We are not offering new memberships at this time.  Previous memberships will still be honored.


Gift Certificates


1) $145 for a 1-day workshop
2) $295 for a 5-week class
3) $475 for a 9-week 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/or to find a way to “present” it to them (i.e. with a card). Just let them know that when they’re ready to take a class of their own choosing, all they have to do is call (510) 982-6252, and we will sign them up over the phone.

Steven Winn: The Persistent Poet

steven-winn6 Sundays: Jan. 24-June 5 with online interaction between meetings (1/24, 2/14, 3/13, 4/10, 5/8, 6/5) 2:30-5 pm  San Francisco
$365 members/$395 others   Cancellation/Refund Policy

The writing of a poem is like a child throwing stones into a mineshaft, said James Fenton. You compose first, then you listen for the reverberation. 

“In this workshop course for continuing poets with some prior experience,” says instructor Steven Winn, “we will bring our work to class, listen closely to the reverberations and refine them into the very best poems they aspire to be.

“Students will exchange their work online in advance of each class, to make our time together as productive and fruitful as possible. The emphasis will be on honing and sharpening the thought, form, language and sound of each poem.

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Junse Kim: Intro to Fiction: Laying the Foundation

inst-junsek5 Mondays, April 11 – May 9, 7-9:30pm  San Francisco 
$215 members/$245 others     Cancellation Policy 
Testimonials for Junse

COMBO SPECIAL: Intro to Fiction + Starting Your Novel

“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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Junse Kim & Karen Bjorneby: Combo: Intro to Fiction & Starting Your Novel


inst-junsekKaren Bjorneby 9.4.1410 Mondays, April 11 – June 20, 7-9:30pm   San Francisco
Skip May 28
$365 members/$395 others   Cancellation Policy

SPECIAL COMBO: First half: Intro to Fiction with Junse Kim; second half: Starting Your Novel with Karen Bjorneby. Ten weeks for the price of a 9-week class. This combo is ONE class when it comes to our cancellation/refund policy. Please read the policy. Thank you!


Julie Bruck: Fearless Poetry Workshop

Nine Thursdays, April 14 – June 16, 7-9:30pm  San Francisco
Skip June 2
$365 members/$395 others    Cancellation/Refund 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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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!

David Hill: Fiction Workshop: Honoring Our Finest Impulses

David Hill copyNine Wednesdays, April 13 – June 8, 7-9:30pm  San Francisco
$365 members/$395 others      Cancellation/Refund Policy
Student Testimonials

Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. –– Henry Miller

“A writer should never leave a workshop feeling crestfallen or defeated. It takes a great deal of courage to begin writing at all, and it can at times feel like a lonely journey,” says David Hill. “A successful workshop is one in which every participant walks away with a better understanding of the elements of storytelling, feeling energized and eager to continue.

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Julie Bruck: Out of the Drawer & into the Light: Finish Those Poems!

Julie-B.-New1-e13297848389369 Thursdays, Jan. 28 thru March 24, 7-9:30 p.m.  San Francisco
$365 members/$395 others   Cancellation Policy
Testimonials for Julie

“It’s not where you take things from–it’s where you take them to.”–Jean-Luc Godard

A good workshop sends its members home with ideas and strategies for revision, but new (and not-so-new) poets often find revising difficult on their own: they keep accumulating fresh work without finishing what they’ve begun.

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Karen Bjorneby: Novel Writing Continuation Workshop

Karen Bjorneby 9.4.14Six Fridays, Jan. 29-June 17 (Jan. 29, Feb. 26, March 25, April 22, May 20, June 17) 7-9:30 p.m. (plus online activity between meetings)   San Francisco     
$365 members/$395 others   Cancellation Policy   Student Testimonials            

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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Kathleen McClung: Memoir Writing Continuation Class

3 Sundays, April 24, May 22, June 19 & online activity between meetings
2:30-5 pm   San Francisco  
$190 members/$200 others  
 Cancellation Policy   Testimonials for Kathleen

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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Kathleen McClung: Are You Allergic to Poetry?

mcclungnew221 Saturday, April 30, 10am-4pm  San Francisco
$95 members/$110 others    
Cancellation/Refund Policy
Testimonials for Kathleen

If your answer is yes, then this non-allergenic poetry workshop is custom-made for you. Maybe you identify as a memoirist, novelist or playwright. Maybe you find the short story a more appetizing genre.  Maybe you write code for a living. But whatever kind of writing you do, devoting a day to reading, talking about, and cooking up some poems of your own — yes, poems — can add an extra dimension of strengths, strategies, and spice to your creative projects in any genre.

