Class Schedule

Registration is now open for fall 2018 classes. Please click on the Class Schedule tabs below or download a printable Great Smokies Writing Program brochure for instructor bios and full course descriptions. Application, registration, and tuition information can be found here.

Five-week Classes

The Literary Ecosystem: How It Works and the Writer's Role

  • Instructor: Caroline Christopoulos and Lauren Harr
  • Location: Flatiron Writers Room, West Asheville
  • Dates/time: Wednesday evenings, 6-8:30pm, Oct. 10 - Nov. 14
  • Description: The literary world can be intimidating and confusing. Even writers who have already published books are unsure of how the literary ecosystem works, who does what, and what an author’s role is within it. Some of the ideas we’ll tackle are the idea of literary stewardship, the roles of various members of the publishing industry, self vs. traditional publishing, and how to promote your work and build your community both before and after publication. We’ll talk about how best to connect to other authors, editors and agents, bookstores, and the media. In this course, you will hone your goals for your work, craft an elevator pitch, learn the difference between an agent and a publicist, and practice talking about your work as a finished product rather than a manuscript-in-progress. Our goal is to give you a better sense of the environment you will find yourself in as a published author and to give you the confidence to pursue your literary goals.

Taking the Long Way Home: A Creative Nonfiction Workshop

  • Instructor: Audra Coleman
  • Location: Flatiron Writers Room, West Asheville
  • Dates/time: Tuesday evenings, 6:00 - 8:30pm, Oct. 30 - Nov. 27
  • Description: “Stories move in circles. They don’t go in straight lines. So, it helps if you listen in circles. There are stories and stories between stories, and finding your way through them is as easy and hard as finding your way home.” Naomi Newman
    A story can be told in many ways. The trick is to find the one that best captures our experience.  In this class we will explore the many different narrative structures available to us as creative non-fiction writers. How do we successfully depart from a straightforward chronological order telling so that our material can be delivered in a fresh and interesting way?  While writing our memoir pieces, we will experiment with different narrative structures to discover how the right one can transform our work into a piece of greater significance and depth. Students will have an opportunity to write and revise memoir and essay pieces using a variety of narrative structures including braiding, collage and frame. Class will include discussion based on assigned readings,  writing exercises, and revisions trying out numerous arrangements and sequencing to find how the puzzle pieces fit together best to make the greatest impact on the reader. Sometimes we must be willing to get a little lost, take risks and travel down unexplored paths. The journey, for both writer and reader, is made much more interesting when we are willing to take those chances.


A Beginner Begins: Introduction to the Creative Writing Workshop

  • Instructor: Jordan Dolfi
  • Location: First Baptist Church, Asheville
  • Dates/time: Monday evenings, 6:00 - 8:30pm, Sept. 10 - Oct. 8
  • Description: You know you want to write -- you want to explore the issues, the opportunities, and the challenges of becoming a writer without adding pressure and stress in your already-busy life. This class will offer a supportive environment to learn the basics of writing and critiquing fiction or creative non-fiction in a workshop setting. Students may have a project in mind or one they’re already at work on, but that is not required. In fact, part of what students may accomplish is discovering and tapping into creative veins from which to write. In that regard, we will do some in-class writing exercises. Each student will also submit work -- short stories, novel excerpts or creative nonfiction -- during the course, which I will respond to in writing. Required text: The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing by Alice LaPlante.

Ten-week Classes

Your Novel Starts Here: A Fiction Workshop - CANCELED

  • Instructor: Vicki Lane
  • Location: Riverlink, Asheville
  • Dates/time: Tuesday evenings, 6:00 - 8:30pm, Sept. 11 - Nov. 13
  • Description: This beginning class focuses on character development, setting, dialogue, point of view, plotting, etc. with a brief overview of the road to publication. Brief at home writing assignments are shared via email and discussed in class. Some in class writing. Students are encouraged (but not required) to decide on a main character and a setting and write all their assignments pertaining to these. At the end of the class, it’s hoped they’ll have the opening of a novel as well as some useful scenes and an idea of how to proceed.

