Upcoming classes: Nonfiction
SUNDAY, JUNE 2 | Whether you’ve always dreamed of writing professionally, you already do, or you’d like to figure out how to create better content for your job or business, this class will improve your writing in one day – guaranteed! After some coffee, we’ll start off with Story and Structure in the morning. This will help you start the writing process: from getting over writers’ block, understanding your audience and purpose, doing research, brainstorming ,and creating an outline so that your writing is engaging, logical, smooth, and satisfying to the reader. We’ll also remind you of stuff you should’ve learned in high school but may have forgotten: how to avoid the dreaded passive voice, weak verbs, excess verbiage, and a corporate or academic tone.→ READ MORE
SUNDAY, JUNE 9 | Michel de Montaigne, perhaps the father of the personal essay, wrote, “I have never seen a greater monster or miracle than myself.” That sums up the personal essay — identifying the monster within and transforming it into something miraculous. Whether it’s a small realization or a dramatic triumph over tragedy, the personal essay takes the reader on a journey where the writer — and reader — come out different on the other side. This day-long class will teach you the basics of writing essays about your life, and you’ll finish the class (miracle!) with an outline for an essay of your own.
MONDAYS, JULY 8-29; AUGUST 5-12 | You have a story to tell about your life, but don’t know where to begin. The tendency is to start at the beginning and plod along, but that rarely makes for a compelling read. Writing guru William Zinsser suggested starting the process by writing vivid scenes, the moments that have the most emotion – the most juice – and then slowly letting the memoir take shape in theme and structure. In this class, we will work on those beginning scenes, and over time, see where your memoir, fiction, or essay is going.→ READ MORE
WEDNESDAYS, July 10, 17 & 24 |
For a freelance journalist, essayist, nonfiction writer, or marketing professional, pitch letters not only generate work but also can help open doors, build new relationships, or kickstart a career. A really great pitch has power, so it’s no wonder that writing one (plus targeting it to the right publication and getting it in front of the right person) can be so challenging.
In this class, you’ll gain new insights into what editors are looking for and learn new ways to make your pitch letters as compelling as possible. Each class will include tips on sharpening your story ideas and presenting them to editors, plus time for workshopping student pitches.→ READ MORE
SUNDAY, July 14 | Michel de Montaigne, one of the masters of the personal essay, wrote, “I have never seen a greater monster or miracle in the world than myself.” Personal essays are stories of transformation – a journey of revealing and exploring that monster within, and taming it into self-knowledge. A personal essay is full of specific details of an experience that reveal a universal truth. In this one-day class, we’ll look at some examples of great personal essays, talk about the structure of an essay, spark some ideas for your topics, and set you on course to write your own.→ READ MORE
THURSDAYS, JULY 18-25; AUGUST 1-29; Sept 5 |
Writing memoir draws upon all of us. We are the writer, the narrator, and the character living the events recounted. But which events, and how recounted? Many of us start with a specific period of time or relationship in mind; others memoirists travel over decades in pursuit of a thematic connection. The hardest part is deciding how to organize it all. Our stories rarely leap fully-formed to the page, however well we think we remember all the pieces.
This class will provide concrete help through exploration and practice of such craft elements as narrative distance, scene and summary, and the handling of time.→ READ MORE
SATURDAYS, JULY 20-27; AUGUST 3-17 | This class is designed as a follow-up to Work in Progress Workshop. It is limited to students who have taken the Work in Progress Workshop (or the equivalent) by the end of June 2019. Students will need to have 10-15 pages ready for workshop by the first class session. If you have not taken Work in Progress Workshop, please write to me to see if this class meets your needs before signing up.
This class focuses exclusively on the exchange and reading of your fiction or narrative nonfiction (including memoir).→ READ MORE
SUNDAY, JULY 21 | Whether you’ve always dreamed of writing professionally, you already do, or you’d like to figure out how to create better content for your job or business, this class will improve your writing in one day – guaranteed!
After some coffee, we’ll start off with Story and Structure in the morning. This will help you start the writing process: from getting over writers’ block, understanding your audience and purpose, doing research, brainstorming ,and creating an outline so that your writing is engaging, logical, smooth, and satisfying to the reader. We’ll also remind you of stuff you should’ve learned in high school but may have forgotten: how to avoid the dreaded passive voice, weak verbs, excess verbiage, and a corporate or academic tone.→ READ MORE
SUNDAY, AUGUST 4 | This one-day workshop is designed to help you get your ideas, work, and opinions out into the world. Whether you are writing political OpEd pieces, blogs, or other persuasive pieces, this day will help you nail your expertise and express your point of view. Please come with an issue you’d like to write about.
There are spots in this class for low-income people for 50% off. Please only register as low-income if you truly can’t afford the full price; you will be taking a spot away from someone else. If you’ve spent more than $100 on dinner recently, or ride a bus from SF to Silicon Valley every day, you don’t qualify.→ READ MORE
SATURDAY, AUGUST 10 | Getting published is a thrill, but competition is stiff. To succeed, you have to carefully plan your career.
In this survey course, you’ll create a roadmap to your fondest literary ambitions. Do you want to make money? Get published in top magazines? Hit the bestseller list? You’ll learn to evaluate the market for your work by analyzing your strengths and weaknesses, finding your competitive edge and identifying your niche. You’ll lay out each step you must take to get from where you are to where you want to be.
This course will include a concise overview of the following topics:
- Setting goals
- Psychological obstacles
- Market research
- Negotiating rates
- Time management
- Professional organizations
- Working with literary agents
- Developing relationships with editors and publishers
This class is open to both new and mid-career writers pursuing their passion for the word.→ READ MORE