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. In 2017, Blue Light Press published her posthumous collection of poems, When My Heart Goes Dark, I Turn the Porch Light On.

Ben Jackson

Executive Director

Ben Jackson has been the executive director since March 2016. 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, Poetry Daily, 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.

Kathy Garlick

Education Director

Kathy Garlick brings thirty years of experience teaching creative writing and literature at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Art and Ideas, Fourteen Hills, Field, Pool, and other publications. A chapbook of poems, The Listening World, was published by Momotombo Press at St. Mary’s College. Kathy received her M.F.A from Sarah Lawrence College and Ph.D. from the University of Houston. She currently teaches creative writing and academic writing at the University of San Francisco and Holy Names University.

Rose Haynes Touhy

Operations Manager

Rose Haynes Touhy joins The Writing Salon with over 20 years of experience working with non-profit organizations, most recently as an independent philanthropy consultant. She is passionate about education and has helped launch multiple self-directed learning programs, one of which she founded and led. She is proud to serve on the board of Northbay Letterpress Arts, and as a member of the Sonoma County Poet Laureate Selection Committee. Rose received an MFA in Poetry from San Francisco State University, and lives in the North Bay with her husband and son, a noisy bird, and a delightfully rambunctious puppy.

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.

  • Addie Tsai
    Addie Tsai

    Addie Tsai

    Addie Tsai (any/all) is a queer nonbinary artist and writer of color. They collaborated with Dominic Walsh Dance Theater on Victor Frankenstein and Camille Claudel, among others. Addie has an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College and a PhD in Dance from Texas Woman’s University. She is the author of the queer Asian young adult novel Dear Twin. Unwieldy Creatures, their adult queer biracial retelling of Frankenstein, is forthcoming from Jaded Ibis Press in August 2022. They are the Fiction Co-Editor and Editor of Features & Reviews at Anomaly, Staff Writer at Spectrum South, and Founding Editor & Editor in Chief at just femme & dandy.

    Addie Tsai's Classes in Session:

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    • Alan Chazaro
      Alan Chazaro

      Alan Chazaro

      Alan Chazaro is the author of This Is Not a Frank Ocean Cover Album (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and Piñata Theory (Black Lawrence Press, 2020). He is a graduate of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley and a former Lawrence Ferlinghetti Fellow at the University of San Francisco. He is currently a creative writing adjunct professor in the Bay Area, and the co-founding editor at HeadFake. Find him on Twitter @alan_chazaro.

      Alan Chazaro's Classes in Session:

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      • Alison Luterman
        Alison Luterman

        Alison Luterman

        Alison Luterman is the author of four books of poetry, including In the Time of Great Fires and Desire Zoo, and an e-book of personal essays, Feral City. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Sun, Rattle, The Atlanta Review, Catamaran, and many other journals and anthologies. She also writes song lyrics, plays, and is interested in hybrid forms. She has been teaching at the Writing Salon for over twenty years, and has also taught through Poets in the Schools, at New College, at Esalen and Omega Institutes and at workshops and conferences around the country. To learn more, you can visit www.alisonluterman.net.

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        • Allison Landa
          Allison Landa

          Allison Landa

          Allison Landa is a Berkeley-based writer of fiction and memoir whose work has been featured in The Guardian US, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post, among other venues. She is the author of BEARDED LADY, a memoir forthcoming from Woodhall Press. Landa holds an MFA in creative writing from St. Mary’s College of California and runs the On the Cusp reading series in San Francisco. She is represented by Marisa Zeppieri of Strachan Literary.

          Allison Landa's Classes in Session:

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          • Andy Touhy
            Andy Touhy

            Andy Touhy

            Andrew R. Touhy is the author of Designs for a Magician’s Top Hat, winner of the inaugural Yemassee Fiction Chapbook Prize. He is also a recipient of the San Francisco Browning Society’s Dramatic Monologue Award and Fourteen Hills Bambi Holmes Award for Emerging Writers. Stories from Secret of Mayo, his full-length collection and a finalist for the BOA Short Fiction Prize, have appeared in Conjunctions, New England Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, New American Writing, The Collagist, Colorado Review, and other literary magazines. He holds graduate degrees in literature and creative writing and has taught at SFSU, Academy of Art, and Ohio University.

