About Gotham Writers' Workshop
Gotham Writers' Workshop is the leading private creative writing school in New York City and online. Professional writers present workshops in more than a dozen forms of writing. The school’s interactive online classes, selected as “Best of the Web” by Forbes, have attracted thousands of aspiring writers from across the United States and more than one hundred countries.
Gotham also offers private instruction, script and book doctoring services, and workshops for teens. In addition, the school’s expert faculty has created and presented custom workshops for such organizations as Barnes & Noble, Draft FCB, Crispin+Porter, Time Warner, and Planned Parenthood.
Gotham's first book, Writing Fiction was published by Bloomsbury USA in 2003. The book's critical accolades and success paved the way for the publication of Fiction Gallery, an anthology of exceptional short stories by masters of the craft, in 2004, and Writing Movies, in 2006. The books have been adopted for classroom use at numerous colleges and universities.
Since publication, Writing Fiction has won an international following. The book is now available in German (Romane und Kurzgeschichten schreiben), Italian (Lezioni di scrittura creativa), UK (Writing Fiction), and Hungarian editions.
Gotham Writers' Workshop was founded in New York City in 1993 by two writers, Jeff Fligelman and David Grae. Prior to starting the school, both Fligelman and Grae had received graduate degrees in creative writing and had taught writing at a variety of schools and universities. Fligelman and Grae founded Gotham so that they could provide students comprehensive classes on the craft of writing, which they had been unable to find anywhere else at the time.
The result was the development of highly structured classes, which employ three main teaching tools:
- Lectures on the elements of the writing craft (e.g. plot, characterization, dialogue, etc.)
- Writing exercises, which work in tandem with the lectures
- The Booth, the school's unique and signature critiquing method which provides writers with helpful, constructive feedback on their projects and sharpens their skills.
Gotham Writers' Workshop launched its online division, WritingClasses.com, in June of 1997. Using proprietary software, the online campus offers interactive, craft-oriented classes and resources for writers. As virtual replicates of the NYC classes, the online courses are accessible 24 hours a day and are taught by the school's expert faculty.
Currently one-half of all of the school's students enroll in online workshops. Many students live abroad, making these classes a truly global experience. In 2002, Forbes selected Gotham Writers' Workshop as "Best of the Web." To date, more than 45,000 students from 100+ countries have studied creative writing online with Gotham.
Based on Gotham's reputation for quality, other organizations have partnered with the school to offer online creative writing classes to their constituents. Partner organizations include Francis Ford Coppola's All-Story magazine and Zoetrope Virtual Studio, Teen Ink, The New York Times Knowledge Network, Barnes & Noble.com, and others.
Our aim is to demystify the writing process through expert instruction and proven methods in a safe, creative learning environment.
Our Proven Method
In teaching creative writing to tens of thousands of students, we’ve developed a method that works, which may explain why we’ve grown to become the leading creative writing school in New York City and online.
We believe anyone can write. Writing is a craft, like carpentry, that can be taught, learned, and mastered. At Gotham, we teach you how to use the elements of writing, such as structure, character, description, and voice. We foster your creativity in a positive atmosphere and show you how to free up your imagination. We respect your writing, we treat you like a professional, and we get you writing.
We get you started
We show you how to generate ideas. We teach you how to create compelling characters. We explain how structure really works. We help you beat writer’s block.
So now you’re writing. Your classmates and teacher read your work. That’s just the beginning.
The goal is to improve your writing, develop your style, and make sure your material is as good as it can be. To that end, we have developed a process that accentuates the positive and provides thorough feedback.
The Gotham Booth
We call this process “The Booth.” The writer listens to comments before responding. The classmates begin with positive comments about your writing. The idea is to identify what works and help you build upon your strengths. Then we move on to specific suggestions regarding what can be improved. Next, the teacher gives an extensive analysis of your writing. Finally, you exit the metaphoric “Booth” with the opportunity to ask questions. The process leads to a structured dialogue, concrete suggestions, and a better understanding of your work.
As we help each other write better, we become better writers ourselves.
You become a writer
Now you’ve finished your first draft. It’s a great feeling. In this supportive atmosphere, everyone understands that when someone produces good work the entire group benefits from being part of the process.
Writing. Writing well. Finishing. There’s no greater feeling. That’s what we believe at Gotham, and we’re dedicated to getting you there.
Courses & Programs
To learn about the large variety of Gotham courses and programs, click here.