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*Writing from the Heart II is only open to students who have attended Jay Ridler’s 5-week class or 1-day intensive.

This is a class for those who are familiar with the techniques and approaches Jay uses in helping writers find the stories and themes they care about the most: “plot talks” for digging deep into emotionally powerful material, playing with point of view and setting, compressing premises to get to the heart of the story, and more.

In Writing from the Heart II, we will develop new material in class with the intent of starting a project (either a singular one like a novel or memoir, or one made of many parts like a collection of essays or stories). Classes will focus on using elements of dramatic structure from fiction with non-fiction (and vice versa), refining voice through use of language, and using conventional and unconventional structure to make the central themes of your project shine. For guidance, we will read excerpts from Richard Rhodes, Scarlett Thomas, Bruce Holland Rodger, and others.

Critiques will follow a similar structure to Writing from the Heart, with Jay’s trademark detailed feedback, but will also include discussion of technique, style, and language to help you revise your work. “In Writing from the Heart, you discover your themes and passions as a writer,” Jay says. “In Writing from the Heart II, we take those discoveries and refine them toward a sustained voice that sings throughout your writing.”



    Jason S. Ridler is a writer, improv actor, and historian. He is the author of A TRIUMPH FOR SAKURA, BLOOD AND SAWDUST, the Spar Battersea thrillers and the upcoming BRIMSTONE FILES series for Nightshade Press. He’s published over sixty stories in such magazines and anthologies as The Big Click, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Out of the Gutter, and more. He also writes the column FXXK WRITING! for Flash Fiction Online. A former punk rock musician and cemetery groundskeeper, Jay holds a Ph.D. in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada. He lives in Berkeley, CA.

  1. Saturday, November 4, 2:00pm-4:30pm
  2. Saturday, November 11, 2:00pm-4:30pm
  3. Saturday, November 18, 2:00pm-4:30pm
  4. Saturday, December 2, 2:00pm-4:30pm
  5. Saturday, December 9, 2:00pm-4:30pm
  • 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.

  • Jason's devotion to imparting knowledge, his choice and commitment to investing a huge amount of time reviewing and critiquing each student’s work for every single class, and the gift of his depth, insight and perspective that he employs to advance each students’ writing  — these are extraordinary. I’m sure you already know this, but the Writing Salon community is mighty lucky to have Jason Ridler. He is brilliant with a heart of gold and the devotion of Job. I look forward to taking any classes Jason invents to teach, and thank you so much for bringing him to us!

    Julie Fingersh


Saturday, November 4, 2017 @ 2:00 pm
Saturday, December 9, 2017 @ 4:30 pm
Event Category:


2121 Bonar St, Studio D, 2nd Fl
Berkeley, CA United States
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Registration Deadline

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

Refund Policy

There is a cancellation fee of 15% included in each registration. The Writing Salon will not issue a refund if a cancellation occurs within 48 hours of the class start time.

The Writing Salon cannot provide refunds, transfer payments, or offer makeup sessions for classes a student might miss, for any reason.

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