Sin and Syntax Workshop: Grammar Brush-up for Writers (with Constance Hale)


Constance Hale

Constance Hale

Contact: kailani2123@gmail.com

Course fee: $60

Number of sessions: 1

Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Date: Saturday, September 12

Course fee: $60

Six hours, 60 bucks, free bagels, buckets of grammar.  How can you resist? Grotto member Connie Hale will lead you through a series of hilarious exercises to perk up your writing in surprising ways. (We’ll use Sin and Syntax as our guide, but dip also into Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch.) Writers will stretch new muscles, disabuse themselves of bad habits, and duke it out in a war of words. We’ll also talk about how to cultivate that most elusive of literary elements: the writer’s voice.  VIEW DETAILS →

Advanced Screenwriting Workshop (with Xandra Castleton)


Xandra Castleton

Xandra Castleton

Contact: xandra@sfgrotto.org

Number of sessions: 10

Time: 6:30 pm  – 9:00 pm

Dates:  Thursdays, September 17- November 19

Course fee: $650

This course is focused on the production and revision of screenplay pages or outlines in an intimate, supportive, and knowledgeable workshop atmosphere. It is designed for writers who have previously taken an introductory screenwriting course or the equivalent, with a screenplay underway.

Writers will present up to ten script pages or a revised outline every other week. A work plan and deadlines will be set at the beginning of the course in an optional consultation with the instructor.

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Radio and Podcasting 101 (with Grace Rubenstein, Julia Scott and Lorraine Sanders)


Lorraine Sanders, Grace Rubenstein and Julia Scott

Lorraine Sanders, Grace Rubenstein, Julia Scott

Contact: lorraine@lorrainesanders.com

Number of sessions: 1

Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Date: Sunday, September 20

Course fee: $160 (before August 15), $175 (after August 15)

Audio is a powerful medium that’s surging in popularity. It’s never been easier to produce high quality audio to get your message out, whether for radio stories, podcasting, personal promotion or business branding. But how do you get started? Three veteran journalists of public radio and podcasting show you the basics of how to record great audio, conduct killer interviews, edit seamlessly, and get your audio creations out into the world.  VIEW DETAILS →

The Art of Memoir: Drawing Readers Into Your World (with Louise Nayer)


Louise Nayer

Louise Nayer

Contact: louisenayer@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 2

Meeting time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Dates: Sundays, September 20 & 27

Course fee: $155

How do you draw readers into the world of your memoir—whether it’s set in a subway station in New York City, or an outpost in Alaska? In this 6-hour intensive class, we’ll go over the basic elements of great memoir writing. Exercises will help you heighten language through sensory detail, learn the difference between scene and summary, and deal with time shifts by using flashback and slow-motion techniques. We will also review the more challenging aspects of point of view, so you can find the right voice and fully engage your readers.  VIEW DETAILS →

Freelancing Bootcamp (with Anisse Gross)


Anisse Gross

Anisse Gross

Contact: anissegross@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 1

Time: 10:30 am – 4:00 pm

Date: Sunday, September 20

Course fee: $125

Breaking into the world of freelance writing can seem mysterious and downright impossible at the outset. Maybe you’re thinking: How will I make enough money? How do I write a pitch? Where should I be pitching my work? How can I successfully pitch without a portfolio or any published clips?

It took me several years of pitfalls, wrong turns, financial struggling, over-caffeinated meltdowns, and learning on the job to make it successfully as a freelance writer. In this 1-day bootcamp, I will teach you the fundamentals of how to successfully begin freelancing for a variety of publications including magazine, newspapers, websites, and other forms of paid writing and editing work.  VIEW DETAILS →

Pushing the Boundaries: Experiments in Writing (with Jenny Bitner)


Jenny Bitner

Jenny Bitner

Contact: jennybit@yahoo.com

Number of sessions: 6

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Dates: Tuesdays, September 22, 29; October 6, 13, 20, 27

Course fee: $385

What happens when we approach writing like an experiment? Our minds are open, our writing is deep, and there is no room for writers’ block or cliché ideas. Burroughs used cut-up writing, Anais Nin made her diary her art, and now novels are being written in tweets and texts. Each week we will explore different experimental styles from surrealism to postmodernism and do exercises to loosen our minds and push us in new directions with our writing.  VIEW DETAILS →

Poetry Writing Challenge: A Poetry Workshop (with Emily Wolahan)


Emily Wolahan

Emily Wolahan

Contact: emilywolahan@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 4

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Dates: Wednesdays, September 23, 30; October 7, 14

Course fee: $260

Because sitting down and writing can be one of the most challenging acts for any writer, this workshop is designed to ask you to find a corner, a desk, an armchair, and write at least one poem a week. It will be a space in which you’ll be able to give yourself permission to write a poem that may not be your best poem, then to write another. You’ll be able to share those poems in a workshop setting that will concentrate less on line edits than on a holistic approach to the vision of the poem.  VIEW DETAILS →

Intensive Novel Writing Workshop (with Glen David Gold)


Glen David Gold

Glen David Gold

Contact: glenxgold@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 8

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Date: Wednesdays, September 23 — November 11

Course fee: $540

When you’re working, there is an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. One of them is telling you the work is great; the other is telling you it’s terrible — but which is which? There is no place better for a novel to go from good to great than in a room of concerned, interested, contrary, helpful people who all agree that for the three hours a week we meet that fiction writing is the most important thing you can do.  VIEW DETAILS →

Writing the Personal Essay for Publication (with Laura Fraser)


Laura Fraser

Laura Fraser

Contact: laura@laurafraser.com

Number of sessions: 3

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Date: Thursdays, September 24; October 1 and 8

Course fee: $200

How do you take your personal writing from your journal or blog to publication? This class will explore how to write a personal essay—and how to get it published. We’ll talk about which of your experiences have universal appeal, how to shape your story, and when your personal writing is just too personal. We’ll also look at how to structure a personal essay, grabbing the reader’s attention and tugging them along to a satisfying ending. This class works for writers of all levels.  VIEW DETAILS →

Creative Nonfiction: The First 10 Pages (with Julia Scheeres)


Julia Scheeres

Julia Scheeres

Contact: juliascheeres@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 1

Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 noon

Date: Sunday, September 27

Course fee: $85

The first 10 pages of a book are arguably the most important. The author must set up the story, infuse it with drama, and captivate the reader. Crafting a successful opening will help you set the stage for the rest of your book. What works? Strong characters. Artful language. Drama. A clear sense of theme and direction. A mystery.

In this seminar, we will dissect the first 10 pages of two notable works of narrative nonfiction, discussing the underlying structure.  VIEW DETAILS →