocative ways.

Creative Nonfiction , Memoir , Personal Essay

Writing the Memoir-in-Essays

Finding Inspiration in Dreams

With amy bonnaffons.

Our dreams are fertile fields of inspiration, meaning, and creativity. Learn how to use your dreams as doorways to future writing.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story

Finding inspiration in dreams writing course

Food Writing: Meals And Manuscripts

With jennifer billock.

Do you love cookbooks, cooking, or reading anything about food? This food writing course is for you. With award winning writer Jennifer Billock.

Creative Nonfiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Personal Essay

food writing course

Story Lab: The Story-Subplot Connection

With jeff lyons.

Subplots are key to maintaining narrative pace and tension in a story. Drive your story forward with this deep dive into the elements of good storytelling.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast

Story Lab: The Story-Subplot Connection

The Heart Remembers: Writing About Loss

With charlotte maya.

How can we organize grief and loss into language? Honor your feelings and write moving essays in this heart-centered creative nonfiction class. 

the heart remembers writing about loss

The Magic of Flash Nonfiction

With tamara dean.

Tell your stories quickly and stylishly in this short form creative nonfiction workshop, where you'll come away honing the magic of flash nonfiction.

the magic of flash nonfiction

November Courses

Stringing the beads: craft your personal essay, with joanna penn cooper.

Harness the freedom of the personal essay in this 4 week course, where we'll shape our ideas, thoughts, and obsessions into compelling nonfiction pieces. 

stringing the beads personal essay writing course

Write Your World: Express Your Creativity through Article Writing, Blogging, and Essays

With rudri patel.

Want to write your world, your way? Join us for this six-week program on article writing, blogging, and essays.

article writing, blogging, essays

Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Use Story and Premise Development for Writing Success

The premise line is the only reliable tool that can tell you, BEFORE you start writing, whether or not your story will “work.” In this class participants will learn how to master the process of premise line development—the essential first step in any book or screenplay’s development process.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Novel , Stage and Broadcast

nonfiction writers workshop

The Surprising Sentence: Honing Your Prose Style

With jessie roy.

Great sentences stack up into great stories. Learn how to hone your style and voice at the most basic unit of writing, the sentence, in this workshop.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Live Workshop , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story

the surprising sentence writing course

Where the Diary Ends and the Essay Begins

With shelby hinte.

Start a diary practice and turn it into a mode of writing personal essays in this generative journaling workshop. 

From diary to essay writing course

December Courses

Write into mystery: writing flash memoir on wonder and the unexplained.

We often encounter wonder, mystery, and the unexplained in our everyday lives. Turn those experiences into flash essays in this community-centered course.

writing into mystery wonder and the unexplained

January Courses

A writerly life: develop a writing routine that works for you.

What does a writer's life look like? Build a productive writing habit in this course for writers of all backgrounds.

living a writerly life course

Tiny and True: Creating Flash Essays with Mindfulness

With susan barr-toman.

How do you tell the full truth in under 1,000 words? Learn the art of flash essays and write nuggets of wisdom in this tiny essay class.

tiny and true flash nonfiction essay course

March Courses

The lyric essay, with gretchen clark.

Explore non-traditional and imaginative ways to tell your stories with this ten-week writing course online. Creative nonfiction teacher Gretchen Clark provides detailed feedback on weekly writing assignments that emphasize creative freedom.

nonfiction writers workshop

Unscheduled Courses

These online writing classes don’t currently have a next session on our calendar, but will soon. If you see a course you’re interested in, use the “I’m Interested” button to let us know, and we’ll follow up with you when the course is on our calendar next.

Want to reach us or our instructors with questions about our online writing courses? Contact us at [email protected] , or visit the contact form .

(Live Workshop) Dream Writing

With zining mok.

How can writers harness the power of dreams? Let your slumber supercharge your creativity in this three hour dream writing workshop.

Creative Nonfiction , Live Workshop , Memoir , Personal Essay

dream writing dali

(Live Workshop) Get Clear on Your Story and Voice

With nadia colburn.

What is your story about? What is your voice? Whether you write poetry, fiction, or nonfiction, hone your writing in this 3 hour workshop.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Live Workshop , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story

get clear on your story writing class

(Live Workshop) Starting Off Right: How To Build A Blog, Grow An Audience & Make Money

With jessica festa.

When planned right, a blog allows you to share your passion and make money in the process. Learn how to build a blog in this one-day webinar.

Creative Nonfiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Live Workshop , Personal Essay

How To Build A Blog, Grow An Audience & Make Money

(Live Workshop) Writing Beginnings and Endings

With sarah aronson.

How do you write a story that's compelling to start and satisfying to finish? Sarah Aronson explains in this comprehensive one-day workshop.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Live Workshop , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Short Story

beginnings and endings

*Private Class | Embodied Writing: Improve Your Writing with Full-Body Creativity

With rosemary tantra bensko.

Have a grand time with specific physical exercises that honor your health, generate imaginative ideas, explore deeply and make your creative writing entertaining.

embodied writing interview | writing and the body

*Private Class | Embodied Writing: Somatic Practices to Improve Your Work

*private class | finding confidence in the braided essay: a craft and empowerment workshop for literary nonfiction.

