The Loft Literary Center
Projects are now open for registration. Learn more and register today.
The Year-Long Writing Projects are coming with acclaimed writers Peter Geye , Carolyn Holbrook , 신 선 영 Sun Yung Shin , and Heid E. Erdrich . Registration is now open for each 2024 project.
$25,000 awards to five Minnesota writers (4 in poetry/spoken word and 1 in children's literature for children younger than 8). Deadline is Dec 11 to apply.
Join us Dec 6 | The Loft's annual member meetup. We hope to see you there!
Loft classes are offered online and in-person. All classes are designed to help you reach your goals. Explore our upcoming offerings and find your next chance to learn, connect, and grow.
Learn more about our class offerings on our classes pages.
Upcoming Loft Events
The Loft hosts numerous events throughout the year. Take a look at our upcoming offerings and plan your next visit.
Abolition and the Audacity of Writing at Your Own Pace: An Interview with Taiwana Shambley
Cashing In On Content Creation
Jackal and an Unusual P.O.V.
Writing studies offers undergraduate courses in areas such as technical and professional writing, editing, usability, and rhetorical and communication theory, as well as advanced writing courses in genres such as healthcare, business, science, and law. Our class sizes are small and many of our courses also fulfill the University’s liberal education and/or writing intensive requirements.
Please see the University Catalog for a full list of courses offered by the Department of Writing Studies. Current and upcoming courses are available in Schedule Builder .
- Writer’s Diagnostic
- Time Management Questionnaire
- Resources by State
- Beta Reading, Critique & Workshops
- Publication Assistance
- Editing & Proofreading
- Request Services
Minnesota Resources for Writers
Here you’ll find a collection of resources for writers in Minnesota, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you’re looking for writing groups near you, writing workshops near you, creative writing classes for you, or simply a place to hang out with writers or submit your work, these are some Minnesota writing organizations you might want to check out:
For more than a decade, WriteByNight has helped writers in Minnesota and beyond achieve their literary goals. And we want you to be next! Claim your free consultation to learn about WBN’s customizable one-on-one writers’ services , including:
Book Coaching : If you’re writing a book and want some help along the way.
Manuscript Critique : If you’ve written a book and want a beta read, critique, or writing workshop.
Editing/Proofreading : If you’ve written a book and want someone to polish it for you.
Publication Assistance : If you’ve written a book and want help finding an agent or publisher.
Not ready to chat? That’s cool. Until you are, why not sign up for our weekly message full of education and inspiration for writers and aspiring writers. You’ll also receive a free diagnostic tool, “Common problems and SOLUTIONS for the struggling writer.”
A monthly writing group for Duluth-area novelists looking for honest feedback on a novel-in-progress.
Lake Superior Writers
Writing workshops, writing groups, contests and more for writers in across the Arrowhead region and northern Wisconsin.
The Loft Literary Center
Founded in 1974, the Loft Literary Center is one of the nation’s leading literary arts centers. The Loft advances the artistic development of writers, fosters a thriving literary community, and inspires a passion for literature. Offers writing classes, writing workshops, and more.
Midwest Fiction Writers
A professional writing group that includes approximately 100 published or aspiring writers of romance. Based in Minneapolis.
Minnesota Science Fiction Society
A nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the appreciation of science fiction and fantasy literature.
Minnesota Writers of Speculative Fiction meets three or more times a month for writing workshops, writing groups, and author readings in and around the Twin Cities.
The Playwrights’ Center
One of the nation’s most generous and well-respected theater organizations, the Playwrights’ Center focuses on both supporting playwrights and promoting new plays to production at theaters across the country.
Publishes quarterly reviews of literary fiction, poetry and nonfiction, with an emphasis on works that push the boundaries of language, narrative and genre.
An all-volunteer nonprofit organization that provides aspiring and practicing Minnesota screenwriters a setting for interaction and exchange of information.
Help us add to this list, Minnesotans! Do you know of writing groups near you, writing workshops near you, creative writing classes near you, or a Minnesota literary journal we should be aware of? Let us know here
WBN helped me sculpt my story in the best of possible ways, and for that I am eternally grateful. June Day Austin, Texas
WBN has helped writers publish with:
Simon & Schuster Little, Brown & Co. St. Martin’s Press Amazon Slate Threepenny Review Huffington Post
WriteByNight, LLC 235 West End Avenue, 6H New York, New York 10023
646.374.8174 [email protected]
Making the Writer’s Journey a Reality
Give us a try.
We are a virtual writer’s critique and support group. Meet from the comfort of your own home.
If you’ve been considering visiting and need the Zoom codes, just go to our Contact page on the Menu bar above and send a request, or visit us on Facebook and use Messenger.
Before joining us, read our “Open Read” rules. Follow this link to get acquainted with how we work. Holding Workshop via Zoom gives our moderator the ability to mute all during the readings, and call on participants for their comments. Don’t worry if the dog barks or the kids cry. Mute is a wonderful thing!
