A List of Online Writing Schools

Mix-and-Match Your Writing Classes

Caitlin Kunkel
24 min readFeb 15, 2023

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With the very sad news of Catapult shutting down their magazine and writing school (I’ve taught for Catapult since 2017, and it was by far my favorite place in terms of staff support and the excellent students I met), I wanted to put together a list of other venues that consistently offer online, accessible writing classes on a variety of topics. If you’re interested in any of these schools, I recommend signing up for their mailing lists to find out about upcoming courses.

I’m a teacher and writer myself who has taught at The Second City, colleges like Northwestern and Pacific Northwest College of Art, and a plethora of other organizations and theaters. I also TAKE a lot of classes, so I’m highly invested in finding places that provide a good student experience, excellent value for the price, and treat their teachers well.

DISCLAIMER: I have not taken classes at all of these, so a listing is not an endorsement! I simply want to gather information in one place. I share my thoughts when relevant. As always when pulling information off the internet, some of this may be incorrect/incomplete. You can leave the names of other venues in comments and I’ll look them up. Please assume I have good intentions and am dedicated to expanding this resource rather than being rude to me for any omissions, thank you!!

Much like my ever-evolving list of publications that publish humor and satire, I will do my best to keep this post updated. If you run or teach at an online writing school, comment below or email me at caitlin.kunkel@gmail.com with the details and I’ll add it in. I’m also adding in individuals who have consistent class postings, a website, and a strong track record of teaching at the bottom of this post. Intensive workshop cohorts like CRIT by Tony Tulaththimutte or platforms like Udemy or Coursera won’t be covered here, nor will university extension programs.


Physical Location: Manhattan, NY

Online Options: Yes, they offer a small, curated selection of ongoing classes that you can find here.

Speciality/Focus: Literature, reading groups, and writing workshops in humor, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction

In Their Own Words: “The 92nd Street Y, New York is a world-class cultural and community center where people all over the world connect through culture, arts, entertainment and conversation. For over 140 years, we have harnessed the power of arts and ideas to enrich, enlighten and change lives, and the power of community to repair the world.

We are a studio, school and workshop where dancers, musicians, jewelry-makers, ceramicists, visual artists, poets, playwrights and novelists — acclaimed professionals and eager amateurs both young and old — nourish the human spirit through the arts.”

Thoughts: I’ve never taken a class here, but my co-teacher at Catapult, Elissa Bassist, teaches humor writing for them! I’ve also been to many performances in their Upper East Side space and I love the work they do.

Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW)

Physical Location: NY, NY

Online Options: Yes, workshops and many of the events appear to be online. Since 1991, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop has nurtured community and connection through writing workshops. Workshops are one of the most important ways we build a writing community to make each other sharper and braver writers.” (love this mission statement!) Find their upcoming events and workshops here.

Speciality/Focus: The workshops are exclusively for BIPOC (Black and Indigenous, and People of Color) writers, with a focus on generative writing.

In Their Own Words: “The Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW) is devoted to creating, publishing, developing and disseminating creative writing by Asian Americans, and to providing an alternative literary arts space at the intersection of migration, race, and social justice. Since our founding in 1991, we have been dedicated to the belief that Asian American stories deserve to be told. At a time when migrants, women, people of color, Muslims, and LGBTQ people are specifically targeted, we offer a new countercultural public space in which to imagine a more just future.

We achieve this by:

  • Building an inclusive pipeline
  • Nurturing a new generation of Asian diasporic writers
  • Creating a sanctuary space for the imagination
  • Taking stories from the margins and pushing them to the center”

Thoughts: A very impressive org that’s 30+ years old! “Today, AAWW provides a unique sanctuary space for Asian American writers. We continue to host live events in our space, offer fellowships for emerging writers, hold workshops for youth and seniors, and publish The Margins, our digital magazine. Read more about our current programs here.”

