STLWW & R2R Workshop Series

St. Louis Writers Workshop & River-to-River

On-site and online workshops offered by accomplished authors and instructors who hold advanced degrees and distinguished publishing credentials

About STLWW & R2R

St. Louis Writers Workshop (STLWW)


The celebrated St. Louis Writers Workshop (STLWW) series serves writers in the United States’ 19th-largest metropolitan area.

Since its founding in 1997 by Denise Pattiz Bogard, the STLWW has been devoted to promoting excellence and professional success in writing.  Subsequent Director Angela Mitchell expanded the STLWW and was honored in 2011 by the Riverfront Times as a MasterMind recipient for her work in the literary arts. 

River-to-River (R2R)


Current STLWW Co-Directors Amy Jo Sayre Baptista and Joanna Beth Tweedy are delighted to continue to serve writers in the St. Louis region and will continue to expand the series in the spirit of Bogard's founding mission and Director Emeritus Mitchell's inspiring growth initiatives.

The expanded workshop series, River-to-River (R2R), will encompass additional states and regions, including Kentucky, Arkansas, and Illinois.



Participants have included graduate students, teachers, lawyers, physicians, technical professionals, retirees, full-time parents, beginning writers, published writers, “rusty”  writers, and writers who need a jump-start.  We also offer special teen workshops for young writers. 

The main criteria for all participants are the desire to write, the willingness to share their voice in a workshop setting, and an openness to the receptivity of others in the setting, which will inform their work. 



STLWW and R2R faculty are highly accomplished authors, writing instructors, editors, and literary agents who hold advanced degrees and distinguished publishing credentials.  

Workshops are intended to give structured feedback to writers in a setting that is professional but also comfortable and inclusive.  We are thrilled to team up with the Kranzberg Foundation in this endeavor.  

Most of our regular workshops are capped at 10-15 participants.  Larger, special-event classes are occasionally offered.

STLWW & R2R Masthead

Denise Pattiz Bogard, MFA, St. Louis Writers Workshop Founder


Denise earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Missouri St. Louis and a BS in journalism and history from Indiana University. Her first novel, The Middle Step, was released in 2015. Her most recent novel, After Elise, was named a finalist in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Contest. 

Denise is the founder and former director of the St. Louis Writers Workshop. Most recently, she coordinated the writing program at Lift for Life Academy.

Angela Mitchell, MFA, St. Louis Writers Workshop Director Emeritus & Faculty


Angela is director emeritus of the St. Louis Writers Workshop and an associate editor for december magazine. She is the author of Unnatural Habitats & Other Stories (WTAW Press, 2018).  

Her stories have appeared in numerous journals, including the Colorado Review, New South,  Carve, Midwestern Gothic, and storySouth, among others. She was awarded the Colorado Review’s Nelligan Prize for Short  Fiction and given special mention in The Pushcart Prize XXXV. 

An eighth generation native of the Ozarks of southern Missouri, her work has been included in The Best Small Fiction 2018 and she was honored as a MasterMind recipient by the Riverfront Times for her work in the literary arts. 

She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Missouri St. Louis as well as an MEd in higher education from the University of Arkansas. 

Amy Jo Sayre Baptista, MFA, Co-Director


Amy is an author and recipient of numerous awards for her poetry and fiction, which have appeared in The Best Small Fictions, Ninth Letter, The Butter, and Alaska Quarterly Review, among others.   

Her collection, Primitivity, is a Black River Competition Winner (Black Lawrence Press, 2019).  

A SAFTA fellow, a CantoMundo Poetry fellow, and a fiction scholarship recipient to the Disquiet Literary Festival in Lisbon, Portugal, Amy has performed her work at various venues including The Poetry Foundation in Chicago and the St Louis BookFest.    

She is also a performer with Kale Soup for the Soul, a Portuguese-American artist’s collective, and a co-founder of Plates & Poetry, a community arts program focused on food and writing.  

She holds an MFA in Fiction from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has taught at Benedictine University as well as in a variety of outreach venues, and she currently teaches Humanities at WGU.

Joanna Beth Tweedy, PhD, Co-Director


An ardent foreign-adventurist with chronic and gravitational home-soil leanings, Joanna Beth is the founding editor and host of Quiddity (NPR Illinois).  She serves as an executive writing coach for senior leaders at the Center for Values-Driven Leadership and teaches at WGU.  

Joanna Beth has presented widely throughout the United States and internationally on her research interests, which include flourishing, leadership, publishing, linguistic dialects, and writing. Publications include a novel and two book-length works on creative poiesis and leadership from (respectively) Southeast Missouri University Press, Benedictine University, and the University of Delhi; poems and short stories; as well as chapters and articles in journals related to leadership and creative craft.   

With degrees in values-driven leadership (PhD), English (MA), and education (BS), Joanna Beth has served as faculty-in-residence at the University of Illinois, an Associate Professor of Arts & Letters, and a Dean of Academic Affairs at Benedictine University.  

Joanna Beth lives and loves in a foothilled fraction of the Ozarks steeped in the wonders of nature and the blessings of generations.