top of page

Our popular workshops give members and nonmembers a chance to develop their craft. We offer workshops in a variety of genres (poetry, prose, memoir, plays, etc.) and on a variety of topics — all with experienced, published workshop instructors.


We offer our popular Three-in-a-Row online workshops for three consecutive for three consecutive Saturdays in January, plus additional workshops in the Spring

and Fall.


January Three-in-a-Row Workshops

Jan. 6, 10 a.m. to noon on Zoom

Joining a Critique Group (WSW Members)

January 13, 10 a.m. to noon on Zoom

Finding a Story Worth Telling

January 20, 10 a.m. to noon on Zoom

Action Out Loud: Dialogue and Character

January 27, 10 a.m. to noon on Zoom

Submitting Your Work to Journals, Agents

Registration Opens Jan 1.

Members: Free, Nonmembers: $25 

Generative Workshop

Recurring Monthly, 2nd Wednesday

Forsyth County Central Library Reading Room

660 W. 5th Street, Winston-Salem, NC

Generative Workshop is Free and Open to All.
No Registration Required.

Generative Writing Workshops (Recurring)

Monthly, 2nd Wednesday | 6:30pm-8:00pm EST

by Barbara Greenbaum

These new workshops meet on the second Wednesday of every month and are meant to give writers of any genre and experience level a time to generate new writing together. Bring a piece you are working on or start something new. This isn’t a critique session but a

Our hope is you’ll come away with a piece you can develop, but if nothing else, this is a time for us to practice and to share ideas and our passions for the work we do. Please bring your preferred method of writing. All writers welcome, including non-members of WSW. This workshop can be attended in person at Forsyth County Central Library Reading Room. ​

For Generative Workshop questions, email Barbara Greenbaum at

BarbaraGreenbaum-Outdoor-sq copy.jpeg

Barbara P. Greenbaum has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine, Stonecoast and a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Hartford. She taught creative writing at a public magnet arts high school in Willimantic, Connecticut for twelve years and served as an adjunct professor at Eastern CT State University. In 2011, she was awarded a Teaching Arts Fellowship from Surdna. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have been published in American Writer’s Review, Eclectica, Forge, Hog River Review, and others. She is the author of The Last Thing, a book of poetry published by Main Street Rag Publications in November 2022. A long time Connecticut resident, she now lives in Winston Salem, North Carolina with her husband. More information and links to her work can be found on her website,

January Three-In-A-Row (Plus One) Workshops 
Registration Opens Jan. 1, 2024

Joining a Critique Group
with Kat Bodrie

Saturday, January 6, 2024 | 10 a.m. to 12 noon EST

On Zoom

WSW Members Only: Free

Deadline to Register: Jan. 5

Being in a critique group is one of the best ways to get feedback on your work. So what goes on in a critique group? How do you find one you click with, and how do you know you’re ready for one? We’ll talk about how to join a WSW critique group, when to join one, how to give effective feedback to others, how to accept feedback, and what it’s like to lead a group. Our Critique Group Coordinator, Shannon Golden, will be present to answer all your questions!

Kat Bodrie head shot_edited.jpg

Kat Bodrie is a writer and editor in Winston-Salem. She is President of Winston-Salem Writers, Book Editor for BleakHouse Publishing, and Host City Coordinator for Poetry in Plain Sight. Her poetry has appeared in North Meridian Review, Poetry South, Rat’s Ass Review, and elsewhere. She has also written for Winston-Salem Monthly and Triad City Beat. Her poem “Injections” was a finalist for the NC Poetry Society’s Poet Laureate Award, and her chapbook When the River Takes Us was a finalist in Black Mountain Press’s quarterly chapbook contest. Kat also works with incarcerated individuals on their creative pieces and often collaborates with George T. Wilkerson, who lives on Death Row. More at

Finding a Story Worth Telling
with Joseph Mills

Saturday, January 13, 2024 | 10 a.m. to 12 noon EST

On Zoom

WSW Members: Free, Nonmembers: $25

Deadline to Register: Jan. 11

Stories are rarely conceptualized whole. Most writers find them as they write them. In this workshop, we’ll consider what that means. For example, what makes a story different from an anecdote, a Facebook post, a diary entry? What should we consider as we shape a piece of writing? The focus will be on narrative, so writers of all genres — fiction, non-fiction, poetry — are welcome. feedback, and what it’s like to lead a group. Our Critique Group Coordinator, Shannon Golden, will be present to answer all your questions!

