Student Feedback

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I had been experiencing 10 years of writer’s block, and after one year in the Tucson branch of The Writers Studio, I published my first piece. ISAAC KIRKMAN, Tucson Advanced Workshop student
I am so grateful for this school — for its methodology, for its vision, for its support. Thank you!! REBECCA COONEY, NYC student
I just wanted to write a quick note to express my admiration for your handling of the two Level I classes that I had with you. Let me first say that I enjoyed your classes very much, but more than that, I found them intelligent and motivating. You allowed a variety of opinions in your class, but your own critiques were authoritative, well-considered and although they were clearly set up to be the “last word,” they never seemed pedantic or arbitrary. Good work. I can see how much is involved in being a good teacher, especially in an area as subjective as writing. TONY OLIVA, former NYC Level I student
Dear Michele, perhaps you have felt this before: In some professional/educational relationships our expectations as students/consumers are surpassed, and by far, and in unexpected ways. It occurred to me as I wrote this last assignment, with some real difficulty, that what I have been seeking this whole time has been a safe voice or viewpoint from which to tell a particular story. I had no idea about that when I sat down to write; it never entered my mind. Until now I have experienced these courses as something like a wine tasting, or trying on costumes and looking in the mirror to judge effects; maybe like something that someone with a little too much time and money does to entertain themselves. When I got your crit today – and Jem’s too – I got something that maybe years of counseling could not do – I saw that persona on the stage that Joan Didion spoke of in the excerpt you posted – and was able to recognize and accept the reality of my life in ways more flush and genuine than heretofore
possible for me. As you say – it could be broached in no other way. I know when I have passed a personal milepost; I suddenly feel a lot older, and more like my skin is my own, and it’s worth keeping. For helping me to get there, I want to say Thank you. JOHN VLIET, former Online Level I student

In addition to the book, one of the most worthwhile benefits of my Writers Studio experience has been the ongoing friendship and writing support of a writer in Scotland and a writer in Florida. My experience with The Writers Studio shows that writers — wherever they live — can benefit from the New York studio training and be part of an international community of writers. The teacher’s comments on the first exercise helped me tremendously with rewrites. They alone were worth the cost of the class!
LIBBY JACOBS, former online student, author of Wolf Note (Rager Media 2005)

What really stood out to me was how lucky I am to have you as an instructor — and to have such a supportive group as the one we’ve had this term! You always emphasize and try to build on what people are doing right, whether in their exercises or in their comments in class — but at the same time know how much to press to move someone forward. Thank you! a student in the Advanced Poetry Workshop
Having let my creative writing chops atrophy over the years because of the demands of making it as a scientist has not done much to feed my real needs. I must say this class has provided more stimulation, support and interesting exchange than I could have possibly hoped for. DON ROBIN, Online student
An 11-year hiatus from writing because of children was long enough; the exercises and all of my peers have made this workshop something I really look forward to every week! The benefits gained from sharing my work with others are invaluable. Prior to this I never shared any of my writing — it takes courage and patience to be critiqued. The teacher and all the other students in the class are the perfect critics. DIANE JOHNSON, Online student
Just a note to thank all at The Writers Studio, managers and fellow students. I am overjoyed after finding out yesterday that I received two honorable mentions for short stories I submitted to a literary contest here in Canada and both will be published in the Canadian Writer’s Journal. Both stories began as exercises for classes at the Writers Studio. I feel more driven than ever to carry on. The guidance, encouragement and an almost one-on-one support we get from the teacher, the feeling that even we beginners are indeed writers, is precious and appreciated. And on top of that is the friendship and lively interaction happening with my fellow students. Their work, so diversified and talented, is bested only by their observant critiques. PAMELA SHERWOOD SHELTON, Online student
I just wanted to tell you I love the class so far. My classmates are such great writers with unique perspectives. The setting is right out of a dream — the old table surrounded by the dusty bookcases, and of course just the incredible peace in the place. I adore the command you have of our classroom. It is strong, and it really makes me feel like our work is important. The first exercise was already a breakthrough for me. My husband says he’s never seen me write like this before, or as excited about writing before. TERESA SHEN SWINGLER, Tucson student
