Gotham Writers Workshop Fiction I Review

Cost: $409 ($379 for returning students, other discounts may apply)
Platform: Gotham Writers Workshop
Format: Online platform
10 weeks

My Rating:


Red Pencil


Course Introduction:


Gotham Writers Workshop ReviewsThe Gotham Writers Workshop was established in 1993 as a New York City school offering local writing classes. They have now expanded to offer many of their courses online, and they’re one of the most reputable providers of online writing courses today. They’re also among the most expensive, but the quality instructors and detailed information are well worth the cost of admission for most writers.

The Fiction Writing I course is designed to cover the basic elements of fiction writing while giving writers a safe place to practice those elements under the guidance of a skilled instructor. Students access the course through an online portal, and the following elements are included:

  • Blackboard – A new lesson is introduced each week. Each lesson is in text format and tends to run over 4,000 words each. You can print the lessons out for review at a later time.
  • Notebook – This is where you submit your weekly homework assignment, which is a writing assignment based on the weekly lesson. The instructor reviews each assignment and leaves feedback to guide each student. Other students cannot see your assignment.
  • Booth – This is where students submit their short stories for critique. All students are assigned to submit on two different weeks, and all students have the opportunity to read and critique each story. The instructor presents a detailed review at the end of each week. Writers cannot respond to critiques.
  • Lounge – This is a web-based chat room for students to communicate if they choose, but it’s not a required part of the class.

The Fiction Writing I course is taught by different instructors, but my class was instructed by Sarah Bruni. She’s the author of The Night Gwen Stacy Died, and her mastery of the basic elements of fiction was clear. She provided thorough feedback on every story submitted to the class and made herself available for guidance as needed.


Red Pencil


What You’ll Learn:


  • Detailed introductions to the elements of fiction craft.
  • Effective writing exercises that allow you to practice writing each element of the craft, and which you may later flesh out into full stories.
  • Direct experience critiquing short fiction for other writers.
  • How to strengthen your short fiction skills after receiving detailed critiques from multiple readers.
  • How to find markets willing to publish your short fiction.
  • How to format and submit your short fiction for publication.
  • How to learn from your favorite authors.
  • How to find your personal style and voice.
  • Why reading is so important for short fiction writers.


Red Pencil


What You Must Know:


  • Gotham Writers Workshop ReviewsThere are ways to save money on Gotham Writers Workshop writing classes. You will receive a $10 discount on each 10-week writing class taken after your first. Sign up for your first 10-week class plus a shorter class at the same time to receive that returning student discount on the first 10-week class. If you sign up for two 10-week classes at the same time, you will receive an instant $100 discount. Additional discounts are often sent through email and are posted on their social media accounts. You may occasionally see discounts offered through Groupon, but that is rare.
  • This is one of the few online fiction writing classes that allow students to submit full stories for critique. You should sign up with the intention of reading each story submitted and offering your feedback each week. This takes time, but it’s critical to the develop of fiction-writing skills for everyone in the class. If you don’t respond to others, don’t expect them to respond to your submissions.
  • You don’t need completed stories to participate in the critiques, so don’t delay signing up until you have a polished story to submit. You can even flesh out one of the stories that you start for the short weekly writing assignments, so you don’t need a completed draft when the course begins. The goal is to submit a story that you’re actively working on and can use feedback on, so a polished story isn’t ideal for critique anyway.
  • Each student writes a brief bio at the beginning of the course. This is a great way to get to know your fellow students.
  • The weekly class chats are optional, so don’t stress out if you cannot participate. No one participated beyond the first week in my class.


Red Pencil


My Experience:


I took many creative writing workshops in college and am already familiar with the basic elements of fiction, but it had been years since I wrote a short story and I didn’t feel confident enough to jump right into an advanced class. This course was just perfect because the detailed explanations and exercises allowed me to isolate each element of the craft as a fresh reminder. This is the first Gotham Writers Workshop review that I have written, and I’m excited to report that this class was a game changer for my writing fiction writing course reviews

The exercises in this class gave me the confidence to start writing again, and my creativity was flowing by the third week. I ended up using several of the exercises to create full stories, which I am currently submitting for publication.

You can join this class with no completed stories on hand, and that is exactly what I did! The class gave me a quick boost to start producing fiction again, and I think these are some of the best stories that I have ever written.

While not everyone in my class participated in the critiques, I received at least eight responses to each of my submitted stories. Think of it as instant access to beta readers who are going to tell you exactly what they think of your story and why.

This is why I chose the Gotham Writing Workshop in the first place. Not all online writing courses offer critiques from all class members and the instructor. This element of the class was the most rewarding for me. I was introduced to some strong writers, and I genuinely look forward to seeing their work in print someday.

