Past Workshops

Workshop: A beginner’s guide to live storytelling

Everyone has stories worth telling. This workshop is especially designed for writers or anyone who loves stories and want to take the first step towards becoming a skilled oral storyteller.

You will develop skills for better control of postures, gestures, movement and voice through our unique drama based exercises and games – the same exercises used to train and prepare actors for the stage.

You don’t need to have experience in performing arts; just the wish to expand your comfort zone. You will learn how to prepare and present oral stories and captivate your audience with your story.

Topics covered:

* Why do we tell stories?

* Working with silence, pace, speed dynamics

* Projection, articulation and intonation

* Body language awareness

* Physical presence

* Connecting with your audience

* Fear, stage fright and uncertainties

Instructor Hon Chong is a storyteller, improviser, performing artist and experienced educator. He is the creator and co-founder of Story Nights: Bratislava – Vienna, an English storytelling club currently with events held in Vienna, Bratislava and soon Budapest. He tells true stories and improvised stories. Hon is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Funnylicious Improv Theater, the first English language theater troupe and school in Slovakia. He performs regularly with his troupe and has performed and participated in international improv festivals all over Europe.

Sunday March 5, 2017

14:00 – 18:00

Location: Cafe Korb (downstairs)

Fee: €100

Workshop Registration Form


Beyond the Basics of Songwriting

Instructor: Renee Benson

Date and Time: January 23 and 24, 2016    9 am – 1pm both days. Total 8 hours.

Location: WUK

Fee: €95 Non-Members, €85 Members, €70 Students

(Beginner to Intermediate)

What is the anatomy of a memorable song? Why do some songs leave its listeners with ear worms when they have only heard it once? After a successful basic songwriting workshop with Write Now in January 2015, Renée (Raie) Benson is back to take your songwriting capabilities to the next level! We will review the fundamentals of songwriting, simple chord progressions and move into context, intent, humor and signature writing style in this workshop!

We will write the song that we can’t stop singing!

Join renowned singer/songwriter Renee Benson ( NO HOME FOR JOHNNY, Cheating on New York) for a two day workshop to help you discover and strengthen your process for writing songs. The workshop will focus on releasing creativity and silencing the judgmental voice to find what makes you authentic as a songwriter!
Bring your ideas, song drafts, completed texts or just your curiosity. No prior songwriting experience necessary.


Short-Story Writing for the Twenty-First Century

Instructor:            Julian Gough

Dates/Time:        Saturday and Sunday November 14th and 15th, 9.00 am to 4.00 pm                                                                                                            (6 hours’ workshopping a day; one hour for lunch)

Fee:                   €105 for non-members, €94.50 for members; €80 for students

Location:           WUK Werkstätten- und Kulturhaus
Währinger Straße 59
A-1090 Wien

The short story can do anything. What do you want your next story to do? Whether you are an experienced writer, or just starting, author Julian Gough will help you answer that question. E-publishing transforms the way stories reach readers; new genres are being born; there has never been a more exciting time to write short fiction. This workshop will help unlock your creativity, improve your writing (and editing) technique, and give you guidance in how to get your finished stories to an audience.

This workshop will be useful for writers of all ages and abilities, but best suited to new or young writers who have some early writing experience but haven’t yet been widely published, and feel they’d like to learn more both about optimising and understanding the writing process within themselves, and about using new technology to get their work published once it’s ready to go.

The learning outcomes will be as follows:

  • The workshop will help participants understand their own minds better as writers, using the latest insights from neuroscience and psychology to fully unlock their creativity.
  • It will teach some of the fundamentals of the short story, and use writing exercises to help participants come up with the seeds of new short stories (which they can then work up into full stories after the workshop).
  • The workshop will also offer an overview of how publishing works in today’s digital age, and discuss how a writer can best use all those new tools to get their short stories out into the public domain.

If you are interested in taking part, just fill out the online workshop registration form, and feel free to contact if you have any questions. Participation limited to 16 people.


Getting an Agent and Beyond

We’re constantly told it’s impossible for a new writer to get published these days but, Kirstin Zhang will share her experience of securing a top literary agent and the interest of publishers (without even having a finished manuscript). During this informal event she’ll discuss the many ways to an agent’s books and a publishing contract.

Join us on Thursday October 22, 2015 for this one hour talk by Kirstin Zhang. It is sure to be informative and inspiring! There will be plenty of time for questions afterwards.

And the fun doesn’t stop there. At 7:30 pm we will have our October get together at the same location. So mark the evening in your calendar and stay for some drinks, finger food and mingling.  Kirstin will do a reading later in the evening!

