Upcoming Events

Writers, Ink.

Facilitated by Sarah Brown

Are you struggling to fit writing into your young professional life? Do you like low-stress creative environments? Are you looking for other writers your age to befriend? We welcome work from writers of all styles and genres. We’re a very supportive, friendly gang of writers. Come to as many or as few meetings as you […]

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Basics of Editing and Proofreading

Facilitated by Ruth E. Thaler-Carter

If you have a sharp eye for errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling (without spellcheck!) and usage as you read newspapers, magazines, work reports or books, and wondered if you could put that to work for you, here’s your chance to find out what it takes to be an editor or proofreader. Students will learn about […]

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A Story in Six Weeks: Beginning Fiction

Facilitated by Matt Kotula

If you have a story to tell, this course can help you tell it. From plot to character, from scene to style, learn the ins and outs of fiction, and learn to tell your story. Students should take this class as an introduction to fiction writing, so they can learn the basics of plot, character, […]

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Steve Huff Reading: Blissful at Valley Manor

Join our lively discussions every other month at Valley Manor with facilitators who teach at Writers & Books. Valley Manor is located at 1570 East Avenue in Rochester.

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Write On For Homeschoolers

Facilitated by Caren Pita

We live to create at Write On. Stories and skits go from idea to ready-to-share as we take them through the 5-step writing process. Classes include writing prompts or games, time to work on projects, and a little break to play (outdoors, when the weather allows). Content will be student-directed, so expect lots of creativity! […]

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Write Start for Homeschoolers

Facilitated by Wendy Low

Our stories and skits and verses go from idea to publication or performance as we take them through a process of invention, writing, feedback, revision, and editing. Classes include learning helpful and important writers' techniques, writing through prompts and games (including field trips), imitation of example works, and support in working on individual projects. Writing […]

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History Reading Salon: England’s “Perfect storm”: Luddites, Napoleon, 1812

Join Writers & Books’ history buffs as they explore the big issues and personalities of history. We do not choose particular books, only subjects. You can read any book or other material on the subject and join the discussion.

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Battling the Blank Page

Facilitated by Christine Green

How many times have you stared at a blank page thinking, “Where do I start?” Writers can spend many wasted hours searching for inspiration outside of ourselves, yet we hold some of the most compelling and interesting “prompts” right in our own conscious and subconscious minds. In this workshop we’ll use dreams, memory, and mental […]

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First Friday & Wide Open Mic

It’s First Friday, come take a book home. Every First Friday, we're offering a discount in our bookstore: $3 paperbacks, $5 hardcovers, and $10 past Rochester Reads books. Stop in, peruse the bookshelves, enjoy a snack, stay for Wide Open Mic hosted by Norm Davis at 7 p.m. in the Performance Space.

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Veteran’s Writing Group

Focus of the Veterans Writing Group is creative nonfiction, drawn from the wartime and peacetime experiences of veterans and their family members. Prompts are used to generate original writing. Works are read aloud and workshopped by other participants. The intent of the class is to help vets write about their experiences in their own words […]

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The Lyric Essay

Facilitated by Gail Hosking

Lyric. Essay. How do these two fit together? In this advanced class we will learn about this subgenre of the personal essay that includes such forms as collage and hermit crabs. Consider experiences too dangerous to write about. What if you found the right shell to put it in? Come for the playfulness of language […]

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The Art of Telling

Facilitated by Chen Chen

Typically, the principle of “Show, don’t tell” is sound advice for writers—we should aim to evoke and enact emotion, to surprise through imagery and sensory detail. We shouldn’t explain or attempt too obviously to guide a reader’s interpretation. In this class, though, we will talk about how we might use “telling” in beautiful and unexpected […]

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Blogging 201

Facilitated by Jane Sutter

Are you a blogger and you want to build traffic and interaction? Jane Sutter, owner of Sutter Communications and an experienced blogger, will teach proven strategies on how to grow your audience. Jane will share case studies of how successful bloggers do it. The class will be focused on actions that achieve results. Attendees should […]

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The Book Thieves: Young Professionals’ Book Club: Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

The Book Thieves is a group of young “professionals” who enjoy eating, drinking, and most importantly, talking about books. We are about as relaxed a YP group as they come, so don’t be intimidated! Bring a dish/snacks/drinks to pass. Come for one book, or join us for the whole season!

