We’re Never Far from a Book

Jane Underwood

Founder

Jane Underwood passed away in February 2016. She was the founder and former director of The Writing Salon, as well as a writer, editor, photographer, and teacher. She created and facilitated the immensely popular and still-thriving Daily Write Round Robin class. Her poetry, erotica, articles, and essays have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies, including The San Francisco Chronicle, The Sun, Salon.com, Western Humanities Review, Ripe Fruit, and Best Women’s Erotica. Her posthumous collection of poems, When My Heart Goes Dark, I Turn the Porch Light On, was published in April 2017.

Ben Jackson

Executive Director

Ben Jackson has been the director since March 2016. Over the past fifteen years, he has taught composition, literature, and creative writing at a wide range of colleges, schools, and retreat centers, including the University of San Francisco, The Writing Salon, and the Esalen Institute. His writing has appeared in New England Review, Southern Review, Hudson Review, FIELD, Prairie Schooner, The Collagist, and elsewhere. A graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, he has won awards and fellowships from the Tor House Foundation, Warren Wilson College, Vermont Studio Center, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and Jentel Artist Residency Program.

Eda Goksel

Marketing & Design Director

Eda Jackson is a designer and strategist based in the East Bay. Her design work has included creating murals for Wells Fargo to branding and designing websites for clients like Autodesk, ACLU, Accela, and Mentors, Inc. Most recently, Eda was the Creative Director at Hack Reactor, a Software Engineering bootcamp. Eda has worked on projects for The Writing Salon before, designing our brand-new website and logo. When she is not too deeply involved in her design and brand work, you can find her hiking with her daughter and husband in Tilden Park. Oh and cappuccino, she loves cappuccino…

Aliya Charney

Social Media Coordinator

Aliya Charney has been writing since the age of five when she would crawl into her closet to draft short stories, keeping them safe from prying eyes in a Hello Kitty pencil case. She has published her poetry in several Bay Area literary magazines, and is a recent graduate from UC Berkeley where she earned her degree in English and Theater Studies. Aliya has worked as a Dramaturg at The California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes) and American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), as well as a Cat Wrangler at San Francisco’s first Cat Cafe. Currently, she works in marketing and content creation for a small tech company and loves taking classes at The Writing Salon.

Keith Donnell Jr.

Fall Intern

Keith Donnell Jr. is a third-year MFA candidate at San Francisco State University, focusing mostly on poetry, and holds a M.A. in English from University of Southern California—where he studied topics related to 19th and 20th century African American literature, migration and culture. He’s also interested in the Negro Leagues, having played baseball for much of his life (with the messed-up shoulder to prove it), and hopes to explore the subject in future projects. His work has appeared in journals including Juked, New American Writing, Berkeley Poetry Review, Redivider and LUMINA. He is the current Editor-in-Chief of Fourteen Hills. He makes a mean Gumbo.

Meet Our Teachers

Our teachers have spent years as committed writers learning the ins and outs of the craft. With passion, humor, insight, and sensitivity, they bring their wide-ranging knowledge into the classroom. They know how to spark creativity, lead a range of discussions (from the literary to the personal), and offer constructive and compassionate feedback.

  • Alison Luterman
    Alison Luterman

    Alison Luterman

    Alison Luterman has been shamelessly telling tales from her own life ever since she could grip a sweaty pencil. She has published essays in The Sun, Modern Love, L.A. Review, Radiance, Response, The East Bay Express, The Boston Phoenix and Salon. She has also written an e-book of essays entitled Feral City, about midlife domestication, remarriage, and second chances (available from SheBooks). Alison is also the author of three books of poetry: The Largest Possible LifeSee How We Almost Fly, and Desire Zoo. Last but not least, she writes plays, including Saying Kaddish With My Sister, Glitter and Spew, and a musical, The Chain.

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  • Andy Touhy
    Andy Touhy

    Andy Touhy

    Andy Touhy, a recipient of the San Francisco Browning Society’s Dramatic Monologue Award and Fourteen Hills’ Bambi Holmes Fiction Prize, is also a nominee for inclusion in Best New American Voices. In 2016 his story manuscript, “The Secret of Mayo,” was named the finalist for BOA Editions’ Short Fiction Prize. Work from the collection has appeared in journals such as Conjunctions, New England Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, New American Writing, New Orleans Review, Colorado Review, Eleven Eleven, and The Collagist. He holds graduate degrees in literature and creative writing and has taught at SFSU, Academy of Art, and Ohio University. He lives in Oakland with his wife and child.

