Upcoming Classes

Nitty Gritty: The Craft Basics of Prose with Leah Hampton

Leah Hampton taught for ACW for the first time earlier this year and was immediately a student fan-favorite for her thoughtful assignments and student-centered teaching. ACW is thrilled to have her back teaching a brand new class perfect for anyone writing in both fiction and nonfiction.

  • September 7 – October 11, 2020 via Google Classroom
  • Registration: Pay What You Can

Course description. This course for fiction and nonfiction writers is gonna get granular. Prose writers of all levels, from beginner to advanced, always benefit from focusing on foundations. Each week will feature a different building block of stories and essays, such as description, perspective, and time. Writing exercises will be targeted, asking you to flex specific muscles to strengthen your writing. Designed to be flexible and accessible! Short(ish) readings and discussion topics, and plenty of room to make the assignments work for you. Writers can use this class to sharpen an existing work in progress, or to generate new material. 

About the teacher. Leah Hampton is the author of F*ckface and Other Stories and a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers. She has held fellowships at Hedgebrook, the Adirondack Center for Writing, and the Stadler Center for Poetry, and her work has appeared in Electric Literature, Ecotone, The Los Angeles Times, McSweeneys, LitHub, and elsewhere. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Registration & Payment

Thanks to the generous support of the Lake Placid Education Fund, ACW is offering Nitty Gritty: The Craft Basics of Prose with Leah Hampton at a Pay What You Can rate. Registrations are limited, so make sure to register early!

  • Nitty Gritty: The Craft Basics of Prose Registration: Pay What You Can
  • Early Bird Registration: $150
  • Registration: $200

Prefer cash or check? Select deferred payment in the registration form and send a check made out to Adirondack Center for Writing, P.O. Box 956, Saranac Lake, New York 12983.

Did you know? You can give a class to a loved one! Simply enter your payment info and select “gift option.”


Each season welcomes a new batch of talented teachers and developing writers from all over the world. The Adirondack Center for Writing’s online classes are easy for you to participate in from your own computer. All you need to participate is a web browser — there’s no technical software involved, so you can work whenever is convenient for you.

Interactive readings, resources, and assignments are the heart of each class. Every student will receive personal feedback from the instructor on their weekly assignments. We welcome any level of writer to join the online writing classes, and offer courses for a variety of genres. Visit the FAQ page for more info about the online writing classes.

Student Testimonials

“Before this class, I had a “loose almost lost” assortment of fiction stories and because of Leah, I pulled the old ones together, re-worked them and wrote a few more.”

“I was a teacher for thirty years, and I can tell you that Julia Shipley knows her stuff and is willing to share her knowledge. She works to better student writing. She’s efficient, friendly and enthusiastic.”

“I have taken 8 online courses from One Story, Grub Street, and Gotham City. Julia Shipley’s preparation and presentation were the most thorough of all.”

“The class was the perfect amount of challenge, stimulation and fun.”

“I loved this course. It forced me to work at my edge. Jessica Hendry Nelson gave detailed feedback. I took risks and learned a lot.”

Previously Offered Courses

The Adirondack Center for Writing has offered a series of online writing workshops with an amazing group of teachers, including the following:

  • Writing Young Adult Fiction with Chris Tebbetts
  • The Personal Essay with Annie Stoltie
  • Memoir Writing with Mary Sanders Shartle
  • Limbs & Language: Writing Poetry with Mahogany L. Browne
  • The Unconventional Memoir with Jessica Hendry Nelson
  • Fiction Bootcamp with Gary Lee Miller
  • Lightning in a Bottle: Writing the Nature Flash with Julia Shipley
  • Make It Sing: Writing Poetry Out of the Everyday with José Olivarez
  • Essays from Personal Experience with Carrie Laben
  • The Promise of a Good Story: Writing Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels with Chris Tebbetts
  • Essay Associated: Experiments in Creative Nonfiction with Jessica Hendry Nelson
  • Shazam: The Superpower of Shortform (Sequel to Lightning in a Bottle: Reading and Writing the Nature Flash) with Julia Shipley
  • (re)Making Memory: Writing Poetry with Desiree C. Bailey
  • Seeding Your Sequoias: Writing Tiny but Mighty Prose with Julia Shipley
  • Building Your Story: Constructing Effective Scenes with Leah Hampton
  • To Stock and Barter Joy: A Poetry Workshop with Arhm Choi Wild

You might be at home, but you are not alone.

What remains during these tense times is ACW’s commitment to building spaces for healing together. Through weekly writing prompts and posted responses, new online classes, and the online display of PoemVillage, ACW is continuing to bring together community members like you during isolation and uncertainty.

Keeping ACW strong in these tense times now rests in the hands of faithful supporters like you. So, you are invited to give a gift of any amount. The recommended gift is just $5 a month. All gifts are significant in keeping ACW alive and well, so when this is all over ACW will be ready to re-launch the important programming you count on.