Zoom

Upcoming classes: Zoom


Meghan Flaherty

MONDAYS, JAN. 25 — MAR. 1 |  Use your lunch break to learn how to write (or perfect) your personal essay. Take the time out of the madness around you to focus your attention on what it is you have to say. In this class, we will read and discuss one master work per week (drawn from the work of Jo Ann Beard, Jesmyn Ward, Leslie Jamison, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Cathy Park Hong, Jia Tolentino, Tressie McMillan Cottom, Alexander Chee, Kiese Laymon, Joan Didion, and others), while working (and workshopping) towards a finished draft of our own.

This class will be held via Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Meghan Flaherty is the author of Tango Lessons. She has an M.F.A. from Columbia University in literary nonfiction. Her essays and translations have appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, The Iowa Review, Psychology Today, and online at the New York Times, The Paris Review, and elsewhere.

 

Number of sessions: 6

Contact: ms.meghan.flaherty@gmail.com

Date: Mondays, January 25; February 1, 8, 15, 22; March 1

Time: 12:00 – 1:30pm Pacific time

Course fee: $350


Rita Chang-Eppig

MONDAYS, JAN. 25 — MAR. 1  |  There are innumerable great short stories by writers of color that don’t get the attention they deserve in more traditional writing classes. We designed this class to be a celebration of their work and a way for you to improve yours. By dissecting the stories of ZZ Packer, Daniel Orozco, Rajesh Parameswaran, and many other authors both domestic and international, we will learn elements of craft such as dialogue, description, and voice. There will also be writing exercises and opportunities to share and receive feedback on your own work.

This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please content the instructor directly for Zoom details.

 

Jesus Sierra

Jesus Sierra

Rita Chang-Eppig received her M.F.A. in fiction from NYU. Her stories have appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Conjunctions, Clarkesworld, Kenyon Review Online, Santa Monica Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the Writers Grotto, and the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University.

Jesus Francisco Sierra is a writer who immigrated from Cuba in 1969 to San Francisco’s Mission District. His work has appeared in ZYZZYVA, Gulf Stream Literary Journal, The Bare Life Review, The Caribbean Writer, The Marathon Literary Review, The Acentos Review, and Lunch Ticket, among others. His essays “How Baseball Saved My Life” and “Soul Music” are anthologized in Endangered Species, Enduring Values: An Anthology of San Francisco Area Writers of Color. He is a member of The Writers Grotto and was also part of the team that founded the Rooted & Written program by and for writers of color at The Grotto. He holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles and is also a licensed structural engineer.

Contact: r.c.eppig@gmail.com (Rita) or chiche415@gmail.com (Jesus)

Number of sessions: 6

Date: Mondays, January 25; February 1, 8, 15, 22; March 1

Time: 6:30 – 8:30pm Pacific time

Course fee: $350


Lisa Lerner

TUESDAYS, JAN. 26 — MAR. 2  |  Personal essay writing is critical during the middle and high school years and especially for college admissions. But this type of writing goes well beyond school. In today’s world, it is becoming ever more important for us to be able to tell our own stories to get jobs, promote ideas, and effect change. It’s never too early to start exercising this important writing muscle!

In this workshop, we will learn how to choose topics, write a compelling hook and introduction, develop ideas through personal anecdotes and observations, and reflect on our experiences to create powerful conclusions. Even though these essays are memoir-type nonfiction, they use many of the same tools that make our fictional stories come alive. The workshop will feature mini craft lessons based on relevant mentor texts, lots of fun in-class writing, and the ability to submit pages and receive feedback. Note: Personal essay subject matter may include the discussion of sensitive topics.

This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Lisa Lerner is the author of the crossover YA novel Just Like Beauty (FSG; a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, currently in development with Lars Von Trier as a movie shooting in 2021). For over 20 years, she has been writing numerous children’s stories for educational publishers such as Scholastic, McGraw Hill, and IXL. She is currently at work on her first full-length middle-grade novel that features talking bears and a very literate rat. You can find out more about her at www.lisalerner.com

Contact: writingismagic100@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 6

Dates: Tuesdays, January 26; February 2, 9, 16, 23; March 2

Time: 4:00 – 5:00pm Pacific Time

Course fee: $180


Laird Harrison

WEDNESDAYS, JAN. 27 — MAR. 17  |  Journalism shapes our understanding of the world, and never in living memory has its importance loomed so large. Sometimes thrilling, always challenging and occasionally dangerous, the profession offers opportunities to uncover truth, call out injustice, and reveal the world’s many delights. In this survey course, we’ll explore what journalists do and why. Students will practice elements of news writing, reporting, and featuring writing, and gain perspectives on multimedia, ethics and law. This introductory online course will provide a first step to people considering journalism as a vocation. It will also serve anyone who wants to improve their general written communication or simply understand the role that journalism plays in contemporary U.S. society.