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            • Ann Guy
              Ann Guy

              Ann Guy

              Ann Guy is a writer and recovering engineer who was born in the Philippines, grew up among the cornfields and cow patties of Western Michigan, and now lives in Oakland, California with her husband and two kids. She writes fiction and creative nonfiction, and her work has been featured in CRAFT Literary, River Teeth (Beautiful Things), Sweet Lit, Entropy, MUTHA, Ekphrastic Review, Literary Mama, and Motherwell. A graduate of MIT, UC Berkeley, and San Francisco State University, her favorite spaces are learning environments. She has taught creative writing classes at San Francisco State University and private workshops in the East Bay.

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              • Anne Raeff
                Anne Raeff

                Anne Raeff

                Anne Raeff‘s second novel, Winter Kept Us Warm, was published in February 2018 by Counterpoint Press. Her short story collection, The Jungle Around Us, won the 2015 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and her stories and essays have appeared in New England Review, ZYZZYVA, and Guernica among other places. Because her parents were both refugees from the Holocaust and war and because of her penchant for travel, her work is often set far away, both in time and space, from the New Jersey suburbs where she grew up. She is proud to be a high school teacher and works primarily with recent immigrants.

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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 PearlPost Pardon, Hurrah’s Nest, and A Penny Saved. She is an assistant professor in the Creative Writing Program at Colby 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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                  • 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, Poetry Daily, Prairie Schooner, 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.

                    Ben Jackson's Classes in Session:

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                    • Brian Tierney
                      Brian Tierney

                      Brian Tierney

                      Brian Tierney is the author of Rise and Float, winner of the 20-2021 Jake Adam York Prize (Milkweed, 2022). His poetry and prose have appeared in such journals as Paris Review, Kenyon Review, AGNI, New England Review, The Adroit Journal, and others. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, and a graduate of the Bennington College MFA Writing Seminars, he was named among Narrative Magazine’s 2013 “30 Below 30” emerging writers, and is winner of the 2018 George Bogin Memorial Award from The Poetry Society of America. Raised in Philadelphia, he lives in Oakland, Ca., where he teaches poetry at The Writing Salon.

                      Brian Tierney's Classes in Session:

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                      • David Jacobson
                        David Jacobson

                        David Jacobson

                        David Jacobson is sole proprietor of Inkflow Communications, which provides writing/editing services and marketing communications consulting to social impact organizations in the areas of youth development, sports/fitness, and DEI efforts. He has self-published Az der Papa (a YA coming-of-age novella), At the Cookout: A White Man’s Journey in Black America (memoir), and The Man Behind the Mask (collaboration with American Ninja Warrior athletes Flip Rodriguez and Noah Kaufman). David’s work is rooted in a journalism career that started at age 15 in 1979 and has included thousands of articles, op-eds, and blogs for his employers and clients.

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                        • Elaine Beale
                          Elaine Beale

                          Elaine Beale

                          Elaine Beale has published two novels, the most recent of which, Another Life Altogether, was featured in Oprah Magazine and received praise from the Boston GlobeLambda Literary, and Publishers Weekly, among others. Elaine was the winner of the 2007 Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange Award and has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Her latest book is Write for Wellness, a guide to using expressive writing to promote emotional and physical health.

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                          • Erin Rodoni
                            Erin Rodoni

                            Erin Rodoni

                            Erin Rodoni is the author of two poetry collections: Body, in Good Light (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2017) and A Landscape for Loss (NFSPS Press, 2017), winner of the Stevens Award sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. Her third poetry collection won the 2020 Southern Indiana Review Michael Waters Poetry Prize and was published in fall 2021. Her poems, stories, and reviews have been published in such places as Best New Poets, Poetry Northwest, World Literature Today, and Sixfold, among others. She has been the recipient of an AWP Intro Journals Award, a Ninth Letter Literary Award, and the 2017 Montreal International Poetry Prize. When not writing, she enjoys travel and spending time outdoors with her daughters.

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                            • Jeff Chon
                              Jeff Chon

                              Jeff Chon

                              Jeff Chon is the author of the novel Hashtag Good Guy with a Gun, which New York Magazine called “sick and nasty and funny until page 247, which is the last one,” and praised in The New York Times, The Irish Times, The Scotland Herald, and The Times of London. His stories and essays have appeared in The Seneca Review, The North American Review, Barrelhouse, Best Small Fictions 2021, and many others. This Is the Afterlife, his short story collection, will be available in December of 2022.