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Listening to the Future: An Evening of Prose and Poetry from Area High School Student

Facilitated by Writers & Books

Writers & Books and Rochester Spoken Word are again co-sponsoring an event on Thursday June 7, 2018 titled, Listening to the Future: An Evening of Prose and Poetry from Area High School Students. This is a spoken word event for high-school-age writers who would like the opportunity to read their work aloud to an audience. […]

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Senior Reading Group

Share your writing with other seniors in a comfortable atmosphere at Writers & Books.

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Genesee Reading Series

Facilitated by Wanda Schubmehl 

It’s up close and personal in the intimate Performance Space upstairs – stay afterwards and talk to the authors while eating cookies.

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Nasty Women Poets Reading

Facilitated by Writers & Books

 With poems ranging from sassy to sexy, heartfelt to hilarious, Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse is poetry for the pussy-hat era. Contributors from Rochester, Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania will read from this unforgettable collection, which features work by accomplished poets coast to coast. Admission is free Meet the readers:   Melissa Balmain edits Light, America's […]

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Bertrand Russell Society

The Bertrand Russell Society was formed shortly after Russell’s death in 1970. This ongoing lecture series promises to enlighten and entertain. Monthly meetings are open to everyone, not just to members of the society.

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The Ladder Literary Conference

Facilitated by Writers & Books

Elevate your writing

Are you ready to take your writing to the next level? Do you feel like your manuscript is stuck in a rut? Then elevate your craft with The Ladder, a one-day literary conference located in the heart of Rochester, NY. Early birds save $25 by registering before April 1st!

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Walking With Poets IV: Choosing a Response (Ekphrasis: painting)

Facilitated by Kitty Jospé

What is the dialogue between painting and word? Sometimes a good match provides an excellent prompt to a surprising insight. In the first session, we will analyze the craft of both art and poem and discuss correspondences as well as examine how different painters respond to the same subject. We will end the session at […]

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Meet the Magic Dragon

Facilitated by Donna Marbach

Are you a serious writer or artist? Would you like to see your work in print? This workshop provides a real opportunity for advanced students to have work considered for publication in The Magic Dragon, an award-winning, local art and literary magazine for young people. Each student will receive a complimentary copy of The Magic […]

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Who Will Tell Your Story? Is Anybody Listening?

Facilitated by Almeta Whitis

Ages: 12-14 Today’s youth are destined to be members of an expansive global community. Their responsibility is to learn from history and develop the skills to become critical and creative thinkers, cultural bridge builders, and compassionate doers. As adults, we have an obligation to prepare them for becoming civic-minded, ethical, caring members of the communities […]

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Produce a 90-Second Newbery Film

Facilitated by Rashida Burch-Washington & John Watson

Over the course of this week-long class, students transform into cast and crew to make their own short movie based on a Newbery Medal-winning book. You will learn how to run cameras, set up lights, operate audio equipment, direct, and edit. Oh, did we mention you’ll be the writers and stars of the movie too? […]

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Dragons, Dice, and Roleplaying

Facilitated by Emma Lynge

Ages: 13-16 Calling all quest-seekers! What do collaborative roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons and writing have to do with each other? Quite a lot, as you’ll discover! In this class, we will explore rich, fantastical worlds; create complex, driven characters; and learn how to hone our plot points into stories that the bards will […]

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Percy Jackson’s Greek Myth Readers’ Theatre

Facilitated by Marna Rossi

Ages: 8-11 When New York middle school student Percy Jackson finds out he is a Demi-god, the Greek myths come alive in a way he would never have imagined! We’ll explore his adventures, and learn about Greek gods, heroes, and modern-day Demi-god heroes along the way. You’ll get to create your own hero and act […]

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Last Mondays Comedy Open Mic

Join us for the Last Mondays Comedy Open Mic in our performance space! Anyone interested gets 5-7 minutes of stage time. Come to perform or just watch. Comics are great but we need an audience too!

