“I’ve always had a very comfortable relationship with No. 2 pencils.”
– William Styron

Meet our Contributors

  • Lisa Friedman

    “I grew up in and around Manhattan—a wonderful island for gathering material and starting to write. In New York, there are so many places to study writing; I received my education from Columbia University, Poets and Writers, New Dramatists, as well as countless writing workshops.

    “By working in book publishing—as a manuscript reader, editor, and ‘book doctor’—I learned more about the trade. The problem was, my sympathies were with the invisible senders of manuscripts. Writing rejection letters to would-be authors felt almost impossible. Read more...

    • Guest Instructor

    Marissa Higgins

    Marissa Higgins is a journalist living in the United States. She is a D.C. Arts & Humanities fellow, a Tin House scholar in nonfiction, and a Provincetown Fine Arts Center Workshop summer fellow in memoir. Her nonfiction has appeared in the Best American Food Writing 2018 (originally in Captault), Glamour, Salon, NPR, the Washington Post, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her fiction appears, or is forthcoming, in The Florida Review, LEON, Lost Balloon, and elsewhere. She is working on a novel.

    • Guest Speaker

    Rishi Dastidar

    Rishi Dastidar’s second collection of poetry, Saffron Jack, is published in the UK by Nine Arches Press. He is also editor of The Craft: A Guide to Making Poetry Happen in the 21st Century (Nine Arches Press), and co-editor of Too Young, Too Loud, Too Different: Poems from Malika’s Poetry Kitchen (Corsair).

    • Guest Instructor

    Harry Segal

    Harry Segal earned a PhD in English Literature from Yale University and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan. He is a Senior Lecturer at Cornell University and a Stephen H. Weiss Provost’s Teaching Fellow. Harry is also a Senior Lecturer at Weill Cornell Medical College’s Department of Psychiatry.

    • Guest Instructor

    Ann van Buren

    “My master’s degree in English and Creative Writing is from New York University, where Sharon Olds was my mentor; Allen Ginsberg and Galway Kinnell were other valued teachers. My poetry and reviews have been published in the Columbia Review and Prospice, and Library Journal, among others. Writing is one of the subjects I’ve taught at many colleges and universities, including New York University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and China’s Ningbo University. In New York, I regularly teach writing workshops. And, when the stars line up, I teach for the Amsterdam Writing Workshops.” Read more...

    • Alumna & Bestselling Author

    Jean Kwok

    Jean Kwok holds a BA in English and American Literature from Harvard University and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. She taught at the University of Leiden and is an alumna of the Amsterdam Writing Workshops. Jean’s debut novel, Girl in Translation, was published in 2010 by Riverhead, an imprint of Penguin Random House. The novel became a New York Times and international bestseller; Read more...

    • Alumnus & Guest Speaker

    Pete Jordan

    Pete Jordan’s work has appeared on the American Public Radio program This American Life as well as in the New York Times. Pete wrote the memoirs Dishwasher: One Man’s Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States (Harper Perennial, 2007) and In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist (Harper Perennial, 2013), which was translated into Dutch as De Fietsrepubliek (Podium, 2013).

    • Social Media
      & Photography

    Elena Pasca

    Elena graduated with a degree in Language and Literature from Transilvania University (Romania). She has studied photography, design, digital marketing—and now works for organizations and retail brands in the Netherlands.

    • Assistant Director

    Ron de Klerk

    Ron has been in the book business since the late 1980s. He graduated with a degree in Bookselling and Publishing from the Frederik Muller Academy (now part of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam—a college for media studies). For 16 years he worked as a bookseller and book buyer for Waterstone’s Booksellers. Read more...

Q & A

1. What’s a good starting point for the workshops?

Many people prefer to start with Simply Writing—because it’s all about being able to get the words out of your head and onto the page. To discuss whether this class is right for you, please call or send us an e-mail.

2. How do I register?

Fill in the registration form or contact us by phone or e-mail

3. Are the workshops sequential?

Each workshop is self-contained.

4. I'm just a beginning writer, is that okay?

Absolutely—we welcome people at all levels

5. English is not my mother tongue; will I be able to follow what’s said?

Many non-native English speakers attend the workshops regularly. These are the native languages of those who have been to the workshops to date: Afrikaans, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Flemish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Malay,Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Surinam, Tagalog, Tamil, Turkish, Zeeuws

6. How do I prepare for the workshop?

All you need is a short phone conversation with the instructor. Please call the Workshop Line—062 502 0817

7. Will my writing be criticized?

Absolutely not. We provide instruction, direction, and encouragement—not criticism per se.

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