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  • Anita Amirrezvani
    Anita Amirrezvani

    Anita Amirrezvani

    Anita Amirrezvani was born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in San Francisco. Her first novel, The Blood of Flowers, has appeared in 31 languages and was long-listed for the 2008 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her second novel, Equal of the Sun, was published by Scribner in 2012 and has appeared in eight languages to date. Anita has been an invited speaker at book festivals in Australia, Canada, Dubai, Scotland, and in many locations throughout the United States. She teaches in the MFA Writing Program at the California College of the Arts.

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  • Arisa White
    Arisa White

    Arisa White

    Cave Canem graduate fellow Arisa White received her MFA from UMass, Amherst, and is the author of Black Pearl, Post Pardon, Hurrah’s Nest, and A Penny Saved. She teaches in the low-residency BFA program at Goddard College and is a member of the board of directors for Nomadic Press. You’re the Most Beautiful Thing that Happened, published by Augury Books, was a nominee for the 29th Lambda Literary Award.

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  • Austin Smith
    Austin Smith

    Austin Smith

    Austin Smith grew up on a family dairy farm in northwestern Illinois. His poems and stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Poetry Magazine, Narrative Magazine, Threepenny Review, ZYZZYVA, Yale Review, Sewanee Review, Ploughshares and New England Review, amongst others. His first collection of poems, Almanac, was chosen for the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets and published in 2013. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in fiction, Smith teaches poetry, fiction and nature writing classes at Stanford University.

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  • Ben Jackson
    Ben Jackson

    Ben Jackson

    Ben Jackson has been the director of The Writing Salon since March 2016. He has taught at a wide range of colleges, schools, and retreat centers, including the University of San Francisco and the Esalen Institute. His writing has appeared in New England Review, Southern Review, Hudson Review, FIELD, Prairie Schooner, The Collagist, and elsewhere. A graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, he has won awards and fellowships from the Tor House Foundation, Warren Wilson College, Vermont Studio Center, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and Jentel Artist Residency Program.

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  • Brian Tierney
    Brian Tierney

    Brian Tierney

    Brian Tierney is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University. He is a graduate of the Bennington College’s MFA Writing Seminars, and holds a BA in English and Journalism, as well as an MA in Literature, from Duquesne University, where he was a teaching fellow and, later, an adjunct instructor in Literature and Composition. Brian’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming in: Kenyon Review, FIELD, Poetry Northwest, Gettysburg Review, Best New Poets, AGNI, The Rumpus, and others. In 2013, Narrative magazine named him among its “30 Below 30” emerging writers.

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  • Cary Groner
    Cary Groner

    Cary Groner

    Cary Groner’s debut novel, Exiles (Spiegel & Grau / Random House), was a Chicago Tribune best book of 2011. His short stories have won numerous awards, including the Glimmer Train fiction open, and appeared there and in other venues that include American Fiction, Mississippi Review, Southern California Review, Sycamore Review, Tampa Review, Zymbol, and Salamander. Cary earned his MFA in 2009 from the University of Arizona, where he also taught undergraduate fiction writing. His students have been accepted at several prestigious MFA programs, including the University of Texas’s Michener Center, Johns Hopkins, the University of Montana, the University of Tampa, and Antioch.

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  • Elaine Beale
    Elaine Beale

    Elaine Beale

    Elaine Beale’s second novel, Another Life Altogether, was published by Random House in 2010. It has received praise from the Boston Globe, Lambda Literary, Curve Magazine, the Bay Area Reporter, and Publishers Weekly, among others, and it was featured in Oprah Magazine. Elaine was the winner of the 2007 Poets and Writers California Writers Exchange Award and has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She has taught creative writing for more than a decade.

