Spring 2017 Writing Workshops and Intensives

at Goddard Riverside Community Center



647 Columbus Avenue @West 92nd Street


Wednesday Writing Workshops  




Karol Nielsen

This workshop will help the memoir writer find and shape a personal narrative whether a short essay or a book-length memoir. Weekly lectures and in-class exercises will illuminate the elements of storytelling used to write a memoir: structure, characterization, plot, description, dialogue, point-of-view, style, voice, and revision. Works developed in my classes have been published as books and essays with honors in The Best American Essays and elsewhere. I believe in a warm, supportive atmosphere where even the most unformed idea can turn into a work of substance and art. 

6 Wednesdays: May 24, 31, June 7, 14, 21, 28

6:30-8:30 p.m. 


Register here for Memoir Writing

Karol Nielsen worked as a journalist before becoming an author, editor, and writing instructor. Her memoir, Black Elephants (Bison Books, 2011), was selected as a New and Noteworthy Book by Poets & Writers in 2011 and shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing in nonfiction in 2012. Excerpts from her memoir were honored as Notable Essays in The Best American Essays  in 2010 and 2005. Her poetry chapbook, This Woman I Thought I’d Be (Finishing Line Press, 2012), includes poems from her full collection, selected as a finalist for the Colorado Prize for Poetry in 2007. She works as a freelance manuscript editor and has served as senior editor, nonfiction editor, and contributing editor of Epiphany, an award-winning literary magazine.  She teaches writing workshops at New York University and New York 

Writers Workshop.



Ian Singleton

Good writing is strange; it changes the way a reader senses the world. We'll read and discuss stories with an eye toward details and techniques that make the story stand out. We'll use exercises to find new tactics to make our own writing unique.

6 Wednesdays: May 24, 31, June 7, 14, 21, 28

6:30-8:30 p.m. 


Register here for Telling It Slant

Ian Singleton teaches with New York Writers Workshop. His short stories, translations, reviews, and essays have appeared in journals such as: New Madrid; Digital Americana; Midwestern Gothic; Fiddleblack; Asymptote; Ploughshares and several times in Fiction Writers Review. He was a student at the University of Michigan and Emerson College. Ian has taught Creative Writing and Literature for the PEN Prison Writing Program, the Prison University Project, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Francisco State University, Cogswell Polytechnical College, and the Cambridge Writers Workshop. He is working on a novel titled Odessitka. Ian Singleton lives with his wife and their beloved daughter in an apartment in South Brooklyn.



Roberta Allen

In this workshop for beginning and experienced writers, you will learn how to write micro stories, also known as flash or short shorts in which the story is shaved down to its essence. Using a quick and simple method, you will tap into stories that move you—whether fiction or memoir and learn how to say more by saying less. You will learn how to shape your first drafts and revise them into finished works. I will read and discuss published micro stories. You will write in class, revise at home and read aloud revisions to get constructive feedback and specific suggestions for improvement in an open, caring and exciting environment.  

6 Wednesdays: May 24, 31, June 7, 14, 21, 28

6:30-8:30 p.m. 


Register here for Micro Stories

Roberta Allen’s new collection of short and very short fiction, The Princess of Herself, will be published in 2017. She is the author of eight other books. Her two collections of short shorts, Certain People and The Traveling Woman, were both praised by the New York Times Book Review. She is also the author of the novel, The Dreaming Girl; the novella-in-shorts, The Daughter; and the travel memoir, Amazon Dream. She has published two writing workbooks, The Playful Way to Serious Writing and The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself and the first guide to writing very short stories, Fast Fiction. Over 300 of her short and very short stories have appeared in journals, such as Conjunctions, Guernica, Bomb, The Brooklyn Rail, Open City and in many anthologies, including the new Micro Fiction to be published in 2017. 

She is a member of New York Writers Workshop. Visit Roberta Allen’s website:  www.robertaallen.com.



Tim O’Mara

Writing The Novel is a workshop for writers just getting started, not sure how to get started, or close to typing that last word. Join this limited-enrollment, interactive opportunity to learn practical tools and share your work in a supportive, encouraging environment led by a veteran teacher and fellow novelist. Make this the year you get your story ready for publication.

5 Wednesdays; 1 Tuesday: June 7, 14, 21, 27 (Tues.), July 5, 12

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM


Register here for Writing the Novel

Tim O’Mara is the author of four Raymond Donne mystery novels: Sacrifice Fly, Crooked Numbers, Dead Red (St. Martin’s/Minotaur Books), and Nasty Cutter (Severn House Publishers), the last of which will be released in paperback this July. Other works include his crime novella “Smoked,” in the trilogy Triple Shot, and its upcoming sequel “Jammed,” both published by Down and Out Books. Tim lives in Manhattan with his family and will retire from a 30-year career as a NYC public middle school teacher in June 2017 to write full-time.

