Our virtual NYC Level I workshop, which meets via Google Meet, is an introduction to the philosophy on which The Writers Studio was founded in 1987 by Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Philip Schultz. Persona writing, a method of borrowing the voice and temperament of accomplished writers, offers writers the imaginative distance and perspective they need to overcome their negative inclinations, their fear of self-exposure and endless doubt. This method also helps writers try on different voices, or personas, to develop narrative and lyric voices to be used as a tool for unlocking one's most intimate and private stories and turning even their most difficult subject matter into inspiration for writing fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction.

Weekly exercises based on short pieces of published work are turned into assignments designed to introduce students to various literary styles and approaches and broaden their sense of what is possible in their own work. As the student’s understanding of technique deepens so does the clarity and emotional power of the writing. Through weekly oral critiques of each student’s work by teachers, students are taught to constructively critique one another's work, a degree of attention nearly unheard of elsewhere.

All you need to take a class is a computer or tablet with an internet connection. A link to the weekly Google Meet and information about submitting work electronically is emailed to you at least a week before the class begins. Tech support is available throughout the class.

"Every week, I presented a new story. Finally something did click, the very thing that’s their specialty at The Writers Studio, emotional content. Before, my work was dead. When I brought in my breakthrough story, I felt I was carrying a weird animal in my bag. It was the first story I sold."

Jennifer Egan, former Writers Studio student, Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction


Writers Studio Teacher

Nancy Matsunaga

Nancy Matsunaga is a freelance writer and editor who studied comparative literature at Oberlin College and received her MA in teaching English as a second language. She has been teaching with the Writers Studio since 2007, and she was the founder and director of the Amsterdam branch of the school. Her stories have been published in the journals Calyx and American Writers Review and anthologized in The Writers Studio at 30. She was a finalist for the 2021 Chester B. Himes Memorial Short Fiction Prize and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. After ten years in Munich, she has recently returned to the New York area, where she is working on a novel and a book of short stories.

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