Dear Jane,

Jason’s class, “Writing from the Heart,” far exceeded my expectations. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was inspiring, and helped me to overcome fears and connect with my emotions in an uninhibited way.

I particularly enjoyed Jason’s personality and his clear devotion to teaching and writing. His passion and his willingness to be vulnerable and humorous helped me and all of us to feel uninhibited and free to take risks.

His enthusiasm was contagious. I felt that it gave my writing and desires to write a real boost. Although the other writers were focused on fiction, I felt that my non-fiction work was honored. I would love to work with Jason again.

Justin Hecht


I always appreciate when people deep into their writing journey are generous with sharing what they’ve learned. Jay is exactly that kind of teacher.  He’s funny, wise, and kind, eager to help his students move through the more sticky aspects of the practice (and business) of writing.

This class gave me fresh ways of dropping in and looking at material that had previously felt too raw, boring, or disjointed. Through the in-class exercises and take-home assignments, I was amazed to find that there really was a richness that I hadn’t been tapping into before.  I felt like Jay gave us free reign to write about what in essence had been moving us to write all along. It was an exciting discovery process, and my classmates and I formed close connections watching each others’ stories unfold as a result.

By the end of the class, I had a much better sense of where I’d like to go with my work in the future. The whole thing was like an exercise in not ‘shoulding’ on yourself– which I think most writers would be so grateful to learn! Jay doesn’t promise that writing is an easy road, but he’s very real about sharing some practical wisdom that can increase your longevity and love of the craft along the way.  I seriously can’t say enough great things about this class! Jay is really onto something here, and it’s deep.

– Joanna


Hi Jane- “Writing from the Heart” was definitely the most intense Writing Salon class I have taken. Be prepared to mine the deepest depths of all your emotional traumas! Jay had razor sharp insights into everyone’s writing and was very prepared with all kinds of supplemental sources.

thanks so much, Andrea


Jay is an inspiring teacher. Quick thinker and supportive teacher. I like his wit and honesty. Highly recommended.

C.J. Singh


Jay’s class exceeded my expectations in terms of coverage of topics, exercises done and how much I would learn. I found the exercises extremely helpful and informative with regard to shaping my approach to writing and found Jay’s truly invested insights and feedback after each person shared incredibly refreshing and inspiring. I felt the teaching style was quite effective, very open and positive, created a comfort and engagement in class so that we developed a sense of confidence to share and develop a camaraderie with fellow writers and the instructor.

I learned good tactics to really dig deeper into the core of what drives and repels me so that I can harness my creativity in a more powerful, meaningful way. This is extremely advantageous as a writer or any artist.

 Jay is very invested in his students’ learning and is one of the most compassionate teachers I’ve ever encountered, not to mention incredibly wise and insightful. It was a really great experience and I intend on taking more Writing Salon classes.Thanks so much!

3rd times a charm 🙂

I really didn’t have many expectations coming in – trying to be open, as this writing thing is extremely new for me. This was my 3rd, one day class And, I have to say a huge THANK YOU!!!!! Because this made it click. Or maybe was like the 3rd turn on a combination lock. Anyway…GOT IT.

It’s very obvious that Jay is passionate about this subject – not writing per se, but going after your personal themes, telling your personal stories, the stories “only you can tell.” The breakdown into Loves, Hates, Fears, Desires – yep, that about sums it up. Extremely helpful as a…starting point. I also appreciated the “Keep asking ‘Why?'” exercise. Verrrrrry interesting tool…

Jay was excellent at establishing clear boundaries with everyone in the beginning, which helped with feeling “safe” to open up, He was also absolutely astonishing at listening, picking up on details from our readings and from what others had to say before providing feedback. I salute you, Demure Canadian 🙂 He displayed a fan-fuck-mazing sense of humor, and I’d say everyone learned at least a little something about themselves that they maybe didn’t know before, and left the class a better person for having been a part of it 🙂



Hey Writing Salon,

Jay’s feedback was the best part of class. He’s able to see what someone is trying to write about in deep, complex ways that gives confidence to the writer. Not only that what’s being written about is of value but that the writer has an imperative to write it. . . His class inspired me to continue writing. What else matters?