Joseph Mills_headshot.jpg

A faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Joseph Mills has published eight volumes of poetry, most recently Bodies in Motion: Poems about Dance. His book This Miraculous Turning was awarded the North Carolina Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry for its exploration of race and family. In 2019, he published his debut collection of fiction, Bleachers, which consists of fifty-four linked pieces that take place during a youth soccer game. More information about his work is available at

Action Out Loud: Dialogue and Character
with Jacob Paul

Deadline to Register: Jan. 18

Saturday, January 20, 2024 | 10 a.m. to 12 noon EST

On Zoom

WSW Members: Free, Nonmembers: $25

Dialogue is the rare instance in which character action is relayed directly, and yet its power comes from the use of the sound-based tools common to poetry. In this two-hour workshop, we’ll begin by thinking about how a character's line of dialogue constitutes an action they've undertaken in pursuit of a specific objective in a scene and what that means for character conflict. We’ll then explore how to pattern character lines both to build tension and perform characters' relative power towards each other. From there, we’ll move on to the ways the development of a character’s phrasing and word choices — what I like to call the character's figurative palette — brings the character and the character's objectives into focus. Finally, time allowing, we’ll talk about some special cases of dialogue, such as the uses of elliptical structures and soliloquies.

Jacob Paul_Headshot 111123.jpg

Jacob Paul is the author of Last Tower to Heaven (C&R, 2019) and two previous novels, A Song of Ilan (Jaded Ibis, 2015) and Sarah/Sara (Ig, 2010), which Poets & Writers named one of 2010’s five best first fictions. His collaborations have led to the fine art books, Home for an Hour (Otherwise, 2014) and Feed Mayonnaise to Tuna (Otherwise, 2016). His work has also appeared in Hunger Mountain, Western Humanities Review, Green Mountains Review, Massachusetts Review, Seneca Review, Mountain Gazette and USA Today’s Weekend Magazine as well as on, and He teaches creative writing at High Point University. More at

Submitting Your Work to Journals, Agents, and Publishers
with Julia Ridley Smith

Deadline to Register: Jan. 25

Saturday, January 27, 2024 | 10 a.m. to 12 noon EST

On Zoom

WSW Members: Free, Nonmembers: $25

You’ve been working really hard on your short stories, essays, or poems, and now you feel ready

to start sending them out to literary journals. Or you’ve got a book-length manuscript — or a

fantastic idea for one — and want to know how to find the right agent, contest, or publisher. In

this workshop, I’ll give you a quick overview of the publishing world, then show you how to

figure out where and how to submit your work. Among the topics we’ll discuss are journals,

contests, cover letters, querying agents, and book proposals. There will be time for Q&A.

Julia R Smith_headshot.jpg

Julia Ridley Smith is the author of a story collection, Sex Romp Gone Wrong (Blair, forthcoming

2024), and a memoir, The Sum of Trifles (University of G​eorgia Press, 2021). Her fiction and

essays have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Cincinnati Review, Ecotone, and elsew recognized as notable in Best American Essays and supported by the Sewanee Writers Conference, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro, and other arts organizations. She is former associate editor at Bull City Press, where she was the editor of Inch magazine, and ​she has ​n​early twenty-five years of experience​ working with university and independent presses, newspapers, magazines, and journals ​as a freelance writer and copyedit​or. ​Currently, she teaches creative writing and publishing courses at UNC Chapel Hill.​ Find her at and @JuliaTrifles.

Creating monologues can be one of the most satisfying forms of creative writing. While taking a relatively short amount of time, monologue writing requires communicating solely in a character’s voice, allowing for exploration and expression of a wide range of perspectives. This workshop — perfect for writers of any genre — will cover idea generation, character creation, character development, and dramatic structure.

Quinton Cockrell Headshot .jpg

Quinton Cockrell is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College and The Alabama Shakespeare Festival's Professional Actor Training Program. He has worked with numerous theatres throughout the United States as an actor, director, and playwright, including Riverside Shakespeare Company, Soho Rep, Playwright's Horizons, Heritage Repertory Company, and The Barter Theatre. His writing has been selected as a finalist in Oregon Shakespeare’s Ashland New Play Festival and The O’Neill Center’s National Music Theater Conference. Quinton is an Associate Professor of Performance at Troy University. He is a member of Actor’s Equity Association and The Dramatists’ Guild of America.