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  • Flora Tsapovsky
    Flora Tsapovsky

    Flora Tsapovsky

    Flora Tsapovsky is a writer and a teacher, specializing in culture and food writing. She was born in Russia, spent over 20 years in Israel and moved to California five years ago. She has mentored creative writing students at a variety of formats, most recently through the popular Bay Area program, Take My Word For It. An ASJA member, she has contributed to Lucky Peach Magazine, Afar Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, the North Bay Bohemian, and the Pacific Sun. She has published a food column in Israel’s leading daily newspaper, Maariv, and traveled the world sampling all the flavors the globe has to offer. She is the founder of Bicoastalista, an online magazine dedicated to living in two places at once, from a female perspective. Flora holds an M.A in Journalism from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She lives in El Cerrito, CA.

     

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  • Gila Lyons
    Gila Lyons

    Gila Lyons

    Gila Lyons‘ work has appeared in SalonCosmopolitan, Refinery29Vox, The Huffington Post, GOOD Magazine, The Rumpus, The Morning News, Ploughshares, Brevity, and other publications, and has been shared and reviewed at New York MagazineLongreads, Vela, and anthologized in books and collections. She holds an MFA in literary nonfiction from Columbia University, teaches writing and literature, and is at work on a memoir about seeking a natural cure for anxiety and panic disorder but falling prey to the underbelly of the alternative health movement. Links to published work can be found at www.gilalyons.com. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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  • Jay Ridler
    Jay Ridler

    Jay Ridler

    Jason S. Ridler is a writer, improv actor, and historian. He is the author of A TRIUMPH FOR SAKURA, BLOOD AND SAWDUST, the Spar Battersea thrillers and the upcoming BRIMSTONE FILES series for Nightshade Press. He’s published over sixty stories in such magazines and anthologies as The Big Click, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Out of the Gutter, and more. He also writes the column FXXK WRITING! for Flash Fiction Online. A former punk rock musician and cemetery groundskeeper, Jay holds a Ph.D. in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada. He lives in Berkeley, CA.

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  • Jenny Pritchett
    Jenny Pritchett

    Jenny Pritchett

    Jenny Pritchett 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.

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  • Jess Wells
    Jess Wells

    Jess Wells

    Jess Wells is the author of thirteen volumes of work, including the novel A Slender Tether on the early years of Christine de Pizan, a pioneering thinker of the 14th century French court; and the novel The Mandrake Broom, dramatizing the fight to save medical knowledge during the witch-burning times in Europe (1465-1540). Wells is the winner of a San Francisco Art Commission Grant for Literature and a four-time finalist for the national Lambda Literary Award. Her work is included in dozens of anthologies and literary journals.

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  • Julie Bruck
    Julie Bruck

    Julie Bruck

    Julie Bruck is the author of three books of poetry from Canada’s Brick Books, Monkey Ranch (2012), The End of Travel (1999), and The Woman Downstairs (1993). Her work has appeared in such magazines as Ms, Ploughshares, and The New Yorker, and her awards include two Gold Canadian National Magazine Awards, and the 2012 Governor General’s Award for poetry (the Canadian equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize). She has taught at several Canadian universities, and was a resident faculty member at The Robert Frost Place. She has an MFA from Warren Wilson, and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and the Canada Council. A former Montrealer, she has lived in San Francisco since 1997.

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  • Junse Kim
    Junse Kim

    Junse Kim

    Junse Kim, like many Writing Salon students, didn’t begin to pursue a writing life until well after graduating from college. Before ever taking a writing class, he worked as a concert promoter, Peace Corps volunteer, managerial consultant, scriptwriter, nonprofit fundraiser, and “full-time” temp. He has since received a Pushcart Prize (for his short story “Yangban”), a Faulkner Award, and the Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing at Bucknell University. His fiction and creative nonfiction have been published in the Ontario Review, ZYZZYVA, and Cimarron Review, as well as two anthologies: Pushcart Prize XXVII and Echoes Upon Echoes: New Korean American Writing.

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  • Karen Bjorneby
    Karen Bjorneby

    Karen Bjorneby

    Karen Bjorneby is the author of Hurricane Season, which received Foreword’s Honorable Mention as best independent/university press short fiction collection of the year. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in over two dozen publications including The Threepenny Review, The Sun, North American Review, StoryQuarterly, Poetry Daily, and Able Muse. She’s received a Pushcart Special Mention citation, two other Pushcart nominations, a National Magazine Award nomination, and she was a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference. She recently secured representation for her novel Naked, Shining, and Alive.

