Walker Percy

The Loyola Writing Institute

Loyola Writing Institute Classes

Community Creative Writing Workshops 

The Loyola Writing Institute has offered creative writing workshops to the New Orleans community since 1993. Now offering a diverse set of lengths and topics, these non-credit evening workshops are open to aspiring writers of all ages and skill levels. Classes meet in five different locations (see below). All classes are small and supportive, and taught by experienced, published writers. Classes are capped at twelve participants. Our spring course schedule is listed below. To register, please fill-out the registration form and submit it with payment.

We now offer classes at six locations: uptown campus Loyola University New Orleans, NOLA DNA Studio, the New Orleans Healing Center, Antenna Gallery Reading Room, the Southern Hotel, and A Studio in the Woods.


Compassion for Challenging People: Investigate the Antagonists in Your Writing and in Your Life

Westbank @ A Studio in the Woods

May 14, 2016,10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Cost: $100

Instructor: Lara Naughton www.compassionNOLA.com

Location: A Studio in the Woods http://www.astudiointhewoods.org

Spend the day writing at the beautiful A Studio in the Woods. This one-day writing retreat combines writing facilitation with compassion cultivation training in order to help you explore more deeply the stories of your life.

In a relaxed and supportive environment, you will participate in exercises designed to increase your capacity for mindfulness and compassion, and you will have ample time to generate new writing. These workshops are especially helpful for writers working on personal narrative/memoir, or for writers interested in creating more rounded, multidimensional characters.

Why compassion? Compassion can help reduce stress, anxiety and negative judgment, while increasing your strength to face the suffering in your life and in the lives of those around you. Cultivating greater compassion is beneficial for healthy living. Applying compassion in the writing process can help you explore difficult subject matter with courage and honesty.

The cost for a 9-week course is $250.
The cost for our Saturday retreats is $100.

You may register by mail using this formor online here: Loyola Writing Institute Eventbrite.


LWI Summer Course Schedule

5-Week 2x a week Summer courses:

 @ Loyola (6363 Saint Charles Avenue Room: TBA)

• Fiction Intensive-Instructor: Allison Alsup-June 2-June 30 (Tues/Thurs)

• Writing Narrative Fiction-Instructor: Tom Andes-July 27-August 24 (Mon/Wed)

@ NOLA DNA Studio (3921 Saint Claude Avenue)

• Hands-On Bookmaking Intensive-Joseph Makkos-NOLA DNA Studio St. Claude-June 1-June 29 (Mon/Wed)

@ The Southern Hotel (428 E. Boston St., Covington, LA 70433)

• The ART of Poetry-Alison Pelegrin-Southern Hotel-June 1-June 29 (Mon/Wed)

   9-WEEK 1 X a week Summer Courses:

@ New Orleans Healing Center (2372 Saint Claude Avenue, Room: TBA)

• Writing Creative Nonfiction-C.W. Cannon-Healing Center-June 8-August 3 (Wednesdays)

@ Antenna Gallery (3718 St. Claude Avenue, Reading Room)

• Writing as Rewriting (Poetry/ Experimental)-Elizabeth Gross-Healing Center-June 7-August 2 (Tuesdays)

@ The Southern Hotel (428 E. Boston St., Covington, LA 70433)

• Life Writing-David Armand-Southern Hotel-June 7-August 2 (Tuesdays)

Course Catalog:

• The ART of Poetry (Instructor: Alison Pelegrin)-

Students will create an art work (paper charms, shrines, poetry boxes, mandalas . . .) as a receptacle for their writing. This class will culminate with a public reading and showing. Beginners welcome.

• Fiction Intensive (Instructor: Allison Alsup) -

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.

• Hands-On Bookmaking Instensive (Instructor: Joseph Makkos)

This course will be an intensive, yet focused exploration of book arts: small edition book production and independent publishing. The class will run as a workshop for students who are ready to explore how to present their work on the printed page by incorporating hybrid writing, found texts, and visual art.

• Life Writing (Instructor: David Armand)

Students will learn how to structure their own personal stories and memories, all while developing their overall storytelling skills. Additionally, students will learn the specific techniques required to adapt their own life story into a chronological, yet focused, memoir. There will be readings and discussions of other successful memoirs, the goal being to ultimately learn to write with the finesse of fiction and poetry. Publication strategies and marketing for creative non-fiction will also be covered.