If you don’t have a webcam, don’t let that stop you. Just Join with Audio Only, instead of video.
Come, visit, and see if we are that support and encouragement you have been longing for.
Established in 1937
The Minneapolis Writers’ Workshop is an eclectic mix of writers, ranging from beginners to long time professionals, and reflect all ages, genders and backgrounds. We have members who publish literary fiction, creative non-fiction, children’s literature, romance, hard-boiled crime, memoir, travel, poetry, humor and assorted forms of the unclassifiable.
Because we are fearless and a little nuts, we open our minds to anyone and anything. We’ll bend and stretch ourselves like soft licorice to dig your stuff. Most important, we’ll help you get it published.
The Workshop—one of the longest continuously running groups formed with a mission to enhance the art of the written word—was established as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s. Created by President Franklin Roosevelt, the WPA sponsored projects in the arts and employed tens of thousands of actors, musicians, writers and other artists. MWW is one of the longest continuously running groups formed with a mission to enhance the art of the written word.
The Minneapolis Writers Workshop meets via Zoom every Wednesday from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Use the request form on our Contact page to get the codes.
Attend an Open Read Night
First Wednesday of each month
The first Wednesday of every month is Open Read: Non- members are welcome to bring a piece of their writing for the workshop to critique (10-minute limit). Visitors can step up to the mic and get a feel for what it is like to work with this group.
As one member says, “ We are not your mother, and can almost guarantee you won’t receive a pat on the head for reciting.” Our goal is to to prepare your work to put in front of a publisher. Embarrass yourself among friends, instead of receiving numerous rejections via email and wondering where you went wrong. Wordsmith, let us get you polished!
From our members
“This group gives feedback from a wide variety of voices letting me know what works, and what doesn’t, and what needs tweaking. And I learn just as much from the feedback given to other writers when they read their stories. I love this group.”
“MWW offers advice, suggestions and encouragement in a diverse, comfortable, non-threatening atmosphere. My co-author and I owe MWW a debt of gratitude for the benefits our writing has received.”
“MWW helped me write my Memoir. My first attempt writing a book.
I keep attending because as I hear people speak from their works, I feel I’m reading several books at the same time. Plus, I am learning from the thoughtful and insightful comments people offer the writers.”
“This group knows where a writer is at. If you’re just starting out, but you have a story and a will to tell it, you’ll get advice that will help you get to the next level. If you’re pretty good and not working hard enough, be prepared to get your butt kicked. I would not even have a book without these people.”
Recently Published Authors
A sampling of our members’ work
Frederick Blanch ? – 5/7/2023
Mary Ellen Boyd
Anne Greenwood Brown
Samuel E. Cole
Lee Henschel Jr.
Sandra Appleby Joyce
Christy Marie Kent
Roger Morris 10/16/1939 – 3/3/2020
If a member has prepared a poem, or a manuscript (usually 4 to 6 double spaced pages), the member submits their name into an envelope labeled Hat located at the moderator’s table. The moderator will pull a name out of the Hat and invite the writer to read her/his original piece into a microphone. One is allowed 13 minutes. The audience makes comments for the next 3 minutes.
The writer is not allowed rebuttals except at the discretion of the Moderator. Written comments are handed to the speaker on slips of paper. Between 6 – 9 people can recite their work on a given evening. If there are too many names in the Hat, one will have first option to speak for the meeting the following week.
The 2024 Minnesota Writing Workshop
Get your writing published: april 6, 2024, the 2024 minnesota writing workshop: april 6, 2024.
This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day , pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited seats at the event (225 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2024 Minnesota Writing Workshop! We are very proud of our many success stories where attendees sign with agents following events — see our growing list of success stories here .
(Please note that this is an in-person event. We at Writing Day Workshops plan both online/virtual as well as in-person events. This next MWW is an in-person event happening in St. Paul on April 6, 2024. See you there.)
WHAT IS IT?
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront. In other words, it’s one day full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres are welcome.
This event is designed to squeeze as much into one day of learning as possible. You can ask any questions you like during the classes, and get your specific concerns addressed. We will have literary agents onsite to give feedback and take pitches from writers, as well. This year’s agent and editor faculty so far includes:
- literary agent Maria Bell (Sterling Lord Literistic)
- literary agent Trinica Sampson-Vera (New Leaf Literary + Media)
- literary agent Brenna English-Loeb (Transatlantic Literary Agency)
- literary agent Mary Cummings (Great River Literary)
- editor Brittany Torres Rivera (Graywolf Press)
- literary agent Laura Zats (Headwater Literary)
- literary agent Jennie Goloboy (Donald Maass Literary)
- literary agent Michael Croy (Northstar Literary)
- literary agent Savannah Brooks (KT Literary)
- editor Lisa Kloskin (Broadleaf Books)
- literary agent Catherine Hedrick Armstrong (The Purcell Agency)
- literary agent Erik Hane (Headwater Literary)
- editor Meg Gaertner (Flux / Jolly Fish)
- and many more to come.