                              Jeff Chon's Classes in Session:

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                              • Jennifer Lewis
                                Jennifer Lewis

                                Jennifer Lewis

                                Jennifer Lewis is a writer, editor, and the publisher of Red Light Lit. Her debut short story collection, The New Low, is published by Black Lawrence Press. Jennifer won the Nomadic Press Bindle Award for her short story, “New Low,” and the Los Angeles Review Flash Fiction award for “Put a Teat in It.” She received her MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University in May 2015. She teaches at The Writing Salon in San Francisco.

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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 Mommy Blog. In 2021 she published You Look Tired: An Excruciatingly Honest Guide to New Parenthood (Hachette). 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, UC Berkeley, 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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                                  • Jessica Litwak
                                    Jessica Litwak

                                    Jessica Litwak

                                    Jessica Litwak, Ph.D, is an award-winning playwright and actor. She has written over 40 plays which have been produced throughout the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. Her work is published by No Passport Press, Smith & Krause, Applause Books and The New York Times. She is a Drama Therapist, puppet builder and recognized leader in the field of socially engaged theatre, Artistic Director of The H.E.A.T. Collective, core member of Theatre Without Borders, and a Fulbright Scholar. She has taught acting and playwriting at SF State, LA City College, Naropa, Whitman College, Columbia University, and NYU.

                                    Jessica Litwak's Classes in Session:

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                                    • Joan Gelfand
                                      Joan Gelfand

                                      Joan Gelfand

                                      Joan Gelfand is the author of You Can Be a Winning Writer: The 4 C’s of Successful Authors: Craft, Commitment, Community and Confidence, published by Mango Press. Joan’s publications also include three poetry collections, an award winning chapbook of short fiction and a forthcoming novel set in Silicon Valley. Her reviews, stories, essays and poetry have appeared in literary journals and magazines including the Los Angeles Review of Books, PANK!, Rattle, Prairie Schooner, The Toronto Review, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. A member of the National Book Critics Circle and a juror for the Northern California Book Awards, Joan has been teaching the “4 C’s” approach at conferences and in classrooms for over ten years.

                                      Joan Gelfand's Classes in Session:

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                                      • John J. Geoghegan
                                        John J. Geoghegan

                                        John J. Geoghegan

                                        John J. Geoghegan has worked as an editor, journalist, author and publisher. He began his career in the editorial department of Doubleday, the largest publisher in the U.S. at the time, where he contributed to the editing and marketing of a variety of books. He is also the author of three, commercially-published, non-fiction books with a fourth under contract. In addition to serving as a Special Correspondent for the New York Times, John’s articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, the San Francisco Chronicle, Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek, and Smithsonian’s Air & Space magazine among other publications. While nurturing numerous writers to publication, John has taught freelance writing at Fairfield University. His “real world” experience combined with his frank approach to subjects many authors, agents and publishers are reluctant to discuss, are designed to help aspiring authors navigate the arcane ins-and-outs of the literary industry.

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                                        • Julie Bruck
                                          Julie Bruck

                                          Julie Bruck

                                          Julie Bruck‘s four collections of poems are How To Avoid Huge Ships (2018), Monkey Ranch (2012), The End of Travel (1999), and The Woman Downstairs (1993). Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Plume, The Walrus, The New Quarterly, The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry, and The New Yorker. Her awards include two Gold Canadian National Magazine Awards, and the 2012 Governor General’s Award for Poetry (Canada’s equivalent of a National Book Award). She has taught at Canadian universities, and was a resident faculty member at The Robert Frost Place and a guest writer at Vanderbilt University. She has an MFA from Warren Wilson College, and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, The Sustainable Arts Foundation, and the Canada Council for the Arts, among others. A former Montrealer, Julie has lived in San Francisco since 1997. Julie’s poem “To the Bridge”  has recently been made into a short film by Astoria Pictures. You can watch it here: https://astoriapictures.ca/to-the-bridge/

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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.

                                            Junse Kim's Classes in Session:

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                                            • K-Ming Chang
                                              K-Ming Chang

                                              K-Ming Chang

                                              K-Ming Chang is a Kundiman fellow, a Lambda Literary Award winner, a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, and an O. Henry Prize Winner. She is the author of the novel BESTIARY (One World/Random House, 2020), which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the Otherwise Award. In 2021, her chapbook BONE HOUSE was published by Bull City Press. Her story collection GODS OF WANT (One World/Random House) won a Lambda Literary Award. Her latest novel is ORGAN MEATS (One World, 2023), and her next book is a novella titled CECILIA (Coffee House Press, 2024).

