SPECIAL KICK-OFF Creative Writing Boot Camp with Jenny Pritchett

Saturday, April 8, 10am-4pm  San Francisco
$145 members/$130 non-members
Testimonials for Jenny

Bring your laptop or a pen and plenty of paper—this creative writing boot camp will shock you out of stasis and into practice. In this Saturday workshop, Jenny Pritchett will help you tease out the creative impulse that has lain dormant beneath obligations, fear, laziness, or just plain confusion at how to get started.

“Sometimes taking a class is the only way to get back to your creative practice,” says Jenny. “Signing up is the first step. And then, when you show up to class, pen and paper in hand, with all the hopes and fears of any lapsed or beginning writer—you’re halfway there.”

Come writers, come poets, come essayists: Writers of all types and levels are invited to delve into the fundamentals of craft and process in this fun, funny, and encouraging urban retreat. We’ll read stories that inspire us and other examples of good writing—and some bad, just for fun—brainstorm ideas, and complete a variety of free-writing exercises (some short and automatic and some more involved and tiered). We’ll dive into lively discussions and pause for brief workshops, which help us reflect, connect the dots, and generate new ideas as well as break through the fears that keep us from showing up for our own work. Throughout the day, students will engage with their personal observations and experience—the core to their authentic voices—and emerge with ideas and inspiration about how to keep going the day AFTER class ends.

Jenny Pritchett is very self-motivated. In addition to working full-time as an editor at a local nonprofit, she has taught creative writing classes since 2006 and writes the popular blog, Jenny True: An Excruciatingly Personal Food Blog. Her debut story collection, At or Near the Surface (Fourteen Hills Press), won the 2008 Michael Rubin Book Award, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in Guernica, Salon, Southwest Review, Northwest Review, Boulevard, Best of the Web 2008 (Dzanc Books), and elsewhere. She holds a degree in magazine journalism from Northwestern University and an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. The former managing editor of Fourteen Hills, she has taught or lectured at SFSU, California College of the Arts, Ex’pression College for Digital Arts, and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Kathleen McClung: Intro to Creative Writing

mcclungnew25 Saturdays, April 22 – May 20, 2-4:30pm  San Francisco
$275 members/$295 non-members
Testimonials for Kathleen

This class is closed.

In this beginner’s course, you’ll be introduced to creative nonfiction (i.e., personal essays/memoir), fiction, and poetry. Kathleen will give you writing prompts to spark your imagination, memories, and observations. In fun and instructive exercises, you’ll explore craft basics such as developing distinctive characters, creating believable dialogue, and using specific sensory language.

In addition to doing your own writing, you’ll read short selections from writers like Ellen Bass, Edwidge Danticat, Kazuo Ishiguro, and others. “We’ll talk about both what the writers are saying and how they shape their writing in artful ways, their strategies as well as their subjects,” says Kathleen. Supportive discussions and sharing of your own writing will also be an important part of the class. By the end of the course you’ll have the tools to develop a creative piece in any genre you choose.

Kathleen McClung has mentored hundreds of writers at Skyline College, The Writing Salon, and other colleges. She has also edited books at small presses including UCSF Nursing Press, Food First Books, and Westview Press. She serves as a reviewer for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, sponsored by the Stanford University Libraries, sponsor/judge for the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition, and coordinator of Women on Writing community events. Her memoir, poetry, and fiction have been published in the Healing Muse, Bloodroot, Unsplendid, Poets 11, Spirituality & Health, Tilt-a-Whirl, Tule Review, A Bird Black as the Sun: California Poets on Crows and Ravens, and elsewhere. In 2012 Kathleen won the Rita Dove Poetry Award, and Naomi Shihab Nye selected her work as the winner of the national poetry competition sponsored by the Cultural Center of Cape Cod. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, Almost the Rowboat, in January 2013.

Leora Fridman: Raw Writing – A Class for Generating New Material

5 Tuesdays, April 18 – May 16, 7-9:30pm  San Francisco
$275 members/$295 non-members

Do you struggle to find time to write? Do you have a project in mind that you just can’t find your way into? Or do you simply want to try out something new? In this class we will focus on the tender excitement of getting started: we will learn to see the opportunity in the blank page.

“We will get going with writing prompts from a variety of genres,” says instructor Leora Fridman, “and we’ll look beyond our notebooks and keyboards for inspiration, using strategies from the visual, the somatic, and other modalities of the body and mind. We’ll write in response to prompts from visual art, found objects and more—and participate in collaborative writing exercises that will push us into new territory.” 

Although you’ll have optional opportunities to share your work with the class and to support one another’s writing, this is not a workshop focused on critique or revision. We’re focusing our attention on starts and experiments. During class, we’ll also spark creativity by reading examples of contemporary writing, with an emphasis on lyric and shorter forms.

At the end of the course, you will have a new understanding of your own writing process, a selection of prompts you can use moving forward, and brand-new starts that you can draw from and revise on your own time. This course is appropriate for those with lots of experience in writing and for those with very little experience—the purpose of the course is to generate your own momentum in ways that will be useful across all genres of writing.

Leora Fridman is the author of My Fault (Cleveland State University Press, 2016) in addition to five chapbooks, and is currently at work on a book of nonfiction. Her poems, prose, and translations appear and are forthcoming in magazines including Tricycle Magazine, Denver Quarterly, jubilat, and jacket2. Leora holds degrees from the University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA Program for Poets and Writers and from Brown University, and has taught for universities and community organizations across the country. She is a recipient of multiple grants and honors from supporters including the Vermont Studio Center, the Center for Cultural Innovation, and the Dorot Foundation. More at

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 send an email to, and we will sign them up via email.

Julie Bruck: Fearless Poetry Workshop

5 Thursdays, April 20 – May 18, 7-9:30pm  San Francisco
$275 members/$295 non-members
Testimonials for Julie

This workshop is intended for people who want to jumpstart 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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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: 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, June 3, 10am-4pm   San Francisco   
$130 members/$145 non-members     
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 non-members
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 Wednesdays, April 19 – May 17, 7-9:30pm  San Francisco
$275 members/$295 non-members   
Student Testimonials

Writing a successful novel demands a lot of a writer. Novelists need to develop convincing characters, craft a gripping plot, create settings that make their story vivid, and write in a voice that makes their work unique.

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