By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey. This independent event is organized by coordinator Chuck Sambuchino of Writing Day Workshops , with help with local organization Wise Ink Creative Publishing . E-mail Chuck to register for the event at [email protected].
EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, April 6, 2024 — at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront, an IHG Hotel, 11 E Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55101. (651)292-1900. .
THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (APRIL 6, 2024):
What you see below is a quick layout of the day’s events. The topics below are mostly set, but subject to change. You can see a more detailed layout of the day’s classes on the Schedule Page here .
Please Note : There will be 2-3 classes/workshops going at all times during the day, so you will have your choice of what class you attend at any time. The final schedule of topics is subject to change, but here is the current layout:
8:30 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.
BLOCK ONE: 9:30 – 10:30
1. Getting Published in Today’s World: 10 Tips to Make You the Writer Agents and Publishers Want in 2024. This workshop discusses the challenges writers face in publishing today and offers up 10 practical tips to help you break through the barriers and find success.
2. Writing Other Worlds — a Guide to Blending Setting, Plot, and Character in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Writers will learn how to build vibrant worlds, and how the details of setting can be used to add depth to characters and plots.
BLOCK TWO: 10:45 – 11:50
1. 15 Tips on How to Write Like the Pros . This workshop is a thorough crash course concerning craft, style and voice.
2. Pitch, Please: An Agent’s Guide to Pitches & Queries . Inspired by submissions she received, literary agent Caroline George hosts a discussion-based workshop focused on the dos and don’ts of pitching/querying agents.
(What you see here is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here .)
LUNCH ON YOUR OWN: 11:50 – 1:15
Lunch is on your own during these 85 minutes.
BLOCK THREE: 1:15 – 2:30
1. “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest . This is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with attending agents & editors commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission. 2. How to Sell a Nonfiction Book Proposal . This session is completely devoted to nonfiction book proposals.
BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45
1. Open Agent and Editor Q&A Panel. Several attending literary agents will open themselves up to open Q&A from MWW attendees. Bring your questions and get them answered in this popular session.
2. The Fiendish Art of Crafting Suspense for Thrillers, Mysteries and Crime (& Any Novel, Really) . The presentation will show you how to keep your readers flying through the pages, desperate to know what’s going to happen next.
BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00
1. 18 Frequently Asked Questions About Publishing All Writers Should Know . Before you publish your work or query an agent (and after), there are plenty of things you need to know. This session covers the important topics all writers should understand.
2. How to Make Your YA or MG Book Un-Put-Down-Able . What makes a young adult or middle grade book un-put-down-able? Learn how to write compelling YA & MG that readers don’t want to put down.
SESSIONS END: 5:00
At 5 p.m., the day is done. Speakers will make themselves available by the workshop’s bookstore for a short while to sign any books for attendees.
Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.
PITCH AN AGENT OR EDITOR (IN PERSON):
ADDED ONLINE PITCHING : To ensure that writers have a robust and diverse lineup of agents & editors to pitch, 2024 Minnesota Writing Workshop attendees will have the ability to also pitch literary agents at the Writing Day Workshops *online* event that follows the 2024 MWW on our calendar.
That event is the Ohio Writing Workshop , May 10-11, 2024, which will have 30-40 agents taking one-on-one Zoom virtual pitches.
This means that 2024 MWW attendees can have access to pitching all those online OWW agents — pitches still at $29 each — without being a formal registrant for the online May 2024 event. (That said, if you want to formally register for the Ohio conference and have access to all classes and panels, let us know, as there is a discount for confirmed Minnesota attendees.)
If you are interested in this added pitching opportunity, the first step is to get formally registered for Minnesota. Following the MWW conference on April 6, 2024, we will be in touch with all Minnesota attendees and ask them if they want to partake in pitching online agents at the 2024 OWW (May 10-11) . At that time, you can communicate your pitch requests and purchase meeting time.
More 2024 agents to be announced as they are confirmed. You can sign up for pitches at any time, or switch pitches at any time, so long as the agent in question still has appointments open.
These one-on-one meetings are an amazing chance to pitch your book face-to-face with an agent, and get personal, individual feedback on your pitch/concept. If the agent likes your pitch, they’ll request to see part/all of your book — sending you straight past the slush pile. It also gives you an intimate chance to meet with an agent and pick their brain with any questions on your mind.
(Please note that Agent/Editor Pitching is an add-on, separate aspect of the day, for only those who sign up. Spaces are limited for these premium meetings, and pricing/detail is explained below.)
$199 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2024 MWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of fall 2023, registration is now OPEN.
Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents or editors in attendance. Use this special meeting as a chance to pitch your work and get professional feedback on your pitch. (Spaces limited.) If they wish, attendees are free to sign up for multiple 10-minute pitch sessions at $29/session — pitching multiple individuals, or securing 20 minutes to pitch one person rather than the usual 10. Here are four quick testimonials regarding writers who have signed with literary agents after pitching them at prior Writing Day Workshops events. (Our bigger, growing list of success stories an be seen here .)
Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Chuck Sambuchino, one of the day’s instructors. (This rate is a special event value for Minnesota Writing Workshop attendees only.) Registrants are encouraged to take advantage of the specially-priced critique, so they can send out their query letter with confidence following the workshop. Also, if you are meeting with an agent at the event, you’re essentially speaking your query letter aloud to them. Wouldn’t it be wise to give that query letter (i.e., your pitch) one great edit before that meeting?
Add $89 — for an in-depth personal critique of the first 10 pages of your novel. Spaces with faculty for these critiques are very limited, and participating attendees will either 1) get an in-person meeting at the workshop, if the faculty member is attending the live event, or 2) get a 10-minute phone call with the faculty member, and have notes passed along via email, if the critiquer is not attending the live event. Options:
- Picture books, middle grade, and young adult — basically any kind of kidlit (in-person meetings) : Faculty member Erin Casey Westin , a literary agent, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you personally at the MN event for 15 minutes sometime during the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. If you submit a picture book, it must be 1,000 words or fewer (can have illustrations or not).
- Picture books and middle grade (virtual critiques) : Faculty member Mary Cummings , a literary agent, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, and talk with you after the event for 15 minutes to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. Note that Mary is attending as an agent, and meeting people for in-person pitch meetings at the 2024 events. Her limited critiques are separate, and will all be done virtually or by phone following the events. If you submit a picture book, it must be 1,000 words or fewer (can have illustrations or not).
- All types & genres of fiction for adults and young adults (in-person meetings) : Faculty member Kristi Belcamino , a published mystery author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you personally at the MN event for 15 minutes sometime during the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
- Children’s picture books and middle grade (virtual critiques) : Faculty member Brittany Thurman , a published author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. If you submit a picture book, it must be 1,000 words or fewer (can have illustrations or not).
- Science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, young adult SFF, urban fantasy (virtual critiques) : Faculty member Wesley Chu , a published novelist, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
- Fantasy (both YA and adult), fantasy romance, contemporary romance, women’s fiction (virtual critiques) : Faculty member Shauna Golden , a former agent, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, talk with you virtually (Zoom/phone) for 15 minutes workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes.
- More critique options possibly forthcoming.
How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Chuck Sambuchino via email: [email protected] , and he will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by credit card, PayPal, or check. Because Chuck plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Minnesota workshop specifically.
Because of limited space at the venue (InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront), the workshop can only allow 225 registrants, unless spacing issues change. For this reason, we encourage you to book sooner rather than later.
Are spaces still available? Yes, we still have spaces available. We will announce RIGHT HERE, at this point on this web page, when all spaces are taken. If you do not see a note right here saying how all spaces are booked, then yes, we still have room, and you are encouraged to register.
How to Register : The easy first step is simply to reach out to workshop organizer Chuck Sambuchino via email: [email protected] . Chuck will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by credit card, PayPal, or check. Once payment is complete, you will have a reserved seat at the event. The MWW will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Chuck plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Minnesota workshop specifically.
Refunds : If you sign up for the event and have to cancel for any reason at any time, you will receive 50% of your total payment back [sent by check or PayPal]. The other 50% is nonrefundable and will not be returned, and helps the workshop ensure that only those truly interested in the limited spacing sign up for the event. (Please note that query editing payments and manuscript editing payments are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already edited your work.)
Thank you for your interest in the Minnesota Writing Workshop.
Future Minnesota Writing Workshops — And Conferences Happening in 2023
Our past Minnesota Writing Workshop events were successes — thank you to all who attended! The MWW conference has happened multiple times before, and we at Writing Day Workshops have loved connecting writers and literary agents, and seeing so many success stories from our events .
We are not certain exactly when in 2024 the next MWW event will happen. That said, if you’d like to attend a writers conference in late 2023, we have online events coming up to suit your needs. For our online writers conferences, anyone can attend from anywhere. Each monthly online event has great instructional classes and 30-40 attending literary agents! Don’t let your location stop you from connecting with publishing professionals and furthering your writing journey. Details:
- Sept. 8-9, 2023: Atlanta & Colorado (combined) Writing Workshop (Online)
- Oct. 13-14, 2023: Fall Seattle Writing Workshop (Online)
- Oct. 14, 2023: Portland Writing Workshop ( Live and In Person )
- Nov. 10-11, 2023: Fall San Diego Writing Workshop (Online)
- Dec. 8-9, 2023: Fall Writing Workshop of Chicago (Online)
If you have questions, or want to register for any 2023 writers conferences, either online events or in-person events, contact us (Brian Klems) at [email protected] and we are happy to assist. Writers can sign up for more than one event. If you and several people from your writing group all want to register together, ask us about a group discount.
