Susie Hara: Kinetic Writing

S_Hara_Active_Writing1 Saturday, August 6, 10am-4pm  Berkeley
$95 members/$110 others  

“I had been a dancer and actor for over a decade when I first started writing fiction,” says instructor Susie Hara, “and I was used to making up stories through movement. So in my newfound medium, eyes locked on the screen, I felt trapped in my chair—that is, until I came up with the Kinetic Writing practice.”

Kinetic Writing uses techniques such as walking, sound improvisation, movement meditation, and visualizing to develop your craft as a writer. In this workshop, you will take part in a variety of invigorating Kinetic Writing exercises, like Write and Walk, Find Your Voice, Embody Your Characters, and Picture Your Scenes. You will tap into the body’s sensory know-how, using physical strategies to generate new work or develop an existing draft.

“Come join me to enliven your writing process with movement and hands-on activities that engage the senses,” says Susie. “These writing exercises can be used as a springboard into any kind of writing—memoir, fiction, poetry, plays, or screenplays—leading you to the narrative that is uniquely yours to tell.”

Susie Hara’s novel, Finder of Lost Objects (Ithuriel’s Spear Press), was a finalist for a 2015 Lambda Literary Award and received a 2015 International Latino Book Award. Her stories have been published in several anthologies, including Fast Girls and Stirring up a Storm. She has a degree in Dance and English from UC Riverside, and an MA in Theater from New York University. She studied movement for a couple of decades, including modern dance, African dance, samba, yoga, and Alexander Technique. As an actor, she was a resident artist at Z Space Studio and performed with the companies Teatro de la Esperanza and Word for Word. Her play Lost and Found in the Mission won a Best of Fringe award in the 2008 San Francisco Fringe Festival.

Shirin Bridges: Digital First: The New Strategy in Publishing

Shirin BridgesSaturday Feb. 8th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$95 members/$110 others   San Francisco
Testimonials for Shirin

To self-publish or not to self-publish? Over the past few years as self-publishing has exploded, this has often been the question. But now, authors are starting to view self-publishing not as an alternative to traditional publishing but as a step towards it—and with good reason.

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Shirin Bridges: Acting Juvenile – Writing for Ages 8 to 44

Shirin Photo 9.18.155 Thursdays, November 10 – December 15, 7-9:30pm
Skip November 24
$275 members/$295 others  
Testimonials for Shirin

“Juvenile” is the fastest growing fiction genre thanks to Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, and of course, good old Harry Potter. “Certainly,” says instructor Shirin Bridges, “at one writers’ conference after another, the agents have been asking for middle grade chapter books and young adult novels.”

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Terrel Seltzer: Intro to Screenwriting: The Five Essentials

5 Sundays, July 10 – August 7, 7-9:30pm  Berkeley
$215 members/$245 non-members 

Testimonials for Terrel

The basic premise behind almost every successful feature film can be stated in one simple sentence: Someone we care about wants something badly and is having a terrible time getting it. “Pretty simple, right?” says Terrel Seltzer. “But how do you make a character sympathetic? How do you establish a compelling goal and desire (two important, related, but very different story elements)? How do you structure rising tension so that the Hollywood Reader keeps turning the page? That’s the art and the craft of screenwriting.”

The class will devote a week each to exploring five essentials of writing a screenplay:

  • Breaking Story:  Take an idea, build from the premise, and find the structure
  • Developing Character:  Who is a character we care about?  And that an actor wants to play?
  • Maintaining Conflict:  It’s absolutely essential, from page one till the end
  • Constructing Scenes and Sequences:  What is the difference between the two, and how to make them dramatic and entertaining
  • Writing Visually:  Format, word choice, tone, and technique — what makes a script a great read?

Terrel Seltzer is a self-taught screenwriter. She learned the craft by watching and outlining literally hundreds of movies. Her career started in the Bay Area, working with SF director Wayne Wang, for whom she wrote the screenplays for the independent films Chan is Missing and Dim Sum. Her two produced Hollywood screenplays are How I Got into College (with Lara Flynn Boyle and Anthony Edwards) and One Fine Day (with Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney). Currently, she has two scripts in development: Magick, written for director Robert Zemeckis at Dreamworks, and Foolproof, a spec script recently optioned by Warner Brother Classics.

Ben Jackson: Combo Special: Journaling & Intro to Creative Writing

Ben_Jackson10 Tuesdays, April 12 – June 14, 7-9:30pm  San Francisco
 $365 members/$395 others    Cancellation/Refund Policy
Testimonials for Ben

COMBO SPECIAL: First 5 weeks: Journaling: Turn Your Life into Art; second 5 weeks: Intro to Creative Writing: Fun with the Fundamentals. Ten weeks for the price of a 9-week class. This combo is considered to be ONE class with one starting date, in relation to our cancellation/refund policy. Please read the policy. Thank you!

Jenny Pritchett: Raw Writing – A Class for Generating New Material

5 Saturdays, November 5 – December 10, 10:30am-1pm
Skip November 26
$275 members/$295 others  
Testimonials for Jenny

In an interview on, Grace Paley—finalist for both the Pulitzer and the National Book Award—told A.M. Homes that every single time she sat down to write, she thought, “How come I thought I could write? How am I gonna do this? How am I gonna write this ****ing story?”

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Session Dates for 2016



Winter Session  Jan 23 – March 27 

Break  March 28 –  April 8

Spring Session  April 9 – June 19  (skip Memorial Day weekend)    

Break   June 20 – July 8

Summer Session  July 9 – Sept 18  (skip Labor Day weekend)

Break  Sept 19 – Sept 30

Fall Session  Oct 1 – Dec 11  (skip weekend after Thanksgiving)


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