Online | Fiction | Workshop

6-Week Online Advanced Fiction Workshop

“A book can just be a description of a stick being snapped in half. If the reader is brought to feel the plight of the stick, well, you can imagine what that would be like.” –Jesse Ball

Great fiction can take a reader anywhere, even to a place where a reader would feel despair upon the snapping of a stick. This advanced fiction workshop will focus on developing an awareness of the choices we make on the page, with an emphasis on voice, style, and form. We’ll focus on honing your unique strengths as a writer, developing and exploring your individual interests, and identifying and developing points of tension in your stories to compel your readers to feel the plight of your characters. Each week, we’ll begin class with discussions of work by contemporary writers, which demonstrate techniques for you to utilize in your own writing. You’ll gain experience responding to each other’s work, and will leave this class with revision strategies and an expanded sense of your identity as a writer.


- Supportive peer and instructor feedback on two fiction submissions

- One individual meeting with the instructor to discuss writing goals, as well as feedback and personalized reading suggestions

- Practical advice about preparing work for submission to agents and publishers

- Engagement and greater familiarity with contemporary fiction

- A supportive community that will give you confidence as a writer

*no class November 23rd

Patty Yumi Cottrell

Patty Yumi Cottrell is the author of Sorry to Disrupt the Peace. Her work has appeared in BOMB, Gulf Coast, and Black Warrior Review, among other places.


“Patty is an intuitive writer who reads widely across geographic and genre-motivated boundaries. As a teacher, she draws on her writing practice to create a space where students encounter a diversity of texts and approaches to writing and revision. Workshop participants will gain with a clearer understanding of contemporary literary landscapes and approaches to process—and they will get to spend time with a talented and encouraging instructor to boot!”

Claire Donato author of BURIAL

“I'm lucky to have had Patty's insight and feedback as a reader of my short stories and a book-length manuscript. She brings the sensitivity and thoughtfulness of a deep reader to each page, and is able to pinpoint a story's internal logic in a way that allows you to see what's clear and what's muddled, and to decide which loose ends to tie and which might be better left unravelled. But it's not just the big picture-advice—you should see the scrutiny she gives to sentences! I'd steer a ship by her advice.”


“SORRY TO DISRUPT THE PEACE is a strange and lovely thing ... Cottrell fills every page with an impossible-to-ignore voice, characterized by its idiosyncrasies and intelligence.”


“Patty Yumi Cottrell’s remarkable debut SORRY TO DISRUPT THE PEACE possesses something of the deadpan strangeness of Jane Bowles’s TWO SERIOUS LADIES, yet the book is electrifying in its freshness…The result is a sort of existential detective hunt – equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking.”


“Patty Yumi Cottrell's riveting debut novel SORRY TO DISRUPT THE PEACE is one of this year's most exciting books. When her brother commits suicide, 32-year-old Helen Moran returns to her adoptive family's home in Milwaukee to investigate the reasons behind his death. Part family tragedy, part dark comedy, SORRY TO DISRUPT THE PEACE is above all a window into the strange and fascinating mind of its narrator Helen, a character who will stay with you long after you've finished reading this fantastic novel.”

Isaac Fitzgerald BUZZFEED

“Grief takes an unnerving path through a singular mind in SORRY TO DISRUPT THE PEACE. Beckett fans will find a familiar, but Patty Yumi Cottrell's voice is her very own.”

Amelia Gray author of ISADORA

“In this completely absorbing novel of devastation and estrangement, Patty Yumi Cottrell introduces herself as a modern Robert Walser. Her voice is unflinching, unforgettable, and animated with a restless sense of humor.”

Catherine Lacey author of THE ANSWERS

“Patty Yumi Cottrell's prose does so many of my favorite things--some too subtle to talk about without spoiling, but one thing I have to mention is the way in which her heroine's investigation of a suicide draws the reader right into the heart of this wonderfully spiky hedgehog of a book and then elbows us yet further along into what is ultimately a tremendously moving act of imagination.”

Helen Oyeyemi author of WHAT IS NOT YOURS IS NOT YOURS