All online classes are recorded and sent out to attendees afterward, so you can study the instruction and enjoy the experience. All virtual pitches are one-on-one with literary agents seeking writers, and done over Zoom (though phone is also an option). Thanks, all, and we hope to see you in 2023 at an event!
Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Trinica Sampson-Vera of New Leaf Literary & Media
Trinica is accepting children’s and adult fiction and nonfiction. Across age groups, she loves adventurous, character-driven stories with largely emotional stakes. Trinica is passionate about championing diverse and marginalized voices.
She is seeking:
- Speculative fiction (especially horror, cozy-to-high fantasy, hopepunk, and near future science fiction)
- Romance and romcoms (especially featuring sapphic/queer relationships)
- NA campus stories (especially dark academia)
- Caribbean (especially Trinidad & Tobago) characters/settings
- Reality TV premises
- Unreliable narrators
- Stories that support women’s wrongs
- Found family (give me the intensity of the Fast & the Furious franchise)
- Messy, doomed, heartbreakingly passionate tragic romances featuring people who make each other worse (I want the intensity of the relationship between Will/Hannibal, iykyk)
- Retellings – I prefer retellings that are “inspired by” rather than faithful retellings. I love to be surprised by a twist or a new way of imagining an old story.
Fun facts about me:
- I play online Survivor (like the CBS show!) and have won twice.
- My name comes from Trinidad and California, where each of my parents was born.
- I’ve cooked my way through two cookbooks and am always looking for new recipes to try!
Trinica graduated from Antioch College with a degree in Creative Writing and French. After several editorial internships during college, she moved to Austin and found an unexpected home in social services, where she worked for five years as a case manager to those experiencing chronic homelessness. Prior to beginning at New Leaf, she worked as an independent editor with Salt & Sage Books and Writing Diversely.
Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Lisa Kloskin of Broadleaf Books
Broadleaf publishes books that engage readers in fresh, substantive, timely, and inspiring reflection on what it is to live with meaning and connection; we specialize in religion, spirituality, social justice, culture, and personal growth.
Lisa lives in the twin cities with her husband and two young children. When not editing for Broadleaf, she spends her time hiking, biking, listening to public radio, streaming whatever show everyone else is watching this week, and of course reading.
Wishlist : I am seeking nonfiction books for adults in the categories of spirituality, personal growth, parenting, and social justice. I am especially looking for:
- BIPOC perspectives on spirituality, faith, and life
- Feminist religious perspectives
- Queer faith perspectives
- Justice- and equity-centered approaches to civic life from rising thought leaders
- Self-help that goes beyond the simple how-to, to meet a deeper and more existential need
- New approaches to personal spiritual practice
Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Erik Hane of Headwater Literary
After graduating with a B.A. from Knox College and obtaining a publishing certificate from the Denver Publishing Institute, Erik Hane began his career on the editorial staff at Oxford University Press and then as an editor at The Overlook Press. Along with Laura, he is a host of Print Run Podcast, which was Digital Book World’s 2019 industry award winner for best podcast. He and Laura were Publishers Weekly reader picks for “Person of the Year” in 2019 as well.
At Headwater, Erik’s client list features some of the sharpest and most essential critics, artists, novelists, journalists, essayists, and commentators working today. His projects reliably find homes across a diverse swath of the publishing industry, from Big-5 commercial publishers to prestigious independent houses to university presses. He is looking for writers whose work—in both style and rigor—is up for the challenge of saying something indispensable about our increasingly chaotic world.
Away from work, Erik is an ardent tennis fan, outdoor enthusiast, Magic: The Gathering player, and a writer and reader himself. He can be found on Twitter @erikhane.
ERIK’S REPRESENTATIVE CATEGORIES:
- Literary fiction
- History, especially American
Literary nonfiction and essays
- Popular science
I’m looking for work from progressive writers that have something novel, rigorous, and provocative to say about contemporary politics. I do not work on books that rely on a current fleeting news cycle to be relevant or sounds like the sort of watered-down, surface-level argument I might find on cable news. I am interested in political nonfiction across a variety of fields of study: economics, race, history, sports, arts criticism, gender studies, political theory, and much more. Everything is political; show me the real-world stakes in whatever you’re writing about and I bet it fits this category.
Favorite recent reads: We Do ‘Til We Free Us by Mariame Kaba; Work Won’t Love You Back by Sarah Jaffe
History—especially American history—feels up for grabs in our current political moment. I am very interested in history writing that critiques American domestic inequality or imperialism abroad, as well as historical narratives that center groups of people who have been severely underrepresented in popular retellings of this country’s past. I work on history that has at least a partial focus on labor struggles or capitalism as a fundamental force in American life.
Favorite Recent Reads: The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber and David Wengrow; Fight Like Hell by Kim Kelly
I am very interested in essays right now—whether those contain arts criticism, culture critique, personal elements (with strong rationale for why), or any of the myriad other ways talented writers are currently exploring the form. This includes creative nonfiction as well; I love distinct structural choices or experimentation, as long as it serves the goal of the project and enhances it in either theme or voice.