Fall into Writing: A Creative Nonfiction Workshop

  • Instructor: Jennifer McGaha
  • Location: Thomas Wolfe Memorial, Asheville
  • Dates/time: Tuesday evenings, 6:00 - 8:30pm, Sept. 11 - Nov. 13
  • Description: This creative nonfiction workshop is for intermediate-level writers looking to take their work to the next level. Each session will include a discussion of the assigned reading, and participants will take turns leading this discussion. However, the cornerstone of this course will be the workshop experience. Students should be prepared to submit at least thirty pages of prose (memoir, personal essay, etc.) during the semester. The instructor will provide extensive written feedback on all submissions. Participants in this workshop do not need to have a work in progress but should have some previous writing experience. Required reading: The Best American Essays 2017 (edited by Leslie Jamison and Robert Atwan).

Heart of the Story: Writing for Children Fiction Workshop - CANCELED

  • Instructor: Joy Neaves
  • Location: Riverlink, Asheville
  • Dates/time: Thursday evenings, 6:00 - 8:30pm, Sept. 13 - Nov. 15
  • Description: “I don't write for children. I write and someone says, this is for children.” –Maurice Sendak
    This workshop welcomes students at all stages of the writing process who are interested in writing literature for children and young adults, including novels, picture books, and short fiction. You will discover powerful tools for both generating material and revising your work for young readers. We will focus on ways to use all the essentials aspects of craft to develop dynamic characters & compelling plots. Emphasis will be on placed on generating powerful scenes (the building blocks of story) that serve the overall core of your story. Special topics related to children's fiction and picture books will be discussed.The supportive atmosphere of this workshop aims to facilitate your writing process, while keeping your goals as a writer at the heart of our work together.  Using a combination of mini-lectures, writing exercises, group discussion and critique, the course also encourages you to develop your ability to look at your own work critically. The instructor will provide written feedback on individual writers’ work and will recommend useful outside reading and resources geared toward individual student projects. A portion of the workshop will focus on the business of publishing and the best ways to approach editors and agents when you're ready to submit your work to the market.

Poetry by Example: A Writing Workshop

  • Instructor: Eric Nelson
  • Location: Riverlink, Asheville
  • Dates/time: Monday evenings, 6:00 - 8:30pm, Sept. 10 - Nov. 12
  • Description: One of the best and easiest ways to generate new poems is through modeling—using an exemplary poem as inspiration for your own. Each week we will read and discuss poems that illustrate a specific type of poem. These models will serve as prompts for each writing assignment. Some weeks we will read and write poems in a particular genre or subject (such as a love poem, or a pastoral poem); other weeks we will read and write poems in a unique form (such as a pantoum or a syllabic poem); still other weeks we will discuss and write poems that feature a poetic concept or technique (such as extended metaphor or rhythmic/musical effects). By the end of the term, we will have read and written poems in a variety of styles. The class will be helpful for writers of all levels of skill and experience. Readings will be provided by the instructor.

Shaping the Stories of Our Lives: Personal Essay/Memoir

  • Instructor: Catherine Reid
  • Location: Yancey County Library, Burnsville
  • Dates/time: Monday afternoons, 4:30-7:00pm, Sept. 17 - Nov. 19
  • Description: We all have stories to tell, experiences to relay, joys or sorrows that become more meaningful when shared. The decision for us as writers: What form works best when putting them on paper? Like the gardener who learns the conditions, usually through trial and error, that allow a particular plant to thrive, a writer of personal essays or a longer memoir soon discovers an array of options that help a work to shine. In this class, we will look at some of those decisions as seen in contemporary essays we will discuss (ways to start and stop scenes, layer moments, integrate research and weave in other voices) and in forms we will experiment with in writing (lyric essays, epistles, prose poems, flash fiction), all applicable to the crafting of essays or memoir chapters.  Be ready to explore the ways we sort and store memories, the aesthetics we bring to our writing and editing, and the pleasures we find when honing new work.

