Blue Stoop
A home for writers


We offer three eight-week writing workshops in the fall (September-November) and another three eight-week writing workshops in the spring (January-March) with 6-12 students as well as shorter weekend intensives in April and June with 6-10 students.

Generally, introductory fiction and poetry workshops are offered in the fall, advanced fiction and poetry workshops in the spring, with a rotating nonfiction workshop (theme and genre varies) offered in both terms.

Tuition for our full-length classes is $400, a fee we set intentionally so we can adequately compensate our instructors; we pay our instructors between $2000-3000 per course, depending on enrollment. Tuition for weekend intensives is $250 and instructors receive $600-1300 depending on enrollment. Financial aid is available for both our 8 week and intensive courses, including full scholarships. See below for details.

If you have college teaching experience and some record of publication and would like to propose a class, contact us. For a list of our past classes, click here.

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Poetry Book Manuscript Intensive

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

This weekend poetry intensive is for poets who want guidance in taking the rough draft of their chapbook or full length manuscript to its final form. It will investigate the questions: Should your collection be sectioned; and if so, what is the logic behind that sectioning? What is the emotional arc of your collection or chapbook? How is your title functioning? Where are the gaps in this manuscript, both physically and in terms of content? How is the collection functioning on a formal level? By asking you to define your manuscript’s goals and shortcomings, the format of this workshop will cater to your collection’s particular needs. Feedback from widely published poet and instructor Raena Shirali will also include a list of 3 potential places to submit your work once it has been through the revision process.

Students must have a chapbook OR full length manuscript that they consider to be a rough draft, with the poems therein considered “almost done” or “final drafts.” Chapbook limitation: between 30-45 pages. Full length limitation: between 48-72 pages.

Cost: $250 (financial aid available)
Schedule: July 21 10-4pm (w/lunch break) & July 22 10-4 pm (w/lunch break)
6-10 students (need 6 students to run)
Registration: Rolling, by application, closes July 5, 2019
To apply: email the below to If applying for financial aid, please also fill out this form.

—A statement about your project (identify their goals for this manuscript in terms of content).
—Three things you want to get out of this workshop for their particular manuscript.
—One or two things that would NOT be helpful for your particular workshop.

Raena Shirali is the author of GILT (YesYes Books, 2017), which won the 2018 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award. Winner of a Pushcart Prize & a former Philip Roth Resident at Bucknell University, she is also the recipient of prizes and honors from VIDA, Gulf Coast, Boston Review, & Cosmonauts Avenue. Shirali received her MFA from The Ohio State University, and has taught creative writing extensively, most recently serving as Poetry Faculty for Kettle Pond Writer’s Conference, where she led a week-long manuscript intensive at Pauls Smith College. She has performed and hosted craft talks at NPR Illinois, the 92Y Unterberg Center, Indiana University, Wright State University, Mississippi State University, University of Wisconsin, Slippery Rock University, Asian Arts Initiative, & elsewhere. Find out more at

Earlier Event: June 22
Novel Writing Intensive