Location:          Palais Palffy, Josefsplatz 6, 1010 (first door on the left when you enter building- it’s an art gallery by day!)

Fee:                 Free for Members     €7 at the door for Non-Members


Testing Your Story- Does It Have What It Takes?

Instructor:          Kirstin Zhang

Date/time:          Saturday October 24, 2015, 10:00 am- 1:00pm

Location:            Cafe Kotor (upstairs)

Fee:                    €45 for Member       €50 for Non-Members     €30 Students

Whether you have an idea but haven’t committed it to paper yet or you are part way through a short story or novel and find yourself floundering, this three-hour workshop will focus on testing whether your story has what it takes to go forward or what you need to do to get back on track.

Kirstin Zhang returns by popular demand for another inspiring and practical workshop. At the end of the three-hours you will feel more confident that your story has the required elements to keep your reader engaged, and to keep you writing. If you are having trouble getting started, or if you feel underwhelmed (or overwhelmed) by your story, this workshop is a must. Kirstin’s teaching style is clear, concise, and very hands on.

Please register with our online form.


Rage for order: A poetry workshop

Instructor: Alice Miller

Dates/Time: Tuesday September 29, 2015, Friday October 2, 2015     7-9 pm

Fee:              €60 Non-Members €54 Members €36 Student Members

In this class, we’ll focus on free verse. How should we organise our lines and stanzas; how do we decide where to break the line? With examples from Emily Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, Frank O’Hara, and many others, we’ll explore ways in which we can use free verse to make our poems stronger. Each class will be divided in two: the first half will be a class discussion of provided material, and the second will be a workshop of your own work. All welcome.

If you are interested in taking part, please fill out the online workshop registration form, and feel free to contact if you have any questions. Participation limited to 10 people.


How can we know the dancer from the dance?

Form, music, poetry

Instructor:          Alice Miller

Dates/Time:      Thursdays for four weeks: April 16th, 23rd, 30th, May 7th   18:00-20:00

Fee:                  165€ Non-Members      150€ Members

This class will tackle form and music in poetry. What role does form play in the age of free verse? How do poets use the relationship between form and content? How might we choose to shape our own poems?

The class will include an introduction to prosody. It will combine discussions of established poets’ work – from Shakespeare to W.B. Yeats to Emily Dickinson – with in-depth workshopping of your own poems. All levels welcome. Photocopied materials provided. Please contact Alice (ackmiller at gmail) with any questions.


Small Stories, Big Worlds

Instructor:         Kirstin Zhang

Date/Time:       Saturday April 11th, 2015, 10:00 – 11:30

Fee:                 45€  Non-Members   40€ Members

“A short story is the ultimate close-up magic trick – a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart.” – Neil Gaiman

A short story may be limited by its word count, but it shouldn’t be limited by our ambitions for it. During this workshop we will look at one of Kevin Barry’s ‘big’ bold stories. We’ll learn how to create compelling characters, set them challenges and explore how their internal and external worlds impinge on their story. Most importantly, we’ll discover by sharing our work with one another how to pique and retain a reader’s interest and how to move them.

Learning outcomes:

Develop your ability to produce compelling characters, identify potential sources of conflict and manage pace and tension.

Workshop is suitable for the beginner and more advanced writer. Limited to 10 participants.

Manuscript Assessment:

Kirstin Zhang will do a personal manuscript assessment of your short story. Please submit up to 3000 words by April 4th to with Zhang in the subject line.

You will be given a 20 minute appoint with Kirstin during the afternoon of April 11 to discuss your story, as well as receive a short written assessment.

Fee: 35€ Members, 40 € Non Members

We will accept the first 8 stories submitted.


Introduction to Screenwriting

Instructor:        Caroline Bruckner

Date/Time:      Saturday April 18th and 25th, 13:00-16:30

Fee:                160€ Non-Members     144€ Members

Have you been thinking about writing a screenplay but don’t know quite where to start? In this introductory workshop you will bring your idea and develop it. In class discussions will include the story arc, where to start and where to end, and finding the story motor. Through a homework assignment, group discussion and instructor feedback you will develop your idea into a workable outline for a screenplay. Limited to 8 participants.


Poetry: Where all the ladders start

This workshop is held in association with the Vienna Poetry School.

Instructor: Alice Miller

Date/Time: Saturday, March 7, 2015, 2:30pm-5:30pm

Fee: 66 euros Non-Members 59 Euros Members

What makes a great poem?

