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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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Elaine Beale: Inspiring the Muse: A Day to Jump-Start your Writing

Saturday April 11th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Berkeley
$95 members/$110 others  
Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Elaine

Had a difficult time making time to write even though you know you want to? Perhaps you feel uninspired or don’t quite know what it is you want to write about. Or maybe you need a boost to your creativity that will help your words flow.

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Julie Bruck: Fearless Poetry Workshop

Nine Thursdays, April 9-June 4, 7-9:30 pm  San Francisco
$365 members/$395 others    Cancellation Policy   
Testimonials for Julie

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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Junse Kim: Intro to Fiction: Laying the Foundation

Five Sundays, April 12-May 10, 2-4:30 p.m.  Berkeley
$215 members/$245 others   
Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Junse

Please Note: If you are a wannabe novelist and feel all fired up after taking Junse’s class, we recommend moving on to Elaine Beale’s Starting Your Novel class. It’s on the same night and time as this class, beginning May 17th.

“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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Jenny Pritchett: You Should Write that Down!

jennypritchettSaturday April 11th, 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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Junse Kim: Intro to Fiction: Laying the Foundation

5 Mondays, April 13-May 11, 7-9:30 pm  San Francisco 
$215 members/$245 others     Cancellation Policy 
Testimonials for Junse

Please Note: If you are a wannabe novelist and feel all fired up after taking Junse’s class, we recommend moving on to Karen Bjorneby’s Starting Your Novel class. It’s on the same night and time as this class, beginning May 18th.

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

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

“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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Terrel Seltzer: Intro to Screenwriting: The Five Essentials

Five Tuesdays, April 14-May 12, 7-9:30 p.m.  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?

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Ben Jackson: Journaling: Turn Your Life into Art

Five Tuesdays, April 14-May 12, 7-9:30 pm  San Francisco  
$215 members/$245 others    
Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Ben

Please Note: Ben also teaches Intro to Creative Writing, which for many people is the perfect follow-up to his journaling class.

“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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Andy Touhy: Fiction Workshop: Honing the Art of Storytelling

9 Wednesdays, April 15-June 10, 7-9:30 pm   San Francisco 
$365 members/$395 others    Cancellation Policy   
Testimonials for Andy

“You write something down and it’s awkward, trivial, artificial, approximate. But with effort…you can get it to open up, and expose something lurking there beyond the clumsy thing you first put down.”—Deborah Eisenberg

“What makes a story compelling?” asks Andy. “More importantly, what are the ways to make it compelling? In this workshop, we’ll begin to really think about how to tell a good tale (short story or novel).

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Cary Groner: Fiction Gym Workshop

9 Wednesdays, April 15-June 10, 7-9:30 p.m.  Berkeley
$365 members/$395 others   Cancellation Policy   
Testimonials for Cary

Fiction writing (short story or novel) engages our hearts, challenges our minds, and connects us with our inner lives and those of our readers. This class, says Cary, creates common ground for students “to discover more about themselves as writers and as human beings, to mentor each other, and to improve at this most ineffable of crafts.

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

Alison_BannerNine Thursdays, April 16-June 18 (skip May 14), 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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Andy Touhy: Tiny Kingdoms: Writing and Publishing the VERY Short Story

Saturday April 18th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. San Francisco
$95 members/$110 others   Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Andy

Big things can come in small packages—their own perfect beauty tied to their size.

The short short story—also known as “flash fiction,” “suddens,” “nouvelles” (in France), “pocket-size stories,” and “the smokelong” (the time it takes to smoke a cigarette)—is literary proof that great fiction can come in a small package. Read the rest of this entry »

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

Two Sundays, 4/19 (mandatory for newcomers) & 6/14, 10:30 am to 1 pm, plus daily online writing in-between the two meetings;  $195 members/$225 others  San Francisco
Testimonials for Jane     Cancellation Policy

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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Lisa Alpine: Your Writer’s Toolbox: What’s In It? And What’s Not?

Saturday  April 18th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.   Berkeley
$95 members/$110 others    Cancellation Policy
Student Testimonials

Fill your writer’s toolbox with skills that can be applied to any style of writing, from fiction (short stories and novels) and poetry, to personal essays, memoirs or narrative journalism. Participants will learn how to bring their stories to life with writing exercises and discussion focusing on these key aspects of the craft:

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Terrel Seltzer: Screenwriting Continuation Workshop

Terrel Seltzer5 Fridays (bi-monthly): April 24, May 8, May 22, June 12, June 19, 7-9:30 pm  Berkeley
$215 members/$245 others  Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Terrel

“As much as I love writing,” says Terrel, “it often feels like swimming alone in choppy waters.  Some days all you’re hoping for is just a buoy to aim for. That’s why I emphasize narrative planning in my intro classes, guidelines that can keep you afloat when the going gets rough —   Three Acts; Five Tentpoles; Eleven-Step Character Development — whatever works for you. By the end of a five- to nine-week class, I picture myself  as a mother bird pushing, however gently, my hatchlings from the nest — on their own. Alone. That scary word again.”

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Shirin Bridges: Writing Children’s Picture Books – More than Just Child’s Play

4 Sundays & 1 Saturday: 4/19, 4/26, 5/3, 5/9, 5/10,  7-9:30 pm  San Francisco
$215 members/$245 others    Cancellation Policy
Student Testimonials

Picture books can do more than captivate and entertain—“they can change a child’s life,” says Shirin Yim Bridges. But getting published in this competitive genre is more than just child’s play.