Past Workshops

Poetry of Witness

Poetry of witness attempts to reveal humanity through the art of words. Poetry of witness is also a form of documentary poetry that allows for a limited understanding, and sometimes transcendence of human tragedy. In a sense all poems are poems of witness: they record what it’s like to be alive, record what has passed, what is passing. They bear witness to the imagination, the capacity for human invention; they witness our ability to wonder. A poem of witness looks out from the self, towards the world, its social, political, and historical aspects. It witnesses other people’s lives. 

Participation limited to first 40 registrants.

Saturday, April, 2023 | 10am-12noon EST

by Jaki Shelton Green

Jaki Shelton Green - 50 Over 50.jpeg

Jaki Shelton Green, ninth Poet Laureate of North Carolina appointed in 2018, is the first African American and third woman to be appointed as the North Carolina Poet Laureate and reappointed in 2021 for a second term by Governor Roy Cooper. She is a 2019 Academy of American Poet Laureate Fellow, 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame Inductee, 2009 NC Piedmont Laureate appointment, 2003 recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature. Jaki Shelton Green teaches Documentary Poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies and the 2021 Frank B. Hanes Writer in Residence at UNC Chapel Hill. Additionally, she received the George School 

Outstanding Alumni Award in 2021. Her publications include Dead on Arrival, Masks, Dead on Arrival and New Poems, Conjure Blues, singing a tree into dance, breath of the song, published by Blair Publishers. Feeding the Light, i want to undie you published by Jacar Press, i want to undie you English /Italian bilingual edition published by Lebeg Publishers. In 2020, she released her first poetry album, The River Speaks of Thirst and a CD, i want to undie you. Additionally, Jaki Shelton Green serves as the 2022-2024 Poet Laureate in Residence at the North Carolina Museum of Art. She was selected by Forbes Magazine for the distinguished 2022 list of Fifty Over Fifty Women.

Photo of Jaki Shelton Green by Samantha Everette

Racial Politics in Toni Morrison’s Work
with Mark Dudley, Details/Cost: TBA

Saturday, October 21, 2023 | 10 a.m. to 12 noon EST

On Zoom

Members $15, Nonmembers $25

Toni Morrison wrote about matters of race in America in her first novel, The Bluest Eye, as well as in her final novel, Home, some five decades later. Truthfully, Morrison wrote about American racial politics her entire literary career, and she celebrated the African American experience her entire life. Join Professor Marc Dudley, a specialist in American and African American literature, for a discussion of “Recitatif,” Morrison’s only piece of short fiction, along with one of her most compelling essays, “Home.” Together, some four years after her death, we will explore the motivation and the artistry of one of America’s most-prized and revered writers.

Marc Dudley_english-6131.jpg

Marc Dudley is Professor of English and Africana Studies at North Carolina State University, with specializations in 20th Century American and African American literature(s). He has spoken widely on such authors as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Baldwin. He has been featured in the Hemingway Review, in the collections Teaching Hemingway and Race (Kent State University Press, 2018) and the New Hemingway Studies (Cambridge University Press, 2020), and in the recent Ken Burns documentary Hemingway. He is the author of Hemingway, Race, and Art: Bloodlines and the Color Line (Kent State University Press, 2012) and Understanding James Baldwin (University of South Carolina Press, 2019). Marc is the editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio (2023) and co-editor of the forthcoming Teaching Hemingway and Film (Kent State University Press).

Discovering Your Monologue
with Quinton Cockrell

Saturday, October 14, 2023 | 10 a.m. to 12 noon EST

On Zoom

Members $15, Nonmembers $25

Memoir: Bringing Past Worlds to Life

Smith_Julia Ridley author photo.jpeg

Julia Ridley Smith is the author of a memoir, The Sum of Trifles (University of Georgia Press, 2021), and a story collection, Sex Romp Gone Wrong (Blair, forthcoming). Her short stories and essays have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Cincinnati Review, Ecotone, Electric Literature, the New England Review, and The Southern Review, among other places. Her work has been recognized as notable in Best American Essays and supported by the Sewanee Writers Conference, the United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities, and other arts 

When writing a memoir or personal essay, how do we bring our past worlds—and selves—to life on the page? For this class, we’ll read a couple of short, memoir-based essays that illuminate how to give readers a rich sense of places that have played important roles in our lives. Together, we’ll do several writing exercises designed to help us see those places with fresh eyes and describe them in vivid language.

Participation limited to first 40 registrants.

