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Bad Behavior: Creating Complex Characters

Begins Tuesday, April 14, 2015 Create characters that readers will love to hate! When writing fiction, we sometimes shy away from making our characters behave badly. Or they turn out exactly like us — kind, friendly people (right?). But this intermediate course is your chance to indulge the not-so-good sides of your protagonists. We’ll explore Read the Rest»

Being Yourself on the Page

Begins Tuesday, April 21, 2015 Your friends think you’re funny, but does your personality come through in your writing? Does it translate to a wider audience? Can strangers connect and relate to your work? Turning yourself into a character in your creative nonfiction work is harder than it sounds. You need to make specific choices Read the Rest»

Blogging 101

Monday, April 27, 2015 Blogging is a great vehicle for creativity, self-expression, freelancing – and building a writing career. But where to begin? This single-session workshop will introduce participants to the “blogosphere” and explore different ways to create interesting, accessible, and fun content for blogs. What we’ll cover: An overview of different systems, including Blogger, Read the Rest»

Blogging 201

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 Take your blog to the next level! If you’re a writer, journalist, or communicator interested in “going pro” and stepping up what your blog can do for you, then don’t miss this single-session workshop. Dig deeper into your material and learn how to use content marketing strategies to expand your audience Read the Rest»

Business Writing Fundamentals – ONLINE

Online course materials available: Monday, February 16, 2015 First live chat: Monday, February 23, 2015 Improve your communication in the workplace, regardless of where you are on your career continuum, with a class that fits your busy schedule. Unlike any other business writing training, we use the unique lessons of fiction to help you tell Read the Rest»

Creative Cohort

Meets monthly beginning Wednesday, April 29, 2015 The Cohort returns! Join this community of advanced writers — exclusive to students who have completed one of our In a Year programs or Advanced Workshops. The Cohort is a place for writers to continue growing, build relationships, and keep renewing their passion and project focus. Author and Read the Rest»

Creative Writing Essentials

Begins on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 Learn the essentials for telling a good story! Basic storytelling craft is at the heart of fiction and creative nonfiction. This introductory eight-session course covers the elements that make up a good story, including character development, plot, scene building, and language. Whether you’re looking to write fiction (short stories, Read the Rest»

Experimental Writing: Story Collage

Thursday, May 28, 2015 Visual artists use collage by combining small, different parts to create a new, larger whole. The same is true for writers! In this single-session workshop, we will explore the idea of collage in writing and how we can use collage to create more original, complex, and engaging short stories. We’ll look Read the Rest»

FREE February Write-In

Saturday, February 21, 2015 Beat the winter blues and make some progress on that draft with a day of writing and supportive company in the warm and cozy StoryStudio space! From 10am to 4pm, the studio will be open for a day of writing. You may come and go as you like. Bring your laptop Read the Rest»

Gift Certificates

Give the Gift of Creativity! StoryStudio Chicago gift certificates are the perfect present for the writer in your life. Encourage Grandpa to finally write those memoirs, send cousin Sally to class to finish that novel of hers, and help your BFF turn her hilarious emails into Live Lit. After all, everyone deserves the time and Read the Rest»

How to Be a Writer

Begins on Thursday, April 30, 2015 You’ve always wanted to write. Maybe you wrote awful poetry in high school or you’ve kept a journal for most of your life. You have a lot of ideas but don’t know what to do next. How to Be a Writer is the perfect place to start! This four-week Read the Rest»

Improv for Writers

Monday, May 4, 2015 Writers can learn a lot from improv: how to push tension, build scenes, and take risks in their work. Join writer, performer, iO veteran, and Second City instructor Susan Messing for this unique single-session workshop that will use the techniques of improv to strengthen your writing and stretch your boundaries. Don’t Read the Rest»

Junk Drawer Workshop

Begins Wednesday, January 21, 2015 All writers have them: half-finished, forgotten, and rejected stories and essays sitting in a junk drawer. Join us this winter and breathe new life into those orphaned drafts! The Junk Drawer Workshop is designed for intermediate writers of fiction and non-fiction who want to give and get feedback on their Read the Rest»

Just Get Me Started!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 Having trouble staring down the blank page? This workshop will give you exercises to help you get the first words out. We’ll write story beginnings and learn to enjoy the process of starting from a word, image or idea. It’s a great way to dip your toe in the pool of Read the Rest»

Location, Location: A Sense of Place in Nonfiction

Begins Monday, April 20, 2015 The hallway outside the boy’s locker room in your middle school. The pier where you launched canoes at summer camp. The rotten first apartment you rented with your college friends. Everything happens somewhere. Capturing the significant locations in your life not only helps you discover new meaning in your surroundings, Read the Rest»