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                                              • Kate Montgomery
                                                Kate Montgomery

                                                Kate Montgomery

                                                Kate Montgomery is best known for her Sundance rom-com Christmas in the Clouds. Her other award-winning credits include Ever Since the World Ended, Neither Here Nor There, and Nudes. Kate began her career in publishing and commercial production before moving into entertainment where she’s now worked for more than two decades as a professional screenwriter, director, story editor, and producer with industry clients in the US, Canada, UK and EU. Kate is a member of the Director’s Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America. For more info visit her website: www.circlebayfilms.com

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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 as a private workshop instructor. Katharine has published seven collections of poetry, the most recent, Deconfliction, in 2020, and a full-length volume of poems, Jazz & Other Hot Subjects, in 2016. Her poetry and nonfiction have been published widely in literary journals, newspapers, magazines, and anthologies. Her travel essay Delle Donne appeared in Best Women’s Travel Writing 2016 and a personal essay, Blue Flags & Painted Crosses, is forthcoming from Sonora Review in Tucson.

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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‘s plays include Running on Moontime, The Night Buster Keaton Dreamed Me, and Befriending Bertha/Conociendo a Bertha (a one-act for children), which were published in dual language (Spanish-English) editions by NoPassport Press as part of their Dreaming the Americas series, curated by Lifetime Achievement Obie Award-winning playwright, Caridad Svich. Her plays have garnered awards and productions at the Nantucket Short Play Festival, Great Platte River Playwrights Festival, Gibraltar International Drama Festival, and elsewhere. Her prose has appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Crazyhorse, Riverteeth, West Branch, Willow Springs, Fourth Genre and more. Two of her essays, “The Bridge” and “BLUR,” were named as notable in Best American Essays of 2011 and 2018, edited by Edwidge Danticat and Hilton Als, respectively. Her short film “Madame” (an official selection of San Francisco Independent Film Festival 2024, Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival 2024, AHITH Film Festival 2023) is currently making the rounds on the film festival circuit. Visit her online at: https://kerry-muir-5gnx.squarespace.com.

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                                                      • Kevin Dublin
                                                        Kevin Dublin

                                                        Kevin Dublin

                                                        Kevin Dublin is author of the chapbook How to Fall in Love in San Diego (Finishing Line Press, 2017) and editor of Etched Press. He enjoys making video adaptations of poetry and working with emerging artists and writers. His words have most recently appeared or are forthcoming in North Carolina Literary Review, Rogue Agent, and Poetry International. He holds an MFA from San Diego State and has taught in community as well as youth programs and colleges, including Duke University and Litquake’s Elder Writing Project. Follow him on Twitter @PartEverything.

                                                        Kevin Dublin's Classes in Session:

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                                                        • Kilby Blades
                                                          Kilby Blades

                                                          Kilby Blades

                                                          Kilby Blades is a USA Today Bestselling author of Romance and Women’s Fiction. Her debut novel, Snapdragon, was a HOLT Medallion finalist, a Publisher’s Weekly BookLife Prize Semi-Finalist, and an IPPY Award medalist. Kilby was honored with an RSJ Emma Award for Best Debut Author in 2018, and has been lauded by critics for “easing feminism and equality into her novels” (IndieReader) and “writing characters who complement each other like a fine wine does a good meal” (Publisher’s Weekly). Kilby is a feminist, an oenophile, a cinephile, a social-justice fighter, and above all else, a glutton for a good story.

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                                                          • Kimberly Lee
                                                            Kimberly Lee

                                                            Kimberly Lee

                                                            Kimberly Lee left the practice of law some years ago to focus on motherhood, community work, and creative pursuits. A graduate of Stanford University and UC Davis School of Law, she is an Amherst Writers & Artists facilitator and affiliate and serves on its board of directors. She is trained and certified by The Center for Journal Therapy, The Center for Intentional Creativity, and SoulCollage®. A former editor and regular contributor at Literary Mama, Kimberly has also served on the staffs of Carve and F(r)iction magazines. Her stories and essays have appeared in publications and anthologies including Minerva Rising, LA Parent, Toyon, The Ekphrastic Review, Read650, and elsewhere. She lives in Southern California with her husband and three children.

