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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)
  • Residencies

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 three class periods each year. We plan them out in advance to give them adequate outreach and registration time. Below are the planned open dates and deadlines for upcoming terms, subject to change. Note: Summer youth has a much earlier deadline because parents plan out summers far in advance, and we try to meet that interest earlier.


Winter Adult Proposals

Winter Online Proposals

Winter Youth Proposals


Winter 2019 Classes (Jan–Apr 2019) | Open date: August 15, 2018; Deadline: September 14, 2018 (theme: Needs)

Summer Youth 2019 Classes (July 2019) | Open date: November 1, 2018; Deadline: November 30, 2018 (no summer theme)

Summer Adult 2019 Classes (Jun–Aug 2019) | Open date: February 5, 2019; Deadline: March 15, 2019 (no summer theme)

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. In winter/spring 2019, we will present the theme of Needs. We are defining our theme for the fall like this: "No human can exist without food, water, and safety. After that, we need a reason to get up, explore, and connect. As Joan Didion said, "We tell ourselves stories in order to live." Through the sharing of ideas and experiences we come to understand the world around us and imagine what it might be like to wander in someone else's shoes.

    The Loft believes that stories are a basic need. But how do stories teach us to live well? Why do we react with outrage or joy from news stories about people we've never met? Are there poems that get you out of bed in the morning? Do you read to your child (or to yourself) in order to sleep at night? Through the theme of Needs, the Loft will explore the ways in which the written word unpacks need and helps keep us alive, nourished, and connected."

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.

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.