Juried application process is now closed. All applicants will be notified in April. Registration is still open for Beginning Writing and the Readers’ Retreat.

$30 application fee and writing sample required. Carefully read all manuscript guidelines before applying.


ShetterlyAran (C) Margot Lee ShetterlyAran Shetterly is the author of the narrative nonfiction book “The Americano: Fighting with Castro for Cuba’s Freedom.” His first job out of graduate school was at Workman Publishing. Since then he has worked in digital media startups, founded an English language magazine in Mexico (with his wife, Margot Lee Shetterly), and helped numerous writers in various genres hone manuscripts for agents and publishers. Aran’s currently under contract with Amistad/HarperCollins to write a book about the 1979 Greensboro Massacre. 

Course Description

“The writer begins in a state of chaos and works herself toward form and clarity.” -Paul Hendrickson

This workshop, for writers with completed manuscripts (fiction, narrative nonfiction, memoir) will focus on the art of storytelling. Emphasis will be less on what isn’t working than on helping each other see what can be done to make a story better, sharper and more effective for the appropriate audience. Editing is a skill. So is understanding what an editor wants and how to work with her/him. This workshop aims not only to help writers improve their submitted work, but to make the experience of being edited less opaque, more efficient, successful and even, perhaps, enjoyable. 

This workshop is limited to 6 participants. For the preliminary application, writers will be asked to submit the first 10 pages of their book, plus an author bio, book synopsis, and author statement about what they hope to gain from this workshop. The total submission should be no more than 15 pages. Aspen Words will be in touch with all applicants via email in early March to request full manuscripts, which will be reviewed before making final decisions on acceptances. The workshop-ready manuscripts will be collected in late April. Review the manuscript guidelines.