                                                            Kimberly Lee's Classes in Session:

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                                                            • Kuang Lee
                                                              Kuang Lee

                                                              Kuang Lee

                                                              Kuang Lee is a writer and filmmaker. Kuang’s narrative feature, BUDDY SOLITAIRE, starring Golden Globe Award Winner Sally Kirkland, was distributed by Gravitas Ventures and licensed by Hulu. His second feature, BEST MOM, won Best Family Feature at the Hollywood Film Festival. Kuang’s shorts have screened worldwide in film festivals such as NBC Shortcuts, Cinequest, and Dances with Films. He is the founder of Satellite Films, an Addy Award winning production company specializing in commercial films and documentaries.

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                                                              • Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet
                                                                Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet

                                                                Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet

                                                                Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet is the author of The Greenhouse (Frost Place Chapbook Prize) and Tulips, Water, Ash (Morse Poetry Prize). Her poems have appeared in journals such as Blackbird, Kenyon Review, Plume, and Zyzzyva, in anthologies including Nasty Women Poets and The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry, and online at Poem-A-Day and Poetry Daily. In addition to leading workshops at Portland’s Literary Arts, Seattle’s Hugo House, and The Writing Salon, she hosts the Portland reading series Lilla Lit and Literary Bingo and works as a freelance editor of poetry and nonfiction. Before fleeing northward in search of writer-friendly rents, she taught in UC Berkeley’s Post-Baccalaureate Writing Program.

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                                                                • Lisa Moore Ramée
                                                                  Lisa Moore Ramée

                                                                  Lisa Moore Ramée

                                                                  Lisa Moore Ramée still calls Los Angeles home even though she now lives in the Bay Area. She counts coffee as one of her best friends and is a devout believer in dreams coming true. Her debut novel, A Good Kind of Trouble, is a Walter Dean Meyers Honor book and an Indie bestseller. She is also the author of Something to Say and MapMaker. Her books have received multiple starred reviews. Visit her website at lisamooreramee.com.

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                                                                  • Lori Ostlund
                                                                    Lori Ostlund

                                                                    Lori Ostlund

                                                                    Lori Ostlund’s novel, After the Parade, was a Barnes & Noble Discover pick, a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Her story collection, The Bigness of the World, won the 2008 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, the California Book Award for First Fiction, and the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, and was a Lambda Finalist. Lori’s work has appeared in the Best American Short Stories and the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories as well as in ZYZZYVA, The Kenyon Review, New England Review, and other journals. Lori has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Award and was a finalist for the 2017 Joyce Carol Oates Prize. She has been a teacher for over twenty-five years in New Mexico, Spain, Malaysia, and North Carolina and is currently on the Mile-High MFA faculty. Since 2022, she has served as the series editor of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. She lives in San Francisco, where she is at work on her fourth book, a novel entitled The Proprietresses, based on the years that she and her wife owned a furniture store in Albuquerque. Her third book, a story collection entitled Are You Happy?, will be published by Zando Projects in April 2025.

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                                                                    • Maw Shein Win
                                                                      Maw Shein Win

                                                                      Maw Shein Win

                                                                      Maw Shein Win’s poetry chapbooks are Ruins of a glittering palace (SPA/Commonwealth Projects) and Score and Bone (Nomadic Press). Invisible Gifts: Poems was published by Manic D Press in 2018. Win is the first poet laureate of El Cerrito, California (2016 – 2018). Her full-length poetry collection, Storage Unit for the Spirit House (Omnidawn), was long listed for the PEN America Open Book Award, nominated for a Northern California Book Award for Poetry, and short listed for the California Independent Booksellers Alliance’s Golden Poppy Award for Poetry for 2021. She often collaborates with visual artists, musicians, and other writers and was a Spring 2021 ARC Poetry Fellow at UC Berkeley.

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                                                                      • Nayomi Munaweera
                                                                        Nayomi Munaweera

                                                                        Nayomi Munaweera

                                                                        Nayomi Munaweera’s debut novel, Island of a Thousand Mirrors, was long-listed for the Man Asia Literary Prize, short-listed for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and won the Commonwealth Prize for Asia. Her second critically acclaimed novel, What Lies Between Us, won the Sri Lankan National Book Award. Munaweera is widely anthologized in collections such as Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian-American Women on Obedience and Rebellion, Oakland Noir, Many Roads Through Paradise, and All the Women in My Family Sing. She teaches at the Ashland University low-residency MFA Program.

