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Alison Luterman: Write from Real Life – Personal Essays & Memoirs

Alison_Banner9 Thursdays, July 14 – September 8, 7-9:30pm 
$365 members/$395 other
Testimonials for Alison    

In this class you will plunge into the personal themes that make your real life stories uniquely yours. In the first half of this class, instructor Alison Luterman will give you writing exercises carefully designed to elicit the undertones and overtones that elevate events and anecdotes into the realm of art. In the last half of class, Alison will guide you through workshopping and refining the pieces you have begun.

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Exploring Your Writer’s Voice – 9-Week Class

delorenzochris.jpg9 Wednesdays, Oct. 13-Dec. 15 (9 weeks, skip 11/24), 7-9:30 p.m.
$335 members/$365 others
San Francisco

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We all have “writing voices,” but often we can’t really “hear” those voices ourselves, even when others can. In this class, you’ll learn to hear what’s unique about your writing voice, jumpstart your writing, and produce new work.

“What I want you to get out of this workshop,” says instructor Chris DeLorenzo, “is a sense of how your voice comes across as one-of-a-kind, and how writing can be fun and experimental.  Only then can you learn to let go of self-conscious writing—writing that sounds the way you think it’s supposed to sound.”

The exercises in this class focus on producing writing with concrete details, description and dialogue, along with a healthy dose of playfulness to balance the serious stuff.

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Exploring Your Writer’s Voice – Learn how to hear what’s already there

delorenzochris.jpg Saturday, July 17th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. San Francisco
$95 members/$110 non-members

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Note: We also offer a 9-week version of this class, which many people take on a regular basis.  It’s an excellent class for beginners or anyone else who wants to keep generating new material while exploring their voice as a writer.

We all have unique “writing voices,” but often we can’t really “hear” those voices ourselves, even when others can. This half-day workshop will aim to help you hear the sound of your authentic writing voice, because once you feel secure with the individuality of your voice, you’ll grow immeasurably as a writer.

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Telling the Truth with Lies – Fiction Workshop

Nine Weeknights, 7-9:30 p.m. Berkeley
$335 members/$365 non-members
(this class is not currently scheduled)

When we write fiction we discover deeper truth about ourselves, other people, and the world. By wandering the world of the imagination, we surprise ourselves with the stories we discover. And, when we tell those stories, we change our readers by allowing them to enter experiences that are often very different than their own.

In this workshop, participants will deepen their knowledge about how to find and tell fictional stories. They’ll learn more about the art and the craft of fiction—through doing in-class exercises and optional homework assignments, getting feedback on their work, and reading excerpts from published writers.
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Julie Bruck: Fearless Poetry Workshop

9 Thursdays, Spring Session 2016 (dates TBA),  7-9:30 p.m.
$215 members/$245 others    San Francisco
Testimonials for Julie

CLASS CLOSED for Winter Session 2016. Will be offered again in the 2016 Spring Session that starts in April of 2016.

This workshop is intended for people who want to jump start their poetry practice and to keep the engine oiled. You’ll do plenty of writing and reading, and have lively discussions  about both the craft and the process of poetry.

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Show a Lot, Tell a Little – Creative writing in a nutshell!

Saturday, Oct. 16th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. San Francisco
$95 members/$110 non-members

Attention: This class is no longer available. Sorry.

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In just about any writing class, you will hear these words: “Show don’t tell!” But how do you do that?  “Ground your readers in their senses,” says Jane Underwood. “Run from abstractions, straight into the arms of all that is concrete — peaches, hurricanes, airplane roars, empty drawers, itching wounds.

During this day of sensory exploration, we’ll explore ways to come up with juicy images and details — descriptions that dance and breathe, scenes that taste and smell, characters that sing and shout, stories that are soft as the nape of a baby’s neck…or hard as a tack.

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Keep Them Guessing: The Art of Mystery Writing

elainebeale82509

Saturday, May 12th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$95 members/$110 others  San Francisco

Student Testimonials

Mysteries are one of the most popular and diverse genres in fiction today.  They sell by the millions and hundreds of authors have established long and successful careers in mystery writing. The contemporary mystery offers immense opportunities for the creation of quirky protagonists, unusual settings, stories with social or political relevance, and even for books that put new twists on the genre or that seem to defy the demands of the genre altogether.  Nevertheless, writing a mystery demands certain key skills and a knowledge of what works in this particular area of fiction.