Weaving your story with facts and research can help you craft a stronger essay. Tell your story with confidence in this empowering essay writing course.

braided essay writing course

*Private Class | Food Writing: Meals And Manuscripts

*private class | from pitch to publication: writing narrative journalism.

Explore literary journalism as a powerful means to share fascinating characters, stories, and perspectives. Learn all you need to start pitching, landing, and writing reported essays and features.

magazine writing reported features

*Private Class | Story Lab: Writing Loglines That Sell

Your logline helps you query agents, market your book, and figure out the story itself. Hone your logline and set your book up for success in this two-part private Zoom workshop.

Log line writing course

*Private Class | Telling the Stories Your Body Holds: Writing and Shaping Strong Personal Essays

With sarah herrington.

Where do essays come from? In this course, they come from the body. Learn how to start—and finish—powerful essays that begin inside the self.

telling the stories your body holds

*Private Class | The Literary Essay

With jonathan j.g. mcclure.

Explore the literary essay - from the conventional to the experimental, the journalistic to essays in verse - while writing and workshopping your own.

the literary essay online writing course

*Private Class | Using Bullet Journaling to Achieve Writing Goals

Looking to keep your writing goals organized? Make it happen in our bullet journaling course. Learn the art of the BuJo with Rudri Patel!

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast

learn bullet journaling course

*Private Class | Write Your World: Express Your Creativity through Article Writing, Blogging, and Essays

*private class | writing our grief: how to channel loss into creative expression.

Writing about grief is a powerful healing tool. Turn pain into power in this personal essay course, with instructor Rudri Patel.

grief writing course

Block Buster: Turbocharge Your Creativity with Breakneck Writing

Banish writer's block, unearth fresh ideas, and sharpen your storytelling ability with the practice of fast, timed writing.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast

writing prompts for writers block

Boost Your Imagination and Reap the Literary Rewards

With giulietta nardone.

It happens to all of us: life gets in the way and our creativity falters. Get back on track with this four-week creativity boosting class!

boost your creativity writing class

Branches of Creative Nonfiction

With tess fahlgren.

What are the different types of creative nonfiction? From the personal essay to the hermit crab, learn the ropes of CNF in this 8 week class.

branches of creative nonfiction

But What Is Your Story Really About? Finding the Core of Your Short Memoir, Story, or Personal Essay

Take a four-week writing adventure deep into the core of your story, to find the true theme of your personal essay, short story, or short memoir.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Personal Essay , Short Story

what is your story about

Character Transformation Workshop: How to Write Stories that Emotionally Resonate

Learn how to write emotionally resonant journeys that stick with the reader, using the power of character transformation.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Memoir , Novel , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast

character transformation workshop

Claiming Our Stories: Autobiography, Memoir & Autobiographical Fiction

With anya achtenberg.

Turn your experience into fiction, autobiography, or creative memoir. Bring forward stories with a powerful truth at their core. Instructor Anya Achtenberg.

nonfiction writers workshop

Craft Your Story: Short Fiction and Memoir Live Workshops

With margo perin.

Get tailored advice and inspiration for your fiction or nonfiction stories, in this weekly live workshop with award-winning instructor Margo Perin.

craft your story

Crafting the Poetry Novel: Advanced Workshop

With kelly bingham.

Want to make headway on your poetry novel? This workshop offers the structure and resources to get it done, with instructor Kelly Bingham.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Novel , Poetry

advanced poetry novel workshop

Creating Narrative in Comics

With aubrey hirsch.

Art and storytelling have a rich relationship to one another. Explore that relationship in this class on writing narrative comics. Open to all artistic skill levels!

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Personal Essay , Short Story

creating narrative in comics

Creating the Visual Journal

With lissa jensen.

Go beyond narrow definitions of “journaling" to include visual images and let writing give what is seen a new voice. Surprise yourself.

Creative Nonfiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Memoir , Personal Essay

creating the visual journal | visual journal writing class

Creative Nonfiction and the Personal Essay

Gretchen Clark pick axes her way into the volcanic marriage of real life and fiction. Weekly writing with incisive feedback.

nonfiction writers workshop

Creative Nonfiction: The Art of Telling True Stories

With nicole hardy.

Only 2 seats left!

How do you tell your stories beautifully and authentically? Learn the fundamentals of creative nonfiction with Nicole Hardy.

creative nonfiction fundamentals

Creative Writing & Storytelling Techniques For Business Professionals

Good writing helps business connect deeply with the clients they're hoping to work with. Learn how to hone the power of story in your professional career.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness

Writing for Business Professionals

Deepening and Organizing Our Stories: Memoir/Creative Nonfiction and Autobiographical Fiction

For writers of memoir, creative nonfiction and fiction, with some experience. Particularly helpful to writers in the midst of a longer work.

Henri Rousseau Le centenaire de l'indépendance (1892)

Discovering the Lyric Essay

With derek jg williams.

The lyric essay challenges us to tell authentic stories without concrete forms. Learn the ropes of the genre in this 3 hour workshop.

Creative Nonfiction , Live Workshop , Personal Essay

introduction to writing the lyric essay

Embodied Writing: Improve Your Writing with Full-Body Creativity

Embodied writing: somatic practices to improve your work, find your brave: publishing as an act of courage.