Georgia M.


“Writing from the Heart” exceeded my expectations in several ways. Jason was a delightful teacher, full of good information that he presented clearly and with gusto. I always felt challenged and appreciated. He guided us through each class in a way that felt organized and purposeful. Also, each class was a pleasing mix of lectures, writing exercises, and critique. And Jason’s feedback on each of the pieces I submitted was thoughtful and useful.

I gained a deeper understanding of the process of writing from my heart. Also gained some pieces of writing that I will integrate into the larger piece that I am working on!

-N. Karraker


Dear Jane,

Jay’s “Writing from the Heart class” met and exceeded my expectations. If I wasn’t moving across the country I would be back in a heartbeat and I’ve already recommended you to others.

I love that Jay opened up his own heart in this class.  I think it made everyone feel more comfortable sharing their work. When I first heard there would be a lecture component, I didn’t know what to think.  But his lectures were beautiful and inspiring.
I’m inspired to keep writing and I have a better sense of what I’d like to accomplish.

Jay was so awesome, thank you!



Jay’s  course was right in line with what I expected–just what I was looking for! His teaching style held my attention. His experience as an improv actor comes out in his teaching and makes the class fun. I was also impressed with how much feedback he was able to provide on a short piece. His critiques were thoughtful, positive, and entertaining.

I have exercises I can work with again on my own, I feel motivated to write after so many positive words, and I have some writing I’d like to expand upon. I’m excited to submit my writing to Jay this week for a critique. It’s very generous of him to provide feedback even after the class is over.

Thank you, and I’m looking forward to taking another class!



Jay’s general approach was what really appealed to me – his clear focus is on getting to the ‘truth’ of things, understanding your own truth and purpose – as opposed to craft, and that is what I was really looking for. Taken in sum I thought all the exercises worked quite well…and they work together and build on each other. 

Tracy S. 


Hi Jane,

I just want to say that I really enjoyed the class. Jay was incredibly enthusiastic and knowledgable. The day was fun, interactive, and flew by.

Take care,


Jay’s workshop, Write Fast, Write Furious, met my expectations.  I enjoyed his lectures and the exercises — plus his very positive attitude toward all of us.  He just assumed we were writers, could improve if we try hard, and gave us good suggestions.

He was organized and very enthusiastic– which motivated me a lot.I gained the nerve to finish the short story I started in class and he kindly offered to critique it if we get it to him by Saturday.

I can’t think of anything else.  I think he covered it all.

Jane Moore


Dear Jane,

I loved this class.  The tools and advice that Jay shared with us were practical, unusual, and just plain fun.  Here are my favorites:

In one exercise, we were asked to read a haiku, then listen to music and write for 5 minutes.  I’d never done anything like that before, and it was a blast!  I’m going to try it at home with different kinds of music.

Next, I liked Jay’s recommendation to read a Shakespeare play, then rewrite it in our own voice in order to learn plot quickly.

I will try my very best to follow Ray Bradbury’s instructions and write a story a week for a year.  This last bit of advice terrifies me, but I do understand that I need to generate a body of work in order to develop my own voice.

Jay covered so much ground in the class.  I am delighted that I can refer to my notes whenever I run into a roadblock or just want to try something new!

Thank you very much!

Patricia Nishita


This was a really good class. I really liked Jay’s insights and humor. He was encouraging and put his knowledge in context.  His teaching style is fantastic — very knowledgeable and engaging.

Thank you!


The class I took, Writing From The Heart with Jason Ridler, was absolutely fantastic. It’s rare that a teacher is as generous with his time and ideas as Jay was.

– Evan


The real gem is what Jay himself brings to the class – his passion, compassion, insightful critique and wealth of knowledge . . . His leadership provided us a safe space to travel to sometimes uncomfortable spaces within ourselves, and to mine and dig out the gems (or bits of coal) that we found within . . . Jay’s passion for life and learning and discovery has re-ignited my passion for writing and made me believe that I, in fact, am still a writer. More importantly – Jay’s class showed me that I have stories inside me that want to be told, need to be told. I would love the opportunity to work with Jay Ridler again. That man is the bomb.

– Christine

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