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Creative Writing Essentials with Vince Francone

$550.00 · July 5

Join us in person! This 8-session workshop will balance classes with craft discussions, best practices chats, and ongoing workshops that will offer peer feedback.

Start Date

July 5

Class Times

6:30pm – 9:00pm CT

Day(s) of the Week



Chicago Studio






In stock


This 8-session in-person workshop will meet every week (except for July 12th) and is designed to engage participants in  the practice of writing, both as a solitary endeavor and a form of communal practice. We will balance classes with craft discussions, best practices chats, and ongoing workshops that will offer peer feedback. Regardless of your project—poetry, fiction, memoir, something hybrid—it helps to have a schedule. It also helps to have a supportive community. You’ll get both. Each week, we’ll look at short published pieces as a means of grounding craft chats and then pivot to workshopping your drafts.


July 5: Intro/ice breaker. Discussion of individual projects: the elevator pitch. In class wiring exercises, readings.

July 19: Dialogue versus Description—when and when not to let your characters have their say; discussion of the merits, and failings, of dialogue.

July 26: Making the Scene—avoiding over-explanation in favor of “world-building”; show don’t tell (okay, tell a little). Using established moves to engage the reader; how genres play by their own rules; withholding and misdirecting.

Aug 2: POV, mechanics, and voice—first v third (and even Second) person perspective; not straying in your writing, staying focused; crafting tone; playing with tenses.

Aug 9: Revision versus Editing—we’ll explore the aspect of revision, often the most time-intensive part of writing, as well as editing. (And the difference between the two.) In-class work on revising (to a nearly absurd degree).

Aug 16: Irony, satire, and other poorly defined terms—understanding classic literary elements and applying them to our work.

Aug 23: Breaking the rules—less a lecture on grammar, more a look at writers who defy the so-called rules; playing with conventions and breaking out of norms. In-class work on stripping down our writing, building it back; using modes outside out comfort zones;

Aug 30: Getting ready to submit your work – contests, submission best practices, including basics of cover and query letters, polishing your work. The world of publishing— what to look for when submitting to big, small, mid-size, presses; what to consider about self-publishing. Reviewing final revisions. Class wrap up.

Keep in mind:
Writing is hard work. Damn near impossible work. But it is also fun. I find that the biggest problems most writers face have to do with motivation and time. In this class, you’ll have a bit of both—I hope to motivate you, and you’ll have a schedule. By the end of class, you should have a more polished draft of writing, and (hopefully) some good habits.

My philosophy: writing is communal work. Classes like this aim to do many things, but high among them is providing a community of likeminded writers. This can often be the most valuable resource.


We are able to offer a limited amount of both 50% scholarships for our multi-week classes and 100% scholarships for our single-session classes on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students may receive one scholarship per term. Click here to apply for a scholarship spot.

About Vince Francone

Vincent Francone is the author of the memoir Like a Dog and the essay collection The Soft Lunacy. His work has appeared in Three Percent, New City Magazine, Rhino, and other journals. He is at work on a collection of poems and stories. He hosts a podcast called Drinking and Talking. Visit www.vincentfrancone.com to find out more.