Kick-start your story: Start writing the story you’ve always wanted, but didn’t know how to start. This spring we have expanded our Creative Writing workshop offerings. In addition to our Prose and Poetry workshops, we have added a 3 session Screenwriting workshop. Read on for more information.

PROSE Sessions

Saturdays, February 23, March 9 & 23, April 6

(note: the location of the April 6 session is to be determined)

The first set of 4 creative writing workshops will be based on the Riksha Workshop method, using reading, recall, exercises, visualization and writing. Anyone high school age or above, who would like to work on fully seeing and telling a story can participate. These workshops can help jumpstart the process. Maybe you’ve got a story in your head that you’ve been dying to tell. Maybe you’ve got a story, novel, play, script or screenplay you’d like to jumpstart. Come with a scene in mind. Leave with something on paper you can use to write the rest of the story, as well as a method for seeing and writing more.

Workshop Leaders:

Eduardo Cruz Eusebio is a former publisher-editor of magazines and newspapers. He has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Columbia College where he also taught fiction writing and small press publishing. Over the years, he has mentored successful publishers and writers, and is an award-winning fiction writer with publications in literary journals and magazines. The Chicago Reader in their annual fiction edition published his award-winning short story “Disappear”.

Chris Ike is a Chicago based writer working in the digital publishing field. He has participated in the MBT Creative Writing Workshop since 2015 and has led workshops from 2017 on. He is also a co-editor at riksha magazine.

POETRY Session

Saturday, April 13

The poetry session will be lead by Lani T. Montreal and will explore poetry through readings, discussion and writing.

Workshop Leader

Lani T. Montreal is a Filipina educator, writer, performer, and community activist based in Chicago. Her poems have been featured in journals and anthologies (among them, Rattle, Bloodstone, Garland Court Review, Love Gathers All, Pinoy Poetics, Hay(Na)Ku 15, and MiPoesias) and Finishing Line Press published her very first poetry collection, FANBOYS: Poems about Teaching and Learning, in Fall 2018. Lani writes poetry to create her home in the diaspora. She is the recipient of the 2015 3Arts Djerassi Residency for Playwriting, 2008 3Arts Ragdale Residency, the 2001 Samuel Ostrowsky Award for her memoir “Summer Rain,” and the 1995 JVO Philippine Award for Excellence in Journalism for her environmental expose “Poison in the River.” She is also a 2017 alumna of the Voices of Our Nation Arts (VONA) Writers’ Workshop and a 2018 alumna of the Poetry Foundation Summer Teachers Institute. A former journalist in the Philippines, Montreal currently teaches writing at Malcolm X College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago, and writes a blog called “Fil-in-the-gap” ( She lives and loves in Albany Park with her multi-species, multi-cultural family.


Saturdays, April 27, May 18 & June 1

The screenwriting sessions will led by Hannah Ii-Epstein and will introduce students to the elements of screenwriting, the structure, the lingo and students will write short screenwriting pieces.

Workshop Leader

Hannah Ii-Epstein (she/her/hers), born and raised on the North Shore of Oahu, recently received her MFA in Writing for the Screen + Stage at Northwestern University. In 2015 Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a B.A in Fiction Writing at Columbia College Chicago. She is a writer of fiction, poetry, screenplays, plays, and musicals. She is a member of the Hawaiian Civic Club and Aloha Center Chicago. She is a Co-Artistic Director, Board Member, and Founding Member of Nothing Without a Company. Since 2007, over ten of her plays and musicals have been produced in Hawaii and Chicago by Kumu Kahua Theatre, Nothing Without a Company, About Face Theatre’s Babes on Stage, Fury Theatre’s SAST, Mary-Arrchie’s Abbie Fest, and Nothing Special Production’s Fight Night. Hannah has participated as a writer in many 24 Hour Fests for Nothing Without a Company, Silent Theatre, Columbia College Chicago, and Northwestern University. She was awarded 30 under 30 in Windy City Times in 2014. Hannah’s film, Sweet, won Best Film Runner Up in Chicago’s 48 Hour Film Project in 2015. In 2016 Hannah and her play, Not One Batu, was honored by Hawai’i State Theatre Council Po’okela Awards in the categories of Non-Resident Guest Artist and Overall Play. In 2018 Not One Batu was Jeff and Reader Recommended in Chicago IL.



Saturdays, 9:30am – 12:30pm
  • PROSE Sessions: Saturdays, February 23, March 9 & 23, April 6
  • POETRY Session: Saturday, April 13
  • SCREENWRITING Sessions: Saturdays, April 27, May 18 & June 1


Midwest Buddhist Temple
435 W. Menomonee
Chicago, Ill 60614
(note: the location of the April 6 Prose session is to be determined)


  • PROSE Sessions (4 classes): $40 for the general public / $30 for MBT members. Alternatively, $15 general/$10 MBT member per class with reservation as available.
  • POETRY Session (1 class): $15 for the general public / $10 for MBT Members.
  • SCREENWRITING Sessions (3 classes): $40 for the general public / $30 for MBT members


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