I wanted to find something more long-term than a two-year academic program. The workshop has grown from being a place where I brought in work every week to becoming a group of people who know something about my writing process and the things I’m struggling with. LESLIE FINDLEN, former NYC student
My tutorial sessions with Joel Hinman were some of the most enlightening hours I’ve spent working on my writing. I’ve taken workshops before, but never has the critique of my work made so much sense. Because of the original way he put things, I was finally able to get my head around what I needed to do to improve my stories. Without his help, I never could have written what I ended up writing. And I am so proud of what I ended up with. STEFANI ZELLMER, NYC student
Eleanor has a unique gift as a teacher: she is able to respond to what I might see as flaws in my writing and turn them into opportunities to learn and grow in the creative process. SAGE BERGSTROM, Tucson student
I wanted to thank you for one of the most constructive, kind, encouraging, and supportive classes I have yet to experience in my writing world. I learned so much from the critiques, not only of my own work but also from reading everyone’s pieces and listening to you explore with each of us how we might move forward and make breakthroughs, however small, in our writing. NANCY PHILIPP, Tucson Level I student
I am so impressed with your teaching model and the quality of your staff that I will probably remain a student for many years to come. Nice work! GLENN GILCHRIST, Level II student
I’ve tried a number of writing groups and a few of those one-week writing conferences and nothing compares to what this class taught me about fiction writing. Your critiques were incredibly helpful, too. Thanks again. PAT MALAY, Online Level I student
I LOVED THESE TWO SESSIONS — in no small part because of what you brought to each chat, each new assignment — how you delved into the technique of each of the varied narrators we’ve studied over the two sessions… My experience with The Writers Studio has been wonderful — an amazing learning experience that truly went way beyond my wildest expectation of what an online writing class could be. It has left me with such a wonderful sense of writer camaraderie, such good feeling and good sharing, that I know I will sorely miss. ANNE BRENTAN, Online Level I student
The teacher’s generosity, support, kindness, praise, direction, suggestions, and hard work have given me a love of writing and helped me to find my unique voice. SHIRLEY SULLIVAN, NYC student
I had an amazing experience in my level I class with Abby. Not only were the exercises stimulating, Abby was a tremendously talented and thoughtful instructor. Her critiques struck the right balance of being sensitive and constructive, as well as insightful. She facilitated the meetings in an intuitive, non-threatening, fun manner. Abby helped to bring out the best in us. The method itself is brilliant as well and has noticeably influenced my writing (as well as helped me “unblock” myself). I definitely plan on taking another class. SARAH BERKLEY, San Francisco Level I student
I’ve had the pleasure of listening to a few archive podcasts I chose based on poets whom I wanted to emulate or tried to decipher, especially the writing of poets whom I found obscure and, therefore, resisted. Even though I’m just a beginner, and only completed the online Level I classes, I feel so privileged to be able to “sit in” on these discussions, some dating back to the 1980’s, with advanced students led by the incomparable Philip Schultz. Through the reading of well selected poems, great didactic pearls, and insightful questions and lively discussions, the students — and I include myself, an active listener — are led to discover for ourselves the unique art and technique of each poet under discussion: how these writers pulled it off in their writing, whatever it was, that worked for them. Each class is a great prompt for us to experiment, to make available these tools, once we recognize them, in our own writing. For a beginning poet, this is invaluable, this emulating of masterful writers, this learning and exploring of emotional connection in our writing. Not to mention the fun I’ve had — I feel I’ve been invited to a great party, often sharing in the perplexity and laughter, an honored guest and active participant, in your great community, from so far away. Thank you, Mr. Schultz and The Writers Studio, for making these historical classes available to your students. EMILY YONG, former Online student
Thank you for a great WS II class! I was so happy to study fiction writing with you for two terms. It was a joy to be participate in the class. Because of you, I feel ready to move on to level III; thank you! JENNIFER ROBERTS, Online student
I am really enjoying the classes and the styles. I took a number of courses at another program and they were good, but your program is far superior. JUDY MEIBACH, NYC student