In this fun, transformative four-week program, get tips and techniques to bring out your courage to publish a story in print or online.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Personal Essay , Short Story

Find Your Brave: Publishing As An Act Of Courage

Finding Confidence in the Braided Essay: A Craft and Empowerment Workshop for Literary Nonfiction

Finding the real story: essential elements of story in fiction and memoir.

Address the larger issues of writing story through a look at the essential elements of narrative in fiction and memoir.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Novel , Short Story

nonfiction writers workshop

Food Writing: Food-Focused Memoir

The food we eat and enjoy tells volumes about our lives and experiences. Write it all down in this food memoir course, with Jennifer Billock.

Pierre Auguste Renoir -Luncheon of the Boating Party - Wikipedia

From Pitch to Publication: Writing Narrative Journalism

Fundamentals of travel writing.

Take to the skies in this online travel writing course. We'll discuss the market, different types of travel writing, and pitching your piece!

travel writing course

Get Back to That Book

With donna levin.

For any number of reasons, the book we want to write gets waylaid. Get back to it in this motivational two part workshop.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Memoir , Novel

get back to that book

Get It Done: Create the Scaffolding to Start (and Finish) a Writing Project

With eman quotah.

Get your butt in the chair, your mind roaming freely, and your creative juices flowing in this motivational, all-genres writing class.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Live Workshop , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast

scaffolding a writing project

Get Your Book Done Intensive! 4 Weeks to Measurable Progress

The summer is the best time to get the ball rolling on your book. Join us if you really want to get your book into the world.

write your book class

How to Firm Up the “Mushy Middle” of Any Story

Ensure a strong middle throughline for any story. Say goodbye to the "mushy middle," and hello to stories that work.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Novel , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast

How to Firm Up the “Mushy Middle” of Any Story

How to Pitch

With rachel krantz.

Learn the ins and outs of pitching your work to print and online publications from Rachel Krantz, a full-time writer and formerly the Senior Feature Editor at Bustle.

how to pitch writing course

How To Start A Blog

Create your blog, brand it, create engaging content and successfully promote posts. Taught by journalist, writer and photographer Jessica Festa.

Jessica Festa - Starting A Blog

How To Turn Your Blog Into A Career

From branding to search engine optimization and advertising, this course puts bloggers on the path to earning an income through their blog.

Humor Is The New Black!

Ready to add a splash of fun to your writing life? Join us for a four-week humor writing class. We’ll read. We’ll laugh. We’ll write. We’ll experiment.

laughing from Imgarcade.com

I’ve Drunk Your Poisoned Nectar: Writing with the Goddess

With shankar narayan.

Dig deep into the rich mythology of South Asian goddesses to find new inspiration for your work in this generative, open-genre writing class.

goddess writing course

In Bloom: Nature Writing Workshop

With dana de greff.

Only 3 seats left!

Want to write about nature like Robert Frost, Henry David Thoreau, or Annie Dillard? Join us for this six-week nature writing course.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story

online nature writing course

In Your Own Words: Transforming Life Into Memoir and Fiction

Learn how to draw inspiration and material from your life experiences or those of people you know, or want to know, to craft compelling, publishable memoirs, personal essays, autobiographical novels and short stories, and/or narrative poetry.

nonfiction writers workshop

Let It Rip: The Art of Writing Fiery Prose

You'll write prose that gets folks so hot and bothered they won't be able to put it down, even if it isn't about sex.

nonfiction writers workshop

Let’s Get Personal: The Art and Craft of the Personal Essay

Draw inspiration and material from your life experiences or “real life” people you know to craft compelling, publishable personal essays. With author Margo Perin.

nonfiction writers workshop

Make Your Prose Sing

With leslie lawrence.

Enrich your prose with techniques from poetry. Bring paper and pens; leave with a better ear and lots of ideas about how to make your prose sing.

make your prose sing writing course

Next-Level Creative Nonfiction: Elevating Essays, Memoir, Travel Writing & Literary Journalism

With wendy call.

Elevate your memoir, travel writing, literary journalism, & lyric and personal essays.

nonfiction writers workshop

No More Excuses! Four Weeks to Finish and Submit Your Personal Essay or Short Memoir

Join us for this insightful four-week “get the writing done” program, give and receive thoughtful comments from your fellow writers and the instructor, and enjoy heaps of encouragement and writing wisdom along the way.

writing class for accountability and inspiration

Observing What’s Vivid in Prose and Poetry

With marc olmsted.

Learn how to spotlight beauty through fresh, vivid, and surprising language, in this four week mindfulness writing course.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Novel , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story , Stage and Broadcast

observing what's vivid in prose and poetry

Ordinary to Extraordinary: Turning Everyday Experiences into Poetry

No experience is too small or mundane to serve as a foundation for extraordinary poetry and short fiction.

Creative Nonfiction , Personal Essay , Poetry

nonfiction writers workshop

Overcome Writing Anxiety: Boost Your Storytelling Confidence in Four Short Weeks!

"Who are you to want to write?" Someone great, that's who! Politely ask Mr. or Ms. Fear to step aside while you sign up for this fun, freeing and functional adventure.

how to gain confidence writing

Plumbing the Past: Turning Life Experience into Poetry, Flash and Creative Non-Fiction

Dig deep into personal ritual while studying narrative poets, short fiction and non-fiction authors, and food writers.

