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“You know that feeling when a story you’re writing finally clicks into place,” says instructor Karen Bjorneby. “For many of us, that moment arrives once we discover how character, plot, and meaning interlock, supporting and enriching one another. Until that time, we may feel like our story has no direction or purpose, that our characters are voiceless, even hollow.”

This class is designed to help you make your own short story, memoir, or novel click into place. If you have strong characters but no plot, we’ll dig deeply into characters’ secret hearts to discover a story nestled inside. If you have a plot idea but no characters, we’ll explore characters who could drive the story. Then we’ll develop a plot from beginning to end. In a free-flowing exchange, we’ll discuss your thoughts about your story’s meaning, then connect those to character and plot.

By the end of the class, in addition to the writing you will have done on your story, you will have created a set of character studies, a rough plot outline and synopsis, and a draft premise statement or elevator pitch. Plan to complete 3-5 pages of homework every week, with the chance to submit 10 pages to the group as a whole for brief discussion, with written feedback provided by the instructor. Short story writers, memoirists, and novelists are all welcome!



No Instructor Specified

  1. Monday, September 25, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  2. Monday, October 2, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  3. Monday, October 9, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  4. Monday, October 16, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  5. Monday, October 23, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  6. Monday, October 30, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  7. Monday, November 6, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  8. Monday, November 13, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  9. Monday, November 20, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  • Karen’s course exceeded my expectations. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I got out of it. I loved her lectures; very informative, filled with valuable nuggets. I expect I will refer to her handouts and my notes for a long time to come. Her in-class exercises were thought-provoking, and her feedback on everyone’s writing was thoughtful, encouraging and full of generosity and compassion.

    Steven Rosen


Tuesday, September 26, 2017 @ 6:59 am PDT
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 5:30 am PDT


San Francisco
2042 Balboa St.
San Francisco, 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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