Steve Almond

Five Things I've Learned About

The Wisdom of Failure

LIVE: Sunday, November 125:00pm pacific / 8:00pm eastern

Join bestselling writer and teacher Steve Almond in this live, two-hour class and discover the Five Things He’s Learned about accepting failure as a necessary step to success – and about reframing creative failures as opportunities for learning and growth.

Online Event Details

  • 120 minutes


  • Single-Class Ticket. - $60.00
Add to Calendar 11/12/2023 05:00 PM 11/12/2023 06:00 PM America/Los_Angeles Steve Almond | The Wisdom of Failure

Join bestselling writer and teacher Steve Almond in this live, two-hour class and discover the Five Things He’s Learned about accepting failure as a necessary step to success – and about reframing creative failures as opportunities for learning and growth.

Join me in this live, two-hour class and discover the Five Things I’ve Learned about accepting failure as a necessary step to success – and about reframing creative failures as opportunities for learning and growth.

I’m Steve Almond. I’m a writer, and a teacher. And I hope you’ll join me for my upcoming class, Five Things I’ve Learned about the Wisdom of Failure.

In 2022, at the tender age of 55, I published a book called All the Secrets of the World. It was my first published novel. But it was actually the fifth novel I’d written. The other four were never published, though I worked on them for years and years. The truth is, I’ve spent most of my career defining myself as a failed novelist. I don’t recommend this kind of thinking to fellow writers (or to artists of any kind), but my sense is that most of us succumb to it on some level. Rather than esteeming our own efforts, and triumphs, we obsess over our failures.

This happens, in large part, because we’re told to hide our failures —directly and indirectly, a million times a day. It turns out, that’s the wrong approach.

In this two-hour, freewheeling class, I’ll discuss what I’ve come to learn is the right approach, which is to accept failure as a necessary step on the way to success, and to reframe our creative failures as opportunities for learning and growth. What I mean, more precisely, is that my “failed” novels were, in fact, the key to my eventual success.

By studying my novels in all their wretched, overwritten, under-plotted glory, I was able to understand my patterns as a writer. I was able, too, to learn from my mistakes. Rather than viewing these books as artistic failures, I was eventually able to understand them as tools for learning. And I used all I learned from this reconsideration over and over again in the writing of my fifth novel.

In our time together, I’ll talk about how I came to understand the wisdom of failure. I’ll share the process by which I came to understand that it was, in fact, it was the writing of my earlier books that ultimately allowed me to to work through all the familiar pitfalls I eventually worked beyond to create All the Secrets of the World. In particular, I’ll talk about how I was able move past things like writer’s block, a meandering plot, and the loss of faith and imaginative engagement – things that, in the past, had always signaled doom.

More than anything, this is a story with a happy ending. And it’s a story, I believe, that applies to every creative endeavor. If you’ve ever failed at a creative endeavor and hidden that failure (and the feeling that comes from failure) this is the class for you.

I hope you’ll join me.

-Steve Almond

Steve Almond

Steve Almond is the author of twelve books of fiction and nonfiction, including the New York Times bestsellers All the Secrets of the World, Candyfreak and Against Football. His recent books include William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life, which is about reading and writing and the struggle to pay attention to our lives, and Bad Stories, a literary investigation of the 2016 election.

For four years, Steve hosted the New York Times Dear Sugars podcast with his pal Cheryl Strayed. His short stories have been anthologized widely, in the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Erotica, and Best American Mysteries series.

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If you purchase a ticket in time to join the class live, you can view the archive as soon as it’s posted, as often as you like. Look for an email with information about how to access the course archive within 48 hours of the end of the live class. Once you get it, you’ll have all the information you need to access it as you like across any and all devices you own.

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There are two things to know:

  • Unfortunately, we can only accept cancellations and refunds up to 48 hours before a scheduled session.
  • There is sure to be a lapse in time between the time we refund your order and the time a corresponding credit appears on your credit card statement. So that you’re not left waiting and wondering, we’ll contact you as soon as we’ve processed the credit in our system.

For reasons we hope you’ll understand – the biggest of them the fact that we make a point of compensating the folks who host Five Things I’ve Learned classes as quickly as we can – we can’t accommodate refunds for tickets purchased within 48 of the start of a scheduled live event. We can also accommodate refund requests for the purchase of an archived session only within 24 hours from the time of purchase.

If you’ve purchased a ticket for this online class and you find that for some reason you can’t make the live session, you have two choices:

  • The first: View the session archive. You can view the session archive as soon as it’s posted – or any time, as often as you like. We’ll make an archive of this class available within 48 hours of the live session, and we’ll send every ticket holder details on how they can view it. As a ticket holder, you’re able to view this full session archive any time– as often as you like.
  • The second: Request a refund. Just send a note to, and we’ll help sort things out. Please keep in mind that we can only accommodate refund requests made more than 48 hours from the start of a live session.

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