Need help with your writing?

Looking to build community ?

Trying to fill a hole in your calendar?

We’ve got free options for you.

Writing Groups

Truth-Based Crime Writing Group

Writers’ Group | Instructor: Ted Flanagan

Using as our theoretical framework Derek Raymond and David Peace’s ideas on the “anti-crime” novel, this workshop is for writers who see the crime novel as the great moral art of our time, and who want to explore the human condition through writing about the effects of crime, especially on the victims, rather than glorifying the crime itself. Peace has advocated for basing crime novels on real crimes. This group would be for crime writers that count folks like Manchette, Peace, Raymond and Price among influences, among many others. This group will meet once a month virtually in which two participants’ submissions (10 pages max) will be workshopped, followed by discussion of assigned readings that explore the form. Over the 10-week workshop everyone’s work will receive at least one workshop and detailed feedback by each member of the workshop.

Ted Flanagan is the author of Every Hidden Thing, a novel which the New York Journal of Books called, “A captivating, stylish, literary/noir mashup!”. Ted is a Paramedic and former daily newspaper reporter from central Massachusetts whose writing has appeared on Shotgun Honey and Cognoscenti, among other places. In addition, he served as a Recon Marine with 2nd Recon Battalion. He lives with his wife and kids outside of Worcester, Mass.

Fiction writing for beginners

Writers’ Group | Instructor: Ben LeRoy

Let’s talk about foundational concepts for storytelling and craft. This group is for people who are interested in, but haven’t yet started writing fiction or are early on in their efforts to write a short story or novel. 6 people maximum. First meeting 5/31.

  • Idea generation
  • Idea examination
  • Plotting or Pantsing
  • The Joy of Discovery
  • What are the Stakes? What (or Who) is in the Way?
  • Show Don’t Tell
  • It’s Okay to Go Slow
  • Trust Your Reader


Ben LeRoy was the founder and publisher of the critically acclaimed publishing companies Bleak House Books (2000-2009) and Tyrus Books (2009-2017) until the latter was sold to Simon & Schuster. He is also very sick of hearing himself mention these things because they are now far enough in the past that it feels embarrassing to continue to cite them as evidence of…he’s not exactly sure what. In addition to his time at Bleak House and Tyrus, he is the former executive director of the Independent Publishers Caucus and is currently a senior acquisitions editor at Crooked Lane Books.

Commercial Fiction

Writers’ Group | Instructor: Gorbo Smalish

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.



Seminar | Instructor: Melissa Faliveno | Date: TBD

Melissa Faliveno is the author of the debut essay collection Tomboyland, which was named a Best Book of 2020 by NPR, New York Public Library, Oprah Magazine, and Electric Literature and received a 2021 award for outstanding literary achievement from the Wisconsin Library Association. Her work has appeared in Esquire, Paris Review, Bitch, Ms. Magazine, Lit Hub, Brooklyn Rail, and Prairie Schooner, among others; received a notable selection in Best American Essays; and will appear in the anthology Sex and the Single Woman: 24 Writers Update Helen Gurley Brown’s Cult Classic for a New Era, forthcoming from Harper Perennial in May 2022.

The former senior editor of Poets & Writers Magazine, she has taught creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Catapult in New York City, and was the 2020–21 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Kenyon College. 

The Man in the Hole and How He Got there

Seminar | Instructor: Matthew Hefti | Date: TBD

Matthew J. Hefti is an author and attorney in Houston, Texas. Hefti’s debut novel, A Hard and Heavy Thing (Gallery / Simon & Schuster, 2016) was named one of the Top Ten Books of the Year by Military Times and one of the Top Ten First Novels of the Year by Booklist. It was chosen by the Women’s National Book Association as a Great Group Read. A Hard and Heavy Thing was also awarded the Wisconsin Library Association’s Outstanding Achievement. Hefti has contributed fiction and nonfiction to print anthologies such as The Road Ahead: Fiction from the Forever War (Pegasus books, 2017), Retire the Colors (Hudson Whitman, 2016), MFA vs. NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 2014), and others. His literary criticism and essays have appeared on websites such as Literary Hub, Electric Literature, and many others. A veteran of four combat tours, he spent twelve years in the us military as an explosive ordnance disposal technician. He is a co-founder and fiction editor at wrath-bearing tree.

Writing While Hiking: Telling Yourself the Story

Seminar | Instructor: Jason Buchholz | Date: TBD

Jason Buchholz’s acclaimed debut novel, A Paper Son, published by Tyrus Books in 2016, explores themes of migration, borderlands, heritage, and the sometimes hidden stories that bind us all together. He has ghostwritten books and book proposals for a variety of authors and as an editor he has fostered the development of dozens of manuscripts, both in fiction and nonfiction. He has also worked as a journalist and a travel writer. A current nonfiction project has him hiking and kayaking deep into the quiet landscapes of the many wilderness areas of Northern California, where he lives. When he’s not writing or reading he spends his time playing and traveling with his son and daughter. Jason graduated from UC Berkeley and holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco.

Sign Up For Collaborist Groups and Seminars