New York Writers Workshop @ Goddard Riverside 

The Bernie Wohl Center -- 647 Columbus Avenue @ 91st St.


Just Write with Joanne Serling

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Are you convinced that you could write a compelling short story if you just had the time? Do you have an essay or novel in a drawer that you want to dust off? Just Write is a three-hour workshop that includes guided writing prompts, the chance to share your work in a supportive and encouraging atmosphere, and the opportunity to develop and expand ongoing works. All levels of fiction and creative non fiction are welcome. Whether you’re just getting started, completing a rough draft, or refining your work, you’ll receive the guidance and support to move to the next level.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

2:00-5:00 pm


Register here for Just Write

Joanne Serling is the author of the debut novel, GOOD NEIGHBORS (Twelve/February 2018), a book that Kirkus Review called, “a spicy stew of suburban discontent.” Serling’s fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in New Ohio Review and North American Review. She is a graduate of Cornell University and worked in women’s magazines and public relations before embarking on a career as a novelist. Serling is a member of The New York Writers Workshop and lives in New Jersey with her husband and children where she is at work on her second book.

Poetry as Soul: A Writing Workshop with Hermine Meinhard

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Poems are gateways to the soul. As readers, we are returned to the mystery and beauty of our lives through the poet’s experience, captured in image, music and line. We also find mirrors of our own struggles. As writers, how do we find our way to the richness of language and experiences from which poems come?

In this workshop we will experiment with the everyday, with memory, dream, evocative language, objects and artworks as pathways into making poems. Through playfully quiet exercises, and a supportive, stimulating community, you will engage in writing as an act of discovery from which a richness of poetry and transformation comes. The workshop is multi-generational, multi-level and welcoming to both beginners and experienced.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

2:00-5:00 pm


Register here for Poetry as Soul

Hermine Meinhard's book Bright Turquoise Umbrella, published by Tupelo Press, was a finalist for the Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Barrow Street, Drunken Boat and Verse Daily among other publications and aired on public radio. She has read her work at venues such as Live at Prairie Lights Bookstore, Hudson Valley Writers Center, the Kitchen, KGB Bar, Cornelia Street Café and the Bowery Poetry Club, and has been interviewed and profiled by the online journals Margin and Chicago Post Modern Poetry. Meinhard teaches at NYU and is a founding member of New York Writers Workshop. She has an MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College.

Finding the Story Within You with Judith Hannan


Words are how we connect to others and ourselves. Too often, our words are stifled -- because there is no one to listen to them, because we lack the confidence to speak them, or because a trauma or major life event disrupts our narrative. We become strangers to ourselves and isolated from others. Writing is a way to free our voices, to access the words that allow us to unveil our personal stories, to examine and probe them, to discover the deepest truths behind them.

This workshop will combine writing excerpts and examples with related prompts to begin the process of opening up your personal narrative. Introductory prompts will focus both on the tools and craft of writing followed by an opportunity to delve into specific scenes or moments of one's life. Sharing what we have written with each other is an additional crucial step in the process. First, when we read our own words aloud, we feel the full impact of what we have discovered. Second, by receiving positive feedback from a supportive and loving community, we will be encouraged to keep writing.

No experience is necessary. The only requirement is an open heart.

Saturday, December 8, 2018



Register here for Finding the Story Within You

Judith Hannan’s recent book is The Write Prescription: Telling Your Story to Live with and Beyond Illness, which grew out of her experience writing Motherhood Exaggerated, her chronicle of transformation while caring for a child with cancer. Her essays have appeared in such publications as Woman’s Day, Narratively, The Forward, Health & Spirituality, Brevity, Cognoscenti, The Martha’s Vineyard Gazette, among others. She leads workshops for homeless mothers, young women in the criminal justice system, as well as those affected by physical or mental illness. She is a volunteer writing mentor in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s Visible Ink program and is an interventionist in the hospital’s research study to evaluate the healing power of writing.  Ms. Hannan is a recipient of a 2015 Humanism-in-Medicine award from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. She is a member of the New York Writers Workshop and serves on the boards of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center.

Stop Making Sense! with Luis H. Francia

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You don’t need to write about something in order to write a poem.

As the French poet Stéphane Mallarmé once said, poems are written with words, not ideas. Taking its title from a Talking Heads song, my workshop uses Mallarmé’s insight as its guiding principle, so the participant can embark on a productive literary voyage distinct from that of prose. Here we emphasize lyricism and the spirit of play, and an openness to technique distinct from narrative. (Think jazz.) Workshoppers will, for example, explore the sound of a word or phrase, and what this might suggest, without regard to meaning. Meaning will be arrived at rather than be predetermined. We will create non-sense that actually makes sense!

At the outset I shall provide a few examples of lyrical poems. Participants will then do writing exercises. We will conclude with each workshopper crafting a short poem based on these exercises. This will be a workshop that will both be fun and instructive.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

2:00-5:00 pm


Register here for Stop Making Sense!

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past Courses nyww@Goddard-Riverside

Memoir Writing with Karol Nielsen


0This six-session workshop will help the memoir writer find and shape a personal narrative whether a short essay or a book-length memoir. Weekly lectures and in-class exercises will illuminate the elements of storytelling used to write a memoir: structure, characterization, plot, description, dialogue, point-of-view, style, voice, and revision. Works developed in my classes have been published as books and essays with honors in The Best American Essays and elsewhere. I believe in a warm, supportive atmosphere where even the most unformed idea can turn into a work of substance and art. 

Wednesdays, April 25-May 30, 2018



Register here for Memoir Writing

Karol Nielsen worked as a journalist before becoming an author, editor, and writing instructor. She is the author of the memoirs Walking A&P (Mascot Books, 2018) and Black Elephants (Bison Books, 2011), selected as a New and Noteworthy Book by Poets & Writers in 2011 and shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing in nonfiction in 2012. Excerpts fromBlack Elephants were honored as Notable Essays in The Best American Essays  in 2010 and 2005. Her poetry chapbook, This Woman I Thought Id Be (Finishing Line Press, 2012), includes poems from her full collection, selected as a finalist for the Colorado Prize for Poetry in 2007. She works as a freelance manuscript editor and has served as senior editor, nonfiction editor, and contributing editor of Epiphany, an award-winning literary magazine.  She teaches writing workshops at New York University and New York Writers Workshop.

What is The Best Way to Tell My Story? Writing True and Unique Stories in Fiction or Personal Essay: A Two-Part Workshop with Joanna Laufer

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This two-part writing workshop will help students decide on the best genre to tell a particular story – fiction or personal essay. In-class discussions on the importance of the first sentence, voice, storytelling, and the thin line between fiction and creative nonfiction will help writers of all levels produce powerful and publishable work. The second meeting will focus entirely on the work created and submitted. Feedback will be given in a safe and supportive environment.

Saturdays, April 14 and 28, 2018


$125 for Two Sessions

Register here for What is The Best Way to Tell My Story?

Joanna Laufer is the author of Inspired  (Doubleday) and the co-creator of the best-selling Inspired classical music series on RCA. Her nonfiction has appeared in Child Magazine, Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher, Bottom Line, including essays recently published in SheKnows, Brain, Child Magazine as well as in anthologies. Her fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals. Joanna is the creator and executive producer of the television series Dancers: Just Plain Dancing. She works as a freelance manuscript editor and writing coach.