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History Reading Salon: JFK and Vietnam

Join Writers & Books’ history buffs as they explore the big issues and personalities of history. We do not choose particular books, only subjects. You can read any book or other material on the subject and join the discussion.

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Gell Bootcamp

Facilitated by Writers & Books

In this special overnight course at Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat, students will generate new work while enjoying the bucolic setting that our rural retreat center has to offer. Come on Friday, leave on Saturday. This is a generative class open to ALL levels, beginning or advanced, and perfect for any writer looking for […]

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Field Guide to Sprites, Goblins, & Other Fairy Folk, Part I

Facilitated by Angela Cannon-Crothers

Ages: 7-9 Spiderwick is not the only keeper of a Notebook to Magical Beings; you can be one too! You will create your own Field Guide complete with illustrations, stories, and identification details. When we aren’t busy working on our books, we will listen to fantastical stories, play magical games, and design and build fairy […]

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Flash Fiction

Facilitated by Judy Decroce

Ages: 8-11 Flash fiction is a short form of writing in which every word is essential. These stories have a rhythm and foundation of character, setting, and plot. We’ll learn to hook the reader quickly and then, through an unexpected twist, leave the reader wanting more. In writing our own pieces, we’ll analyze the power […]

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Afrofuturism and Black Panther

Facilitated by Almeta Whitis

Ages: 12-14 Calling All World Makers! Blend Black Panther-like movie storytelling and writing with your own interpretation of distinctive African cultures, history, and Sci Fi fantasy. Using writer Octavia Butler’s model of Afrofuturism (the intersection of African/African-American culture with technology) to create your own “Wakandan-based kingdom.” Bring stability and peace to a dystopian world with […]

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Field Guide to Sprites, Goblins, & Other Fairy Folk, Part 2

Facilitated by Angela Cannon-Crothers

Ages: 7-9 How do we know magical beings are about? Where do we find them and when? Using a Notebook of Magical Beings you create yourself for recording your discoveries, we will explore local gardens at RMSC and the George Eastman Museum (where someone almost always spots a fairy!). You will have the opportunity to […]

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Flash Nonfiction

Facilitated by Judy Decroce

Ages: 8-11 Much like flash fiction, flash nonfiction is a short form of writing in which every word is essential. You will have the chance to write true stories from your own life, focusing on topics and experiences that are important to you, and learning the skills to condense the stories down to their most […]

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Fairytales Around the World

Facilitated by Rylie Day

Ages: 5-7 Wish you could travel around the world? At Writers & Books you can! Come listen to stories and poems from cultures near and far—we’ll read fairy tales from various cultures ranging from Europe to Africa to Asia! Each day we will explore and experience a bit of different cultures, do crafts, and even […]

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Supernatural Shakespeare

Facilitated by Sara Bickweat Penner

Ages: 8-11 Calling young thespians! We’ll spend the week walking into the world of William Shakespeare, with special focus on his use of the supernatural in his plays. We’ll explore his life and times and learn the secrets to his use of language. We’ll play theatre games, peek into some of his otherworldly plots and […]

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Your Incredible Illustrated Story

Facilitated by Rachael Baldanza

To register please visit mag.rochester.edu/classes Registration for this camp opens April 14. Ages: 10-13 What do you want to say? In this exciting collaboration between Writers & Books and the Creative Workshop at the Memorial Art Gallery, you’ll create your own fantastically illustrated and self-written story while learning from master teaching artists: a writer and […]

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Novel Tools

Facilitated by Wendy Low

Ages: 12-15 Whether you aspire to write fantasy, science fiction, historical, or contemporary realist novels, you’ll want to develop the skills and discover the tools that successful novelists use to bring their stories to life from intriguing beginnings to satisfying conclusions. We will focus on choosing point of view; developing complex characters, compelling setting, and […]

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Writing a YA Play

Facilitated by Katherine Varga

Ages: 14 & Up We all know and love Young Adult novels, but where are the plays featuring strong teenage protagonists? This class hopes to fill the void! We’ll read scenes from contemporary plays that feature compelling teen characters, and talk about how to write dramatic structure, engaging dialogue, and perception shifts. Whether you’re drawn […]

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Where’s Walden?

