Jess Wells: Beyond the First Draft: Works-in-Progress (fiction)

Six Fridays, July 19-Dec. 6 (monthly meetings: July 19, Aug. 16, Sept. 13, Oct. 11, Nov. 8, Dec. 6) 7-9:30 pm, plus online interaction between meetings   $365 members/$395 others   Berkeley
Testimonials for Jess    


Note: This class is especially appropriate for (but not limited to) students who have taken any of Jess’s other classes.

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Jess Wells: Intro to the Short Story, Historical Fiction & More

Hi Jane,

I just wanted to tell you how great Jess’ short story class was yesterday. It was exactly what I was looking for! We talked about the differences in content and structure in short stories vs the novel. We discussed how novel focus more on emotion and character and short stories focus more on theme and plot. We talked about how every character in the short story somehow expressed the theme or relates to the theme in a different way. We talked about keeping our characters limited to 3-4. And we discussed how the plotting is different in the short story as well. It sort of all came together for me. Now I just have to write it! (The easy part right?).

We also workshopped the stories we’re working on then worked through the seven basic questions as they apply to our stories. We even talked about the history of the short story.

Anyway, I highly recommend this class and Jess as an instructor.

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Creating Credible Worlds: Settings that Work Hard for Your Story

Saturday, Jan. 26th, 10 am to 4 pm
$95 members/$110 others   

Setting in fiction plays a huge role. Whether your write sci-fi, romance, historicals, erotica, thrillers, mysteries, or literary fiction, the setting can make or break your story. “Setting is not a simple backdrop, like a green screen on which a film is shot,” says instructor Jess Wells. “It’s no accident that your intrepid hero has to ride through a narrow mountain pass: it’s the way you force friend and foe into a meeting.  It’s helpful that your main character is the village doctor, hosting family after family during their crisis in a little room in the front of the house. Even the relentless dark and biting wind of a distant planet illustrates both the physical challenges facing the colony of scientists, as well as their brooding cruelty to one another.”

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Jess Wells: Writing Historical Fiction – Facts & Fibs Combined

Saturday Aug. 10th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$95 members/$110 non-members   San Francisco

Student Testimonials


Whether you’re intrigued by Norse settlements, your own grandmother’s journey to America, or an imaginary character from a far-away time, historical fiction can be an enchanting new outlet for your writing.

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