Writing Classes

Fall 2019 Classes in Port Townsend, Washington (Oct 12-13)

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This fall I’ll be offering two classes at The Writers’ Workshoppe in Port Townsend, Washington. Space is limited, so sign up soon! More info HERE.

Start a Book You Can Finish

SATURDAY, OCT 12 / 10am-4pm

Maximum 12 students / $150

 This full-day course prepares you for success by focusing on the writing process, craft and feedback. First, we examine early and crucial creative decisions that help set your book on an exciting and healthy trajectory, as well as common pitfalls that can derail a book. We also discuss different processes and creative habits, and look at tested systems for accountability. Finally, you'll describe your book idea and read the opening of your book to the class (if you've already begun) and put classroom concepts into practice, ensuring that your novel, nonfiction or memoir work is sturdy enough to weather the long voyage from page one to “The End.”

This class is open to writers of all levels. Please come to class with 13 copies of a document that has a 2-3 paragraph description of your book, followed by the book’s opening 2 pages (note: the sample is optional, but please come with the synopsis).

Finish Your Book and Sell It

SUNDAY, OCT 13 / Noon-3pm

Maximum 12 students / $100

Every year, thousands of first-time authors are paid in advance for their debut books. In this one-day intensive we’ll focus on the complex work of preparing your book for submission, including sourcing the best literary agents, building a platform, and the fine art of query letter writing. Students will come away.

Teaching a Summer Camp for Teens (July 8-12)

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Summer 2019 Teen Writing Camp

This summer I’ll be teaching a week-long day camp for teens who want to write fiction. I wish we’d had something like this when I was a kid! Space is limited and it’s almost full already, but if you’re interested, please read more here…


This one week fiction camp will provide teens with the opportunity to practice writing and telling stories through a diverse range of writing activities, special guests, engaging readings, and field trips. Together with Peter, students will work on building lively characters, exercising the range of their narrative voice, and understanding the interlocking elements of powerful and engaging fiction. The session will culminate in a community reading where Scribes will have the opportunity to share their work! All skill levels welcome.

Location: Hugo House

Dates: July 8 - July 12 (Monday through Friday)

Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm


Upcoming Classes: Never Be Boring, Advanced Personal Essay, Fiction III

Rule #1: Never Be Boring (There are No other rules) — at Hugo House (feb 2019)

There is no rule to writing great fiction and creative nonfiction except to “never be boring.” Also, please try not to be confusing or vague about important information. We’ll focus on compelling openings of stories, essays, memoirs, and novels through a combination of discussion, reading, and workshop.

More info HERE.

Advanced Personal Essay: Finding a Way Through — online class through Creative Nonfiction (April-June 2019)

“If other people are to care about your life, art must intervene.” - Hilary Mantel

Transforming actual people and events into characters and plot elements in an essay can be disorienting, but this is how we turn what would otherwise be journal entries—written for the author’s benefit—into literature, which exists for the benefit of readers.

This class is designed for those who have already explored the basics of personal writing and wish to explore specific techniques for turning a personal anecdote into a publishable essay.

Specifically, you will look at some typical structures of the personal essay, and how those formats help authors avoid common pitfalls of the form, such as getting lost in a giant pile of information and/or coming off as solipsistic/maudlin.

More info HERE.

Fiction III at Hugo House — online class through Hugo House (May-June 2019)

This class will build upon craft learned in Fiction I and II. Students can expect advanced readings, regular workshops, and feedback from their classmates and instructor. This course takes place online through our partners at Wet Ink, and classes can be done at your own pace throughout the week.

Register HERE