The Institute

graduate center-facade-empire state building

As we enter our fourteenth successful year, our mission at The Writers' Institute couldn’t be clearer: to introduce talented writers to New York’s finest and most prestigious editors. Ambition and creativity are the mainstays of our workshops.

With our unique approach, The Writers' Institute offers a one-year intensive course of instruction capped by a certificate and priceless tips straight from the intricate workings of every editor's mind.

Savvy readers and brilliant sculptors of talent, members of our faculty currently represent publishing giants such as Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Knopf, Norton, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harper’s and Freeman’s. Make sure to check our homepage for their bios as well as the bios of all our students.  Most importantly, please take a long look at what our students have published in the "Students' Publication" page. Their success speaks for itself and remains our most eloquent testimonial.

Our classes focus on three major genres: fiction, creative nonfiction, and memoir writing. A class usually comprises a group of twelve handpicked students who meet once a week for two hours on Zoom during an entire academic year. They will work with four of our top-editors.

The goal of these sessions is to have a distinguished senior editor look over your shoulder while you’re creating and workshopping your very best work. Small groups of devoted and friendly readers and lively discussions with the best talent in New York will make the Writers’ Institute your most exciting and rewarding space in the coming academic year.

In these classes, we make sure that you cover a range of topics of particular importance to those eager to iron out challenges with pacing, structure, story arc, and, of course, style and voice. Once a year we invite three to four literary agents to speak and meet with current and former students. These have been extremely well-attended events.

Our goal at the Writers’ Institute is not to favor any particular form of writing, but to encourage you to find your own literary voice. With the rewarding guidance that a senior industry-insider offers, you will be able to explore the extraordinary range of possibilities offered by the print and online media world.

Tuition is $10,000 per year.

If you are lucky and work hard, these professional relationships will endure as you continue to write and to grow as a writer. Already one very concrete benefit has come from my experience in the program: after reading my book, Xing, out this October from Saturnalia Books, Jonathan Galassi endorsed it with a wonderful blurb."


From Debora Kuan whose forthcoming book XING will appear this October

This combination of professional input and unparalleled access sets our program apart as one of the nation’s most remarkable and rewarding writing programs .  Our motto couldn’t be simpler: we do not hire famous writers to teach, we hire the editors who made them famous.

The Writers’ Institute is directed by André Aciman, essayist, memoirist, novelist, and Distinguished Professor in the Graduate Center’s doctoral program in Comparative Literature.

FROM OUR ALUMNI

"What contact [with many editors] does is demystify them, enabling you to reach them in ways that you otherwise might not. I remember the frustration I felt after the piece I e-mailed to an editor produced what sounded like a lukewarm response. But I also remember how listening to an editor’s advice made me want to persist, get back in touch, and after some minor revision, see my piece in The New York Times."

— Albert Fayngold

Who published in The New York Times