FAQs

Ask a question, get an answer. Read on for Frequently Asked Questions about StoryStudio Chicago.


General Information

What is StoryStudio Chicago?

StoryStudio Chicago is a writing center offering a wide variety of creative writing classes for adults of all levels. At StoryStudio, we believe stories matter, and we strive to teach the art, craft, and business of writing in a positive, open, and encouraging setting where students can discover their unique voices.

We’re laid-back and fun, but also serious about writing. We’re run by working writers who understand the value of a place to connect with and learn from other writers.

As one of the premier writing centers in the Chicagoland area, StoryStudio welcomes more than 1,200 writers each year.

What kind of writing do you teach?

Our creative writing classes cover a wide range of topics within fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and performance literature. We offer classes on character, plot, setting, scene, and other craft topics, as well as classes in novel writing, memoir, personal essays, short stories, speculative fiction, and flash fiction. Other genres occasionally include screenwriting, playwriting, live lit, young adult, and more. One-day workshops cover topics as diverse as grammar, blogging, and meditation for writers.

Our Words for Work business writing classes and trainings focus on using storytelling techniques to write clear and compelling communication at work. Find out more about our offerings here.

Can I come and sit in for a class?

Unfortunately, we do not allow students to come and sit in classes they have not registered for. We have limited seating for each class. If you’d like to see what our classes are like, we hold Open Houses each term, giving you a taste of the Studio space and our teaching methods. Additionally, we are happy to connect you with former students of classes who are willing to give testimony.

Where are you located?

We have a wonderful loft space with three classrooms in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. We are not open for walk-ins during the day; the Studio opens each evening for classes at 5:45pm.


Services

Do you offer online classes?

Yes! Our online classes make it easy for you to set your own schedule and still form community and learn craft elements. Lessons can be completed at any time during the week, from any location, including your favorite armchair, coffee shop, or as you commute to and from work. 

Do you offer classes for children or teens?

Our popular Youth Creative Writing Summer Camps are open to young writers in grades 5 through 12. Our regular term classes are unable to accommodate anyone under the age of 18, but we hope to provide more programs for youth very soon.

I’m looking for one-on-one coaching…

We offer Manuscript Consultation services, as well as one-on-one coaching for additional pricing. Whether you want someone to read and give feedback on a couple of your novel chapters, or help you craft a query letter for agents, our instructors will work with you on a monthly basis.

Can I rent space at the Studio for my organization?

Yes! Depending on availability, we offer our classrooms for use on Fridays and weekends. For more information, please email us for rates and discounts for nonprofits: info@storystudiochicago.org

My child’s teacher has said s/he needs to write better at school. Can you help?

StoryStudio doesn’t currently offer youth writing coaching. We do encourage interested parties to checkout 826 CHI as a resource for youth writing.


GIVING

Can I donate to StoryStudio?

Absolutely! Stories Matter Foundation was originally created to provide scholarships to talented writers who have the desire and talent to be great writers but who lack the financial means. We hope you will support us in building our scholarship funds. Visit our Donate page for more information.

I’m passionate about writing and looking for a way to give back to my community in an impactful way…

Join our team at the Ministry of Lit to support StoryStudio through fundraising, events, and networking in writing communities throughout the city.

The Ministry of Lit is our version of an associate board: a group of energized writers, readers, and supporters of both who want to be a part of our organization’s success. The “MoL” plans events, volunteers at activities, and serves as ambassadors to libraries, schools, and peer gatherings to celebrate and advance the joys of writing and literature.

For more information, and to express your interest in recruitment info, email admin@storystudiochicago.org

My friend/family member/significant other/neighbor always talks about writing. Can I buy a class or a gift certificate for them?

Yes! A gift certificate to StoryStudio is the perfect gift for a writer or for someone who wants to give it a try. You can purchase one here.

What is the Chicago Stories Project?

The Chicago Stories Project is our nonprofit arm, a portfolio of community-minded programs launched in 2019 to bring the joys of storytelling into communities around Chicago. Do you want to partner with us? We’d love to hear from you: info@storystudiochicago.org 

How did StoryStudio start?

What began in 2003 as an intimate writing center nestled into Chicago’s northside is now a multiservice nonprofit organization poised to intersect with diverse audiences and partners throughout Chicago and beyond. The writing school – StoryStudio Chicago – now operates as a 501c3 public charity through our parent organization Stories Matter Foundation, which was established in 2016 by StoryStudio Founder Jill Pollack. Stories Matter Foundation now includes StoryStudio Chicago, the Chicago Review of Books, the Chicago Stories Project, and a variety of ongoing events, festivals, and initiatives.