The Poet as Witness: A Poetry Workshop

  • Instructor: Pat Riviere-Seel
  • Location: Hanger Hall School, Asheville
  • Dates/time: Wednesday afternoons, 4:00-6:30pm, Sept. 12 - Nov. 14
  • Description: Throughout history, poets have written poems that address - and often offer resistance to – social, cultural, and political events. What can we learn from poets such as Anna Akhmatova and Carolyn Forché about how to craft poems for the zeitgeist of the early 21stcentury? What is the poet’s role and the poet’s obligation in making art? How do our poems bear witness? We will look at examples of a wide variety of poems of witness and discuss strategies, techniques and craft elements for writing our own poems. We’ll use prompts to write a poem each week and discuss the work in class. This class is appropriate for beginning as well as experienced poets. Handouts of poems will be provided.

Fifteen-week Classes

Keeping Ourselves Company: A Creative Prose Workshop

  • Instructor: Tommy Hays
  • Location: Asheville School
  • Dates/time: Wednesday evenings, 6:00 - 8:30pm, Aug. 29 - Dec. 12
  • Description: This class is for prose writers, who’ve been in at least one writing workshop and have projects they are working on or who want to start something new in either fiction or creative nonfiction.  Emphasis will be on reading and critiquing each other’s work.  The instructor will respond at length to submissions three times with a limit of 15 pages for each submission.  Instructor’s permission required for admittance. Applicants should contact Tommy Hays at tommyhays321@gmail.com.

Prose Master Class

  • Instructor: Elizabeth Lutyens
  • Location: Asheville School
  • Dates/time: Tuesday evenings, 6:00 - 8:30pm, Aug. 28 - Dec. 11
  • Description: The Prose Master Class is a next step for those seeking an intensive writing experience. This small–group workshop is limited to experienced writers who are working on an ongoing project: a collection of essays or stories, a novel, a memoir. The writer should have at least sixty pages ready to submit for three critiques during the semester. An equally important commitment is for class members to offer the best possible attention to the work of others. Each class begins with a craft session requiring outside reading, with the focus on the theme for the semester, which explores the resonance of the writing as well as craft.  In lieu of some craft sessions, we will use a writing exercise to inspire new approaches. The emphasis for the course, always, is the review of student work, which includes extensive and in-depth comments from the instructor. For each of the three rounds of workshops, the method will vary, from traditional…to free-form…to writer’s choice.

Admission to the Prose Master Class is by permission from Tommy Hays or Elizabeth Lutyens, who has led this class for nine years. A former journalist, Elizabeth is a graduate of the MFA in Writing Program at Warren Wilson College and is completing her own work: a novel set in Boston and the Port Royal islands of South Carolina during the early 1860s. She is Editor in Chief of The Great Smokies Review, the online literary magazine published by The Great Smokies Writing Program and UNC Asheville.

For more information about the Prose Master Class, contact Tommy (tommyhays321@gmail.com) or Elizabeth (elutyens@gmail.com).

Application & Tuition Information

Application Instructions

If you are a new student, or if you were not enrolled in a GSWP class during the spring or summer 2018 session, please use this application and registration form.

New students will need to include a one-time $20 application fee with their payment. All students (or returning students who have not stayed continuously enrolled) must also complete an on-line residency verification process at www.ncresidency.org to qualify for in-state tuition.

If you were enrolled in a GSWP class during the spring OR summer 2018 session, you may fill out the current student registration form.

Tuition for Fall 2018

  • Tuition for those who qualify for in-state tuition through www.ncresidency.org is $155.81 per credit hour. Students who are determined to be out-of-state for tuition purposes, or students who fail to complete the Residency Determination Services process, will be billed for out-of-state tuition at $720.77 per credit hour. 
  • 5-week classes (1 credit hour): $155.81 in-state
  • 10-week classes (2 credit hours): $311.62 in-state
  • 15-week classes (3 credit hours): $467.43 in-state

​Please submit tuition payment with your application/registration form. Checks should be made to UNCA. Visa and MasterCard payments are accepted via phone at 828.251.6099.

If you have questions about tuition rates or residency determination, please call our office at 828.251.6099.

Please mail completed form with tuition payment to:
Great Smokies Writing Program
UNC Asheville
One University Heights, CPO 1860
Asheville, NC 28804

Please note that refunds will only be given for cancellations received more than 2 weeks prior to the first class.

Students who decide to withdraw from a class after it has begun should contact our office immediately. Failure to attend class without completing the official withdrawal paperwork before the end of the withdrawal period will result in an F as a final grade. Refunds are not given for withdrawals.