Creative Nonfiction , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story

nonfiction writers workshop

Rapid Story Development: A Master Plan for Building Stories That Work

In this 10 week story writing class, Jeff Lyons pairs the Enneagram with story development techniques to revolutionize your writing practice.

rapid story development enneagram writing course

Scene Study: Strengthen Your Writing with Compelling Scenes

With susan pohlman.

Great stories are constructed with great scenes. Immerse your reader in your stories by learning the ropes of scene development.

scene writing course

Show and Tell: How to Write Captivating Memoir and Nonfiction

With brad wetzler.

Your true story of healing or transformation can captivate and empower your readers. Learn how to balance showing the vivid details of your own journey with telling the broader themes for readers to apply in their own lives.

show and tell nonfiction writing course

Style and Sense: Bring Your Writing to Life

With john gottberg anderson.

How do we transport our readers to vivid worlds? In this course, learn the skills that evoke the senses and bring your writing to life.

style and sense bring your writing to life

Suspense Sells! Power Up Your Writing With Conflict, Tension and Emotion

Inject suspense into your stories to keep readers turning pages. For writers of all kinds of fiction: thrillers, mysteries, romance, humor, literary and memoir. A four week class with Giulietta Nardone.

nonfiction writers workshop

Tales From The Memory Palace: 6 to 250 Word Memoirs

Only 1 seat left!

If you want to be an in demand storyteller in the digital age, you need to get in, get out and get going. In this "short" four-week memoir writing adventure, you'll learn to scope out, swoop down and snatch up important memories from your life then speed write them into miniature masterpieces.

nonfiction writers workshop

Techwashed!: Writing with AI, Data, and Surveillance

Raise a mirror against society's relationship to technology in this two part workshop series where we will learn how to write about tech.

techwashed writing course

Telling the Stories Your Body Holds: Writing and Shaping Strong Personal Essays

Telling your food story, with hannah howard.

Let's write at the kitchen table together, as we explore using food as a lens to tell our stories.

food writing course

The Chronology of Mind: From Journal to Poem or Prose

With barbara henning.

Gather material through writing and experimenting with journaling, researching and taking notes to develop into poems or prose works.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Memoir , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story

A_Wilde_time Wiki Commons

The Literary Essay

The soundtrack of your life: writing about music, memories and mix tapes.

In a song inspired class, write several essays about the music that has moved you through life: the emotions, the relationships, the events, the outcomes.

nonfiction writers workshop

The Wandering Heart: Tales of Connection

Wander through the rooms of your own life to discover stories of deep connection, reconnection or loss of connection and fashion your findings into stories suitable for blog posts, essays, short memoirs, short plays, scenes in screenplays, or chapters of novels.

Creative Nonfiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Memoir

nonfiction writers workshop

Using Bullet Journaling to Achieve Writing Goals

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Poetry

Using Your Poetry Skills to Write Memoir

With freesia mckee.

How do poets tell their stories in prose? Take the leap from poetry to memoir in this hybrid writing workshop.

Creative Nonfiction , Live Workshop , Memoir , Poetry

memoir for poets

Voice to Text: Oral Storytelling Techniques for Writing Creative Nonfiction

With corey rosen.

In this class, you'll harness the power of oral storytelling to craft exceptional pieces of written nonfiction.

oral storytelling writing course

Word Flashes & Eye Snapshots: Sketching Your Life Awake

For any writer wanting to root writing in vision and vision in the body: for poetry, fiction, essay, memoir & pleasure.

nonfiction writers workshop

Write from the Untamed Mind: Find Your Voice

With susan vespoli.

Join Susan in two writing circles each week: intimate spaces for writers to free-write together, saying yes to whatever shows up, followed by group read-arounds. These writing sessions are spontaneous, intimate, freeing, and transformative.

Write from the Untamed Mind writing course

Write Your Memoir in 12 Weeks

With blaise allysen kearsley.

Writing can be a solitary experience, but writing a full memoir takes energy, momentum, and moral support. Find all three in this memoir writing intensive.

Creative Nonfiction , Memoir

write your memoir in 12 weeks

Writing About Family

Family is complicated, and so is writing about it. Navigate the complexities of writing about real relationships in this generative essay class.

Writing about Family

Writing Chronic Illness

Creative nonfiction offers a container for the sharing and exploration of illness. Tell the story of your body in this healing-oriented workshop.

Writing chronic illness

Writing Circle Workshop: Writing for Happiness, Healing, and Health (Monday/Friday)

Expressive writing can be a powerful elixir for what ails you. Learn and practice tools for writing expressively, including two virtual writing circles each week, turn raw writing into poetry or prose, and come away with a better understanding of how writing can lead toward wellness.

Creative Nonfiction , Fiction , Lifestyle and Wellness , Memoir , Personal Essay , Poetry , Short Story

writing for happiness healing and health

Writing Circle Workshop: Writing for Happiness, Healing, and Health (Tuesday/Saturday)

Writing our grief: how to channel loss into creative expression, writing place in creative nonfiction.

