Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing

Loyola Writing Institute

Summer High School Creative Writing Program: Three weeks of creative writing workshops for rising 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. Workshops are capped at ten students. Students take two different workshops. All workshops are taught by working writers and editors and meet M-F 9:00 am to 12:00 pm June 8-26, 2015. Cost: $400 Students may apply for need-based scholarships by submitting an essay up to 1,000 words detailing need and desire to take the workshop, with a letter of recommendation from a teacher. There are a limited number of scholarships available. Deadline: All applications, including scholarships, are due by Friday, May 15. Download registration form at the bottom of this page. 

Our spring session of community creative writing workshops is underway. The Loyola Writing Institute has offered creative writing workshops to the New Orleans community since 1993. Now nine-weeks long, these non-credit evening workshops are open to all aspiring writers and to writers of all levels. Classes meet uptown on the Loyola University campus, in the Marigny at the Healing Center, and in the Bywater at Antenna Gallery. All classes are small and supportive, and taught by experienced, published writers. Classes are capped at twelve participants. Watch this page for the summer session schedule. 

uptown @ Loyola 

Writing Poetry • Lorna Blake • SEATS AVAILABLE

Mondays 7-9 pm  March 16–May 11 •  Monroe Hall 601

This poetry workshop is designed to generate new work and to hone revision skills. We will begin each workshop with a focus on craft and prosody through a close reading of published poems, both classic and contemporary. We will then read and analyze each participant’s work. Writing prompts and exercises will be suggested each week to further develop a “poetry toolbox” of helpful techniques. We will also focus on readying poems for submission and strategies for publication. This class is open to writers of all levels of experience and all styles, from free to formal verse, experimental poems and prose poems.

Writing Creative Nonfiction • Peyton Burgess • CLOSED

Mondays 7-9 pm  March 16–May 11 •  Monroe Hall 401

This course on writing memoir, personal essays, and other forms of creative nonfiction, aims to help develop and perfect the skill of writing well-crafted creative essays. Those interested in telling their own story, based on real life events, and then reflecting on the story’s meaning for themselves and others, will benefit from this class. We will read examples of published creative nonfiction, as well as each others’ work in a workshop setting. Students can expect to exit the class with one or two polished essays.

Writing the Screenplay • Mike Miley • CLOSED

Tuesdays 7–9 pm • March 17–May 12 • Monroe Hall 601

Writing the Screenplay provides students new to screenwriting with an introduction to the narrative structure of a screenplay. The course begins with an intensive introduction to three-act structure, screenplay format, and scene study from award-winning screenplays. After the second class, all attention turns toward workshopping student work. Each week, students will workshop scene-by-scene outlines for their script, learning as much about what will work for an audience from each other as they will from the instructor. If students keep pace with the writing schedule, they will leave the class with a strong scene outline for their script and the first ten pages completed, giving them the guidance and momentum that they need to finish their first draft. While students do not need any screenwriting experience to enroll, they should have an idea for a movie that they would like to develop in the class.

Intermediate Fiction Writing • Allison Alsup • CLOSED

Wednesdays 7–9 pm • March 18–May 13 • Monroe Hall 301

This course is designed for writers looking to sharpen their existing fiction skills, including those interested in polishing work for publication. Through supportive and specific critique, we’ll focus on the key elements and choices that make fiction work: setting, point of view, structure, exposition, action, dialogue, theme, development and revelation. We’ll also challenge ourselves to explore the more elusive aspects of storytelling: layering meaning, handling backstory, voice, and vision. Each student will workshop two to three times with the choice of either submitting different works or submitting substantial revisions based on earlier feedback. In addition to our discussion or student work, a portion of our weekly meetings will be devoted to examining short stories from contemporary authors. Finally we’ll discuss navigating the publication process, strategies for submission and getting work out. Not sure if you’re an intermediate writer? If you’ve ever taken a fiction course, workshop or written stories on your own, you’re an intermediate writer.

