Teaching at the Loft
Please read the information below carefully before you proceed to submit your proposal.
The Loft offers creative writing classes through four programs:
- Adult In-Person classes (including classes at Open Book and Loft Around Town)
- Online classes for adults and teens
- Youth In-Person classes (including teen classes)
For all adult and youth classes, in-person and online, except for residencies, you will need to submit your proposal through Submittable. Please use the online submission portal even if you are proposing a repeat of an existing class.
What You'll Need to Propose a Class
(click the plus sign above to access the proposal requirements)
Upcoming and Open Proposal Periods
The Loft has four class periods each year. We plan them out in advance to give them adequate outreach and registration time. Proposal periods are subject to change, but here are the planned open dates and deadlines for upcoming terms. Summer youth has a much earlier deadline because parents plan out summers far in advance. The Loft starts receiving phone calls after the first of the year around summer classes and we're trying to meet that interest earlier.
Spring 2018 (classes starting Mar–May 2018) | Open date: September 19, 2017; Deadline: October 25, 2017
- Submit class proposals for Adult In Person Classes for Spring 2018 here.
- Submit class proposals for Youth In Person Classes for Spring 2018 here.
Summer Youth 2018 (youth classes starting summer 2018) | Open date: October 26, 2017; Deadline: December 1, 2017
Summer 2018 (classes starting Jun–Aug 2018) | Open date: January 9, 2018; Deadline: February 23, 2018
What We're Changing
You will notice that we’re changing a few things this winter. All of it is with the intention of better serving YOU and your students. We will be hosting an info session to answer questions but, for now, here are the things you will notice:
- The Loft is committed to lowering our cancellation rate to 20% or less.
- Cancellation policies will change to support early enrollment and allow for better planning.
- Fewer classes will be offered so that we can better market, promote, and fill your classes. This also means that fewer classes will be accepted in this proposal process.
- The Loft is offering thematic programming. This means we will explore one theme each quarter through our existing programs. This spring theme is To Be Honest:
Sometimes poetry gets to the truth faster than nonfiction. Sometimes the news isn’t fully based on facts. Sometimes a narrator isn’t trustworthy. We hope to use this theme to explore the ways narrative arts can both illuminate and hide the truth. One event we’re looking forward to is a book launch with the poet and New Yorker poetry editor Kevin Young, whose forthcoming book is titled Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News. How do you explore getting to the truth through writing and literature?
The bulk of our classes will not be about this theme. We will continue to offer hundreds of classes every year in the traditional form. However, if you would like to propose a class exploring this idea, please let us know. Those classes will be highlighted in the quarterly and included in thematic marketing.
What We're Looking For This Spring
A note on proposals for spring 2018 from Jenny Dodgson.
Reference Guide for Teaching Artists
(Click the plus sign above to access info if you have more in-depth questions about what it's like to teach at the Loft, questions about policies, and procedures. Information about contracts, compensation, cancellation policies, teaching suggestions, and so much more, can be found inside.)
About Teaching at the Loft
Since 1974, the Loft has been the place where writers learn from writers. Thousands of students, age 6 and up, enroll in Loft classes every year. Our teaching artists play a key role in fulfilling our mission to advance the artistic development of writers, foster a thriving literary community, and inspire a passion for literature.
Loft teaching artists propose classes and sessions that they design themselves, based on their passion, expertise, experience, and credentials. You’ll find all our current requests for proposals listed above. We offer classes in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, as well as children’s and young adult literature. We also invite proposals for screenwriting, blogging, spoken word, graphic and comic book storytelling, ‘zines, magazine writing, new media, and humor writing, among many others. Classes may range from general overviews of a genre (e.g., Fiction for Beginners), to a specific focus (e.g., Writing the Video Game Narrative), to topical themes (e.g., Essays on Nature). Classes may also focus on categories of a genre (e.g. mystery, romance, thriller, fantasy, horror, and science fiction). We also offer classes on seeking publication and classes designed to start and sustain the writing process.
We understand that not all great writers are great teachers, and not all great teachers are published writers. When reviewing class proposals, we prioritize writers who:
- have experience teaching creative writing enrichment classes to adult learners (or appropriate age range for youth classes),
- have the highest Loft student ratings for effectiveness and mastery of content. (For writers who are new to the Loft, strong references and teaching experience are prioritized.)
For intermediate and advanced classes, we further prioritize:
- Teaching artists with publication credits and/or who have been honored for their work with awards or grants. While we are not a publish-or-perish organization, we do know from student evaluations that many intermediate and advanced student writers look for teaching artists who have successfully published in the genre they are pursuing, and whose work has been acknowledged with awards and grants.
Teaching artists who do not also serve on the Loft staff or board of directors are eligible for Loft grants and competitions. All current Loft teaching artists are invited to periodic in-services on issues related to the teaching of creative writing, as well as craft talks by visiting writers serving as mentors in the Loft’s Mentor Series.