Blue Stoop
A hub for literary Philly


We offer three 8-week classes in the fall (September-November) and three 8-week classes in the spring (January-March) with 6-12 students as well as shorter weekend intensives in April and June that are capped at 10 students. Intro fiction and advanced poetry are offered in the fall, advanced fiction and intro poetry in the spring, with a rotating nonfiction offering in both terms. Our full length classes cost $400 (financial aid is available) and we pay our instructors between $2-$3K depending on enrollment. If you have college teaching experience and some record of publication and would like to propose a class, email us at

Our upcoming classes are as follows. Check back in July for Fall 2019 courses.

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Novel Writing Intensive

  • Indy Hall 399 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 (map)

Devote the weekend to your novel during this two-day intensive with Annie Liontas, author of Let Me Explain You, named Editor’s Choice by The New York Times Book Review.  Whether you are beginning your first novel or are looking to reboot a beloved project, our craft talks and workshop discussions will deepen your knowledge of your book and offer a path forward.  

We’ll begin by asking what promises a novel makes and what questions drive it. On day one, we will look briefly to the work of master writers for guidance as we think about our own choices and challenges.  We will then move into critiques of your opening pages, relying on inquiry and a Socratic approach, asking questions that help the writer see their work more sharply. On day two, we continue workshops and talk novel architecture, pacing, and look to tools and strategies that writers can take home. Our intensive concludes with brief one-on-one conferences, encouraging you to tackle a frustration, make a plan, light a fire.

Participants need to have written as little as a single chapter but might have built as much as an entire novel.  To encourage dialogue and develop common language, some light reading will be assigned in advance of the intensive.  Optional additional reading includes Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends. Writing a novel is a great deal of digging in the shadows, but when you’re among compatriots, somebody holds up a lantern every now and then.  Come join us this June!   

Cost: $250 (financial aid available)
Schedule: April 6, 10-4 pm (w/lunch break), April 7 10-4pm (w/lunch break)
6-10 students (need 6 students to run)
Registration: Rolling, by application, closes June 3, 2019
To apply: email 5-15 pages of your project & a little bit about you to If applying for financial aid, please also fill out this form.

Annie Liontas' novel Let Me Explain You (Scribner) was featured in The New York Times Book Review as an Editor's Choice and was selected by the ABA as an Indies Introduce Debut and Indies Next title.  She is the co-editor of the anthology A Manner of Being: Writers on their Mentors.  Her work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, BOMB, Guernica, Ninth Letter and Lit.  She teaches creative writing at George Washington University.  Follow her @aliontas.

Earlier Event: April 6
Young Adult Novel Intensive