Walker Percy

The Loyola Writing Institute

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 uptown on the Loyola University campus, in the Marigny at the Healing Center, in the Bywater at Press Street Headquarters, and at the Southern Hotel in Covington, LA. All classes are small and supportive, and taught by experienced, published writers. Classes are capped at twelve participants.

The cost for a 9-week course is $250.00.

Fall 2015 Loyola Writing Institute Adult Community Writing Classes

Link to register for classes online: See Loyola Writing Institute at Eventbrite

To access a paper registration form, please click registration form here. 

For questions about the Loyola Writing Institute, please contact: Jessica Kinnison at loyolawritinginstitute@gmail.com or call her at (601)937-1577.

Uptown @ Loyola

9-Week Course • Independent Publishing Primer

Instructor: Joseph Makkos

Mondays 7–9 pm • September 14 – November 9 • Room: MO 501

Oftentimes writers struggle to move their work from the digital world onto the printed page, so this is a course strategically designed for those who wish to learn the nuts and bolts of independent publishing. In 9 weeks, dedicated students will explore the process of editing for the page with the intention of producing, by hand, a small-run edition of what is often referred to as a “chapbook.” This course is suggested for the student who has a body of work yet seeks to manifest it into an artful production that pushes the boundaries of the printed word. Topics will include but will not be limited to: project conceptualization and management, manuscript editing and pre-production, design & layout theory, hands-on production (including analogue, and digital printing methodologies). The course will culminate with presentations and performances of the final work of each newly published writer. It is the goal that every student will produce an edition of two-dozen or more copies of their respective project.

Tuition + $50 materials fee

9-Week Course • Intermediate Fiction •

Instructor: Allison Alsup

Tuesdays 7–9 pm • September 15 – November 10 • Room: MO 501

This workshop is designed for experienced writers looking to push their material towards publishable-quality literary fiction**. As a group, we will encourage ambitiousness in terms of content, structure, point of view and prose style, as we reach for fiction that stretches our abilities and moves beyond our comfort zones. In doing so, we will pay special focus to those elements of fiction that often elude even the most seasoned writers: strong opening sections that establish voice and “the rules” of a story, structure, layering in backstory, and achieving resonance. We will also pay close attention to the dynamics of scene building. While most of our workshop will focus squarely on student work, we will leave room to discuss craft via a small selection of prize-winning stories and publication.

*The course presupposes experience with writing and a familiarity with the terms used to describe the elements of fiction (theme, conflict, pov, etc.) If you have taken either two workshops or more (at LWI or elsewhere) or have published writing, you are considered Intermediate or above. If you do not meet these requirements but feel yourself to be an intermediate or advanced writer, please contact Allison Alsup at asalsup@gmail.com.

9-Week Course • Writing Narrative Fiction • Instructor: Thomas Andes

Thursdays 7–9 pm • September 17 – November 12 • Room: MO 501

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.

Downtown @ New Orleans Healing Center

9-Week Course • Poetry for Everyone • Instructor: Anne Marie Rooney

Sundays 1-3 PM • September 20 – November 15 • Room: 252

It can be hard to make time in our busy lives for artmaking. This class is designed to provide you with some of the tools to jump back in in playful, low-stakes ways. Through reading and discussing a wide selection of contemporary poetry, experimenting with different poetic and artistic tools to kickstart our own writing, and sharing the exciting results in a safe, encouraging space, we will show poetry to be truly boundless in the forms it can take. Whether you haven't written a poem since high school, or are looking to more fully commit to your practice, this class is for you!

9-Week Course • Writing About Justice: A Non-Fiction Narrative Class•

Instructor: Lara Naughton and Tom Lowenstein

Thursdays 7–9 pm • September 17 – November 12 • Room: 250

The criminal justice system affects all of us, directly and indirectly. This class will use readings, in-class writing prompts, personal essay writing, and some basic elements of citizen reporting to explore the foundations of our criminal justice system and issues relating to how it is administered today. Within the framework of the class, participants will be encouraged to consider their own experience of our justice system (personal narrative), write from other points of view (compassion and empathy exercises), and explore related topics of their own choosing (non-fiction narrative). There will be weekly readings and writing goals, and sharing of work throughout the course. 

