Follow the Story: Winter Seattle Writing Class

Seattle writing classes, Fall.

Seattle writing classes, winter.

Follow the Story: The Art of Narrative Writing

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 13 to March 3 on Wednesday evenings (and one Monday even Jan. 26) 7 to 9 p.m. Pacific time via Zoom video conference. Course includes individual conference with instructor and detailed comments on class work. 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 and its revision.
  • Publication report for story or book.

To enroll, send a check for $625 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.

Text: Follow the Story by James Stewart, available at the Elliott Bay Book Company and other bookstores.

To enroll, please send me check for $625 to 201 Newell St., Seattle, WA 98109 or you can pay with a credit card through Venmo or the PayPal link on my website. Enrollment is limited to 15. For more information, contact me at nick@Thewritersworkshop.net or 206-284-7121.

Note: This class will take place via Zoom video conference unless the ban on public gatherings due to the Coronavirus is lifted. If lifted, the class will take place 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), headquarters of Seattle Tilth and a number of arts and nonprofit organizations. 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 – Genres of Narrative Writing – Wednesday evenings 7 to 9 p.m. –  Jan. 13, 20, 27, 29, Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24, Mar. $625.

SpringThe Nature of Narrative: Scene and Structure – Building Blocks of Narrative Writing – Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. March 25, April 1, April 6 (Monday),  8, 15, 22, 29, May 6. $625.

SummerWriting for Story – Dramatic Structure of Fiction and Nonfiction – Wednesday evenings 7 to 9 p.m. from June 10, 17, 24, July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29. $625.

FallRevising Your Life: Writing Fiction and Nonfiction – Wednesday evenings 7 to 9 p.m. from Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4, 11, 18, 25. $625.

Seattle Writing Classes