These are some of our past Grotto Class offerings. If you have questions about past classes, click on the class entry below, and get in touch with the instructor.


(Photo by Chris Hardy)



4 Week Fiction Intensive with Janis Cooke Newman

642 Things to Write About with Heather Donahue

642 Things to Write About: How to Jumpstart Your Writing with Janis Cooke Newman

6-Week Screenwriting Workshop with Xandra Castleton

8-Week Screenwriting Workshop with Xandra Castleton 

Advanced Blogging Workshop with Meghan Ward

Advanced Fiction Workshop with Janis Cooke Newman (by invitation-only)

Advanced Short Story (Invitation only) with Elizabeth Bernstein

Advanced Workshop with Janis Cooke Newman (by invitation only)

The Art of Losing: Finding the Words For What’s Gone with Lindsey Crittenden and Monica Wesolowska

Arts Reviewing 101: How to Be a Smart, Sensitive Critic, Online and In Print with Rachel Howard

Authors Uncensored: Intimate Conversations with Bestsellers with Litquake Co-Founder Jane Ganahl

Baby Steps and Giant Leaps: Beginning Your Nonfiction Book with Anne Zimmerman

Beyond Poop and Puberty: The Practice and Pitfalls of Writing About Parenting with Susan Ito and Tomas Moniz

Blogging for Beginners with Meghan Ward

Book Yr Own F**king Literary Career: Creating a Writer’s Life with Michelle Tea

Character Development, Motivations & Dialogue: Thinking Like an Actor with Zahra Noorbakhsh

Coming of Age on the Page: A One-Day Crash Course in How to Write and Sell YA Fiction with Laura Goode 

Coming of Age on the Page: Writing for Young Adults with Laura Goode

Continuing Memoir Workshop with Heather Donahue

Create a Writing Habit in 21 Days with Jenny Bitner

Developing Your Comedic Voice in Prose with Zahra Noorbakhsh

Edit Yourself: Tools & Tactics for Revising Your Own Drafts with Frances Lefkowitz

Fabulist Worlds: Writing Magical Realism with Jenny Bitner

Finding your Best Literary Agent with Chelsea Lindman

Finding Your Story with Gerard Jones 

The First 10 Pages of Narrative Nonfiction with Julia Scheeres

Flash Fiction: Little Stories with a Big Kick with Jenny Bitner

Freelance Pitch Workshop with Marie C. Baca

Freelancing Bootcamp with Marie C. Baca

Friday Night Salon: What we talk about when we talk about writing with Sabrina Crawford

From Page to Stage: The Art of Performing Your Stories with Jeff Greenwald

Funny is the New Deep (On the Comic Impulse) with Steve Almond

Gesture Writing: What Writers Can Learn from Artists about Capturing Life on the Page with Rachel Howard and David Tallitsch

Get Published: A Nonfiction Workshop with Ethan Watters

Gettin’ on the Gravy Train: How to Win a Writing/Reporting Fellowship with Vanessa Hua

Getting Noticed in the Publishing World: Strategies for Pitching Editors, Agents, and Publishers with Ethan Watters and Laura Fraser

Getting Published: The Secrets of Structure and Self-Editing with Laura Fraser

How NOT to Sound Like a Writer: Coaching Tips for Reading Aloud with Professional Actor Anne Buelteman

How Obsession Can Jump-Start Your Writing with Steve Almond

How to Create an Irresistible Narrator with Steve Almond

How to Make Your Characters Snap, Crackle and Pop with Steve Almond

How to (Profoundly) Move Your Readers: The Craft of Developing Dramatic Emotions with Junse Kim

How to Be a Better Writer: For writers of fiction & memoir with Janis Cooke Newman 

How to Get an Agent with NY Agent Mollie Glick

How to Shoot for Magazines: A Workshop for Photographers & Writers with Ilana Diamond

How to Start a Memoir and Not Stop Half-Way Through with Heather Donahue

How to Start a Novel (and Not Stop Half-Way Through) with Janis Cooke Newman

How to Write a Non-Fiction Book Proposal with Mollie Glick

How to Write a Novel and Not Stop Half-Way Through with Janis Cooke Newman

How to Write a Novel: Super Condensed Version with Janis Cooke Newman

How to Write a Novel: Super Condensed Version with Janis Cooke Newman

How to Write Quirky, Weird, Fabulist, Surrealist, Magical Realist Short Stories with Ali Eteraz

How to Write Riveting Scenes with Steve Almond

Humor Writing with Kasper Hauser

Intermediate Blogging with Meghan Ward

Into the Deep End: Getting a Piece of Writing Off To a Running Start (Without Boring Yourself To Death First) with Pam Houston

Jack Grapes Method Writing Program: Finding Your Voice in Poetry & Prose  with Alexandra Kostoulas

Journalism Basics for Bloggers with Lorraine Sanders 

Mastering the Personal Essay with Rachel Howard

Mechanics of Voice: Writing Sentences with a Head, a Heart, and an Ass with Marianna Cherry

