What we're about

The Reader Berlin (http://thereaderberlin.com/) is a platform for writers of all nationalities, offering community, networking and author services.

Since 2011, we’ve been hosting creative writing workshops, seminars, literary events, and author get-togethers. Our tutors are award-winning authors and publishing professionals who offer expert insight, advice and encouragement to emerging writers. In the past few years, we’ve worked with hundreds of participants from all over the world, many of whom have gone on to publish work of their own. If you’ve never written a story before, come and have a go. If writing is everything to you, then we’d very much like to meet you too. We take it – but not ourselves – seriously.

Don't forget - to reserve a place on one of our workshops, you need to email hello@thereaderberlin.com, RSVPing on Meet Up is not enough!

Berlin is our home and we’re very much part of the international community of writers here. Writing can be joyous but it is solitary; we aim to bring writers together, to share contacts and build bridges to the publishing industry. Alongside readings and our programme of courses, we offer one-to-one mentoring, manuscript assessment, and editing services. Our tutors have taught in MFA programmes, publish books, write for international publications, and contribute to journals and magazines; their guidance and experience is invaluable.

We work with all kinds of writers – from those just starting out to published authors. Our alumni have won awards, started their own magazines, been published in print and online, gone on to undertake Creative Writing MAs and MFAs, and won publishing deals with major publishing houses.

What started life as a single workshop in the cellar of a Kreuzberg bookshop has evolved to encompass The Berlin Writing Prize, Writing Retreats on the Pelion peninsula in Greece, a series of print anthologies and a writers’ festival. At the heart of what we do is the belief that writers can and should help one another, and that with one another’s support we can become better writers.

Check out the testimonials from our participants here. (http://thereaderberlin.com/testimonials/)

Upcoming events (4)

Introduction to Creative Nonfiction

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Course Tutor: Susanna Forrest
When: Monday evenings 19:30 - 21:30
Start date: 30 May 2022
Where: Online
Number of Sessions: 7
Maximum Participants: 12
Cost: €225 (incl. VAT)

Creative nonfiction is a dynamic, capacious genre. Essays and long-form pieces blur memoir, travel, reportage and commentary. Food writing gets mixed up in social history. Nature writing combines science, lyricism and cultural studies. This seven-session workshop provides a supportive space for writers of all levels to get a sense of the tremendous possibilities of nonfiction, whether they’re working on existing texts or looking for fresh ideas. It can also be helpful for copywriters or scholars looking for new angles. We’ll give close feedback, explore diverse texts from a wide range of writers and try out creative exercises. We’ll discuss the ethics and intricacies of wrestling fact into narrative while crafting descriptions that are vivid but accurate.

SUSANNA FORREST is the author of two critically acclaimed nonfiction titles that incorporate history, travel, memoir and reportage. Her latest, The Age of the Horse, was described as “superb” (Economist) and “a fascinating, lucid and sometimes elegantly literary book” (Sydney Morning Herald).
Susanna is currently working on Amazons of Paris, a book based on a series of biographical essays about nineteenth-century circus stars first published on the Paris Review Daily blog. She has written for LitHub, NPR Food, The Atlantic, the New York Times, the Guardian and Spiegel Online, among others. She lives in Sweden.

Email [masked] to register your place!

“I signed up for Susanna Forrest’s Creative Nonfiction course because I wanted to find a way into writing for fun again and, luckily, it was exactly what I needed. I found the sessions really valuable and inspiring. Each meeting was so well-structured and planned and the reading materials Susanna shared with the group were always varied and thought-provoking. I would definitely recommend the course to anyone who’s keen to explore the art of writing creative nonfiction.” – Anna-Marie Fitzgerald
“I took Susanna Forrest’s advanced nonfiction class and it absolutely exceeded my expectations. She provides an excellent structure and class environment in which to explore, ideate, and of course get down to work. The readings and other materials she provides are exceptional and never excessive, and her feedback is always astute, on point and encouraging. I started the course with a very rough draft and ended it with something ready for submission. I would highly recommend the course, and Susanna as an instructor.” – Maree J. Hamilton
“I did Susanna Forrest’s Creative Non-Fiction parts one and two, and it’s honestly not an exaggeration to say it was life-changing. She led us through discussions that made me interrogate my own work in new ways, and taught me how to continue learning from the writing I admire. The energy in those sessions has carried through and our group are still meeting to share work and talk ideas many months after the end of course. I think we’re all very grateful to Susanna for bringing us together!” – Ruby Russell
“Susanna’s Introduction to Creative Nonfiction group was my introduction to ‘writing the real.’ I wanted to experiment with my writing voice, deepen craft skills and form writerly friendships. One happy customer here. Plus, I am very proud of the piece I wrote with Susanna’s expert feedback.”
“After doing two courses with Susanna, I can say that she single-handedly inspired me to keep writing. She has a keen eye for what works and what needs tweaking, a knack for finding the right words to motivate you, was always fair and considerate to everyone in the room but still managed to give hugely important criticism, did not talk for the sake of it but only when it mattered — in short, she is an absolutely fantastic and gifted teacher!” – Lucy Jones

The Plot Workshop with Ben Fergusson

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Course Tutor: Ben Fergusson
When: Saturday, June 11, 2022
Where: Letrettage (In Person)
Number of Sessions: 1
Maximum Participants: 35
Cost: Writer Ticket €95 / Audience Ticket €20

The Plot Workshop is a new weekend workshop event that will help you explore, expand and finesse the plot of your novel or novel idea. In this highly interactive space, you, as a participant, will work with the novelist Ben Fergusson and four other writers to explore your plot in detail, to iron out the sticking points and to create strong dramatic arcs and believable stories driven by characters whose problems feel real.

