New York Writers Workshop @ Goddard Riverside 

The Bernie Wohl Center -- 647 Columbus Avenue @ 91st St.


Finding the Story Within You with Judith Hannan


Words are how we connect to others and ourselves. Too often, our words are stifled -- because there is no one to listen to them, because we lack the confidence to speak them, or because a trauma or major life event disrupts our narrative. We become strangers to ourselves and isolated from others. Writing is a way to free our voices, to access the words that allow us to unveil our personal stories, to examine and probe them, to discover the deepest truths behind them.

This workshop will combine writing excerpts and examples with related prompts to begin the process of opening up your personal narrative. Introductory prompts will focus both on the tools and craft of writing followed by an opportunity to delve into specific scenes or moments of one's life. Sharing what we have written with each other is an additional crucial step in the process. First, when we read our own words aloud, we feel the full impact of what we have discovered. Second, by receiving positive feedback from a supportive and loving community, we will be encouraged to keep writing.

No experience is necessary. The only requirement is an open heart.

Sunday, June 3, 2018



Register here for Finding the Story Within You

Judith Hannan’s recent book is The Write Prescription: Telling Your Story to Live with and Beyond Illness, which grew out of her experience writing Motherhood Exaggerated, her chronicle of transformation while caring for a child with cancer. Her essays have appeared in such publications as Woman’s Day, Narratively, The Forward, Health & Spirituality, Brevity, Cognoscenti, The Martha’s Vineyard Gazette, among others. She leads workshops for homeless mothers, young women in the criminal justice system, as well as those affected by physical or mental illness. She is a volunteer writing mentor in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s Visible Ink program and is an interventionist in the hospital’s research study to evaluate the healing power of writing.  Ms. Hannan is a recipient of a 2015 Humanism-in-Medicine award from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. She is a member of the New York Writers Workshop and serves on the boards of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center.

The Poetic Impulse with Jen Fitzgerald


Why poetry? Of all the options for expression, all the means of communication, why would we choose this complicated and under-appreciated medium? Because we don't choose poetry, it chooses us. Poetry is not just a literary genre or artistic form, it is a way to see the world.

From the battlefield to the subway car, we use this highest form of language to process our experiences. This three-hour workshop will explore where poetry comes from while learning the fundamentals of poetry like craft, form, and content. We will learn the basics of meter and prosody and how poetry is more like painting than writing. A brief survey of poetry from early to contemporary works will be coupled with opportunities to generate new work.

Sunday, June 3, 2018



Register here for The Poetic Impulse

Jen Fitzgerald is a poet, essayist, photographer, and a native New Yorker who received her MFA in Poetry at Lesley University and her BA in Writing at The College of Staten Island (CUNY).  She is the 2018 Managing Editor for the Los Angeles based press, Agape Editions. She teaches creative writing workshops online and around New York City, and is a member of New York Writers Workshop. Her first collection of poetry, “The Art of Work” was published by Noemi Press in September of 2016. Her essays, poetry, and photography have appeared in such outlets as PBS Newshour, Boston Review, Tin House, Salon, PEN Anthology, Colorado Review, Harriet: The Poetry Foundation Blog, Best American Poetry Blog, among others. She’s returned to Staten Island after a few years living on the Chesapeake Bay. She is living in and restoring a 200-year-old hotel/boarding house as she completes an essay collection and her next poetry collection.


past Courses nyww@Goddard-Riverside

Memoir Writing with Karol Nielsen


0This six-session 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. 

Wednesdays, April 25-May 30, 2018



Register here for Memoir Writing

Karol Nielsen worked as a journalist before becoming an author, editor, and writing instructor. She is the author of the memoirs Walking A&P (Mascot Books, 2018) and Black Elephants (Bison Books, 2011), 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 fromBlack Elephants were honored as Notable Essays in The Best American Essays  in 2010 and 2005. Her poetry chapbook, This Woman I Thought Id 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.

What is The Best Way to Tell My Story? Writing True and Unique Stories in Fiction or Personal Essay: A Two-Part Workshop with Joanna Laufer

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This two-part writing workshop will help students decide on the best genre to tell a particular story – fiction or personal essay. In-class discussions on the importance of the first sentence, voice, storytelling, and the thin line between fiction and creative nonfiction will help writers of all levels produce powerful and publishable work. The second meeting will focus entirely on the work created and submitted. Feedback will be given in a safe and supportive environment.

Saturdays, April 14 and 28, 2018


$125 for Two Sessions

Register here for What is The Best Way to Tell My Story?

Joanna Laufer is the author of Inspired  (Doubleday) and the co-creator of the best-selling Inspired classical music series on RCA. Her nonfiction has appeared in Child Magazine, Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher, Bottom Line, including essays recently published in SheKnows, Brain, Child Magazine as well as in anthologies. Her fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals. Joanna is the creator and executive producer of the television series Dancers: Just Plain Dancing. She works as a freelance manuscript editor and writing coach.