Walker Percy

The Loyola Writing Institute

Summer High School Creative Writing Program (Closed)

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 scholarships 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. The registration form is available to download at the bottom of this page. For more information, contact Robert Bell at (504) 865-3094 or rcbell@loyno.edu.  

Community Creative Writing Workshops (New Classes Starting in July!) 

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, and in the Bywater at Press Street Headquarters. All classes are small and supportive, and taught by experienced, published writers. Classes are capped at twelve participants. Our summer course schedule is listed below. To register, please fill-out the registration form and send it in with payment. 

The Cost:

Nine-week Courses: $250 for one course/$450 for two courses

Five-week Intensive Courses: $300 for one course/$550 for two courses

Weekend Retreat: $100

Contact Jessica Kinnison at loyolawritinginstitute@gmail.com or call her at (601) 937-1577. 

List of Adult Classes Still Open for Summer 2015:

uptown @ Loyola 

5-Week Intensive Class: Writing the Screenplay • Mike Miley 

Tuesdays/Thursdays 7–9 pm • July 14 - August 13 • Monroe Hall 301

Still Open for Enrollment!

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.

5-Week Intensive Class: Intermediate Fiction Writing • Allison Alsup 

Mondays/Wednesdays 7–9 pm • July 13 - August 12  Monroe Hall 601

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.

downtown @ Press Street Headquarters in the Bywater

5-Week Intensive Course: Writing the Short Story • Michael Jeffrey Lee 

Tuesdays, Thursdays  7–9 pm • July 14 - August 13 • 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: Jessica.Kinnison@gmail.com.

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

Special Session (CLOSED)

 1-Day Retreat: Self-Compassion and Personal Narrative  • Lara Naughton (CLOSED)

Saturday 9 am – 3 pm • July 11 • Location: A Studio in the Woods (13401 Patterson Road) (CLOSED) 

Cost: $100 (CLOSED)

Do you have a personal experience you'd like to explore through writing?  This weekend workshop incorporates personal narrative writing exercises, meditation, and techniques to increase self-compassion. Self-compassion can help reduce stress, anxiety and negative self-judgment, while increasing your strength to face suffering and difficult emotions. In a supportive environment, you will generate new writing and develop specific skills for relating to yourself and your own story. Click here to download 1-Day Retreat application form.

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.

Questions: 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.

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

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 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

Anne Marie Rooney is the author of Spitshine (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2012). Her poetry has been featured in the Best New Poets and Best American Poetry anthologies, and recent prose can be found in Sidebrow, Two Serious Ladies, and Contrary. Born and raised in New York City, she currently lives in New Orleans, where she is a teaching artist.

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.

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 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.