Roohi
Choudhry

helping words find direction
roohi teaching
Photo: Emily Ahn Levy

For more than a decade, I’ve taught hundreds of students in creative writing classes and community workshops as well as individual coaching. Teaching writing has become an abiding passion as well as an expression of kinship.

Upcoming Virtual Classes

Whose Story? Our Story! Digital Design, Interactive Fiction, and Power

  • For Teens (13–17)
  • Saturdays, September 19 and 26. 1pm Central Time
  • Two Sessions

In this class, co-taught by a writer and an interaction designer, we will explore storytelling and power in terms of writing craft as well as digital design and games. Through writing prompts and discussion, you’ll develop your own interactive story in which the audience gets to choose how the story unfolds and ends. And you’ll learn how to use a free digital platform for writing interactive stories to translate your story idea into a web-based narrative game that you can share with friends!

More details & registration @ The Loft

Writing the Familiar into Strange: A One Day Generative Workshop

  • For Adults
  • Tuesday, September 15th. 6pm — 8pm Central Time
  • One Session

If you’re feeling sapped of creativity and craving escape from the mundane, inspiration is right in front of you. This is a generative writing class about unearthing strange stories inside familiar rooms. We’re accustomed to searching for ideas in the outside world — sketching from nature or capturing family drama or scribbling down overheard conversations on the street. In this class, we turn inward. We’ll mine the drips and drabs from everyday objects and incorporate magic, fantasy and horror to turn the banal into the babadook. Using discussions, readings, prompts and games, we’ll spot the spooky stories hiding within familiar rooms, books, songs and memories.

More details & registration @ The Austin Bat Cave

From Instinct to Story Arc

  • For Adults
  • Saturday, September 19. 9am - Noon Central Time
  • Single Session

You’ve heard of this thing called “structure.” You know your novel, memoir, or short story needs it. But you’re happy to leave English class essay outlines far, far behind you—along with mean girls and pocket squares. There is a better way. Forget analytical left-brain plot hacks rooted in Western patriarchal hegemony. Instead, approach structure from the power of your creative instinct. In this class, we’ll discuss building frames for your creative writing by decoding the yearning and themes at the heart of your project.

More details & registration @ The Loft

Upside Down: Writing the Familiar into Strange

  • For Adults
  • Tuesdays, October 13th — November 17th. 6:00pm — 8:30pm Central Time
  • 6-week Online Workshop

If you’re feeling sapped of creativity and craving escape from the mundane, inspiration is right in front of you. This is a generative writing class about unearthing strange stories inside familiar rooms. We’re accustomed to searching for ideas in the outside world — sketching from nature or capturing family drama or scribbling down overheard conversations on the street. In this class, we turn inward. We’ll mine the drips and drabs from everyday objects and incorporate magic, fantasy and horror to turn the banal into the babadook. Using discussions, readings, prompts and games, we’ll spot the spooky stories hiding within familiar rooms, books, songs and memories.

More details & registration @ The Austin Bat Cave

Free Write-Ins (Every Week)

  • For Everyone
  • Fridays 2pm - 3:15pm Eastern Time
  • Session every week

Do you wish there was a place you could go for writing inspiration and practice? Where you could hang out with other writers? Without needing to make a long-term commitment or spend a lot of money? Gotham Write-Ins are that place. Here’s what happens. The teacher gives an interesting writing prompt. Everyone writes for a while. Then volunteers may read their work aloud. You take a break and socialize. Then you go through the process one more time. For now, all over Zoom, and all free.

More details & registration @ Gotham

Creative Writing 101 at the Gotham Writers' Workshop

  • For Adults
  • Thursdays, September 10 - October 15. 2pm - 5pm Eastern Time
  • 6-week Online Workshop

Are you eager to test the waters of creative writing but not sure where to start, or how? Have you written previously but been away for a while and hope to dip back in? Here you will be guided surely and safely into the writing life. There’s no pressure to work on a specific project or even settle on which type of creative writing you prefer. The idea is to explore—see with a writer’s eyes, spark ideas to life, gain confidence, and experiment with both fiction and nonfiction.

More details & registration @ Gotham

I have never taken a creative writing class before. But as a teenager, I spent hours writing towards a "book." Coming to the US and getting just bloody red papers back, I got so mortified that I gave up on it. This class really made me feel like I can do this, and don't have to give up on it. As long as I continue to refine and practice, I can return to something I have missed very much. I am looking forward to a new creative journey!

– Nathalie Pham, Fiction I student

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One-on-One Coaching

Imagine getting a classroom to yourself, where you only discuss what interests you (with no one listening in), and move at the pace that suits your process. If you love learning and want to do it your way, this is for you. Contact me for a free 20-minute consultation to learn more.

Roohi provided exactly the kind of high-concept fundamentals that I needed to give my work structure and direction. She gave me the tools to be able to be able to think deeply and critically about my own work. As a result I am able to apply far greater critical rigor to my work. I now have the tools to make sure that my writing is working as hard as it can in pursuit of my story's development, my characters' development and the book's eventual resolution.

– Tasha Kosviner, Coaching Client

roohinala [at] gmail [dot] com (Get in Touch)

Editing & Sensitivity Reading

Need a critical eye for your short stories, essays, memoir or novel? I’m honest and will tell it like it is, but I don’t believe in tearing your hard work to shreds. I firmly believe that each person’s story is worth telling, and I want to help you do it justice. Sensitivity reading is a special kind of review looking for representation or bias issues, especially in situations where the writer is working outside his or her community or culture. Take a look at my bio to see if my perspective would be right for your manuscript.

I came to Roohi with a collection of short stories that didn’t feel finished. This collection was weighing on my heart because I wanted to tell these stories on a way that would be effective, powerful and reach my target audience. After several months of working with Roohi, I have finally found my voice. She’s so good at targeting the points in my writing that need work and providing concrete solutions.

– Emily Rose, Editing & Manuscript Review Client

Finding a sensitivity editor who is a good match for a book project can be a daunting task. I’m so incredibly grateful I found Roohi. Her editorial letter was focused and cut to the heart of the story I was trying to tell. She pinpointed specific issues regarding character development and plot. She helped me to more deeply consider the historical context of the novel, and guided me to add more nuance to the characters and their conflicts. Roohi did not just tell me what aspects of the books needed improvement – she gave me suggestions about how to improve the book. She was timely, gracious, and professional and I look forward to working with her again soon.

– Anjali Enjeti, Sensitivity Reading client

roohinala [at] gmail [dot] com (Get in Touch)