1-to-1 Private Writing
Instruction and/or
Coaching on Zoom at
For Beginning, Experienced and Lapsed Writers

Photograph of Roberta Allen: Christopher Ho 

Roberta Allen

The Playful Way to Serious Writing, Houghton Mifflon, available on Amazon.com


Fast Fiction, The 1st Writing Guide for flash, micro and short shorts as well as writing longer works using prompts. Available on Amazon in English & in a German Edition.

 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. 

My methods keep the energy going in flash, micro, and short shorts, short stories, novellas, full-length novels and memoirs, from beginning to end. My critiques are constructive, in-depth, caring and tailored to your individual needs.



1. how to use prompts to discover your material.

2. how to use prompts to write a longer work.

3. specific techniques to keep the energy going when you revise short or long works.

4. questions to ask yourself as you revise.

5. how to hook the reader. 

6. how to find or build structure.

7. how to know what to keep in and what to take out of your writing.

8. techniques to create tension and narrative drive. 

9. how to write step by step or chapter by chapter, with or without a plan.
10. techniques to make simple plans for your story, novel, or memoir.

11. how to wing it without a plan.

12. how to connect parts.

13. what to do if you're stuck.

How it Works:

1.  If you are a writer with some experience, I request  a one-page sample before we work together.

2.  Beginners need not do this. We begin with 5-minute prompts which you may read aloud. You will learn the fundamentals.

3.  For those with some or more experience, we do prompts if you need them. You may read them aloud. You will hone your craft.

4.  Each week you will bring a revision which you will read aloud. I follow along with a copy and give you feedback. Up to 20 pages may be discussed (12 pt. font double-spaced with 1 inch margins) in each 1-hour session. 

5. IYou or I may follow up with an email or two between sessions.

6.  All sessions are paid in advance.

1 -Hour Session $70.  5- 1-Hour Sessions $340.






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

`Roberta's latest story


book cover_edited_edited.jpg





"Roberta has been an enormous help and inspiration on my novel writing journey. She has helped me make a clear and concise outline so for the 1st time I see the trajectory of the plot. As we work line by line on individual chapters, she is sensitive to the rhythm of the language as it appears in narrative, description and dialogue. Within each scene, she helps me further the plot and development of the characters. It is a pleasure and a privilege to have Roberta as an instructor."

--Stephanie Hart, author of Mirror Mirror, a collection of Memoirs and Stories

"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


"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



"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, Author of The Way of the Wind, flash novella, and Dressed All Wrong for This, flash fiction.



"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 simple techniques and exercises quiet the mind allowing the writer to focus on fresh work. Her workshop inspired me to write micro fictions, a genre I had been attempting. I came away with ten micro fictions and a new confidence in the freshness of immediacy."

-Judyth Emanuel, author of the novel, Yeh Hell Ow

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


--Marilise Trotto, Actor



​Roberta's nine books include a novel, a novella, three micro and short 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 many years and in the Writing Program at Columbia. Since 1991, Roberta has helped thousands through her writing books and workshops.


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