In Creative Nonfiction, place is a character in itself. Deeply explore a narrative and a place of your choosing, and make weekly progress on your essay or memoir.

writing place in creative nonfiction

Writing with Consistency and Courage

What makes a successful writer? It's not talent, craft, or even the right connections—it's consistency and courage.

writing with consistency and courage

Unscheduled Online Creative Nonfiction Writing Classes

Browse our full creative nonfiction offerings below. Let us know which creative nonfiction writing courses you're interested in, and we'll contact you with dates when we're ready to put them on our calendar.

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What is Theme? A Look at 20 Common Themes in Literature

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Flat Character vs. Round Character: Definitions and Examples

Repetition Definition: Types of Repetition in Poetry and Prose

Repetition Definition: Types of Repetition in Poetry and Prose

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Irony Definition: Different Types of Irony in Literature

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Get Back to the Book

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What is the Plot of a Story?

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Imagery Definition: 5+ Types of Imagery in Literature

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Logical Fallacy Definition: List of Logical Fallacies

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Onomatopoeia Definition and Examples

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Writing Without Limits: Understanding the Lyric Essay

Why take an online creative nonfiction writing course with writers.com.

  • We welcome writers of all backgrounds and experience levels, and we are here for one reason: to support you on your writing journey.
  • Small groups keep our online creative nonfiction writing classes lively and intimate.
  • Work through your weekly written lectures, course materials, and writing assignments at your own pace.
  • Share and discuss your work with classmates in a supportive class environment.
  • Your course instructor will offer you direct, personal feedback and suggestions on every assignment you submit.
  • Name * First Last
  • Classes You're Interested In

Nonfiction Writers Conference

Following is the agenda for the 2022 Nonfiction Writers Conference, happening May 4-6, 2022. All sessions last 50 minutes to allow for a brief break in between. The Nonfiction Writers Conference is a virtual event held with Zoom. Sessions are delivered live and include Q&A with instructors. 

Download a printable copy of the agenda here.

nonfiction writers workshop

Although we don’t anticipate changes to the schedule, life happens. Attendees will be notified of any changes to the speaker line-up or schedule. We look forward to sharing this experience with you!

nonfiction writers workshop

  • Events & Exhibitions
  • Campus Expansion
  • Undergraduate
  • Pre-College

CCA’s blend of theory and practice inspires students at every level to make work that matters. Select your status to learn about the application process, requirements, and deadlines, as well as contact information should you need any support along the way.

Two writing students laugh about the comics they've created in class.

BA Writing & Literature

Cultivate your creative writing potential and literary analysis skills in an inspiring, intensive studio environment.

The living art of writing and literature

Our program emphasizes the historical knowledge of literature, interdisciplinary exploration, and critical inquiry to help you create original work. Situated in one of the best art and design schools in the country, creativity and innovation are at the heart of everything we do. Students learn to develop their individual voices through workshops in prose, poetry, drama, screenwriting, graphic novels, improvisation, and more. They incorporate visual art into their own writing as they work on a thesis manuscript.

BA writing student award winners pose with their book cover art.

Immersed in the Bay Area’s rich literary history

The Bay Area has long been home to exciting literary communities, from the San Francisco Renaissance and Beat poetry movement to New Narrative and Slam/Spoken Word. During any given week, there are dozens of reading series students can attend. It’s this vibrant literary scene, combined with our art and design backdrop, that makes our Writing and Literature program so unique.

Studios & Shops

Work within many modes and genres.

A creative writing degree is an investment in your development as a writer and reader. You’ll have the opportunity to practice image-making, meter, and other poetic gestures; character development and fiction forms; lyric essays, literary journalism, travel writing, hybrid narratives, and more.

Your workshop submissions in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction will be informed by close readings and analyses of writing that spans movements. We read the Romantics, Gothic literature, non-Western traditions, graphic novels—we read everything. Courses focused on literary writing by a single author, such as Walt Whitman or Octavia Butler, allow us to dive deeper into diverse perspectives and critical theory.

Our curriculum also includes four open electives, giving you the freedom to explore different disciplines such as community arts, printmaking, painting and drawing, and illustration.

Take a tour of our Writing & Literature Classrooms

Connect with published writers and literary organizations

Our students learn what it’s like to live and work as a writer through internships with Bay Area literary organizations. Within our classrooms and workshops, guest lecturers and faculty—all widely published—guide students through the fundamental steps for publication.

Your writing life at CCA

  • Organize and host our HearSay Reading Series
  • Create, edit, and design our Humble Pie undergraduate journal
  • Perform during public open mic nights
  • Collaborate with animators and illustrators
  • Intern with Bay Area literary organizations
  • Write a full-length collection for your senior thesis

Spaces to inspire your creative writing

A student works on a drawing in the 2D Drawing Studio.

Experiment with charcoal, ink, and paint in the Painting & Drawing Studios

A person holds a large flat box of ink-covered wooden letters.

