Classes at the Attic

APPS DUE APR 2: Creative Nonfiction (CNF) Studio | Apr 18 - June 27 | In-person

Write what you want to know

 

The Creative Nonfiction (CNF) Studio is based on the idea that inspiration, accountability, and community are essential to every writer’s growth. The CNF Studio meets weekly for multi-month sessions, and its curriculum is designed to help you deepen your writing through a keener understanding of both literary craft and your own voice. The CNF Studio is open to applications from all writers, and members often return for multiple sessions. This creates the Studio’s special experience: a consistent, deep, and supportive study of your writing in the company of other writers. Each weekly session includes a close-reading and discussion of a selected work of creative nonfiction, a roundtable reading of take-home prompts, and in-depth critique of several works-in-progress. Over the course of their time in the CNF Studio, writers can expect to read widely and gain deep insight into their own writing, all the while exploring questions of structure, form, narration, truth, memory, influence, and voice.  | Maximum 9 students  

Learn more about the CNF Studio

To Apply: To apply to join the next Creative Nonfiction Studio, please send a writing sample of up to 3,500 words and a 250-word statement of purpose.

Send your application to: cnfstudio@atticinstitute.com

Teacher: 
Time: 
Thursdays, Apr 18 - June 27, 5:30 - 8:30pm (no class May 23)
Total Fee: 
Registration: $715

APPS DUE MAR 18: Fiction Studio/Novel Intensive w Karen Karbo | Week of Apr 6 - Oct 5 | Online | 5 Spots Open

26 Weeks to Focus on Your Novel

Fiction Studio is based on the idea that inspiration, accountability, and community are essential to every novelist’s growth. Fiction Studio meets weekly for half the year, and its curriculum is designed to help you deepen your writing through a keener understanding of both literary craft and your own voice. There is a Saturday session and a Tuesday session. Fiction Studio is open to applications from all writers (see application information below). This creates the Studio’s special "novel intensive" experience: a consistent, deep, and supportive study of your writing in the company of other writers.  

Learn more about applying to the Fiction Studio

To Apply: To apply to join the next Fiction Studio, please send a writing sample of 20 pages of the novel you're workin on and a 250-word statement of purpose.

NOTE: This session of the studio is slated to run virtually, via Zoom. Applications are open until spots are filled.

APPLY NOW

Teacher: 
Time: 
Saturdays, 9am - 11am and 11am - 1pm (Pacific Time) (Two groups of 6), Week of Apr 6 - Oct 5
Location: 
Zoom | Online Workshop
Total Fee: 
Registration: $1395 (cash/check); $1445 (PayPal). Payment plans available (inquire).

APPS DUE: MAY 20 | Atheneum Master Writing Program for 2024-2025 | In-person

An annual certificate program, the Attic Atheneum melds independent study under close faculty supervision, student receptions, public readings, and other special Atheneum events created around good food and great conversation, dialogue, and literary community.

Running for just under a year, the Atheneum is designed to advance your writing and seed literary life in the city. Atheneum Fellows form a unique community of literary artists and citizens.

Learn more and apply

 

So, You Wanna Be A Writer: A Workshop for Everyone w Wayne Gregory | Feb 20 - Mar 19 | Online

 

Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” ~ E. L. Doctorow

You have a thousand stories inside your head. You dabble on the page but rarely if ever finish anything, much less share with others. “Is my work good enough?” you wonder.  “Do I have something original and interesting to say? What makes me think I can be a writer?”  The biggest obstacle for emerging writers is not lack of time nor lack of skill nor lack of things to write about. It’s a lack of self-confidence. This workshop is designed for those who want to be writers, but are not sure they can be.  It provides a safe space for you to explore your interest in writing within a community of others who are on the same journey of exploration that you are. You will have an opportunity to share your writing and receive feedback that will help you identify your creative strengths and build on them. If you have work to share, bring it. If you haven’t written anything, bring an open mind to the possibilities that the class may open for you. Learn about the craft and, in the process, discover what it is about you that makes your stories worth telling and makes you the only writer who can tell them. | Maximum 15 writers

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Tuesdays: Feb 20 - Mar 19 | 7:00 – 9:00pm (PST) | 10 hours
Location: 
Zoom | Online Workshop
Total Fee: 
Discounted Early Registration is due seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Discounted Early Registration: $259 (cash/check); $268 (Paypal). | Tuition Registration: $274 (cash/check); $283 (PayPal).