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Kate Montgomery: Conjure Better Characters

Katie Montgomery Screenwriting

1 Saturday, April 16, 10am-4pm   San Francisco
$95 members/$110 non-members     Cancellation/Refund Policy
 Student Testimonials

What makes Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Holly Golightly, and Walter White all so unforgettable? Bigger than life yet somehow also accessible, these characters have all made us feel genuine emotion. “While we may not respect all their choices,” says instructor Kate Montgomery, “they have still managed to draw us in and make us care. If our best stories have just one thing in common, it’s a protagonist who stays with us long after the book is closed, or the screen has gone dark.”

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David Hill: From Life to the Page – Crafting Stories from Our Own Experiences

David Hill copy1 Saturday, January 14, 10am-4pm   
$130 members/$145 others     
Testimonials for David

“Nothing needs to happen to a writer’s life after they are twenty. By then they’ve experienced more than enough to last their creative life.” – Flannery O’Connor

“Our own experiences provide us an abundance of source material for writing,” says instructor David Hill. “But where to begin? How do we identify those charged moments from our pasts, and more importantly, how do we give shape to those events on the page in a way that captures their essence and provides a dynamic and engaging literary experience?”

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Kathleen McClung: Memoir Writing – Mine & Refine Your Memories

mcclungnew25 Saturdays, February 25 – April 1 (skip March 25), 2-4:30pm
$275 members/$295 others
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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Kate Montgomery: Intro to Screenwriting: Take the Leap!

Katie Montgomery Screenwriting

Five Saturdays, May 14 – June 18, 2-4:30pm  San Francisco
Skip May 28
$215 members/$245 others    Cancellation/Refund Policy
Testimonials for Kate


“Let’s face it, you’re already in the film business—you’ve seen more movies than you can count. And if you’re reading this, then you’ve also thought about writing one yourself. The industry is rapidly expanding and there’s more demand now than ever before for good screenwriters. But where to begin? How do you make your investment in time and study pay off?”

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Karen Bjorneby: Starting Your Novel – Get a Foothold on Your Project

Karen Bjorneby 9.4.145 Mondays, May 16 – June 20, 7-9:30pm  San Francisco
Skip May 30
$215 members/$245 others       Cancellation/Refund Policy 
Student Testimonials

COMBO SPECIAL: Intro to Fiction + Starting Your Novel

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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Elizabeth Gjelten: Live Words – Plays & Performance

5 Sundays, October 2 – October 30, 10:30am-1pm
$275 members/$295 others

“At its root, theater is about change — change that happens both in the characters and in the audience,” says instructor Elizabeth Gjelten. “How do we create that change? How do we create characters who are complex, real, and ripe for change? And how do we show that change, in the moment, in what they say and do?”

In this class, we’ll learn and practice a number of tools and exercises for generating new writing for performance — including plays and solo pieces — and for taking that raw material to the next level. These tools are geared to shake up habits of thought and tongue, to generate vivid images, to trick our minds into getting out of the way, to go deeper, to invoke. We’ll also begin to explore some of the basic building blocks of performance text, including dramatic structure, subtext, dialogue that sounds vital and real, and monologues that contain discovery and show rather than tell. We’ll learn how to read plays and other performance texts as writers, to use them as tools for our own writing process.

This class is for writers of all levels interested in writing for performance, including playwrights and solo writer-performers, as well as dancers and other multidisciplinary artists who want to incorporate text into their performances.

Elizabeth Gjelten is a playwright, poet, teacher, and community-based theater-maker. Her full-length plays include “Hunter’s Point” (St. Boniface Church Theater and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival), “What the Birds Carry” (The Pear Avenue Theater and Mae West Fest), and “Dance Lessons” (Venue 9 and Working Woman Festival). A graduate of SFSU’s MFA Creative Writing Program, she has taught playwriting/writing for performance in various academic and community settings, including New College of California, SFSU, JFK University, and juvenile detention facilities. She has received the Bay Area’s TITAN Award and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation Honorary Fellowship at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, as well as major funding for her work from the SF Arts Commission and the Walter & Elise Haas Fund. Her poetry chapbook, say I am you (self/other), was published by Modest Proposal.

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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