Sentence-Level Style and Editing Workshop (with Cheryl Ossola)

Cheryl Ossola




SATURDAYS, FEBRUARY 25 — MARCH 18  |  Students who took The Long and the Short of It: Sentence-Level Style and Editing asked for a follow-up workshop, so here it is. We’ll dig deeply into revision in this four-week workshop, working intensively with the elements of style and editing our work in ways that are objective, experimental, and even ruthless. We’ll play with sentence structure, rhythm and flow, schemes and tropes, and more, keeping in mind how all of these things affect meaning, suspense, and characterization.

This workshop is open to all writers of fiction and nonfiction, but completion of the six-week Long and the Short of It course (which precedes this workshop) is strongly recommended.


How to Write a Book Proposal (with Julia Scheeres)

Julia Scheeres




SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26  | The beauty of nonfiction books is that they can frequently be sold on the basis of a 40- to 60-page proposal. What is a proposal? Essentially, it is a business plan for a book – a document that outlines your book’s basic premise, provides data indicating that there’s a sizable audience for it, and otherwise convinces a publisher to give you money to write it. Memoirs, narrative journalism, business books, histories, and biographies can all be sold on proposal.

In this seminar, students will learn the seven components of a book proposal, study examples of successful proposals, and get the lowdown on the publishing industry – including the best way to find an agent.


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

Louise Nayer




SUNDAYS, FEBRUARY 26 & MARCH 5  |  How do you draw readers into the world of your memoir—whether traveling on a BART train in San Francisco, hiking along the banks of the Merced River in Yosemite, or remembering your first house as a child? In a comfortable environment, 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.


Plot Like A Boss (with Joshua Mohr)

Joshua Mohr




SATURDAY, MARCH 4 | Every writer has had the terrifying experience of reading their own work and wondering why a total stranger would be interested. Often, the missing element to successfully lure a reader into your work is plot. Maybe you’ve created a riveting character, yet if nothing is happening on the page, if the protagonist isn’t under any duress, a reader’s attention will wander.

In this seminar, we will examine ways to pace and structure your plot points to extract every drop of excitement from them. We will also do some in-class writing to share with the group.


Three-D Writing: How to Go from “Flat” to Wow (with Rachel Howard)

Rachel Howard




SUNDAY, MARCH 12  |  “Flat” writing hands off lifeless information in a two-dimensional exchange between reader and writer.  Three-dimensional writing places the reader in a charged space of heightened experience, renewed perspective, and active meaning-making.  How is that three-dimensionality created, and what do you do when you find your language stuck in 2-D?  This combination lecture and workshop for writers of fiction and literary nonfiction examines specific strategies for three-dimensionality drawn from contemporary writers like Sheila Heti, Jo Ann Beard, and Maggie Nelson, and classics by Marguerite Duras and Bruno Schulz. We will try out new techniques and tricks—but ultimately what you will achieve is a shift in consciousness that will help make your writing spacious and transporting.


Everyday Travel Tales: Recall & Write Your Story (with Faith Adiele)

Faith Adiele

Faith Adiele




SUNDAYS, MARCH 12 & 19  |  We all travel, every day. Be it moving back and forth between language and culture; embarking on roots journeys or road trips; living as an expat or multicultural family member; being a nomad; climbing from working to middle class; recalling our
family’s escape/exile/emigration/immigration; leaving home or dropping out of college; setting out on pilgrimages or spiritual quests; going abroad
to study/research/witness/do reportage/volunteer; walking the road to recovery every day.

How do we turn these (internal) cultural encounters or (external) physical journeys into gripping stories with deeper (social, spiritual, cultural, historical, political) meaning, stories that capture a particular culture and era and move readers?


March Freelance Bootcamp (with Anisse Gross)

Anisse Gross




SATURDAY, MARCH 18  |  Breaking into the world of freelance writing can seem mysterious and downright impossible at the outset. How will you make enough money? If you currently have a job, how do you transition into full-time freelancing? When can you take the plunge? Where will you find clients? How will you successfully pitch to publications, especially if you don’t have a portfolio?

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