What is the difference between fiction and memoir?

Course Information—Specific

Fiction refers to work that is entirely or partially fabricated. Many works of fiction draw heavily on true-life experiences, but they should not be entirely true-to-life. Memoir refers to work that is entirely true-to-life, with perhaps a tiny bit of storytelling license or name-changing. If you want to make some things up, or avoid offending anyone, then go for fiction. If you want to tell "real" stories derived from your own life, then go for memoir.

What course is best if I want to work on a nonfiction book?

Course Information—Specific

If you're working on a memoir, then take a Memoir course. If you're working on a nonfiction book that is not a memoir, then it's a little trickier.

Nonfiction books that are not memoir enter the market as a nonfiction book proposal—a detailed analysis of the book, along with sample material. (Memoirs are sometimes sold on the basis of a proposal, but more often than not, they are sold as a finished manuscript.) If you want to see if you have a viable book idea, or refine your book idea, then take the Nonfiction Book Proposal course. However, this is more of a "selling" course than a "writing" course.

If you want to focus on the writing, then you could take Article writing if the book is largely objective and journalistic, or you could take Essay & Opinion if the book is largely subjective and grounded in your personal views. In these courses, students work on short-form pieces rather than books, but it's good to start with shorter pieces, just as we encourage fiction writers to work on short stories before they tackle novels. The short pieces you work on might well end up in your book and you will improve your writing by working on these shorter pieces.

Can I work on "genre" fiction in the Fiction and Novel courses?

Course Information—Specific

Absolutely. You can work on any kind of fiction in our Fiction and Novel courses. But if you're working on "genre" fiction, you may prefer to take one of our "genre" courses—Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy.

Where do you offer in-person classes?

NYC Vs. Online Classes

Only in New York City.

How do your Online classes work?

NYC Vs. Online Classes

Our Online classes replicate, as much as possible, the experience of a "live" class. The teacher and students come together in a communal "space" and interact with each other in a stimulating manner. As with the "live" classes, the Online classes offer lectures, discussion, assignments (with feedback), and, depending on the course, critique of projects that students are developing.

But, of course, there are differences between "live" and Online classes.

The chief distinction of our Online classes is that they do not meet in "real time." In other words, students do not sit at their computers at an assigned day or hour watching an instructor present a class as they would in a "live" classroom. Instead, students may participate at any time, day or night. However, there is a schedule. Each class session lasts for 7 days, and there are things to accomplish within that time frame. There is a topic that is covered each "week," and there are things that are due within that "week." This asynchronous format allows students from all over the world to take class together without concern of time differences, and it allows for a convenient fit with just about any schedule. When a new "week" begins, the material from the previous "weeks" is still accessible, so a student will never completely miss a class.

Read more about our Online classes.

What are the advantages of taking an NYC class? An Online class?

NYC Vs. Online Classes

Students receive the same content and quality of education in either an NYC or an Online class. But the experience is a bit different between them.

An NYC class offers an experience similar to what we all remember from school. Specifically:

  • Live interaction with fellow students and instructor
  • Immediate feedback to questions and comments
  • The face-to-face camaraderie of writers with whom you can bond, share, and learn

An Online class offers a more flexible experience. Specifically:

  • The convenience of participating any time, day or night, and from any location (as long as you have Internet access)
  • Posted material (lectures, discussion, assignments, etc.) that you can print and save.
  • Archived material, so you never "miss" a class
  • A global "classroom" that welcomes people from all over the world

How much do your classes cost?


The tuition varies depending on the class format. Here are the various prices:

10-week NYC Workshops: $435 (Returning Gotham students $405)
10-week Online Workshops: $409 (Returning Gotham students $379)
10-week Level III (except for Fiction III): $545
Six-week NYC classes: $325
Six-week Online classes: $309
Six-week NYC Business Writing: $345
Six-week Business Writing: $325
Online Selling Seminars: $175
NYC Selling Seminars: $150
Intensives: $150
5-hour Intensives: $95
Business Writing Intensive: $150
Six-week NYC Teen Classes: $315
Four-week NYC Teen Classes: $315
Six-week Online Teen Classes: $309
Write-In: $20, or $45 for a pack of three.

In addition to the above prices, there is a $25 registration fee, paid only once per term, even if a student takes multiple classes in that term. This fee does not apply to Write-Ins.

Once you take any kind of Gotham class (or Write-In), you are given a lifetime $30 Returning Student discount on any 10-week class you take. (This does not apply to Write-Ins, one-session classes, Monday matinee, Just Write, and premium classes—Zoetrope Fiction, Business Writing, Level III.)

We also offer various ways to save on tuition.

What is the registration fee?


There is a $25 registration fee per student, per term. It applies whether or not a student has taken a previous class with Gotham. But it's paid only one per term, even is a student takes multiple classes in that term.

The fee helps to cover administrative costs and to keep our tuitions affordable.

Do I have to pay in full before a class begins?


To register for a 10-Week course, you need to pay in full to guarantee your place in class. Or you can pay a $95 deposit plus a $25 registration fee (total $120) to temporarily hold your place, but tuition must be paid in full 10 business days before your class starts or you risk losing your spot.

To register for any course shorter than 10 weeks, you must pay in full when you register.

What payment methods do you accept?


You can pay for class using Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash, money order, or check (drawn on a U.S. bank) payable to Gotham Writers Workshop.

How do I register?


In one of the following ways:

From Website

Just follow the steps on our checkout page.

By Phone

Were happy to take your registration over the phone with a credit card. Give us a call at 212-974-8377 from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Eastern Time. If you call us after business hours, just leave a message with your name, the specific class you'd like to take, and how we can reach you.

