Though the bulk of our workshops take place at our Bethesda location, The Writer’s Center offers additional workshops in Capitol Hill, and Glen Echo, as well as offerings Online. Please be sure to double-check a workshop’s location.
If you have accessibility needs, please review our accommodations and services and let us know how we can assist you prior to the workshop start date.
How to Choose Your Workshop
Everyone! From people who want to try out writing or would like help getting started, to those more experienced writers who want to learn more and get better. Learning to write is an on-going process that involves perfecting and using many skills at once, and even published writers profit from editors and readers who help them refine their work.
- Guidance and encouragement from a published, working author
- Instruction on technical aspects such as structure, diction, and form
- Kind, honest, and constructive feedback directed at the work but never critical of the author
- Peer readers/editors who act as ‘spotters’ for sections of your writing that need attention and who become your community of working colleagues, even after your workshop is completed
- Tips on how to keep writing and integrate this “habit of being” into your life
- Tactics for getting published when ready
- Attend every workshop session you possibly can
- Share your own work
- Comment on and share your ideas about your peers’ work
- Complete instructor prompts or reading assignments
- Complete the workshop response form at the end of the course
If you’ve never been in a writing workshop before, regardless of the skill level you think you have in writing, we strongly encourage you to start with a beginner level workshop. Here you’ll learn more about the environment of the workshop—how to give and receive helpful feedback, how to address problems with the work without criticizing the author, and how to incorporate multiple (and sometimes conflicting) ideas into your revision work.
Online courses at The Writer’s Center follow a message board format, with no set meeting schedule. The instructor will post a lesson and assignment each week, and you’ll have the entire week to complete the material on your own time. When you post an assignment, you’ll receive feedback from the instructor and other participants. Online workshop registrants will receive an email shortly before the start date containing log-in instructions for our online platform.
These workshops will help you discover what creative writing really entails, such as:
- getting your ideas on the page
- figuring out which genre you should be working in and what shape your material should take
- learning the elements of poetry, playwriting, fiction, memoir, etc
- identifying your writing strengths and areas of opportunity
- gaining beginning mastery of the basic tools of all writing, like concise, accurate language, and how to tailor their particular use in your work.
These workshops will build on skills you developed in the beginning level, designed for writers who have:
- taken a beginner level workshop
- achieved some grace in using the tools of language and form
- and have projects in progress that they want to develop further
- in addition, you may read and discuss some published works
Participants should have manuscripts that have been critiqued in workshops on the intermediate level and have been revised substantially. These courses would also be appropriate for people earning or in possession of advanced degrees in writing. Advanced courses:
- focus on the revision and completion of a specific work
- run at a faster pace with higher expectations of participation
- will reward the persistent writer with deep insight and feedback into their work
Master classes are designed for writers who have taken several advanced workshops and have reworked their manuscript into what they believe is final form. Master classes are unique opportunities to work in smaller groups with distinguished writers on a specific project or manuscript.
Of course, art is not science; The Writer’s Center recognizes that individual writers of all experience levels need to find their own place in our programs. If you’d like advice on which courses will be right for you, please call and speak with a member of our staff.