Blue Stoop

Physical Location: Philly, PA

Online Options: Yes, all listed here

Focus/Speciality: “Each fall, we offer 8 week classes in Foundations of Fiction, Foundations of Poetry, and Foundations of Nonfiction (Essay, Memoir, or Journalistic Writing). Each spring we offer 8 week classes in intermediate and advanced topics, and our summer 8 week offerings are designed to be generative or allow writers to try a brand new form like screenwriting, novel writing, or using archives to create poems. Throughout the year we offer shorter classes (4 week, weekend intensives, and 3 hour) on various forms and topics of writing craft and the writing life.”

In Their Own Words: “Blue Stoop nurtures an inclusive literary community by creating pathways to access writing education, inspiration, and professional support, and celebrating Philadelphia’s rich writing tradition.

Blue Stoop envisions a radically inclusive literary community where Philadelphia readers and writers are thriving and supported.

It all started when a critical mass of Philadelphia writers came together in May 2018 to start working towards creating a hub for literary culture — a place where writers and readers in Philadelphia can meet, work, take or offer high-quality and inclusive writing classes, and hold readings and events.

As we work towards the dream of a physical space of our own, Blue Stoop is a community-driven project to promote, sustain, and nurture the writers and readers of Philadelphia and beyond. We are a fiscally sponsored 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization through Culture Works Philadelphia.”

Thoughts: They are also looking for teachers here! “Blue Stoop seeks teachers with a passion for community-based education, ample publications, and who have already done the immensely important work of decolonizing their syllabi. At Blue Stoop, we want to make specialized teaching opportunities available, outside of academic institutions, to experienced and fledgling writing instructors. As with all of Blue Stoop’s endeavors, our pedagogy holds intersectionality as a core tenet.”

The Center for Fiction

Physical Location: Brooklyn, NY

Online Options: Yes! Listed here, they tend to have a lot of reading groups that study a variety of topics, but host writing workshops as well. Sign up for their newsletter to learn more. They also have a great section on their site called “Writing Tools” with blog posts.

Speciality/Focus: Literature and fiction-heavy

In Their Own Words: They have a long write-up of their illustrious history here!

Thoughts: I’ve never taken a class here, but I’ve gone to many of their excellent events and readings both virtually and in person (and I’ve done their Novel Approach before, where someone recommends 12 books to give you insight about where you are in your life, highly suggest!)

Corporeal Writing

Physical Location: Portland, OR

Online Options: Yes! Find them here

Speciality/Focus: Fascinating and unique course offerings, with many focusing (as the name would imply) on the body—for example, somatic journaling, writing about disability, and gestures. One of the most specific and interesting places on this list—I’ll be taking a class in the future!

In Their Own Words: “Bestselling writer and teacher Lidia Yuknavitch has crafted her body-centered art-making philosophy into a groundbreaking workshop practice. With both Face2Face and online workshops, also called creative labs, Corporeal Writing has quickly established itself as a writing revolution. This lateral revolution is open to artists of all types at all levels.

Corporeal as in writing by and through the body. Corporeal because your body has a point of view in life.

Corporeality = all of our knowing comes from our bodies. And stories come out of you differently if you write from there. Readers experience them differently if you write from there. The world might be different, if we write from there.

Open to writers in any form, artists of any kind, and health, body, mind and spirit care professionals. Or anyone who wants to explore the realm of the creative.”


Physical Location: Boston, MA

Online Options: Yes, many! They clearly mark which classes are online on their site.

Speciality/Focus: I’ve seen classes on humor, genres, memoir, novel structure, essays, and so much more here. In terms of the variety of class offerings, they are currently the most similar to Catapult in my opinion.

In Their Own Words: “GrubStreet works to remove social, cultural, and institutional barriers in order to facilitate and support an expansive and equitable artistic ecosystem where all voices thrive and where storytelling flourishes. This mission is essential because our collective voices have the power to shape a more just and connected world by revealing truths, transforming lives, and deepening human understanding.”