Watching how some writers improved in style and found their voice from one critique session to the next was amazing. All of our second submissions were stronger than the first, and that is a shining testimony to the fact that the Gotham Writers Workshop Fiction I course really works.

I will write more Gotham Writers Workshop reviews as I complete some of their advanced courses. Look out for new reviews in the near future!


Red Pencil


Recommended If You…


  • Want to write fiction but struggle with anxiety, writer’s block or other setbacks.
  • Want to strengthen your fiction-writing skills by studying each element of the craft.
  • Want to participate in open critiques to receive feedback on your work.
  • Are interested in publishing novels and intend to advance to the Fiction Writing II Novels courses offered through the Gotham Writers Workshop.
  • Want to receive more formal writing education but cannot afford an MFA program.
  • Want to awaken your creativity through exercises, detailed lessons and feedback from a published author.
  • Are looking for fun and interesting online courses to fill your free time.
  • Get excited when you read my Gotham Writers Workshop reviews!


Red Pencil


Alternative & Complimentary Courses or Resources:


If you enjoy this course, you should consider advancing to the Fiction II courses offered through the Gotham Writers Workshop. These courses will allow you to continue exploring short fiction, but there are also courses for writing the first draft of a novel and critiquing your novel. Watch this site for more of my honest Gotham Writers Workshop reviews.


Disclosure: I may have affiliate links on some of my review pages, but I always deliver honest, from-the-heart reviews of products that I have personally used. I paid full price for this course, and it was worth every penny.

10 thoughts on “Gotham Writers Workshop Fiction I Review

  1. Dashnow says:

    Just by reading your review I could tell you are a writer at heart. I truly got a sense of what this course is all about and how I would have to participate. I am not a writer but have thought about writing a sci-fi type story someday. I think this course would be perfect for learning how to put a story together. I am thinking about it thanks again.

  2. Timothy says:

    Nicely done!!!!
    Your review of Gotham fiction writing courses is simply amazing. i found myself thinking o ideas for a short story and contemplated signing up. Your detailed information left just enough out for the reader to go and explore. That is an awesome way to direct your traffic. The idea of including your experience really helps to sell the product/service.
    Your approach is one that I can see is very effective to your niche market. Have you found any courses based on non-fiction? Are you planning on writing a fiction based book for later release? i have been thinking of writing a non fiction book, about growing up a child to a man. Would you have any suggestions?
    Superfantastic job, Thank you

    • Theresa Hammond says:

      Hey, Timothy! I do take nonfiction courses as well, so there are some great ones out there. My goal really isn’t to direct traffic here, especially with Gotham because they don’t have an affiliate program. I just really recommend their courses because I have gotten so much out of them. I am actually in the process of writing my first novel.

  3. Shannon says:

    This is very interesting.  I have never taken any writing classes, creative or otherwise, but I’ve really developed an interest in writing over the years and I may need some help in fine-tuning my skills.  I would love to learn some methods for expanding my vocabulary and also making my writing have a little more flair.  It looks like these things would be covered in a program like this.  Thanks for sharing.  🙂

    • Theresa Hammond says:

      I don’t think you necessarily need to improve or expand your vocabulary to become a great writer. Simpler is often better and more understandable. This is definitely a good program for anyone serious about improving their fiction craft. 

  4. Calista W. says:

    I never really enjoyed writing in school, but somehow reading your review made me almost want to sign up and try it out haha. For anyone who knows me, that’s a great accomplishment on your part! You make the course sound genuinely fun. You mentioned you’re currently submitting some works for publication, what genres would you say they fall under? Thanks btw for the informative review 🙂

    • Theresa Hammond says:

      Hey, Calista! This course is tons of fun if you’re interested in improving your fiction-writing craft. Check out my review for the Creative Writing for Beginners course because it’s a lot more affordable and is more accessible for someone just exploring writing. It’s more of a basic creative thinking, kickstarting creativity, type of course, so it can help you with all types of writing, including web content that isn’t stale and boring!

      My short stories mostly fall under the romance and literary fiction or reality fiction categories, but I can surprise myself and write in other genres from time to time!

  5. Kara says:

    This review is so great!  I did not know (although I don’t know why when I have taken numerous online classes) that you could do a writing workshop online.  I use to volunteer and attend the Writing in the Rockies workshop in Gunnison Co.  However, now that I have a family my travel abilities are limited.  I love my daughter and feel I have even more insights and stories to tell now that I have a family.  An online workshop, especially one so flexible and spread out, might be just what I need to get back to my first love, writing. 

    Thank you for this review!


    • Theresa Hammond says:

      Kara, YES! I totally agree that having children changes what you write about and how you approach the craft. Other big changes in life have done the same for me as well. I envy you attending live workshops because I haven’t had the pleasure since I was in college many years ago. Online workshops are about the same though, just without the direct interaction. Gotham is the best if you’re serious about improving.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *