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creative writing workshops nyc

The 17 best writing classes in NYC

Harness your inner Zadie Smith at these stellar writing workshops for every type of writer on every type of budget

Whether you want to write the next murder mystery and hope it gets picked up by Hollywood directors, or  you want to ensure that your work emails and reports are concise, grammatically correct and rhetorically sound , these writing classes in NYC will help you put those ideas onto paper. And hopefully into some of the best independent bookstores and NYC libraries (fingers crossed!). The remarkable literary institutions employ authors-cum-teachers to teach courses in everything from personal essays to poetry, so you’re sure to find a discipline that suits you. And if you need inspiration, re-reading the best books about New York should do the trick. Enjoy.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to classes in NYC RECOMMENDED: The best BYOB painting classes in NYC

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NYC writing classes

Advanced Business Writing

1.  Advanced Business Writing

Once you have your grasp on the essentials of grammar and writing (like knowing what a semicolon actually does), you’ll want to enroll in a more advanced course to ensure every word you write is chosen with precision. In this course, you’ll learn how to analyze your audience, shape your tone and message for persuasion, education or communication and you’ll work on various strategies for planning your writing and ensuring that you are utilizing rhetorical tools and informative structures properly. At the end of the course, you’ll have sample writing projects that you can add to your job portfolio and you will be ready to use your writing as a tool to further your career.

Effective Business Writing

2.  Effective Business Writing

While creatives may want to learn how to write the next great American novel, there are a lot of professional reasons that one might want to improve their writing skills. Virtually every job will require some form of communication between individuals and departments and the ability to write coherent emails, proposals, memos or updates is an important skill if you want to survive in an office environment. Learning the fine art of grammar and the practical skills needed to communicate cleanly will pay dividends in the long-term.

3.  Creative Writing 101: 6 Weeks

One of the most inviting aspects of creative writing is how diverse of a field it is once you scratch the surface. Whether you are interested in writing poetry, short-fiction, long-form prose or even creative non-fiction or memoirs, you won’t need to look hard to find a vibrant community of fellow writers. In this introductory creative writing course, you can learn fundamental skills that can be applied to almost any genre of writing and you can get hands-on experience working in fictional and non-fictional styles to acclimate yourself to the variety of different styles of writing that you can learn and practice.

4.  Fiction Writing Level 1: 10 Week Workshop

If you are interested in flexing your creative muscles, you can enroll in an introductory fiction and poetry workshop to start looking for your own personal muse. In this course, students will all about the process of writing fiction and poetry. No one writes a world-changing poem on their first go and this class is about learning the art of revising, editing and expanding on your work in order to take the germ of an idea and turn it into a completed piece that expresses your own creative desires. Whether you are looking to write short form poetry or you want to write a 13-book series in your favorite brand of genre fiction, learning these basic techniques will be a vital boon to your work.

Grammar Essentials

5.  Grammar Essentials

English grammar is incredibly (and often needlessly complicated). Did you know that the reason you aren’t supposed to split infinitives is because someone in the 19th century wanted English to sound more like Latin? Well, if the basics of grammar continue to give you problems, you should consider enrolling in a course like this one. Here, you’ll get practical lessons in the art of writing clean sentences that clearly communicate your intended message and ensure that your writing isn’t giving readers the wrong impressions.

6.  Just Write

One of the biggest stumbling blocks that new writers face is that they overthink the preparation work and skimp on the writing work. Like any skill, you learn to write by practicing and the best way to do that is to write. In this regularly-held three-hour seminar, writers are encouraged to do just that: sit around a table and bang out some words while enduring the silent judgment of their peers (who are also using this as a time they are forced to write). While there is time for discussion, critique (and socializing), the outline of this program is simple: Just write.

Business Writing Bootcamp

7.  Business Writing Bootcamp

If you want a complete business writing education, consider enrolling in a business writing bootcamp. This course pairs the grammar lessons and technical writing skills of an introductory course with the rhetorical and persuasive writing training of an advanced writing course. This makes it a one-stop experience for students with minimal writing experience to start to master the important aspects of business writing. Improve your career opportunities and help improve the quality of your persuasive and informative projects with one of these immersive bootcamps.