Daytime Writing Workshop



J.D. Serling

This supportive and encouraging workshop will explore a range of fictional techniques—point of view (first, second, third), dialogue, mood and tone--in order to help writers of all levels write powerful and original stories. Reading assignments, writing prompts and in class discussion will help students begin new work, revise prior material, or continue a work-in-progress. During the final week, students may elect to share a complete story or novel chapter for workshop by fellow students and me. 

6 Tuesdays:

May 23, 30, June 6, 13, 20, 27    

12:00-2:00 pm


Register here for Writing Great Stories

J.D. Serling is a member of the New York Writers Workshop and the author of the forthcoming novel, Good Neighbors (Twelve, Feb 2018.) Her short stories have appeared in New Ohio Review and North American Review. 



Alissa Torres

What are the stories in our lives that have shaped us into who we are today?  How can writing help us to articulate our real and fantastical goals and dreams?  We will do a variety of writing exercises to find and explore our own sets of past, present and future stories and then draft a few of them.  From there we will learn how to to further develop our stories to to "write wrongs," and to craft our best selves.  

Saturday, June 3, 2:00-5:00 pm


Register for Writing for Wellness

Alissa Torres is the author of AMERICAN WIDOW (art by Sungyoon Choi), a graphic novel memoir, about her experiences as a 9/11 widow and new mother.  She has written many personal essays and articles for salon.com and for other publications.  Her book was listed as a New York Times Editors’ Choice, September 14, 2008,  and was also an award finalist for the 2008 Books for a Better Life - First Books Category.  In 2007, she won the State Farm Embrace Life award.  Alissa is a member of New York Writers Workshop. 



Loren Kleinman

Prose poetry is often considered the gateway drug to writing poems. It’s the best of both worlds, bordering on fiction and poetry, nonfiction and fiction, memoir and poetry. Of all the forms, prose poems allow the writer to experiment with language by retracing or tracing consciousness that the reader will encounter line by line in paragraph form. Often lyrical in tone, the prose poem forces the writer and the reader into its structural prosaic space, unraveling a complex narrative. In this workshop, we’ll explore how the form functions, how to revise it, and how to build prose poems into lyrical narratives. 

Saturday, June 10, 2:00-5:00 pm


Register here for Borderline Poetry

Loren Kleinman is an American-born poet and writer with roots in New Jersey. Her writing explores the results of love and loss, and how both themes affect an individual’s internal and external voice. Her poetry appeared in The New York TimesDrunken BoatThe MothDomestic CherryBlue Lake ReviewColumbia JournalStony Thursday Anthology (Arts Council Ireland) LEVURE LITTÉRAIRENimrod, Wilderness House Literary Review, Narrative Northeast, Writer’s Bloc, Journal of New Jersey Poets, Paterson Literary Review (PLR), Resurgence (UK), HerCircleEzine and Aesthetica Annual. She was the recipient of the Spire Press Poetry Prize (2003), was a 2000, 2003, and 2015 Pushcart Prize nominee, and was a 2004 Nimrod/Pablo Neruda Prize finalist for poetry.Her collection of poetry include Flamenco SketchesThe Dark Cave Between My RibsBreakable Things and Stay with Me Awhile. Her debut novel, This Way to Forever released with Evatopia Press late August 2016. She recently finished a memoir The Woman with a Million Hearts published by BlazeVOXand is currently working on a screenplay called Self, Help. She is the co-founder of National Translation Month, a month-long celebration of writing in translation during the month of September.  Loren is a member of New York Writers Workshop.



Donna Minkowitz

Good writing is some of the most sensual writing around. It can be earthy, lyrical, even cultural and political. But while many people long to write about food, most don't know quite where to start. In this three-hour intensive, students will learn how to write well about the taste, smell, touch, sound, and sight of food; about the emotions and memories that food evokes; and about — in each particular instance — what food can "mean."

Saturday, June 17, 2:00-5:00 pm


Register here for Food Writing

Donna Minkowitz is the restaurant critic for Gay City News, and she has also written for New York magazine, the New York Times, Salon, The Nation, Tablet, and the Village Voice. Minkowitz has taught nonfiction writing and memoir since 1998, at venues including the 92nd St. Y, The Kitchen, In Our Own Write, and the New York Writers Workshop. Her recent memoir Growing Up Golem: How I Survived My Mother, Brooklyn and Some Really Bad Dates was a finalist for both a Lambda Literary Award and for the Judy Grahn Nonfiction Award. Her first memoir, Ferocious Romance, won a Lammy.