                                                                        Nayomi Munaweera's Classes in Session:

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                                                                        • Nina Schuyler
                                                                          Nina Schuyler

                                                                          Nina Schuyler

                                                                          Nina Schuyler’s novel, Afterword, was published in May 2023 by Clash Books and was named a top book by Alta Journal and Bay City News and a June pick by Towne Center Books. Her short story collection, In This Ravishing World, won The Prism Prize for Climate Literature and the W.S. Porter Prize and will be published in July 2024. Her novel, The Translator, won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for General Fiction and was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Writing Prize. Her nonfiction book, How to Write Stunning Sentences, is a Small Press Distribution bestseller.

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                                                                          • Preeti Vangani
                                                                            Preeti Vangani

                                                                            Preeti Vangani

                                                                            Preeti Vangani is a poet and personal essayist. Born and raised in Mumbai, she is the author of Mother Tongue Apologize (RLFPA Editions), her first book of poems (selected as the winner of RL India Poetry Prize.) Her work has been published in BOAAT, Gulf Coast, Threepenny Review, among other journals. She is the Assistant Poetry Editor for Glass Journal, a Poet Mentor at Youth Speaks, and holds an MFA (Writing) from University of San Francisco.

                                                                            Preeti Vangani's Classes in Session:

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                                                                            • Rob Williams
                                                                              Rob Williams

                                                                              Rob Williams

                                                                              Rob Williams teaches Creative Writing and English at Skyline College and has led writing workshops at San Diego Writers Ink on flash fiction and creative nonfiction. His essays and fiction have appeared in Maisonneuve Magazine, Versal, 400 Words, San Diego Citybeat Magazine and various anthologies including I Do/I Don’t and Foolish Hearts. He is the co-editor of the Lambda Literary Award-nominated anthology From Boys to Men: Gay Men Write About Growing Up and has received writing fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and Fishtrap. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University and worked as a Poetry Reader for W. W. Norton in New York City.

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                                                                              • Shelby Hinte
                                                                                Shelby Hinte

                                                                                Shelby Hinte

                                                                                Shelby Hinte has led and supported writing workshops at San Francisco State University and in the community, including teaching creative writing to incarcerated adults and youth on juvenile probation. She is the Associate Editor of Write or Die Magazine where she edits essays and interviews. She has served as a reader and intern at various independent presses including ZYZZYVA, Split/Lip Press, and No Contact. Her work has been featured in BOMB, ZYZZYVA, SmokeLong Quarterly, Hobart, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.

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                                                                                • Steve Mitchel
                                                                                  Steve Mitchel

                                                                                  Steve Mitchel

                                                                                  Steve Mitchel was awarded the Crazyhorse Fiction Prize for his story, “Dog People.” His story “The Return of the Capellmeister” was a finalist for LitMag’s Virginia Woolf Award for Short Fiction. He earned a B.A. in political science from Stanford University, a J.D. from Northwestern University and an MFA in fiction writing from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. He’s led fiction writing workshops throughout the Bay Area and has taught legal writing to law students at Northwestern and U.C. Berkeley.

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                                                                                  • Thea Matthews
                                                                                    Thea Matthews

                                                                                    Thea Matthews

                                                                                    Thea Matthews is a poet, author, and educator originally from San Francisco, California. She holds an MFA in poetry from New York University; and her work has appeared in Southern Indiana Review, Interim, Aster(ix) Journal, Tahoma Literary Review, The New Republic, and others. Her first book Unearth [The Flowers] (Red Light Lit Press, 2020) was listed as part of Kirkus Reviews’s Best Indie Poetry of 2020. She lives in Brooklyn. 

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                                                                                    • Tongo Eisen-Martin
                                                                                      Tongo Eisen-Martin

                                                                                      Tongo Eisen-Martin

                                                                                      Tongo Eisen-Martin is a movement worker, educator, and poet who has organized around issues of human rights and self-determination for oppressed people throughout the United States. His curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people titled “We Charge Genocide Again,” has been used as a teaching and organizing tool throughout the country. His poems have been published in Harper’s Magazine and the New York Times Magazine. His book someone’s dead already was nominated for a California Book Award. His latest book of poems Heaven Is All Goodbyes was published in the City Lights Pocket Poets Series, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and won the California Book Award and the American Book Award.

                                                                                      Tongo Eisen-Martin's Classes in Session:

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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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