There's still time to register for one of Decatur Writers Studio 2019 Summer Camps for Tweens and Teens.

Summer Writing Camp for Tweens with Jackson Pearce

Rising 6th-8th graders  

This is an all-day summer camp for middle schoolers who love to read, write, and tell stories. With the help of teacher and author Jackson Pearce, campers will learn the basics of writing stories—how to structure plot, create characters, and build a world. Both in the classroom and out and about on campus, we will explore different writing methods, experiment in a variety of genres, and each camper will outline an entire book by week’s end. This camp is perfect for writers of all levels, so long as they are eager to experiment, explore, and above all play with words!

 Session One: June 10th– 14th/ Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $400 a week

 Session Two: June 17th– 21st/ Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $400 a week


Summer Writing Camp for Teens with Jackson Pearce

Rising 9th–11th graders 

Do you want to be an author, but aren’t sure how to finish an entire book? Or have you written a book already, but are stuck when it comes to editing? Do you forever get new ideas and abandon the books you’ve already started? Or do you just like the idea of writing books, but have no idea where to start? If you’re facing any of those challenges, this is the summer camp for you. For one week, teacher and author Jackson Pearce will discuss the basics of writing, editing, and selling a novel, with discussions and exercises on creating interesting characters, weaving complex plots, building detailed worlds, and identifying the things that make yourstory unique. We will read our work aloud, tackle weird writing prompts, create outlines, take a red pen to our work, and by week’s end have a better understanding of writing, editing, and publishing.

 June 24th-28th/ Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $400 a week

Instructor:Jackson Pearce is the author of many books for young people, including the ELLIE, ENGINEER series, the DOUBLECROSS series, the PIP BARTLETT series, the SISTERS RED series, and more than a handful of additional titles. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages, have received starred reviews from Booklist and Kirkus, and have been honored twice with placements on the Books All Young Georgians Must Read list and the Florida Sunshine State Young Readers list. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, too many pets, and a lot of secondhand furniture. Visit her online at

Each writing camp is a one-week session costing $400. Class size is limited to 12. Camp is held on the campus of Agnes Scott College in Decatur. Campers are expected to provide their own lunch and two snacks. A refillable water bottle is also recommended. Register at For more information, email




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DWS Welcomes New Executive Director, Zoe Fishman Shacham

The Decatur Writers Studio is pleased to welcome Zoe Fishman Shacham as Executive Director. Fishman brings expertise as a writer, a teacher, and a publishing industry professional. She is the critically acclaimed author of the bestselling Inheriting Edith, Driving Lessons, Saving Ruth, and Balancing Acts. Her work is acclaimed as an IndieNext Pick, Target’s Breakout and Emerging Author Picks, a NY Post Pick, a Mom’s Choice Award, and a Barnes & Noble Hot Read.
Fishman worked in the editorial department of Random House, the rights department of Simon & Schuster, and as a literary agent for two boutique firms before moving to Atlanta in August of 2011 with her family. She teaches at The Decatur Writers Studio and in the Emory Continuing Education program and was Visiting Writer at SCAD Atlanta in Spring 2017. She is currently working on her next novel with Morrow. Fishman can be reached through the Decatur Writers Studio Facebook page, and on The Decatur Writers Studio’s shared work space is located at 708 Church Street, just one block from Decatur Square and convenient to MARTA. A project of the Decatur Book Festival, DWS features a wide assortment of classes taught by acclaimed writers.
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Decatur Writers Studio Holiday Open House

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Critically acclaimed YA and middle grades author Terra Elan McVoy to teach
two separate day camps at Agnes Scott College.

Decatur, Ga., February 28, 2017 – The Decatur Writers Studio (DWS), a writing community and studio space created by the AJC Decatur Book Festival, will host its first writing camps for pre-teens and teens this summer. Terra Elan McVoy, author of eight novels and a writing instructor who travels around the country to teach creative writing, will lead both camps. One camp is designed for students entering 6th-8th grades in the fall and one is geared to rising 9th-11th graders. Students who apply and gain acceptance into these day camps will attend classes on the campus of Agnes Scott College.

 “These new summer camps complete our vision of offering three levels of writing instruction to our community,” said Suzanne Van Atten, director of Decatur Writers Studio. “Our six-week workshops offer intensives in the craft of writing, our Saturday Seminars offer insights into the business of writing and the summer camps inspire and educate younger writers.”

 Enrollment is now open online at Each camp is limited to 12 students, so DWS anticipates the camps will fill up quickly. Details of the two DWS summer writing camps follow:


Tweens Who Write | Open to Rising 6th-8th Graders
Date(s): Monday – Friday, Jun. 26 – 30, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cost: $400 per student | Class Size: Limited to 12 Students
Location: Agnes Scott College, 141 East College Ave., Decatur, GA 30030

This is an all-day summer camp for middle schoolers who love to write or want to give writing a try. Campers will learn the basic building blocks of storytelling, play with story-starting ideas, develop characters, explore setting, build their descriptive writing muscles and even dabble in some poetry. Whether students have written tons already, or just have a tiny glimmer of an idea, they are welcome if they are willing to experiment, explore, and share their creative writing skills.