Saturday, April 29, 2023 | 10am-12noon EST

by Julia Ridley Smith

 organizations. She teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Find her at and @JuliaTrifles.

Giving Feedback in Critique Groups

Participants will learn the Amherst Artists & Writers method of manuscript review, practice applying this approach to brief manuscripts, and discuss its use in critique groups. Information about how to join Winston-Salem Writers' critique groups will be provided. Registrants do not need to be in a critique group to take this workshop. 

Participation limited to first 40 registrants.

Saturday, February 4, 2023  |  10am-12noon EST

by Lane Goddard

Lane Goddard.jpg

Lane Goddard, a WSW member (since 2006) and past board member, is a certified Amherst Writers & Artists workshop leader (since 2009); she joined the AWA board in 2012, serving as secretary-treasurer, vice-chair, and chair before her retirement in 2020. Her wage-earning journey meandered through college classrooms, libraries, women’s clinics, hospitals, an apple orchard, and self-employment. She’s facilitated AWA-method creative writing sessions for WSW, and offered workshops in AWA-method manuscript review for WSW critique group leaders. All along the way, she’s collected the southern voices that speak in her novel in progress.

Saturday, January 14, 2023  |  10am-12noon EST

by Christopher Linforth

Have an interesting story to tell about your life, but don’t know how to tell it? In this workshop, we’ll read some contemporary pieces of creative nonfiction and complete some generative exercises to elicit memories and reflection that will transfer powerfully to the page. By the workshop’s end, you will have the material and the framework to begin your journey in telling your story.

Participation limited to first 40 registrants.

Creative Nonfiction: Telling Your Story


Christopher Linforth is an award-winning writer of both fiction and nonfiction. He has published three story collections, mostly recently The Distortions (Orison Books, 2022), and dozens of creative nonfiction pieces. He has been awarded fellowships and scholarships to many writing conferences and residency programs, including the Sewanee Writers' Conference, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Kone Foundation, the Ragdale Foundation, the BAU Institute at the Camargo Foundation, and many others. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the literary magazine Atticus Review and teaches at The Writer's Center.


This interactive class offers an overview of the fundamentals of what makes a short story soar. We’ll study Fred Chappell’s “Children of Strikers,” keeping a close eye on character, dialogue, tension, setting, and language, and examine how these elements are used to create a masterful story in merely 1000 words. The goal is for workshop participants to come away with insight and techniques to apply to their own writing and revising

Participation limited to first 40 registrants.

Writing the Short Story

Saturday, January 21, 2023 |  10am-12noon EST

by Leslie Pietrzyk

Leslie's Headshot.jpg

Leslie Pietrzyk’s collection of linked stories set in DC, Admit This to No One, was published in 2021 by Unnamed Press. Her first collection of stories, This Angel on My Chest, won the 2015 Drue Heinz Literature Prize. She is the author of three novels: Silver Girl, A Year and a Day, and Pears on a Willow Tree. Short fiction and essays have appeared in, among others, Ploughshares, Story Magazine, Hudson Review, Southern Review, Gettysburg Review, Iowa Review, The Sun, Cincinnati Review, and The Washington Post Magazine.  Awards include a Pushcart Prize in 2020. She teaches fiction in the low-residency MFA program at Converse University in Spartanburg, SC. For more information: or @lesliepwriter 

Saturday, January 28, 2023  |  10am-12noon EST

by Edwin Hill

The Structure of a Mystery: Upping the Stakes in Any Novel

In this hands-on writing workshop, we will investigate the structure of a mystery novel as a means to increase the tension and the momentum in your novel. Using the three-act structure as a model, we will carefully examine elements such as the inciting incident, the midpoint, and the climax, while paying close attention to the elements that make for a successful first act, including scene development. In the last section of the course, we will shift over to character development, focusing on using motivation to create compelling characters.

You will need a notepad, a pack of index cards, and a pen during class. While this workshop is intended for crime fiction writers, fiction writers of other genres may find it useful and are welcome to attend. 

Participation limited to first 40 registrants.


Edwin Hill’s critically acclaimed crime novels include the standalone thriller, The Secrets We Share, and three novels featuring Hester Thursby. He has been nominated for Edgar and Agatha Awards, featured in Us Magazine, received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal, and was recognized as one of “Six Crime Writers to Watch” in Mystery Scene magazine. He lives in Roslindale, Massachusetts with his partner Michael and his favorite reviewer, their lab Edith Ann, who likes his first drafts enough to eat them.

bottom of page