Asynchronous learning materials for this class will be available online (via the Wet Ink platform). Scheduled class sessions will take place via Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Laird Harrison‘s career has spanned three continents and just about every genre of writing. He has endured tear gas for Reuters, traced the footsteps of a murderer for Time, covered medical breakthroughs for Discover, and documented soccer cheers for KQED. Always on the lookout for alternative paradigms, he described efforts to revive an indigenous California language for a Smithsonian video and investigated polyamory for Salon. He has taught writing at San Francisco State University, UC Berkeley Extension, and Mediabistro.

Contact: lairdharrison at gmail dot com

Number of sessions: 8

Dates: Wednesdays, January 27; February 3, 10, 17, 24; March 3, 10, 17

Time: 5:00pm – 6:30pm Pacific Time

Course fee: $399 early-bird discount (register by Jan. 20); $459 thereafter 


TUESDAYS, FEB. 2 – MAR. 9  |  This workshop-based class is designed for writers currently working on novels and ready to revise portions of their manuscripts. In our first session, students will share a bit about their works-in-progress and where they are in the writing process. We will also outline the rules for our workshop and discuss how best to give—and receive—helpful, constructive feedback. After that, our class time will be devoted to workshopping chapter-length sections from students’ novels, focusing on ways to deepen character depictions and motivations, hone narrative voice, and craft a compelling arc on a scene-by-scene basis. To supplement our workshop, we will also read and discuss excerpts from published novels to deepen our understanding of how great writers across genres use elements of craft and story to create gripping narratives and unforgettable characters. By the end of the course, each student will have the opportunity to receive feedback on their novel excerpts from classmates and the instructor at least twice. While this class does not have specific course requirements, it may be best suited for students who have taken Emily’s Intro to Novel-Writing class or another multi-week novel course.

This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Emily Holleman is the author of Cleopatra’s Shadows and The Drowning King (both Little Brown & Company), the first of which was long-listed for the HWA Debut Crown. She is currently working on a speculative novel set in California of the not-so-distant future. Her nonfiction has appeared in Elle, LitHub, Salon, and BookPage, among others.

Contact: emily@emilyholleman.com

Number of sessions: 6

Dates: Tuesdays, February 2, 9, 16, 23; March 2, 9

Time: 5:00 – 7:00pm Pacific Time

Course fee: $360


Lisa Lerner

THURSDAYS, FEB. 4 — MAR. 11  |  This class is for serious writers who have pages to share. Students will have a chance to submit work in progress at least twice during the workshop, and will learn how to give and receive feedback to help make their writing more lively and powerful

The ideal student for this class is a true lover of the written word — independently creating short stories or novels — who would like to know more about what they are doing right and how they can improve.

Mini craft lessons throughout the session will address students’ particular needs, based on their submitted work.

This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Lisa Lerner has been writing since she figured out how to hold a pencil. She is the published author of dozens of children’s books for the educational publishing market, as well as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year for adults (Just Like Beauty, FSG). Lisa has also been a writing tutor/coach for many years and has written so many lessons about how to teach writing she can now do that in her sleep. With almost no snoring! You can find out more about her at https://www.lisalerner.com/.

Contact: writingismagic100@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 6

Dates: Thursdays, February 4, 11, 18, 25; March 4, 11

Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm Pacific Time

Course fee: $180


Lisa Lerner

THURSDAYS, FEB. 4 — MAR. 11  |  This class is for serious writers who have pages to share. Students will have a chance to submit work in progress at least twice during the workshop, and will learn how to give and receive feedback to help make their writing more lively and powerful

The ideal student for this class is a true lover of the written word — independently creating short stories or novels — who would like to know more about what they are doing right and how they can improve.

Mini craft lessons throughout the session will address students’ particular needs, based on their submitted work.

This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Lisa Lerner has been writing since she figured out how to hold a pencil. She is the published author of dozens of children’s books for the educational publishing market, as well as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year for adults (Just Like Beauty, FSG). Lisa has also been a writing tutor/coach for many years and has written so many lessons about how to teach writing she can now do that in her sleep. With almost no snoring! You can find out more about her at https://www.lisalerner.com/.

Contact: writingismagic100@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 6

Dates: Thursdays, February 4, 11, 18, 25; March 4, 11

Time: 4:00 – 5:00pm Pacific Time

Course fee: $180


Jenny Bitner

THURSDAYS, FEB 4 — MAR. 18  |  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, Anaïs Nin made her diary her art, the surrealists played party games, and now novels are being written in tweets and texts. Each week we will explore different experimental styles from surrealism to postmodernism to hybrid writing and do exercises to loosen our minds and push us in new directions with our writing.

With daily writing prompts and in-class exercises, this class is great for beginning or experienced writers wanting to push their writing in new directions. In the first session, we will do a group hypnosis for creativity and for opening our imagination in new directions. We will also explore how to mine our unconscious minds for inspiration and depth through class exercises and practices.

This class is for experimenting and generating writing in new styles, but I have been teaching this class many years, and students are often happily surprised by the results of these experiments.