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Kathy Garlick: Daily Write “Round Robin” – Creativity, Community, Commitment

garlick-2September 25 – November 20
8 weeks of daily online activity (facilitated by Kathy)
Plus in-person final meeting
Sunday, November 20, 10:30am – 1pm (optional)
$250 members/$275 others 

The imagination is like a muscle: The more you use it, the better it performs and the quicker you get ideas of higher caliber.—Dean Koontz

“The more you use your writing muscles,” said Jane Underwood, founder of the Writing Salons, and creator of Round Robin, “the more you tone and strengthen them. In the Round Robin, you practice writing every day, just as piano students practice scales and swimmers do laps. The only difference is that the Round Robin is more fun.”

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Terrel Seltzer: Screenwriting – The Fun Beginning, the Dreaded Middle, the Dynamic End

Five Tuesdays, May 17 – June 14, 7-9:30pm  Berkeley 
$215 members/$245 others  Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Terrel

 COMBO SPECIAL: Intro to Creative Writing + Screenwriting

“In this class we’ll look at each of the three acts of a well-structured, emotionally fulfilling screenplay,” says instructor Terrel Seltzer.

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Breaking into Magazine Writing – The rules of the game

Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm   San Francisco
$95 members/$110 non-members
(this class is not currently scheduled)

“I’ve done stories on everything from home computers to a profile of the Emmy Award-winning sound engineer who worked on Basic Instinct,” says Cary Pepper. “But my favorite was the one I did about a new reading program for kindergartners; the kids pulled me right into the class, and I learned more that one day than I ever learned in kindergarten. That’s one of the things I love most about magazine writing — it’s a constant learning process. It gives you a license to probe into the world. It’s also the most accessible way to break into professional writing. Even when you have no publishing credits, if you come up with the right idea, and pitch it to the right editor at the right time, you can get the assignment.” Read the rest of this entry »

Jess Wells: Writing Historical Fiction – Facts & Fibs Combined

Saturday Aug. 10th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$95 members/$110 non-members   San Francisco

Student Testimonials

CLASS CLOSED

Whether you’re intrigued by Norse settlements, your own grandmother’s journey to America, or an imaginary character from a far-away time, historical fiction can be an enchanting new outlet for your writing.

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Playwriting 101: A Crash Course in Writing for the Theater & Beyond

Five Weeks, 10:30 am-1 pm
$215 members/$245 others    San Francisco

“Every single writing job I have landed: film, television no matter what, came out of writing for the theater,” says instructor Patricia Cotter. “It’s one of the few mediums where the writer is in charge of the story; it’s your vision and your voice. Okay, true story: A couple of years ago I wrote a one act play which was produced in a tiny seventy seven seat black box theater. One night Dustin Hoffman happened to come to the show (What? Huh?). He saw it, loved it and hired me to write a film with him. That experience reinforced the belief that theater is the best showcase for a new voice. Plus? It’s a blast. And getting your play in front of an audience is completely attainable – write a play, rent a room and invite people. It really is that easy. Okay, well you do actually have to write your play…but I can help with that.”

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Writing Magazine Articles

pepperforwebsite Five Saturdays, Time TBA (this class is not currently scheduled)
$185 members/$215 non-members
San Francisco

“I’ve done stories on everything from antique restoration to computers (back when only three companies were making them), and from filmmakers to food stylists,” says Cary Pepper. “But my favorite piece is probably the one I did about a new reading program for kindergartners; the kids pulled me right into the class and I learned more that one day than I ever learned in kindergarten. That’s one of the things I love most about magazine writing — it’s a constant learning process. It gives you a license to probe into how the world — and the people in it — work. It’s also the most accessible way to break into professional writing. Even when you have no publishing credits, if you come up with the right idea, and pitch it to the right editor at the right time, you can get the assignment.”