Poetry Generative and Critique Workshop w Ruben Quesada | Mar 12 - Apr 9 | Online

Join us for a Poetry Workshop, a class that welcomes poets of all levels of experience. Learn the craft of poetry in a welcoming and supportive setting. Every class includes a variety of writing exercises designed to inspire original poetry throughout the course and beyond. We will examine poetry's mechanics, including rhythm, rhyme, imagery, and figurative language. The workshop style of the course is its beating heart; it is there that students will share their own poetry. In this workshop setting, participants are encouraged to share their work and receive feedback in an environment to promotes personal and professional development through practice and revision.

Take this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Tuesdays, Mar 12 - Apr 9, 6 - 8pm (Pacific), 5 weeks
Location: 
Online via Zoom
Total Fee: 
Registration: $275

Personal Essays w Lee Montgomery | Mar 23 - May 11 | Online

Personal Essays and memoir make up some of the most adventurous writing today.

Pushing narrative boundaries, utilizing traditional and nontraditional forms, this type of writing explores individuality and the minutiae of life unlike other narratives. Though the class will be run as a classic workshop, where students will submit their work to be reviewed in class, it will also combine craft lectures, outside reading, and in-class exercises. It is through outside reading assignments and in class discussion we will explore classic and contemporary work to understand the different forms and narrative strategies available to writers. Warning for sensitive readers, reading material reflects our contemporary world so topics can be dicey and range from racial injustice, school shootings, sexual abuse, infidelity, Covid, etc. Writers should have material to workshop. | Maximum: 12 writers 

Register for this workshop

Zoom link provided prior to start of workshop.

Time: 
Saturdays, 10am - 12:30pm (Pacific Time), Mar 23 - May 11, 8 weeks
Location: 
Online via Zoom
Total Fee: 
Discounted Early Registration is due seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Discounted Early Registration: $520 (cash/check); $540 (PayPal). | Tuition Registration: $535 (cash/check); $555 (PayPal).

How to Start a Book (Fiction or Nonfiction) From Scratch Workshop w David Biespiel | Apr 3 - May 8 | In-Person

Every writer faces the blank page and wonders, "How can I get started?" No one method is better than another, but some steps are key to help you find the spark. What's the secret? Working small. Curious to learn about that? The goal of this special six week workshop is to help you get your idea in motion. Work closely with the founder of the Attic Institute and two-time Oregon Book Award winner David Biespiel to get your new writing idea off the ground. By the end of the workshop, you'll be much further along than you could ever imagine.

Take this workshop

 

Teacher: 
Time: 
Wednesdays, 5:30 - 7:30pm Apr 3 - May 8, 5 weeks (No class: Apr 17)
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 1033 SW Yamhill, Suite 405
Total Fee: 
$275.00

April Poetry Manuscript Consultations w Matthew Dickman | Only 4 Spots

 

Do you have a new poetry manuscript that feels "close" but needs some attention? Or perhaps an older manuscript that needs a little bit of a kick in the pants? This month, let's sit down and work on it together. These one-on-one manuscript consultations include: two (2) one-hour Zoom calls, a deep dive and edit of your manuscript, typed notes and response for you to keep. | Maximum: 4 participants

Register Now

Teacher: 
Time: 
April 2024
Location: 
Via Zoom
Total Fee: 
$1580.

