Some say good writing can’t be taught. We disagree. While instruction alone won’t make you a great writer, it will take you a long way in that direction. At the heart of our mission is a firm commitment to quality creative writing instruction that encourages you to become more thoughtful and proficient as you explore your passion for the written word.

49 Writers offers workshops and courses for emerging and established writers outside the constraints of university tuition and academic credit. We offer no easy answers or gimmicks. Rather, we aim to deliver student-centered teaching structured around meaningful outcomes. We want you to delve deep into the mysteries of language, discovery and expression. Good teaching, like good writing, develops through a life-long process of learning that includes evaluating our work, sharing ideas, and stretching ourselves – sometimes beyond our comfort zones.


Camille Dungy classIn each of our terms – fall and spring – we offer a variety of instructional options. Fall registration opens at the end of August. The term starts in September and runs through November. Spring registration opens in January. The starts in February and runs through mid-April

Check out our current classes and register here.

Our course offerings fit (more or less; we like to stay flexible) into one of three categories:

1) Elements courses that are generally 6 to 8 hours long. Elements courses include cross-genre topics like character, voice, narrative structure, point of view, description, beginnings, revision, and narrative time.

2) Genre-based workshops that typically run 12 to 15 hours. Workshops are by genre, alternating between fundamentals workshops for emerging writers (Fundamentals of Fiction, for example) and workshops exploring advanced techniques (such as Advanced Poetry Techniques). In workshops, students draft and revise within their genres.

3) Special topics that are normally covered in a single session of 2 or 3 hours. While we hope all of our courses are feisty and fun, our special topics courses are intended to be especially so, with an exploratory bent. We strive to balance our course offerings each term with regard to length, type, and genre.

Evening and weekend scheduling is a top priority, and our students tend to prefer classes that last less than six weeks. In Anchorage, we’re likely to schedule two of each type (Elements, workshop, and special topics) per term, leaving room to add an impromptu course or two with visiting writers if opportunities arise.

Special course offerings: We occasionally supplement our regular instructional schedule with clinics by visiting writers. If you’d like notice of these events and you’re not already on our mailing list, please contact us. We like to partner with groups bringing authors to Alaska; please contact us if you’re aware of a partnering opportunity. Courses taught by special arrangement with visiting writers do not go through our regular proposal selection process.

Fees: Typical course fees for members average $15 per instructional hour; fees for non-members are slightly higher. Particular course fees may vary; see our course schedule for specifics. Annual 49 Writer memberships are $49.

Registration: Register online. Some courses fill quickly, so we recommend registering as soon as possible. All registrations are on a first-come, first-served basis; we do not “hold” slots. Payment in full is required at the time of registration. You may pay by Visa/Mastercard, check, or PayPal. Upon receipt of payment, we’ll email a receipt that serves as your payment confirmation.

In rare cases, workshop dates, times, and locations are subject to change due to the professional commitments of our instructors. We reserve the right to remove any student from a workshop at the instructor’s discretion.

Cancelations and Refunds: If low enrollment necessitates course cancelation, we will refund students in full. If an instructor is forced to cancel all or part of a course, students will receive a refund based on the portion of the course that was not taught.

Students who find themselves unable to attend a course for which they have paid may either find another student to fill their place (payment, if any, should be arranged between students) OR request a tuition credit (valid for one year) to be applied toward the cost of a future offering. Requests for tuition credits must be made at least 24 hours BEFORE the first course session. In either event (substitution of students or tuition credit requests), please contact us. Instructors are not able to process substitutions or tuition credits.

Facility: Our facilities vary by class. If you have ADA 504 needs, please let us know so that we can make sure to accommodate your needs.