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Memberships

Become a lifetime member of the Writing Salon if you would like to receive a discount on every class.

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Kate Montgomery: Intro to Screenwriting: Story Design Workshop

Katie Montgomery Screenwriting

Saturday July 25th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Berkeley
$95 members/$110 others    Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Kate

“Got an idea for a movie or TV show? Great! So what do you do next?

“Roll up your sleeves and start mapping out your story idea,” says instructor Kate Montgomery. “Turn that idea into an outline — your design — of a story that will be built on carefully crafted conflicts and well-timed surprises that lead to a satisfying resolution.

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Jenny Pritchett: You Should Write that Down!

jennypritchettSaturday July 25th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.   San Francisco
$95 members/$110 others    Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Jenny

You’ve been thinking about writing, but haven’t taken a writing class since college, or you’ve never taken one at all. Maybe you write a lot of emails, which you find strangely satisfying, or when you tell your friends stories, they say, “You should write that down!”

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Ben Jackson: Poetry Workshop: Finding a Way In

Ben Jackson(2)Five Sundays, July 26-Aug. 23, 10:30 am to 1 pm.   Berkeley 
$215 members/$245 others   Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Ben

CLASS CLOSED

“Many people say they don’t ‘get’ poetry,” says Ben Jackson. “I don’t always ‘get’ it either. But I know what my body feels, I know what my mind processes, and that’s enough for me to find my way into a poem, whether I’m the author or the reader. I ‘get’ poetry in my own way. I believe you can too.

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

Alison_BannerNine Tuesdays, July 21-Sept. 22 (skip 8/25), 7-9:30 p.m.  Berkeley 
$365 members/$395 others  Cancellation Policy
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 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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Alison Luterman: The Narrative Poem: Telling the News Without Losing the Lyric

Alison_Banner1 Saturday Aug. 1st, 10 am to 4 pm    Berkeley 
$95 members/$110 others  Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Alison      

William Carlos Williams said “It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.” In this workshop, using model poems, writing from prompts and exercises, we’ll work on combining the news of our poems with the lyrical music that carries them from the brain to the heart. Syntax, voice, juxtaposition, and surprise can all help the narrative poem stay a poem, with the nimbleness and loft that a good poem has, while still conveying important real-world information. There will be ample time to write and share what we’ve written in class with the group, but we will not be workshopping previously-written poems.

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Dianne Jacob: Food Writing for Food Lovers

dianne-jacobheadshot20081 Saturday Aug. 1st, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  San Francisco
$95 members/$110 others  

Testimonials for Dianne

Are you a food enthusiast who loves to write, cook and eat? Do you devour food magazines and cookbooks in bed, or secretly dream of whipping up your own cookbook  or blog? Do you wonder how to get started, noticed or published as a food writer?

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Terrel Seltzer: Getting Past the Slush Pile: A Screenwriter’s Checklist

Terrel Seltzer Saturday Aug. 8th, 10 am-4 pm  San Francisco
$95 members/$110 others
Testimonials for Terrel

“I swear, if have to read another script that begins with a hero waking up in the morning after a pan of the junk in his room, I’ll gag.” – quote from Hollywood Reader One.

“Uh-oh, is that the opening you just wrote for your script?  What are the other “red flags” that cause a Reader to toss a script by page 10?  “If character introductions are not done artfully, the odds of anything else in the script being great are slim.” – quote from Hollywood Reader Two.

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

 Five Saturdays, Aug. 15-Sept. 19 (skip 9/5), 2-4:30 pm   San Francisco
$215 members/$245 others   Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Patricia

“They are called ‘plays’ so writing them should be kind of fun. Plus, 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 77-seat black box theater. One night Dustin Hoffman happened to come to the show. He saw it, responded to the writing and hired me to write a film with him. That experience reinforced the belief that theater is the best showcase for a new voice. 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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Kathleen McClung: Memoir Writing: Mine & Refine Your Memories

mcclungnew25 Saturdays: Aug. 15-Sept. 19 (skip 9/5), 10:30 am-1 pm  San Francisco
$215 members/$245 others    Cancellation Policy  
Testimonials for Kathleen

Memoir is not reserved only for the rich and famous. Beautiful and haunting memoirs—books and essays—can grow out of our ordinary lives, carefully observed. Both the distant past and the not-so-long ago can be mined, remembered and re-created in writing. This class is a guide to the mining and refining process.

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Jenny Pritchett: Intro to Creative Writing: Having Fun with the Fundamentals

jennypritchettFive Saturdays, Aug. 15-Sept. 19 (skip Sept. 5th) 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.   Berkeley
$215 members/$245 others   Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Jenny

Think you want to write, but not sure where to start? “Good news,” says Jenny Pritchett, “all you have to do is show up to class!” In this fun, fast-paced class for beginners, you’ll use your own experiences and observations — your unique movement through the world — as jumping-off points to investigate all types of writing: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, memoir, humor, essays and more. “We’ll address the intersection of reality and imagination,” says Jenny, “with a little reading, weekly writing exercises, handouts and discussion to get your pens (and brains!) flexing.