I agree with the classmates that your feedback is fantastic! You have really targeted areas of strengths and challenges for me in a way that is inspiring and full of new ideas of where to go with my revision. I am truly grateful and learning a lot! SW, Online Level II student
I am registered in a Level I workshop and I am finding it very useful for establishing a regular writing practice. It’s extremely helpful to aim for a new piece of writing every week — it keeps me moving and leaves little time to let the negative voices in that can block writing! CATHERINE L., Level I student
My teacher’s writing exercises and their emphasis on crafting a persona narrator were immensely helpful. I submitted a completed short story that I began in our class this summer to a short story contest and won third place. TAYMIYA ZAMAN, Level I student
The Writers Studio has clarified and organized my thinking about writing, given me the opportunity to practice a wide variety of techniques, and provided a supportive group of people to critique my efforts. Eleanor Kedney is an insightful teacher and a remarkably acute reader. I have learned a great deal from being in her classes, and my writing has improved significantly. DAVID ANDERSON, Tucson Advanced Workshop student
I’ve been taking classes with The Writers Studio for over a year now and come away learning something new every time. The Studio takes a different approach than traditional writing classes in that each week a new contemporary writer is introduced and students are instructed to write in the style of the writer. This affords us the opportunity to expand our writing skills and put new tools in our toolboxes. Definitely a unique experience. FEENIX PANRUDKEVICH, Tucson Intermediate Workshop student
It’s hard to express what a difference you and The Writers Studio have made, not just in my writing, but in my life. I had some crushing, humiliating experiences with a previous writing program that just crumpled me up inside. The techniques you’re teaching us are such a practical, actionable way to express the ideas that used to get clobbered into silence by my inner critics. Your humor, insights, and encouragement have made a huge difference too. KAREN MCINTYRE, Online Level I student
So far, my experience with the instructors at The Writers Studio has been excellent. Both you (Liz Kingsley) and Michele Herman have been amazing teachers. In reading your reviews of everyone’s work, I could see how dedicated to doing a thorough and competent job you are, how seriously you take it. I’m really grateful for that. I was also constantly impressed with the subtlety of your intellect. I was fascinated to see how many times you would be the one person to truly understand what each of us exactly meant to say. I would reread a piece after reading your review and I would see it with different eyes. I keep coming back to The Writers Studio because I know I’m learning and getting my money’s worth. LUZ ANGELA SARMIENTO, Online Level II student
These ten weeks have been a blast. The best thing, by far, was meeting people who share a passion for words. It has been a treat to come to class and see what people bring and to learn from what we have to say about each other’s pieces. The positive critical review is a powerful thing. I’m learning about the craft and process of writing and how to read like a writer. DONNA AVERSA, Tucson Workshop student
I’ve taken a number of classes both online and in NYC and I’ve never found a school like Writers Studio nor a teacher like Therese. Her faith and guidance led me to experiment with my writing. I’m a better writer because of her. Therese helped me shape my writing and my voice. Because of her I’m not just trying to be a writer, I AM a writer. SAKINAH HOFLER, NYC Level I student
Being with the Writers Studio has had an enormous influence in my writing, inspiring me and encouraging me to really take it and myself seriously as a writer. I loved working with Nancy and with The Writers Studio method, and have done my best to pass it on and inspire the students in my classes here. JENNIFER GRYZENHOUT, Advanced Amsterdam Workshop student
I have an MFA from the University of San Francisco, but as Brian MacDonald pointed out in my Level 1 class, MFA programs are good at teaching the craft of writing, i.e., plot, character, scene, dialogue, story arc, etc. What they don’t teach is how to create a narrative voice. As Brian said, “it’s the voice of the narrator that grabs the reader and keeps him reading.” And Joel, my Level 2 teacher, has been very helpful in sending me samples of young adult narrators. I’m looking forward to exercising the narrative techniques I’ve been learning here. MAGGIE WELLS, NYC Level II student
It is a genuine privilege to be enrolled in Eleanor’s Advanced Workshop, and in the Craft Class. Eleanor is truly a treasure, as I am sure you know. We are so lucky that she lives in Tucson, is so devoted to TWC’s philosophy and methods, and is such an excellent teacher. I have taken writing classes before, but the WS classes have been by far the best, and the Advanced Course, in combination with the Craft Class, is a special gem. BARBARA MOREHOUSE, Tucson Advanced Workshop student
