WRITERS' WORKSHOP PROGRAM: January 10-14, 2022

Nicole Dennis-Benn

Writing the Unlikable Character ... If There Is Such a Thing

Nicole Dennis-Benn, photo by Jason Berger
Nicole Dennis-Benn, photo by Jason Berger
  • January 10-14, 2022
  • Mixed Levels, $600
See all 2022 Workshops


This workshop is geared toward character development. In fiction we know that characters are the heart of any story. One can love them or hate them—both emotions coming from the same place: Interest. What makes a story a story is dynamic characters behaving badly or making unpopular decisions. The true question is how to get readers to care about the choices these people make and be willing to follow them on a journey. The goal of this workshop is to give participants tools to craft complex, rounded characters. We will be workshopping your submissions and discussing writing technique. For students working on novels.


  • This is an mixed level workshop.
  • Please submit a cover letter that states your interest in this workshop and gives an overview of your writing background and prior workshop experience, if any.
  • The cost is $600. If you are selected to participate in the workshop, a deposit of $200 is required to register, with the balance due by September 30.
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the class is full.

Financial Assistance is available to those who would not otherwise be able to attend—click here for guidelines and application.


Nicole Dennis-Benn’s novel Patsy was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a Financial Times Critics Choice, and a Today Show “Read with Jenna” selection. It was named Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, NPR, the Washington Post, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others. Dennis-Benn is a recipient of a National Foundation for the Arts grant and has taught at Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, NYU, Sarah Lawrence College, and City College.