StoryStudio Chicago is part of the Stories Matter Foundation, a 501c3 charitable non-profit whose mission is to build communities of storytellers trained to question, explore, celebrate, and change their worlds using the power of story. Learn more about our Foundation and how you can donate to make sure stories matter.

Learn More about Us Chicago Review of Books Chicago Stories PRoject

JOIN US for the 6th Annual CHIRBy Awards, a virtual fundraising ceremony honoring the “literary gold” writers of Chicago.

More Details, finalists & tickets here


While most of our classes will still be ONLINE through the end of 2021, we are offering very few in-person classes with vaccination requirements. You can see our offerings in our course catalog. Please email us with any specific questions about classes.

Check out our special offerings: The Pajama Seminars; any of our single-session classes; or, all of our fall term courses will be either streamed on Zoom as long as the virus keeps us home, or safely held in the Studio. Don’t let this pandemic stop your creativity.

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writing ya characters

This class will give students a solid understanding of the essential elements and challenges that go into crafting young adult characters and writing YA.


Join us for some fun brainstorming and writing time, if you’re just starting out or have something in the works.


We’ll discuss some of the many possible strategies for turning a narrative inside-out (or outside-in), and practice the art of metafictional intervention.

See what we’ve been up to…

Attendees sign in the morning of the StoryStudio Writers Festival.
Founder Jill Pollack addresses attendees at the first annual StoryStudio Writers Festival cocktail party.
Attendees enjoy the cocktail hour before the 2019 CHIRBy Awards
Rebecca Makkai and Garth Greenwell sign books after their public conversation at Harold Washington Library
Some of our Yoga + Writing Workshop participants

what do we do?

At StoryStudio Chicago, we help writers hone their craft, express their creativity, and communicate with confidence. Our mission is simple: We build communities of storytellers trained to question, explore, celebrate, and change their worlds using the power of story. With classes covering a wide variety of topics, genres, and levels, there is truly something for everyone at StoryStudio. No matter the class you choose, you’ll find stimulating discussion, a creative space where your writing life can flourish, and committed and talented instructors who bring their expertise and experience as working writers to the classroom.

Browse Our Classes



Novel in a Year provided a constructive space to explore my first novel. It felt tailored especially for me: a post-MFA writer with a full-time job in need of a supportive community and structure… By the time we reached the full manuscript review, I’d already discovered the strengths and weaknesses in my work-in-progress.

Sahar Mustafah / The Beauty of Your Face, forthingcoming 2020 (W.W. Norton)

StoryStudio is such a wonderful community, and all the classes and workshops have really helped push me to try new things and put myself out there.

Maddie Reynolds / Of Love and Illusions (Entangled Teen, 2018)

I pitched my debut novel to its eventual publisher at StoryStudio’s Writers Fest. Pitching is incredibly daunting, but the camaraderie I felt at the Fest comforted me, supported me, and absolutely allowed the best version of myself to represent the book I’d worked so hard to write.

Adam Shafer / debut novel forthcoming 2020 (Allium Press)

Novel in a Year is both how I became a writer and where I developed a writing community. Every time I see the call for applications, I am tempted to do it all over again because it was one of the best decisions of my life.

Amelia Brunskill / The Window (Delacorte Press, 2018)