The SLWC Sackett Street Writers Workshops

Intimate craft workshops in fiction and nonfiction, with more sessions being added this summer.

2018 Workshops will begin to post in January.

Below is a rundown of our 2017 offerings to give you a sense of our programming.

Slice is thrilled to be partnering with the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop to bring you craft classes exclusively designed for the Slice Literary Writers’ Conference. Classes are taught by Sackett Street’s renowned instructors and tailored to help writers walk away from their sessions with a fresh perspective on their work and new material for their project.

Writing Dialogue with Rachel Lyon Saturday, September 9, 2017, 11:30am – 12:40pm

George Saunders has said, “Bad dialogue is when A asks a question and B answers it.” Good dialogue is like two people “firing missiles past each other.” From said-bookisms to “As you know, Bob”s, the dangers of dialogue are many—but the opportunities are infinite. In this 80-minute class we’ll discuss the craft of writing dialogue, from inspiration to revision. We’ll generate zingy conversation that develops character relationships, advances plot, and communicates subtext. We’ll edit existing conversations with an eye toward balancing economy with verisimilitude. Students are encouraged (though not required) to submit a short (no more than three page) dialogue in advance. Instructions for submitting working will be emailed in the weeks leading up to the conference.

Rachel Lyon‘s work has appeared in McSweeney’s, Joyland, Bustle, The Toast, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She teaches fiction workshops for the Sackett Street Writers Workshop, Catapult, and elsewhere, and is cohost of the reading series Ditmas Lit, in her native Brooklyn. Rachel’s debut novel, Self-Portrait With Boy, will come out with Scribner in February 2018. Find her at 

Beginnings with Tracy O’Neill, Sunday, September 10, 2017, 11:30am – 12:40pm

For many writers, getting started is the most difficult part of writing. In this workshop, we’ll explore two aspects of beginning: finding your story and writing first pages that establish voice, tension, and character. We’ll remove some of the mystification revolving around inspiration by exploring writerly practices for galvanizing the imagination, and we’ll discuss how beginnings form a promise between reader and writer. 

Tracy O’Neill is the author of The Hopeful, one of Electric Literature‘s Best Novels of 2015. She has been named a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree and was awarded the Center for Fiction’s Emerging Writers Fellowship. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, the New Yorker, LitHub, BOMB, Narrative, Guernica, Bookforum, Electric Literature, Grantland, Vice, The Guardian, VQR, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Catapult. She currently teaches at the City College of New York and is the editor-in-chief of the literary journal Epiphany.