NEW FOR 2022

What do writers need in order to keep writing? 

I’ve considered this question for years while wandering along my own literary path and while leading writing courses.

I’ve finally concluded that, to keep going, writers need a restless curiosity and a steady community. They need the desire to continue risking and growing, and a trusted circle to fortify their courage and their faith in the endeavor.

After all the thinking, I decided to cook up a program designed to address those needs. 

Fiction Kitchen is an intensive hybrid workshop for writers looking to further, fine-tune, and finish their work, with an in-person launch followed by monthly on-line meetings. It’s a program designed for busy people who want—or even need—to write.

Join us for community, commitment, and creative delight.


In-person weekend: Saturday, November 5 + Sunday, November 6, 2022

Follow-up meetings: Four Sundays, 3-5:30 pm: December 4, January 8, February 5, March 5


YOU—determined and curious, interested in working alongside like-minded people to grow as a writer of short stories, novels, and/or memoir.

ME—the same. Also, author of novels and shorter works and a devoted writing instructor who has led courses for years at Brooklyn’s Center for Fiction, Iowa Summer Writing Festival, MFA programs, prisons, and elsewhere. Learn more about me here.

What’s Included?

The In-Person Intensive Weekend, Nov. 5 + 6, 2022

We will gather in western Massachusetts, in the Connecticut River Valley, a paradise of college towns, dairy farms, idiosyncratic bookshops, and cannabis dispensaries.

Meetings will take place in my home in Northampton, with a full day on Saturday plus dinner, and a half day on Sunday. The house has roomy meeting spaces plus private nooks for writing. Our time together will include…

  • Workshopping and in-depth discussions. We’ll explore your work, your inspirations and challenges, plus I’ll offer targeted strategies for refining structure, sense, and style.
  • Timed deep-focus writing sessions. Optional prompts/portals provided. Generate new work and new insights into work in progress.
  • Bookish barbecue: A Saturday evening of writerly socializing, featuring sensational Texas-style slow-smoked barbecue, vegetarian/vegan dishes, and southern sides.
  • Additional fiction fuel: working lunch on Saturday; coffee/tea, cold drinks, and snacks on both days.
  • Schedule: Saturday, 10 am to 3:30 pm plus dinner. Sunday, 10 am to 12:30 pm.

+ Four Keep-Going Group Workshops via Zoom

After our weekend, we will move forward over four months, from December 2022 to March 2023, as a committed writing group. We will offer feedback and support to each other during monthly online meetings. You’ll have multiple chances to share your pages, with one to two hours of group discussion centered on your project. Plus each piece will receive extensive margin notes. (You’ll tell us what type of feedback you find useful; sharing is always optional.)

+ Two Private Conferences

Each student will have two private Zoom chats with me. Before our first weekend, we’ll meet to discuss your goals and how to best support your writing practice. After our final group meeting, I’ll offer one-on-one responses to your work and discuss next steps toward completion and/or publication.

FEE: $975. Minimum 6 participants. Maximum 10 participants.

Accommodations and travel not included. Lodging options range in price from $65/night to over $300. Special $160/night Fiction Kitchen rate offered at the nearby Old Mill Inn. Northampton is 3 hours by car from NYC, 1.5 hours from Boston, and can be reached by Amtrak, bus, or flights into Hartford or Boston. I’ll send more details and suggestions upon registration.

Make it work for you: Interested in a fully virtual version? Have other questions? Let’s talk! Email me at dimmergut at

What are the criteria for joining the group? Fiction Kitchen is for writers with solid skills and room to grow. Publications and degrees are lovely but not as important as a steadfast devotion to the craft and a desire to expand one’s creative reach. Memoir writers welcome!

Covid contingency: If safety precludes meeting in-person, we will hold our weekend intensive on Zoom and cost of food will be refunded. We’ll still create a vital, warm community and get tons of work done.

I know…you’re asking yourself….

Is It Worth It? What can I expect from a workshop with Debra?

Former workshopper Serwah Rose Afriyie offers a few thoughts and details…

. And some feedback from others…

“I loved it, especially the stuff we read. It was just such fertile clay…Thank you for creating such an encouraging environment.”

Your workshop exceeded my expectations, as far as how much I’ve learned and the impact it has had on me and my future writing. And how much fun it was.

” I’ve never taken a workshop that incorporated a slide show, and I am so grateful for it–especially the reassurance that I will be able to go back and consult it in the future.

“The workshop was hugely helpful, both as inspiration and in very tangible ways.” 

REQUEST YOUR SPOT NOW: (The Nov. ’22 group is full. Feel free to fill out the form below and I’ll happily add you to the waitlist and let you know when the next group opens up.)

(Or sign up for my email list to get word on all the latest.)

Artwork: Franklin White, Burners, c. 1968