Classes and Workshops
Ali is available to teach classes and workshops at your bookstore or to your writing group. Browse the options below, and choose which one is best for your group. We’ll be in touch to discuss scheduling and to finalize payment.
Publishing Paths: Where to Start and How to Finish
1-day class (3 hours)
Today's publishing industry offers numerous paths for authors to see their books published. If you're curious about the differences between traditional publishers, hybrid presses, and independent publishing, this class is for you. We'll discuss the ins and outs of each publishing path and help you determine which is the best fit for your project and background. You'll leave with a practical plan—and new friends in the industry.
Price: $300 for up to 8 students
Write Like You Mean It
6-week workshop (six 90-minute sessions)
As great writers will tell you, the craft of writing requires more than putting words on a page. Join professional editor Ali Shaw for a six-week writing class that will both inspire you to write more and guide you through craft lessons to improve your writing skill. With this workshop, you'll learn what makes dialogue feel natural, what makes a reader trust the narrator, and much more.
Each class will feature a skill lesson, a craft goal, and an example from a master, then prompt-based writing time, sharing time, and a homework assignment. You can also be paired with a class peer to swap your homework for feedback as well as receive professional editing on each week's homework.
Memoir and fiction writers of all levels will find value from this class. Join us!
Price: $2,000 for up to 8 students
Making Space: Weekend Generative Memoir Writing Workshop
2-day workshop (two 6-hour sessions, lunch included)
When the busy-ness of our world crowds our time, we may have the words but no space to write them. Or we may feel at a loss of words, unable to focus on what we really want to say.
This weekend workshop brings the space to allow much-needed clarity into our writing practice. Both days will be generative, inspiring new writing and mining memories for the rich fodder for short or book-length memoir.
We’ll also have ample opportunity to share and build community, and Ali will provide individualized feedback. Finally, the workshop will take a look at next steps for you on your writing journey, whether your project is big or small, just getting started or headed toward publication.
Price: $1,500 for up to 8 students
Advanced Memoir Revision: Breaking Chronology
1-day workshop (3 hours)
Life is a series of events, but that doesn’t mean your memoir has to be. In fact, compelling narratives tell more than the events—they tell the story. In this class, Indigo editor Ali Shaw will guide an in-depth look at how successful memoir writers break chronology to develop engaging, meaningful plots with dynamic subplots.
Through writing exercises and discussion, we’ll explore how you can apply similar techniques to your own memoir. Whether you’re planning to fold in a few flashbacks or to weave together two plotlines, this class will help you develop the tools you need to do it effectively.
Price: $300 for up to 8 students
“I have enjoyed every single class you've done. You are far and above the best writing teacher I've had.” —Shavaun Scott
"Thank you for the great workshop! I learned a lot and got a lot of good writing done. I'm reading at [an event] and I think I'm going to polish up something [from this class] for that." —Sandy Faber
"Thanks so much for creating a safe space for us and for your thoughtful comments on my work.... I would totally take this workshop again in order to bring your process and the structure of sitting in a room with other writers to the rest of the story I need to write." —Meg Descamp
"Thank you for taking the time to teach me and give me feedback. I am really looking forward to [your next] class!" —Maggie Jones
"Took a leap of faith tonight and read a piece at an open mic night.... Ten thousand thank yous to Ali Shaw for the memoir writing workshop this past weekend that prompted this piece." —Erin Hall
“One of my favorite presentations of the weekend!”
“This was a unique, and terrific, topic that would be great for a Friday pre-conference session. The presenter was well-organized and had an insider's take on the subject, which was very helpful. Many great tips and ideas, all handled very sensitively, and terrific insights on voice and how to present the story. I loved the take-away writing exercise, and look forward to doing it. Very helpful.”
“Really loved the way Ali structured this session, and how she trained her focus on motivation and not justification/forgiveness. You could visibly see people in the room relax when she said they didn't have to make their villains likeable and they didn't have to forgive them.”
All prices are based on the premise of Ali coming to your location within one hour of driving from the Portland area or teaching over Zoom. Further travel, accommodations, or the need for setting up a location to host will incur addition expenses.