Grotto Pros: The Writers’ Toolkit: Six Essential Skills




SATURDAY, MAY 19  |  Come to the Grotto for an exhilarating day of learning a variety of skills to bolster your writer’s toolkit! We will feature six of our instructors, each teaching a 50-minute class focusing on a specific tool that you can use immediately. You’ll experience six rapid-fire sessions taught in a round-robin style, with a delicious catered lunch at midday. At the end of the day, we’ll celebrate with wine and refreshments, and our signature Three-Minute Reading – an optional (but encouraged!) open-mike event to highlight some of the fabulous writing generated throughout the day. Join us for a fun, dynamic journey through the Grotto’s classrooms!

Sniff Test (with Audrey Ferber)

Follow your sense of smell to powerful memories and stories, using visceral sensory language.

Audrey Ferber

Instructor: Audrey Ferber’s fiction and non-fiction has appeared in Lilith Magazine and the AWP: Writer’s Chronicle, and she has an M.F.A. from Mills College.

Talk to Me (with Louise Nayer)

Create dialogue that reveals your characters and advances your story.

Louise Nayer

Instructor: Louise Nayer is the author of five books. Burned: A Memoir was an Oprah Great Read and won The Wisconsin Library Association Award.

What’s the Big Idea? (With Lisa Lerner)

Learn the essential elements of story structure.

Lisa Lerner

Instructor: Lisa Lerner is the author of Just Like Beauty, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, currently in production to become a film with Lars Von Trier’s Zentropa Production Company.

The Hook (with John Engell)

Grab an audience from the first line, whether fiction or nonfiction.

John Engell

John Engell

Instructor: John Engell, a former Professor of English and Department Chair at San Jose State University, has published short stories in many nationally recognized literary magazines.

Seven Habits of Successful Writers (with Lyzette Wanzer)

Learn techniques to boost your writing career.  

Lyzette Wanzer

Instructor: Lyzette Wanzer is an award-winning writer, editor, and writing workshop instructor whose work has appeared in more than 20 publications.

Flash! (with Thaisa Frank)

Write a 100-word short story in less than an hour.

Thaisa Frank

Instructor Thaisa Frank‘s new flash fiction will appear in anthologies by Norton and Bloomsbury. She’s published three books of fiction and been translated into eleven languages.



Number of sessions: 1

Time: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Date: Saturday, May 19

Course fee: $175

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