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Jay Ridler: Writing from the Heart: Uncovering Your Most Powerful Themes

Jay Ridler5 Sundays: Aug. 16-Sept. 20 (skip Sept. 6, Labor Day Weekend) 7-9:30 pm   Berkeley
$215 members/$245 others  Cancellation Policy   Testimonials for Jay

To write our best, we must write from the heart. But finding what subjects mean the most to us can be difficult. Each week, Jay Ridler will lead you through a series of fun, engaging, and effective exercises to help you discover and explore the deep and most compelling themes in your  life. “And each week we’ll spend time exploring those themes in story and other forms, all the while giving and getting feedback to each other,” says Jay. “We’ll explore the people and things we love (or hate) and consider why we need to embrace them in our work. We’ll examine our fears and discuss how to face them, then how to shape them into art. In short, we’ll explore how to dig deeper into matters of the heart — joyful or terrible, mad or sad — and learn to see them as powerful story catalysts.”

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

jennypritchettFive Mondays: Aug. 17-Sept. 21 (skip 9/7) 7-9:30 pm   Berkeley 
$215 members/$245 others   Cancellation Policy   
Testimonials for Jenny

In an interview on Salon.com, 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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Patricia Cotter: Playwriting 101: Taking the First Step

Saturday July 11th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.   San Francisco
$95 members/$110 others   Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Patricia

How do you begin writing when you don’t even know where to start? Many writers begin their play, and then find themselves losing steam after only a few pages. Usually it’s because they aren’t quite clear about what or who they are writing about. So, then the million dollar question is: “What is your play about?”

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Shirin Bridges: You’ve Finished Your Book: Now What?

Shirin BridgesSaturday July 11th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Berkeley
$95 members/$110 others   
Student Testimonials 

Are you finally ready to get your book out there? Or close enough to want to visualize the day? Whether your work is fiction, nonfiction, how-to, self-help, memoir, poetry, or an anthology, this workshop is for you. Shirin Yim Bridges, who has been published by the Big Five and has also self-published, will take you step-by-step through the “submit or self-publish?” decision process.

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Junse Kim: Intro to Fiction: Laying the Foundation

inst-junsekFive Sundays, July 12-Aug. 9, 2-4:30 p.m.  Berkeley
$215 members/$245 others   
Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Junse

“We writers too often need others to tell us that our writing is good,” says instructor Junse Kim. “And this is where it all goes horribly wrong. We become impatient for praise, obsessed with completing a story before learning the basic skills we need to write it. It’s the equivalent of, say, an aspiring carpenter who has committed to building a beautiful house, yet doesn’t know how to hammer in a nail or saw a piece of wood.”

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Terrel Seltzer: Intro to Screenwriting: The Five Essentials

Five Sundays, July 12-Aug. 9, 7-9:30 p.m.  Berkeley
$215 members/$245 non-members

Testimonials for Terrel

CLASS CLOSED: If you would like to be put on a waiting list, please email jane@writingsalons.com and be sure to include your phone number.

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?

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Junse Kim: Intro to Fiction: Laying the Foundation

inst-junsek5 Mondays, July 13-Aug. 10, 7-9:30 pm  San Francisco 
$215 members/$245 others     Cancellation Policy 
Testimonials for Junse

CLASS CLOSED: If you would like to be put on a waiting list, please email jane@writingsalons.com and be sure to include your phone number.

“We writers too often need others to tell us that our writing is good,” says Junse. “And this is where it all goes horribly wrong. We become impatient for praise, obsessed with completing a story before learning the basic skills we need to write it.

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Ben Jackson: Journaling: Turn Your Life into Art

Ben Jackson(1) Nine Tuesdays, July 14-Sept 8, 7-9:30 pm   San Francisco
$365 members/$395 non-members
Testimonials    Cancellation Policy

“My journal is a dream diary, travelogue, writer’s notebook, and many other things,” says Ben Jackson. “All of my stories, essays, and poems have their beginnings in my journal.”

In this class you’ll keep a journal, investigate themes that arise in your journal, and develop one creative piece that has grown out of your journal writing. “In the first half of the course we’ll generate a lot of material from weekly journal assignments and in-class writing exercises,” says Ben. “During class we’ll talk about the importance of personal reflection, imaginative freedom, and present moment attention in order to keep our journal entries rich and lively.

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Cary Groner: Fiction Workshop: Building and Refining Your Storytelling Skills

Nine Wednesdays, July 15-Sept. 9, 7-9:30 p.m.  Berkeley
$365 members/$395 others   Cancellation Policy   
Testimonials for Cary

CLASS CLOSED

When we read good stories they tend to endure in our hearts as touchstones that enrich our understanding of the world. “We’ve all had the experience of reading something we like and wondering how the author developed such a breathtaking idea, with such compelling characters, and brought it to fruition,” says Cary. “Those of us who admire good writing, and want to write ourselves, naturally wish to develop those skills. But without feedback from others it’s hard to escape the echo chamber and get a fresh perspective on our work.”