Thoughts: One of the most developed centers out there, they have lots of one-day workshops (also similar to Catapult), as well as ongoing classes in lots of genres and formats, and a longer novel generator. They also run the Muse Conference. I believe they’re a nonprofit. This is the first place I’m personally going to be looking when I want to sign up for another writing class.

Gotham Writers Workshop

Physical Location: NY

Online Options: Yes, quite a few, and they appear to be asynchronous, which I know works well for a lot of people.

Speciality/Focus: They have a very wide range. Screenwriting, fiction, nonfiction, comedy, poetry, and business writing and professional development, just to name some of them.

In Their Own Words: “We believe that everyone has a story to tell, and that anyone can learn to write better through practice and learning the craft. We demystify the writing process and give our students a safe and structured environment that encourages them to keep writing and keep expanding their ability. It’s not a magic formula, but it’s the best path to becoming a better writer, whether you’re new to this or an old pro.” Read more about their teaching philosophy here.

Thoughts: I’ve heard some not-so-great things, and I’ve heard about some good experiences. I know for many classes teachers must use a pre-existing curriculum and I don’t believe they are paid that well (which as a teacher myself, really matters to me, and will impact how much time teachers are able to spend on their students). Do your research here!

Hugo House

Physical Location: Seattle, WA

Online Options: Yes, actually most classes appear to be online

Speciality/Focus: They have a fairly wide range, including some reading classes (so, more similar to an English seminar, you’ll learn techniques through study rather than workshop) as well as craft and business courses on things like submitting work and prepping for AWP. I was impressed looking through their catalogue!

In Their Own Words: “Our courses cover a wide range of writing styles and experiences. Whether you’re struggling to write your first poem or have a few novels behind you, Hugo House classes will support and inspire you. Our classes are taught by published writers who are also stellar teachers. Our students come from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences. What we all have in common is a love of words.”

Thoughts: I’ve never taken a class here, but when I lived in Portland, OR, people in that area spoke very highly of Hugo House.

Jane Friedman

Physical Location: None

Online Options: Yes, all classes are taught online and listed here.

In Their Own Words: “The classes that I offer are delivered via Zoom by experts in the writing and publishing community. They feature enlightening lessons, encouragement, and practical next steps for your project and career.

Most classes last 60–90 minutes and always include live Q&A. Any questions that we can’t get to live are answered in writing. Afterward, all registrants receive the recording, slides, transcript, Q&A, and other supporting materials that can be downloaded and kept for as long as you wish. Classes can also be an opportunity to meet and share with other writers grappling with the same questions as you.”

Read a longer explanation of the mission here.

Thoughts: Jane Friedman is one of the best when it comes to the business of writing and publishing, has tons of free resources on her site, and I see very interesting classes here. A great place to look for craft and business!


Physical Location: NYC

Online Options: Yes, listed here—I see great teachers working here!

Speciality/Focus: “Kundiman is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of writers and readers of Asian American literature. Kundiman creates a space where Asian Americans can explore, through art, the unique challenges that face the new and ever changing diaspora. We see the arts as a tool of empowerment, of education and liberation, of addressing proactively the legacy we will leave for our future.”

In Their Own Words: “Since 2004, Kundiman has offered spaces for creating art, sustaining connection, and building solidarity. This year, we are thrilled to offer new ways for writers of color to connect virtually, with a new slate of online classes. We hope they will provide you with opportunities to deepen community and nurture your writing practice. Join us for an 8-week workshop or a 3-hour craft class!

Classes are open to either Asian American writers or all writers of color; please check the class details before registering. All online classes will take place on Zoom and class times listed are in Eastern Time. Scholarships are available.”

Thoughts: Recommended by the great writer and teacher Hannah Bae!

Kweli Journal

Physical Location: NY, NY

Online Options: Very robust offerings in terms of workshops and masterclasses for emerging writers of color, as well as yearly retreats and mentorships. Find info here.

