Winter Writing Classes

Seattle writing classes, Fall.

Seattle writing classes, Fall and Winter



Follow the Story will explore the genres of fiction and nonfiction. The eight-week course will introduce you to a wonderfully diverse mix of writing–personal essays, memoirs, profiles, travel stories, short light pieces and short stories. What are the “rules” and conventions of each genre? How can you use genre to deepen and enrich your own work? How can genre help you hit all the right notes in your writing? You’ll also learn essential techniques of narrative writing–dramatic scenes, dialogue, characterizations and scene by scene construction. The Seattle writing course will run January 11 to March 1 on Wednesday evenings 7 to 9 p.m. PST and one Monday evening (January 23) via Zoom teleconference and also with two hybrid meetings.

In addition to the classroom work, I’ll schedule individual conferences with each of you. This will give me a chance to go over your story or book chapter with you one-on-one and suggest ways to improve it. There will be six assignments:

-150-word story idea or book concept statement.

-250-word dramatic scene.

-250-word genre exercise.

-1500- to 2500-word story or book chapter.

-Revision of story or book chapter.

-Publication report for your story or book.

The cost will be $675 per person. Texts: Follow the Story by James Stewart; Best American Essays of the Century edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Both titles are available at the Elliott Bay Book Company.

To enroll, send a check for $675 to Nick O’Connell, 201 Newell St., Seattle, WA 98109 or you can pay via Venmo or PayPal on the link below.  The course is limited to 15 participants and usually fills several weeks prior to the start of class. For more information, see my website, www.thewritersworkshop.net or contact me at nick@thewritersworkshop.net or call 206-284-7121.

Note: This class will take place via Zoom video conference and partly in person in room 221 of the Good Shepherd Center (4649 Sunnyside Ave. N.) in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.




Note: This class will take place partly in person in room 221 of the Good Shepherd Center (4649 Sunnyside Ave. N.) in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood as well as on Zoom.

The Good Shepherd Center offers plenty of free parking for participants in the Seattle writing classes and is easily accessible from Interstate 5 via the 45th and 50th street exits.



Do you have a compelling story? Want to learn the craft of narrative writing? Dr. Nick O’Connell teaches time-honored principles with a relaxed style in a sequence of four enjoyable Seattle writing courses. From nut graph to structure, from lead to climax, Nick has transformed my writing career from scientific researcher to riveting narrative non-fiction author.

Dr. David G. Embrey is a freelance writer from Puyallup, Washington.

Narrative writing is perhaps the greatest of the literary arts, allowing writers to tell compelling stories, reach a wide audience and satisfy some of their deepest yearnings for pattern, mystery, and coherence in their lives.

While narrative writing allows for great scope and ambition, it also demands mastery of form and structure to succeed. An ability to manipulate form and structure allows a writer to create stories that entrance readers and transform their lives. The mastery of these techniques does not come easily, alas. It requires commitment to the habit of art to write excellent fiction or creative nonfiction.

My Seattle writing classes will help you develop your own habit of art, mastering the craft of narrative writing essential to creating fiction and nonfiction stories. Each quarter I offer a Seattle-based writing class in narrative writing for creative nonfiction and fiction. The emphasis varies from writing class to writing class, but all of the courses provide detailed, constructive criticism of your stories and book chapters.

The four Seattle writing classes form a sequence, introducing you to all the essential elements of creative nonfiction and fiction writing: dramatic scenes, scene by scene construction, character sketches, research and interviewing, first and third person point of view, story ideas, dramatic outlines and publishing strategies. They may be taken independently, but altogether they give you a comprehensive introduction to the art and craft of narrative writing. You’ll learn more about the craft of writing than you would in most MFA programs, at a fraction of the cost.

Every one of the Seattle writing classes requires that participants write a story or book chapter, revise it, and prepare it for publication. This focus on honing and perfecting the prose and finding a suitable outlet for it has resulted in students making real breakthroughs in their work. Many have gone on to publish their stories in magazines like Newsweek and the New York Times Magazine and sell their books to prominent publishing houses worldwide: www.thewritersworkshop.net/reviews.htm

The Seattle writing classes take place generally on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. in the historic Good Shepherd Center in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood (4649 Sunnyside Avenue North). Enrollment is limited to 15.

Easily accessible from Interstate 5 via the 45th and 50th street exits, the Good Shepherd Center offers plenty of free parking for participants in the Seattle writing classes.

Cancellation policy: Full refund up until the first night. After the first night, there will be no refund, save for a family or personal emergency. In the event of such an emergency, I will give you credit toward taking another class or a doing an online class with me.

Sign up early. The classes usually fill several weeks prior to the starting date. Please feel free to contact me if you have more questions and would like to enroll.


Nicholas O’Connell


WinterFollow the Story  – Wednesday evenings Jan. 11, 18,  23 (Monday), 25, February 1, 8, 15, 22. $675.

SpringThe Nature of Narrative: Scene and Structure – Building Blocks of Narrative Writing – Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. March 29, April 3 (Monday) 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10. $675.

SummerWriting Your Story: The Art and Craft of Narrative – Dramatic Structure, Dialogue, Point of View in Fiction and Nonfiction – Wednesday evenings 7 to 9 p.m. PST on Wednesday evenings June 7, 14, 21, 28, July 5, 12, 19, 26. $675.

FallTell Your Story: Craft Your Fiction or Nonfiction Story – Wednesday evenings 7 to 9 p.m. PST Oct. 11 to November 29. $675.

Seattle Writing Classes