Memoir I: Beyond Self-Absorption with Heather Donohue

Memoir II with Laura Fraser

Memoir II: Honing Your Memoir with Julia Scheeres

Memoir Workshop with Heather Donahue

Memoir Workshop with Julia Scheeres

Memoir with Laura Fraser

NaNoWriMo Support Group with Janis Cooke Newman

Narrative Nonfiction Toolbox with Laura Fraser

Navigating the Family Memoir with Zoe Fitzgerald Carter

Non-fiction Doctor: a clinic to fix all your writing problems with Laura Fraser

Nonfiction Master Class with Laura Fraser

Nonfiction Works in Progress with Ethan Watters

Non-fiction Workshop with Laura Fraser

November Novel Marathon: Not Exactly NaNoWriMo & Not Entirely in November with Janis Cooke Newman 

Personal Essay for Publication with Chris Colin

Personal Essay: Fierce Attachment to Truth with Laura Fraser

Personal Essay: From Transcendent Moments to Political Passions with Jane Ganahl

Personal Essay: The Universal In the Particular with Laura Fraser

Plarachterization: The Intersection of Plot and Character with Joshua Mohr

Plot and Structure with mystery Writer Cara Black

Political Writing: Getting Your Opinions Published with Christopher Cook

Pushing the Boundaries: Experiments in Writing with Jenny Bitner

Reading as a Writer with Tom Barbash

Ready, Set, NaNoWriMo with Chris Baty

Revision Boot Camp: Circuit Training Your Manuscript with Susan Ito

Screenwriting Workshop with Xandra Castleton

Script Frenzy with Xandra Castleton

Sex on the Page with Jenny Bitner

Short Story Bootcamp with Elizabeth Bernstein

Short Story Workshop (invitation only) with Elizabeth Bernstein

Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wicked Good Prose – 40 bucks, four hours, free bagels, free books with Constance Hale

Social Media Madness for Writers with Meghan Ward

Sparked! Inspiration and Beyond with Susan Ito

Storm the Page: Free Writing Happy Hour with Sabrina Crawford

Storm the Page: Free Writing Happy Hour: Part II Journal to Page with Sabrina Crawford

Story, Not Formula: Crime Writing Essentials with David Corbett (NY Times Notable Author)

Sunday Afternoon Advanced Writers Workshop with Janis Cooke Newman

Sunday Morning Fiction Intensive with Janis Cooke Newman 

Take the Mystery Out of Writing a Mystery with Acclaimed Mystery Writer Cara Black

Tell and Show with Frances Lefkowitz

Tell Me About Yourself: Writing the Personal Statement with Vanessa Hua and Marie C. Baca

The Accidental Find: Looking for Poetry in Unexpected Places with Maw Shein Win

The Art of Compelling Dialogue with Joshua Mohr

The Art of Losing: Finding the Words For What’s Gone with Lindsey Crittenden and Monica Wesolowska

The Art of the Profile: How to Write a Dazzling Profile by Breaking Some Rules with Jane Ganahl

The Book Biz, from A to Z (featuring six guests from the Grotto) with Constance Hale

The Dark Art of Pitching with Jon Mooallem

The Dialogue of Poetry with Richard Silberg

The First 10 Pages (Nonfiction) with Julia Scheeres

The Lives of Others: Writing the biography, memoir, or family history with Anne Zimmerman

The Pang in Your Heart Short Story Workshop with Elizabeth Bernstein

The Pang in Your Heart: Short Story Intensive with Elizabeth Bernstein

The Personal Essay for Publication with Chris Colin

The Serial: Or, Momentum in Storytelling with Yael Goldstein Love

The Young and the Restless: Crafting a YA Novel with Imagination and Voice with Michelle Tea

Transforming Pain: Memoir from Childhood Trauma with Louise Nayer

Truth, Lies and Storytelling: A Users Guide to Writing Memoir with Zoe FitzGerald Carter

What Every Magazine Editor Wishes You Knew (But Won’t Tell You) with Laura McClure

What We Talk About When We Talk About Stealing: Using Existing Models to Craft Short Fiction with Lindsey Crittenden

Workshopping the Novel with Janis Cooke Newman

Workshopping Your Short Stories with Elizabeth Bernstein

Writer’s Toolbox-Nonfiction with Laura Fraser

Writing & Publishing the Travel Essay with Lavinia Spalding 

Writing a Great Memoir: What You Need to Know with Louise Nayer

Writing a Nonfiction Book, from Inspiration to Publication with TJ Stiles

Writing for Political Advocacy: How to sharpen your writing skills to communicate with politicians and maybe even make them listen with Zahir Janmohamed

Writing Like an Actor with Zahra Noorbakhsh

Writing the Book Review with Oscar Villalon

Writing the Crime Fiction or Thriller Novel:Practice Makes Plot Perfect with Seth Harwood

Writing the Literary Travel Essay: From Inspiration to Publication with Lavinia Spalding

Writing the Memoir with Laura Fraser

Writing the Novel, with Janis Cooke Newman

Writing the Personal Essay: Capturing the Moment in 1000 Words with Litquake co-founder Jane Ganahl

Writing the Travel Memoir with Jeff Greenwald

Writing Your Hero’s (or Heroine’s) Journey with Sasha Cagen

Yoga 4 Writers with Mark Morford