Journaling While Memoiring Workshop w Michelle Kicherer | Apr 11 - May 9 | In-person

A generative writing class for memoirists and essayists

In my memoir classes we talk a lot about two different types of writing: structural writing, in which we’re thinking about plot and how the story all fits together, and explorative writing, which helps uncover the thing you want to write about – that maybe you didn’t even know you even needed to write about. 

Joan Didion famously said, “I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”

This type of uncovering can most effectively come out when we’re not thinking about the “supposed to’s” of writing: when we’re not thinking about how this scene fits in with that one, how to introduce a character or what about them to share. Above all, you want to bring out the beautiful, powerful, heartbreaking, laugh-inducing moments that make a memoir memorable and enjoyable to read. 

Take this workshop

I call it “journaling while memoiring.” In this class, we’ll use exploratory, guided writing prompts to pull out new scenes then talk about ways to fit that material in with any existing work. Maybe you’ve already got a draft or maybe you’re just getting started. This class is for both beginner and mid-level memoirists. 

We’ll also: 

  • Read excerpts from powerful, memorable memoirs and ask: how’d the writer do that? 
  • Talk about writing process 
  • Have “verbal workshop” sessions where each writer can share something they’re stuck on – and we’ll help get you unstuck

Writing memoir is such a deeply personal endeavor. My classes provide a safe space to share your work so that we can feel productive and free of judgment. Let’s get your stories moving!

Take this workshop

 

Time: 
Thursdays 3-4:30pm, Apr 11 - May 9, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 1033 SW Yamhill Street, Suite 405
Total Fee: 
$225.00

The Craft of Fiction: Exploring Fiction Narratives w Michelle Kicherer | Apr 11 - May 9 | In-person

How’d They Do That?

When was the last story you read that really changed you? Maybe you thought about it for days, for weeks. Perhaps you’ve re-read it over the years and each time you find yourself thinking: “How’d they do that?” This course is all about the how. In this combination craft and workshop class, we will read and dissect the work of writers from different times and places and we’ll answer the question: how did they do that? We’ll ask questions like, what makes a story good? What makes it feel complete? What kinds of details will enhance the plot and which are unnecessary? How do writers evoke emotion, create setting and make a story—or even just one moment—stick in our minds? And really: how do we apply these tools to our own writing? This class is designed for writers with some level of experience writing. Although this class focuses on fiction, many of these tools can be applied to creative nonfiction as well. Each class will include a brief warm up writing prompt so we can practice using new techniques. Sharing work is always optional. Each writer will have one opportunity to workshop a story or excerpt (up to 12 pages). 

Take this workshop

Course Takeaways

  • Learn how to infuse your work with color, humor and feeling
  • Learn simple tools like how noun and adjective usage can create feelings that strengthen your scenes and align with your story 
  • Understand what your story is “about” 
  • Learn what to cut and what to embellish 
Time: 
Thursdays, Apr 11 - May 9, 12 - 2pm, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 1033 SW Yamhill Street, Suite 405
Total Fee: 
$275.00
Deposit: 

Read Like a Writer, Write Like a Writer: Prose Workshop w Paige Thomas | Apr 30 - May 28 | In-person

Being a writer means being a reader. The best way to become a better writer? Become a better reader. Books are a writer's most invaluable collaborator. To read like a writer is to explore why and how a narrative works—and then mirroring it. We'll do just that through a close study of craft and grow from there. In "Read Like a Writer, Write Like a Writer," we’ll read together one essay and one short-story for our models and then, through guided discussion that culminates in a creative writing prompt, we'll share what we were inspired to write. You’ll not only come away from the workshop with new writing, but with new habits for whatever you write (and read!) next.

