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“Who would you communicate with if you could reach across time and space?” asks instructor Kerry Muir. “A child yet to be born, a beloved friend, a parent now gone? Our prose takes on a strikingly intimate quality when we write with a specific recipient in mind—either with an eye towards instructing that person, as an expression of gratitude, or as a way to resolve unfinished business.”

Mary Louise Parker refers to her memoir Dear Mr. You as “a collection of thank-you notes” to the men in her life—among them her father, her first love, and the orderly who delivered her baby. Ta-Nehisi Coates began writing Between the World and Me as a letter to his teenage son to help him navigate a world fraught with racial injustice, and ended up weaving personal story, American history, and even facts and figures into a lyrical, compelling book-length narrative.

In this workshop, participants will explore the rich possibilities of the letter writing-form, engaging in a series of in-class writing exercises and optional take-home assignments to get them generating their own missives, which then may become essays, a longer chapbook, or the opening chapter of a memoir. For guidance, we’ll read selections from Coates and Parker, as well as short passages from Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Autumn.

Beginning, intermediate and experienced writers are all welcome -- anyone can write a letter!


    Kerry Muir‘s creative nonfiction has appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Crazyhorse, Fourth Genre, and elsewhere. Her essay collection, BLUR & Other Essays, was named one of three finalists in Bauhan Publishing’s 2017 Monadnock Essay Collection Prize, and her essay, “Blur,” is a notable in Best American Essays 2018. Kerry’s plays have received honors and awards from Sundance Theater Lab, Nantucket Short Play Festival and Competition, The Great Platte River Playwrights Festival, The Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition, Trustus Theater Festival, and she has optioned and sold screenplays to producers in the US & Mexico. In late 2018, her award-winning play, The Night Buster Keaton Dreamed Me, was published in both English and Spanish by No Passport Press. A graduate of Vermont College’s MFA in Writing Program, she has led writing workshops for teens at Children of the Night.
  1. Saturday, August 10, 2:00pm-4:30pm
  2. Saturday, August 17, 2:00pm-4:30pm
  3. Saturday, August 24, 2:00pm-4:30pm
  4. Saturday, September 7, 2:00pm-4:30pm
  5. Saturday, September 14, 2:00pm-4:30pm


Saturday, August 10, 2019 @ 9:00 pm PDT
Saturday, September 14, 2019 @ 11:30 pm PDT
Event Category:


2121 Bonar St, Studio D, 2nd Fl
Berkeley, CA United States
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Cancellation Policy

10 days or more before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 10% fee OR a refund minus a 20% fee.

3-9 days before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 20% fee OR a refund minus a 30% fee.

2 days or less before the start date for a class, the registrant will not receive a credit or a refund.

The Writing Salon cannot offer refunds, credits, or makeup sessions for classes a student might miss.

In the event of an emergency, we may consider a refund or credit, whether partial or full. We review these requests on a case-by-case basis, and we ask that you notify us as near as possible to the start date for the class.

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