Writing develops through a series of milestones. Writing regularly. Finishing pieces. Submitting polished pieces. Being rejected. Being accepted. Published. Paid. Solicited for more. There’s always another milestone if you stick with writing.
Gathered below is information about writing workshops, resources, and tips to help you get the most out of your craft so that you can realize your writing aspirations.
Workshops at The Writers Studio
The Writers Studio offers workshops and crafts classes in New York—where the school was founded by poet Philip Schultz in 1987—and in San Francisco, Tucson, and Rome, Italy. Classes are also taught online. Click here for a full list of courses.
After completing all levels of the Writers Studio workshops from 2016 to 2019, Richard Leis began teaching the Saturday morning Tucson Workshop in April 2019, an Online Level 1 Workshop in July 2021, and an online workshop focused on writing science fiction, fantasy, and horror he developed and launched in July 2019. All classes use the Writers Studio method of persona writing and critiquing.
Below are some of the articles Richard has written about attending workshops.
“A Guide to Workshops at The Writers Studio”
18 Dec 2021
“A Few General Tips About Attending Workshops”
28 Jun 2018
“The Writers Studio
13 Feb 2017
Resources & Writing Tips
Below are articles and a growing list of literary and speculative writing resources including books, videos, presentations, etc. that may be helpful to writers and poets. While literary and speculative resources are separated below, there is often overlap that may be helpful for writers of any genre of writing.
“A Submission Process”
11 Apr 2020
“Learning to Horror”
17 Nov 2019
“A Writing Process”
20 Feb 2017
Richard wrote an article about how he submits here: “A Submission Process“
And here’s a great way to deal with rejections: compete for the most rejections with the annual Rejection Competition organized by Reneé Bibby!
Literary Fiction & Poetry Resources
Writing & Craft
Richard wrote an article about his own process here: “A Writing Process“
- Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (Penguin Classics, 2014)
- Blake Snyder, Save the Cat! (Michael Wiese Productions, 2005)
- Blake Snyder, Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies (Michael Wiese Productions, 2017)
- Lisa Cron, Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere (Ten Speed Press, 2016)
- Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Shambhala Publications, 2005)
- Dan Killgallon, Sentence Composing for College: A Worktext on Sentence Variety and Maturity (Heinemann, 1998)
- Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (Anchor, 1995)
- Brooks Landon, Building Great Sentences: How to Write the Kinds of Sentences You Love to Read (Plume, 2013)
- Noah Lukeman, The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile (Simon & Schuster, 2000)
- Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook (Mariner Books, 1994)
- Jordan Rosenfeld, A Writer’s Guide to Persistence: How to Create a Lasting and Productive Writing Practice (Writer’s Digest Books, 2015)
- Sandra Scofield, The Scene Book: A Primer for the Fiction Writer (Penguin Books, 2007)
- Sandra Scofield, The Last Draft: A Novelist’s Guide to Revision (Penguin Books, 2017)
- Benda Ueland, If You Want to Write (Martino Fine Books, 1938, 2011)
- John Yorke, Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story (Harry N. Abrams, 2015)
- James Scott Bell, Revision and Self-Editing for Publication: Techniques for Transforming Your First Draft into a Novel That Sells (Writer’s Digest Books, 2008, 2012)
- Susan Bell, The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself (W. W. Norton & Company, 2008)
- Renni Browne & Dave King, Self-editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print (William Morrow Paperbacks, 2004)
Speculative Fiction & Poetry Resources
Writing & Craft
- Philip Athans, Writing Monsters: How to Craft Believably Terrifying Creatures to Enhance Your Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction (Writer’s Digest Books, 2014)
- Steven Harper, Writing the Paranormal Novel: Techniques and Exercises for Weaving Supernatural Elements Into Your Story (Writer’s Digest Books, 2011)
- Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (Scribner, 2000, 2010)
- Damon Knight, Creating Short Fiction: Revised and Expanded Third Edition (ReAnimus Press, 2016)
- Nancy Kress, Elements of Fiction Writing – Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Writer’s Digest Books, 2011)
- Ursula K. Le Guin, Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story (Mariner Books, 1998, 2015)
- Joe Mynhardt, Horror 101: The Way Forward – Career Advice by Seasoned Professionals (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2014)
- Philip Pullman, Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling (Vintage, 2018)
- Robert Qualkinbush, How to Improve Your Speculative Fiction Openings, Second Edition (ReAnimus Press, 2013)
- Nisi Shawl & Cynthia Ward, Writing the Other: A Practical Approach (Aqueduct Press, 2005)
- Writing the Other website and workshops
- Jeff VanderMeer, Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction (Abrams, 2013, 2018)
- Tim Waggoner, Writing in the Dark (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2020)
- Chuck Wendig, The Kick-Ass Writer: 1001 Ways to Write Great Fiction, Get Published, and Earn Your Audience (Writer’s Digest Books, 2013)
- Kate Wilhelm, Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop (Small Beer Press, 2005)
- John Yorke, Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story (Harry N. Abrams, 2015)
- Lee Murray & Angela Yuriko Smith, Mark My Words: Read the Submission Guidelines and Other Self-editing Tips (Yuriko Publishing, 2021)
- Presentation/PDF: N.K. Jemisin, Worldbuilding 101
- Podcast episode: Ezra Klein, “I build a world with fantasy master N.K. Jemisin,” The Ezra Klein Show. 27 Aug 2018 [YouTube video.]