Speciality/Focus: “Kweli Journal is a small community. We launched as a biannual journal in December 2009. Since our humble beginnings, Kweli has grown into a multifaceted community organization that offers numerous writing, mentorship, and educational opportunities, including The Color of Children’s Literature Conference and International Literary Festival, our Fellowship Program and Sing the Truth! Mentorship Program, a monthly Reading & Conversation Series, multi-session writing workshops and masterclasses, and yearly retreats.”

In Their Own Words: Kweli’s mission is to nurture emerging writers of color and create opportunities for their voices to be recognized and valued. By creating a community of Black, Indigenous and POC artists and programming based on artistic excellence and rigor, Kweli empowers writers to share stories that engage and impact our communities. Our vision is for a world where the narratives being told reflect the truth of our histories and the possibilities for our future.”

Thoughts: Recommended by Hannah Bae, who teaches a workshop on the Art of the Essay for Kweli!

Lighthouse Writers

Physical Location: Denver, CO

Online Options: Yes, and they also have asynchronous options, which is great for accessibility of different time zones and work schedules.

Speciality/Focus: Looks like they have generative classes, ones on revision and structure, bootcamps, editing, poetry…lots of topics.

In Their Own Words: “The mission of Lighthouse Writers Workshop is to provide the highest caliber of artistic education, support, and community for writers and readers in the Rocky Mountain Region and beyond. We strive to ensure that literature maintains its proper prominence in the culture, and that individuals achieve their fullest potential as artists and human beings.” Read more about their values here.

Thoughts: Catapult instructor and author Elissa Bassist has taught here for years and she’s one of the best (we teach a Humor/Satire Bootcamp together), so that speaks very highly for Lighthouse! They also have a membership program which looks intriguing, and they run a festival called Lit Fest.

One Story

Physical Location: I’m not sure they have one?

Online Options: All classes appear to be online

Speciality/Focus: Short stories, although they also have generative classes and craft seminars on topics like revision.

In Their Own Words: “We believe that the short story is a powerful and necessary art form; that all authors should be treated equally; that the practice of writing fiction has value; and that community is essential.”

Thoughts: I took an asynchronous short story class here with Hannah Tinti (co-founder who also teaches at NYU) and I was very impressed! I think they have a very good emphasis on curriculum design and process (and I say that as a curriculum nerd). They’ve been around for twenty years and also function as a press and nonprofit. Read more here. They also have a summer conference.

Pandemic University

Physical Location: None, though the founder, Omar Mouallem, is based in Canada

Online Options: Yup! All listed here. They also have a FANTASTIC shop where you can purchase replays of past one-off seminar-style classes (full disclosure, I taught one on Topical Satire back in summer 2020)

Speciality/Focus: Since the founder Omar is a journalist, there are excellent classes on things like service journalism, interviewing, and freelancing, but they also have seminars on humor, memoir, querying, and podcasting, among other topics.

In Their Own Words: “We’re a pop-up writing school for, and by, writers that sprung up in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. We work with professional storytellers in journalism, literature, podcasting, and screen arts to teach affordable creative writing courses and workshops online. We also partner with literary organizations to plan and execute virtual events on their behalf.

Over 2,500 writers from 35 countries have attended our classes since April 2020, when the school began as a financial relief effort for writers stiffed by the pandemic fallout. Though we’re a private company, many of our events benefit charities. The PanU community has collectively raised over $10,000 for such causes as the Canadian Writers’ Emergency Relief Fund, PEN, Media Girlfriends Scholarship, and the Kemosa Scholarshop for Indigenous women writers. We’ve also facilitated more than $2,000 in PanU scholarships on behalf of Good Samaritan writers.”

Thoughts: I’m biased since I have taught here, but I really do think this is an essential, well-run, and modern school. And I can vouch for the fact that they treat and pay their teachers well!

The Porch

Physical Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Online Options: Yes, clearly marked out and searchable on their site.

Speciality/Focus: I was not familiar with them at all, and browsing their site was exciting. Looks like they have fiction, nonfiction, craft seminars, professional business seminars, journalism, epistolary writing—and much more. I’m intrigued for sure!

