Fiction | Workshop

6-Week Fiction Workshop: Holding On to Your Readers

Whether you’re new to writing fiction or looking to explore different approaches to your work, this is the class for you. During our six-weeks together we'll discuss ways in which we can keep our reader engaged on every page, looking closely at ways to construct lively dialogue, surprising plot twists, and fascinating characterizations. Our goal will be to never give our readers a reason to put our work back on the shelf "for later."

We’ll read short fiction, old and new, by authors such as Jamel Brinkley and Eudora Welty, just to name a couple. We’ll do short writing exercises to further develop our muscle for enticing our readers to follow us to the next paragraph. Writers will have the opportunity to submit twice for peer critique, and I welcome short stories (up to 30 pages) and/or the first pages of a novel excerpt. Writers who take this course will leave with the skills and strategies to write fiction readers can’t put down.


- Receive feedback from peers and the instructor on two pieces of your work

- One 1-on-1 conference with the instructor

- Learn how to turn your work into a true page turner

De'Shawn Charles Winslow

De'Shawn Charles Winslow was born and raised in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and has lived in Brooklyn for most of his adult life. He enjoys reading and writing fiction about the complex relationships within families and small, close-knit communities. De'Shawn has taught writing courses at multiple CUNY campuses, and at the University of Iowa. He is a 2017 graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he wrote his first, forthcoming novel, In West Mills (Bloomsbury, June 2019).


"De'Shawn Winslow has a rare and blessed gift for writing characters who live and breathe and struggle and love one another and attain, in their imperfect, human way, a miraculous grace. The scope of this slim novel astonishes me: it encompasses an entire world."

Garth Greenwell author of WHAT BELONGS TO YOU

"IN WEST MILLS by De’Shawn Charles Winslow is an enthralling debut from a masterful writer. Prepare to be captivated by the community of West Mills, with its deep secrets and even deeper friendships. I love this compassionate, profound book."

Helen Phillips author of THE BEAUTIFUL BUREAUCRAT

"De'Shawn Charles Winslow is in possession of a voice, one that's not only pitch-perfect but also arresting and important and new. It's a voice that's by turns funny and heartbreaking and beautiful, much like the characters of IN WEST MILLS themselves. This novel will grab you first by the ears, and then by the hand, and then by the heart."

Rebecca Makkai author of THE GREAT BELIEVERS

"What an amazing professor. I don't have much time to read for leisure and I have a very difficult time finding books I like, but the novels he put down were so awesome, that I couldn't put them down!! I would recommend this professor to anyone!"

former student

"Great Professor, class was interesting. Interesting reads. Loved the book club type atmosphere."

former student