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Kathleen McClung: Mischief & Metaphor: Crafting New Poems

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

“Poet Stanley Kunitz wrote: ‘Poems would be easy if our heads weren’t so full of the day’s clatter. The task is to get through to the other side, where we can hear the deep rhythms that connect us with the stars and the tides.’  This workshop honors all those inklings, desires, and resolutions to get through to the other side and write new poems. “I meet so many people who long to express themselves artistically but don’t feel they have time or space,” says Kathleen McClung. “Well, now’s the time, and the Writing Salon is definitely a comfortable, supportive space.  Everybody’s welcome in this workshop, first-timers as well as repeaters.”

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Ben Jackson: Creating a Writing Practice

B_JacksonSaturday April 25th, 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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Patricia Cotter: Playwriting 101: Taking the First Step

Saturday May 2nd, 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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Lisa Alpine: Travel Writing: If You Can Live It, You Can Write It!

Saturday May 2nd, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.    
$95 members/$110 others   Berkeley

Testimonials for Lisa    Cancellation Policy

Do you love to travel? Keep a travel journal? Why not take the next step and turn your daily scribbles into well-crafted, memorable narratives that entice readers, family, and friends?   You can do this by learning two things: 1) how to improve your storytelling abilities, and 2) how to market your work.

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Jenny Pritchett: Submit! – Get Your Work into Print

jennypritchettSaturday May 9th, 10 am to 4 pm  San Francisco
$95 members/$110 others     Cancellation Policy
Student Testimonials

“When you truly believe a poem or short story is finished–the best it can be–it’s time to introduce it to the world,” says writer and editor Jenny Pritchett. In this info-packed class, Jenny will tell you what you need to know about submitting your work to print and online literary journals, anthologies and contests, as well as how to apply for residency programs.

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

Jay RidlerFive Sundays, May 3-May 31, 7-9:30 p.m.   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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Julie Bruck: Persistent Poets (Fearless Poets Continuation)

Six Sundays, May 10-Sept. 20 (5/10, 6/7, 6/28,  7/26, 8/23, 9/20) 2:30-5 pm, plus online interaction between meetings)  San Francisco
$365 members/$395 non-members   Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Julie

“Inspiration” wrote Madeleine L’Engle, “usually comes during work, rather than before it,” but dedicated time for writing is often the first thing sacrificed to the demands of a busy life.

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Elaine Beale: Creative Writing Boot Camp: A One-Day Intensive

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Saturday May 9th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Berkeley
$95 members/$110 others  Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Elaine

Sometimes you’re just too busy to be able to attend regular writing classes. And learning the craft of writing takes a lot of time. With so many demands on your energy you’d like to take some shortcuts. You want to take the fast track to becoming a better writer.

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Jenny Pritchett: Personal Essays: Tell Your Real-Life Stories

jennypritchettFive Saturdays, May 16-June 20 (skip May 23), 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.  San Francisco
$215 members/$245 others   Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Jenny

Have you always wanted to write about your crazy family? What about an accident that changed the course of your life? A discovery that changed your perception of the past? A mysterious neighbor whose comings and goings excite your imagination? If you know you want to, but you don’t know where to start, this is your class. “By the end,” says Jenny, “you’ll walk away with a rough draft of a personal essay.

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Ben Jackson: Poetry Workshop: Finding a Way In

B_JacksonFive Saturdays, May 16-June 20 (skip 5/23), 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.   Berkeley 
$215 members/$245 others   Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Ben

“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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Elaine Beale: Starting Your Novel: Taking the First Steps

Five Sundays, May 17 & 24 (skip 5/31 & 6/7), June 14, 21, 28, 2-4:30 p.m.
$215 members/$245 others      Berkeley
Testimonials for Elaine

Please Note: If you have never taken a fiction writing class before, or if you have but it was a long time ago, we recommend that you consider taking Junse Kim’s Intro to Fiction class first.

Writing a novel can be a lonely business. It can also be pretty overwhelming when you’re doing it without guidance, input or support. If you want to start a novel or you’ve got a novel in progress, this class will provide you with the help you’ll need.

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Kathleen McClung: Memoir Writing: Mine & Refine Your Memories

mcclungnew2Five Saturdays, May 16-June 20 (skip June 14), 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.  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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Karen Bjorneby: Starting Your Novel: Get a Foothold on Your Project

Karen Bjorneby 9.4.145 Mondays, May 18-June 22 (skip May 25) 7-9:30 p.m.  San Francisco
$215 members/$245 others       Cancellation Policy 
Student Testimonials

Please Note: If you have never taken a fiction writing class before, or if you have but it was a long time ago, we recommend that you consider taking Junse Kim’s Intro to Fiction class first.

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.

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

jennypritchettFive Mondays, May 18-June 22 (skip May 25), 7-9:30 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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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.

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

Five Tuesdays, May 19-June 16, 7-9:30 pm  San Francisco
$215 members/$245 others   Cancellation Policy   
Testimonials for Ben

“This class will introduce you to creative nonfiction (personal essays/memoirs), fiction, drama and poetry. Ben will give you in-class prompts and exercises to spark your imagination and draw out stories. You’ll explore craft basics—such as building dramatic tension and creating believable dialogue—and try your hand at them.

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Special Payment Options

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

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