The Writer in You: An Introductory Sampler

Start where you are.




WEDNESDAYS, SEPTEMBER 20—OCTOBER 25  |  Looking to get serious about writing, but not sure where to start? Have a great story to tell, and wondering what form it should take – fiction or memoir, poem or news feature? This six-week course introduces the demands and opportunities of various elements of creative writing and journalism as well as the myriad ways one genre can inform another.

We will explore fiction writing, memoir, poetry, news writing, feature writing, and personal essays. Class sessions will be led by experienced writers with extensive and varied backgrounds in professional writing.  Each week will feature discussion, focused readings, and writing exercises in a supportive and encouraging environment. You’ll come away with a deeper understanding of your voice, material, and options as a writer.

Yukari Iwatani Kane


Yukari Iwatani Kane is the author of Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs (HarperCollins). A veteran journalist with nearly 15 years of experience, she wrote about Apple during the last years of Steve Jobs’s reign for the Wall Street Journal and broke many stories, including the news about the CEO’s liver transplant. Before that, Yukari was a correspondent in Tokyo. She started her career at Reuters and U.S. News and World Report. She teaches at U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and at San Quentin state prison.


Laura Fraser


Laura Fraser is a long-time Grotto member and New York Times bestselling author whose essays have appeared in the New York Times‘ Modern Love column, Marie Claire, O: the Oprah Magazine; and numerous other venues.


Maw Shein Win

October 4:  POETRY | WIN

Maw Shein Win is a poet, editor, and educator who lives and works in the Bay Area. Her writing has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Cimarron Review, Fanzine, Eleven Eleven, The Fabulist, and others. Her most recent poetry chapbook is Score and Bone (Nomadic Press) and she has a full-length poetry collection coming out in spring 2018 from Manic D Press. Win is the first poet laureate of El Cerrito, California.


Louise Nayer

Louise Nayer

October 11:  MEMOIR | NAYER

Louise Nayer has written five books—two books of poetry: Keeping Watch and The Houses Are Covered in Sound and co-authored with Virginia E. Lang, How To Bury A Goldfish: 113 Rituals for Everyday Life. Burned: A Memoir was an Oprah Great Read and winner of the Wisconsin Library Association Award. Her most recent book is Poised for Retirement: Moving From Anxiety to Zen, part memoir and part self-help. She has taught creative writing for over 40 years and was on the faculty of City College of San Francisco for 27 years. She has been interviewed widely, including on NPR and has written for magazines and newspapers including Rolling Stone, OZY, and the San Francisco Chronicle.


Diana Kapp


Diana Kapp is a feature writer and journalist with particular interest in teens, education, culture, health and how our lives are impacted by technology. Her work has appeared in San Francisco Magazine, Elle, California Sunday Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and others.


Jenny Bitner

October 25: FICTION | BITNER

JENNY BITNER‘s short stories, articles, and flash fiction have been published in Best American Nonrequired Reading, PANK, The Sun, Men’s Health, Utne Reader, the Mississippi Review, and Fence magazine. She has an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Virginia.





Number of sessions: 6

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Dates: Wednesdays, September 20 & 27; October 4, 11, 18, 25

Course fee: $385

Comments are closed.