Blue Stoop
A Home for Philly Writers


Craft Classes & Writing Workshops

We offer 3 eight-week writing workshops in the fall (September-November) and another 3 eight-week writing workshops in the spring (January-March) as well as shorter weekend intensives throughout the year. Generally, introductory workshops are offered in the fall, with more advanced classes offered in the spring.

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 eight-week and intensive classes, including full scholarships. Click here for more details on financial aid.

If you have college teaching experience and a 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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Foundations of Writing Fiction

  • Pen & Pencil Club 1522 Latimer Street, Philadelphia PA 19102 (map)

This 8-week class will meet Mondays from 9/9-10/28 6-9pm
Location: Pen & Pencil Club upstairs, 1522 Latimer Street 
6-12 students; class will not run with less than 6 students
$400, financial aid available
To apply, send a paragraph about you and a writing sample of up to 5 pages of any genre of writing to
Students must apply by 11:59pm August 19. If admitted, must pay by August 30 to reserve their spot

The short story is a guileful medium: a contest between writer and reader that requires all manner of deceptions, tricks, anticipations, feints, and subversions. Lean and economical, a successful short story is like a perfect trap into which the unwitting reader stumbles, each carefully laid sentence formed with the purpose of ensnaring its prey in a net of toppled expectations before releasing them back into the world forever altered.

In this course, we will discuss the fundamental elements of this most dangerous form, including setting, exposition, character, dialogue, pacing, perspective, beginnings, and endings. We will read pieces from masters of the story like Octavia Butler, Italo Calvino, Lorrie Moore, and George Saunders, as well as contemporary practitioners like Randa Jarrar, Carmen Maria Machado, Ottessa Moshfegh, and Charles Yu. Students will submit their original stories to be read and workshopped by the rest of the class. In addition to honing their skills as writers and editors, students will learn the basics of the publication process so that they, too, can send their stories out into the world to ensnare readers of their own.

Michael Deagler’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, New England Review, Kenyon Review Online, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City. Originally from Philadelphia, he can be reached at mdeagler (at) gmail (dot) com, or on Twitter @MichaelDeagler.

Earlier Event: September 3
Foundations of Writing Poetry
Later Event: September 11
Foundations of Writing Criticism