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"Research like a Pro" ONLINE with Sindya Bhanoo

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9/12/2020 From 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

$49 for members (sign in for member pricing)

This class is a part of the Writer's Toolbox Online Class Package.

Fiction is, by definition, made up. But writing strong fiction, and certainly non-fiction, often requires a fair amount of research.

In this half-day class, we will discuss strategies that journalists use to do research and gather information for their stories. How much can be done by looking at images and documents on the Internet? Once you find a good source, what questions should you ask? What, exactly, are we on the lookout for anyway? How do you synthesize what you find? And when is it time to stop and just write?

When done effectively, incorporating research into your writing provides a lucidity that is palpable to readers. It invites them to parachute into the world of your characters, to time travel, to experience life in a brand new way. To believe. Research can also help you, the writer, cut to the heart of your story. This is a generative class. We will incorporate the strategies we discuss into several exercises. You will leave this class with some new tools and new ways of thinking about your work.



  • You're writing fiction, short stories, and non-fiction. 
  • You want to inject your work with details that will elevate your story. 
  • You don't know when and how to do research for your creative work. 


Sindya Bhanoo has worked as a reporter for The New York Times, where she was the longtime Observatory columnist, and The Washington Post, where she is still a frequent contributor.

She is a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and the Michener Center for Writers, where she was a finalist for the Keene Prize for Literature in 2018 and 2019.

Her fiction has appeared in or is forthcoming in Glimmer Train, Granta, The Masters Review and elsewhere. She was the 2020 winner of the DISQUIET Literary Prize and her work has received support from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her first book of fiction is forthcoming in 2022.






$49 members (sign in for member pricing)

$109 nonmembers

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page and Online Classes



Online registration will close at 5 p.m. CDT on Friday, September 11. If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it. If you prefer this option, please email with a copy of the form as well. We are working out of our office at this time.

Once a purchase has been made, tickets are not refundable and registration cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a ticket and then find you cannot attend, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at or 512-499-8914 and let us know so that we can update the class roster.



Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven't taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to give us a call at 512-499-8914 if you'd like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.



Once you register for the class, you'll receive an email with detailed instructions. You should expect 2-2.5 hours of direct teaching and 30 minutes of Q&A (for three hours total). If you need to leave the class early or can't attend the class on that date, all registrants will have access to the recording for one week after the class date. No microphone or camera required, just an Internet connection capable of streaming video.

A couple of days before the class, you will receive an email with login information. Plan to log in to the online platform several hours before the class so that you can update your computer's Flash or any other settings required to access the platform. (Updates usually take only a few minutes, but you don't want to wait until the beginning of class.) Questions? Email us at or call at 512-499-8914.

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at


Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to


This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit


This project is supported in part by the Mid-America Arts Alliance. For more information, go to