Manuscript Series

“Dori and my fellow manuscript members provided a welcoming and environment to become a much more skillful storyteller. Through the support, guidance, and structure of this remarkable group, I completed a first draft of my manuscript! Thank you Studio 359!”  –Christian Escalona, 2017

“I never would have completed my manuscript without the structure of this group and Dori’s loving guidance. She holds an incredibly safe, nurturing yet critically honest space for creativity and the pages to emerge.  It’s impossible to measure the value of this program – it’s been that vital for me!” —Carla Savetsky, 2017

“Signing up for the manuscript intensive workshop was one of the best decisions of my life. …It was the best program I found that offered the structure, direction and support I needed to finish my memoir.  Dori Ostermiller offers a remarkable opportunity for anyone engaged in writing a book.”  –JoAnne Jones, 2014

Applications Accepted June 1st – August 1st


Writing a book in isolation can feel like climbing Mt. Everest with no oxygen and no guide!  In order to support and guide writers through this daunting task, we offer the Manuscript Intensive Series, a year-long program for writers with prose manuscripts in progress that call for critical response and new writing.  Writers can be working on novels, short story collections, memoirs or essay collections.  This group will provide the structure, support, inspiration and critical feedback to help writers complete a book-length manuscript.

Program Guidelines:  Participants are writers who have made some headway in a writing project (approximately 50 – 100 pages), and are seeking support, structure and editorial guidance in order to complete it.  Writers agree to meet the deadlines for manuscript submission, to read and critique in advance the manuscripts of other group members, and to discuss them at the Friday evening/Saturday intensives.

The basic structure of the group includes seven deadlines with extensive feedback and five Friday evening/Saturday craft and critique intensives.  These will run every five-six weeks or so, on a Friday night (6:00 – 9:00) and the following Saturday (9:30 – 4:00) in our lovely studio at the historic Arts & Industry Building, 221 Pine Street, Florence, MA.


Admission to the group also includes two hour-long private conferences with Dori.  These conferences serve to help writers envision the overall shape of their manuscripts, address specific challenges and provide individualized support for issues of craft, process or time management, as needed.   Manuscript group members are given the opportunity to use the WIP studio to write together one day a week, and are given a special 20% discount on any additional WIP workshops and retreats during the year.  Additionally, manuscript group members receive a 20% discount on editing/consulting services with Dori for a full year after the group’s culmination.

The series is limited to just 6 writers, who will make a commitment for the full year.  Intensives take place at Writers in Progress studio and include refreshments, manuscript critiques, writing prompts, take-home exercises, handouts, and discussions on craft and process.  We will also spend some time at the end of the series discussing agents and queries. Saturday intensives are brown bag, so participants can either bring their own lunches or can dine at one of the many cafés and eateries within walking distance of the studio.

Manuscript submissions for each intensive include up to 43 pages of double-spaced prose (up to 301 pages total for the year) and are sent to all group members 2 weeks ahead of each scheduled intensive.  Members are responsible for getting their manuscripts to all participants by the dates indicated on the calendar.   The series will culminate with a celebration and public reading.  Accommodations are not included, but Dori will be happy to help locate nearby lodging for Friday night/Saturday intensives.

cindy-reading.jpgCost: $2,950 includes all tuition and materials (handouts, instruction, many pages worth of professional critique on installments, individual conferences and refreshments during intensives).  A $500 deposit is due at the time of registration.  While you are obligated to pay the entire tuition if you are accepted into the program, you may arrange to pay the tuition in installments to fit your needs.  Apply Now – SPACE LIMITED!

Write a 1 page letter to Dori, describing your project, your progress to date, your short and long term goals, and why you believe the Manuscript Series is a good fit for you.  Send the letter, along with 10 -15 pages of your manuscript, by mail or email, by August 1st, 2018 to:

Dori Ostermiller
Writers in Progress
c/o 17 Norwood Ave.
Florence, MA 01062

When applying, please mail your $500 deposit as well.  If you are accepted, the deposit is non-refundable.  If you are not accepted, it will be refunded in full.


October 6, 2018: First Installments Due to Group

October 19/20:  First Manuscript Intensive

December 1: Second Installments Due

December 15: Email Feedback Due to Group

January 19: Third Installments Due

February 1/2: Manuscript Intensive

March 9: Fourth Installments Due

March 22/23: Manuscript Intensive

May 11: Fifth Installments Due

May 25/26: Manuscript Intensive 

July 13: Sixth Installments Due

July 27: Email feedback Due To Group

September 7: Last Installments Due

September 20/21: Last Manuscript Intensive

Reading/Celebration TBD


MANUSCRIPT GROUP  2017/18 Calendar:

October 21, 2017: First installments due

November 3/4: First Manuscript Intensive

December 2: Second Installments Due 
December 16 email feedback due to participants

January 27: Third Installments Due 
Feb 9/10: Second Manuscript Intensive

March 31: Fourth Installment Due
April 13/14: Manuscript Intensive

May 19: Fifth Installments Due – email feedback
June 2: email feedback due back to participants

July 7:  Sixth Installments Due 
July 20/21 Manuscript Intensive

September 8, 2018: Final Installments due
September 21/22: Final Manuscript Intensive

Reading/Celebration in the fall 2017: Date TBD