In Person

You can register at the Gotham office by appointment (Monday-Friday, 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM), or enroll at the class site (first day of class only) if there is room available. We need full payment for on-site walk-in registrations. And if you're paying cash, please bring exact change.

How do you determine your prices?


We do our best to keep our classes affordable, as we believe expert writing instruction should be widely available. We seldom raise prices, and our prices are highly competitive with comparable programs.

Can I come by your office to pay or ask questions?


Yes. We love visitors, for questions or registrations, but please remember to give a call first and let us know when to expect you.

If I need to withdraw from a class, what are my options?


If you need to withdraw from class, here are your options:

All Classes (except One-days and Write-Ins)

For a refund or credit, contact us two business days or more before your class starts. You can either choose to hold a full credit with us good for one year on other Gotham classes OR you can opt for a refund less a $25 administrative fee and your $25 registration fee ($50 total).

If you need to withdraw after your class has started (or one business day before it starts), you won’t receive a refund, but you’re welcome to a Gotham credit less the price of Week 1 and your $25 registration fee, but we need to hear from you two business days or more before Week 2 meets for that to happen. After that point, no credits are available.

One-day Intensives

You may reschedule a One-day Intensive one time, if you notify us before the class begins.

If you notify us two business days or more before your class begins, rescheduling is free. If you notify us less than two business days before your class begins, there is a $25 rescheduling fee. If you don’t notify us until after your class begins, we cannot reschedule you.

You may get a refund (minus a $50 fee) if you notify us two business days or more before your class begins.

You may notify us at 212-974-8377.


If you withdraw two hours or more before it begins, you’re welcome to a full credit good for one year toward another Write-In. No refunds are available. If you simply don’t show up and don’t notify us in advance, you forfeit your money.

Contact Info

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 212-974-8377

Classes purchased through CourseHorse

If you purchased through CourseHorse, then our Refund/Cancellation policy applies to your purchase, but CourseHorse will issue the refund. Please contact CourseHorse here to request your refund.

If we cancel a class that you purchased through CourseHorse, you will receive a full refund or credit. If you prefer a refund, we will notify CourseHorse that you are due a refund, but you can also contact CourseHorse here with any questions.

A few more things

  • Simply not attending class or notifying the instructor does not mean you've officially withdrawn.
  • Credits are valid for one year and cannot be changed into refunds down the road.
  • Some exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis for medical emergencies with a doctor's note.
  • Refunds take up to six weeks to process.

Please understand, we can't issue a refund after classes have started, even if you miss your first class. Similarly, we can't offer you a credit one day before your second class or after that. We understand that other obligations get in the way of attending class, but these policies allow us to get other interested writers into class early enough to have a good experience, and this allows us to offer our classes at a reasonable price.

Do you offer discounts?

Ways To Save

Yes, we offer a few different ways to save:

Once you take a class with us (10-week, 6-week, Intensive, Selling Seminar, even a Write-In), we consider you family and are happy to give you a $30 Returning Student discount on any 10-week class you take. Forever. But there are other ways to save on what we offer.

Monday Matinees

Classes offered during the daytime on Mondays in NYC are offered at a special low price. The courses offered in this time frame vary from term to term. You may call us to see what is being offered.

Double-Class Discount

Register for any two 10-Week classes and receive a $100 discount off the full tuition rate. You must register for both at the same time, but you don't have to take them both at the same time.

10-week Plus Discount

Register for a 10-week class and any other class at the same time and you will receive the Returning Student rate (a $30 savings) on your 10-week class.

Reading Fiction/Scripts in Focus Discount

Take any 10-Week class and register for a Reading Fiction or Scripts in Focus class with a $75 discount. You must register for both at the same time, but you don't have to take them both at the same time.

Corporate Discount

When your company joins our corporate discount program, employees can receive a 10% discount on tuition. Call 212-974-8377 for details.

Final Draft Discount

Gotham students may purchase the download version of Final Draft at the special educational rate of $129, a savings of $120 off the regular price. This discount price is only available with proof of educational status, which applies to any Gotham student, past or present.

Inside Track

Gotham occasionally announces special offers through our email communication, Facebook, and Twitter. To get the inside track, sign up, like, and follow us in these places.

A Few More Things:

  • Discounts don’t apply to Write-Ins, one-session classes, Monday matinee, Just Write, and premium classes (Zoetrope Fiction, Business Writing, Level III).
  • Discounts can't be combined with each other or any promotions.
  • The Returning Student discount only applies to 10-week courses.

May I receive financial aid to take classes?

Ways To Save

Unfortunately, no. Because we are not an accredited college or university, Gotham is ineligible to receive any federal education funding.

Can I receive credit for your classes?


We provide 3 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for a 10-week course and 1.8 CEUs for our 6-week Business Writing course. You must check with an institution or organization to see if they recognize CEUs.

Do you offer a certificate or diploma?


We offer Program Certificates for completing a program of study in Fiction, Memoir, or Screenwriting. And we offer individual certificates, if needed, for completing an individual course. These certificates may be used to show proof of completion or to bolster a resume, but they are not likely to advance your chance of publication or production.

Do you offer courses taught in languages other than English?

Foreign/Non-native English-speaking Students

No, our classes are only taught in English, and we require fluency in English to take our classes.

Which courses will help me improve my English?

Foreign/Non-native English-speaking Students

None of our courses are English-as-second-language courses. If you are not fairly fluent in English, a Gotham class is not the best fit. However, if you are fairly fluent in English, even though it's not your first language, you may well benefit from a Gotham class. If you're not sure if your English is good enough, or which course is right for you, we are happy to help you figure it out.

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