The Miami Book Fair @ Miami Dade College Announces 2016 Miami Writers Institute

Miami, March 17, 2016 – Registration is now open for the 2016 Miami Writers Institute, a program of the Miami Book Fair, produced and presented by Miami Dade College (MDC). The Miami Writers Institute offers four days of intensive workshops and seminars on fiction, nonfiction and poetry, lunchtime readings, craft talks, manuscripts consultations, and more taught by distinguished writers and industry professionals. The 2016 Writers Institute runs May 4 – 7, at MDC’s Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave.

In addition to workshops, the Miami Writers Institute will host First Draft: A Literary Social, a fusion of writing and happy hour at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 6, at Books & Books at the Arsht Center. First Draft in Spanish will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, also at Books & Books. If you have a draft ready, manuscript consultations with literary agent Allison Devereux will be available by appointment (last day to submit a draft is April 4). At the Pitchapalooza on Saturday, May 7, anyone with an idea for a book has a minute to pitch it to a panel of judges.

The Miami Writers Institute will wrap up at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 7, with Lip Service: True Stories Out Loud, the smartest, hottest and most honest storytelling event in South Florida.


Perfecting Your Pitch – $50

Instructors: The Book Doctors (Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry)   

Friday, May 6, 3 – 4:30 p.m.

From landing an agent and book deal to attracting media, a great pitch is one of the most powerful and tools a writer can have. Find out how to craft a dynamite pitch, or perfect your existing one.


How to Get Published Successfully – $100

Instructors: The Book Doctors (Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry)   

Wednesday and Thursday, May 4 – 5, 6 – 9 p.m.

Eckstut and Sterry offer insights into the entire publishing process. This step-by-step, soups-to-nuts workshop will remove the smoke and mirrors from the murky world of publishing and give writers a compass and map to a successfully published book.


Finding the Right Sentence – $450

Instructor: Smith Henderson

Wednesday through Friday, May 4 – 6, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

A good sentence can reveal the hidden meaning of the story, be the key to unlocking a character, or set the tone for the entire piece. In this workshop, discover how the act of simply focusing on the sentence, one after another, is the fundamental tool in every phase of writing, from first draft to deep revision to final polish.

From Chaos into Art: Finding and Shaping the Larger Story – $450

Instructor: Dani Shapiro

Wednesday through Friday, May 4 – 6, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

In this workshop, in addition to giving feedback on the opening pages of student manuscripts, they will also generate new work on the spot, and take a look at various aspects of modern memoirs in order to begin to identify the lenses through which writers can make stories – and hopefully art – out of what happened.

Creative Fiction (in Spanish only) – $300

Instructor: Daina Chaviano 

Thursday and Friday, May 5 – 6, from 6:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. | Saturday, May 7, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

This workshop will provide students with the tools to develop their creative abilities and learn how to construct solid characters and complex themes. Topics will include character development; create narrative and publication.


New Shadows: Reading to Write – $550

Instructor: Terrance Hayes

Wednesday through Saturday, May 4 – 7, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

This workshop will offer concrete strategies for writing when the only teacher available is a book. Students will look at how an assortment of poems “shadow,” imitate, and are in conversation with other poems and other forms (music, film, journalism). Most importantly, inventive imitations and transformations will be generated in response to the reading.

Conflict through Character: The Bottom-Up Approach – $550

Instructor: Jacinda Townsend

Wednesday through Saturday, May 4 – 7, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

While many writers start with an idea of a plot or even a theme, this workshop starts with the proposition that when characters are allowed to do what they will, we end up with conflicts that soar and plots that dazzle. All that is required is a pen and paper (or a laptop), creative willingness and each student’s unique thoughts and voice.


Unless otherwise noted, all workshops are limited to 15 people. Register as soon as possible to secure your space. Payment must be received at time of registration and must have cleared at least five business days prior to the first day of class.

The Writers Institute Refund Policy

Please note that because enrollment is limited, there must have be ample time to seek and register a replacement should you be forced to cancel your registration. For that reason, the deadline to cancel your registration for any workshop or lecture and receive a full refund is April 18, 2016. Refunds may not be available after that date.

To register and for complete details on the 2016 Writers Institute, please visit

Miami Book Fair contact: Lisa Palley, 305-642-3132