Creative Writing at The New School

Creative Writing at The New School has a long history of encouraging trans-disciplinary and cross-genre study. Introductory level workshops at The New School welcome both first-time writers and experienced writers who are new to a particular genre. A gifted poet might work to develop characterization skills in a fiction course, while a novelist might hone the ability to capture an image through language in a poetry workshop. Program director Luis Jaramillo encourages all students to experiment like beginners, free from preconceived notions of a given form, open and sensitive to the vast possibilities new genres afford. Here is a look at introductory and beginner-lever courses at The New School this spring:

Writing for Artists

21655615100_7102f3b00cWriting is performance. Visual artists, designers, musicians, writers, dancers, filmmakers, actors, artists of every kind come together in a supportive workshop environment to develop their writing skills. Students practice the skills of argumentation, research, and clarity of expression that benefit critical pieces as well as the kinds of writing they are likely to have to produce  as professional artists or critics in the field.  In the first half of the class, students learn the craft of critical writing, from the ground up—constructing one analytic essay in increments. The second part of the semester is devoted to putting these skills into professional practice, as students write artist statements, reviews of current work, personal essays, creative pieces, and more. Students read top critics in their fields as well as writers from the canon particularly relevant to their own work. With Rebecca Reilly. 15 sessions, Mondays, 6:00-7:50pm. Jan. 25-May 16. More information.

Beginning Poetry Workshop

7998457379_c260265924"A poem," said William Carlos Williams, "is a small (or large) machine made of words--efficient, with no unnecessary parts, doing important work." In this workshop, students learn how to build verse, from the individual word through lines and stanzas to the finished, polished poem. Poetic inspiration is explored: what activities can summon it and how to use it when it happens. Writing exercises help students practice basic elements of the craft, such as line breaks, voice, and openings and closings. Students read a variety of modern and contemporary poets, selected according to the interests and needs of the class. In every class meeting, students' poems are read and discussed to clarify their strengths and develop students' understanding of the process of revision. 2 sections: Section A with Kathleen Ossip. 15 sessions, Thursdays, 6:00-7:50pm. Jan. 28-May 12. More informationSection B with Richard Tayson. Online, 15 weeks. Jan. 28-May 12. More information.

 Introduction to Fiction

5158937321_a062841b50This course is intended to encourage and guide students who are starting to explore the many creative possibilities fiction affords. Through reading assignments, writing exercises, and discussions, we consider character development, dialogue, point of view, and significant detail. Attention is also paid to recognizing good ideas, developing stories, finding the best structure, and honing one's own unique voice. The majority of class time is spent reviewing projects by students, which are workshopped on a weekly basis. 2 sections: Section A with Robert Lopez. 15 sessions, Mondays, 8:00-9:50pm. Jan 25-May 16. More informationSection B with Sharon Mesmer. Online, 15 weeks. Jan. 25-May 12. More information.


Beginning the Novel

Girl_reading_a_Memento_by_Radek_JohnIn a relaxed and supportive but intellectually rigorous atmosphere, this beginner's course explores the delicate alchemy that produces excellent fiction. In our attempt to pinpoint exactly why we feel certain works are successful, we scrutinize character, tone, point of view, setting, plot, and dialogue, with a focus on the metaphor as a resonant thematic pattern. Close attention is paid to craft, to the necessary artifice behind the art of fiction. The course is taught as an interactive workshop: Students submit chapters from their novels-in-progress for group assessment. Most sessions include a topic presentation and a discussion of assigned readings. Ultimately, students must internalize the skills they learn until those skills become second nature. With Catherine Texier. Online, 15 weeks. Jan. 28-May 12. More information.

Introduction to Creative Nonfiction

13331433504_f4bb011df8_bThis workshop is for serious beginners as well as more experienced writers who want to delve into the still-evolving genre of creative nonfiction, which includes personal essay, memoir, documentary, and literary journalism. Through in-class writing and weekly assignments, students develop the skills to build a narrative frame around real-life events and situations. Student work is read and discussed in class. Readings from both The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present, edited by Phillip Lopate, and Vivian Gornick's The Situation and the Story guide our considerations of the choices made by James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Natalie Ginzburg, Walter Benjamin, and other masters. Instructor TBA. Online, 15 weeks, Jan. 25-May 12. More information 

 Journalism Basics for the Digital Era

Journalism_and_Media_at_Griffith_CollegeWriting a well-structured, accurate news or feature story that resonates in today’s multi-platform landscape is a critical skill for journalists. Students interested in the craft of journalism are challenged to write clear, interesting stories on deadline and suitable for a variety of media including newspapers, websites, magazines, and some forms of social media. With plenty of encouragement, insider tips and more, students learn how develop news and feature story ideas, how to write reviews and columns, how to structure a story from start to finish, how to find sources, how to conduct interviews, and how to produce marketable pieces. Students are also be introduced to the fundamental skills of being a journalist beyond writing, such as research, tone, fact-checking, pitching outlets to sell their work and ethics. With Richard Huff. Online, 15 weeks. Jan. 28-May 12. More information.

CE Spring 2016 Catalog CoverView The New School's Spring 2016 Continuing Education catalog here. Registration is open now! 

For questions about Creative Writing courses call 212-229-5611, or write to Laura Cronk at

About The Author


Founded in Greenwich Village in 1931, Creative Writing at The New School continues to promote, engender, and shape innovative literature.