The Writers Circle Can Come to You!
The Writers Circle’s author-instructors can come to your school, library, adult program, or community organization. We customize our workshops for your specific needs and interests. Details and pricing below. Please contact us to find out more and to schedule a presentation or workshop.
- Youth Workshops
- Adult Workshops
- School and Library Visit Fees
- Private Group Sessions
- Professional Development Workshops for Teachers
- Tools for Schools
School & Library Visits
The Writers Circle’s School and Library Workshops inspire everyone to experience the joy of creative writing. We encourage participants to tap into their creativity and get excited about their imaginative ideas, then get those ideas down on paper. Our techniques and curricula are designed to surprise and invite the unexpected. Our approach intentionally shifts the focus from structural writing to imaginative creations that can be explored, crafted, and polished.
At The Writers Circle, we hand-pick our instructors for their professional experience as published authors and their compassion for the creative process. As authors, our approach focuses on students’ ideas and imaginations, and sets aside (at least temporarily) technical concerns such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Although these technicalities are essential to a good finished product, we have discovered that students embrace writing more enthusiastically when asked to “play with words.”
How we work with students of all ages
Our curricula is designed to fire the imagination, and tailored to the appropriate grade or level of experience. We draw on sensory experience and unconventional prompts to guide beginners and experienced writers alike to explore outside the box. We’ll help them face the risky, vulnerable experience of writing and show them how to accept and share feedback, so that they can shape instructor and peer input to make their creations the best they can be.
Our adult workshops focus on inspiration and essential elements of craft that guide and nurture creativity at all levels of writing experience.
Our virtual workshops take the same creative, inspiring approach but are hosted online.
- Story Magic (Grades 3-5): Through imaginative prompts and unexpected writing activities, children learn the basic elements of story creation and put their inspirations on the page. Ignite the creative spark in this fun, non-judgmental workshop where every idea is a great idea!
- Out of this World (Grades 4-6): Explore and create new worlds, time periods, peoples and creatures all your own! Whether you want to travel backward, forward or sideways in time, or slip off to another universe that only exists in your imagination, this is the class for you. Get ready to climb aboard your spaceships, slay your dragons, capture oompity-boops or what-nots with us. The sky is the limit—actually no, nothing is the limit! If you can imagine it, you can write it in this workshop where creativity rules!
- Tween Writers Circle (Grades 5-7): Kids learn how to get their ideas on paper, and then how to make their stories really work. This class bridges the playful ideas of Story Magic into a more mature environment where gentle, constructive critique and group discussion introduce and refine students’ understanding of the elements and challenges of story-making. Students will build confidence and improve their writing in an open-minded, positive and often exuberant atmosphere.
- Stranger than Fiction (various grades): Everyone’s life is filled with great stories. Make believe is fun, but nothing is more powerful or fascinating than real life. Or at least, it can be, if you know where to look and how to write with attitude, flair, and honesty. This class explores each writer’s unique voice and perspective on their world.
- Teen Writers Circle (Grades 9-12): This class balances inspiration with discipline, teaching students to accept critique, revise thoroughly and work toward story completion. We will delve into story elements like plot, character, pacing, point of view and style, inviting students to explore any genre they choose. Past teens have written everything from reality-based to fantasy and science fiction and have worked on plays, poetry, memoir, essays and much more. Teens will find ease and confidence in their writing by honing their skills in a creative, nurturing environment.
- Historical Fiction (various grades): In this workshop, we invite students to take a step into the past, utilizing research and their imaginations to envision life at a specific place and time in history. We will discuss world-building, anachronisms, the role of research and how it applies to developing character, conflict and more. Students will be enticed to immerse themselves into the past in a creative and compelling way.
- Poetry (various grades): Using the best contemporary, grade-appropriate poetry as models, students will learn to pack a punch with their words and attempt to reach the sublime. This workshop will convince students who previously groaned when they heard the word “poetry” that this art form can be accessible, expressive, and fun.
- College Essay (Grades 10-12): This half-day workshop guides students toward a draft of their college essays while introducing them to stress reduction techniques that will ease them through the college application process. Students brainstorm for an engaging topic that fulfills one of the current year’s essay prompts, then develop a working draft that fits the Common App requirements.
- Spark Your Creativity: Just as fire needs a spark, imagination needs to be kindled. Nurture your creative impulses with a series of fun, innovative exercises and prompts that use writing as a means of expression and exploration. Be prepared to surprise yourself!
- Elements of Fiction: This series of four mini-workshops, which can be offered individually or as a series, introduces writers to the essential tools of creative writing: character, plot, dialogue and setting. In each class, we share unique prompts and inspiring exercises that break down each element and demonstrate how they combine to create engaging narratives.
- The Art of the Journal: Anne Frank’s diary may be the most famous example of personal journaling in a time of crisis. Whether we are living through a historic moment of time or simply recording thoughts and experiences of our daily lives, journaling can be a rich record of our own growth through moments of challenge, triumphs, losses, and of the relationships that matter most. Join us to jot down thoughts and emotions that plumb the depths of our moment in time.