• Writing as Rewriting (Instructor: Elizabeth Gross)-

In this course, students create new work from existing mythical, historical, literary, and pop culture sources. Our daily writing will experiment with poetic techniques that generate new writing from existing texts (ranging from ancient myths to twitter). Exercises include a range of found poetic techniques, such as erasure and irresponsible translation, to transform existing texts, as well as retelling stories from myth, history, science, the news, etc. in our own voices. Poetry/cross-genre/experimental.

• Writing Creative Nonfiction (Instructor: C.W. Cannon)

Creative Nonfiction blends elements of fiction and essay. It is a perfect medium for students who wish to write about their own lives in ways that will be compelling for other readers. Like fiction writers, we will work on building interesting stories out of our own experiences, with attention to striking details, characterization, and effective pacing. Like essayists, we will also attempt to interpret our experience and draw lessons from it. We will use the workshop method in our class: students will bring in their own work and we will read it and critique it. Depending on class size, each student will be expected to submit original work two to three times over the course of the session. We will also read a range of published creative nonfiction, to get a sense for the possibilities of the form.

• Writing Narrative Fiction (Instructor: Tom Andes)

This workshop-based class will invigorate the practice of fiction writers of any level through craft-based discussions, readings of published work, and writing exercises, and well as the writing workshop. While the class will focus on the short story, students are welcome to bring excerpts from longer projects. The class is predicated upon the idea that writers master the fundamentals of good storytelling not from a single exposure to the elements of craft, but from constant exposure and practice, developing their skills through conversation with other writers and by sharpening their critical eyes. Novice writers should find useful starting points, an overview of the basics of writing literary (and genre) fiction. More advanced writers should find new approaches to deepen their practices. Students should expect to leave the class with enough instructor and peer feedback on works in progress to enable them to make significant progress with one or two pieces of short fiction.

You may register by mail using this form:
or online here: Loyola Writing Institute Eventbrite.

For questions about the Loyola Writing Institute, please contact: Jessica Kinnison at loyolawritinginstitute@gmail.com.

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. This fall her work will appear in Alaska Quarterly Review and Best Food Writing 2015.

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

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

Cassie Condrey received a BA degree from Duke University and an MFA degree in fiction from Emerson College where she also taught undergraduate writing. Her story “Because You’re Mine,” published in New Orleans Review, received the 2013 Walker Percy Prize in Short Fiction. Her stories have also been recognized by Glimmer Train and The Normal School. She was born and raised in Louisiana and has lived in Argentina, where she directed an English language writing program, Singapore, and now New Orleans.

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. His stories have appeared in Conjunctions, Columbia Journal, Denver Quarterly, and The Collagist, among others. He teaches creative writing at NOCCA and Tulane, and in 2013 was a recipient of the Yale University Educator Award. mlee10@tulane.edu

Lara Naughton is a New Orleans-based documentary playwright, memoirist, and writing instructor. With more than twenty years experience, she has worked with students K-12 as well as adults, and has led writing workshops with individuals who have faced challenging circumstances, including homelessness, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, wrongful conviction, incarceration, and torture. She is a certified Compassion Cultivation Trainer through the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University, and Chair of Creative Writing at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Her documentary play Never Fight A Shark in Water: The Wrongful Conviction of Gregory Bright has been performed on stages across the country. Her memoir The Jaguar Man is forthcoming from Central Recovery Press in July 2016.

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.

Anne Marie Rooney is the author of Spitshine (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2012), as well as two chapbooks. Her work has been featured in the Best New Poets and Best American Poetry anthologies, and received the Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, the Iowa Review Award, a Barbara Deming Grant, and others. A founding member of the poetry collective Line Assembly, she currently works as a teaching artist, leading poetry workshops in schools, museums, and cultural programs around New Orleans.

 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.

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.

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.

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 Salon, Exquisite Corpse, The Faster Times, La Fovea, Otis Nebula, and Chicago Quarterly Review, among others.

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.

Stephen Rea is originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland but has lived in New Orleans since 2004. He is the author of Finn McCool's Football Club:The Birth, Death and Resurrection of a Pub Soccer Team in the City of the Dead, a book centered around an Irish pub in Mid-City against the backdrop of Hurricane Katrina. In his spell at the Walker Percy Center he taught close to 200 writers in a variety of fiction-writing classes, and most recently covered the 2014 soccer World Cup for The 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 12. Register early to ensure that your class makes.

Loyola campus map.pdf4.57 MB
LWI Registration Form-Summer 2016.docx19.4 KB
LWI Registration Form-May Retreat 4-6.5.16.docx18.08 KB