Michele, I am having a difficult time moving on from your class! You are a gifted teacher — and writer — and also created an classroom environment that was warm and generous — I’m not sure how this is achieved online! I learned a tremendous amount about writing, my own nascent writing process, and how to begin to think and write like a writer. Your gentle, thoughtful and close readings and reflections were a gateway for me. I will miss you terribly! Thank you again for two wonderful sessions of classes. PEGGY STONE, Online Level II student
The problem solving challenge of each week’s assignment at The Writers Studio gave me a trove of tools to apply to my assignments. I found myself thinking about the assignments we were given, and reaching into the “tool box” of problems I can solve using the various narrators we hired to write our pieces. That’s when I realized how much I had learned. When you can take something from one context and apply it in another, you have a technology, not just a one-off exercise. As I have begun to understand more of the various sources of a good piece, it’s also possible to adapt them. One of the other big values of The Writers Studio, compared to other writing programs, is steadiness and consistency. With you, I have had the experience of participating in a reliable, well-grounded process with good quality control and a commitment to OUR writing. The Writers Studio has also given me a structure. The steady rhythm of weekly assignments, the chats and the critiques have helped me to develop an equally steady writing practice, allowing me to experience myself increasingly as a professional writer. In spite of the fact that I get paid to write (non-fiction), it’s only now that the practice of writing consistent with my personal goals is becoming embedded into my daily life. NADJA KRYLOV, Online Level I student
Thank you for The Writers Studio. It’s revitalized my writing practice and stretched me in new ways. It’s challenged me to improve my craft beyond writing for myself into something I hope can be accessible to others. I could never have learned what I have so far on my own. KATIE GLEASON, Tucson Advanced Workshop student
I think I already sent you an email, but I really wanted to thank you again for being my first writing teacher. You’re the perfect combination of helpful and kind, pointing out room for improvement, but not in a way that would have a would-be writer running for the hills with their tail between their legs. I really appreciated the way you did things and I just wanted to say thank you again. Your encouragement led me to Level II where I’ll probably need to have a thicker skin in regard to critiques, but your kind feedback in Level I has given me enough of a base to benefit from them. JULIE HAWKINS PEREYRA, Online Level II Workshop student
I just registered online to continue my tutorial with Therese Eiben. I also wanted to tell you that Crack the Spine published my short story “The LateTrain” in a recent digital issue and has selected it for publication in its annual print anthology and asked permission to submit it for various prizes including the Pushcart. I owe much of my recent success to Therese, who has helped me enormously over the time we have worked together. Thanks also to The Writers Studio for its wonderful philosophy and format. MARLENE MOLINOFF, Tutorial student
Thanks so much for the great classes. They are a huge eye opener! I have spent most of my life focusing on numbers and technology, plus I think it was more fluke than anything else that I passed my English classes being Dyslexic. I found out about the Writer’s Studio through an article about Philip Schultz “My Dyslexia.” ABENAA, Online student

The emphasis on the persona narrator keeps me focused on the emotion and not disconnect. Also I have learned to take risks and not be afraid to embarrass myself.
CATHERINE WOLF, Student in Online Advanced Poetry

In general, I’m in the camp that finds creative writing courses of any type to be of limited value. I’ve taken courses at august institutions, which only reinforced this belief. The Writers Studio is different, and it is different because it focuses specifically on craft and the narrative voice. The method is to offer a fiction or poetry example each week (usually alternating between the two) and analyze it according to the voice of its Persona/Narrator (“PN” in Writers Studio parlance). Tone (“the surface, the sound of language on the page, like sunlight glinting on the ocean”) and mood (“the undercurrent that draws you in”) are also examined.
The Studio’s goal is not to network or score an agent, and not to focus on publishing one’s work per se. Instead, the intent is to help students by experimenting with and trying to emulate the craft involved in a wide range of other voices, with the ultimate goal of discovering one’s own voice(s). I find it quite helpful and thought-provoking, and the weekly deadlines are also important in producing “kernels” of work (short poems and two-page story beginnings) throughout the workshop.
