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Master Class: Writing Sex Without Shame with Steve Almond


We’re pleased to welcome award-winning author Steve Almond to the studio for this single-session master class on how to write a sex scene without shame.

Start Date

May 26

Class Times

6:30pm – 8:30pm CT

Day(s) of the Week





Chicago Studio




In stock


One night. One author. One focused study of the craft.

We’re pleased to welcome award-winning author Steve Almond to the studio for this single-session master class on how to write a sex scene without shame. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to study with an expert for an evening of close reading and in-depth discussion.

Even though people think about sex all the time, and even have it occasionally, writers tend to shy away from the subject. Which is crazy. Because sex is the one experience that makes us all hopeful and horny and embarrassed and vulnerable (at least if we’re doing it right).

In this freewheeling session, we’ll look at the work of Mary Gordon, Mary Gaitskill, and other literary horndogs in an effort to figure out how to infuse our own sex scenes with genuine emotion and ecstatic sensation, not evasions and porn clichés. Arrive ready to lay your characters bare.

Steve is offering one-on-one consultations with students before class on Thursday. If you purchase an add-on, you will meet in the Studio in the hours before the Master Class. Steve will read the pages you submit and have either a 30-min or 1-hour consult with you about your writing. Prices below. To purchase, please email Sara at StoryStudio: sara@storystudiochicago.org

A consult is available even if you do not purchase a seat to the Master Class.

$250: Steve will read up to 5,000 words and give you a 1 hour consult
$150: Steve will read up to 2,500 words and give you a 30 min. consult

Steve will provide line-edits to the pages, but will not provide an editorial letter. Steve’s in-depth comments during the meeting will serve as a kind of in-person critique letter.

Steve’s forthcoming book All the Secrets of the World will be available for sale at the Studio. Purchase your copy ahead of time online.

Can’t get enough? Be sure to catch Steve in conversation with our own Rebecca Makkai the following evening, Friday, May 17 at Exile in Bookville.

About Steve Almond

Steve Almond is the author of eleven books of fiction and nonfiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His new book, which comes out in May 2022, is a novel called All the Secrets of the WorldPre-order here.

His essays and reviews have been published in venues ranging from the New York Times Magazine to Ploughshares to Poets & Writers, and his short fiction has appeared in Best American Short StoriesThe Pushcart PrizeBest American Mysteries, and Best American Erotica. Almond is the recipient of grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. He cohosted the Dear Sugars podcast with his pal Cheryl Strayed for four years, and teaches Creative Writing at the Neiman Fellowship at Harvard and Wesleyan. He lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, with his family and his anxiety.