Our Online Level I workshop 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 written weekly 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. The teacher also leads weekly one-hour discussions of technique via Google Meet.

All you need to take a class is a computer or tablet with an internet connection. A link to our online classroom is emailed to you after you register, and 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

Richard Leis

Richard Leis (he/him) spends much of his workday on Mars, with HiRISE, a team at the University of Arizona with a camera in orbit around the Red Planet. In the evenings and on weekends, he’s back on Earth, in Beaverton, Oregon, teaching and attending online workshops at The Writers Studio, writing and reading, or doing yard work. Writer of the dark, the difficult, and the inexplicable, Richard’s speculative stories have been published in The Molotov Cocktail and anthologies from Crone Girls Press and House of Zolo. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype, The Laurel Review, Manzano Mountain Review, Star*Line, Eye to the Telescope, and the Adult Children anthology from Wising Up Press. Several of his poems and stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2018 and 2021, Richard was a finalist in the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards. Learn more at https://richardleis.com richardleis.com

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