Writing the Short Story • Tom Andes • SEATS AVAILABLE

Thursdays 7–9 pm • March 19–May 14 • Monroe Hall 301

This course will be a traditional fiction workshop with an eye toward the current literary scene. Each week, I'll lead a discussion on original student manuscripts and the work of master short-story writers. Students should gain increased awareness of their own artistic vision, while acquiring the skills to see this vision through—from first draft to polished, publishable story. Writers of all ages, styles, and levels of experience are welcome.

downtown @ The Healing Center in the Marigny

Compassion and Personal Narrative • Lara Naughton • SEATS AVAILABLE

Tuesdays 7–9 pm • March 17–May 12 

Practicing compassion can help you be less hard on yourself and on others, replace criticism with understanding and encouragement, stay calm in trying circumstances, feel more pleasure in life, and tap into new levels of creativity. Compassion Cultivation Trainings (CCT) was developed at Stanford University and integrates meditation, psychology, and scientific research on compassion. This course combines CCT with instruction in personal narrative and memoir. Participants will consider personal experiences from multiple points of view and explore “truth” in memoir. For more information, email Lara at laranaughton@mac.com

Digital Writing & Publishing • Lauren McCabe • CLOSED

Tuesdays 7–9 pm • March 17–May 12 

This is a practical, hands-on class that shows students how to use digital technology to build an audience or readers, self-publish writing online and find opportunities to write for digital publications. During this class, we will create a blog and examine why it is relevant to almost all genres, explore how social media can help grow an audience of readers and learn how to publish an e-book. Because this class is hands-on, students are strongly encouraged to bring a lap-top to class. For more information, please email Lauren at LMcCabeWriter@gmail.com. To view and download the full course syllabus, please go here: LMcCabeWriter@gmail.com. To view and download the full course syllabus, please go here: http://bit.ly/Digital-Writing-2015 ">http://bit.ly/Digital-Writing-2015  

Writing Creative Nonfiction • C. W. Cannon • CLOSED

Wednesdays 7-9 pm  March 18–May 13

This course on writing memoir, personal essays, and other forms of creative nonfiction, aims to help develop and perfect the skill of writing well-crafted creative essays. Those interested in telling their own story, based on real life events, and then reflecting on the story’s meaning for themselves and others, will benefit from this class. We will read examples of published creative nonfiction, as well as each others’ work in a workshop setting. Students can expect to exit the class with one or two polished essays.

Write Now: Developing a Writing Practice • Jessica Kinnison • SEATS AVAILABLE

Wednesdays 7–9 pm • March 18–May 13 

In this 9-week writing workshop, we will learn to identify good scene-writing techniques in master works of fiction and nonfiction, then take our “sketchpads” to the streets to create short scenes that focus on a theme: landscapes both urban and non-urban, physical descriptions of people, dialogue, etc. Our goals: learn how to represent the essential experience (action, time, place, people) that we are trying to capture in writing, hone our observational skills, and see the world as a feast of scenes begging to be written. No prerequisite required.

downtown @ Antenna Gallery in the Bywater

Writing the Short Story • Michael Jeffrey Lee • SEATS AVAILABLE

Tuesdays 7–9 pm • March 17–May 12 • The Reading Room

This course will be a traditional fiction workshop with an eye toward the current literary scene. Each week, I'll lead a discussion on original student manuscripts and the work of master short-story writers. Students should gain increased awareness of their own artistic vision, while acquiring the skills to see this vision through—from first draft to polished, publishable story. Writers of all ages, styles, and levels of experience are welcome.

Questions: chambers@loyno.edu or 504-865-2475.

*10% discount for more than one course per semester and for Loyola faculty, staff, and alumni.

Map of Loyola's campus


Allison Alsup received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She is the co-author of the recently released The French Quarter Drinking Companion, a narrative guide to one hundred bars in America’s most eclectic neighborhood (Pelican Publishing). She also writes about cocktails for The New Orleans Advocate and is a regular contributor to Edible New Orleans. Several of her short stories have won national awards and have appeared in the New Orleans Review, The Madison Review, River Styx, Salamander and The New Guard. Her story, "Old Houses," first published in issue 38.1 of New Orleans Review, was selected for the 2014 O. Henry Prize Stories; her work also appears in The Best of Philadelphia Stories, 10th anniversary edition. She has been awarded residencies from the Aspen Writer's Foundation and the Jentel Foundation.

Tom Andes was born and raised in New Hampshire and has lived on both coasts and in New Orleans. He has published fiction, nonfiction, and interviews with writers and musicians, and has work forthcoming in periodicals including Witness, Secret Behavior, News from the Republic of Letters, Apalachee Review, Xavier Review, and The Rumpus, and his fiction has been anthologized in the Best American Mystery Stories series. He has taught writing privately, at San Francisco State University, and at the ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars in Natchitoches, Louisiana. thomasandes@gmail.com

Lorna Knowles Blake is the author of Permanent Address, winner of the Richard Snyder Prize from Ashland University Press. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She has received fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her poems, translations and essays appear in a wide variety of literary journals and anthologies. She is an editor at the journal Barrow Street and has taught creative writing at the 92nd Street Y and Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and at several library programs on Cape Cod.