Personal Essay Writing Intensive

8.  Personal Essay Writing Intensive

The personal essay has become a rather popular form of writing for mass consumption in recent years, particularly as the barriers to publishing short form content have been lowered (were one truly inclined, social media platforms make it almost effortless). In this class, you’ll learn how to brainstorm ideas and plan out the structure of the personal essay and how to build both pathos and ethos in your experiences and arguments. Similar to memoir writing, personal essay writing is about leveraging your own personal experience as a rhetorical tool and it is practical whether you are trying to persuade an audience, sell yourself to a company or institution or make a profession out of Op-Ed writing.

Stand-up Comedy One Day Intensive

9.  Stand-up Comedy One Day Intensive

Do you want to perform? Want to make people laugh? Want to tour the country? Well, consider learning stand-up comedy. While professional stand-up comedians make it look off-the-cuff, the process of writing a good stand-up routine involves a lot of fine-tuning and revision, particularly as you workshop jokes and tighten the set. In this intensive course, you’ll get a chance to try out some new material, get feedback and start the process of refining your jokes in front of professional comedy writers. Whether you are hoping to punch up a bit or start your first routine, this intrusive course will help you start refining your comedic voice.

The Editor’s Eye Intensive

10.  The Editor’s Eye Intensive

Not all aspects of writing are about being creative. Making sure that your work is properly edited, free of errors and written as tightly as you would prefer is an essential step to getting your work published. This course will help students learn the basics of editing so that they can identify things like improper grammar, incorrect word usage, clunky and awkwards sentences and overly verbose writing. This program also aims to help students develop the professional skills needed to work as an editor (since companies hire professional editors and freelance writers who don’t like editing will pay a pretty penny to have someone else handle it).

Screenwriting I: 10-Week Workshop

11.  Screenwriting I: 10-Week Workshop

If you have an idea that you think would be perfect for the big screen, you should consider enrolling in this immersive screenwriting workshop. Writing a screenplay isn’t like writing other forms of long-form fiction, so you’ll want to get focused training on how to write scripts that are cinematic, compelling and, most importantly, marketable. You’ll learn the art of writing dialogue, stage directions and providing actors and directors with the information they need to bring your vision to life. Whether you are interested in arthouse cinema or want to pen the next famous blockbuster, you’ll benefit from taking this course.

Memoir Writing Intensive

12.  Memoir Writing Intensive

If the personal essay aims to make an argument, then the memoir aims to tell a story. In this course, you’ll learn the art of transforming your personal experience into a compelling narrative that entices readers and helps make a broader point about how your experiences tell us something about the world. Slightly distinct from creative non-fiction, memoir writing is possibly the most personal style of writing that you can engage in. While memoirs have traditionally been associated with powerful heads of state and significant thinkers, the genre has become more welcoming to the perspective of the everyday, and in  this course, you’ll learn how your own lived experiences can become the thing of memoir greatness.

Songwriting Intensive

13.  Songwriting Intensive

Acclaimed songwriter Taylor Swift was recently named Time Magazine ’s Person of the Year, suggesting that writing music can have globe altering implications. If you want to learn the basics of professional songwriting and emulate your favorite music icon, consider enrolling in this songwriting course. This course will teach students how to write popular music, how to craft a perfect tune to go along with the lyrics and how to market the music to studios, producers and labels. This course covers a range of different genres, so whether you want to write R&B, pop, rockabilly, hip-hop or smooth jazz, this course will help you develop your skills and start writing the next great earworm.

Playwriting Intensive

14.  Playwriting Intensive

Live theater is one of the oldest forms of creative writing, dating back, at least to the early Grecians (and likely existed in some form even before the development of systematized writing). If you want to flex your inner Shakespeare, Beckett or Tennesse Williams, consider enrolling in this intensive playwriting course. You’ll learn how to transform the empty stage into a real world and you’ll learn how to write your plays to give the actors the tools they need to deliver the best performances possible. Writing for the stage is its own unique challenge and this course will give you the experience you need to start staging your own masterwork. Plus, for any aspiring Hammersteins, the course can also help you begin to write musicals.