In Their Own Words: “The Porch inspires, educates and connects writers and readers of all ages and stages through classes and literary events. We’re writers, first and foremost.

We’re crazy about books and the literary life, and we believe that writing is for everyone.

Why The Porch? A porch is a flexible space, defined yet open, for both quiet contemplation and lively gatherings. On porches, we share our stories and histories. And we build new ones.” (note: I find this to be a very charming description!)

Thoughts: Definitely one to look into, the co-founder, Susannah Felts, also said this on Twitter. They’re a nonprofit.

A Public Space

Physical Location: NY

Online Options: Yes, all classes are online.

Speciality/Focus: They have workshops and masterclasses listed on their site, with a definite literary bent.

In Their Own Words: “A Public Space is an independent nonprofit publisher of an eponymous award-winning literary, arts, and culture magazine, and A Public Space Books. Under the direction of founding editor Brigid Hughes since 2006, it has been our mission to seek out overlooked and unclassifiable work, and to publish writing from beyond established confines. Subscribe today, and join the conversation.”

Thoughts: Lynn Steger Strong and Rumaan Alam teach here? Sign me up!!

The Resort LIC

Physical Location: Long Island City, Queens

Online Options: Yes, they release classes regularly on their site. Sign up for their newsletter here to be kept in the know. From the site: “The Resort offers a number of online classes, including workshops on craft, AMAs about pitching and publishing, and sessions on generating and revising your writing. These classes are held live on Zoom, and a select few are available to purchase as recordings. The Resort also offers a limited number of in-person classes in New York City.”

Speciality/Focus: Geared toward fiction, poetry, journalism, memoir, essays, and other forms + genres. They have a huge focus on creating an online community of writers, which I really dig.

In Their Own Words: “The Resort was originally founded as a physical co-working space for writers in Long Island City (LIC), Queens, NYC — hence the “LIC” in our full name, The Resort LIC.

We are now an online community of hundreds of writers, including poets, journalists, memoirists, novelists, essayists, short story writers, and many folks working across and between genres. We believe in a non-hierarchical space, and our gatherings include published authors and those just beginning to put words to the page.

The Resort’s founder is Catherine LaSota, writer and creativity coach, and founder of the acclaimed LIC Reading Series. She wants you to write the stories that only you can tell.”

Thoughts: I’ve never taken a class here, but I got several recommendations to add them to this list from writers who recommend them and their offerings. They also offer one-on-one coaching. I admire the work that the founder, Catherine LaSota, does!

Roots. Wounds. Words. Inc.

Physical Location: Brooklyn, NY. “Although based in Brooklyn, Roots. Wounds. Words. delivers in-person and virtual programming across the country, from New York to New Orleans and Los Angeles to Long Island. International storytellers have participated in our virtual workshops from their homes in Canada, Abu Dhabi, and China.”

Online Options: Yes! Online workshops and seminars can be found here. And here are some of the esteemed writers who have participated in their “Masters of Craft Talk” series. “Roots. Wounds. Words. offers literary arts workshops that center the nonfiction, fiction, poetry, playwriting, and screenwriting of BIPOC storytellers. Our workshops are for storytellers of all generations and writing levels — from those who have never considered writing their own narratives to those who are widely-published.”

Speciality/Focus: “We ensure that Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Brown and other People of Color have a safe, inclusive space to craft and tell our stories.

Our workshops cater to all of Us who are forced to live outside of the margins. Prior writing experience is insignificant — whether you’ve written before or not holds no weight. Roots. Wounds. Words. welcomes all storytellers, from those of Us who’ve never participated in a writing workshop before to those of Us who are widely published. No matter what your writing background is, you will learn new literary craft approaches, tap into stories buried deep within your spirit, and develop a profound connection to the storytelling capabilities that are aflame within your DNA.”

In Their Own Words: “Roots. Wounds. Words. is a Literary Arts Revolution for Us. Through our writing workshops, participating storytellers are empowered to craft authentic stories that reflect and affirm their experiences as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and/or justice-involved people. They gain a safe space and deep tribe within which they’re able to process trauma, excavate lived experiences, as well as see themselves both on the page and in the faces of the people who surround them.”

