Course Offerings

Fall 2015 Schedule of Six-Week Workshops
Course Instructor Dates

Advanced Memoir

Susanna Sonnenberg Tuesdays 12:45-3pm,
starts October 27

Beginning Memoir

Susanna Sonnenberg Tuesdays 6:30-8:45pm,
starts October 27

Promptly: Generative Writing From Evocative Prompts

Susanna Sonnenberg

Wednesdays 6:30-8:45pm,
starts October 28

We encourage all ages and experience levels to register. All of our workshops meet once a week for six consecutive weeks (barring holidays) in our instructors' homes or at other bookish venues around Missoula. In addition to the weekly meetings, our instructors provide two private conferences with each attendee during the session. The price for a six-week workshop is $195. Please note this change as of 2015.

We also offer Private Consultations and Proofreading Services at a rate of $30/hr. Please contact us if you would like more information about these special offerings.

Click Here to Register Online

Course Descriptions:

Advanced Memoir w/ Susanna Sonnenberg

Registration pending instructor's review.

This class is for experienced writers already working on a book-length memoir. Each week we will read closely 6-8 pp from each writer, but class participants will be asked to read longer sections of their peers' work.

Beginning Memoir w/ Susanna Sonnenberg

How do we shape the story of the self? How do we turn experience into narrative? The class will focus on these questions for writers who wish to investigate the "I" on the page. Students are expected to turn in 2-4 pp. each week for discussion and to read the work of their colleagues. Open to writers at any level.

Promptly: Generative Writing From Evocative Prompts w/ Susanna Sonnenberg

This class emphasizes opening and responding to the creative force. This is for writers who wish to get moving, whether on something already in progress or on new ideas. Class time will be spent variously discussing prompts and writing from prompts. Sharing of work during class is encouraged but not required.

Short-Fiction Writing w/ David Cates

Embrace the form! We will look at classic short stories, try to understand the form and how short stories work. We will read and workshop each other's writing as well. This is a class that is geared to be encouraging. Writing is almost always grueling and lonely, and this class will try to help you slay those demons by making it a little less mysterious and a little less lonely.

Writing the Novel w/ David Cates

Agents and editors demand more from first sentences, paragraphs, and chapters, than ever before. Though the scope of the novel is too enormous for a six-week class, that time period is ideal for the perfecting of a novel’s beginning, where the reader’s attention must be captured, a voice must be established, and the “plates” of drama are set spinning. Or think of this course as a way to test anything you have: is it a novel? Does it have potential? Where is this chapter taking the reader, and where might it take the reader?

Non-Fiction Writing: The Personal Essay and the Uses of "I" w/ Susanna Sonnenberg

How do we transform raw experience and memory into writing?  What is memoir?  What do we have the "right" to tell?  In a safe and encouraging workshop environment we will explore how we shape our own stories.  With an emphasis on craft and language, we will investigate the power of the self as a voice on the page.

Mothering Words: Writing About Motherhood w/ Emily Freeman

Motherhood is an ongoing journey of celebrations and challenges, unforgettable moments and moments we’d just as soon forget. Whether you’re knee-deep in diapers or an empty nester, this class will provide a space to put words to paper as we explore, document, and process the motherhood experience. Class time will include writing exercises, readings, discussions of craft issues, strategies for making time to write amidst the busyness of parenting, and more.

Fixing a Broken Essay w/ Fred Haefele

This is a class in the rehabilitation of that derelict personal essay, the one that’s been sloshing around the bilges of your laptop the past 18 months. You once had high hopes for it, and you ask yourself, what happened? Was it too ambitious? Not ambitious enough? Was it too lightweight, too close to the bone? Was it too sad, goofy, messy or contrived? Did you really lose the thread or did you just chicken out? The students in this intensive will fearlessly submit busted essays of at least 1400 words to a rehab-oriented workshop comprised of similarly perplexed writers. Together, we will figure out at what point the project went south, then with patience, forbearance and resolve, set about to get the piece right enough to get on with its life.

Manuscript Consultation

These treasured one-on-one meetings are ideal for those who wish to engage in a dialog about their writings and seek hands-on advice or simply the eye of an experienced reader. While meetings may focus on micro-level aspects, such as narrative tension, voice, characterization, et cetera, you fashion the consultation that fits your particular needs. These individual sessions are particularly useful for those “stuck” in an aspect of a writing project or who seek a new angle for their work.

MFA Application Consultation

A simple choice in formatting or content can be the death knell of an MFA application. Writers aspiring to enroll in MFA programs are encouraged to meet with 406 Instructors, who can assist in the assembling of successful applications, and alert prospective MFA students to “red flags” that might appear in their application materials.


Proofreading, like so many writing tasks, is an art unto itself. Bring us your manuscript and we will do the rest. Please contact us to be connected to one of our pros.