This class is divided in three parts. We’ll start with a quick discussion about what makes a poem work, with some guidance from the great poets. Second, we’ll do a couple of writing exercises, where you’ll craft your own poems. Finally, we’ll workshop your poems, either one you’ve written in class, or one you’ve brought with you. Along the way, we’ll discuss bravery and imagery, risk and form, detail and music. Any skill level welcome. Limited to 8 participants. Join us for a glass of wine afterwards.


Writing People: Human Beings as Human Becomings

Instructor:     Brian Hatfield

Date/Time:   March 9th and March 16th      18:30-21:30

Fee:             135 euros Non-Members    121 euros Members

Whether dialogue, monologue or soliloquy, written to be read or to be spoken, characters emerge, reflect and reinvent themselves in an unending process. Their thoughts and articulations may be expressed ‘naturalistically’, through indirect speech or ‘other’ means. When the character’s arc culminates in insight, epiphany or revelation it is not for long. The Quest is ongoing.

Stanislavsky evolved an imaginative system to help actors embody the actions of the characters they seek to bring to life. This workshop will be adapting his methods for writers. With a dash of positive psychology, we will get under the skin of our respective characters, into their shoes and walk their through actions, and super objectives. What is sense memory? What are beats? How do we write subtext? How to write extroverts and introverts? What are the ‘gear changes’ between literacy and orality? How do characters ‘show’ rather than tell? How do we ‘embody’ our characters and art?

The first week will be honing Stanislavsky’s tools on dialogues from a wide range of literary texts, including theatre scripts. The second week will be applying and work-shopping what we’ve learnt, applied to your very own texts.


Non-Fiction: Beyond Beginnings, Following Through on a Writing Project

What happens after you find that great opening line, opening paragraph or stellar first page? The exciting — hard — stuff.

In this three-hour workshop, we will look at how to follow through on that opening: What sort of structure should the piece take? How long should it be? How can I find the narrative drive and tension? Where do I go from here? Students will bring in a short piece of work (an idea, paragraph, page), and through in-class writing exercises and workshops, we will look at how to develop it further. Limit 8 students.

Instructor: Abigail Rasminisky

Date/Time: Saturday February 14th, 9:30-12:30

Fee: 66 euros Non-Members     59 Euros Members


Introduction to Songwriting

Instructor: Renee Benson

Date/Time: January 24th and 25th     9:00- 13:00 (8 hours total)

Fee: 160 Euros Non-Members    144 Euros Members

Have you always wanted to write your own song lyrics but don’t know how to get started? Do you want to learn the fundamentals of songwriting and let your creativity shine? Then this workshop is for you!

Join renowned singer/songwriter Renee Benson ( NO HOME FOR JOHNNY, Cheating on New York) for a two day workshop to help you discover and strengthen your process for writing songs.  The workshop will focus on releasing creativity and silencing the judgmental voice to find what makes you authentic as a songwriter!

Bring your ideas, song drafts, completed texts or just your curiosity. No prior songwriting experience necessary.

Space is limited to 10 participants

Flash Fiction – Making Words Count

Instructor: Sylvia Petter

Date/Time: November 15, 2015 10:00-4:00

Level: Beginner and Intermediate

Learning outcomes:

  1. You will learn how to jump start a story.
  2. You will learn to polish and present it.
  3. You will learn how best to use feedback in order to have a story to submit for consideration by editors.

A course in four segments. Two segments in the morning, two segments in the afternoon.

  1. The first segment will be spent doing some exercise identifying prompts, then freewriting and subsequently identifying one or more of the following: the starting point, a character, a setting, a theme – when, who, where, what and why?

Coffee break.

  1. After pointers on character, dialogue, setting, plot, voice, the second segment will be spent crafting a story.

Lunch break – with discussion and questions.

  1. After some pointers on revision, the third segment will be spent revising and editing your story.

Coffee break.

  1. After pointers on giving feedback, the fourth segment will be spent sharing stories and giving feedback. This will be followed by a discussion of possible markets.

Non-Fiction- Getting Started: How to Begin a Writing Project

Instructor: Abigail Rasminsky

Date/Time: Saturday November 22, 2014, 9:30-12:00

Level: Beginner and Intermediate

Fee: 60 Euros Non-Members 54 Euros Members

Do you have trouble starting stories? In this workshop, instructor Abby Rasminsky, will show you how to get over the hurdle and feel confident about how to progress. Through in-class discussion, writing exercises and workshopping of classroom writing, students will finish the session with the beginnings of something new. We will look at how some of the great writers have done it: With roundtable discussion of short readings brought in by the instructor, we will look at how some of the best writers invite us into their fictional or non-fictional worlds. No previous writing experience necessary.

Workshop space is limited to 8 participants.


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