THOMAS PLETCHER, Hudson Valley Workshop student
I want you to know that your wisdom and support mean a great deal to me. Your commitment, not only to the writing process and craft, but to your students shines out like a lighthouse. Your dedication to everyone’s story finding the right technique so it can sparkle in the world inspires me to learn more and try harder. Thank you from me and all the stories I want to share with the world. SHIRLEY DUNN PERRY, NYC Advanced Poetry student
THANK YOU, THANK YOU FOR ONE OF THE BEST CREATIVE WRITING CLASSES I’ve ever taken. I could not recommend it more highly. The focus on technique is invaluable and our instructor is such a constructive and supportive teacher. ANN LEES, Online student
I AM THOROUGHLY ENJOYING THE CLASS. My instructor and fellow students are so intelligent and creative. It is a pleasure and honor to work with them and share our pieces. The online format is surprisingly wonderful. Although I do hope to meet a few of them at least one day and put a voice to their words. MARGOT LAEDLEIN, Online Level I student
I have learned more in your class in the last few weeks than I have in any class I have taken in the past. And at 54, that is a lot of classes. KATHLEEN SPECK, NYC and Online student
I’ve had lots of stories and essays accepted at The Massachusetts Review, Tahoma Review, The Laurel Review, Matador Review, BUST, Today &Yesterday, SunStruck, recently, so I am very excited. My book Girl, World will be out later this year. All this good news is due to what I learned at The Writers Studio. I miss you and my time at TWS. I’m a better writer, reader, and human being for it. ALEX POPPE, Former Online Level IV student
You show up for twenty weeks in a row, giving your best 100% at all times. I marveled at that energy. I had taken a few writing classes/workshops before I discovered The Writers Studio and I had gotten pretty disillusioned. They were helpful at the beginning, just for the experience of being compelled to write and then having others read what I’d written. At first, that was electrifying. But then I realized that with one or two brief exceptions nobody was actually teaching anything, and the critiques were not helpful. I decided to try WS after reading Jennifer Egan’s comments about her experience there, especially about connecting with the underlying emotion of a story. Your critiques regarding the creation of a narrative persona who is connected to but not engulfed by the situation and its emotions were so eye-opening. Also, I’d felt for a while that my “voice” was kind of snarky and sarcastic, and you called me on that — going for the easy laughs — a couple of times this term, which was a wonderful reality check for me. Working close to models was also extremely helpful. It felt kind of magical doing the “madlibs” approach and feeling sentences and then a situation get up off the floor and start to jitterbug. Then watching other students’ writing come to life as we worked our way through the term confirmed the value of this approach. (And the knowledge that there are developmental stages we will go through was so helpful — like you teachers have a path and know how to follow it.) MB, Online Level I student
Dear Rachael, I was a student in your Level II Online classes in fall 2013/winter 2014. Just wanted to let you know that a story I developed out of the Daniel exercise won first place for flash fiction at the Rochester Writer’s Spring Conference held at Oakland University in Michigan. This is the first time I’ve won any type of writing contest and know my growing skill set is largely due to WS training. This note is a thanks to you and all my instructors at WS. PAT GIBSON, Online Level IV student
Leading quietly, pushing softly, guiding patiently, and always respecting the writer in us – this is how I have come to know you. Each weekly chat has been a lively discussion about craft and technique and an exchange of creative ideas for an exercise or for our own work in progress. (I have collected all the transcripts to keep for future reference.) Your feedback to each assignment? Always honest, clear and helpful. This term, my first with you, has been a great experience. I want to thank you for that. VREDY LYTSMAN, Online Level V student
Lucinda, the Campbell chat was so valuable—most of all, your remark that “If you connect to some real emotions in the girl or the father, it won’t be stupid.” To me this is the essence of the WS approach, the work to recognize, value, and convey the emotional content of the characters, the story. Without it (not to mention, of course, all the technical coaching), I’m not sure I’d have been able to get as far as I have. I grew up in a family where feelings were supposed to be as quiet, or non-existent, as possible. So, to be constantly invited to convey them in fiction is a wonderful thing. JANE SHERWIN, Online Level V student
I’d like to thank you for the class. I enjoyed it immensely. Your comments on all my work were helpful, and those on my last submission were super instructive. You gave examples of how the Antrim narrator would handle many of my sentences, and that specificity really helped. So thank you! CHRISTINE TROTTER, Online Level III Workshop student
While it’s certainly not fiction, I wanted to let you both know that an essay I wrote was selected for Elizabeth Gilbert’s anthology Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It: Life Journeys Inspired by the Bestselling Memoir and will be published by Riverhead Books. It’s certainly in the memoir-genre, but I can definitely say I wouldn’t have written it had I not been enrolled in The Writers Studio workshops over the past two years. The technique of TWS lends itself to any kind of creative writing and helped me gain the voice and confidence to write such a personal piece. CARA BRADSHAW, Online Level III Workshop student