Sackett Street Writers

Physical Location: Brooklyn and Manhattan, NY

Online Options: Yes, clearly split out on a tab on the main nav, and online classes are slightly discounted from in-person.

Speciality/Focus: They definitely seem geared toward the literary, multi-week side of things, with no genre courses or one-off workshops that I can see.

In Their Own Words: From creator and author Julia Fierro: In 2002, I graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and moved to Brooklyn, where I found myself pining for a community of enthusiastic writers and readers. I placed an ad on Craigslist, and the very first group of Sackett Street writers climbed the three floors to my brownstone apartment kitchen.

They were hard-working writers and passionate readers, but they were also accountants and copywriters and stay-at-home-parents and industrial engineers. As I filled class after class (many with returning students who still participate today), I realized that great writers were everywhere — not just at MFA programs and literary conferences.

Word spread that Sackett Street was a salon-like workshop with small classes, an intimate environment, dedicated instructors and motivated students. 20 years later, over 10,000 writers have studied with us. They have continued on to MFA in Creative Writing programs, received distinguished rewards and fellowships, and have published books at commercial houses and independent presses.”

Thoughts: I’ve never personally taken a class here and I think their offerings are somewhat limited in scope, but if they match up with what you’re looking for, the teachers have great experience. They have long-term novel/manuscript generator classes, which were my favorite programs at Catapult, so I’ll be checking those out in the future. They also have a consultation program for people considering getting MFA’s, which is a great idea.

The Shipman Agency

Physical Location: NYC

Online Options: Their online class program is called “The Workroom,” and features advanced seminars and workshops from established writers and teachers for a “graduate-level experience.” Read about the current offerings here.

Speciality/Focus: “The Work Room was created in response to the pandemic. It has been so successful it is now a permanent feature of The Shipman Agency’s offerings. Here you will find opportunities to deepen your craft or get your manuscript in shape while studying with some of the world’s leading authors, many of whom offer classes exclusively through The Work Room. Students receive a graduate level experience that will challenge their assumptions and broaden the scope of what their work can do.”

In Their Own Words: “The Shipman Agency offers complete literary services to writers at all stages of their careers. While our primary focus is representing leading authors and thinkers for speaking engagements, we’re pleased to offer the services of literary agent Annie DeWitt, independent book publicist Jennifer Huang, and Mike Levine, editorial consultant. We’ve also added The Work Room, online classes + seminars taught by our clients. Our mission remains the same: to provide clients, venues, emerging writers + students with the best possible experience, and to represent authors who are on the cutting edge of contemporary thinking about culture and the world.”

Thoughts: I’ve never taken a class here, though many of their offerings have intrigued me. I’ve taken classes with some of the current instructors (Marie-Helene Bertino, Megan Milks) elsewhere and they were excellent.

StoryStudio Chicago

Physical Location: Chicago, IL

Online Options: Yes, and they have in-person and online very clearly marked out on their classes page.

Speciality/Focus: “Our creative writing classes cover a wide range of topics within fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and performance literature. We offer classes on character, plot, setting, scene, and other craft topics, as well as classes in novel writing, memoir, personal essays, short stories, speculative fiction, and flash fiction. Other genres occasionally include screenwriting, playwriting, live lit, young adult, and more. One-day workshops cover topics as diverse as grammar, blogging, and meditation for writers.

We also offer classes, summer camps, and events for young writers under the age of 18.”

In Their Own Words: “StoryStudio Chicago is a writing center offering a wide variety of creative writing classes for adults of all levels. At StoryStudio, we believe stories matter, and we strive to teach the art, craft, and business of writing in a positive, open, and encouraging setting where students can discover their unique voices.

We’re laid-back and fun, but also serious about writing. We’re run by working writers who understand the value of a place to connect with and learn from other writers.

