This class is an integral part of The Writers Studio approach to creative writing. By learning how to read fiction and poetry as writers, students begin to recognize narrative techniques. The purpose of this class is to help students discover how literary writers have achieved their artistic goals.

LEARN TO READ AS A WRITER. What does this mean? As you read from an exciting mix of contemporary and classic fiction and poetry, you learn to recognize the various techniques writers used to create personas different from themselves and achieve their literary goals. You also learn how to apply these techniques to your own writing and find the one best suited to your needs in order to achieve complete emotional connection. The Writers Studio's Craft Class is a nine-week program that can be taken in conjunction with a workshop or alone.

Whether or not you attend the class in person, the craft class is available as a podcast on our secure website. It can be downloaded to your computer or mp3 player, and technical assistance is available for students new to the technology.

This class meets weekly during the school's four sessions in an informal classroom setting. It is a lecture class, taught by various Writers Studio teachers and the occasional guest teacher, with limited student participation that is usually pre-arranged. There is no question and answer period.

Each craft class ends with a suggested exercise based on the narrative technique studied that week. Students bring these exercises into their appropriate level workshop.

The students in the craft class I taught with Philip Schultz were not simply trying to get at the meanings of the poems discussed. They were interested in defining techniques in the poems for handling particular kinds of material, techniques they planned to experiment with in an effort to make more of their own experience available in their poems. This practical focus made the discussion particularly lively and engaging.

-CARL DENNIS, winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for PRACTICAL GODS

Over the years, the reading list for this class has included the short stories and novels of Isaac Babel, Anton Chekhov, John Cheever, Carol Shields, Thomas Mann, John Updike, Gabriel García Márquez, Lorrie Moore, Richard Ford, Toni Morrison, Franz Kafka, Andrea Barrett, as well as the poetry of Rita Dove, Pablo Neruda, Sylvia Plath, James Tate, Yehuda Amichai, Adrienne Rich, Walt Whitman, Jorie Graham and James Wright.

Listen to a sample Craft Class podcast, for free: Download

Where to start at The Writers Studio?

New York City: Level ILevel II | Level III | Level IV | Level V | Advanced Poetry | Tutorial

Online: Level I | Level II | Level III | Level IV | Online Intermediate Poetry | Online Advanced Poetry

Tucson: Workshop | Intermediate | Advanced

San Francisco: Workshop | Intermediate | Advanced

Amsterdam: Workshop | Intermediate Workshop | Advanced | Online

LD Teacher Training: Teacher Training for LD Students

Success Stories | Student feedback | Hear it from the writers | Press |  Mailing list