Still reading and writing and hopefully, we’ll see each other very soon. But I do miss you and my time at TWS. I’m a better writer, reader, and human being for it. MARIA GALEANO, NYC Level IV Workshop student
Just a note to say how much I enjoyed the online class with you this term, and what a good teacher I think you are. I really enjoyed the exercises, and thought we did some great ones. I also found your critiques very thoughtful, clear and helpful; ones that I could readily see how to act on. Thanks so much for a great class experience! NANCY SKINNER, Online student
The Writers Studio has been a home to me for close to five years, and my understanding of my own messy process has been deeply enriched as a result. Truly, I am not the same writer I was when I started at The Writers Studio. I am more playful, less fragile and have been able to connect to bolder and more embodied narrators…all as a result of your extraordinary method and the incredibly generous and astute teachers who teach it. To my level IV teacher…I want to take a moment to thank you for so many things. But first, and most essentially, for being an outstanding teacher. Truly. For your clarity and rigor and the generosity of your insights. I feel as though I passed through something profound in your class, something I can’t quite name, but can feel. And I don’t think I’m mistaken in having felt that change in my classmates as well. Consumed as I’ve been with my beyond full-time job, I love to be reminded of my other (first) passion. I still hold out hope that I’ll be able to re-engage with The Writers Studio at some point in the future, even if only to attend the Craft Class. I remain deeply grateful for all that I learned in my years there. I give thanks to The Writers Studio for helping me find my words, my narrator, and my spoken voice. TRELLAN SMITH, Former NYC Master Class student
I have learned a great deal this term and I know, despite my progress, I have a great deal more to learn. Your class has opened my eyes to new ways of writing. CATHERINE WOLF, Online student
Thank you, as always, for your careful critique and constant encouragement during the writing process and during these past several years that I’ve been studying with you. MICHELLE SEATON, Online Master Class student
Level 1 provides not simply the opportunity to write and critique pieces in a workshop setting, but a complete reframing of how to approach issues of narration, mood, and tone in everything we write. Rebecca Gee was an always instructive, always insightful, and always encouraging guide through my first level of the program, no matter how much difficulty I had with the material; I could not have asked for a better introduction to The Writers Studio. HAHI OMAR KHALIL, NYC Level I student
Rebecca Gee is a great writing teacher who was able to help all of us identify the story within our stories. Her enthusiasm for writing was contagious, injecting us with the excitement needed to endure the struggle with writing. Her feedback was not only helpful, it was rich, gentle, and heartfelt. Even when I felt I missed the mark when it came to some of the writing assignments, I always felt encouraged with the direction she gave me. It brought me a lot of clarity. She was a real pleasure and truthfully, I’m sad the class has ended. TIM GERAGHTY, NYC Level I student
I have loved your class, Lucinda. You’re an awesome teacher! The insightful critiques you’ve given have been very helpful and are much appreciated, as well as all of the observations and writing instruction you’ve shared in chat. DEB BALD, Online Master Class student
Therese is a terrifically smart teacher. She teaches the WS method using great materials. Her explanations are clear, her feedback on writing assignments is both really sensitive and astute. She gave me great ideas about how to improve my own work, ideas on directions I might take if I chose to continue with longer pieces. I was most struck by how she worked with all the students in the class geared to their approach to the writing, their background, their style. She remembered our pieces in detail and was able to see and comment on our individual progress. It was a great experience. EMILY NEUSTADT, Former Online Level IV student
I am so impressed by the way that The Writers Studio treats its students. I’ve really enjoyed the workshop, and know that I have found the right place to grow my craft. PAULA SWORD ORR, Level II student
Whitney Porter is an excellent instructor. I have learned a great deal in her class. She has encouraged all of us, giving critiques we can benefit from so we may develop into better writers. JANET IVARI, NYC Level I student
I want to thank you for the time you have spent with our class and for your dedication to developing our creativity. This class has been exactly what I needed – a place for creative expression and growth, and time to spend with a like-minded community. I am so grateful for your intellect and encouragement and I look forward to learning from you again next term. ANNIE CARTER, NYC Level I student
I really enjoyed the class. I thought your overall direction, insight into the writers’ works and comments on my work were all very helpful. I learned a lot. RICH WILKIE, Online Level II student