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Faith Adiele, Chair of Writing and Literature

Chair Faith Adiele is a travel writer, memoirist, essayist, editor, critic, and multimodal storyteller whose practice engages race, identity, memory and home. Informed by her Nigerian/Nordic/American identity, her literary activism includes testifying about the Nigerian civil war at documenta 14, hosting African Book Club at the Museum of the African Diaspora, starting the nation’s first writing workshop for travelers of color, and being a founding member of the Afro-Nordic Feminist Consortium. Her work is widely taught in universities and written about in such publications as Condé Nast Traveler, Paste Magazine, LitHub, Book Riot, Bitch Magazine , and the full-length study, Lifting As They Climb: Profiles of Black Women Buddhists .

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Online Nonfiction Writers’ Workshop With Francisco Cantú

September 14, 2021 - october 8, 2021.

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The Course: This craft-focused course aims to provide both a generative space for creating new work as well as a virtual forum for conversation, revision, and critique. At the center of our inquiry will be the question of how to write about landscape while avoiding cliché and acknowledging the historical erasure that so often underlies our understanding of place. Together we will look beyond traditional approaches to writing, exploring interdisciplinary and site-specific ways of being attentive to the outside world as we find new ways of responding to landscape, the histories it holds, and the narratives that flow from it.

The Instructor: Francisco Cantú is a writer, translator, and the author of  The Line Becomes a River ,  winner of the 2018 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction. His writing and translations have been featured in  The New Yorker, Best American Essays,  and  VQR,  as well as on  This American Life . A lifelong resident of the Southwest, he now lives in Tucson, where he coordinates the Field Studies in Writing Program at the University of Arizona, a residency that fosters work at the intersection of border justice and environmental issues. In addition to working with MFA students, Cantú has facilitated and co-taught workshops for writers of all ages at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Under The Volcano, and the UA Poetry Center. He is currently at work on a collection of essays interrogating landscape, identity, and myth. Photo by David Taylor.

Duration: This class meets twice a week over four consecutive Tuesdays and Fridays from 6-8pm ET.

Application Period : The application period is now closed.

Click here for more details about Orion Online Writers’ Workshops.

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Viet Thanh Nguyen Reveals How Writers’ Workshops Can Be Hostile

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By Viet Thanh Nguyen

  • April 26, 2017

Literature and power cannot be separated. American literature is read around the world not only because of its inherent value, but because the rest of the world always reads the literature of empires. A new development is that the American way of teaching writing is beginning to spread globally. The writing workshop, with all its unexamined assumptions, has spread to Britain and Hong Kong, a model of pedagogy that is also an object lesson in how power propagates and conceals itself.

Not accidentally, the “workshop” invokes the nobility of craftsmanship, physical (not intellectual) labor — and masculinity. As Junot Díaz and Claire Vaye Watkins have argued, the workshop can be a hostile place for women and people of color.

This was my experience as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, studying with mostly white students. I worried that my historical and political concerns — my autobiography as a refugee from war, from an Asian country — wouldn’t find a receptive audience.

My concerns were not without reason. In “The Program Era,” Mark McGurl has pointed out how the workshop produces a particular kind of writing, and in “Workshops of Empire,” Eric Bennett situated the workshop’s origins in the midcentury American fear of Communism. Reacting against the rising proletarianism of American writing before World War II and the specter of Soviet power, American writer-teachers promoted the idea of creative writing as a defense of the individual and his humanistic expression. Politics and the spirit of collectives would not be in fashion.

What would be in fashion: voice, experience, and showing rather than telling. So it is that workshops typically focus on strategies of the writing “art” that develop character, setting, time, description, theme, voice and, to a lesser extent, plot. Plot is usually seen by workshop writer-teachers, or teacher-writers, as the property of so-called “genre” writing: science fiction, crime, romance, young adult and screenplays — as if literary fiction were not also a genre.

As a young aspiring writer, I was troubled by how these workshops, aside from the “art” of writing, did not have anything to say about the matters that concerned me: politics, history, theory, philosophy, ideology. How does one write a poem, a short story or a novel that deals with any of these things? I did not realize at the time that such issues were often beyond the horizon of concern of the workshop because they threatened its very origins.

As an institution, the workshop reproduces its ideology, which pretends that “Show, don’t tell” is universal when it is, in fact, the expression of a particular population, the white majority, typically at least middle-class and often, but not exclusively, male. The identity behind the workshop’s origins is invisible. Like all privileges, this identity is unmarked until it is thrown into relief against that which is marked, visible and outspoken, which is to say me and others like me.

We, the barbarians at the gate, the descendants of Caliban, the ones who have no choice but to speak in the language we have — we come bearing the experiences and ideas the workshop suppresses. We come from the Communist countries America bombed during the Cold War, or where it sponsored counter-Communist efforts. We come from the lands America occupied, invaded or colonized. We come as refugees and immigrants, documented and undocumented. We come from the ghettos, barrios, reservations and borders of America where there are no workshops. We come from the bedrooms and the kitchens of the American home, where we were supposed to stay, and stay silent. We come speaking languages other than English. We come from the margins, where English is broken. We come with financial aid and loans and families that do not understand what “creative writing” is. We come from communities we do not wish to renounce in the name of our individualism. We come wanting to do more than just sell our stories to white audiences. And we come with the desire not just to show, but to tell.

But what is that art that is also political, historical, theoretical, ideological and philosophical? How is it to be taught? It must be taught not only as an isolated craft or a set of techniques. It must be taught in relation to, or within, courses on history, politics, theory and philosophy, as well as ethnic studies, gender studies, queer studies and cultural studies.

