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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