If you have questions, we have answers! Read through the FAQs below or contact us at 773.477.7710 or email us for more information.
What is StoryStudio Chicago?
StoryStudio Chicago is the center for writing and related arts. Our philosophy is simple: teach the art and craft of writing in a positive, open, and encouraging setting where students can discover their unique voices.We teach classes in creative writing (fiction, creative non-fiction, memoir, freelance writing, and more) and business writing for people at all levels of skill and interest, as well as creative and academic writing and tutoring for teens.
What classes do you offer?
We offer a wide range of classes and ongoing workshops for students of all levels – from absolute beginner to published author – in all genres. Many of our classes meet weekly or bi-weekly and run for six or eight sessions. We also have workshops and roundtables that meet monthly.Our single-session classes are also very popular for those of you with limited time to attend classes.A full list of classes can be found on our Courses & Events page. We’re always adding to the schedule, so if there’s something you’d like to see offered, let us know!
Who are your classes for? What are your students like?
The wide diversity of our students is one of StoryStudio’s greatest strengths. Our students come from all walks of life, all ages, and all kinds of writing experience. In one class, you might meet a recent college graduate, a young professional, a working parent, and a retiree, who all have one thing in common: the desire to write.
What makes StoryStudio different?
StoryStudio is a community of writers and provides a warm, encouraging environment for writers. We have couches and comfy chairs, artwork on the walls, coffee and tea (and often cookies!) in the kitchen. We’re laid-back and fun, but also serious about writing.We’re run not by academic administrators, but by working writers who started the center because we wanted to create a place to hang out with and learn from other writers.
Where are you located?
I’ve never written anything before. Will I fit in?
Absolutely! We love writers who are just starting out. For a list of introductory writing classes, check out our courses and events.
I’ve been writing a long time/have my MFA/am a published author. Does StoryStudio have anything for me?
Of course! We have a number of ongoing workshops, advanced workshops, and roundtable groups for advanced writers. We also bring in guest authors to teach intensive one-night classes on craft elements. For a list of workshops, see ourcourses and events page.
How do I decide what class is the right one for me?
What’s the difference between a class and a workshop?
The focus of a class is on writing, discussion, and analyzing written works. There may be an element of sharing work, but the majority of class time will be spent on writing exercises or class discussion. The focus of a workshop is on sharing written work and getting feedback from the instructor and fellow students. There may be some writing exercises or discussion of craft, but the majority of class time will be spent on workshopping student writing.
Can I sit in on a class before I sign up for one?
Our classes are small and the workshop process requires trust and community, so we don’t allow casual observers. However, we do have a range of one-night classes throughout the year, which are a great way to dip your toes in the water and get a sense of what StoryStudio offers.
Who are the instructors?
Our committed and talented instructors are all working writers who bring their experience and expertise to the classroom with warmth and humor. You can read more about them on our Instructors page
How are the classes structured? Is there much reading or homework?
It depends on the class! Classes are structured differently according to type, so while an introductory class will have a strong emphasis on writing, reading, and discussion, a workshop class will spend most of its time giving feedback on student manuscripts.
How big are classes?
We cap most of our classes at 15 students to foster great discussion and lots of individual feedback.
I’m not able to commit to an 8-week class right now. What else can I do?
Do you offer discounts, scholarships, or sliding scale fees?
StoryStudio is entirely funded by student tuition, so we can’t offer a sliding scale. We work hard to keep our tuition affordable while still paying the electric bill and compensating our instructors (thereby helping to support working writers).
My job took over my life and I can’t come to class. Can I get a refund? Do you pro-rate courses if I miss a session?
Alas, sometimes unexpected commitments arise and we understand that. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer refunds, pro-rated fees, or credits once the class has begun. (Please see our full refund policy for more information.)
Do you offer online classes?
Not yet. But do check back in a couple months.We do have many students outside of Chicago who work with our coaches by phone or email. To learn more about private instruction or manuscript critique, check out our coaching page or call us at 773.477.7710.
I need help writing better for work. Do you have classes to help me?
Yes! We have a business writing program with open enrollment courses for individuals and customized trainings for companies and organizations. You can learn more here or call us at 773.477.7710.
My child’s teacher has said s/he needs to write better at school. Can you help?
Absolutely! StoryStudio offers youth writing classes and youth coaching. For details, visit the course page, or call us at 773.477.7710.
My child is an excellent writer and I want to encourage her/his storytelling. Do you have classes for young writers?
Yes! Our youth program offers creative writing classes for youth in grades 6 through 12. Our tutoring staff also works individually with teenagers on creative writing projects.
My girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse/best friend/casual acquaintance always talks about writing. Can I buy a class or a gift certificate for her/him?
Yes! A gift certificate to StoryStudio is a wonderful gift for a writer or for someone who wants to give it a try. You can find out more here, or just call us at 773.477.7710. Our gift certificates are printed out on an actual card with a personal message from you inside.
How did StoryStudio start?
Our founder, Jill Pollack, wanted to hang with other writers and focus on her fiction. While teaching at another institution, Jill got the idea for StoryStudio and opened the doors in 2003 with a whopping four students. Today, StoryStudio has more than 800 writers come through each year and offers programming at two locations.