The history and aesthetics of the workshop must be made visible rather than assumed, and the capacity of writing to save lives and change the world must be seen not as something that is innate only to the writing but as something that is enabled by, and in turn enables, social movements, revolutions and the struggle for power. In short, the answer is not to be found solely in the workshop, which is why it is worrisome that so many writers of color, women writers and working-class writers who are excluded from the model of the workshop continue to subscribe to its powers. As if, Flannery O’Connor (herself the graduate of the most famous workshop of all, at the University of Iowa) said, the workshop wasn’t a case of the blind leading the blind.

Viet Thanh Nguyen won a 2016 Pulitzer Prize for his novel “The Sympathizer.”

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  • Third Annual Native American Media Alliance (NAMA) Unscripted Workshop Selects Fellows

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The Native American Media Alliance has selected 7 participants for the 3rd Annual Native American Unscripted Workshop, a talent development program that aims to boost the careers of Native American filmmakers, journalists and media artists in the field of unscripted film and television. 

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The participants will take part in a five day intensive that will have them meet with executives from numerous networks and studios as well as experienced unscripted producers. The workshop will consist of group discussions and creative seminars that will culminate in a pitch panel at the conclusion of the workshop. Each selected participant will pitch a panel of creative executives and producers to spotlight their respective projects and unique voices. The five day total immersion workshop will be mentored and guided by veteran producers in non-fiction television. The Native American Unscripted Workshop was created to expand the amount of Native Americans working behind the camera, as a way to increase fair and accurate portrayals of Native Americans in media.

 The Native American Media Alliance ( NAMA ) initiative functions as a resource for industry personnel to work with Native Americans who have an interest in film, television and new media. The Native American Media Alliance is an initiative of the Barcid Foundation; a non-profit organization that focuses on multimedia programming in indigenous communities. 

The 7 selected fellows: Michael R.L.Begay is Navajo and Santo Domingo Pueblo from the SouthSide of Chicago, IL.. Begay is a multidisciplinary artist, has received numerous awards for his work in both film and art across the U.S. & Canada. Begay is also an International Exchange Alumni from The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Education & Cultural Affairs Administered by World Learning “Communities Connecting Heritage”.

DezBaa’ is a SAG actor, television writer, and an indie film producer. She is a citizen of the Diné Nation, born in and is based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. DezBaa’ is born for the Nooda’í Dine’e (Ute clan), and was raised in Española, NM. She is of Basque, Spanish, and Mexican descent. DezBaa’ first began her career in the New Mexico film industry as a background actor. She quickly secured speaking roles and now has been on Better Call Saul , worked alongside Julianne Moore, and finished her first season as a staff writer on AMC’s Dark Winds TV show. 

She is a film mentor for New Mexico’s Film Prize Jr. working with middle school and high schoolers to encourage and help them learn to create their own stories from concept to first screening. She is a former Division of Natural Resources Navajo Nation employee, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in geology from Amherst College. She holds two MFAs from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM-one for Screenwriting and one for Creative Nonfiction. An alumna and now a faculty member at Northern New Mexico College where she first began studying filmmaking, she teaches Indigenous Cinema.

Amanda Erickson (Director/Executive Producer) is born for the San Carlos Apache of the White Water Clan on her father’s side. But, growing up outside of her community, she often wondered about her Indigenous roots. Her journey of reconnection to culture and community would take 38 years and be the catalyst for her first feature documentary, She Cried That Day , which investigates the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives through the eyes of the Indigenous women and Allies on the frontlines in New Mexico. 

Before making her directorial debut, Amanda worked as a non-fiction TV Producer for 15 years, where she created compelling programming for networks like: Travel Channel, National Geographic Wild , Investigation Discovery , and Curiosity Stream . Amanda is a 2023 Film Independent Doc Lab Fellow, International Women’s Media Foundation Journalist Fund and LEF Foundation Moving Image Fund recipient. She is a proud member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia, Array Crew and a Teaching Artist for newport FILM. Through her company, Sees Clearly Productions, Amanda aims to inspire social change by amplifying issues facing Indigenous communities.

Priscilla Naunġaġiaq Hensley is a filmmaker, writer and artist focused on sharing and creating dynamic, connected work. By leaning into illuminating elements of culture, community and individual lives, her aim is to engage and entertain, making space for understanding. With family roots in Qikiktaġruk (Kotzebue) and Anchorage, AK, she carries Iñupiat and Settler heritage, reflecting the complexity of identity and history.

A senior in the Cinematic Arts & Technology program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, she was awarded a George R. R. Martin Literary Foundation scholarship for screenwriting. Hensley holds an Interdisciplinary BA in Dance and Anthropology from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Featured work includes the upcoming Navajo Police: Class 57 (HBO, Producer), WE UP: Indigenous Hip Hop of the Circumpolar North (Anchorage Museum, Co-Director), and the recent article Northern Beats, Righteous Rhymes (Inuit Art Quarterly).

She has won numerous awards for her journalism such as a Human Rights Reporting award from the Canadian Association of Journalists for her work with the CBC’s Beyond 94 project which tracks progress on the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2019 and an Edward R. Murrow for her series on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls with Al Jazeera English. Published in 2022, her debut memoir, Our Voice of Fire: A Memoir of a Warrior Rising , is the story of her life, the story of a survivor of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls crisis.

