Upcoming Workshops & Programs

Write your way to a new you!


A Spoonful of Subplot Sugar: Adding Romance to Any Novel

Saturday, February 16th |1-4pm

Instructor: Amanda Arista
Tuition: Early Registration $50 (Members before 11:59pm, February 1st); $65
Not a member of The Writer’s Garret? Join here.

You’ve got yourself a thrillsome thriller. A fabulous fantasy. The very best of Westerns. It just needs a little something extra – but what? Fortunately, Amanda Arista is here to help you season your story to perfection… with a dash of romance! We’ll cover the who, when, why, and how of adding a romantic subplot to your story, integrating it seamlessly with your main storyline and bringing it all to a delicious conclusion. Bring your appetite – this class is a feast!

Little Red Retold: Modern Explication and Contemporary Fairy Tale Poetry

Saturday, March 2nd | 1-4pm

Instructor: Christopher Soden
Tuition: Early Registration $50 (Both members and non-members before 11:59pm, February 15th)
$50 (Members); $65 (Non-members)
Not a member of The Writer’s Garret? Join here.

Few know the beguiling, bizarre, and intoxicating genre of Contemporary Fairy Tale Poetry. From Susan Mitchell’s “From the Journals of the Frog Prince” to Louise Glück’s “Gretel in Darkness”, we will explore the unspoken, rich, mind-blowing subtext of familiar stories such as Little Red Riding Hood, The Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel, and many more. Together, we will uncover the surprising and revealing truths that modern poets bring to these shared cultural narratives and jump in to write our own versions of this intriguing genre.

Introduction to Creative Writing

March 6-27th (Wednesdays), 7-9pm

Instructors: Julianne McCullagh & Bill Marvel
Tuition: Early Registration $110 (Members only before 11:59pm, February 19th); $125
Not a member of The Writer’s Garret? Join here.

Everything begins with a story. “Once upon a time…” “Did you hear…?” “Call me Ishmael…” Pacing, plot, suspense, revelation, and so on. The art of narration is at the foundation of all good writing from the simplest joke to the most complex novel. How does the start a story catch the reader? How do we draw the reader through the story twist by turn (’I couldn’t put it down.”)? And — often the hardest part – how do we find the story’s ending, so the reader goes away with the feeling, not just of having read something but with the satisfaction of having had an experience? We will be writing and then reading to one another, testing our stories in the best laboratory a writer could ask – the minds and hearts of other writers. In that way we will be both teaching and learning from one another.


Creative Nonfiction: The Beauty of Truth 

Saturday, March 16th | 1-4pm

Instructor: Gayle Reaves
Tuition: Early Registration $50 (Both members and non-members before 11:59pm, March 1st)
$50 (Members); $65 (Non-members)
Not a member of The Writer’s Garret? Join here.

The tools of fiction writing — character development, dialogue, story arc — can be applied to many forms of nonfiction, from news writing to personal essays, opinion writing, and biography. Journalistic values like brevity, clarity, and adherence to fact, meanwhile, are still critical for these more literary versions of nonfiction writing. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gayle Reaves, who has helped judge the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference’s Best American Newspaper Narratives contest for several years and edited the annual anthologies of winning stories, will talk about what newspaper and magazine editors look for in these kinds of freelance pieces. Participants are encouraged to bring samples of their writing (or ideas) to work on and discuss.

Failure for Beginners: 100 Submissions in 1 Year 

Saturday, March 23rd | 1-4pm

Instructor: Nadia Wolnisty
Tuition: Early Registration $50 (Both members and non-members before 11:59pm, March 8th)
$50 (Members); $65 (Non-members)
Not a member of The Writer’s Garret? Join here.

In 2017, Nadia Wolnisty went from having almost nothing published to six books, essays, short stories, a gallery show, poetry in journals, poetry on menus, invitations to out-of-state readings, anthologies, interviews, zines, and poetry prizes. She works in an office, lives in Duncanville, and has no MFA or connections to speak of.

So how did an awkward, insecure poet take the plunge into the world of submissions and find success? She decided to be really bad at it. Like, trying–on purpose–to get 100 rejection letters in one year. You can’t really be afraid of getting rejected if rejection is the goal.

Her rejection letters piled up–but so did acceptances. With this approach, you too can learn how to get 100 rejections in one year (and maybe find success along the way). You’ll learn the basics: navigating Submittable, fine-tuning your biography, selecting the right journal, and keeping your submission log organized, and then put it all to use by submitting your piece to the journal of your choice right there in the classroom. You’ll find that you, too, are perfectly equipped to fail.

Revising Like an Editor

Saturday, March 30 | 1-4pm

Instructor: Amber Helt
 Early Registration $50 (Both members and non-members before 11:59pm, March 15th)
$50 (Members); $65 (Non-members)
Not a member of The Writer’s Garret? Join here.

To write is to revise—But how do you find the distance necessary to edit your own work? In this workshop, professional editor Amber Helt will walk you through the process of self-editing like a pro. We’ll discuss the different types of editing passes, how a professional assesses a manuscript, and where to start revising your own work. This workshop will focus on developmental and line editing for fiction writers. NOTE: Participants will submit a scene from their own writing (>1000 words) ahead of time to be workshopped by the group.

Writing the Wicked: Crafting Villains and Antiheroes in Speculative Fiction

Saturday, April 6th | 1-4pm

Instructor: Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
Tuition: Early Registration $50 (Both members and non-members before 11:59pm, March 22)
$50 (Members); $65 (Non-members)
Not a member of The Writer’s Garret? Join here.

From Dracula to Lisbeth Salander to the Wicked Witch, speculative fiction is full of characters we love to hate and hate to love. A well-crafted antagonist or questionable protagonist can make a story memorable. In this course, we will examine memorable villains and antiheroes in fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery and talk about creating believable motivation for the unrelatable. Bring your own speculative fiction work to discuss.

A Writer’s Walk through Deep Ellum

Saturday, April 13th | 1:30-5pm

Led by A Kendra Greene

Early Registration $50 (Members before 11:59pm, March 29th); $65
Not a member of The Writer’s Garret? Join here.

Essayist Kendra Greene serves as our guide on a writing adventure through historic Deep Ellum. Learn some history you never knew, get a close-up look at the great contemporary art that covers the streets, and hear the sounds of music and humanity unlike anywhere else in Dallas. Throughout this walk, Kendra will draw our attention to Deep Ellum’s historic sites and challenge us to write our own creative response to Dallas’s most vibrant neighborhood, interspersed with adult refreshment stops in some of Deep Ellum’s most iconic locations. At the end, we will contribute our own flavor through impromptu street corner readings.

Ekphrasis: Poetic Response to Visual Art

Sautrday, April 27th | 1-4pm

Instructor: Logen Cure
Tuition: Early Registration $50 (Both members and non-members before 11:59pm, April 12th)
$50 (Members); $65 (Non-members)
Not a member of The Writer’s Garret? Join here.

Ekphrasis, or responding to visual art in poetry, is an important literary tradition. This workshop will explore as ekphrasis as a tool to discovery and increased poetic skill. Come prepared to generate work in response to visual art on display in the ArtSpace gallery. This workshop is suitable for all poets at all levels of experience.