Writers’ Round Table with Peg Alford Pursell & Brooks Roddan

2015-09-08 peg from Maria small21 Sunday, November 6, 2-5pm
$65 members/$75 others     



Writers’ Round Table is a brand-new series at The Writing Salon that gives participants an opportunity to appreciate the work of established authors while being exposed to unique ideas about the craft of writing and the writer’s life.

In this November event, The Writing Salon has invited Peg Alford Pursell and Brooks Roddan, two influential Bay Area writer-publishers who will read and reflect on their own creative work and lead discussions about the ins and outs of publishing.

The main theme of the afternoon will be centered around how we bring our creative works into the public sphere. Peg and Brooks will read creative pieces that they have published which have somehow informed or challenged their own views of publishing. They will also provide in-depth accounts of their experiences as publishers and editors and offer helpful tips about approaching the often-confounding task of publishing.

The event will be capped at 12 sign-ups, giving you a chance to engage in intimate discussions with Peg and Brooks. There will be a 15-minute break midway through the event at which time The Writing Salon will provide snacks and beverages.f

Peg Alford Pursell is the author of the forthcoming book of flash and hybrid prose, SHOW HER A FLOWER, A BIRD, A SHADOW (ELJ Publications). Her work has been published in The Cortland Review, The Journal of Compressed Arts, RHINO, among others, and shortlisted for the Flannery O’Connor Award. She produces Why There Are Words, the acclaimed Bay Area reading series she founded six years ago, and is the founding editor of WTAW Press, an independent publisher of literary books.

Ben Jackson: Journaling – Turn Your Life into Art

Ben_Jackson5 Thursdays, September 29 – October 27, 7-9:30pm   
$275 members/$295 others  

Testimonials for Ben


“I still have that navy blue hardback journal that my mom gave me for Christmas when I was ten,” says Ben. “After writing my first few entries, I was hooked. Years later, when I started writing a long sequence poem about my twin brother, I mined through journal entries all the way back to early adolescence in order to understand the recurring themes in our relationship.

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Elaine Beale: Raw Writing: A Class for Generating New Material

Five Wednesdays, April 13 – May 11, 7-9:30 pm   Berkeley
$215 members/$245 others   Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Elaine

COMBO SPECIAL: Raw Writing + Finding a Way In

“The first draft is the child’s draft,” writes Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird.  The first draft, she continues, is “where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place… You just let this childlike part of you channel whatever voices and visions come through and onto the page.”

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Intro to Creative Writing: Having Fun with the Fundamentals

Five Thursdays, May 30-June 27   7-9:30 pm 
$215 members/$245 others     Berkeley
Testimonials for Elaine


“Everyone is talented, original and has something important to say,” states Brenda Ueland at the beginning of her celebrated book, If You Want to Write.

“I agree with Ueland,” says Elaine Beale. “And when I teach at The Writing Salon, I see her assertion proved again and again. Students write such beautiful and amazing pieces. And most of them never considered themselves writers before. But by simply making the time to write and to learn about the craft they find that they are, in fact, talented and have something original and important to say.”

This class is designed to provide a taster of the various writing genres–fiction, nonfiction, personal essay, memoir, poetry–giving you a chance to try them out, find out what speaks to you and what makes each of them work.

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Stan Sinberg: Writing Funny for Blogs, YouTube or…What’s that Other Thing? Oh Right, PRINT!

Saturday Aug. 3rd, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$95 members/$110 others      Berkeley
Student Testimonials


Has anyone ever told you that you’re funny and that “You should write that stuff down?” No? Then maybe you shouldn’t take this class.  But if the answer is “Yes,” or if you’re convinced you’re surrounded by mirthless numbskulls who wouldn’t recognize a punchline if it hit them in the ‘nads, then come on down!

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Kathleen McClung: Memoir Writing – Mine and Refine Your Memories

mcclungnew2Five Saturdays, Aug. 24-Sept. 28 (skip 8/31) 10:30 am-1 pm
$215 members/$245 others     San Francisco
Testimonials for Kathleen

Note: This is an introductory class (for writers at all levels of experience).  If you would like ongoing guidance at a more advanced level, Kathleen also offers a 6-month-long Memoir Writing “Continuation” class.

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Presenting in Public: Sharing Your Work at Readings & Other Fun Venues

Saturday, Jan. 26th, 10 am to 4 pm
($95 members/$110 others)  San Francisco

NOTE: This class is the perfect companion for our brand new Writing Salon monthly READING SERIES that will kick off on Saturday, Feb. 23rd from 6 to 8 p.m. at Progressive Grounds coffeehouse just around the corner from our SF classroom location. We’ll be inviting both teachers and students to read their work.

“I used to be terrified to speak in public,” says instructor Loren Rhoads. “In fact, I was terrified to raise my hand in class, or to speak French in my French classes. I would answer if called upon but never volunteered.  I took a D in one of my required classes because 80% of the grade came from giving a presentation. When forced to speak in class, my heart would pound so hard I was sure I’d have a stroke. I never knew how loud my voice was, since I could barely hear it over my hammering chest.

“As I began to get published, I’d agree to read at release events but later would back out. It was awful. I let people down because I was a coward.

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Starting Your Novel: Get a foothold on your project

Mondays   June 3-July 1 (5 weeks)  7-9:30 p.m.  ONE SPACE LEFT
$215 members/$245 others     San Francisco
Testimonials for Karen

Special “Combo” Deal: Take this class together with the SF “Intro to Fiction” class, and get both classes (10 weeks total, for the discounted price of one 9-week class). Discount applies only if you choose the”Combo” option when you register, not if you sign up for them separately. A “combo” class is considered to be ONE class, and our refund policy is applied accordingly.

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?

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