Tin House Workshop: Seminars

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Online Seminars

Fall 2023
Applications Are Currently Closed

Our online seminars comprise six 2.5 hour sessions limited to no more than twenty participants. Writers will meet in a supportive environment to discuss assigned readings, learn craft, and develop accountability systems to support their completion of a manuscript or collection.

A mix of craft lectures and generative exercises, writers will be encouraged to ask questions, share problems within their manuscripts, produce and share work during sessions as well as engage in thoughtful craft discourse.

Participants will leave with a greater understanding of craft, supportive peers, and possible solutions to their manuscript’s toughest problems.

This is not a critique-focused workshop. Instructors will not be required to critique participants’ work outside of class or provide letters. Participants will be encouraged to share and receive feedback during sessions. 

Our hope is to provide a unique community-building opportunity for writers to learn and grow that it is not solely based on critiquing each other.



Crafting the Television Pilot with Dean Bakopoulos
September 11, 18, 25  & October 2, 9, 16
4 PM – 6:30 PM PST / 7 PM  – 9:30 PM EST

In this seminar, we’ll explore the craft of television writing, specifically crafting your first original television pilot—an essential “calling card” for breaking into the industry. We will discuss character arcs, narrative structure, dramatic escalation, conflict, and the construction of compelling scenes.  We will look for ways to preserve our literary voice and unique identity in a form often (mistakenly) considered formulaic. We’ll watch clips from some successful pilot episodes as illustrations whenever possible, and some outside viewing may be suggested (particularly the pilot episodes of Atlanta, Mad Men, Insecure, Severance, and The Golden Girls.) We’ll also talk about the art of adaptation—turning one of your own stories/novels (or somebody else’s) into a pilot script. Finally, we will do one generative exercise each week designed to get you started on the most significant scenes in your script.

View the syllabus.



Dean Bakopoulos

Dean Bakopoulos is the author of the novels Please Don't Come Back from the Moon (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), My American Unhappiness (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), and Summerlong (Ecco/HarperCollins). The winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a NEA fellowships in both fiction and creative nonfiction, Bakopoulos is an associate professor of cinema and head of screenwriting arts at University of Iowa. A WGA screenwriter, he co-wrote the film adaptation of his first novel and is co-creator and executive producer of the HBO MAX series Made for Love. Bakopoulos is currently developing several original projects for television, including Goodwinter, which he co- created with bestselling author Michael Perry and Grammy-winning musician Justin Vernon, and The Off Weeks, a domestic noir to be directed by Michael Showalter.


Applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis. 

We ask for a short unpublished writing sample of 2,000 words or less. In addition to the writing sample, the application includes several questions. 

Applicants must be 21 years of age to apply.

International writers  are welcome and encouraged to apply. 

All applications are evaluated through the lens of our Core Values. 

There is no application fee.

Financial Assistance

The deadline for scholarship consideration is July 21.

Payment plans are available for admitted participants. We  are willing to work out a payment plan that best meets your needs. While seminar scholarships are merit-based and do not require financial disclosures, we ask our community to be mindful of the opportunities they can and cannot afford to pay for and apply accordingly.