» Free Creative Writing Workshop with Richard Bausch

Richard Bausch

A free workshop open to non-Chapman members of the community, who will be selected via manuscript submission.

This free writing workshop is taught by renowned novelist and short-story master Richard Bausch. The workshop is only open to members of the community (not to students at Chapman, who already have many opportunities to take writing classes). "We don't put any limitations on applicants, either by age or by background. Who can tell where the next good writer will come from? A selected participant could be a high school student, unemployed, a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a custodian or restaurant worker, a retired person, a truck driver. Frankly, the more diversity in the class, the better." said Bausch. We encourage everyone to apply – so dust off that manuscript you've been working on, or write a new one and submit it.

Accepting Applications until August 20, 2023

  • Fill out form to submit application (see red button to left) or forward writing samples/manuscripts to Richard Bausch at bausch@chapman.edu.
  • Writing samples can be up to 15 pages. Double-spaced. Microsoft Word document. Prose Fiction or Creative Nonfiction, and file MUST INCLUDE all of the following: the writer's name, mailing address, phone number, and email address attached.
  • Submissions need not be completed stories, but should represent what you consider to be a good sample of your best writing.
  • Bausch will personally read and consider all manuscripts and select ten participants for the workshop, who will be notified shortly thereafter.
  • Free workshop and available ONLY to members of the surrounding Southern California community (OC, LA, Riverside, San Diego, etc.).
  • Class begins September 6, 2023, running the duration of the semester, through December 6, 2023, held on Wednesdays, 7:30 -9:45 p.m.
  • Participant Testimonials
  • Submission Details
  • About Richard Bausch
  • "Richard Bausch's community workshop quite literally changed the course of my life. I studied writing as an undergrad at USC, but after five years of post-grad struggle to hold several day jobs while writing novels on the side, I was ready to throw in the metaphorical towel. When I saw that Chapman was offering a free workshop, I applied without any real hope of getting chosen. After that, I enrolled in a postbac program with plans to go to medical school.

    But then Richard called.

    The semester I spent at Chapman in the community workshop was one of the busiest of my life. I had two jobs, was taking chemistry and physics at a college, and was still trying to write every day. If it weren't for Richard's mentorship and priceless creative wisdom, then I would have put my passions aside in the name of so-called pragmatism. But what could be more pragmatic than working from and with your passion? What good has ever come from giving up? I chose not to enroll in science classes for the next semester, realizing that I was a writer and could not wholeheartedly pursue anything else.

    Working with Richard is unlike any other workshop experience. He doesn't try to change writers; he helps them to grow organically into their own voices. After the workshop. I was awarded a fellowship to attend Chapman's MFA program in Creative Writing, and now I pursue writing very nearly full-time. As I said, the course of my life has changed irrevocably and for the better because I sent in that application."

    -Jenny Howard

    "When sitting in a room with Richard, you often forget that you are in the presence of one of America's most accomplished and award winning story tellers. His humility and kindness win out, and he makes you feel as if you are a colleague and not a student. However, his genius not only in the craft, but also in its instruction are never far away. I have not worked, or laughed as hard in any other workshop. I have made a number of dear and lifelong friends, chief among them is Richard himself."

    -Joshua Prichard

    "Mr. Bausch and the group helped me with two pieces of work, a travel essay and a short story.  Based on the workshop feedback regarding tonality and the through-line of the piece, I split the travel essay into two separate pieces and sold them both for publication. The short story, revised according to comments of the group and Mr. Bausch, has received interest from a publisher and is in its final stages of completion. I have not been to many other workshops, but this one stood apart for its emphasis on a free flowing discussion in a safe environment. Having this kind of camaraderie and a forum for sharing our work with smart, accomplished writers makes all the difference in the world."

    -Richard A. Smith

    • Submissions may be from 1-15 pages.
    • Submissions must be prose fiction or creative nonfiction.
    • Submissions need not be completed stories, but should represent what you consider to be a good sample of your best writing.
    • Manuscripts should be submitted as Microsoft Word documents.
    • All submissions must include all of the following: the writer's name, mailing address, phone number and email address. 
    • Submit manuscripts here.

    Applicants should live within driving distance of Chapman University (OC, LA, Riverside, San Diego, etc.)

  • An acknowledged master of both the novel and short-story form, Richard Bausch has seen his work published in Esquire, Harper’s, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Playboy, GQ, and The Southern Review, among many others, and anthologized in New Stories from the South, The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, The Pushcart Prize Stories, The Vintage Book of the Contemporary American Short Story, The Granta Book of the American Short Story and more. 

    He is the author of 11 novels and eight collections of stories, including the novels Rebel Powers, Violence, The Night Season, Hello to the Cannibals, Thanksgiving Night and Peace, and the story collections The Selected Stories of Richard Bausch, Spirits, The Fireman’s Wife, Wives and Lovers and Something Is Out There. His novel The Last Good Time was made into a feature-length motion picture in 1995, directed by Bob Balaban and starring Armin Meuhler-Stahl and Maureen Stapleton. Bausch has won two National Magazine Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Fund Writer’s Award, the Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. He is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and since 2002 has been the sole editor of the prestigious Norton Anthology of Short Fiction

    Prior to joining the Chapman faculty, Bausch taught creative writing on the faculties of George Mason University and the University of Memphis, where he also launched highly successful versions of his free Creative Writing Workshop.