Need feedback before September’s fiction workshop? Here are two new options!

Fiction 101: The Basics – An online course

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This course is an exciting way for you to either brush up on your skills or create a foundation for future projects. As you can complete each of the 12 craft and content sections at your own pace, this course is perfect for people who don’t have the time for a complete workshop or in-person class. If you are looking for one-on-one feedback and specific, goal-oriented advice on how to write fiction, then this is the class for you!
How it works:
Each section will consist of a lesson, a corresponding reading, and a small writing assignment. You will alternate between focusing on craft and content.

Besides the basics (ie: point of view, character, structure, tense) in the craft sections you will also explore the way in which a writer conveys emotions, physicality and believability within a narrative. In the content sections you will learn to identify “fiction-worthy” moments, find the “heart” of your plot, and figure out how to best convey the story you want to tell.
All 12 sections can be completed at your own pace. Once you have gone over one lesson, read the corresponding reading, and written your assignment, you will send the assignment to me for line-edits and feedback. You can also list specific questions (if you have any) when you return your assignment.
From there you can wait for the feedback (between 12-48 hours) or simply keep going! All correspondence is done via email.
This class is ongoing and can be purchased and started whenever you are ready.
$400 for the full course.
Please email me at with any questions or to sign up!
Online Critiques
Through August I will be offering online critiques. These include all line-edits and comments, as well as a detailed review, similar to my workshop model. The difference is that all correspondence will be done through email, and all the comments will be my own. In addition, the turn-around will be relatively quick.
How it works:
After you send me your manuscript, I will critique it and send it back. You will have as much time as you want to go over it. If you have any questions, you will write back a list of them for me to answer. This option includes one back and forth between us regarding the questions, all on email.
For pricing, send your page count (Times New Roman, 12 Point Font, Double-spaced) and anticipated start date to
Fall Fiction Workshop
Beginning Tuesday, September 15th, 7:30-9:30pm
$500 for 10 weeks ($475 for returning students)
at Kettle and Thread, 1219 Church Avenue in Brooklyn
Do you have a story to tell?
Structured around in-class discussions of your work, we will focus on outline, structure, plot, narrative, dialogue, pacing and content. You will received written critiques and edits from me as well as you peers. This is an open class for both beginning writers as well as writers who currently have a novel or short story in progress. Email to reserve your space.


I enrolled in Rachel’s workshop as I was preparing to apply to MFA programs. Her feedback was always considered and incisive, and both stories I workshopped improved considerably over the course of the class. Additionally, I learned things I knew I would be able to apply to my writing in the future. I received a fully-funded offer to study fiction at Rutgers Newark based on the two stories I workshopped with Rachel, and one of them was picked up by Amazon’s lit journal Day One.

-Leslie J., Ditmas Writing Workshop


Before I took Rachel’s workshop, I took a writing class at NYU.  I didn’t learn anything at the NYU class.  Each student could only bring 3 pages every other week to be work shopped; that meant 9 measly pages total for the whole semester.  The teacher was unprofessional showing up at least 20 minutes late for each and every class, and she never gave line edits.  The teacher’s overall attitude, which she told the students all the time, was that NYU was not paying her enough to care about the class.  The feedback from students went unregulated and was disruptive.
In contrast, Rachel’s workshops have been the best experience.  Rachel has been an absolute professional.  She has always been on time to start the workshop.  Her pleasant personality makes everyone in the class respond in kind.  Each week, students get their writing work shopped, often up to 20 pages at a time.  Rachel actually earned at MFA, which puts her ahead of most workshop instructors.  Her line-by-line edits provide invaluable writing skills.  In such a short time, my novel has improved to publishable quality.  I owe Rachel a great deal.
I highly recommend Rachel’s workshops.  I took my first one a couple of months ago, and I have signed on for two more semesters with her already.

