Writing Workshops

Imagine Notebook

“John Bemis is a master at helping writers develop story ideas into clear and compelling plots with deeply-drawn characters and captivating narratives. His enthusiasm for craft is purely infectious.” ~Michelle Leonard, Brave New Girls



Writing for Kids and Teens

Saturday, March 16, 10 - 3 pm

An informative and inspiring workshop for all who want to know about the art and business of children’s book writing. Read more

Narrative Voice Writing Intensive

Saturday, March 23, 10:30 - 4:30 pm

Editors and agents always say they’re looking for writers with a unique voice. Let’s develop your distinctive storytelling style. Read more

Story Tune-Up

Saturday, April 13, 10 - 5 pm

A chance for writers to bring in their stories to make sure all the various elements are on the right track. Lots of individual support and feedback. Read more

John leads regular writing workshops for: 


During the school year, John teaches a weekly class for 4th - 5th graders and another class for Middle Schoolers. Dates and times vary. The emphasis is on building a love for writing and having fun with stories and language. If you have a young writer who might be interested, contact John to get more information about upcoming sessions.



John has been leading a bi-monthly class for homeschooled teens for several years. Newcomers are welcome to join anytime. Students have opportunities to share and receive constructive feedback on their writing and to learn more about the craft of writing. To find out more, contact John.



Each August, John leads a five-day intensive for writers interested in children's and young adult literature as part of the Table Rock Writers Workshop. Writers gain new insights into story craft and the children's book publishing world, as well as individual feedback on stories they are creating. To learn more or to register, visit Table Rock Writers Workshop

John also leads one-day and weekend workshops out of his house in the woods on the banks of the lovely Eno River in HIllsborough, NC. Contact him if you would like to find out about upcoming workshops.


For more information about John's upcoming writing workshops, check his Events page or follow him on Facebook.


What past students have to say about John’s workshops and retreats:

“Whether you have an MFA in creative writing or just grabbed a laptop and started tapping out your first novel, your writing could be better. John Bemis can help you get there.” ~ John Klekamp, Wicked South: Secrets and Lies

“John is one of the most prepared writing teachers I’ve ever known – I guarantee students will come away with tangible results and ideas around their work. And, perhaps most importantly, John’s classes are just plain fun!” ~ Dee Stribling, Poet Laureate of Hillsborough

“I wrote two manuscripts that never left the rough draft phase. I realized what was missing from my brainstorming process when I took John's class. He inspired my imagination and I came up with an idea in his workshop that has become my third novel. I love it so much that editing is fun!” ~ Laura Shank

 “The feedback from John, a successful, published writer, and from other group members helped me move to the next level with my story.”   ~ Lori Elliott

“John has a special focus on creativity - ways to tap into it and mine it for ideas in your own work. John brings to his classroom a combination of professionalism and big-heartedness that keeps me coming back to his classes year after year." ~ Amy Kurtz Skelding