- Article: Charlie Jane Anders, “7 Deadly Sins of Worldbuilding,” Gizmodo. 02 Aug 2013
- PDF: Kate Bernheimer, “Fairy Tale is Form, Form is Fairy Tale“
- Kate Bernheimer, My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me (Penguin Books, 2010)
- Maria Tatar, The Classic Fairy Tales (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1999)
- Annual Journal: Fairy Tale Review (Wayne State University Press)
- Ann VanderMeer & Jeff VanderMeer, The New Weird (Tachyon Publications, 2008)
- Ann VanderMeer & Jeff VanderMeer, The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories (Tor, 2011)
Ursula K. Le Guin
- Documentary: “Worlds of Ursula K Le Guin.” American Masters (PBS, 2019)
- Article: Gabrielle Bellot, “Ursula Le Guin’s ‘The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas’ Defies Genre.” Tor.com. 7 Aug 2017
- Article: Margaret Kingsbury, “Reading Pathways: Ursula K. Le Guin.” Book Riot. 24 Jul 2019
- Short Story: N.K. Jemisin, “The Ones Who Stay and Fight.” Lightspeed, Jan 2020 (Issue 116)
More Blog Posts For Writers
The latest Tucson Poetry Festival will be held this weekend, April 23-24, 2022, at a variety of fantastic venues in the Tucson area. Our theme this year is “Poetry and Pause.”
It can be difficult to sort through all the offerings from the Writers Studio to pick which classes are best for you or the writer in your life to which you would like to gift a workshop. Here, then, is a guide to our offerings, depending on your writing goals and interests.
It’s time for a website reorganization that focuses entirely on writing and teaching while burying my past activities.
Free Writers Studio Tucson class this Thursday evening, September 23, and information about my upcoming Fall 2021 workshops
Free Writers Studio Tucson class this Saturday, April 10 and information about my upcoming Spring 2021 workshops.
The 39th Annual Tucson Poetry Festival is coming up in two weeks! Registration is available on our website for poetry workshops taught by our featured poets on Saturday, April 17, 2021. They will also be reading that evening and there will be an open mic (would you like to read one of your own poems?!) on Sunday afternoon, April 18, 2021.
Tucson teachers Lela Scott MacNeil and I will be online for a free writing class this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. to provide a writing exercise, explain The Writers Studio method, and discuss how our program can support your personal writing goals.
This summer 2020, I’m teaching both a Tucson Workshop and “Crafting Fantastic & Imaginative Worlds”, reading a lot of speculative poetry, and writing.
In this new post, I will provide tips and resources so that my workshop students and other writers can submit their best work to potential markets.
In addition to my usual 8-week Writers Studio Tucson Workshop, I’m bringing back my popular online “Crafting Fantastic and Imaginative Worlds” workshop for poets and writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror!
After years of focusing on literary poetry and fiction, including completing my undergraduate education in creative writing and taking writing workshops, I’m finally embracing my original genre aspirations.
