Writers' Workshop Program: January 5-9, 2025

Lynne Barrett

Paths Through the Labyrinth: Plot and Structure, Structure and Plot

Lynne Barrett, photo by J. Tomás López
Lynne Barrett, photo by J. Tomás López
  • January 5-9, 2025
  • All Levels, $675
See all 2025 Workshops


Join us for a generative workshop for writers who want to tell stories—real or invented—that have compelling, intriguing plots presented effectively through structures that serve them. Often writers are confused and daunted by plot and structure, lost in its maze of possibilities; together we will find a way through the labyrinth and—taking your specific goals into account—work to figure out what your story is calling for.

Students will explore and develop potential plots for their work, using generative exercises to open up how differently the same action or character may be perceived by readers, as well as how one character may show different selves to others.

You will be assigned short readings of creative works and of select authors’ views about plot and structure, reaching back as far as Aristotle and Poe. You will generate new written material each day and have multiple opportunities to share this work in class and to ask questions, with the goal of trying out options, forming plans, and building momentum for your story.

Some weeks before class, you will be prompted to submit a letter to the instructor detailing your writing goals and experiences, as well as information on works in progress and any specific plot challenges. There are no other submission requirements for this class. After class, Barrett will meet one-on-one with interested students for up to 30 minutes each.


  • This is an all-levels workshop.
  • Please submit a cover letter that states your interest in this workshop and gives an overview of your prior workshop experience, if any.
  • The cost is $675. If you are selected to participate in the workshop, a deposit of $300 is required to register, with the balance due by September 30.
  • If you are accepted, you have the option of attending the Keynote on Thursday, January 9, at a reduced price of $150 (we will send you a link upon confirmation). Alternately, you may purchase a ticket to attend the Seminar in full, as it runs after the workshops (January 9 – 12).
  • Financial Assistance is available to those who would not otherwise be able to attend—click here for guidelines and/or to apply for a Workshop Fellowship Award. (Do not submit a regular application if you are requesting financial aid.)
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the class is full.



Lynne Barrett is a writer, teacher, and editor. She received the Edgar Award for best short story from the Mystery Writers of America, the Moondance International Film Festival short story award, and the Florida Book Award fiction gold medal for her story collection Magpies. She’s the editor of Making Good Time: True Stories of How We Do, and Don’t, Get Around in South Florida, which garnered a Knight Foundation grant and has become the first volume of O, Miami’s Miami Trilogy. She co-edited the anthology Birth: A Literary Companion and is the founding editor of Gulf Stream Magazine.

Her recent stories and essays appear in 34 Orchard, Orange Blossom Review, Necessary Fiction, Mystery Tribune, New Flash Fiction Review, the Hong Kong Review, and anthologies and craft books including Flash! Writing the Very Short Story; Grabbed: Poets and Writers on Sexual Assault, Empowerment, and Healing; Fifteen View of Miami; Trouble in the Heartland: Crime Stories Inspired by the Songs of Bruce Springsteen; and One Year to a Writing Life. She teaches in the MFA program at Florida International University.