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  • Kate Montgomery
    Kate Montgomery

    Kate Montgomery

    Kate Montgomery is best known for her award-winning Native American comedy Christmas in the Clouds, which premiered at The Sundance Film Festival and went on to win top prizes in Austin & Santa Fe. Her credits also include the digital indie Ever Since the World Ended, which won the San Francisco Independent Film Festival and London Sci Fi Film Festival. Kate’s current projects include the San Francisco-based comedy series Neither Here Nor There, the dramatic feature Outerlands, the action-packed co-pro Ill Winds, and her own romantic comedy Hooking Up Hannah. A member of the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America, Kate has optioned and sold screenplays to studios and producers in the US, UK & Canada and works as a writing coach, story editor and marketing consultant for industry clients in the US and abroad.

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  • Katharine Harer
    Katharine Harer

    Katharine Harer

    Katharine Harer loves teaching creative writing. She has worked with hundreds, maybe thousands, of students in her over thirty-year career as a community college writing teacher at Skyline College and private workshop instructor. Katharine has published six collections of poetry, the most recent, Jazz & Other Hot Subjects, in 2016. Her poetry and nonfiction have been published widely in literary journals, newspapers, magazines, and anthologies. Her most recent travel essay, Delle Donne, appears in Best Women’s Travel Writing 2016, from Travelers’ Tales. She’s currently working on a personal travel essay about Bali.

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  • Kathleen McClung
    Kathleen McClung

    Kathleen McClung

    Kathleen McClung has mentored hundreds of writers at Skyline College, The Writing Salon, and other colleges, and she has taught/advised student teachers in the credential program at Mills College. 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, 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.

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  • Kathy Garlick
    Kathy Garlick

    Kathy Garlick

    Kathy Garlick’s poetry and prose have appeared in Art and Ideas, Fourteen Hills, Field, and other publications. Her chapbook of poems, The Listening World, was published by Momotombo Press at St. Mary’s College. Kathy currently teaches creative writing and academic writing at University of San Francisco and creative writing and literature in the English Master’s program at Holy Names University.

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  • Kerry Muir
    Kerry Muir

    Kerry Muir

    Kerry Muir holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College. Her prose has appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Crazyhorse, Fourth Genre, The Pinch and elsewhere. Her essay “Martin” was the winner of Carve Magazine’s Premiere Edition contest, and her flash piece, “Clinic,” was the runner-up in Quarter After Eight’s contest judged by Alison Stine. She’s led writing workshops for teens at Children of the Night, and is currently at work on a collection of personal essays and photographs.

     

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  • Kristin FitzPatrick
    Kristin FitzPatrick

    Kristin FitzPatrick

    Kristin FitzPatrick is the author of My Pulse is an Earthquake, a short story collection published in 2015 by West Virginia University Press. Her work has appeared in Colorado ReviewThe Southeast Review, Best of Gival Press Short Stories, Epiphany, and Ventura County Star. Her writing has also been chosen for the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, The New Short Fiction Series and Stories on Stage. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Jentel Artist Residency Program and The Seven Hills School. Originally from Michigan, she now lives in Alameda.

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  • Laura Atkins
    Laura Atkins

    Laura Atkins

    Laura Atkins is a children’s book author, editor, and teacher. She has edited books for over twenty years, taught undergraduate and MA-level children’s writing at the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature in London, and received top evaluations when running the MG/YA workshop at the Mendocino Writer’s Conference. She has an MA in Children’s Literature from Roehampton University in London, and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. The author of a picture book, Sled Dog Dachshund, and co-author of a MG biography, Fred Korematsu Speaks Up, Laura lives in Berkeley with her daughter and their dog.

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  • Leora Fridman
    Leora Fridman

    Leora Fridman

    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, Pacific Standard, Temporary Art Review, 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.

