Fiction | Workshop

8-Week Fiction Workshop: How to Build a Short Story

"Beyond a doubt, working with Danielle has made me a better writer.  Highly recommended." - former student

Do you often think you have great ideas for a short story but aren’t sure how to get those ideas from your head to the page? This 8-week session will consist of reading and discussing short stories, completing writing exercises both in and out of the classroom, and receiving thoughtful, constructive feedback from your instructor and peers. Through the careful exploration of the elements of fiction (characterization, world-building, backstory, structure, and so on), participants will learn what makes a good story idea and how to develop that idea into a full story. At the end of the session, students will have the tools to draft an entire short story, as well as multiple story starts to follow up on. This class is suitable for all levels of writers, from the beginning writer to the more experienced writer who wants fresh ideas for works in progress or to generate new work.


- understanding of the elements of story

- one workshopped draft and multiple story starts

- instructor feedback on all exercises

- one private conference with instructor to discuss writing goals and progress 

Danielle Lazarin

Danielle Lazarin is the author of Back Talk: Stories (Penguin Books, 2018). She received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where her stories and essays won Hopwood Awards. Her fiction has won awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, and Glimmer Train and can be found in The Southern Review, Colorado Review, Boston Review, and elsewhere. 


"Danielle Lazarin’s BACK TALK is deceptively quiet but packs a powerful punch—much like the girls and women in its pages. The stories in this collection batter at the boundaries of female desire—not just for sex, but for intimacy, for visibility, for agency. They talk back to the idea that stories about women are ‘domestic,’ burrowing deep to find wildness and a smoldering fury beneath. The best collection I’ve read in years, from a phenomenal new talent."

Celeste Ng NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE

"The stories in BACK TALK are not only fierce and unflinching in their clear-eyed portrayal of women and girls, they are also tender and compassionate, imbued with a deep longing. Lazarin is a sophisticated writer and her remarkable debut offers us subtle but profound truths about growing up, moving forward, and finding ourselves."

Edan Lepucki NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of CALIFORNIA

"These are wonderful stories—sparkling, witty, and tender, riding that sweet spot between urbane and vulnerable, between hilarity and heartbreak—all those impossible contradictions that remind us of what love is like. Lazarin’s astonishing insight and craftsmanship put me in mind of short story masters like Beattie and Baxter. I think she’s destined for the big leagues."

Dan Chaon NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of ILL WILL

"Danielle is an incredibly generous and encouraging instructor. Her close reading of my work allowed me to see my writing from new angles. Her thoughtful, incisive feedback helped me become a better storyteller."

former student

"Danielle is a terrific teacher, and I say that as someone who has chosen to study with her twice. Her classroom exercises have led to stories of my own. Her comments on my submissions have driven me to take pieces to full fruition, months after the final assignment. I have completed short stories now that exist solely because I was in her class. Beyond a doubt, working with Danielle has made me a better writer.  Highly recommended."

former student

"Danielle is one of the best readers and editors I've ever been lucky enough to have read my work. She reads, as she writes, with electricity~ responding to images, dialogue, and formal choices as someone deeply invested in narrative and language. She has an elegant understanding of structure: how and where to enter and exit a scene, and her responses are thorough, thoughtful, deeply felt, and get to the heart of what good story telling is supposed to do."

writing group member