I really, really, really want to reach 50,000 words in November and I want to do it in 2019 before the new decade starts and we’re in the far future.
I have learned a valuable lesson about writing this year as a result of teaching writing workshops. This led to a breakthrough in writing poetry that has transformed my poems in the past few months. Here is what I have learned.
I’m preparing lesson plans and writing new exercises for two fall workshops at the Writers Studio.
I’m currently preparing lesson plans and writing lessons for two summer 2019 workshops.
I’m teaching a new 6-week workshop titled “Crafting Fantastic & Imaginative Worlds” and it uses The Writers Studio method of persona writing and critiquing. It begins Saturday, July 27, 2019.
Two options for the beginning level writing workshop: Saturday morning with me and Wednesday evenings with Lela Scott MacNeil.
The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America sets the minimum payment rates for professional short fiction markets. In September, this rate rises from 6 cents per word to 8 cents per word.
I was not prepared for how much worse imposter syndrome would get once I started writing regularly, getting published, participating in public readings, teaching…
I’m now a writing instructor at the Writers Studio in Tucson, Arizona and I’ll be teaching an 8-week introductory workshop in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction beginning Saturday, April 20th!
📚 I participated in a fantastic craft class today with Alice Hatcher, author of The Wonder That Was Ours. She was interviewed by Reneé Bibby, Director of the Writers Studio Tucson, and local students in the Master and Advanced workshops.
Horror 101: The Way Forward edited by Joe Mynhardt explores a tremendous territory of information, advice, and experience with essays written by many different creatives who work in the genre.
The tone and humor might be a little dated, even insensitive and problematic at points, but there’s no question that Save the Cat by Blake Snyder is a book packed with useful, easily digestible, but comprehensive information.
I’ve written an entire novel before, a few of them in fact, but I’ve never completed 50,000 words during National Novel Writing Month in November.
How you participate in class can mean the difference between a rewarding learning experience and an utter waste of your—and everyone else’s—time and money.
How to group poems into manuscripts that will go out to several potential markets?
I have no idea.
A tiny celebration for a small accomplishment: a little notebook full of handwritten poetry fragments.
I don’t believe in natural talent. I use “believe” on purpose because I might be wrong; nevertheless, there’s more to talent than whatever innate capabilities a person might be born with that makes them prodigy and genius.
Counseling, when you find the right counselor and when you engage with them honestly and with a willingness to do what they suggest, can work wonders and reshape your entire life.
My writing process is just one example of a writing process that will hopefully inspire you to build your own.
It occurs to me that I haven’t written much about The Writers Studio workshops I’ve been attending regularly for the past year. It has been such a positive experience that I think I have been trying to keep it all to myself. No more.
The problem with some men (Many? Just me?) in their twenties is that they won’t shut up and listen. Instead they pronounce. Loudly. I pronounced on a writing forum that the only writers who are successful and published are those who sacrifice themselves entirely and painfully to their art. I called out people I believed would probably never be published to defend my pronouncement. I called out housewives and retirees specifically.
Maybe this post is about isolation after all.
The Kick-Ass Writer by Chuck Wendig includes over 30 lists of 25 tips about various subjects like writing, rewriting, craft, and publishing.
I wrote a short response to the paper pointing out the Dark Enlightenment as a worrying contemporary example of where an ethic of expediency can lead. The response wasn’t what I expected.
I remember fondly buying a few editions of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthologies edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling in the 1990s. I was in my twenties and while many of the stories and their level of craft were opaque to me at the time, I felt I had stumbled onto a magical tradition.
What I am really noticing for the first time is how poorly written these TV shows are. The focus is on visual style and action, so getting from point A to point B doesn’t seem to require logic or coherency, and fleshing out characters doesn’t seem to be a priority.
So should writers give up writing, especially if reading is on the decline as other forms entertainment become much more popular?
This is the time to enjoy the way things used to be or are currently, before everything changes due to technology. A day of physical book making followed by watching VOD.
A long time ago when I lived in Rochester, New York, I stupidly wrote a letter to a coworker and mailed it to his home. It was not really a love letter, but it might as well have been.
My sad public admission this week: I’m not very well read.
What was previously my blog – full of news, likes and commentary – should now, I think, become a writing journal, a document more closely related to the craft of writing.