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Student evaluations from Lara Laughton’s class, “Writing Your Life With Greater Compassion Retreat” at A Studio in the Woods

“This was both personally empowering and useful as far as craft goes. The questions, specifically, were helpful and will continue to be!”

“Lara is amazing! I loved this course and will be recommending it to others!”

“As a person who is getting back to my first love, writing, this course opened up so many stones within me. I am inspired and feeling more capable than I have in a very long time.”

From Mary T-R of Tom Andes Writing Narrative Fiction workshops Summer 2016

“I will definitely be taking more classes in the future. The instructor was excellent, and I wrote and grew as a writer. The community of writers in the classroom was dedicated, constructive, and supportive.” 

Alex Johnson on Tom Andes’ Writing Narrative Fiction workshop Summer 2015

“It’s what I needed, and more than I imagined I needed. I can only thank you.”

“Tom exceeded my expectations with his careful analysis and advice. His discussions were enlightening on technique and dialogue and dialect and narrative perspective. He provided the MFA-style advice I needed. I’ve read a few “how to write fiction” books but needed the conversations to help me understand it all. He was thoughtful and patient like all memorable good teachers, and always responsive to emails and after-class questions.”

Student evaluations on Anya Groner’s Personal Essays Class, Fall 2016

“The rapport with the instructor was excellent. The class had good fusion and excellent feedback. I feel my writing really improved.”

“Anya is just amazing. I got even more out of this class than I had expected.”

“I really appreciated this class. From the instructor, to the content, to the participants. I learned so much.”

Shara Davis, Rutgers University M.F.A. on Allison Alsup

I’ve taken writing classes all over the country, but none have improved my writing like Allison’s. Allison’s craft lectures were far beyond the basic tips on craft I’d received in other classes. Allison taught me how fiction works and how successful writers convey meaning in their work. She chose readings that introduced me to new writers and taught me how to use those readings to develop my own writing. My writing improved because my understanding of craft improved. She taught me how to convey meaning in my work, which has taken my writing to the next level. I’m in an MFA program now. I wouldn’t be here without Allison.

Alex Palmerlee on Allison Alsup

Allison Alsup’s class was the equivalent of a would-be woodworker taking a course from a master carpenter. You learn how to use the tools. You learn how to craft a piece of writing from your jumble of words and ideas as a furniture maker would hone a piece of raw lumber into a bed, a desk, a table. When you’re starting out in any craft it is important to master the techniques; Ms. Alsup taught me in spades. I learned from Allison that there are as many tools in a writer’s belt as there are in a woodworker’s shop and knowing how to use each is key to a life in writing.

I took three classes from Allison, each time finding out more about my merits, my faults, and the unused tools which sat at waist-side. I would recommend her course to anyone looking to mix words into art.

Justin LaCour on Allison Alsup

I’ve had the pleasure of taking two fiction workshops with Allison Alsup. Her workshops provide honest, valuable critiques, while also offering a supportive environment for writers.

Allison is amazingly generous in critiquing work and the number and depth of comments I received always impressed me. She has a great ability to see what a story is trying to do and what it needs to do to get there. Often she saw things in stories that I completely missed and her insights always felt intuitively right.

Allison’s workshops made me start seriously thinking about the craft of writing. She helps you see the role that beginnings, dialogue, secondary characters, etc. can play in a story and how they can be tools at the writer’s service. I feel I am a much more thoughtful writer (and reader) from these discussions.

Kathy A. Rush on Allison Alsup

For years, I dreamed of being able to write a publishable short story. Two years ago I joined a writer’s group led by Allison Alsup and I began to acquire the tools to do that. In her workshops, she exposed the anatomy of story telling and how all parts must fit together whether they’re fat, thin, broken or whole. The three elements of Ms. Alsup’s workshop that most benefited me were her ability to demystify writing techniques, identify a writer’s strength and weaknesses, and offer critiques that encouraged improvement. I look forward to more workshops with her.