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Intro to Creative Writing – Having Fun with the Fundamentals

5 Wednesdays, April 18-May 16, 7-9:30 p.m.
$185 members/$215 others     Berkeley
Student Testimonials

Special Package Deal: Take this class together with Aurora’s 5-week “Raw Writing class, and get both classes (10 weeks total) for the price of one 9-week class. This discount applies only if you choose the “Combo Class option when you register.

“I believe that anyone can learn to write well and really enjoy the process,” says Aurora Brackett. “Writing isn’t a gift bestowed by magic. It’s a practice.  And in the busy lives we lead it is hard to make time to practice. This class will give you that time.”

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Fearless Poetry – Bootcamp for a day

BruckCroppedSaturday, April 24th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  San Francisco
$95 members/$110 non-members

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Waiting to be struck by an inspirational bolt of lightning can be seductive, but it gets lonely out there under the tree. “Too much waiting can dampen the spirit,” says instructor Julie Bruck. “There are other ways to get in touch with your creative muse, ways that we’ll explore in today’s workshop.” Read the rest of this entry »

Starting Your Novel – Get a foothold on your project

5 Sundays,  2-4:30 pm
$215 members/$245 others Berkeley
Testimonials for Karen

Special “Combo” Deal: Take this class together with the “Intro to Fiction” class (5 weeks plus 5 weeks, back to back) for the discounted price of one 9-week class. This discount applies only if you choose theCombo Class” option when you register, not if you sign up for the classes separately.

You want to write a novel, or you are writing a novel, but maybe you shy away from talking about it with your co-workers, neighbors or brother-in-law (you know the way he rolls his eyes and calls you a dreamer). So come to this workshop instead, where you’ll meet other people who are doing what you’re doing, or want to do. “We’ll talk about your idea, how to make sure it has enough weight to carry a novel,” say Karen Bjorneby. “We’ll talk about your character and make sure she’s so compelling we all can’t wait to find out what she’ll do next. . . Read the rest of this entry »

Starting Your Novel – Get a foothold on your project

Five Mondays, June 3-July 1, 7-9:30 p.m.
$215 members/$245 others      San Francisco
Student Testimonials

THIS CLASS IS NOW CLOSED.

You want to write a novel, or you are writing a novel, so come to this workshop where you’ll meet other people who are doing what you’re doing, or want to do.  “We’ll talk about your idea – how to make sure it has enough weight to carry a novel,” say Karen Bjorneby. “We’ll talk about your character and make sure she’s so compelling we all can’t wait to find out what she’ll do next. We’ll talk about plot – how are you going to make enough things happen?  Or, how are you going to keep from being melodramatic?  We’ll talk about structure – how do you organize this huge thing and not get overwhelmed? We’ll share tips on the process, on getting the pages written, on keeping going, on when to go back and revise and when to keep moving ahead.  And of course we’ll be talking about the nuts and bolts of craft – making your scenes work and your voice sing.”

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Raw Writing – A class for generating new material

gennajamey2.jpg5 Weeks, 7-9:30 p.m.
$185 members/$215 non-members     Berkeley

Special Package Deal: Take this class together with the “Intro to Creative Writing” class, and receive both classes (5 weeks plus 5 weeks, back to back) for the price of one 9-week class. This discount applies only if you choose the “Intro to Creative Writing/Raw Writing ‘Combo’ option” when you register. If you register for Intro to Creative Writing separately and then decide to take Raw Writing, the discount doesn’t apply.

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“Not long ago I was feeling distant and unconnected from my writing,” says instructor Jamey Genna, “trying too hard to create a finished product even before I had more than a rough beginning.  I was also encountering a lot of writing friends who were stalled in their work: novelists who had written the first 50 pages and then stopped themselves by doing constant revision; short story writers who had ideas for stories but no inspiring atmosphere or time to sit down and put pen to paper.  I decided it might be time for me to: 1) put a hold on studying craft, 2) stop revising so much, and 3) get back to generating more new material.

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Alison Luterman: Discovering Your Poetry – Uncover the Gems

alison-luterman Five Mondays, July 22-Aug. 19, 7-9:30 p.m.
$215 members/$245 others   Berkeley
Testimonials

CLASS CLOSED

“Many beginning students come to a poetry class hoping for quick critiques and suggestions for revision.  There are times when it’s right to want this, but not until you’re nearing the final draft,” says Alison Luterman.

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