Asynchronous learning materials for this class will be available online (via the Wet Ink platform). Scheduled class sessions will take place via Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Jenny Bitner’s fiction and poetry has been published in Mississippi Review, The Fabulist, The Sun, Fence, Corium, Fourteen Hills, Mid-American Review, and PANK. Pine Press published a chapbook of her poetry entitled Mother. Her story “The Pamphleteer” was published in Best American Nonrequired Reading. Her work was also included in the anthology Writing That Risks. Her nonfiction has appeared in Utne Reader, To-Do List, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Men’s Health. She earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Virginia. She is also a certified hypnotherapist. Her novel Here Is A Game We Could Play is coming out Spring 2021 with Acre Books.

Contact: jenny.bitner@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 6

Dates: Thursdays, February 4, 11, 18, 25; March 11, 18 (no class March 4)

Time: 6:00 – 8:30pm (Pacific Time)

Course fee: $395


Jenny Bitner

SATURDAY, FEB. 6  |  What if there was a secret to get writing and keep writing?

In this class we will learn those secrets. We will explore the top five reasons that people get blocked. You will leave with new words on paper, inspiration and a plan to keep producing work. We all have times when we can’t face the page. Whether you are just getting started for the first time, or getting started on your fifth book, there are always moments when we lose the flow, but I will help you find it again.

After the class, I will send you 23 tips to keep you writing and an audio recording on self-hypnosis to get into the flow for writing!

This class will take place via Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Jenny Bitner’s fiction and poetry has been published in Mississippi Review, The Fabulist, The Sun, Fence, Corium, Fourteen Hills, Mid-American Review, and PANK. Her story “The Pamphleteer” was published in Best American Nonrequired Reading. She is a certified hypnotherapist and has a special interest in using the unconscious mind to harness creativity. Her novel Here Is A Game We Could Play is coming out Spring 2021 with Acre Books.

Contact: jenny.bitner@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 1

Dates: Saturday, February 6

Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm (Pacific Time)

Course fee: $75


Rachel Howard

SATURDAY, FEB. 20 | Why do some memoirs take off from the first page, while others stall out before the end of chapter one? More importantly: How can you make sure the book you’re writing gets all the necessary gears lined up on those all-important first ten pages?

In this combination craft lecture and trouble-shooting workshop, you’ll learn the three Cs of narrative engine: Character, Conflict, and Clock. What’s clock, you say? Glad you asked. It’s a simple but elusive element that’s crucial to your story’s drive—but many memoir writers don’t realize their pages are missing it. Character and conflict are also more complex than they first appear. Drawing from the teachings of novelist David Haynes and Lisa Cron’s excellent book Wired for Story, this class will demystify all three Cs, then lead you through exercises and instructor feedback to identify Character, Conflict, and Clock in your narrative. Does your character have a compelling inner issue? Is your conflict harnessed to a theme that makes it meaningful? You’ll leave this class with the major story elements of your memoir clarified, and your narrative engine ready to rev.

This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Rachel Howard is the author of a novel, The Risk of Us, and a memoir about her father’s unsolved murder, The Lost Night. Her personal essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Gulf Coast, Waxwing, the Los Angeles Review of Books, O, The Oprah Magazine, Berfrois, The New York Times Draft series, and elsewhere. She received an M.F.A. in fiction from Warren Wilson College, and later served there as interim director of undergraduate creative writing. She has also taught in the M.F.A. program of Saint Mary’s College. More on Rachel at www.rachelhoward.com

Contact: rachelhoward@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 1

Date: Saturday, February 20

Time: 10:00 – 2:00pm Pacific time

Course fee: $95


Lyzette WanzerWEDNESDAYS, MAR. 2 — 16  |  This workshop offers information, guidance, and support to underserved indigenous writers and writers of color who are applying to have their work accepted at a writers’ conference or convention, whether virtual or in-person. In a safe and supportive environment, we will explore how to:

  • choose the right writers’ conference for you
  • prepare a polished submission
  • make a professional impression from submission to attendance
  • create a conference plan
  • get financial support to attend
  • navigate concerns that arise for us as attendees of color
  • avoid common, costly mistakes in your CV and bio that mark you as an amateur

This workshop is open to writers of color of all levels who feel prepared to present their work at a professional writers’ conference.

This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Lyzette Wanzer’s work appears in over twenty-five literary journals and books, and she is a contributor to The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays (Wyatt-MacKenzie), The Naked Truth, Essay Daily, and San Francisco University High School Journal. A three-time San Francisco Arts Commission and Center for Cultural Innovation grant recipient, Lyzette serves as judge for the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition’s Intercultural Essay category. Lyzette has presented her work at literary conferences across the country, including ACA/PCA, AWP, CEA, FWRC, Litquake, and others. She is currently helming an essay anthology entitled Trauma, Tresses, & Truth: Untangling Our Hair through Personal Narrative.

Contact: AuthorLyzetteWanzer@LyzetteWanzerMFA.com

Number of sessions: 3

Dates: Tuesdays, March 2, 9, 16

Time: 5:30 – 7:30pm Pacific Time

Course fee: $250

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