our current workshops can be found here
affordable, accessible, intensive, and fun, online classes for writers of all skill levels.
to inspire a collaborative, warm learning environment, where students feel comfortable to take risks and try new ways of reading and writing. more than that, we want to exist as your go-to resource for all things literary, and you can expect us to be your biggest supporters for as long as we're around.
why we're different
writing today is different than it used to be. even 5-10 years ago. we understand this, and will act as both a resource for improving your work on the page, and off of it as well. our approach incorporates all of this: everything from querying and MFA prep, to promotion and navigating social media.
special guests will be frequent. we will use our network to bring you the brightest minds from all aspects of the industry. this includes writers, publishers, editors, agents, publicists, designers, etc.
to keep things fresh, we frequently change up our courses. previous courses have featured topics such as plausible magic, the comedic story, david lynch, joy williams, the coen brothers, micro fiction, experimental fiction, westerns, wes anderson, ottessa moshfegh, baseball lit, people / poems, raymond carver, start your own publishing co., roberto bolaño, and more. we've also been proud to feature talented guest instructors like michael chang, vincent scarpa, aaron burch, and tommy dean.
"I have been fortunate to participate in three of word west’s workshops: Writing the West, Plausible Magic, and Joy Williams. I continue to return because these sessions are so rich with support and insights. David Queen is a warm, funny and talented moderator and the classmates have been incredible. Always the best part of the week. Most of my pieces from these workshops have gone on to be published. I look forward to more word west offerings. Highly recommend!”
– William Burtch, Co-author of “W.G.”, forthcoming 2022 (Sunbury Press)
"My word west class made room for the weird without being inaccessible. The class was casual without feeling unserious. It struck the perfect tone for a writing class. I wrote, read new things, thought hard about my own work, and learned a ton about David Lynch and his approach to storytelling. Most importantly, I was inspired, influenced, and instructed by my classmates' fresh and fearless work. It was like being in grad school again, only much more fun and surprising."
– Tyler Barton
"I loved my workshop with Word West, which provided a thorough and comprehensive introduction to the form of microfiction. David's style of instruction created a warm and intimate space to explore and connect with fellow writers and the material and his gentle and encouraging feedback and engaging prompts were the perfect blend to motivate me to continue writing (and publishing) my pieces. I entered the class as a writer new to both fiction and the form of flash/micro, and left feeling more confident in my writing ability as well as with a new appreciation for a wide variety of writers and styles. I would absolutely recommend a Word West workshop!"
– Kristen Zory King
"The Joy Williams workshop, taught by David Queen, provided me a great opportunity to explore my own writing through a unique new lens. I really liked the structure and learned a lot from workshopping my classmates' stories. David was extremely helpful and supportive throughout the 6-week course, fostering a very generous and kind environment. I came out of it with a piece of fiction that I am extremely proud of that was published a few months later."
– Joey Hedger
"word best???? word west melds the best elements of traditional workshops with the most imaginative course topics. There is an energy in the room that I've not experienced elsewhere. It has been so gratifying to come out the other side with heaps of work, a head full of ideas, and a connection to a deeply talented and generous collection of writers and instructors.
– Lara L.
"I can't say enough good things about the Word West classes! The classes are so nurturing and supportive, which is so encouraging to me as a new writer. The thoughtful discussion and feedback have really helped me grow. I recently participated in the NYC Midnight 100-Word Microfiction Challenge, and was one of 200 writers who advanced to the final round (out of 6,900 participants). I don't think there's any way I would have made it to the final round without the Microfiction course! Hope to participate in another one soon!"
– Jennifer Stark
"I enjoyed the Joy Williams workshop with David immensely! I was not very familiar with Joy Williams when I signed up. What drew me to the class was the class size (small and intimate) and the opportunity to explore a writer I didn't know much about. The class was so much fun! My fellow classmates were supportive, knowledgeable and always helpful in their suggestions. I learned as much from our readings as from my peers. David is a wonderful workshop leader and his feedbacks on my stories are insightful and always offer me something to think about. Since our workshop Joy Williams has become one of my favorite writers, and I wouldn't have discovered this without the wonderful experience. My writings have since been heavily influenced by her and by our discussions, and they fortunately have gone on to get published in some of my dream journals."
– Yunya Yang