Take this workshop

 

 

Teacher: 
Time: 
Tuesdays, 6-8pm, Apr 30- May 28, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 1033 SW Yamhill, Suite 405
Total Fee: 
$275.00

May Poetry Manuscript Consultations w Matthew Dickman | Only 4 Spots

 

Do you have a new poetry manuscript that feels "close" but needs some attention? Or perhaps an older manuscript that needs a little bit of a kick in the pants? This month, let's sit down and work on it together. These one-on-one manuscript consultations include: two (2) one-hour Zoom calls, a deep dive and edit of your manuscript, typed notes and response for you to keep. | Maximum: 4 participants

Register now

Teacher: 
Time: 
May 2024
Location: 
Via Zoom
Total Fee: 
$1580.

Writing is Grieving and Compassion Workshop w Ed Sage | May 8 - June 5 | Online

Generative Writing Workshop

 

In this exploratory, generative workshop we will be using our writing to be in relationship with our grief and compassion by meeting them, reimagining them, and bringing light to the shadows. We will interrupt the "arrangements" in our lives that perhaps are not serving us well and redefine stubborn “truths” about our sorrow.  You can expect to discover new threads in your work as well as create drafts of pieces that inspire more commitment.  Writing about grief can free us to be more empathic and compassionate with ourselves and others; it can help us discover the universal in our experience and blessings we would share. 

Take for this workshop

 

Teacher: 
Workshop Day: 
Time: 
Wednesdays, May 8 - June 5, 7-9pm Pacific Time, 5 weeks
Location: 
Online via Zoom
Total Fee: 
$275.00

The Secret Life of Scenes Workshop with David Biespiel | June 26 - July 24 | In-person

If you're a fiction or nonfiction writer and you struggle with writing scenes, you're sunk. At some point, every writer needs a refresher on making —fashioning, construction, composing, organizing, sequencing, imagining, re-imagining — scenes. Scenes are the DNA of story telling. "Once upon a time" might get the story going, but what follows next? Scene after scene after scene. So...do you find yourself explaining too much in your stories or creative nonfiction? Do you feel your writing gets bogged down in announcing, recounting, and summarizing? What you need is some scene-making medicine. Work with Attic Institute founder and two-time Oregon Book Award winner David Biespiel to learn the keys to explain less and dramatize more. An essential workshop for all writers.

Take this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Wednesdays, 5:30 - 7:30pm, June 26 - July 24, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 1033 SW Yamhill, Suite 405
Total Fee: 
$275.

FREE: Consult about Your Writing

Call us. Let us help you with your writing.

You're invited to schedule a free 15-minute conference call consult to describe your writing situation and focus. During the call, we listen to your writing situation and help you out -- sometimes writers will register for an upcoming workshop. Other times, after a consult, writers will initiate a formal Introductory Consult through our Individual Consult Group to find a writing coach selected specifically for your project.

To initiate a Free Consult, e-mail us -- and when you do, please let us know specifically what you're working on and want to discuss. Then we'll get back in touch and begin to talk together about your writing.

Register for a free consult

 

Time: 
By appointment only.
Location: 
Telephone Conference Call
Total Fee: 
Free.

Highgate: The One-on-One Workshop

Each year, Attic Institute founder David Biespiel accepts 2-4 writers into Highgate, a private, one-on-one workshop for writers interested close, in-depth feedback.

Highgate consists of guidance, instruction, and mentoring based on the idea that accountability, ambition, and tailored goals lead to acheivement, growth and joy as a writer.

Learn more

Teacher: 
Time: 
Scheduled each month.
Location: 
In-person or Zoom

A Statement of Our Values

The Attic Institute of Arts and Letters opposes the legitimation of bigotry, hate, and misinformation. As a studio for writers, we do not tolerate harassment or discrimination of any kind. We embrace and celebrate our shared pursuit of literature and languages as essential to crossing the boundaries of difference. To that end, we seek to maintain a creative environment in which every employee, faculty member, and student feels safe, respected, and comfortable — even while acknowledging that poems, stories, and essays delve into uncomfortable subjects. We accept the workshop as a place to question ourselves and to empathize with complex identities. We understand that to know the world is to write the world. Therefore, we reaffirm our commitment to literary pursuits and shared understanding by affirming diversity and open inquiry.