Where should you study writing? Here’s where I’ve taken great workshops

Looking to write a book? Here are some places I recommend you check out. While the offices for the following schools are based in New York City, I think they all offer online courses, so you can be based anywhere and still get a great writerly education!

  1. Sackett Street Writers Workshop – I took a novel generating course here and I am so glad I did! The course I took was taught in the instructor’s apartment, which was actually much nicer than sitting around in a stiff-backed classroom chair. And my instructor was generous and supportive; she agreed to look over an application for a workshop I applied to at the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity in Canada (and with her help, I got in!).
  2. Gotham Writers Workshop – I took an introductory fiction course here. The class went over key basics of writing fiction and as someone who didn’t study creative writing in college, it was a good reminder of what to keep in mind when approaching your work. Again, my instructor was great, and when I first sold my novel, I learned that I was her first student to have a book published!
  3. Catapult – The most recent workshop I took was at Catapult. Catapult offers a really diverse set of courses and mine was specifically focused on how to develop setting. I loved having a theme for the course that was something other than writing in general!
  4. Kweli Journal – This was such a lovely experience. It was a workshop specifically about learning the art of writing short stories, which is something I struggle with. The instructor, Laura Pegram, is fantastic, thorough, and incredibly insightful, and her lessons will stay with you for the rest of your writing career.
  5. The 92nd Street Y – This is the one school on this list where I haven’t actually taken a writing workshop, but from what I hear, it’s a very good place.

I should mention that none of these courses are free and can be several hundreds of dollars. But if you sign up for their newsletters, you’ll likely be emailed a promotional code or eventually get word of some seasonal sale. Writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum and I can genuinely say that were it not for all the classes and workshops I’ve taken, I don’t know if I’d still have a book. That’s not even mentioning the writing communities they’ve helped me form.

Are there other schools I’ve missed? If you have any of your own suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments!

Author: Stephanie Jimenez

Stephanie Jimenez is a former Fulbright recipient and Prep for Prep alumna. She is based in Queens, New York, and her work has appeared in The Guardian, O! the Oprah Magazine, Entropy, and more. Her debut novel, THEY COULD HAVE NAMED HER ANYTHING, will be published in the summer of 2019 (Little A). Follow her @estefsays.