Open-Genre | Intensive

Don’t Write Alone Weekend

“I had an amazing time at DWA and made several new friends throughout the weekend. It really jumpstarted my creativity, helped me get back into a routine of writing, and was just super fun and invigorating.” - Don’t Write Alone 2017 participant

DON’T WRITE ALONE is back! This July, Catapult is taking over NYU’s Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House—the coziest brownstone in the West Village—for another summer weekend retreat dedicated to the act and craft of writing.



- 6:30 PM: Welcome and check-in

- 7:00 PM: "What's Your Process? Writing the Debut" with Crystal Hana Kim, Akil Kumarasamy, and Dan Sheehan

- 8:00 PM: Opening night reception

Saturday (writing space open from 10 AM - 6:30 PM)

- 10:00 AM: "Repetition as Philosophy, Voice, Structure" with Mitchell S. Jackson

- 11:30 AM: Interview with Jia Tolentino

- 12:45 PM: Editor panel with Mensah Demary, Rakesh Satyal, and James Yeh; working lunch provided by Catapult; and agent meetings

- 2:30: "In Particulars, the Universal" with Manuel Gonzales

- 4:00 PM: "The Business of Publishing" with Kate McKean

- 5:30 PM: Reading and conversation with Min Jin Lee

- 7:00 PM: Party time! at Formerly Crow's, 85 Washington Place

Sunday (writing space open 10 AM - 4 PM)

- 10:00 AM: Fiction and nonfiction workshops with Julie Buntin, Gabe Habash, and Megha Majumdar for those enrolled; participants will be notified of class location

- 1:15 PM: Lunch on your own!

- 1:45 PM: "The Octopus Moment: How to Create Stories with Reach" with Karen E. Bender

- 3:30 PM: Closing student reading and open mic. Email Stella Cabot Wilson to sign up.


Regular $249 admission covers full access to the NYU Lillian Vernon Writers House starting Friday evening at 6pm, as well as readings and talks. This price includes a one-on-one pitch or information session with an acquiring literary agent. Drinks on Friday, full lunch on Saturday, and of course, unlimited coffee throughout the event are also included.

Writers also have the option of adding on a Sunday morning workshop led by a Catapult editor—please note that in order to participate in the Sunday morning workshops, you must have up to 15 pages ready for submission by July 1, so writers have enough time to evaluate your manuscripts. We will offer two workshops in fiction, and two in nonfiction; groups will be capped at six students, and spaces in workshops are limited. Cost to enroll in a workshop is $150.


Karen E. Bender is the author of the story collection Refund, a Finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction and shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Story Prize, and the novels Like Normal People and A Town of Empty Rooms. Her stories have appeared inThe New Yorker, Granta, Ploughshares, Zoetrope,Guernica, and Best American Short Stories and won two Pushcart prizes. She is the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Hollins University, and has also worked with MFA students at Warren Wilson College, Chatham University and Antioch Los Angeles.

Manuel Gonzales is the author of The Miniature Wife : And Other Stories, which won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction and the John Gardner Prize for first fiction, and the novel, The Regional Office is Under Attack! He has taught creative writing for the University of Kentucky, the Institute of Amerian Indian Arts Low-Residency MFA, and the Queens University Latin Amerian Low-residency MFA. He joins the Bennington literature faculty this fall and is a core member of the Bennington Writing Seminars.

Mitchell S. Jackson's debut novel The Residue Years was praised by publications including The New York Times, The Paris Review, and The Times of London. Jackson is the winner of a Whiting Award. His novel also won The Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence and was a finalist for the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Jackson’s honors include fellowships from TED, the Lannan Foundation, the BreadLoaf Conference, and the Center for Fiction.

Crystal Hana Kim is the author of the novel If You Leave Me, forthcoming from William Morrow. She was a 2017 PEN America/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize winner and has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Hedgebrook, and Jentel. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and an M.S.Ed from Hunter College. Her work has been published in The Southern Review, Electric Literature, The Millions, and the PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2017. She is a contributing editor at Apogee and is the Director of Writing Instruction at Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America.

Akil Kumarasamy is a writer from New Jersey. Her fiction has appeared in Harper's Magazine, American Short Fiction, Boston Review, and elsewhere. Her debut collection of short stories, Half Gods, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2018. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan, and has been a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the University of East Anglia.

Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko (2017) was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, a New York Times 10 Best Books of 2017, a USA Today Top 10 Books of 2017, an American Library Association Notable Book, and an American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next Great Reads. It is a New York Times Bestseller. Pachinko was also a Top 10 Books of the Year for BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Public Library, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the Chicago Public Library. Lee’s debut novel Free Food for Millionaires (2007) was a Top 10 Books of the Year for The Times of London, NPR’s Fresh Air, and USA Today. It was a No. 1 Book Sense Pick, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, a Wall Street Journal Juggle Book Club selection, and a national bestseller. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for Fiction. Lee has received the NYFA Fellowship for Fiction, the Peden Prize from The Missouri Review for Best Story, the Narrative Prize for New and Emerging Writer, and the Reading Women Award.

Dan Sheehan is an Irish fiction writer, journalist, and editor. He is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. His writing has appeared in The Irish Times, GQ, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica, TriQuarterly, Words Without Borders, Epiphany, and Electric Literature, among others. He lives in New York, where he is the Book Marks editor at Literary Hub and a contributing editor at Guernica Magazine, and was a recipient of the 2016 Center for Fiction Emerging Writers Fellowship. His debut novel, Restless Souls, is available now from Weidenfeld & Nicolson (UK) and Ig Publishing (US).

Jia Tolentino is a staff writer at the New Yorker, formerly the deputy editor of Jezebel and contributing editor at the Hairpin. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Grantland, Pitchfork, Fader, Bon Appetit, and Slate, and she has an essay collection forthcoming from Random House in 2019.

Don't Write Alone

Catapult's popular writing series dedicated to generating new work in a welcoming, writer-friendly space.

If you have any questions, be in touch with Colin Drohan, [email protected].


“Don’t Write Alone is one of the best investments, both in terms of time and money, I’ve made for my writing in the past few years. The access I had to professionals and decision-makers was really unprecedented and helped me to think about my fiction and navigating this industry in ways I really hadn’t been exposed to elsewhere.”

Don’t Write Alone 2017 participant

“Don’t Write Alone 2017 was a great opportunity to learn from established authors, network, and mingle with fellow writers with a wide variety of experience, and get some writing done that I had been putting off for, let’s be real, months.”

Don’t Write Alone 2017 participant

“Thought the whole workshop and weekend was just fantastic. So many awesome writers to talk with and that made themselves accessible. I loved the panels, I loved how informal it was, and I will recommend it to others and be back next year. Thank you for creating such a safe community!”

Don’t Write Alone 2017 participant

“It's hard to pick a favorite part of the weekend because I got so much out of every single panel and speaker you presented. I was surprised how much I got out of the presentation on how to write dialogue. I got to thinking about writing dialogue in new ways after that presentation. I also loved the discussion with the two first-time authors at the end of the day on Saturday.”

Don’t Write Alone 2017 participant

“I had an amazing time at DWA and made several new friends throughout the weekend. It really jumpstarted my creativity, helped me get back into a routine of writing, and was just super fun and invigorating. Thanks for putting together an awesome event and for curating a super-smart lineup of guests.”

Don’t Write Alone 2017 participant