Creative Writing for Teens | Open to Rising 9th-11th Graders
Dates: Monday – Friday, Jul. 10-14, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cost: $400 per student | Class Size: Limited to 12 Students
Location: Agnes Scott College, 141 East College Ave., Decatur, GA 30030

This camp is perfect for the student who has ideas but not the time to work on them, or who has ideas but can’t keep up with the momentum to write them. Also welcome are students who want to develop their characters more fully, work on setting and dialogue, strengthen their powers of description and plotting, get feedback on their work, be inspired by other writers like themselves and generally immerse themselves in a whole week of nothing but writing. This camp will be fiction-centric, though it will touch on elements of poetry to infuse prose with dynamic language, and is open to experienced teen writers and first-timers alike.

 About the Instructor: Terra Elan McVoy is the author of six young adult novels published by Simon Pulse (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) and two books for middle grades readers published by Katherine Tegan Books (an imprint of HarperCollins). Her novel Criminal was a 2014 Edgar Award finalist for Best Young Adult Mystery. McVoy has held a variety of jobs centered around reading and writing, from managing operations and selling books at Decatur’s independent children’s bookstore, Little Shop of Stories, to teaching writing classes at the Yale University Writers’ Conference and Smith College. She has been a part of every AJC Decatur Book Festival and served as the festival’s program director from 2011-2012. She holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from St. Andrews Presbyterian College and earned her M.A. from Florida State University’s creative writing program. To learn more about McVoy, visit and follow her on Twitter at @TerraMcVoy.


About Decatur Writers Studio: Founded in 2016, the mission of the Decatur Writers Studio (DWS) is to provide aspiring and established writers in metro Atlanta with a place to work and grow. In partnership with Decatur CoWorks, DWS provides a limited number of memberships to writers who seek space for their endeavors. DWS also offers writing workshops to the general public, hosted at the Decatur CoWorks space throughout the year. To learn more about DWS membership and to view a dynamic calendar of writing courses, visit

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The Decatur Writers Studio (DWS), a writing community and studio space launched this year by the AJC Decatur Book Festival, has announced its newest lineup of writing classes. Designed for both aspiring and working writers, these six-week workshops begin in January, but are enrolling students now. In fact, writers are encouraged to register before Jan. 1 to take advantage of an early bird discount and to guarantee their space in each class, which is limited to 12 people.

An esteemed group of award-winning novelists and journalists will lead the DWS workshops this winter. Featured courses and instructors include:


Novel Writing | Joshilyn Jackson

Date(s): Jan. 25 – Mar. 1, 2017

Class Time: Wednesdays, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

 About the Class: Whether you are starting fresh, revising a completed manuscript or lost in the wilds of a work-in-progress, the goal of this class is to move you closer to a completed novel. One third of our time will be formatted as lecture/discussion focusing on a specific craft element such as revision, narrative drive, characterization and point of view, sense of place, as well as navigating the publishing industry. The remainder of class time will function as a workshop with instructor feedback and the feedback of your peers in a supportive, constructive and goal-oriented environment.

All novel genres are welcome, including YA, but because this is a class for long-form fiction, it will not be helpful for memoirists or short fiction writers. Writers of historical narrative nonfiction structured like a novel (such as Devil in the White City) may find it useful.

About the Instructor: Joshilyn Jackson is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of seven novels, including gods in Alabama, Someone Else's Love Story and most recently, The Opposite of Everyone. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages, won SIBA's novel of the year, four times been a #1 IndieNext Pick and been the Target Book Club selection. She gives writing seminars at festivals and colleges all over the country and creative writing workshops at institutions such as Vermont College of Fine Arts and Emory University.



How to Write a Mystery | David Fulmer

Date(s): Jan. 23 – Feb. 27, 2017

Class Time: Mondays, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.

About the Class: Learn the essential components of the craft of mystery writing, including settings, dialogue, character development and plot structure. Class exercises and take-home assignments will sharpen your skills toward crafting compelling stories in the unique structure of the mystery genre. Discussions of pitching to mystery markets will also be included.

 About the Instructor: As the author of eight mystery novels, Fulmer has been nominated for a LA Times Book Prize, the Shamus Award for Best Novel, the Barry Award, and Falcon Award, and he won the Shamus Award for Best First Novel and the Benjamin Franklin Award. His novels have been selected for numerous “Best of” lists and have received superlative reviews from, among others, The New York Times, USA Today, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, The Times Picayune, The Boston Globe, Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly. Four of his Storyville novels were optioned by Amazon Studios and has options on two of his other books. He is currently at work on Eclipse Alley, his sixth Storyville mystery.



Narrative Nonfiction Writing | Drew Jubera

Date(s): Jan. 24 - Feb. 28, 2017

Class Time: Tuesdays, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.

About the Class: Do you want to build a nonfiction story but are missing some tools? Every writer's been there. This six-week workshop provides easy-to-apply techniques for your toughest nonfiction needs, including books, magazine journalism, memoirs, profiles, essays and arts criticism. You will read, write and discuss finding a voice that you and your readers will love, making place a character, constructing a “sweep paragraph” that tells and sells your story, using small scenes to unreel the big picture and approaching narrative as a night out with your most dangerous friend. Requirements: engagement and a willingness to share. All levels of writers are welcome.