Plot 1: Mechanics 3-week Intensive

15.  Plot 1: Mechanics 3-week Intensive

Hollywood screenplays, like all narrative, rely on structure to scaffold the story and build audience investment. Whether you are working with the traditional three-act structure most common to feature films, the five-act structures of classic stage plays or the one or two act structures common to modernist works, you’ll want to understand why narratives are structured in certain ways and how to use these structures to your advantage when writing a screenplay. This course will teach students the math that goes into writing a structured screenplay and give them hands-on practice scaffolding their story beats.

16.  Social Media Content Marketing: Blogs & Twitter at Noble Desktop

A lot of professional writing for mass audiences is now done online, with blogs and Twitter being important places to communicate and persuade your audience (like this article is doing now and in this class you’ll learn whether or not meta commentary like this helps your content marketing). In this class, you’ll get hands-on experience working with professional content writers to help you set goals, build marketing strategies and create a voice for your company or organization. You will also learn how to create a coherent brand identity for your online content and how to use platforms like Twitter to expand your reach, build a customer base and keep that base engaged with your content.

17.  Character Creation

Characters can really make or break a story. This Character creation class is a compact workshop for character creating and development, to help give you the skills to make your story work. The workshop will focus on areas like principles of characterization, consistency and effects of dialogue, plus more to help with your character-building and storytelling. It's a two-hour session with a teacher, working anywhere that suits you both and 1-2-1 to ensure you have thorough guidance and help. 

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creative writing workshops nyc

23 Best Creative Writing Classes in New York

Showing 23 courses that match your search.

Over-50 Memoir Workshop (McElwain)

The Writers Studio

This six-week online workshop is open to all writers over the age of 50 who are interested in writing their memoir. Each week we’ll do close readings of memoirs written by writers over 50, spanning a wide range of narrators and narrative approaches.


Categories: Fiction and Poetry

Start date:

Prerequisites: No prerequisites

Advanced Business Writing

Career Centers

This course teaches how to craft complex business documents, focusing on outlining, formatting, and using informative and persuasive techniques. It covers everything from determining the document's purpose and audience to planning and execution. Prior business writing proficiency is required, and the course is beneficial for those looking to enhance their professional writing skills​​​​​​.


Categories: Business

Open all year round

Prerequisites: Business writing proficiency equivalent to our Effective Business Writing course is required.

Playwriting Workshop Class

The Acting Studio

This class is an exploration of playwriting and its basic fundamentals. Our work is read aloud as a group, followed by discussion, and inspiring new writing of each other. The core focus of the class is on developing your voice as a writer.


Categories: Playwriting

creative writing workshops nyc

How to Write a Novel

Your story matters. Unlock your potential with daily video lessons from bestselling ghostwriter Tom Bromley, and finish your first draft in just 3 months. Learn more →

Explode, Careen, Compress: Approaching the Poetic Line

Brooklyn Poets

For five weeks, we'll discuss the ways in which poets use the line to different effect. We'll read (and write) poems that deal in compression, poems that suspend time and air, poems that seem to careen off the page, and poems that defy all the poetic "rules" of the line.


Categories: Poetry

April, 2024

Prerequisites: A writing sample of 5 pages of poems is required.

Sports Storytelling

The School of The New York Times

This course delves into journalistic techniques to tell compelling sports stories. It includes writing exercises, class discussions, guest speakers, site visits, and attending sporting events. Students learn basic reporting and storytelling skills, focusing on news judgment, researching, and writing articles. The course also features visits to iconic sports locations in New York and lectures from renowned sports journalists​​​​​​.


Categories: Sports

Prerequisites: Open to rising 10-12 students.

15-Week Screenwriting Workshop

New York Film Academy

NYFA’s Screenwriting School provides a range of programs for aspiring screenwriters, including degree programs (AFA, BFA, MFA) and workshops. Courses cover various media, like TV, web series, films, comic books, and playwriting. Students gain practical skills and develop a portfolio, with options for both in-person and online learning. Short-term workshops focus on specific skills like comedy writing, TV writing, and feature screenwriting​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.