-Lisa D., Ditmas Writing Workshop


Before I took Rachel’s class, I studied playwriting at NYU, where I really struggled. The workshops there were unregulated, unmotivated, and taught by professors who were bored out of their minds at the prospect of actually interacting with students. Rachel’s class was where I started to see what I could do as an artist. It’s a rare opportunity – a class taught by a wildly talented writer who is also a gifted facilitator. From the very beginning, Rachel set a strong and supportive tone that the rest of the class followed, which is what allowed me to actually start writing something I care about. Any group of people will work together to rise to the level of their teacher, and Rachel’s class is proof – our discussions were frank and insightful, and nobody at the table was interested in literary bullshit. I finished the first short story I ever felt comfortable showing my parents in Rachel’s class. I also applied to and was accepted into four graduate programs. Seriously. Take this class.

-Emma D., Ditmas Writing Workshop
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Rachel’s workshops offer writers the opportunity to grow within a community. The deadlines keep you producing while discussing and critiquing others’ work sharpens your abilities as an editor. Her talents as a writer truly translate to her presence as a teacher— she was the first person to teach me to read like a writer. Her encouragement and guidance has made all the difference for me. I owe a lot to the experiences I’ve had in Rachel’s many classes.

-Andrew W., Ditmas Writing Workshop.


Rachel’s is a magical little class. When I took it, we had a lovely, supportive, well-read group, and showing up made my week, every week, without fail. The class is organized around spending the maximum amount of time on each student’s work. It’s utterly fair and not a moment goes misspent. (Actually, I’ve never had another class where I got as much quality workshopping done.) There’s flexibility to talk about everything from minute craft issues to long-term writing projects. The best of it is that Rachel takes a legitimate, uncontrived interest — a rare thing, that! — in your writing and your future as a writer. She also approaches prose of all kinds without preconception, so whatever it is you want to write — bring it in! It will get all the critique and attention and care that it deserves.
I recommend Rachel’s class without reservation.

-Davidas M., New York Writers’ Workshop at the JCC


I have taken Rachel’s class four times. Before taking her class, I would start writing stories but never finish them. Now I have about six full-length, edited pieces that I am proud of. Her insight into structure, plot, and dialogue have been invaluable to me and have helped carry me to a new level in my writing. The classes are well-organized, yet relaxed, giving everyone a chance to produce and critique in a way that suits their own style. Rachel’s extensive experience as an MFA student, a creative writing professor, and a published novelist also make her an incredible resource in and beyond the workshop. If students are interested, she always makes herself available to discuss writing, publishing opportunities, and MFA programs. I highly recommend Rachel’s class to anyone who wants to improve their fiction.

-Kate M., Ditmas Writing Workshop.


In the workshop I took with Rachel Sherman at the JCC, she impressed me with her generosity as a reader: even though students were working in many different genres, from prose poetry to magical realism to traditional literary fiction, Rachel looked at each piece on its own terms, with a keen eye for its particular strengths and weaknesses.  She also creates a welcoming, respectful environment in the classroom where everyone’s voice is heard.  After studying with Rachel, I had a much clearer sense of what direction my novel needed to go.  She’s a terrific teacher, and I highly recommend her course.

-Chandler S., New York Writers’ Workshop at the JCC


I’ve taken Rachel’s workshop a number of times, and I always come away with ideas for fixing current work, inspiration to begin new work, and some new friends.  Rachel’s talent as a fiction writer informs the advice she gives to her students, advice both funny and insightful, and you don’t have to write like her to get something from her classes.  She has something to offer every kind of writer and creates a great environment for people to share and learn from each other.  Take her class!

-Rebecca S., New York Writers’ Workshop at the JCC.


This upcoming session will be the third class that I take with Rachel. I had always been interested in beginning to write fiction but was never able to find the discipline or the courage to start. Her advice, encouragement and deadlines have helped me get nearly halfway through the first draft of a novel.

-Polly B., Ditmas Writing Workshop.