As one of the premier writing centers in the Chicagoland area, StoryStudio welcomes more than 1,200 writers each year.”

Thoughts: They’ve been around for over twenty years! Author Rebecca Makkai (The Great Believers) teaches some of their novel courses, and they have a very good reputation (I lived in Chicago for five years). I see many writers I recognize and would love to learn from on their class page. I would definitely check out their novel courses in the future, personally. They also have a form for former Catapult teachers here.

St. Nell’s

Physical Location: The writing residency is based in Williamsport, PA; all workshops are online.

Online Options: Yup! They release workshops in tranches in winter, spring, and fall.

Speciality/Focus: As a humor writing residency, humor, satire, late night, humorous personal essay, and comedic fiction comprise most of their one-off writing workshop offerings, although they are now expanding to storytelling and comedic performance. And while the residency is for women+, non-binary folks, and other people of marginalized genders working in any humor-related field, ANYONE can take the workshops (disclaimer: I have taught my workedshop “Funny Frameworks for Fiction” here before).

In Their Own Words: “St. Nell’s is a writing residency in Williamsport, PA open to women+, non-binary folks, and other people of marginalized genders working in any humor-related field. Besides the residency, we also offer Zoom classes led by working (and awesome!) humor professionals. We do not charge for the residency itself; we are supported by application fees, class/merch fees, and donations (we’re on Patreon!).”

Thoughts: The residency is fantastic (another disclaimer: I did one in April 2021), and the class offerings are must-takes for anyone interested in expanding their comedic toolbox when it comes to writing and performing.

Vona Voices

Physical Location: The organization as a whole appears to be based in Miami, FL

Online Options: Yes, all class offerings for BIPOC Writers (craft intensives and workshops) are offered through Zoom by donation. They should be adding more soon, sign up for their newsletter (scroll to the bottom of the page) for updates.

Speciality/Focus: “As the only multi-genre workshop for writers-of-color in the United States, VONA is grounded in social justice and the fostering of a community where our work is centralized in an environment that is safe, nurturing, and supportive. VONA’s Craft Intensive offers one and two day sessions with one of our esteemed faculty to explore elements of craft, culture and literary production. We’re offering this online throughout the year. The workshops are held through Zoom. To attend you register on Eventbrite using the links below.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $25, pay what you can.”

In Their Own Words: “The premier multi-genre workshop for BIPOC Writers, VONA is a Home where writers of color come to hone their craft and be in community. VONA honors its writers’ unique histories, traditions and aesthetics and provides a protected mentoring space for learning and fellowship. VONA fosters the development of personal and political writing and engages in the work of social justice as we build our global community of writers.” Read more here.

Thoughts: They’re a nonprofit with a fantastic mission, and the pay-what-you-can model is excellent! I’ve read and admired the work of many of their teachers, including Maurice Carlos Ruffin and Ingrid Rojas Contreras.

The Writers Circle

Physical Location: Suburban New Jersey

Online Options: Yes, lots of them! They also have in-person and hybrid options, so read the listings carefully.

Speciality/Focus: Very interesting selection of classes, and a great focus on getting started with generative workshops. They also have a class on writing children’s lit, which seems like a unique topic, as well as longer novel workshops.

In Their Own Words: “We believe in the uniqueness of each writer’s voice. Our workshops nurture that pure, honest self-expression in each of our students.​​ We welcome the most reluctant child, the teen in need of a welcoming place to explore and express, the adult who feels like a beginner, and the experienced professional looking for a group of insightful peers.

The Writers Circle is more than a place to take a class. It is a community joined by the love of writing.” (OK, I love this)

Thoughts: Recommended by writer Adam Campbell-Schmitt!

Writing Co-Lab

Physical Location: Teachers seem NY-based, but I believe it’s all online for now.

Online Options: All classes listed here.

Speciality/Focus: Right now it appears to be fiction, craft, and essays, but they just started so I assume they will grow! Sign up for their newsletter here at the bottom of the page.

