Workshops

Resources | Writing Tips | Submission Opportunities

The Writers Studio offers workshops and crafts classes in New York—where the school was founded by poet Philip Schultz in 1987—and in Hudson Valley, San Francisco, and Tucson. During the COVID-19 crisis, these in-person classes are currently held remotely, with live video chats and live critiques, which means they are currently available to you wherever you are located. Online courses you can take from anywhere are also available, with weekly online text chats and written critiques. Check here for a full list of courses. Richard teaches the Saturday Tucson Workshop and the Monday Tucson Advanced Workshop. In the past, he has taught an Online Level 1 Workshop and an occasional online workshop on Crafting Fantastic & Imaginative Worlds.

Upcoming Workshops

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Tucson Workshop

For writers of fiction, poetry, memoir, and creative nonfiction.

Length: 8 weeks
Begins: Jan 2022
Meets: Saturdays at 10:00 am – 12:30 pm PST (12:00 pm – 02:30 pm EST)
Cost: $320 tuition + $25 registration fee
Registration Coming Soon

Format: Students will share their fiction, poetry, memoir, or creative nonfiction with their classmates and the instructor in a weekly live video/audio chat and can expect immediate feedback that is helpful and encouraging, using The Writers Studio method of persona writing and critiquing.

Description: The Writers Studio Tucson Workshop, the first of our three levels, is designed for students at all levels who are new to The Writers Studio method. This Workshop is open to both beginning and experienced writers eager to learn the elements of craft, including first- and third-person narrators, tone and mood. An important goal of the workshop is to help writers understand that a narrative voice is born out of conscious creation and not merely the voice we use when speaking or keeping a journal. We encourage students to turn autobiographical fragments into publishable work by using different narrative personas to tell their story in fiction and poetry.

Through exercises, students experiment with narrative and poetic techniques. Our exercises are designed to stimulate students’ imaginations while also teaching a lot of nuts-and-bolts narrative strategies They focus on both fiction and poetry, and use published examples of both genres as models.

Each week we assign a brief reading combined with an exercise, and the teacher explains the technique that makes the piece effective. The following week students bring their written exercise to class, where it is read aloud. Classmates offer feedback, and then the teacher, who has been trained for three years in The Writers Studio method, gives the final supportive critique. A few of the eight weeks are spent revising and deepening exercises written during the term.

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Tucson Advanced Workshop

For writers of fiction, poetry, memoir, and creative nonfiction.

Length: 8 weeks
Begins: 04 Oct 2021
Ends: 22 Nov 2021
Meets: Mondays at 06:30 pm – 09:00 pm PDT (09:30 pm – 12:00 am EDT)
Cost: $365 tuition + $25 registration fee
(Use coupon code WritingLife for $15 off 8-week writing classes. Discount must be taken at time of registration. Expires 10/05/2021)
Register online or by phone (212) 255-7075

Format: Students will share their fiction, poetry, memoir, or creative nonfiction with their classmates and the instructor in a weekly live video/audio chat and can expect immediate feedback that is helpful and encouraging, using The Writers Studio method of persona writing and critiquing.

NOTE: Students must also register for the Craft Class. First-time Advanced students will be registered for free to try out the Craft Class for a session.

Description: Students come into the Advanced Workshop with plenty of experience and sophistication. Here they take on the next challenge: honing the skills and developing the healthy habits that will sustain them throughout their writing lives. 

They develop new self-awareness about their own internal process, as well as increasing control over the “voice” that’s unique to them and over their narrative choices. Students at this level continue to do exercises from the Craft Class, but they also routinely complete poems and stories to submit for publication, or work toward creating a book-length manuscript.

We will be reading four books from the Craft Class list and students will write and follow their own exercises based on the persona narrator and narrative techniques in each book.

Open only to students who have completed The Writers Studio Tucson Workshop and Tucson Intermediate Workshop and upon the recommendation of the teacher.


Instructor History

Richard Leis is both a fiction writer and a poet, with experience writing and teaching both genres, and he has completed The Writers Studio rigorous training program. As a student, Richard attended two Writers Studio Tucson Workshops taught by Lela Scott MacNeil in the spring and summer of 2016, two Intermediate Workshops taught by Phil Ivory, and then Advanced Workshop taught by Janelle Drumwright. He now regularly attends the Master Workshop taught by Director Reneé Bibby.

Richard began teaching the Saturday morning Tucson Workshop in April 2019. He began teaching an Online Level 1 Workshop in July 2021. He also developed and launched in July 2019 an online workshop focused on writing science fiction, fantasy, and horror using the Writers Studio method of persona writing and critiquing. He is delighted to share with new students in both workshops the same helpful and encouraging feedback he received along the way.


Past & Upcoming Workshops

Tucson Poetry Festival 2021 Poster with illustration of mountains and details about dates and featured poets: Saturday, April 17 and Sunday, April 18, 2021 with workshops taught by Linda D. Addison, Raquel Gutiérrez, Eduardo C. Corral, and Jake Skeets, a reading, and an open mic

The 39th Annual Tucson Poetry Festival is Coming Soon

Tucson Poetry Festival 2021 Poster with illustration of mountains and details about dates and featured poets: Saturday, April 17 and Sunday, April 18, 2021 with workshops taught by Linda D. Addison, Raquel Gutiérrez, Eduardo C. Corral, and Jake Skeets, a reading, and an open mic

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.

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Free Writers Studio Tucson Class Online This Thursday

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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.

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Summer 2020 Writing and Teaching

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This summer 2020, I’m teaching both a Tucson Workshop and “Crafting Fantastic & Imaginative Worlds”, reading a lot of speculative poetry, and writing.

Sonora Desert hills with cactuses Tucson Arizona

Writing Workshops for Spring and Summer 2020

Out of focus circles of light of different sizes and warm and dark colors

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!

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Fall 2019 Writing and Teaching

Sonora Desert hills with cactuses Tucson Arizona

I’m preparing lesson plans and writing new exercises for two fall workshops at the Writers Studio.