Photograph of Roberta Allen: Christopher Ho 3/2018/

Roberta Allen

The Playful Way to Serious Writing Houghton Mifflon, available on


Fast Fiction, available on Amazon

in English + in a German Edition

"Roberta Allen is an untapped gold mine."


--Janet Coleman, Arts Director, WBAI FM Radio



 My unique methods have helped thousands through my writing workshops and writing books. I love to nurture writers, those who come to my workshops unsure or unaware of how creative, imaginative and original they are, and those who come to tap more of their creative juices and perfect their craft. I've watched many writers gain confidence and blossom, surprising themselves with the quality of their writing. Many of my writers are published. Next Longer Prose Workshop to Come.


My methods keep the energy going in stories, novels, memoirs, micros--from beginning to end. I will show you: 1. how to discover what is truly your material. 2. how to hook the reader. 3. how to create tension and narrative drive easily. 4. how to know what to keep in and what to take out of your writing. 5. how to write part by part or chapter by chapter, step by step with or without a plan. 6. how to make  simple plans for your story, novel, or memoir. 7. how to wing it without a plan. 8. how to connect disparate parts. 9. what to do when you're stuck.



If you have some writing experience, you may join the Longer Prose Workshop. Write short stories, novellas, full length memoirs and novels. The emphasis is on beginning works or works-in-progress. Roberta's style of teaching is spontan- eous, easy-going but intensive. 


  • 6 session workshops  

  • Alternate Mondays 7:30 - 10:30 PM. 

  • 5 member maximum Longer Prose

  • Overcome fears and blocks.  

  • Constructive, insightful, perceptive, caring + detailed critiques tailored to your individual writing.

  • All members read aloud a revision in the workshop and get spoken and written feedback at every session.

  • Learn specific techniques to keep the writing alive while you revise.

  • Meet like-minded individuals.  

1-Evening Intensive Workshop Wed. 6/26
7:00 - 10:15 pm (Optional 1/2 hr. dinner break).

Writing workshop Summer 2018

The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself, Houghton Mifflin Available on Amazon



For beginning + experienced writers. 

For writers of flash fiction, short stories, memoirs + novels.


You will do prompts that can be used:

1. for flash stories 

2. for beginning a longer work 

3. for a longer work in progress


You will learn:

1. to choose relevant prompts for a particular project.

2. techniques to keep the energy going whether you write micros or longer works.

3. simple ways to make plans for longer works.

4. how to find or build structure. 

5. questions to ask yourself as you revise.

6. how to use the 5 (or 10) minute method to write longer works step by step.

"You are always insightful and most perceptive commenting on all students' work, which gives me the confidence to explore without fear."


--Marilise Trotto, Actor


More Testimonials>>

"Roberta really tunes in to each writer and almost by osmosis knows what each one wants to say even before the writer does.I actually got the stories from that Intensive revised + published! I was so happy with the Intensive that I joined the longer prose workshop and am now writing a memoir in micro stories.”


--Susan Shaw 

Artist, writer & current workshop  member.

"What you taught me over the years was invaluable. Your encouragement and guidance motivated me to keep writing." 


--Larry Silberfein, Creative Director & published writer


"Roberta's insightful critiques as well as the insightful feedback of the writers and students she attracts, have greatly improved my writing."


--Paul Wirhun, Artist


Recent Testimonials


"You have inspired me beyond words! I will have two stories

included in the upcoming micro fiction anthology from W.W. Norton. My dream. Thought you should know as you started me on this journey". 


--Francine Witte,

Winner of the Thomas A. Wllhelmus Award for Cold June 



"I never thought I had the talent to write until I had Roberta’s guidance and support.”​


--Lisa Grossman, Life Coach, Writer


"Roberta helped me push through writer's block and tell the stories I wanted to tell. Her classes were invaluable."


--Will Ryman, Artist


​Roberta's nine books include a novel, a novella, three story collections, a memoir and 3 writing books. Over 300 of her micro + short stories have been published. She taught at The New School for 18 years and in the Writing Program at Columbia. See her Curriculum Vitae.​ Since 1991, Roberta has helped thousands through her writing books and workshops.

Through all my incessant worrying you always patiently told me I'd eventually get published. You were right. Again. Thank you!"
--Larry Silberfein, published writer + Creative Director
  • Wix Facebook page
  • LinkedIn Classic
  • Wix Twitter page

One-on-One Private Coaching and Instruction


For writers of all levels. Learn the fundamentals or hone your craft through discussions, supportive feedback and readings. Manuscripts-in-progress get in-depth critiques and editing suggestions. Coaching is tailored to individual needs. Write micro stories, short stories, memoirs, novellas, or novels. Or have your finished manuscript discussed. 



  • 5 1-hr. sessions in-person in Manhattan or by email and phone outside NYC.

  • Get caring constructive critiques, tailored to your individual needs and perfect your craft.

  • Schedule classes at your convenience.
  • Combine a 6-session workshop with 5 one-on-one classes for a $50 discount.


5 1-hr. sessions in-person in Manhattan or by email and phone outside NYC. Get caring constructive critiques, tailored to your individual needs.Schedule classes at your convenience.Combine a 6-session workshop with 5 one-on-one classes for a $50 discount.