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Ben Jackson: Intro to Creative Writing: Having Fun with the Fundamentals

Ben Jackson(1)Nine Wednesdays, July 15-Sept 9, 7-9:30 pm   San Francisco
$365 members/$395 non-members
Testimonials    Cancellation Policy

CLASS CLOSED - If you’d like to be put on a waiting list, please email jane@writingsalons.com and be sure to include your phone number. Or if you’d like to take another excellent beginner’s class, check out Ben’s other, Tuesday evening class: Journaling: Turn Your Life into Art.

In this beginner’s course, you’ll be introduced to creative nonfiction (i.e., personal essays/memoirs), fiction, and poetry.  Ben Jackson will give you writing prompts to spark your imagination and to draw out stories. In fun and instructive exercises, you’ll explore craft basics such as developing compelling characters and creating believable dialogue.

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Julie Bruck: Fearless Poetry Workshop

Nine Thursdays, July 16-Sept. 10, 7-9:30 pm  San Francisco
$365 members/$395 others    Cancellation Policy   
Testimonials for Julie

CLASS CLOSED

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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Kathleen McClung: Writing as Healing

mcclungnew22 Saturday July 18th, 10 am to 4 pm   Berkeley
$95 members/$110 non-members    Cancellation Policy

Student Testimonials   

“Inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness. I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten—happy, absorbed, and quietly putting one bead on after another.” —Brenda Ueland

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Ben Jackson & Daniel Rechtschaffen: Meditative Writing

Ben Jackson(2)Saturday July 18th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m    San Francisco 
$95 members/$110 others     Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Ben

CLASS CLOSED

In this workshop, Daniel and Ben will lead you through writing exercises and meditations designed to engage the senses and heighten awareness. “While incorporating mindfulness techniques, we’ll learn how to let our writing arise from a sense of presence and attunement,” says Ben. “Our meditative inquiry practices will feed the flow of our writing and teach us more about ourselves, each other, and the world around us. Class discussions and small group work will give us an opportunity to learn from each other as we reflect on our writing and meditation experiences.

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Jane Underwood: Daily Write “Round Robin”: Creativity, Community, Commitment

Two Sundays, 7/19 (mandatory for newcomers) & 9/13, 10:30 am to 1 pm, plus daily online writing between the two meetings;  $195 members/$225 others  San Francisco
Testimonials for Jane     Cancellation Policy

CLASS CLOSED

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

“And the more you use your writing muscles,” says Jane, “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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Kathleen McClung: Memoir Writing Continuation Class

6 Sundays, July 19-Dec. 6: (7/19, 8/16, 9/13, 10/11, 11/8, 12/6)& online activity between meetings, 2:30-5 pm   San Francisco  
$365 members/$395 others   Cancellation Policy   Testimonials for Kathleen

CLASS CLOSED

Prerequisite: Kathleen’s  5-week Memoir Writing class

Have you started your memoir but would love some ongoing guidance and encouragement? Are you wondering about ways to craft it that are indeed shapely, intense, fascinating…and publishable?

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Shirin Bridges: Writing for Kids & Young Adults: Improve Your Craft

Shirin Bridges5 Sundays, July 19-Aug. 15, 7-9;30 pm   San Francisco
$215 members/$245 others   Cancellation Policy
Student Testimonials

Whether you’re limbering up to attempt your first picture book or almost finished with you fourth YA novel, this course will inspire you and hone the skills you need to write and edit for young audiences. Learn how to create characters with kid-appeal; create worlds with kid-appeal; make word choices that suit your genre.

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Ben Jackson: Creating a Writing Practice

Ben Jackson(2)Sunday August 30th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m  San Francisco 
$95 members/$110 others     Cancellation Policy  
Testimonials for Ben

What is a ‘writing practice’? What does that mean exactly? What does it entail? Are there rules? Guidelines? Examples? Says Ben, “You follow what fascinates you about your own life. You ask yourself, ‘What makes my life passionate, singular, intriguing?’”

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Karen Bjorneby: Novel Writing Continuation Workshop

Karen Bjorneby 9.4.14Six Fridays, July 24-Dec. 11 (July 24, Aug. 21, Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Nov. 13, Dec. 11) 7-9:30 p.m. (plus online activity between meetings)   San Francisco     
$365 members/$395 others   Cancellation Policy   Student Testimonials         

CLASS CLOSED    

Congratulations! You’ve started your novel. You have a sense of your main character and some ideas of the plot, maybe even a full plot outline. You’ve written a few pages, gotten some feedback, and know what your strengths are. Now the challenge is: TO KEEP GOING AND NOT GIVE UP.

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Gift Certificates

Options:

1) $110 for a 1-day workshop
2) $245 for a 5-week class
3) $395 for a 9-week or 6-month class

There is a place on the checkout form to include your gift recipient’s name and email address (for our administrative purposes). But we leave it to you to tell them about the gift certificate, and to let them know that when they’re ready to take a class, all they have to do is call 415.609.2468, and we will sign them up over the phone.

Special Payment Options

NOTE: This option is only for people with special circumstances who have been instructed to make a payment via this option.

Add to cart, then select the correct payment:

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