Each writer will have a full hour focused on their specific plot. This might be a completed novel that isn’t quite working yet, a novel that’s got stuck in its wooly middle, or a concept for a novel that hasn’t yet been written. The Plot Workshop will function like a writers’ room, with the course leader, the other writers and the audience all actively discussing, exploring and detangling your plot problems.

You will leave The Plot Workshop not only with a clearer understanding of your own plot and lots of ideas about how to improve it, but also a deeper insight into issues around dramatic arcs, plot structures, pacing and character development.

There will be TWO TYPES OF TICKETS for this event: General participants and 5 participants whose work is being workshopped (Writer ticket) .
General participants will become part of the writers’ room, joining in the discussion of the five writers’ plots and learning about the process of building a strong plot.

Five participants will have their work workshopped as part of the session; a full hour will be dedicated to each participants’ plot. They will need to submit a short synopsis of their work or proposed projects a week in advance of the event. Full details about what to submit by when will be sent to all participants in the introductory information for the course.

Ben Fergusson is a writer and translator from the UK. His debut novel, The Spring of Kasper Meier (2014), won the Betty Trask Prize and the HWA Debut Crown, and was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. It was the first in a trilogy of novels set in Berlin, completed by The Other Hoffmann Sister (2017) and An Honest Man(2019). The latter made the ‘Best Books of the Year’ lists in The Sunday Times, the Times Literary Supplement, and theFinancial Times. Ben’s short fiction has been twice longlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award and twice shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and in 2020 he won the Seán O’Faoláin International Short Story Prize for his story ‘A Navigable River’. He has translated numerous essays, poems and short stories from German and in 2020 won a Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation. In 2022, he will publish his first book of non-fiction, Tales from the Fatherland, an exploration of same-sex parenthood. He has taught at the University of Potsdam, and as a visiting lecturer at the Humboldt University Berlin, City University of London, and a range of schools and institutions in the UK and Europe.

Fantastic Forms: A Poetry Starter Kit with Sara Larsen

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***RSVP-ing to this event does not secure your spot!
*** To sign up please email [masked] ***

Have you always wanted to write poetry, but don’t know how to start? Maybe you already write poems and are looking for a good excuse to spend a weekend delving deeper? Maybe your writing feels a little bland and you want to explore other forms that could help you break out of old patterns.

In this single-day poetry workshop, renowned poet, editor and performer Sara Larsen will guide you through a series of exercises and discussions to help you unearth your unique poetic voice.

You will immerse yourself in a variety of poetic forms from across the globe – the sonnet, ballad, ghazal, pantoum, ode, tanka and more (!) —and practice composing your own poems. You will study each form in-depth, while also engaging with avant-garde approaches that break, subvert, and reinvent the forms. You’ll both learn the rules AND learn how to break them, so you can explore possibilities outside your pre-established writing boundaries. This class will be engaging, experimental, playful and generative. You will walk away with a clutch of new poems and a multitude of ideas for your future work, whatever genre or form it may be.

This workshop is open to complete beginners and experienced writers alike. It is encouraged for poets and writers of all genres (be that fiction or nonfiction) with an interest in exploring different forms to enrich and expand their writing practice.
Sara Larsen is an American poet living in Berlin. Her most recent book is a polyvocal exploration of punk and poetics, The Riot Grrrl Thing (Roof Books). Previous books include Merry Hell (Atelos Press) and All Revolutions Will Be Fabulous (Printing Press) – recent poems have appeared at Brooklyn Rail, NoMaterialism, and Nioques. She has been a visiting writer at Cambridge University, University of California Berkeley, California College of the Arts, among others, and was a recipient of the Berlin Senate Research Stipend 2021. Readings, performances, and publications can be found at https://linktr.ee/saralarsen

Introduction to Fiction: Summer Intensive

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Course Tutor: Jessica Miller
When: Tuesday evenings, 19:00–21:00
Start date: 28 June 2022
Where: Online
Number of Sessions: 4
Maximum Participants: 12
Cost: €120

Summer is for lake-swimming, park-drinking, and story-writing!
Whether you’re trying to find the spark of a story for the first time or fine-tuning your writing practice, it never hurts to go back to basics. So, why not spend summer with Reader tutor Jessica Miller as she takes you through some of the building blocks of great fiction writing. In four sessions, you’ll learn all about Character, Voice, Story, Style, and Setting and come away with all the tools you need to craft stories of your own. Hint, hint: you’ll have just enough time up your sleeve to submit to The Berlin Writing Prize.

Email [masked] to sign up!

Jessica Miller holds a doctorate in Creative Writing and is the author of two books: *Elizabeth and Zenobia *was named one of 2017’s best middle grade novels by Kirkus Reviews; *The Republic of Birds *is one of Readings’ Top 10 junior fiction books.

Past events (430)

The Flash Fiction Factory

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Photos (195)