The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop was founded in 2002, and what began as eight writers meeting in the kitchen of a Brooklyn brownstone has developed into a creative home for over 3000 short-story writers, novelists, memoirists, essayists and poets.
After graduating from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and teaching at multiple universities, Julia Fierro found herself looking for a community of writers outside academia. Weary of overcrowded New York City writing workshops, and disappointed by the lack of emphasis on craft in university creative writing classes, she placed an ad on Craigslist, accepted eight writers and The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop was born.
Each week, huddled around Julia’s small kitchen table, the writers discussed what makes fiction engaging, and how to incorporate these successes into their own work. As word of the workshop quickly spread, more writers applied and Julia assembled a faculty of instructors with an equal passion for teaching.
Sackett Street instructors are professional writers, teachers and editors, who have earned MFA degrees from prestigious writing programs and have taught at major universities. Just like that first workshop in Julia’s kitchen, many Sackett Street workshops are taught in the comfort of instructor’s homes and are limited to eight writers to insure individual attention. Classes are also held in a private space at Bookcourt bookstore in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, also home to the Sackett Street Writers monthly reading series, which features Sackett Street alumni and instructors with recently released books, as well as a bi-monthly Student Showcase. All events are free and open to the public.
Visit our EVENTS page for more info.
Today, Sackett Street writers live in all boroughs of New York City, and across the world, and many return to the workshops for multiple sessions. Alumni have been accepted at over 80 top MFA in Creative Writing programs and writing conferences, have won numerous fellowships and awards, and have completed and published short fiction, essay and poetry collections, novels, memoirs, and graphic novels.
Read more about our outstanding ALUMNI accomplishments here.
At Sackett Street, we believe that learning how to read with “a writer’s perspective” is an essential part of a writer’s development. In workshop, through the close reading of both classmates’ writing and published work, writers analyze the successes (and non-successes) of the writers’ choices concerning structure, character and language.
Because the focus of the critique is on how these choices contribute to the emotional and intellectual experience of the reader, and because the instructors encourage specific and constructive critique, there is less of the vagueness (this is good, this is bad) that makes so many writing workshops unhelpful for the writers participating.
After just a few weeks of reading with a writer’s perspective, students leave Sackett Street (or return, as many writers do) with a developed awareness of craft, and a new confidence in their ability to read, analyze and revise their own work. Once this ability to read with a “writer’s perspective” is developed, the writer’s potential for growth is limitless.