Peyton Burgess received an MFA degree in fiction from New York University. While at NYU, he taught undergraduate creative writing, curated the KBG Emerging Writers Reading Series, and worked as fiction editor for Washington Square Review. He teaches creative writing and composition at Loyola, where he served as fiction editor of New Orleans Review. His writing has appeared in SalonExquisite CorpseThe Faster TimesLa FoveaOtis Nebula, and Chicago Quarterly Review, among others.

C. W. Cannon has written and published fiction and nonfiction widely, mostly focused on his native New Orleans. His work has appeared in periodicals such as Other Voices, Third Coast, Exquisite Corpse, American Book Review, Constance, Louisiana Cultural Vistas, New Orleans Review, The Rumpus, and the New Orleans Times-Picayune. His work has been anthologized in In Our Own Words: a Generation Defining Itself, Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?, Louisiana in Words, and New Orleans by New Orleans. His novel, Soul Resin (FC2 Press, 2002), a New Orleans ghost story, was hailed by Luis Alberto Urrea as “truly original.” His writing is found most frequently today in The Lens, where he contributes essays on New Orleans culture, the south, and race. He was the 2010-2011 Fulbright Professor of American Civilization at Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Sénégal, where he promoted understanding (for himself and others) of the ancient ties uniting New Orleans and the Senegambian region of West Africa. He teaches writing and New Orleans Studies at Loyola University. cwcannon@loyno.edu

Jessica Kinnison received an MFA at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, where she taught creative writing in the Allegheny County Jail. Her stories have appeared in Juked, The Cossack ReviewPif Magazine Anthology 2013 and in The Southern Humanities Review, among others. Her story "Bone on Bone" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2012. Her play, Baby, won the Southwest Theater and Film Association's 2008 Best Ten-Minute Play Contest. She is Operations Manager of Project Lazarus, and teaches creative writing at Orleans Parish Prison as part of the Humanities: Orleans Parish Education Project (H:OPE). jessica.kinnison@gmail.com

Michael Jeffrey Lee received an MFA degree in fiction from the University of Alabama. His book of short fiction, Something in My Eye, was selected by Francine Prose for the Mary McCarthy Prize and published by Sarabande Books in 2012. He is a frequent contributor to Conjunctions, and other journals. He teaches creative writing at NOCCA, and in 2013 was a recipient of the Yale University Educator Awardmlee10@tulane.edu

Lauren McCabe is a writer, blogger and digital strategist in New Orleans. She is passionate about multi-media storytelling and writes non-fiction, personal essay and travel pieces that blend writing and photography. In 2007, she won first place in a Conde Nast Traveler contest for travel photography and writing, and she currently writes on her website MermaidChronicles.com. She is a New Orleans native and completed her undergraduate studies in English and Creative Writing at Columbia University. LMcCabeWriter@gmail.com

Mike Miley is an award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter, and critic whose films have played at film festivals and on television around the world. He has an MFA in Film Directing from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. His short film The Red Bow earned him the distinction of being named a Young Filmmaker to Watch by Esquire. His film criticism and video essays have appeared in Bright Lights Film Journal, Film International, Moving Image Source, Music and the Moving Image, New Orleans Review, and Scope.

Lara Naughton, MPW, is Director of CompassionNOLA. With more than twenty years teaching and facilitation experience, she has worked with writers K-12 through adult, and has led workshops with individuals who have faced challenging circumstances, including homelessness, HIV/AIDS, wrongful conviction, incarceration, and torture. As a writer and documentarian, she incorporates personal narrative exercises into her classes, and assists individuals who wish to tell their own stories. She is Chair of Creative Writing at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and is a certified facilitator of Compassion Cultivation Training through Stanford University.  laranaughton@mac.com

past instructors

Ralph Adamo received an MFA degree in poetry at the University of Arkansas in 1974. He has taught creative writing at Tulane University, Loyola, the University of New Orleans, LSU, NOCCA, and Xavier University. He was editor of the New Orleans Review from 1993-1999. He has also worked as a journalist, a speechwriter, and a television scriptwriter. He has published six books of poetry, including Sadness at the Private University, The End of the World, Hanoi Rose, and Waterblind.