 About the Instructor: Drew Jubera is consulting producer of Last Chance U, the hit Netflix documentary series based on his story in GQ and author of Must Win: A Season of Survival for a Town and Its Team, named one of ten “Books All Georgians Should Read” by Georgia Center for the Book. A former national writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Drew has written for a variety of publications, including the New York Times, GQ, ESPN The Magazine, and Texas Monthly.



Narrative Travel Writing | Suzanne Van Atten

Date(s): Jan. 26 - Mar. 2, 2017

Class Time: Thursdays, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.

About the Class: Learn to craft travel essays, narrative features and service articles for newspapers, magazines and websites. Hone your travel writing skills through instruction and workshops and gain practical tips on getting published. Expect to complete one feature-length travel story by the end of class.

About the Instructor: Suzanne Van Atten is editor of Personal Journeys, an award-winning long-form narrative feature that appears every Sunday in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She is author of Moon Puerto Rico, a travel guide now in its fourth edition. Her travel stories have appeared in The Guardian, Full Grown People and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She has taught nonfiction writing classes at Emory University, Emory Continuing Education, Hub City Writers Project and Decatur Writers Studio.



About Decatur Writers Studio: Founded in 2016, the mission of the Decatur Writers Studio (DWS) is to provide aspiring and established writers in metro Atlanta with a place to work and grow. In partnership with Decatur CoWorks, DWS provides a limited number of memberships to writers who seek space for their endeavors. DWS also offers writing workshops to the general public, hosted at the Decatur CoWorks space throughout the year. To learn more about DWS membership and to view a dynamic calendar of writing courses, visit


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Writing a book? You need to take this class.

Writing a book? You need to take this class.

Let's say you've been working on a memoir or a collection of essays. Or perhaps you're trying to pull together all the advice you want to pass along in your field -- a guidebook to adopting internationally, an insider's look at how to start a community garden. 

What you need to write -- right now -- is a book proposal. A proposal is your first tool to get your book published. The right proposal will help you find an agent, a publisher, an audience for your work. 

How to get started? Take a three-hour class taught by Valerie Boyd, award-winning author and faculty at the University of Georgia. Her class will teach you how to write a book proposal that sells -- without selling out. Class is this Saturday, June 18. Sign up today! 

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Writing Is Good for You -- Membership Makes It Easier

Writing Is Good for You -- Membership Makes It Easier

Yes, it can be frightening to face the blank page. Yes, your life is busy and sometimes just watching TV can feel more enticing than getting to work on your own computer screen. But writing -- whether it's poetry, fiction, essays, memoir, what have you -- is good for you. 

Creative work that engages mind and memory literally lights up your brain. According to the neuroscientist writing in this Psychology Today article, "creative writing is one of the best exercises we can do for aging brain." 

So how do you carve out the time and space -- not only mental space but physical, distraction-free space -- to explore your writing life, your writing mind? You join Decatur Writers Studio. It's easy! Members enjoy access to Decatur CoWorks, a quiet, professional space in which to write, with all your wi-fi, printing, and snack needs right at hand. You also benefit from a discount on all DWS classes, and special VIP access to events at the Decatur Book Festival.

Click here to learn more. Apply today. 

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Meet your fiction workshop teacher, Susan Rebecca White!

Meet your fiction workshop teacher, Susan Rebecca White!

It can be hard to talk about writing -- the process itself is often solitary, and many writers find it difficult to speak plainly about how they do what they do. This is not the case with Susan Rebecca White, who is teaching a fiction workshop at DWS starting this coming week. 

Check out this interview with Atlanta Magazine from back in 2013, just after the publication of her novel A Place at the Table, which is influenced by the real-life story of chefs Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock. In the interview, White talks about why so many writers are foodies, how she conceives of religion, and the value of being beloved to yourself, even when nobody else loves you. 

There are still a few spaces available in White's class. Click here to learn more and sign up!

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Writing About Life's "Broken Pieces"

Writing About Life's "Broken Pieces"

Toward the end of this brief but sharp piece about writing memoir, author and instructor Jessica Handler drops this gem: 

"To me, writing a life story means genuinely depicting how someone has shaped his or her life with the broken pieces as well as the whole."

For those of us trying to make sense of our own broken pieces -- and who isn't? -- I can't think of anything more useful than Handler's course "More Than Me in Memoir," starting soon at DWS. There are just few spaces left, so sign up now! 

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The road to hell....

The road to hell....

“The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.”
—Philip Roth

What's your work in progress? More to the point, what's keeping you from making more progress -- maybe even finishing the thing? 

What you need is a workshop. A set of readers. An experienced writer leading discussion. A feeling of community, support, and accountability. 

You've come to the right place. Look at our classes, sign up for the one that fits your needs. If you don't see what you need, let me know what that is -- a poetry workshop? Somebody to teach about YA? Romance? Fantasy? Leave a comment and describe the class you want to see -- the DWS class that will make your work in progress get moving. 

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