Fiction Workshops


Gail Tsukiyama –
Finding Your Voice

When I asked several editors what was the first thing they looked for in a manuscript, they replied, “Voice.” From the first page it’s imperative to establish voice and set the tone. Finding one’s voice is at the heart of all good fiction. A writer’s voice at its best takes the reader past the words to the characters’ experiences. We will explore the techniques and mechanics in achieving a strong, distinctive voice that reverberates long after a story has ended. During the weeklong workshop, we will discuss, ask questions, and look at developing your voice, strengthening your characters and moving your plot forward. Please submit no more than 15-20 pages at least two weeks before the workshop begins.


Josh Conviser –
Creating Worlds

Be it sci-fi, fantasy, historical or modern day, every novel creates a distinct reality. This seminar looks at how to create a world that suits the story, theme and characters of your work. Using the students’ own writing, we will delve into the craft of world creation with all the tools (traditional and tech-centric) that apply. With that world in hand, the course will then look at how point of view, writing style and structure can further bolster your creation. Students are encouraged to submit their work (in whatever state it happens to be) two weeks before the seminar commences

Barbara Samuel –
Writing Commercial

This is a six day plunge into the study of what makes commercial fiction successful–what is the difference between literary fiction, upmarket fiction, and genre (romance, science fiction, mystery, etc.)? How do you decide where your work fits, and how do you then take that work to the best possible level?  Writers will engage deeply with voice exercises, journaling, intense discussion with the group, and with a single work of their own choosing.  We will explore structure and expectations of genre/non-genre, and spend some time each day workshopping pages from students.  Writers should submit no more than 10 pages to Barbara by June 30. 

Naomi Hirahara –
Writing Mysteries
from the Inside Out

Voice and movement are two essentials in crafting a successful crime novel.  This supportive yet rigorous workshop will examine these elements – the point-of-view, tone and character development of the main protagonist as well as the movement of the story through plot, dialogue and conflict.  Various tools, including outlining techniques, will be covered.  While this class is designed for writers with works-in-progress, newcomers to the genre are also welcome.  Students’ original text will be used as the main source of instruction.   

Peter Gadol –
The Art of Revision

From the first collage of journal thoughts to loose outlining, to conducting research, to finding a form, to roughing out early chapters, to going back and restructuring, to completing a first draft—and then figuring out how to refine it through subsequent drafts—the art of writing is the art of revision. Using student manuscripts as a basis for discussion, we will examine the varied approaches that the different phases of a project might require, paying special attention to character development and strategies in structuring. Students must submit twenty-five to thirty pages of a novel or short fiction three weeks in advance and will be asked to read their fellow students’ manuscripts ahead of the workshop