Essay collections work best though as books that build off other published work, whether that’s in journals or magazines or elsewhere; I like when books like this feel like they’ve leapt from a writer’s existing body of work.
Favorite recent reads: Make It Scream, Make It Burn by Leslie Jamison; How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell
Somewhat separately from the rest of my nonfiction (but only somewhat; science is political and so is good science writing), I love popular science, in particular books on neuroscience, evolutionary biology, or how science intersects with culture and politics. I’m drawn to writing on the emergence of life, extinction, evolution, natural selection, ecology, and climate.
Favorite recent reads: The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert ; I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong
I love what might get classified in pitch terms as “adult literary fiction” and it’s what I read the most away from work. I have a hard time describing literal elements I look for in novels, but contemporary writers I love include: Karen Russell, Marlon James, Michael Chabon, Patrick Nathan, Garth Greenwell, Jonathan Lethem, Jennifer Egan, Brit Bennett, Olga Tokarczuk, Ben Lerner, and Ling Ma.
I’m interested in unique structural or craft decisions, as long as they make sense and feel necessary. I like folklore, ghost stories, myths, religion; I typically pick up realist fiction, but I really love when things feel slightly surreal because of the prose. I really like fiction that’s class-, race-, or power-conscious, that sets up shop in the many divides, contradictions, dangers, and inequities of the world. I really like understatement; the most important craft decision an author makes is what to leave unsaid but present just off the page.
I am probably not the right agent for projects that center the experiences of cops or military officers.
Favorite recent reads: The Overstory by Richard Powers; Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk; Severance by Ling Ma.
I do not represent thrillers, mystery, or children’s literature.
Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jennie Goloboy of Donald Maass Literary Agency
Jennie Goloboy is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency.
“As a fan of character-driven novels, I want to be desperate to know what happens to your hero by the time I’ve finished your writing sample. Romance and humor are always a plus. If your book combines an oddball premise with a compelling protagonist, I want to read it. I never see enough hard science fiction.
“I’m also looking for history for a popular, adult audience. I’m a particular fan of histories of an idea, and narratives about early America. I’m not interested in historical novels, or in memoir.”
Jennie joined the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2017, after six years at a Twin Cities-based literary agency. She has a PhD in the History of American Civilization from Harvard, and published a book based on her dissertation, Charleston and the Emergence of Middle-Class Culture in the Revolutionary Era, in 2016. Her novel, Obviously Aliens , was published by Queen of Swords Press in 2021.
Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Mary Cummings of Great River Literary
“I represent fiction, literary nonfiction and poetry for children and teens, from board and picture books to middle grade (including chapter books) and young adult. (No adult projects, please).”
Great River Literary is an agency devoted exclusively to representing authors and author/illustrators of books for children and teens.
Strong relationships with editors have resulted in a rapidly growing list of sales of board and picture books, chapter books and novels to such publishing houses as Knopf; Philomel; Viking; Nancy Paulsen/Penguin; Balzer & Bray; Walker; Little, Brown; Henry Holt; Holiday House; Feiwel & Friends; FSG; Running Press; WorthyKids; Abrams; Random House; Wiseman S & S; Chronicle; Candlewick; HarperCollins and many others.
“Great River Literary” was the clear name choice for the new agency established by Mary Cummings in 2021, after thirteen years as an agent for books for children and teens at Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises.
Except in the depths of winter, nearly every evening Mary goes down to the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Paul to see the passing scene of trees and birds, barges and boats, kids and lovers – and always the play of light on the flowing water.
Mary finds great joy in helping her clients polish their stories to stand out for editors and to become books that will make a difference in kids’ lives. Before becoming a literary agent, Mary was Education Director at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis where, among other accomplishments, she curated an annual festival of children’s literature and selected judges for the McKnight Award from leading editors in children’s publishing.
Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Laura Zats of Headwater Literary
(Note: Concerning the 10-minute “pitch” appointments at the event, Laura’s agency handles these opportunities in a specific way. In her own words: “Headwater, as a policy doesn’t do traditional pitch sessions, but we DO perform consultations, where we meet with anyone and answer questions & give feedback, rather than just give a yes/no.”)
For over a decade, Laura has worked with books in every way from bookselling to editing to self-publishing. A literary agent since 2014, she finds the most joy in working closely with authors to build their long-term careers in ways that contribute positively to their financial and mental health, as well as the greater community. Since 2016, Laura has hosted Print Run, a publishing podcast, with Erik Hane and is increasingly passionate about teaching, mentorship, and the role books play in the fight for social justice.
In her spare time, Laura plays tabletop role-playing games, cooks elaborate meals, follows long-distance dogsled racing, and drinks a lot of tea. Connect with her on twitter @LZats.
