10 Awesome Writing Workshop Ideas (2024)


Event venues on Peerspace typically cost $50 — $350 per hour.

Looking for writing workshop ideas that help you host a productive and thoughtful writing event? Being a writer can seem like a solo effort, but even the most introverted writers can benefit from a bit of community. Writing workshops are a chance to gather feedback, improve your craft, and, best of all, break through any pesky writer’s block.

Whether you’re hosting a one-time retreat or a recurring gathering for local writers in a particular genre, check out these 10 awesome writing workshop ideas to help breathe new life into your short story, novel, or memoir.

1. Rent a cabin or a castle on Peerspace to serve as your workshop setting

Fairytale castle near Philly
Source: Peerspace

In addition to new ideas and a community of writers, one of the things that a workshop can offer is freedom from distraction. Ideally, you’ll get your participants to leave behind their day jobs and household chores by offering them a change of location. That’s why the Clarion West workshop brings its writers to Seattle for a six-week intensive inside a house in the University District.

Even if you aren’t hosting an overnight workshop, it makes sense to choose a venue away from everyday routines. We think Peerspace can really help you out here, as you can find venues that are off the beaten path, yet still offer Wi-Fi, A/V gear, and other important amenities. Peerspace is the largest online marketplace for hourly venue rentals and makes it easy to find and book unique spaces everywhere. And yes, this includes workshops, retreats, cabins, castles, and more!

Just browse the listings on Peerspace to find awesome writing workshop ideas that you won’t find anywhere else.

Some of our favorite workshop-perfect options include:

  • This fairytale castle near Philly in Rydal, PA (pictured above) with five floors, three bedrooms, and a pianist and harpist.
  • This cabin in the woods in Eatonville, WA with mountain, valley, and city views, two living areas with gas fireplaces, and a full kitchen.
  • Sacred Basecamp in Morgan, UT – a renovated historic church that now provides a modern and serene escape.
  • ALTAR Community in Chicago, IL – an open and sophisticated workshop space with two studios, a lounge, and a kitchenette.

You get the picture! You can easily find amazing writer’s workshop spaces like these near you when you use Peerspace. Check us out, reach out to your chosen venue’s local host with any questions or requests, and check out the rest of these writer’s workshop ideas for more inspiration.

2. Choose a format to help set the tone for your writers

Picturesque 1940's Church Renovated
Source: Peerspace

First, it’s important to be clear on who your writing workshop is for. Typically, a writing workshop is focused on the craft itself, and not on the career of being a writer. That means your attendees should be ready to put their pen to paper and work on group writing exercises, not bring in their new manuscript in the hopes of getting a publishing deal.

Whether it’s a memoir workshop for new authors or a worldbuilding workshop for sci-fi writers, writing workshops are hands-on experiences. Let your participants know what kind of activities they can expect, what the critique process will be like, and what genres you’ll focus on.

3. Invite a guest author

Winter Wedding Venues in Seattle
Source: Peerspace

One surefire way to get your attendees inspired is to find a local author to host the workshop or deliver a welcome speech. Don’t choose someone so well-known that new writers will be starstruck, but finding someone who knows their craft can lend credibility to your workshop. If no local authors are available, choose a writing professor from a nearby college.

Hoping to make your workshop more of a writer’s retreat? Then check out how to plan a retreat to impress ’em here!

4. Create a space for healing

palm springs wellness retreat
Source: Peerspace

Sometimes a writing workshop isn’t about coming up with the next bestseller — it’s about healing yourself through art. Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg leads a workshop called Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College that focuses on writing about trauma and social change. The key to a trauma writing workshop, says Mirriam-Goldberg, is to make a distinction between “writing group” and “therapy session.” In addition to writing skills, the workshop covers ways that writers can support themselves and get any counseling services they need.

5. Host a zine workshop

Inviting art and retail space
Source: Peerspace

Get crafty with a zine-making workshop, which will allow your writers to explore their verbal and visual arts skills at the same time. This is a great writing workshop idea for kids since everyone can walk away with a DIY zine to show their friends and family.

6. Set up a self-publishing workshop

New Naturally Lit Workshop + Event Space
Source: Peerspace

Everything changed when ebooks came onto the scene. You no longer needed an editor, agent, or publisher to get your books out into the world. But the technical hurdles of self-publishing can still be an obstacle for many would-be writers. Offer an overview of the entire process, or focus on a specific area, such as cover design or social media marketing.

7. Get out into nature

60th Birthday Ideas For Mom
Source: Peerspace

Nature writing is another “wildly” popular writing workshop idea. In New York, the Omega Center for Sustainable Living hosts the Orion Environmental Writers’ Workshop, which offers classes in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in a natural setting surrounded by hiking trails and wildlife.

If you’re interested in hosting a nature writing workshop, this would be a great opportunity to rent one of these cabins on Peerspace for an inspiring getaway for your group. Use the Nature Writing Workshop Manual from the World Wildlife Fund for appropriate writing exercises.

8. Host a memoir writing workshop

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Source: Peerspace

You don’t have to write about personal trauma to benefit from the therapeutic effects of writing. A memoir writing workshop is a great way for writers of all ages to reflect on their life’s journey in a new way. You can write an autobiographical essay to submit to Modern Love. Or perhaps you want to pen a deep dive into your family’s genealogy to pass on to your grandchildren. Either way, a memoir writing workshop can help you find a new perspective on your most meaningful personal tales.

Here are some of our favorite creative workshop ideas that you can tailor to your writers. Check them out!

9. Attend a biliteracy workshop

rent office space by the hour los angeles
Source: Peerspace

Even if you speak more than one language, reading and writing in a second language can still be a struggle. A biliteracy workshop is a great way to get comfortable writing in a second language. This is an excellent writing workshop idea for anyone who works as an ESL teacher, translator, or interpreter. Plus, an employee for companies that do business in more than one language can also benefit from the workshop. Attendees will be expected to write in both of the target languages, for example, English and Spanish.

10. Hire a facilitator to teach business writing

video production companies in austin
Source: Peerspace

Finally, don’t overlook the importance of good business writing. While many workshops focus on creative writing, if you work in a professional field, then knowing how to write good contracts and business documents is a must. Book a meeting room or coworking space on Peerspace, then hire a professional facilitator to teach your team business, scientific, or technical writing.

Writing workshop ideas: conclusion

Workshop Event Space philadelphia rental
Source: Peerspace

As any experienced writer will tell you, writing is a skill that is best learned by doing. That’s why a good writing workshop should focus on the craft and include plenty of hands-on exercises to get the words flowing. Start by booking an inspiring workshop venue through Peerspace that provides the ambiance that makes your guests instantly comfortable while also providing any amenities that you deem necessary.

If you can’t find the time for a full writing retreat, don’t worry: schedule a weekly or monthly writers’ meetup. This way, you can build up a network of writers to give each other feedback and hold each other accountable to deadlines. The best writing workshop ideas are those that help you support each other in your career, no matter the style or genre.

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