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  • Lori Ostlund
    Lori Ostlund

    Lori Ostlund

    Lori Ostlund’s novel After the Parade (Scribner, 2015) was shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, was a finalist for the 2016 Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction and the Northern California Book Award for Fiction, and was a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers pick. Her first book, a story collection entitled The Bigness of the World, won the 2008 Flannery O’Connor Award, the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, and the 2009 California Book Award for First Fiction. Stories from it appeared in the Best American Short Stories and the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories. Scribner reissued the collection in early 2016. Lori received the 2009 Rona Jaffe Foundation Award and a fellowship to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Most recently, her work has appeared in ZYZZYVA, The Southern Review, and the Kenyon Review.

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  • Lyzette Wanzer
    Lyzette Wanzer

    Lyzette Wanzer

    Lyzette Wanzer is a San Francisco writer, editor, and creative writing workshop instructor. She has taught at San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, San Francisco Writers’ Conference, the Mechanics’ Institute Library, and Mill Valley Library. Her work has appeared in over 20 literary journals. She is a contributor to The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays (Wyatt-MacKenzie, 2012), The Naked Truth, and San Francisco University High School Journal. Lyzette is the recipient of grants from the Center for Cultural Innovation, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and the Creative Capacity Fund, and writing residencies in New York, Oregon, Nebraska, Virginia, Arkansas, and Alberta, Canada. She is currently at work on Jaywalking, an essay collection.

     

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  • Maxine Rose Schur
    Maxine Rose Schur

    Maxine Rose Schur

    Maxine Rose Schur is an award-winning author of books for children. Her evocative rendering of daily life in an Ethiopian village, Day of Delight, won a Parent’s Choice Award and was read by Gregory Hines on National Public Radio. Its sequel, When I Left My Village, won her the first of her two Sydney Taylor Awards for most outstanding contribution to Jewish Children’s Literature. As the recipient of the Joan G. Sugarman Award, Maxine was a Baker-Nord Guest Lecturer at Case Western Reserve University. She has created educational software for children and has developed children’s stories for Scholastic, Houghton-Mifflin, Harcourt Brace, Radio New Zealand, and the BBC.

     

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  • Michael David Lukas
    Michael David Lukas

    Michael David Lukas

    Michael David Lukas is the author of the international bestselling novel The Oracle of Stamboul, which was a finalist for the California Book Award, the NCIBA Book of the Year Award, and the Harold U. Ribalow Prize, and has been published in fifteen languages. His second novel, The Last Watchman of Old Cairo, is forthcoming from Spiegel & Grau in Spring 2018. He has been a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey, a student at the American University of Cairo, and a night-shift proofreader in Tel Aviv. A graduate of Brown University, he has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Santa Maddalena Foundation, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, and VQR. He lives in Oakland, California.

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  • Nate Klug
    Nate Klug

    Nate Klug

    Nate Klug earned a BA in English at the University of Chicago and a Masters from Yale Divinity School. He is the author of Rude Woods, a modern translation of Virgil’s Eclogues (The Song Cave, 2013), and Anyone, a book of poems (The University of Chicago Press, 2015). His writing has been supported by the Poetry Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the James Merrill House. His poems, translations, and essays can be found in Poetry, Threepenny Review, Image, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. A UCC-Congregationalist minister, Nate has served churches in Connecticut, Iowa, and right here in California.

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  • Shirin Bridges
    Shirin Bridges

    Shirin Bridges

    Shirin Yim Bridges has made the successful transition from author (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, HarperCollins, Chronicle Books) to award-winning editor and publisher. Head Goose at Goosebottom Books, Shirin has given workshops and seminars on writing and publishing for Stanford University, San Francisco State University, Illinois State University, the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference, the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, and the Book Passage Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference.

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Writing is a very solitary occupation. My students inspire me to keep going. There is a wonderful range: beginners, people who have written in an academic setting but lost their creativity, older adults who never found their creative voices. I love seeing them give themselves permission to play. It gives me permission to do it myself.

Elaine Beale, Writing Salon Teacher

Hear from Our Students

Lawyers, entrepreneurs, photographers, taxi drivers, psychologists, journalists, retired folks, folks in between jobs or just out of college—people from all walks of life have taken classes at The Writing Salon. You don’t need to worry about fitting in. Anybody can be a writer, for any reason.

  • Marilyn J. Curry
    Marilyn J. Curry Clinical Social Worker

    What are your most valuable lessons from your Writing Salon experience?