LAURA’S REPRESENTATIVE CATEGORIES:
- Science fiction/fantasy
- Select mystery
- Literary fiction with speculative elements
- Select contemporary and historical fiction
“I am actively looking to flesh out the adult side of my list but am always excited to read YA. I particularly love to work on books that appeal to readers of different genres or subgenres—if you’re pitching something that crosses multiple areas of my list, I want to see it!”
IN YOUNG ADULT:
I’m interested in reading about standout characters I’ve never met before, clever twists on familiar themes, and compassionate writing. I’m also very interested in seeing marginalized creators take on “tired” tropes.
Unfortunately, 2020 has killed my interest in dystopia/big government stories, but I’m very much open to anything else. This is a category where I don’t quite know what I want until I see it, so take the above and run with it!
Favorite recent reads: WILDER GIRLS by Rory Power, GROWN by Tiffany D. Jackson
I gravitate towards tropes that build conflict from the roles and expectations a character brings with them at the start of the book—think enemies (or rivals) to lovers, fake relationship, and coworkers. Put another way, I like the tension to come from forces outside the relationship versus forces inside the relationship (like accidental pregnancy, love triangle, miscommunication, etc.)
I’m not a good fit for Christian romance.
I work with a lot of LGBTQ+ romance and am always excited to add more to my list in all subgenres! I particularly would love to see more f/f and would love more nb or trans characters.
Favorite recent reads: THE LADY’S GUIDE TO CELESTIAL MECHANICS by Olivia Waite, THE ROOMMATE by Rosie Danan
I am a life-long cozy mystery fan and am always looking for anything that hits Jessica Fletcher and/or Miss Marple notes. I am particularly looking for cozy series or standalone books that bring something fresh to the genre beyond a distinctive setting. For example, I’d love to see projects that play with romance or speculative fiction tropes as much as traditional mystery tropes, or that feature a BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+ protagonist.
I will consider historical and contemporary mysteries, as well as speculative ones, as long as they hit the requirements listed above.
I am not looking for police/law enforcement heroes or love interests. I am also not looking for thrillers, even domestic thrillers.
Favorite recent reads: ARSENIC AND ADOBO by Mia P. Manansala, DEATH IN CASTLE DARK by Veronica Bond, the Below Stairs series by Jennifer Ashley, and anything by Elly Griffiths
IN SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY:
SF/F will always be my first love, and as such, I’m very open to all subgenres, as well as horror. However, submitted projects must pass the Bechdel and/or the Mako Mori test.
Forever loves for me are heists/cons, fantasy that taps into gaming culture/fandom, witches, and reluctant, flawed heroes. I prefer to see traditional settings and tropes twisted on their heads. I’m drawn to seeing progressive, community-focused politics in my SFF and would love to have more decolonized worlds come across my desk.
I am less interested in dystopian/big gov stories, superheroes, steampunk, military SFF, and traditional Tolkien-esque high fantasy, but still willing to look at these books if they’re doing something new.
Favorite recent reads: GIDEON THE NINTH by Tamsyn Muir, RETURN OF THE THIEF by Megan Whalen Turner, MAGIC FOR LIARS by Sarah Gailey, THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE THE TIME WAR by Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar
IN LITERARY FICTION WITH SPECULATIVE ELEMENTS:
The primary distinction between literary fiction with speculative elements and general SFF is usually a matter of sales, not content. I’m separating this section out only in the event that you, the reader, haven’t considered querying agents who rep SFF!
I’m looking for a wide range of speculative elements here—from something as fantastical as the Cthulhu monsters in LOVECRAFT COUNTRY to something as subtle as the earth’s slowing rotation backdrop in THE AGE OF MIRACLES.
SELECT CONTEMPORARY AND HISTORICAL FICTION:
Historical with LGBTQ+ main characters (like THE PAYING GUESTS by Sarah Waters, THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid)
Historical and contemporary fiction that isn’t speculative but either feels adjacent to SFF (like LITTLE by Edward Carey) or appeals to related fandoms (like A STUDY IN SCARLET WOMEN by Sherry Thomas)
Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Brittany Torres Rivera of Graywolf Press
Graywolf Press publishes about 30 books annually — mostly poetry, memoirs, essays, novels, translations, and short stories. “Our editors are looking for high quality literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that combine a distinct voice with a distinct vision. Our editors seek out and solicit promising work from authors that they encounter in the pages of magazines, at writing conferences, and in other venues.”
Brittany is a bilingual Puerto Rican writer. She graduated from Florida International University with a BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Brittany is an alumna of the Fulbright Program.
Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Maria Bell of Sterling Lord Literistic
“I am looking primarily for adult fiction, especially the following:
- literary fiction with strong narrative momentum
- LGBTQ fiction
- Rom coms (especially queer ones) that play with but also diverge from common tropes
- Stories involving humans’ interactions with animals and/or wilderness
- Grounded stories that involve elements of magical realism
- Coming-of-age stories that center the post-teenage, new-to-adulting years
- Mystery/Suspense with an unexpected twist
Maria joined Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. in 2019 and works with Doug Stewart and Neeti Madan. Maria is drawn to literary fiction that breaks conventions in form, voice and character. In both fiction and nonfiction, she’s partial to stories involving the natural world, queer identities, baseball, and all those that grapple with conflicts and truths from which most of us instinctively distance ourselves. Maria graduated from Vassar College with a degree in English and sociology. She grew up in Minnesota with goats as pets, and now lives in Brooklyn with her grumpy turtle and a one-eyed cat.
