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Write what you know? Instructor Steve Mitchel asks, “Where’s the fun in that?" In this one-day workshop, you’ll practice writing what you don’t know.

"There was a pattern to my early stories," Steve says. "Each one had a character who seemed to be an awful lot like me. Eventually, I realized that the Steve character was always the least interesting one in the story. Art really does imitate life.”

The goal of this workshop is to demystify the process of creating characters, settings, and stories that fall outside of our comfort zones—and to have fun while we're doing it! We'll look closely at the work of Ian McEwan, George Saunders, and others in order to uncover the ways in which stories not only take the reader to someplace s/he has never been, but take the writer there, as well. In a supportive environment, we’ll do writing exercises designed to encourage risk-taking in our stories. We’ll play around with time, point of view, characterization and setting as we discover the unlimited possibilities in our creative work.

"By the end of the day," Steve says, "you’ll have the confidence to explore your previously off-limits imaginative zones and be ready to draft what Tim O’Brien calls, 'a true story that never happened.'"



    Steve Mitchel 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 writing workshops for adults throughout the Bay Area and tutors 3rd graders in reading and writing at John Muir Elementary in San Francisco. The recipient of the Crazyhorse Fiction Prize for his story “Dog People,” he recently completed his first novel.

  1. Saturday, February 9, 10:00am-4:00pm
  • Steve was well prepared and very pleasant and the day flew by.

    Mary Ann


Saturday, February 9, 2019 @ 6:00 pm
Sunday, February 10, 2019 @ 12:00 am
Event Category:


San Francisco
2042 Balboa St.
San Francisco, CA United States
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Registration Deadline

Registration closes 24 hours before the start time for a class.

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 provide refunds, transfer payments, or offer makeup sessions for classes a student might miss, for any reason.

Due to extraordinary circumstances related to COVID-19, we are open to addressing cancellations on a case-by-case basis.

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