Everybody has stories.

No matter what your prior experience is, no matter if you intend to submit a story to us or craft it for your own creative satisfaction, we’ve got a class or workshop sure to shake up your imaginative process.

Upcoming Classes & Workshops

2nd Story Fundamentals 2018

When: Wednesdays, January 24 – March 14, 2018 from 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: 2nd Story Company Member Liz Gottmann and Andrew Reilly
Cost: $300.00 for General Admission; $250.00 for students

This 8-week class focuses on building the skills necessary for crafting a great first person story. This class is for all levels and digs into scene, dialogue, sensory details, narrative distance, and making the personal universal. Expect to come away with several story starts and the motivation to finish them! Solid skill building for more experienced writers, and an introduction for those who haven’t done a lot of first person short story creation before. This class includes a "final performance" with the participants.

This class is no longer open for enrollment. Check out our other classes and workshops below.

Frame by Frame: Turning Your Story into a Comic

When: Friday, March 2, 2018 from 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: 2nd Story Company Member Cameron Pentimone
Cost: $45.00 for General Admission; $35.00 for students
Age group: 12 and up

Do you think in pictures? Enroll in this workshop and turn your thoughts into a comic! We'll start with brainstorming exercises to help you pick a moment from your life that you want to illustrate. We'll walk through different techniques that comic artists use to tell their stories, and then choose one of them to begin to bring your work to life!

This is a beginners course, but artists of all levels are welcome. Paper and art supplies will be provided, but feel free to bring your own sketchbook or drawing supplies if you'd like. 

About Cameron: Cameron is a visual artist and storyteller. They received a BFA in graphic design in 2011, and they've been leading art workshops for the public at Blick Art Materials for the past three years.


When: Saturday, March 10, 2018 from 10:00am - 4:00pm
Instructor: 2nd Story Artistic Director Amanda Delheimer
Cost: $60.00
Age group: Adult

Now, by “intensive” we don’t mean advanced or exclusive. Imagine a day of nothing but writing, renewal, and immersion in the first person narrative storytelling form. We'll start off with brainstorming exercises designed to help you mine your own life for story possibilities, and then spend time bringing a brand new piece of work to life through writing, feedback, and performance techniques designed to bring dimension and theatricality to your story. You’ll get one-on-one feedback from the instructor, group response from the workshop ensemble, and you’ll leave with a start on a new story. Lunch provided.

Public Performance for Writers

When: Tuesdays, April 10 – May 15, 2018 from 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: 2nd Story Company Members Earliana McLaurin and Scott Woldman
Cost: $250.00 for General Admission; $200.00 for students
Age group: Adult

Maybe you're a writer, and you'd like to start performing your work, but you're nervous (or terrified). Maybe you're frequently speaking in front of people and would like some performance techniques to help you deliver your message more successfully. In this class, you'll begin with writing in the 2nd Story style, and then dive deeply into story performance. You'll leave armed with tools for your body, your voice, and your nerves, which will help you captivate any audience. This class includes a "final performance" with the participants.

Poetry of Storytelling

When: Saturday, April 28 from 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Instructor: 2nd Story Company Member Liz Gottmann
Cost: $55.00
Age group: Adult

Free yourself from the stagnancy of business jargon and formal journalistic writing. Find your artistic flow in this workshop using poetry and introspective/emotional techniques to enhance your narrative storytelling. This is not a slam poetry class, this is specifically geared to help enhance details and scenes using poetry and recall techniques. We'll be blending the logistics of action and impact of emotion using descriptors, imagery, and metaphor. 

About Liz: Liz Gottmann has been a teaching artist in Chicago since 2009. She's worked with children and teens at the Goodman Theatre, in schools around the city, and at Marwen. Most recently she's co-facilitated a "Poetry of Art" class at Marwen (in partnership with Clark Street Bridge), co-facilitated 2nd Story's Page to Stage Class, and will be leading the Fundamentals class in the Spring. As an instructor she values spaces that are free from judgement and that center istening and playfulness. 

About the Process.



We don’t just sit at our computers and churn this stuff out, and we don’t expect anybody else to create stories that way either.  Our creative process involves group collaboration, feedback, and exploration.  Collaboration is integral to our process not just because it feels good (which it does!) but also because it works.



Our classes draw upon the various backgrounds and skill sets that are present in the room.  It’s important to us that we meet each student where they are at, and we honor the expertise in the room.  Each individual brings a different set of experiences to the room, and each viewpoint brings a different voice to the table.



We specialize in creative non-fiction and personal narrative, crafting intimate stories that are close to our hearts. We realize that everyone in the room has a different reason for being there, and we do our best to create an atmosphere where people feel safe enough to dig deep, and achieve their own writing goals.