Eleven Stories

eleven storiesDates: Year-round.
Tuition: $175 for twelve months. Add the Kaua’i Writers’ Retreat for $300.
Lectures By: Sheila Bender, Gary Copeland Lilley, Sayantani Dasgupta, Jordan Hartt, Kim Addonizio, and others.
Registration: available down the page, or contact [email protected]

Eleven Stories is an ongoing writing course and community designed to result in the creation, revision, and publication of one new short story each month except December (hence the name, Eleven Stories!)

Each and every Monday, I post one or two new craft lectures (a text-based lecture from myself, and usually an audio or video lecture from a guest lecturer) on one or more of the following craft elements: sensory detail; setting(s): natural; setting(s): time/place; central or viewpoint characters; peripheral characters; point(s) of view; first-person; third-person omniscient; third-person limited; third-person observational/objective; second-person; verb tense movement (present, past, future, modal, etc.); plot; tension/conflict; moment of (non)decision(s); result of (non)decision(s)/character (non)change(s); ending(s); structure; scene/section arrangement; pacing; tone/language/style; dialogue; titles; and thought/theme in fictional work.

Participants in our 2017 Maui Writers' Retreat discuss a story's beginning paragraph
Participants in our 2017 Maui Writers’ Retreat discuss a story’s beginning paragraph

We use a closed, private Facebook group (yes, that platform is completely passé, but the “groups” feature works surprisingly well) as our central gathering place to write in response to the readings and prompts from the lectures. These exercises work to inspire (and inform the intensive craft!) of a brand-new short story each month.

Want intensive critique on your finished work in order to prepare it for publication? You can add that any time, here. This is what accelerates your work to publication.

The month of December is only about submissions: finding the right magazines for your work, and getting your work submitted to them.

Eleven Stories: intensive writing craft, writing community, and the ongoing inspiration of a life built around writing.

Email [email protected], call 1.360.531.1472 for more information, or simply register directly below.


This tuition is half-refundable through the first week of your registration, and nonrefundable after that point.

January: the 55-word story
February: the 101-word story
March: the 300-word story
April: the 500-word story
May: the 750-word story
June: the 1,000-word story
July: the 750-word story
August: the 500-word story
September: the 300-word story
October: the 101-word story
November: the 55-word story
December: submissions

Course Facilitator
Jordan Hartt


The best thing you can do for your writing is make it the place you go for pleasure. ~Dorothy Allison

My lifework is in two things: teaching the personal practice of writing as a private meditation, and facilitating the publication or public performance of one’s writing.

Since 2008, I’ve served between three and six thousand writers per year at multiple retreats all over the world.

Participants in my programs have published over two thousand individual times in literary journals, including all the major magazines; released over two hundred books on nationally ranked presses; and been featured in the Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, and Best American Short Stories anthologies.

Eleven Stories is the culmination of everything I’ve learned about how writing–real writing, writing from your own unique voice–is best learned.

Guest Lecturers

unnamedSheila Bender’s passion is helping writers break out into new forms, revise effectively, generate more writing and facilitate the writing of others. In the last three decades, she has worked with hundreds of people helping them write personal essays, fiction, and more meaningful writer’s journals, in addition to book-length memoir, how-to books and novels. She is the author of the memoir, “A New Theology: Turning to Poetry in a Time of Grief,” and the instructional book “Creative Writing Demystified,” available in e-book format. More of her instructional work includes “Sorrow’s Words: Writing Exercises to Heal Grief. She has taught at colleges, universities and community centers and presented at national writers’ programs and conferences.

Gary Copeland LilleyGary Copeland Lilley is a North Carolina poet living, writing, and teaching in the Pacific Northwest. His publications include four full-length collections, the most recent of which is The Bushman’s Medicine Show, from Lost Horse Press (2017), and three chapbooks of poetry. He is a graduate of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program, and been faculty at Warren Wilson College, the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. and the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, and has been a visiting writer at the University of Arizona, Colby College, and the Institute of American Indian Arts.

View More: http://heatherwoolery.pass.us/sd_brick_1Sayantani Dasgupta is an essayist, a short story writer, and the author of “Fire Girl” and the chapbook “The House of Nails.” Born in Calcutta and raised in New Delhi, she has lived in the United States since 2006. Sayantani’s publications have won a Pushcart Prize Special Mention, and Dukool Magazine‘s 2016 Prize for Creative Nonfiction. Her essay “Oscillation” was the finalist for Phoebe Magazine‘s 2014 Creative Nonfiction Contest. She works as the editor of the Crab Creek Review.