Co- Instructors: Tom Lowenstein (Founder and Director of Roudanez Journalism Project) and Lara Naughton (Chair of Creative Writing at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and certified Compassion Cultivation Training instructor).


Downtown @ Press Street Headquarters

9-Week Course • Writing Short Fiction • Instructor: Michael Lee

Tuesdays 7–9 pm • September 15 – November 10 • Room: Reading Room

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

Northshore @ Southern Hotel

 9-Week Course • Writing Poetry • Instructor: Alison Pelegrin

Sundays 7–9 pm • September 20 – November 15 • Room: TBA

In this course students will generate weekly work based on poetry prompts and assigned readings (students will write seven poems total). Class discussion will focus on assigned poems, the practice of poetry, particulars of student work, as well as revision and workshop. Students will practice careful response to peer work in a workshop setting and will receive instructor feedback on each of the weekly poems submitted to the class. All levels welcome.

9-Week Course • Life Writing • Instructor: David Armand

Mondays 7–9 pm • September 14 – November 9 • Room: TBA

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.

 9-Week Course • Writing Fiction • Instructor: Cassie Condrey

Tuesdays 7–9 pm • September 15 – November 10 • Room: TBA

The short story is a natural passageway into fiction writing. In this course, we will study the works of contemporary short story authors and complete brief writing assignments that will help you mine your life experiences for fiction pieces. We will use the fundamentals of story writing— structure, character, plot, dialogue, description, point of view, style and voice— to create powerful, affecting narratives. Additionally, students will be encouraged to view this process as a daily activity by writing sketches that develop powers of observation and starting to look ahead to publishing strategies and the current fiction marketplace.

Link to register for classes online: See Loyola Writing Institute at Eventbrite

To access a paper registration form, please click on registration form here. 

For questions about the Loyola Writing Institute, please contact: Jessica Kinnison at loyolawritinginstitute@gmail.com or call her at (601)937-1577.

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

David Armand was born and raised in Louisiana. He has worked as a drywall hanger, a draftsman, and as a press operator in a flag printing factory. He now teaches at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he also serves as associate editor for Louisiana Literature Press. In 2010, he won the George Garrett Fiction Prize for his first novel, The Pugilist's Wife, which was published by Texas Review Press. His second novel, Harlow, was published by Texas Review Press in 2013. David's third novel, The Gorge, is forthcoming this fall from Southeast Missouri State University Press. He has a chapbook, The Deep Woods, coming out later this year from Blue Horse Press; and his memoir, My Mother's House, is forthcoming Spring 2016 from Texas Review Press. David lives with his wife and two children and is working on his sixth book, The Lord's Acre.

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.

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

Joseph S. Makkos is a printmaker, publisher, and curator of NolaDNA, a historic New Orleans newspaper archive. He has designed and produced dozens of books for writers and artists around the U.S. and has taught college-level composition as well as American Literature and creative writing. He has also had work published in such places as The Atlantic, The Exquisite Corps, The New Orleans Advocate, Drupe Fruits, Big Bridge, has recently appeared on The Believer Magazine’s podcast The Organist, and has been interviewed in The Columbia Journalism Review & Collector’s Weekly. Yet, his truest love of all remains: salvaging historic printed matter and restoring vintage printing presses.

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

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 SalonExquisite CorpseThe Faster TimesLa FoveaOtis 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. 

Summer High School Creative Writing Program (2016 to be announced)

 Summer High School Creative Writing Program (closed for Summer '15)

From June 8-26, 2015, students will take a poetry workshop and a fiction workshop where they will develop their creative writing skills. These workshops are capped at 10 students. Students will work with published authors and Loyola faculty. The classes meet M-F, 9-Noon on Loyola's beautiful uptown campus. The cost is $400. A limited number of need-based scholarschips are available. Students requesting a scholarship must submit an essay up to 1,000 words detailing their need and desire to take the workshop, with a letter of recommendation from one of their teachers. The deadline has been extended to June 2, 2015.

For more information, contact Robert Bell at (504) 865-3094 or rcbell@loyno.edu.  


Loyola campus map.pdf4.57 MB
LWI Registration Form-Fall 2015.docx13.91 KB