Facilitated by Angela Cannon-Crothers & Edgar Brown

Ages: 9-12 Summertime, sunshine, green rolling hills, wildlife, and you! Spend a week communing with the writer within you at our retreat in the Bristol Hills. Explore with professional writers and naturalists along the Finger Lakes Trail as you learn the art of observation. Try your hand at a variety of natural arts activities, both […]

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Outdoor Writers

Facilitated by Angela Cannon-Crothers & Edgar Brown

Ages: 13-16 Summertime, sunshine, green rolling hills, wildlife, and you! Spend a week communing with the writer within you at our retreat in the Bristol Hills. Explore with professional writers and naturalists along the Finger Lakes Trail as you learn the art of observation. Try your hand at a variety of natural arts activities, both […]

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Deaf Lens: A Filmmaking Workshop

Facilitated by Stacy Lawrence

Ages: Teen Do you know how unique Rochester is with its strong deaf connections?! You will find out in this camp designed for deaf and hard-of-hearing students! We will create short films after going on exciting adventures that showcase important landmarks in Rochester’s Deaf history. Under the guidance of artists who respect American Sign Language, […]

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Rebels, Leaders & Innovators

Facilitated by Alexa Scott-Flaherty

Ages: 5-7 Be a change maker! We each have the power to make the world a better place, one action at a time. And stories, true and fictional, have the power to guide us. This class will help us learn about the heroes among us, at all levels of society and in different times, and […]

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Heroes of Social Justice

Facilitated by Marna Rossi

Ages: 8-11 In honor of the 200th birthday of  Frederick Douglass, we will celebrate heroes around the world who stand up for justice and freedom. We will learn about local heroes in our history like Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, as well as today’s heroes and innovators such as refugee and Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini, […]

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Live from Writers & Books: Comedy Writing and Performance

Facilitated by Julie Donofrio

Ages: 12-15 Have you ever seen a comedy sketch, or short comedy play, or a stand-up comedy routine and thought, “That looks like fun”?  It is fun, and now you can try it at SummerWrite! In “Live from W&B,” students will be given a brief introduction to different types of live comedic performance and learn different […]

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Writing Movies

Facilitated by Michael Galvin

Ages: 14 & Up All the best stuff happens before the cameras roll! In this workshop we’ll talk about what makes screenplays work and learn basic techniques by focusing on structure, story, characters, dialogue, and format. We’ll watch scenes from different movie genres and break down their scripts to see how the writer made it […]

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Senior Reading Group

Share your writing with other seniors in a comfortable atmosphere at Writers & Books.

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Bienvenidos! Fun with Spanish

Facilitated by Megan Cooley

Ages: 5-7 If you want to explore the Spanish language in a fun and creative way, this is the course for you! We will learn the language through songs, games, stories, outdoor play, and multimedia. In addition, a walking field trip to the public market will help us learn and review our colors and food […]

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My Name in Print

Facilitated by M.J. Iuppa

Ages: 8-11 Write, write, write! We will spend the first part of the course producing poems, stories, journal entries, and creative essays through imaginative writing prompts. Participants will be encouraged to try all genres, but will focus on the one(s) they feel most passionately about. Participants will learn to make the most of their writing […]

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CLASS FULL: Percy Jackson’s Magic Pen

Facilitated by Wendy Low

Ages: 9-12 Percy Jackson is mighty with his sword; his creator, Rick Riordan, is mighty with his pen. Try the writing methods Riordan used to weave a siren spell on you! Prepare by reading the first book of the series, The Lightning Thief. We will mine it for models of how to develop vivid characters, […]

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