Mastering the Mental Game for Writers

Thursday, April 16, 2015 The Secret? It’s 80% mental! Athletes have known this for decades–how to visualize success and reach their competitive dreams. The same is true for writers! In this one-night class, author and life coach Sara Connell will help aspiring and established writers move past mental blocks, clarify goals, and find new joy Read the Rest»

Meditation & Writing

Saturday, May 9, 2015 Clear your mind and get new ideas on the page! Discover the connection between meditation and writing in this single-session class. When writers feel blocked or frustrated, negative thoughts take over and destroy creativity. Meditation frees the mind to move away from the criticism and negative self-talk that keeps our ideas and Read the Rest»

Memoir(ish): Telling True Stories

This class is sold out! Please email us to be added to a waitlist. Begins Monday, April 13, 2015 You have favorite stories to tell about your friends and family, and journals full of stories about yourself. You want to write about these people and experiences, but where to begin? Memoir(ish) will show you how to Read the Rest»

Novel Beginnings: The First 50 Pages

Begins Thursday, April 16, 2015 Thinking about writing a novel? Have some ideas but not sure how to get started? You’re not alone — and now’s the time to put your thoughts into action! This class will use exercises and discussion to map out our novels, including how to develop outlines, flesh out character, and Read the Rest»

Novel in a Year

Meets monthly. Email us to be notified when the next session is scheduled? This is the year to write your novel! Novel in a Year is a unique opportunity to join a writing cohort, study novel craft, workshop key scenes, measure your progress, meet goals and deadlines, give and get support for the long slog Read the Rest»

Open House & Free Class

Thursday, March 26, 2015 Spring is the season for starting something new– so grab your notebook and head to our Open House! Join us for coffee, tea, and conversation with other writers, and then stay for Creative Writing Game Night. We’ll have two fun, free sessions: learn about plot, character, and other craft elements with Read the Rest»


Saturday, April 25, 2015 Boost your creativity and strengthen your writing muscles with an energetic morning of prompts, prompts, and more prompts! The goal is simple: to stretch your imagination and give your writing muscles a workout — and have fun doing it. You’ll spend each session working through several in-class exercises followed by casual Read the Rest»

Quick Stories

Begins Thursday, April 16, 2015 How low can you go? (Low wordcount, that is.) Challenge yourself to discover just how short your story can be by exploring Quick Stories. The popularity of very short stories (also called flash fiction) and essays is growing. Learn the skills required to create these tiny masterpieces, which are often Read the Rest»

Real World Grammar

Thursday, March 5, 2015 Can’t remember when to use “me” or “I”? Wondering when to use commas? Whether you’ve forgotten the basic rules, never learned them, or just want to make your writing more clear and effective, this hands-on workshop is for you. In this single-session class, we’ll tackle the day-to-day grammar questions that come Read the Rest»

Scene Workshop

Begins Wednesday, April 15, 2015 Whether you’re writing novels, memoirs, short stories, or essays, all great works have one thing in common: well-crafted, compelling scenes. Scenes are the building blocks of any story. They develop characters, build conflict, advance plot, and support the larger arc of a piece. Discover what makes our favorite scenes work in Read the Rest»

Short Stories: Beginning, Middle, & End

Begins on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 Construct a story piece-by-piece in this 8-week course! Short Stories: Beginning, Middle, & End is perfect for newer writers—or those returning to the craft—who want to learn the basics of storycraft and begin to understand how to write a piece of fiction. We’ll talk about it all: character development, Read the Rest»

Speculative Fiction Workshop

Begins Wednesday, April 15, 2015 Strike out toward new writing frontiers, and then bring your vision to the workshop table! Sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, alternate history — these stories pose particular challenges to a writer. Now there’s a class that will help writers of speculative fiction create alternate realities that feel as familiar to readers as Read the Rest»

Writing About Parenting

Saturday, May 2, 2015 How do we write about our parenting and children in an honest way? And how do we connect our stories to other readers? Writing About Parenting covers the unique opportunities and challenges the experience of parenting presents to nonfiction writers in this increasingly popular genre. For instance: What are the privacy Read the Rest»

Writing the Landscape: Summer Retreat at Ragdale

Friday, July 17 – Sunday, July 19, 2015 All spots are SOLD OUT! Please email us with questions or to be added to the waitlist. Ragdale and StoryStudio Chicago are pleased to announce an exceptional writing retreat with author Patricia Ann McNair. Join us July 17-19, 2015, at The Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois, a Read the Rest»

Youth Summer Creative Writing Camp

Two sessions: June 22-26, 2015 July 13-17, 2015 Do you love to write? Do you spend your free time scribbling in notebooks, scratching poems in the margins of your math homework, and thinking up stories and characters? Do you dream of writing a best-selling novel some day? Then this workshop is for you — guaranteed Read the Rest»