Welcome to Off Campus Writers Workshop (OCWW), the oldest continuously running writing workshop in the country. 

Established in 1946, OCWW continues to serve writers of all genres in the greater metropolitan Chicago area. Each Thursday morning between September and May, OCWW speakers address writers on topics ranging from craft to publishing options to the business of writing. Many of our speakers offer professional manuscript critiques for a nominal fee. Achieve your individual writing goals while enjoying the camaraderie of fellow writers. Join us.

More questions? Email us.

Become a Member
Membership to OCWW is just $35 per year. While you do not need to be a member to attend season programs, OCWW membership offers outstanding privileges.


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Become a Speaker

OCWW speakers offer programs and workshops on a wide variety of topics related to writing of all kinds, from craft to markets to publishing. Contact us if you are an expert and would like to present at OCWW. 

Upcoming events

OCWW Summer Prompt Sessions

Bobbie Ruby will lead three Prompt Sessions as part of OCWW Summer Programs.


The leader gives a word or a phrase, usually something that can be taken many ways. The writers think for about fifteen seconds and then start writing whatever the subconscious presents. You don't think, you just write. Spelling and grammar do not count. No one else will see your paper. At the end of the writing time, we each read what we wrote, then we go around quickly and each person tells the author a word or phrase or image that was strong or vivid, or resonated. Resonance, it calls up in the reader a memory, or a feeling, or an experience that says the writing rings true and they will be willing to follow you into the place you are creating.


You don't bring any already-written material. You don't know ahead of time what the prompt will be. But you get helpful, supportive feedback and positive reinforcement for the things you are doing well. Prompts help you get past your internal editor or critic. They open memory drawers for both the writer and the reader. You can explore a prompt in your own voice as memoir or nonfiction or in the voice of a character in your fiction writing. It's a great way to discover back story, and also a sneaky way to break writer's block.


Bobbie is an OCWW board member and longtime member of OCWW. She usually writes under her birth name Roberta Bard. She has written and edited for several text book companies, published a YA biography of Sir Francis Drake for Scholastic, and short stories in Woman’s World, Cobblestone, and Twilight Tales. Her hymn lyrics won a national prize. She has led critique groups and prompt sessions in several venues.

*WHEN:  Thursday, August 25th from 9:30am-12:00pm. Please email Bobbie if you are coming to be sure we have enough chairs.*

WHERE: At Bobbie Ruby's home near Golf and McCormick (TJ Maxx) in Skokie (Evanston). Email her at rubybard@earthlink.net for directions.


*Prompt sessions are free, but you must be a member of OCWW.* If you paid your membership for 2015-2016 it includes this summer session. If you have paid your membership for 2016-2017 it will include this summer and also summer 2016. If you are not already a member, you can pay your membership dues for 2016-2017 at the Prompt Session.


Bring something to write with and something to write on. That's it.

*EMAIL BOBBIE RUBY if you are interested in attending Prompt Sessions @ rubybard@earthlink.net*

Best wishes for a wonderful summer from your friends at OCWW!  

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620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka, IL 60093

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