Reading and Writing Groups

If you want to join a non-credit workshop or discussion group, start here! A number of reading and writing groups convene at the Writers or online and most are open to new members. If you don't see the sort of group you hope to join, contact Writers House Director Jessica Lowenthal for ideas about how to start a new group.

Alumni Online Book Groups

For Penn Alumni and Penn families. To join an Online Book Group, all you need is an email account and a willingness to engage in free and perhaps freewheeling discussion of an interesting book. Groups convene online for a week, ten days, or a month and cover all kinds of writing. Recent discussions have included short stories by Richard Ford, poems by Emily Dickinson, and the films of Alfred Hitchcock.

The Body Electric

The Body Electric is a poetry collective of undergraduate students seeking to foster a love of poetry and writing across The University of Pennsylvania campus. Every Tuesday at 8:00 PM in Room 202, we meet for workshops, in which we peer edit, collaborate, and participate in prompted writing sessions. This year, the Body Electric will begin a zine of club members' work, attend events in the Philadelphia poetry community, and host club field-trips like writing poetry in Clark Park. Our name comes from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, whose break from tradition and linking of all life to poetry and beauty inspire us. We accept all poetic forms, from innovative to traditional, spoken word to graphic poetry, and we strive to cultivate an all-embracing spirit. To join, contact Meg Gladieux (, Sophie Young (, or Dylan Fritz (

Fibre Arts Circle

For avid stitchers and beginners - join us Sundays at 6 in Room 203 starting March 22nd 2020! Feel free to bring a current project or start a new one - some supplies provided. Email for more information.

Lacan Study Group

The Philadelphia Lacan Study Group & Seminar has been meeting since 1989. It is an open seminar devoted to the discussion of Lacan's main ideas and their application to broader clinical, social, and cultural issues. It functions by discussions of individual texts and presentations by internationally distinguished guest speakers. The Philadelphia Lacan Study Group aims to foster an atmosphere of collective work by which to advance Lacanian theory and practice. All are welcome. Project Director: Patricia Gherovici (

Penn and Pencil Club

A creative writing workshop for Penn and Health Systems Staff. If you're a Penn employee and want to work on your creative writing, contact Luellen Fletcher (


A writing group for those who create worlds of fantasy, science fiction and horror. Whether your medium is short story, novel, or screenplay, bring an idea to discuss, pages to read, or a writer's block to smash, in the company of like minded visionaries. Please contact Sara Tindley ( for details.

Sit & Write

A free, unstructured, drop-in/out creative writing group for those who work best in the presence of others. Please consider bringing headphones if they help you concentrate, something to write with/on, and a shareable snack (all optional). Books of prompts are available to alleviate writer’s block. The group meets most Saturdays, from 12:00-3:00pm. Email Julian at ( for more details.

Suppose An Eyes

A poetry working group where poets can come to share and discuss their work. Open to all. Contact Pat Green (


Transversal is a literary translation collective based in the Philadelphia area. Our members bring every possible experience level to the table in 35 languages and counting. If you're interested in the art of bringing art from one language into another, join our focused work sessions, laid-back workshops, and special events by filling out this form:

Virginia Woolf Discussion Group

For Virginia Woolf, the politics is in the writing. With this in mind, our discussions will focus on Woolf's language and how it functions in her texts. Specific works will be chosen by the group after our first meeting. At this meeting we'll discuss her essay-writing practice, and focus on her 1940 essay: "Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid." This essay - quite relevant to our world today - is available online, or in Virginia Woolf's /The Death of the Moth./ The discussion will range from Michel de Montaigne to the Dixie Chicks.

Group leader Judith Allen holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Delaware. A Virginia Woolf scholar, she has taught at the University of Delaware, Penn State University, and Penn's College of General Studies. She has published articles on the writings of Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, and is currently writing a book on Virginia Woolf and language.

Writers Workshop

For writers, published or working in that direction, interested in sharing their stories while giving and receiving feedback. This is a mixed genre group -- fiction writers, memoirists, creative nonfiction writers and essayists. Writing is submitted via the Internet, but critiqued in person using a traditional writers workshop format with scheduled meetings. We currently meet via Zoom. For more information, please contact Martha Turner (

34th Street Poets

For more than ten years, the 34th Street Poets have met weekly to workshop new poems, identifying the strengths in each poem and mapping out possible revisions to improve it. Their work ranges from experimental forms to carefully crafted sonnets. The group is not currently taking new members.