Thurber House's Creative Writing Classes for Your Classroom

Thurber House would love to bring our passion for creative writing to your classroom! We have teachers with activities that will encourage, inspire and teach your students different writing skills. The great thing about writing is that it is portable, easy to work into your existing programs and curriculum, and it’s fun. If there is something you are interested in doing but it is not listed below, please contact Meg Brown at 614-464-1032 x16 or This is not an exhaustive list and we always welcome new ideas. We work with schools on an individual basis for pricing and class sizes. 

Thurber in the Schools
A four-session workshop that encourages students to write on topic, develop narratives from the beginning to the end, and write with sensory detail and dialogue, all in keeping with the Common Core Standards. Not to mention, it brings Thurber’s work to life for those who love to look for the funny side of things. 

Fable Writing Workshops
A two-hour activity where we show your students fables from the past and present, along with a few from James Thurber himself, and talk about what makes a good fable. They are given the opportunity to write and illustrate their very own fable or work with a partner. They conclude by sharing it with the class to see if they can guess the moral. This program is aimed toward 4th-6th grade students.

Ghost Story Workshops
A two-hour activity in which the students create funny and spooky stories based on the wild characters they create together as a class. The young writers will learn about character traits both physical and emotional, description, setting, and of course, a little bit of humor and suspense. The characters are created as a group, but when they write their own version of the story, anything goes! This program is aimed toward 4th-6th grade students.

Creative Writing 101
We have several teachers with different activities focusing on enhancing writing skills. From character development to adding suspense to using sensory details, the teachers pull out all types of unusual prompts and exercises that will have students using their imaginations, thinking outside the box, and secretly stretching their skills. In the past, we’ve offered classes with award-winning storyteller Jim Flanagan to work with students on suspense; Valerie Cumming and her Message in a Bottle activity where students must create and describe the island where they are stranded and then write to their friends in order to be saved; and long-time teacher Paul Hammock, who has a bag of writing tricks that has encouraged even the most stubborn student into creating an amazing story or two. These activities vary in length and age group. We largely work with the teacher or program director to bring a workshop that is tailored for their needs. Our teachers are not afraid to come up with new ideas if called upon.

For questions or to set up a meeting, please contact Meg Brown at 614-464-1032 x16 or Our goal is to spread the joy of writing to the young writers of tomorrow, and continue James Thurber’s legacy. We look forward to working with you and your students!

Thanks to the Greater Columbus Arts Council; the Bette Wallach Fund for Columbus, the Charlotte R. Haller Fund, and the Ingram-White Castle Foundation of The Columbus Foundation; and The Ohio Arts Council for their ongoing support of our programs.