Less is More: Short Story Workshop (with Audrey Ferber)

Audrey Ferber




WEDNESDAYS, APRIL 3 —MAY 8  |  How do they do it? In just a few pages, short story writers capture the essence of character, the physical experience of setting, the rhythm of authentic dialogue, and the forward motion of plot. They mix the insight of a novelist with the distilling power of a poet. In this class, there will be a combination of in-class exercises, lecture and discussion. We will practice the craft skills needed to create character, plot, setting and dialogue, and talk about transmuting ideas and feelings into story. We will read stories by the greats for inspiration and will workshop stories of our own. 


The Nuts and Bolts of Memoir (with Louise Nayer)

Louise Nayer

Louise Nayer




SUNDAY, APRIL 7  |  In a comfortable setting, you’ll learn techniques to draw readers into the world of your memoir, whether it’s a childhood home by the Merced River, a fifth-floor apartment in New York City, or the way the wind felt on your face one day on Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Using examples from successful memoirs, you’ll learn about sensory detail, scene and summary, dialogue, and navigating time shifts. You’ll practice the basic elements of memoir through in-class exercises and leave this one-day class with a body of writing and some new writing friends!


It Takes Two: Plot and Character (with Elizabeth Stark)

Elizabeth Stark




TUESDAY, APRIL 9  |  Do you start with character or do you start with plot? This common question rests on a false dichotomy. In this generative writing class, we’ll explore how getting to know your characters fuels your plot and how plotting produces character. Through inspiring examples, discussion, and–most of all–writing and sharing in a supportive environment among engaged readers, we’ll find our way to the heart of stories at the intersection of plot and people.

Elizabeth Stark is the host of Story Makers Podcast (StoryMakersShow.com) and author of the novel Shy Girl (FSG, Seal Press), finalist for the Ferro-Grumely and Lambda Literary Awards.


Perfect Pitch Workshop (with Mark Wallace and Alissa Greenberg)

Mark Wallace

Alissa Greenberg




WEDNESDAYS, APRIL 10—24  |  For a freelance journalist, essayist, nonfiction writer, or marketing professional, a good pitch letter can not only generate work but open doors, build new relationships, and kickstart a career. But crafting the best pitch, targeting it to the right publication, and getting it in front of the right person isn’t always simple.

In this class, you’ll gain new insights into what editors are looking for and why, 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, as well as workshopping of student pitches.


10 Ways to Revise Your Writing (with Susan Ito)

Susan Ito




SATURDAY, APRIL 13  |  For some writers, first drafts are the fun part. Anything is possible! After that, revision is often overwhelming. It can be challenging to know how to improve a piece of writing. But it is also fun and rewarding, especially when broken down into manageable components.

Come to this one-day revision bootcamp with your manuscript (up to 10 pages of either fiction or creative nonfiction) and you’ll go through a series of timed stations, examining and working on your pages from a wide angle and up close. Learn how to focus on just one element at a time: dialogue, character emotions, sensory details, plotting, time elements, a title brainstorm and more.


Said and Unsaid: Dialogue in Fiction and Memoir (with Laurie Ann Doyle)

Laurie Ann Doyle

Laurie Ann Doyle




SUNDAY, APRIL 14  |  Is dialogue meant to reveal or conceal? In this one-day hands-on workshop, you will learn how dialogue actually accomplishes both, revealing your characters by what is said and what is not said in fiction and memoir. We’ll read work by masters of dialogue, examining how artfully crafted speech, gesture, and silence helps you not only develop character, but generate tension, subtext, and move the plot forward. You’ll learn how to take full advantage of your characters’ expressive tics, favorite phrases, and utter withdrawal to build an immersive world for the reader.


Build Your Literary Career (with Lyzette Wanzer)

Lyzette Wanzer




SUNDAYS, APRIL 14 —MAY 5  |  Do you want to be taken seriously as a writer? Learn to treat your creative writing endeavors as a business. Getting the literary world to pay attention to you is a matter of managing the less-sexy aspects of your practice. That means harnessing professional free and low-cost tools to help you send out and track your writing submissions, finding reputable markets for your work, initiating valuable contacts with fellow authors, and learning the websites on which you should appear, the people you should be following, and more.

 • Learn a more efficient way to manage your credentials, recommendation letters, and writing samples so you’re always ready for grant, MFA program, and residency applications.


Fantastic Fiction (with Jenny Bitner)

Jenny Bitner




THURSDAYS, APRIL 18 —MAY 23  |  Why is so much of contemporary literature playing with the boundaries of what is real and fantasy? Maybe because our own world often borders on the surreal.  Speculative fiction, magical realism, slipstream, fabulist—there are many names for the forms of writing that blend the imaginary and real world. In this class we will read from this genre (authors such as George Saunders, Aimee Bender, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carmen Maria Machado, Helen Oyemi) and write our own stories with elements of the surreal. Daily writing prompts and weekly writing assignments will help you blend the imaginary and the real to uncover deeper truths.


Imagination in Action: Secrets of Narrative Arc (with Thaisa Frank)

Thaisa Frank




SATURDAYS, APRIL 20 & 27  |  How many of us have had an exciting idea that fails to generate a story? This course explores techniques of narrative arc, and the dynamic elements of imagination that allow writers to create a story that is greater than the sum of its parts. We’ll explore narrative arc in relation to character, image, idea, and plot-driven fiction and read examples from flash, short stories and novels. Each class will be divided between lecture, discussion, and exercises. One 45-minute private conference is also included.

Thaisa Frank‘s fifth book of fiction (Enchantment, Counterpoint, 2012) was selected for Best Books by the San Francisco Chronicle.


Work in Progress Workshop (with Lindsey Crittenden)

Lindsey Crittenden




MONDAYS, APRIL 29 —JUNE  3  | All levels welcome! Need some structure and community to keep writing?  If you’re looking to generate pages and gain insight into your project – whether fiction, memoir, personal essay, narrative nonfiction, or some combination thereof – set aside five Monday evenings this winter. You’ll find a supportive community designed to foster productivity and good writing habits.  We’ll address specific craft issues as they come up, and I will be available for meeting one-on-one. You’ll have the opportunity to meet in small groups for feedback (with specific guidance), if you choose.