    There are many valuable lessons I’ve learned from the WS, depending on where I was in my own development as a writer. In the beginning, with memoir writing, I learned the importance of “voice” in my writing. How to tell a good story, and also how to trust the process of “free writing”, to let the story come out and shape it later. Years later with novel writing, I had to learn technical skills, including the impact of choosing what POV to write my characters in, as well as the challenge of managing the scope of making a leap to something as large as a novel.

    How has The Writing Salon community impacted your personal and creative life?

    The WS classes have provided a social place to bring the writing and meet other writers. Writing can be isolating and the WS classes provide some informal social support to give and receive encouragement, as well as an opportunity to learn from each other.

    If applicable, how have you felt about the peer and instructor critiques that you have received at The Writing Salon? Please explain.

    In the several novel writing classes I’ve taken at WS over the past couple of years, the critique of my instructor was critical to my writing learning curve. There are many ways to get lost in the process of writing a novel. I felt that the expert knowledge of the craft and the practice of novel writing I received, helped me to avoid several of the pitfalls. I also found the practice of positive, helpful weekly feedback, from an assigned writing partner in class, encouraging and sustaining.

    Describe The Writing Salon in one word.

    Inspiring.

  • Emma Buls
    Emma Buls HR & Administration for a renewables company

    How many classes have you taken at The Writing Salon? And which ones, as far as you remember?

    Many! I started with Jenny Pritchett's You Should Write That Down! and then Kathleen McClung's Intro to Memoir class and have followed up with five or six sessions of Memoir Continuation. I've also taken several day classes: Jenny Pritchett's submissions class (can't remember the actual title), Dianne Jacob's Will Write For Food, Lisa Alpine's Travel Writing class. I'm currently in the Daily Write Round Robin with Kathy Garlick.

    What are your most valuable lessons from your Writing Salon experience?

    I've learned to trust myself more and take more risks in my writing. This thinking has seeped into other areas of my life.

    How has The Writing Salon community impacted your personal and creative life?

    I write every day now. Every day! I submitted to and won first place in memoir at the Soul Making Keats Writing Competition in 2015 and took third place and honorable mention in 2016. I have several pieces, both memoir and short story, that I plan to submit to several publications. The goal is to be published.

    Describe The Writing Salon in one word.

    Inspiring.

  • Sam Jacobs
    Sam Jacobs Lawyer/Yoga Teacher

    What are your most valuable lessons from your Writing Salon experience?

    The classes I took at the Salon were my first exposure to workshop critique and participating in the creative process with other students. I felt as the sessions progressed, I read work (mine and others) more critically, saw areas for growth and clarity, and identified how to better help my peers by asking questions.

    How has The Writing Salon community impacted your personal and creative life?

    The community at the Salon during both workshops was inspiring and wonderfully supportive. I felt encouraged to find so many people who did not define themselves as writers per se being writers.

    Are there classes and events that you’d like to see us run at The Writing Salon?

    I love the reading series. Please keep them up! The offerings so far have been very exciting and I look forward to taking another class soon.

    Describe The Writing Salon in one word.

    Inspiring.

  • Chris Ernest Hall
    Chris Ernest Hall Writer

    What steps did you take to become a committed writer?

    I go to the cafe every day without my phone.

    How has The Writing Salon community impacted your personal and creative life?

    A great deal. I have made new friends, rebooted and re-invigorated my writing career.

    If applicable, how have you felt about the peer and instructor critiques that you have received at The Writing Salon? Please explain.

    Mostly quite positively! I had no idea what to expect, but I've found the quality of instruction and feedback to be quite high.

    Describe The Writing Salon in one word.

    Inspiring.

  • Lillian Schroth
    Lillian Schroth Journalist/Communications Director

    What steps did you take to become a committed writer?

    I established my own strict structure and deadlines.

    What are your most valuable lessons from your Writing Salon experience?

    Let go of perfection and play. Keep writing and the screenplay will slowly take shape.

    If applicable, how have you felt about the peer and instructor critiques that you have received at The Writing Salon? Please explain.

    They were great and provided very constructive criticism and a tremendous amount of encouragement and support.

    Describe The Writing Salon in one word.

    Rare.

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