Applications to the workshop are now closed. Thanks to everyone who registered.

Can Factory

Summer Writers Conference
Join One Story in Brooklyn

July 23rd - 28th, 2017
Application Fee: $20
Price: $1,400
Member Price* : $1,300

This summer, One Story will offer our annual writing conference for emerging writers, hosted in our home, the historic Old American Can Factory in Brooklyn.

The twenty conference participants will be divided into two intimate ten-student workshop groups, one led by One Story editor Will Allison and the other led by One Story editor Patrick Ryan. Each day will begin with a three-hour intensive writing workshop. Afternoons will focus on writing exercises and craft lectures led by established writers and One Story editors, exploring fiction’s most important elements. Evenings will feature panel discussions with agents, editors, and industry professionals. Over the course of the week, students will work toward completing a publishable manuscript, create new work, and build long-lasting ties with the New York literary community.

“I was very nervous about this conference—I’d never done anything like this before—but I was immediately put at ease by the welcoming, supportive environment. The workshop was unbelievably helpful and the craft lectures were stellar. I’m leaving this workshop feeling confident, connected, and inspired. Thanks, One Story!”
— Chris Vajonack, Summer Writers Conference 2016
“This is the most comprehensive workshop I’ve ever attended. It addresses all aspects of the writing life with equal fervor. The attention to craft, personal development as a writer, the business of writing, and networking all contributed to this being a transformative experience for me.”
— Jan Elman Stout, Summer Writers Conference 2016
“Participation in this workshop was a game changer for me. Thank you, One Story!”
— Jennifer Kircher Carr, Summer Writers Conference 2015
“Attending the One Story workshop is, so far, the single best thing I have done for myself as a writer.”
— Kimberly Kalaja, Summer Writers Conference 2014
“I’ve been to other workshops, but the information I was given here at One Story makes me feel like I’m ‘officially in the club.’ No one had ever explained the slush pile or how to get out of it. Everyone was so generous with information. I feel really pumped and excited for new stories and to revise older ones.”
— Jess Pane, Summer Writers Conference 2013


Will Allison Will Allison: Former executive editor of Story and former editor-at-large for Zoetrope: All-Story, Allison is the author of the novels What You Have Left and the New York Times bestseller Long Drive Home. His short stories have appeared in One Story, Glimmer Train, The Kenyon Review, Shenandoah, and elsewhere. Since 2011, he has served as a contributing editor and workshop teacher for One Story. He lives with his family in South Orange, New Jersey. For more information, please visit

Patrick Ryan Patrick Ryan: Patrick Ryan is the author of the acclaimed short story collections The Dream Life of Astronauts and Send Me, as well as several novels for young adults. His stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, Crazyhorse, One Story, Tin House, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. From 2009 to 2013, he was the associate editor of Granta. He is a teacher at One Story and The CUNY Writers’ Institute, and he is the editor-in-chief of both One Story and One Teen Story. For more information, please visit

Sample Conference Schedule

10:00am - 10:30am
Coffee & Tea will be served

10:30am - 12:30pm
Workshop with One Story Editors & Authors Patrick Ryan and Will Allison
Every morning you will read and constructively talk about one another’s work, while either Patrick Ryan or Will Allison lead the discussion and teach you how to make good writing great.

1:00pm - 2:00pm
Choose your lunch from a menu with a variety of options. Last year, the conference was catered by Runner & Stone, a local Michelin Guide-recommended restaurant.

2:30pm - 4:30pm
Craft lecture with Guest Author/Editor
Afternoon craft lectures will be given by guest authors and editors. An example from last year’s Conference: “Writing Action.” This craft lecture with Victor LaValle, author of several books, including The Ballad of Black Tom and The Devil in Silver, explores the ways in which well-executed action in fiction can help a writer overcome the trappings of backstory and flashback.

4:30pm - 6:30pm
Break/Student Free Time
There’s plenty to explore in Brooklyn! During the break, you are encouraged to visit some of the local coffee shops, bookstores, bars, and museums outlined in a guide provided (and made) by One Story staff. This is also a good time to catch up on some reading or take a walk in nearby Prospect Park.

6:30pm - 8:00pm
Agent panel
This evening will offer you the opportunity to meet with some of New York’s finest agents. Past guests have included Sarah Burnes, Claudia Ballard, Samantha Shea and Jim Rutman. Agents will answer your questions about how to best go about getting an agent and offer their own stories and advice from the frontlines of the industry.

8:00pm - 9:00pm
Cheese and wine reception
After the panel, you’ll have a chance to talk one-on-one with these agents over a glass of wine, and ask more in-depth questions about the authors and books they represent.

Application Guidelines:

The One Story Summer Writers Conference is open to fiction writers 21 years of age and older.

The deadline to apply for the workshop is May 10th, 2017. There is a $20 application fee. All submissions must be sent through One Story’s Submission Manager. Choose the genre “Workshop for Writers 2017” when submitting your application and portfolio. All applicants will be notified of acceptance by May 24th, 2017.

We are seeking applicants who are excited about a career in fiction writing and ready for a fun and productive week. Applicants will be chosen based on the strength of their portfolio and their personal statement.

The Personal Statement: On the submission form in the “comments” box, please include a 150-300 word personal statement explaining why you would like to attend the program and where you are in your writing career. Applications without a personal statement will not be considered.

The Portfolio: Your submitted portfolio should contain a short story or novel excerpt of up to 5,000 words that best represents your writing. Submissions should follow this format:

Applications to the workshop are now closed. Thanks to everyone who registered.

Fees and Lodging:

Application Fee: $20
Conference Fee: $1,400 (Member Price*: $1,300)

The cost of the conference includes:

Please note that upon acceptance, a nonrefundable $400 deposit will be due on June 6th, and is required to confirm your place in the workshop. The final payment is due on June 21st.

Housing is not provided for the Summer Conference. New York offers many housing opportunities in all price ranges. We will assist accepted students in finding housing that fits their budget and needs.

A Note for Commuters: If you’re thinking of commuting, please know that each day follows the same basic schedule outlined above. There is usually a break between 4:30pm and 6:30pm. All events will take place in or around The Can Factory in Park Slope/Gowanus (232 3rd St. Brooklyn, 11215). The Can Factory is wheelchair accessible.

Member Discount: In order to qualify for our member discount, you must be a member at the time of registration. Please note that the discount is for our members only. Members commit to annual donations and receive benefits that allow them to participate in the organization in more meaningful ways. Not all One Story subscribers are members. If you’d like to find out more about becoming a member, you can do so here.

Refund Policy: One Story class payment is non-refundable after the class’s start date. For questions about the refund policy, or if you are unable to take the class after you have registered, please write .

If you have any questions, please contact .