Creative Writing Workshop
Offering Flash Fiction workshops in New York City. If you would like to participate in a workshop, please contact me at: Lstonehere@aol.com. The workshops meet one weekday evening. Each session lasts 21/2 hours and costs $25. Each is limited to 6 writers. The core of the workshop is writing together to a prompt for about 30 minutes. I write as well, and then each person reads the work aloud, and there is time for comments. The prompt writing session is not a free write in the conventional sense. We are always considering the craft and form elements of creative writing: how to write a scene, strategies for dialogue, humor, setting, and the play of the senses in a moment. We work with layering prose, poetry, and experimental forms, moving from action to memory to emotional response. We practice ways to make description do the work of psychological revelation. We model “writes” on pieces of charged text, reaching for, to quote Donald Barthelme, “glimpses into the special oddities and new terrors of contemporary life.” We pay close attention to the sentence as a miniature story and to how each word earns its place in a text. These are joyful collaborations. We are always learning from each other and borrowing ideas. Most of the work posted on this site originated in a prompt exercise. Beginners wanting a clear and detailed practice are welcome as well as writers at all stages of their careers.
For more information please call or text Laurie at: 917-696-4059.
“Laurie is one of the few teachers I’ve encountered who doesn’t explain writing in broad, inaccessible strokes, but gets right down to the finer details of how to craft a piece of short fiction or memoir. It’s been my experience, in past workshops, that many instructors don’t care to share the actual tools and methods they use for crafting a piece of writing. With Laurie, however, I always have the sense that she is unselfishly sharing her writing secrets, her own set of carefully honed skills and techniques. She is warm, honest and deeply perceptive of where a piece of writing is successful, and of where it can still improve. It’s obvious, too, that she cares tremendously to see her students progress and brave new territory in their work. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have her as a teacher and mentor!” — Timothy Schirmer
“As a participant in other writing workshops over many years, I can say that my recent experience with Laurie Stone’s workshop in Columbia County has been richly rewarding. The experience of attentive listening as each person reads is rare and is a direct result of the atmosphere of trust and utter safety that Laurie caringly structures at the outset of each session. The focus is always on the words, the words as written, the words as received. Laurie has the unique gift of being both leader and participant and is marvelous in keeping the flow of the moment on track but also allowing the unexpected to blossom. I have come away from these sessions with a sense of having learned, of having been listened to on a deep level, of being able to absorb the writing of others in new ways. The workshops have been intense but always anchored in such deep caring for language, for the human experience. And the very essence of this sharing comes from Laurie herself.” — Linda Mattis
“During the past year, I’ve been working with Laurie Stone as a member of her NY City and Hudson, NY workshop. Laurie has taught me to ground my fiction writing practice in surprising and well-crafted sentences. In our loose federation of city and upstate groups, Laurie has fostered a shared warmth and support for one another’s work coupled with a sense of focus and rigor – a rarity among writing classes. I have generated some of my best work during our in-class writes – strong pieces I have been excited to develop further. The tools I’ve gained from studying with Laurie have also helped my work as an online content developer and editor. I can’t recommend her enough as a teacher and mentor.” — Deborah Oster Pannell
“Laurie Stone crafts a writing process that invites the personal into the collective and vice versa. Structured by the ambition of ‘faux memoir’, Laurie introduces workshop participants to listen to the stories of others with an imaginative flatness. Participants appreciate words without romanticizing them. Her workshops feel sometimes like intimate science experiments mixed with a touch of comparative literature seminar and a good deal of gab. The results are immediately stellar, in a smart, casual sense.”— Mitch McEwen
“Laurie Stone’s workshops got me writing again after a long dry period. With the feedback and encouragement of her and my fellow workshoppers I published my first story since 2008 in the online Pig Magazine. She has so much to share — she is a catalyst for your writing!” — Judith Bartow
“Laurie Stone’s workshops are exercises in process and craft, in which work is not merely critiqued but generated on the spot. She has the highest regard for artistry in all forms, and asks participants to think broadly and uncover their inner stakes. She’s knowledgeable about many writing forms and traditions, with a particular passion for the contemporary, and she never fails to ignite that enthusiasm in others.” — Karen Schoemer
“Laurie Stone is a terrific teacher. She can pick out what works in her students’ writing after just a short reading, as well as teaching how to improve in specific ways that are quite useful. She has helped liberate my imagination from its too close ties to chronology and memory by sending an example of a very different kind of writing, and her prompts have helped me think about my writing in new and exciting ways.” — Sonia Jaffe Robbins
“When I was a television reporter, I wrote with my 14-year-old mind. Laurie Stone opened up my whole soul. With her infinite patience and encouragement she has turned me into a writer. She’s a great teacher, and we all get so much out of her classes. Unfortunately our time with her seems to go by in a flash.” — Pat Naggiar
Laurie Stone’s workshops are carefully and thoughtfully planned to help writers at all stages of their writing endeavors. Stone provides exposure to examples of excellent writing, along with prompts designed to take each writer out of his/her comfort zone into unexplored territory. She also offers alternatives – so if one suggestion doesn’t work for a particular writer, another one surely will. Stone is attentive to the strengths and vulnerabilities of each participant and considerate of each one’s needs. She is deeply respectful of our efforts and responsive to the writing we produce in her classes. She helps us craft pieces that are more nuanced and layered. Stone clearly loves teaching and brings her considerable talent, energy and insight to the task. It is impossible not to learn a great deal from her. –Laurel Kallen
“Laurie is a serious writer who doesn’t take herself seriously. Her commitment to her students is seasoned with infectious laughter and warmth. Laurie listens carefully for improvement in her students. She understands their individual truth. It has been a long time since I have seen anyone so uncompromisingly dedicated to helping students develop into accomplished writers.” –-Leslie Tapsak
“Laurie Stone’s workshops take place in an atmosphere that encourages, inspires, in fact, produces creativity. She is exacting but never less than kind and tender as well. If writing can be taught, it can be taught by Stone. She’s as good a teacher as she is a writer.” — Enid Futterman