I have LOVED this class and learned a tremendous amount! It has been incredibly enlivening and challenging on so many levels, so THANK YOU!! MARTHA KAHANE, PhD, Online Level I student
Lost for what to do after my first mystery manuscript received eight nice rejection letters from crime editors and my agent decided to get her MBA and enter venture capital (I still wonder if it was my writing that caused this), I enrolled in The Writers Studio, a New York-based workshop run out of an elementary school in the Village. It was the best thing I could have done. In three years, I learned many things, but the most important lessons were about the big three: voice, tone and mood. RICH ZAHRADNIK, former NYC Level IV student
Great news! I’ve been accepted into the NYU MFA Creative Writing Workshop in Paris! Thank you, so very much, for writing a letter of recommendation on my behalf. It meant so much to me personally, and likely played a big role in my having been accepted. Even more, though, you and all the instructors at The Writers Studio have been patient, generous, and inspirational. I cut my teeth there and have learned something new with every exercise. All your insight and encouragement has meant the world to all us Writers Studio master level students. Thank you, again, for everything. KATHI HANSEN, Online Level V student
My daughter really loves writing, and I believe we have you to thank for bringing this out in her. You know how influential a teacher can be in a person’s life, and that’s surely been the case with you and her. MOTHER OF A HIGH SCHOOL TUTORIAL STUDENT
I cannot ignore my need to write. It has been over one year since my last course at The Writers Studio. I trust you and deeply value your mentorship. At times, I find myself surprised by my confidence and think I am writing something worth developing. As such, I am more interested in having feedback that is deliberate and geared toward my becoming a professional than feedback that is supportive and encouraging. While I am arriving at you from left field, I have never felt more committed to catching the ball, and I appreciate in advance your thoughtfulness. DREW WALLACE, former Online Level I student
I still can’t believe my luck stumbling upon such a vibrant community of smart, like-minded, engaged writers. TAMAR SCHREIBMAN, NYC student
I want to tell you how much I am enjoying your class. I have been stretched, pulled and prodded and feel as though I have many more tools in my arsenal and a much broader base from which to operate. I have especially enjoyed the teacher’s succinct comments and criticism and have taken much of it to heart. I also want to compliment you and the school on the selection of work for the exercises. Every one has been a gem. I find myself reading, and even watching movies, with a completely different ear and eye and that is thanks to you. I am grateful. ANNIE SMITH, Online student
I’ve been so, so happy with my tutorial. It has been an extraordinary creative experience, bringing enlightenment, encouragement and a marked change to my work. Perhaps the greatest gift has been renewed faith; in myself, as a writer. NYC Tutorial student
I’m wrapping up Level II with Joel and have thoroughly enjoyed and improved as a writer through the experience. My past experiences with online classes were terrible, but Joel and this group have changed my mind about the potential for learning through online communication completely. HOLLY JONES, Online student
The workshop has definitely given a structure to my writing. It has also made my writing life more challenging when I’m stuck for ideas, in that it provides a wonderful springboard or launch pad. Most of my short stories have begun as Writers Studio exercises. ELIZABETH ENGLAND winner of the 2001 Grand Prize Fiction Award from Inkwell Magazine, while an NYC student
Eleanor’s class has provided me with a whole new approach to my writing. Her insightful and supportive feedback has helped me understand how to strengthen individual poems, but even more importantly, she is helping me understand how to become a better poet. I strongly recommend her classes to anyone who is serious about becoming a better writer. ELLEN SULLINS, Tucson student
I want to let you know how very much I have enjoyed being a part of this class. The constructive critiques were so helpful, and everyone was so supportive. I absolutely loved the experience; it made me feel like maybe I can do this writing thing. TRISH STACK, Online Level I student
Finding the WS is like unearthing an already-polished gem: overwhelming, thrilling, exciting, joyous, unnerving and soothing. It is an experience to cherish, replete with writing treasures to last me a lifetime. I can’t wait to see what is uncovered in the next session. Thank you! JULES BRADYCHOK, Tucson Workshop student
I am deeply enjoying writing poetry that rises up from a place inside me. You have a piquant sense of humor as a teacher and tremendous sensitivity. I love your choices and flexibility and sense of hopefulness about a student’s work. You’re an asset to the arts and to life. Online Level II student
I know that you sometimes share good news in your e-mails from students or former students. I was in Phil’s advanced group for years when I lived in the Bronx and Philadelphia. Your readers might like to know that I’ve now published 63 poems in 37 different journals and anthologies, as well as a novella and several short stories. I still use A LOT of what I learned at The Writers Studio. I have poems forthcoming in Poetica and Passager. PATRICK CABELLO HANSEL, Former NYC Master Class student