- Writing Down the Bones with The Writers Circle: Explore your writing through prompts, exercises and meditations drawn from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. Generative exercises will inspire writers to reconnect with their creative self, challenge them to confront our writing anxieties, and explore new directions in their writing.
- Short Story Writing: Willa Cather said, “I don’t want anyone reading my writing to think about style. I just want them to be in the story.” Learn the basics of writing short stories, including examining excerpts from accomplished short story writers to help you write your own tales.
- Intro to Flash: Writing Short-Short Prose: Flash fiction, sudden fiction, microfiction, prose poetry—the short-short form offers boundless possibilities. A 1,000-word limit can contain the emotional realism of memoir, the lyricism of poetry, and the imaginative worlds of fiction. Writing short can also be fun, giving you the opportunity to experiment and play.
- Introduction to Mystery Writing: Learn how to plan, structure, and write a mystery step-by-step. Through creative exercises, you’ll build your fictional world, develop characters, construct a rough plot outline, and beginning to sketch the clues and red herrings that delight mystery readers.
- Ekphrasis: Using Visual Art and Photos as Prompts for Poetry and Prose: Fiction and poetry based on visual art is called ekphrastic writing. It’s found in works as diverse as Girl with a Pearl Earring, A Piece of the World, Moby Dick, and Ode on a Grecian Urn. In this workshop we’ll use art as inspiration for creating our own prose and poetry.
- Writing with the Senses: Just as in life, the five senses are our window into the world of our narrative and key to creating visceral experiences on the page. Explore how to apply all five senses – sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste – to lend texture, color, vibrance, and dimension to your writing.
- Get Cozy with Your Characters: No need for social isolation here! Get up close and personal with your story’s main character or antagonist. Delve into what makes them tick and bring new life to your tale.
- Creating Kid Lit: Dragons! Pirates! Cowgirls! Mastodon-sized dung beetles! Children’s fiction never fails to let a writer’s imagination go wild. In this introductory workshop, learn how to craft compelling stories and characters that will make young readers want to keep turning pages.
- Intro to Memoir: Writing from the Landscape of Memory: William Zinsser said that, “Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life.” Join us in this introductory memoir workshop as we explore the landscape of memories and what it means to remember, to record, and to gain a new understanding of the present by unraveling the past.
- Submit! Literary Publication Crash Course: Learn the basics of submitting to short works for publication to literary magazines, including writing a cover letter, drafting a bio, finding target publications, monitoring submissions, and dealing with rejection or–yay!–acceptance.
School and Library Visit Fees
If you have something else in mind, please contact us. We can craft a special creative writing workshop to meet your specific interests and needs.
- $300/hour per TWC instructor*
- 20 participant maximum per TWC instructor
Virtual Workshop Fees
- $250 per hour per TWC instructor
1-2 hour sessions and multi-week options are available.
Contact us to find out more.
Private Group Sessions
Private group sessions are available for private organizations, parents, and other adults who want to organize a series of classes at a specific time, venue, or with a unique focus. Contact us for details and rates.
The Writers Circle Professional Development
The Writers Circle’s Unique Approach
The Writers Circle’s Professional Development programs help teachers discover ways to inspire their students to tap into their creativity and find joy and excitement in writing. Our techniques and curricula are designed to surprise and invite the unexpected. Our approach intentionally shifts the focus from structural writing to imaginative creations that can be explored, crafted, and polished.
At The Writers Circle, we hand-picked our instructors for their professional experience as published authors and their compassion for the creative process. As authors, our approach focuses on students’ ideas and imaginations, and sets aside (at least temporarily) technical concerns such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Although these technicalities are essential to a good finished product, we have discovered that students embrace writing more enthusiastically when asked to “play with words.”
What We Offer Teachers
We will work with your teachers to model our approach, tailoring our curricula to the grades they teach. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes that day, as we encourage everyone to sit on the floor, just as we do in our classes! We draw on sensory experience and unconventional prompts to guide teachers and students to explore outside the box. As we do in our own workshops, we’ll inspire your teachers to renewed energy, ideas, and creative approaches to writing. We’ll help them understand the risky, vulnerable experience of writing and show them how to make writers comfortable receiving and sharing feedback.
- 2-hour session: $500 per TWC instructor
- 4-hour session: $1,000 per TWC instructor
- Full-day session (6 hours): $1,250 per TWC instructor
- Virtual sessions: $200 per hour per TWC instructor
- 20 participant maximum per TWC instructor
- Teachers should be grouped in the following grade groupings:
Based on the grade level and the genre of writing selected, we will share a selection of TWC’s curricula with prompts guaranteed to inspire your students to new levels of creativity.
Tools For Schools
For an additional fee, we will supply teachers with The Writers Circle’s Plotfoolery Writing Adventure and a selection of Story Magic Creativity Decks to help students develop characters and place them in unique and challenging situations. These original teaching aids are the perfect add-on to a professional development session and work well in classrooms from kindergarten to adults.