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6 Best Creative Writing Classes in Minneapolis
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How to Get Published
Minnesota Writing Workshop
This one-day "How to Get Published" workshop, scheduled for April 6, 2024, in St. Paul, MN, offers intensive instruction, the opportunity to pitch to literary agents and editors, and a range of classes on publishing, query writing, and manuscript marketing. It is suitable for writers of all genres, focusing on both fiction and nonfiction, with a limit of 225 participants.
Prerequisites: No prerequisites
Class size: 200
Start date: April, 2024
Minneapolis Writers' Workshop
This is a virtual writer's critique and support group that caters to a diverse range of writers, from beginners to seasoned professionals. The group, which meets every Wednesday evening via Zoom, offers an eclectic environment for writers of various genres, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Once a month, they host an "Open Read" night where non-members can present their writing for critique, providing a hands-on experience of the workshop environment.
Categories: Fiction, Essay, Poetry, Nonfiction, Short Story, Free, Book
Class size: Unlimited
Start date: Open all year round
Descriptive language is a writer's most powerful tool for creating what John Gardner called the best fiction—a vivid and continuous dream. Readings and writing exercises will focus on the importance of specificity, how to deftly work with adverbs and adjectives, describing with all five senses, and how to effectively communicate emotion. Come prepared to write!
Categories: Book, Fiction
Class size: Limited
Start date: December, 2023
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The Fab Five: Writing With the Senses
Powerful writing stimulates the senses, allowing us to fully immerse ourselves in the scene the writer has created. Infusing our pages with imagery evoking scent, touch, taste, hearing, and sight leads to a multi-dimensional experience that stays with us. In this workshop, we’ll use creative prompts to spend time with each of our senses, employing them as inspiration for juicy, textured writing
Categories: Book, Fantasy, Fiction, Memoir, Science Fiction, Short Story
You've Finished Your Book, Now What?
The publishing process can be confusing and intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Each published writer goes through the same process; somewhere along the way, they just asked for help. That's what this class aims to do: help you take the next step with your manuscript with confidence.
Categories: Book, Fiction, Publishing
Be a Better Copywriter—Fast
Do you want to communicate more effectively? Learn the tricks of the copywriting trade to energize your ads, emails, social media, blogs, reports, proposals, newsletters and more. Achieve better engagement, response rates, and results. You will unlock the secrets behind writing better copy.
Categories: Blog, Content, Copywriting, Freelance
So you’re looking for creative writing classes in Minneapolis
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Share this Program
Looking for a more creative way to earn a college degree? Minneapolis College’s Creative Writing program offers students access to a vibrant world of creative skills through intensive practice as writers and readers in three literary genres: poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction.
Whether you aspire to become a professional writer or to apply these creative skills to a wide range of jobs in the creative economy, the Minneapolis College Creative Writing program can help you fire up your imagination and make a deeper, more meaningful connection to your education.
Enthusiastic, highly-skilled faculty who:
- Love teaching creative writing,
- Have strong experience as teachers
- Have earned graduate degrees in creative writing
- Have published their work as full-length books and in many magazines and anthologies.
Great students who:
- Are passionate about writing and being creative
- Want to associate with other creative students
- Want to earn a legitimate academic degree that’s also exciting and personally fulfilling.
Opportunities to engage with a vibrant literary community
- On campus, with other creative writing students and faculty
- The Loft Literary Center
- Rain Taxi Review of Books
- Minnesota Center for Book Arts
- Coffee House Press
- Graywolf Press
- Milkweed Editions.
Award Requirements and Course Descriptions & Outlines
Please select the award below to view the degree options and requirements in the college catalog.
- Associate of Arts with an Emphasis in Creative Writing —60 credits
- Course Descriptions & Outlines
- Transfer Agreements
Program Learning Outcomes
- Read and analyze works of creative writing with more critical literacy skill, understanding their craft as well as their historical and social contexts (e.g. race, gender, class).
- Work collaboratively with other writers and contribute to a creative community, particularly through full class workshops and/or small group peer review.
- Engage in a writing process through a series of steps: generating, drafting, revising, etc.
- Write poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction with more skill, effectiveness, creativity and social awareness.
- Understand and use a range of creative writing techniques and elements (e.g. imagery, metaphor, rhythm, character development, plot development, point of view).
- Understand and use a range of creative writing forms (e.g. sonnet, list poem, memoir, literary journalism, flash fiction, short story).
A member of Minnesota State
Search results for “ creative writing workshops ”
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