Amy Stretten (she/they) is a bilingual, Black / Indigenous queer Femme journalist, columnist, commentator, and the creator of cultural fashion platform The Chief of Style. She is a member of the Chickahominy Tribe of Virginia and is currently an artist fellow at The Center for Cultural Power, an arts and culture social justice non-profit, where she is producing a narrative change project on decolonizing health and wellness in Indian Country. Most recently, she was featured in queer fashion book DapperQ Style:Ungendering Fashion from Harper Collins. Her work has appeared on Reckon News, Fox Soul, CNN / HLN, ABC News, NYPost, United Nations TV, Snapchat News, Aboriginal People’s Television Network, HuffPost Live, TYT Network, and ABC / Univision’s Fusion. She is a graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Mount Holyoke College, and completed coursework in Federal Indian policy while a WINS intern at American University in DC. She lives in Los Angeles (on Tongva ancestral land). You can find her on Instagram @ChiefofStyle.

For more information, visit http://www.nama.media&nbsp ;

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    Description The BEST COURSE CHOICE for those with a book idea and a desire to get published! In this lively and fun course, author and mentor Steve Alcorn shows you how to achieve success. During the past two decades, Steve and Dani have helped more than 30,000 aspiring writers structure their stories, and many are now in print. You can be next!

  11. Live Workshops and Training Classes

    Multi-day workshops can be quite lucrative. Alicia Dunams is a book coach who runs a workshop called "Bestseller in a Weekend," where participants spend a full weekend writing a first draft of a book. Some additional services are bundled in with the registration fee, including editing, book cover design, and interior layout for the book.

  12. Online Creative Nonfiction Writing Courses

    4 Weeks | $295. Text-Based. Banish writer's block, unearth fresh ideas, and sharpen your storytelling ability with the practice of fast, timed writing. Notify me when this course is scheduled. Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Lifestyle and Wellness, Memoir, Novel, Personal Essay, Short Story, Stage and Broadcast.

  13. Agenda

    Following is the agenda for the 2022 Nonfiction Writers Conference, happening May 4-6, 2022. All sessions last 50 minutes to allow for a brief break in between. The Nonfiction Writers Conference is a virtual event held with Zoom. Sessions are delivered live and include Q&A with instructors. Download a printable copy of the agenda here.

  14. Creative Writing & Literature BA

    A creative writing degree is an investment in your development as a writer and reader. You'll have the opportunity to practice image-making, meter, and other poetic gestures; character development and fiction forms; lyric essays, literary journalism, travel writing, hybrid narratives, and more. Your workshop submissions in poetry, fiction ...

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    The Course: This craft-focused course aims to provide both a generative space for creating new work as well as a virtual forum for conversation, revision, and critique. At the center of Continue reading →

  16. Writing Workshops

    Writing Workshops is for writers who want to strengthen their voice, develop a greater understanding of craft, and forge a path to publication along the way. We offer writing courses, seminars, and individual consultations to fiction writers, nonfiction writers, poets, and screenwriters.

  17. Workshops

    Writing Workshops. The Writer's Center offers hundreds of writing workshops and classes every year. Workshops cover all genres and all experience levels. ... Live video conference: This workshop […] Find out more. $60.00 42 tickets left. Buy Now! Crafting Fiction: Element by Element . September 28 @ 7:00 PM EDT - November 9 @ 9:00 PM EST ...

  18. The Chattanooga Writers' Guild Fall Workshop Returns Oct. 21

    The Chattanooga Writers' Guild announces the return of their Fall Writing Workshop on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. ... Nonfiction with Sarah Einstein or Writing by the Numbers with Chris Wood

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    Plot is usually seen by workshop writer-teachers, or teacher-writers, as the property of so-called "genre" writing: science fiction, crime, romance, young adult and screenplays — as if...

  20. Top 10 Best Writing Workshop in SANTA CLARA, CA

    This is a review for writing workshop in Santa Clara, CA: "I recently finished taking one of Doris's Speaker Training courses. I really enjoyed it and had a lot of fun. Going in, I was very concerned about my Speech writing and my ability to stay on topic when speaking for a period more than 5 minutes.

  21. SCBWI

    The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to foster public appreciation of children's books and to support the vibrant community of people who create and promote them.

  22. The Best Writing Group in Bay Area

    The Writing Salon - Berkeley. The Writing Salon, founded in 1999, is a year-round school of creative writing for adults (beginners to advanced). We offer small classes of 6 to 13 students held in ...

  23. Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for the Middle Grades

    Jones uses nonfiction, documentary film, and historical photographs to contextualize the events in the novel and the civil rights movement. The students make deep connections to the literature through drama, poetry, and creative writing activities. Curtis visits the classroom, addresses questions, and leads the students in a writing workshop.

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    DezBaa' is a SAG actor, television writer, and an indie film producer.She is a citizen of the Diné Nation, born in and is based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. DezBaa' is born for the Nooda'í ...

  25. SCBWI

    The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to foster public appreciation of children's books and to support the vibrant community of people who create and promote them.