Calliope Workshop for Fiction and Nonfiction Authors


Calling the next great American author!  If that’s you, then this summer get ready to have us fly you out to Los Angeles, put you up in a hotel, and spend an entire weekend developing your work at the Calliope Authors Workshop.  You will have the opportunity to get thorough notes on your in-progress work as well as career advice from successful novelists, nonfiction authors, publishers, and literary agents.

Part of what makes Calliope unique is that while most writing workshops focus exclusively on short stories, we accept novels, long-form narrative non-fiction, graphic novels, and short stories.  We balance workshopping with panels on Traditional and Self-Publishing Strategies, Research and Outlining, and How to Develop an Effective Career Plan.  Moreover, you’ll be joined by 12 mentors and panelists and 15 peers, growing your personal network and knowledge of the publishing industry.

Taliesin Nexus also awards five scholarships annually to students to help pay for study in an MFA program with grants up to $3000. Click here to learn more about that program.

Applicants must submit:

– A completed application
– A creative work:
Novel Track (at least 50 pages or a completed novel);
Graphic Novel Track (at least 20 pages or a completed novel);
Narrative Non-fiction Track (at least 50 pages or a completed manuscript);
Short Story Track (a completed short story of 8 to 25 pages);
– A two page detailed treatment of the work, including character descriptions and arcs, plot outline, and setting notes.


Expectations once accepted:

Before the workshop, selected participants will be divided into workshop groups of four.  You will get the opportunity to meet your peers and get to know your group’s mentor over a Skype call in advance of the workshop.

Each participant must read the creative work submitted by each of his or her fellow group members and give notes on each project.  
Additionally, Taliesin Nexus will select three published, model short stories for all participants to read. 

This year’s workshop will take place September 8-10 in Los Angeles, and you will need to bring your own laptop with access to the corresponding materials we provide. There will be 4 mentor sessions and 3 panels to attend:

Mentor Sessions

We will accept two groups of four participants (8) for the Novel and Graphic Novel tracks.  We will accept four participants for the Narrative Non-Fiction Track and four for the Short Story Track.  Each group will spend four sessions on creative works, such that each member of the group will get a dedicated hour and a half of feedback and discussion devoted exclusively to his or her work.  This discussion will be led by the mentor.  Each participant will obtain thorough notes from the mentor as well as from peer group members.

Authors WorkshopPanel 1 – Before You Write: Research and Outlining

This panel focuses on pre-writing steps for research and outlining. The teams will collaboratively write plans for a research agenda tailored to the individual projects so that each participant walks away an improved outline and research plan at the end of the session.

Panel 2 – Design Your Publishing Platform

Authors, agents, and experts will rotate between tables giving advice as the participants work together in their group to develop a plan for how they can self-publish each of their projects. Each participant will come away with a distribution plan for his or her current project.  While your submitted work may be a fit for a traditional publisher, this panel will equip you with knowledge on how to build a distribution plan for future projects.

Panel 3 – Ideas in Fiction

TN12groupworkinga-1024x682Panelists will discuss how the current publishing landscape impacts idea-driven creative works and will reference the three short stories as models of how to tell a great story.

Post Workshop Call

Two months after the workshop, Taliesin Nexus will facilitate group members sharing their updated works with each other and the mentors.  On the group Skype call, mentors will go through each work addressing the progress made with any additional notes for the project.  

At the end of the program, participants will have:

– Notes from each group member
– Notes from the mentor
– A self-publishing plan document
– A research and outlining plan document

In addition to this, all participants that address notes from the workshop and participate in the Post Workshop call will be eligible for a physical publication of their work in an anthology of novel chapters and short stories.  Inclusion does require that the work meet industry-wide publication standards.

The application season for Calliope is currently CLOSED but there’s always next year!

Why Calliope?

Calliope is the leader of the Nine Muses, the Greek goddesses of artistic inspiration.  She is the muse of epic poetry, which some consider the forerunner to the modern novel.  She is often depicted with a writing tablet in her hand, and she is said to have served as Homer’s muse when he wrote the Iliad and Odyssey.