Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing

Loyola Writing Institute

Fall creative writing classes 

The Loyola Writing Institute has been offering writing courses to the New Orleans community since 1993. These eight-week evening non-credit workshops are open to aspiring writers and to writers of all levels. Classes meet uptown on the Loyola University campus, in the Marigny at the Healing Center, in the Bywater at Antenna Gallery, and in Covington at the St Tammany Art Association. All classes, taught by experienced published writers, are small and supportive. Classes capped at twelve participants. $250.* 

uptown @ Loyola 

Writing the Screenplay

Instructor: Mike Miley • Tuesdays 7–9 pm • Sept 23–Nov 11 • Monroe Hall 501

This is an introduction to screenwriting designed for writers and movie lovers who are new to screenwriting and are interested in learning the mechanics and principles of cinematic scene structure. Each course will focus on a different kind of scene—dialogue, opening, action, etc.—to show what makes a dramatic, effective scene in a screenplay. You will learn screenplay format, study scenes from classic and contemporary films and then workshop your own writing, and leave the class with an understanding of effective screenwriting and a few powerful scenes to build a film around.

Writing Creative Nonfiction

Instructor: TBA • 7-9 pm  Sept–Nov •  Monroe Hall 501

This course 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 Short Story

Instructor: Allison Alsup  • 7–9 pm • Wednesdays 7–9 pm • Sept 24–Nov 12 • Monroe Hall 501

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

Writing Poetry

Instructor: TBA • 7–9 pm • Sept–Nov

This course is for writers at any stage—from beginners to the very experienced—and working in any poetic form or style. Together, we will read carefully, discuss and describe our impressions of poems, and cultivate an adventurous and exploratory spirit in our creative work.

Write Now: Developing a Writing Practice

Instructor: Jessica Kinnison • Wednesdays 7–9 pm • Sept 24–Nov 12 • Room 252

Learn to overcome the voice that convinces you to push your writing goals to tomorrow, next month, or next year through exposure to concrete craft tools, daily exercises, word play and building a community of writers who can support your efforts.

downtown @ Antenna Gallery in the Bywater

Writing the Short Story

Instructor: Michael Jeffrey Lee  • 7–9 pm • Sept –Nov  

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.

northshore @  the St Tammany Art Association in Covington 


Writing Poetry

Instructor: Alison Pelegrin • Tuesdays 7–9 pm • Sept–Nov

This course is for writers at any stage—from beginners to the very experienced—and working in any poetic form or style. We will divide the time between reading and dicusssing poems, writing from prompts and idea-generating exercises, and discussion of participants poetry.

Writing the Short Story

Instructor: David Rodriguez  • Wednesdays 7–9 pm • Sept 24 –Nov 12 

This course will cover the principles of writing fiction, common short story structures, and trends in publishing fiction. We will discuss participants' fiction in a workshop format with additional readings for analysis and inspiration. The class will give writers at all levels of experience tools that are adaptable to a wide range of genres. 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.


Allison Alsup received an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Emerson College and writes literary fiction. 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), and she also writes about cocktails and architecture for GoNOLA.com, a professional blog about New Orleans. 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 anthology.

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

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 from 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.

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.

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.

Tom Andes was born and raised in New Hampshire, and has lived on both coasts, and in New Orleans. His work has appeared in print and online in numerous periodicals, including HousefireThe RumpusN/A, Cannibal, Harp & Altar, and 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, LA. thomasandes@gmail.com.

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.

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

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 is a native Louisianan writer, editor, poet, and teacher. She received an MFA degree from Louisiana State University. Her writing has been published in The BelieverEcotone, New Orleans Review, Oxford AmericanThe Atlantic, and in Best American Non-Required Reading. She has participated in residencies at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the New York Institute for Writers, and been the recipient of Louisiana Division of the Arts grants and a Surdna Arts Teacher's Fellowship. She currently serves as chair of the creative writing program at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), where she teaches.

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.

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 a memoir, Finn McCool's Football Club set against Hurricane Katrina and centered around the Irish pub in Mid-City.

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 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. Register early to ensure that your class makes.

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