A town full of writers

Missoula is a town full of writers, but not everyone who is keen to write has the time, desire, or the flexibility to attend a two-year MFA program. Our six-week evening classes and weekend intensives offer an opportunity to work with others who have a demonstrable passion for writing.

Our goals

The goals of writing workshops are as varied as the writers who take them. You may wish to sharpen your fictions for publication and seek a larger audience outside the workshop, or you may just need an excuse to put pen to page. You may wish to polish a manuscript for an MFA application, or you may be content with the dynamic that plays out once a week in your instructor’s living room. You may be in the midst of a hard-to-classify writing project, or you may want to write stories to read to your children or grandchildren. Whatever your personal aspirations may be, we invite you to join us.

Why we are different

Learning to “read like a writer”—understanding the subtle and not-so-subtle elements of craft that play a role in the writing of every story out there—is what sets our workshops apart. With this philosophy in mind, our instructors lead discussions that clarify the specific choices each writer must make as he or she creates a fictional narrative. We observe the emotional and intellectual effects that these choices have on us as readers by analyzing the writings of our fellow workshop attendees as well as published work. Our craft-based classes encourage each writer to grow his or her own unique style, while imparting awareness and control of traditional story techniques (such as character development, use of language, and plotting) through guided readings, rigorous analysis, and lively discussion.

We are not ordinary

But we at 406 are no ordinary workshop. Because our faculty members are graduates of MFA workshops and are involved in our own writing pursuits, we understand both the strengths and the pitfalls of the traditional workshop environment. We believe in fine writing but let you chart your own course. We admire and encourage experimentation. Finally, we make it our highest aim to assist you at every stage in your development as a writer—whatever this process means to you—whether you are a beginner to the world of Fiction, or a seasoned writer with a list of publications under your belt.