In Their Own Words: “Writing Co-Lab is a teaching cooperative owned and operated by artists passionate about craft, community, creativity, and the joyous power of the written word. Co-Lab, short for cooperative laboratory, indicates our excitement and commitment to working together and with our students in providing educational experiences not seen within the traditional academic or continuing-ed landscape. Our teachers bring their unique experiences and voices to their classes, which cover a variety of topics, from preparing work for publication, to deepening discipline, trying new styles and techniques, and cultivating fun in the writing process. Taking time to develop your art is a deeply rewarding experience, and it is our privilege to help you on that journey, whether you are looking for renewed vigor on the way, or are about to take your first steps.”

Thoughts: I’m familiar with these teachers, and they have STELLAR reps. I will be taking a class from them in the future for sure. They also have a contact page here for teachers who want to reach out to them—keep in mind that teachers do their own admin here, given the cooperative nature. An exciting new venue!

Writing Workshops

Physical Location: None that I can see, although there are numerous Twitter accounts from different cities (I assume as a pre-pandemic thing). For now, all classes appear to be online, though they do have in-person group writing retreats.

Online Options: Yup! Every class is taught through Zoom

Speciality/Focus: Similar to Catapult, the class offerings cross genres and forms, including screenwriting. There are workshops on satire, essays, autofiction, querying, and some longer 12-month programs along with one-on-one mentorship opportunities. You can see all class offerings here.

In Their Own Words: “Writing Workshops is for writers who want to strengthen their voice, develop a greater understanding of craft, and forge a path to publication along the way. Our students have signed with agents, gone on to funded MFA programs such as The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, The Michener Center for Writers, Michigan, NYU, Columbia, and have been awarded fellowships from the Tin House Workshop, The Vermont Studio Center and The Elizabeth George Foundation, and have won literary awards for their writing.

Our mission is to bring your writing out of the wilderness and into community. We offer online writing courses, seminars, and individual consultations to fiction writers, nonfiction writers, poets, and screenwriters. No matter the stage of your career, there is a place for you at Writing Workshops. Our classes are inclusive and intentionally small, offered on a rolling basis throughout the year, and taught by award-winning authors.

You’re not just taking a class. You’re joining a community.”

Thoughts: I had seen several Catapult instructors also teach here over the past year or so, and I’m intrigued! They already offer 70+ classes, run a writing retreat, and seem to be in expansion mode. If you’re a teacher, they have an instructor course proposal form here.

A few other resources and independent instructors:

5 Best Writing Classes You Can Take Online” from The Good Trade (RIP Catapult, the first entry!)

The newsletter “Craft with Kat,” by author Kat Lewis, for writing and craft (as the name would imply) lessons.

The newsletter “Before and After the Book Deal,” by author and teacher Courtney Maum, for professional lessons around querying, revising, writing, and so much more.

Lily Dancyger, a former Catapult teacher as well as an author and editor, teaches workshops on memoir and essay. Find the details on her site here and join her email list for new postings.

Monica Drake, an amazing novelist and teacher based in Portland, OR (disclosure, we worked together in Portland!), offers workshops and manuscript consultations through her website. You can also fill out her contact form to get in touch.

About Me: Caitlin Kunkel is a writer, teacher, and speaker. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, public radio, tech startups, and other places across the vast internetz. She’s represented by Susan Raihofer at David Black.

She’s the co-founder of the comedy site The Belladonna, created the online satire writing program for The Second City, and teaches workshops across the US and internationally. In 2019 Caitlin co-created The Satire and Humor Festival. Her first co-written book, NEW EROTICA FOR FEMINISTS, was published by Penguin Random House and named one of the 10 best comedy books of the year by Vulture.

Subscribe to her free newsletter about filling up our creative wells here.

She made a list of 50+ humor and satire sites that take submissions and contributors here.



Caitlin Kunkel

Satirist + pizza scientist. Co-founder of The Belladonna. Sign up for my newsletter, Input/Ouput: https://inputandoutput.substack.com/