Writers' Workshop Program: January 5-9, 2025

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Small Miracles: An Exploration of the Short Story

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, photo by Alex M. Philip
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, photo by Alex M. Philip
  • January 5-9, 2025
  • All Levels, $675
See all 2025 Workshops


Every story is a miracle: a chance to make something out of nothing, a chance to break free of what was and make something new. Stories are considered unforgiving because they push us toward precision, and—in their size—there is no place for the writer to “hide.”

In this class we’ll work with short fiction and move fluidly between the modes of the surreal, the speculative, and the human scale. We’ll read each other’s stories and, as a community, help each other develop our voices and let the stories lead us as we try to make them reach their highest potential.

This time together represents a chance to grow as an artist and as a writer. To do this, we’ll focus on the work and the intended desires of the artists, as opposed to what we want the work to be. We’ll have fun. We’ll make magic. We’ll think of ourselves as artists in pursuit of our greatest artistic self. In this pursuit, we’ll challenge one another to work at our highest level.

Before class begins, you’ll submit a manuscript of no longer than ten pages (12 point, double spaced) and you’ll receive guidelines on how to write a page of feedback for other students’ work. We will discuss all submissions together in class and  the instructor will meet with interested students individually after class for up to 30 minutes on the day their story is workshopped.


  • 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.



Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is the New York Times bestselling author of the short story collection Friday Black, which won the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize and the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize. His debut novel, Chain Gang All-Stars, was a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction, was longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s 2023 First Novel Prize, and was selected as a New York Times 10 best books of 2023.

Adjei-Brenyah was selected by Colson Whitehead as one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” honorees. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications, including the New York Times Book ReviewEsquireLiterary HubGuernicaLongreads, and the Paris Review. He graduated from SUNY Albany and received his MFA degree from Syracuse University. He has taught at Syracuse and is currently an adjunct associate professor of creative writing at Columbia University.