Joseph Bradshaw is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of In the Common Dream of George Oppen, a hybrid work of prose and poetry that investigates the non-life of modernist poet George Oppen. He recently moved to New Orleans from New York, and he teaches creative writing at Tulane University.

Patricia Brady came to New Orleans in 1961 and never left. She is the former director of publications at the Historic New Orleans Collection, and has published several biographies, including Martha Washington: An American Life, and In Search of Julien Hudson.

Vincent Cellucci edited and contributed to The Katrina Decameron (an audiobook available through iTunes) and Fuck Poems: An Exceptional Anthology (Lavender Ink, 2013). His book of poetry, An Easy Place / To Die was publshed by City Lit in 2012. He teaches communication in the College of Art + Design at LSU.

Patty Friedmann is the author of six novels: Too Smart to Be Rich, The Exact Image of Mother, Eleanor Rushing, Odds, Secondhand Smoke, Side Effects, and A Little Bit Ruined. She has always lived in New Orleans. 

Anne Gisleson's work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Oxford American, The Believer, Ecotone, The Cairo Review of Global Affairs and many other publications. Her work has been selected for inclusion in anthologies such as Best American Non-Required Reading, Best Music Writing, Life in the Wake, and others. She co-edited and co-wrote How to Rebuild a City: Field Guide from a Work in Progress, about ground-up rebuilding efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and wrote the accompanying essays for photographer Michel Varisco’s Shifting, a book about the beauty and degradation of the coastal wetlands. She currently teaches writing at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Louisiana’s arts conservatory for high school students.

Anya Groner received an MFA degree in fiction from the University of Mississippi where she was a John and Renee Grisham fellow. Her short stories, poems, essays, and book reviews have appeared in journals including Ninth Letter, The Oxford American, The Rumpus, Carolina Quarterly, The Georgia Review, Juked, Story South, Women's Studies Quarterly, Catamaran Literary Reader, Memphis Magazine, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing and composition at Loyola, and is currently at work on a novel about teenage girls and eco-terrorism. agroner@loyno.edu

James Nolan is the author of a collection of short stories, Perpetual Care, and two books of poetry, Why I Live in the Forest and What Moves is Not the Wind. His work has also appeared in Boulevard, The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Arkansas Review, and in the anthology New Orleans Noir.

Alison Pelegrin is the author of two books of poetry from the University of Akron Press: Hurricane Party (2011), and Big Muddy River of Stars (2007), which won the Akron Poetry Prize, and The Zydeco Tablets (2002). Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Poetry Daily, and The Writer's Almanac. She earned an MFA degree at the University of Arkansas and has received fellowships from the NEA and the Louisiana Division of the Arts.

Stephen Rea, originally from Northern Ireland, has lived in New Orleans since 2004. He was a journalist in the UK and is the author of Finn McCool's Football Club a memoir set against Hurricane Katrina and centered around the Irish pub in Mid-City. He also covered the 2014 World Cup for the New Orleans Advocate.

David Rodriguez received an MFA in Creative Writing from Florida State University. His writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including the New Orleans Review, Southeast Review, and Double Dealer Redux. He has also composed music that was performed in art installations at the University Montana in Missoula and at the TEN gallery in New Orleans. Since 2007, he has taught creative writing, music writing, freshman composition, and American Literature at Florida State University and Southeastern Louisiana University.

Christine Wiltz is the author of five books, including four novels—The Killing Circle, A Diamond Before You Die, and The Emerald Lizard (a trilogy comprising the Neal Rafferty series), Glass House—and a biography, The Last Madam: A Life in the New Orleans Underworld. Her work has also appeared in New Orleans Noir, The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, New Orleans Magazine, and elsewhere. She has written two screenplays and co-wrote a documentary, Race and the American Dream, which aired on PBS in 1992. The Last Madam has been produced as a play, and is currently optioned for the screen. 

Refund Policy

A non-refundable fee of 10% is included in each registration. Partial refunds will be granted for cancellations received before the second class meeting of a multi-week class or before the first meeting of a single-session class, or full credit for a future class can be granted in lieu of a refund. We cannot refund for missed classes.

Classes that do not meet minimum enrollments may be cancelled prior to the first class meeting with full refunds to all students. Classes are limited to twelve. Register early to ensure that your class makes.

LWI evaluation form.pdf21.69 KB
Loyola campus map.pdf4.57 MB
enrollment form.LWI S15.pdf37.21 KB
summer h.s. application 2015.pdf84.67 KB