Categories: Screenplay

Technical Writing Course

Learning Tree International

This course is tailored for individuals seeking to improve their technical writing skills, particularly in technical communication. It covers techniques for planning, writing, and editing technical documents, focusing on audience assessment, document format selection, and effective use of visuals and graphics. The course aims to equip participants with the ability to convey complex subject matter clearly and create informative content for their readers.


Categories: Technical

Upright Citizens Brigade

UCB's Improv 101 course offers an introduction to the fundamentals of improv and comedy. It's ideal for those seeking to enhance their performance skills, public speaking, or just have fun. The course includes eight 3-hour sessions, a class show, and free access to UCB shows​​​​​​​​​​.


Categories: Comedy

Travel Writing

Gotham Writers

Ideal for beginners, this 10-week workshop delves into travel writing. Participants will engage in lectures, exercises, and student project critiques, gaining a solid foundation in the essential skills and techniques for effective travel writing.


Categories: Travel

Science Fiction & Fantasy Writing I

Tailored for aspiring writers of science fiction and fantasy, this 10-week workshop covers the basics of the genre. It includes lectures, exercises, and critiques, making it a great starting point for beginners or a refresher for those already familiar with the basics.


Categories: Science Fiction and Fantasy

Playwriting I

A 10-week introductory course in playwriting, suitable for beginners. The workshop includes a series of lectures, practical writing exercises, and critiques of student projects, focusing on the fundamental techniques of playwriting.


Memoir Writing I

This 10-week workshop is designed for beginners or those seeking to revisit the basics of memoir writing. It offers a blend of lectures, exercises, and student project critiques, providing a comprehensive introduction to memoir writing.


Categories: Memoir and Nonfiction

So you’re looking for creative writing classes in New York

New York is a literary town. From the lauded Nobel Prize winners to the titanic authors that have emerged from New York City, there’s no denying its storied (pun intended) literary history, or the towering role that this city that never sleeps has played in shaping the landscape of our imagination. So there may be no better way to learn the craft of writing than by taking a creative writing class in New York.

This directory of the best writing courses in New York is meant to help you locate the right one for yourself.  We’ve included filters for price and genre so that you can quickly sort through the writing classes. And before you commit to any one writing class, consider the following questions:

  • Who is the instructor?
  • What is the price of the writing course?
  • How far away is the writing course in New York? Is there a remote alternative?
  • How long could the course last?

Got any questions about finding the right writing class in New York for you? Feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] . Good luck!

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Classes & Workshops

The New York Public Library offers more than 93,000 programs annually, serving everyone from toddlers to teens to seniors. Use any or all of the filters below to find a class that interests you. All classes are free unless otherwise noted.

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  1. The 17 best writing classes in NYC

    Looking for the best writing classes in NYC? Whether you prefer fiction or memoir, these writing workshops will help you fine-tune your abilities.

  2. The Writers Studio New York

    Any NYC classes that meet remotely are open to students from outside of the New York City area. The Writers Studio, founded in 1987 by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Philip Schultz, offers ongoing writing workshops — both on site and online — designed to help students discover and nurture their own voices.

  3. NY Writers Coalition

    NYWC offers free creative writing workshops to historically marginalized communities in NYC. Apply to be a NYWC Workshop Leader!

  4. New York City Writing Classes

    Explore our catalogue of writing courses. And here you will find information on Gotham’s various class formats and our teaching philosophy . We also offer free events in NYC (and on Zoom).

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    Writing a Tune to Your Life: Songwriting at Tremont Library. Explore your artistic potential with Creative Aging, a series of art workshops for adults 50 and older. This program will be held in person at Tremont Library.

  7. TOP 10 BEST Creative Writing Classes in New York, NY ...

    Top 10 Best Creative Writing Classes in New York, NY - May 2024 - Yelp - Lost Lit, Gotham Writers Workshop, Fledgling Writing Workshops, Cooper Union For the Advancement of Science & Art, The Writers Studio, Jacob Krueger Studio, Sackett Street Writers' Workshop, Noble Desktop, The Writer's Rock, Fullstack Academy.

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    Sackett Street Writers. 8,000+ creative writers since 2002 in NYC & ONLINE. Online Writing Classes. In Person Writing Classes. Instructors. ALUMNI. Consulting. MFA Application Consultation. Manuscript Consultation.