SUMMER 2017 – ALL CLASSES



SEMINARS


Two-Day Seminar: David Foster Wallace—What His Postmodern Style Can Teach Us (taught by Bernard Cooper in Silver Lake) SOLD OUT

Two Saturdays
11:00 am to 2:00 pm

July 22 and July 29, 2017

David Foster Wallace was one of the most highly regarded and controversial writers of recent times. He has taken considerable liberties with both fiction and nonfiction, breaking rules and pushing language to startling extremes. DFW uses acronyms, footnotes, invented words, etc. in order to convey his complex takes on the terrors and absurdities that make us the convoluted creatures we are. In other words, he does a bunch of stuff you’re not supposed to do in writing and gets away with it, like combining just regular speech, you know, with eloquent, formal phrases.

This seminar will examine two of his best known works, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again,” an essay about a hellish week aboard a Carnival Cruise ship, and “The Depressed Person,” possibly the most claustrophobic, neurotic story you will ever read. Through class discussion, we will attempt to better understand his work and see it in relationship to a few representative examples of postmodern art, architecture, and music. The seminar will include a writing assignment for writers of both fiction and nonfiction.

The class is open to students of all levels. It will be held in Silver Lake, where coffee, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$170 for new students; $150 for returning students
 


One-Day Seminar: Family Ties—Mining The Personal for Tension-Filled Fiction (taught by Lilliam Rivera in Los Feliz) – 1 spot left!

One Sunday
10:00 am to 2:00 pm

August 6, 2017

As writers, we strive to capture the truth on the page. We often conjure up painful and sometimes exhilarating moments from our own lives and translate them into the experiences of three-dimensional characters. This one-day seminar introduces ways writers can unearth the intimately personal and repurpose those moments into compelling fiction. Participants will explore their own histories with in-class exercises that urge them to write bravely. The most personal experiences make for the most powerful fiction. This seminar is an interior mixtape where fiction and authenticity will flow freely.

This seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in Los Feliz, where coffee, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$130 for new students; $120 for returning students


One-Day Seminar: Organizing Your Writing with Scrivener (two sections taught by Neelanjana Banerjee at Other Books in Boyle Heights) 

Section 1:
One Saturday
August 19, 2017
10:30 am to 2:30 pm – SOLD OUT

Section 2: 
One Sunday
August 20, 2017
10:30 am to 2:30 pm – 2 spots left!

Have you been working on a novel or other long project and have a multiple drafts all over your computer? Do you have folders of notes from all the workshops you’ve taken your project through? Do you have a long, glitchy Word document that takes forever to load? Along with talking about practical analog tools for drafting and revising longer projects, this one-day seminar will walk you through how to use Scrivener—a software word processing and project management program aimed at writers—to help you draft and organize your novel or memoir. We’ll work on figuring out the best way for you to divide your manuscript and upload it to the Scrivener interface, plus how to use tools like the virtual index cards and how to easily save multiple drafts. This class is recommended for students who have longer projects, but it can be useful for anyone interested in learning about Scrivener and gaining tools for structuring and revising your writing. 

This one-day seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in at Other Books in Boyle Heights, where coffee, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$130 for new students; $120 for returning students

If you would like to join the waitlist for Section 1, please email us at enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com.


Two-Day Seminar: Memoir 101—From Purge to Pitch (taught by Francesca Lia Block in Culver City) – SOLD OUT

Two Saturdays
1:00 to 4:00 pm

August 26 and September 9, 2017

Memoir is one of today’s best-selling genres and its popularity only continues to grow.  However, memoir isn’t just an exploration of the self; it’s a way to help others by revealing truths about our own lives. But to get to that altruistic truth, we must first go deep inside and find the most potent story to share.

In this two-day seminar, students will have the opportunity to brainstorm and explore ideas for their memoir and then further develop these ideas into an opening chapter and outline. On the first day, students will workshop a chapter and very rough outline (both written in advance) and on the second day, students will read and discuss their revised work. Opening hooks, sympathetic “characters,” “story problem,” time and place, voice, and theme will be discussed, as well as the basics of pitching and selling your finished work.

This seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in Culver City where tea, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$170 for new students; $150 for returning students


ALL GENRES


Submission Support Group (led by Chris Daley in Los Feliz) – SOLD OUT

Saturdays
12:00 to 1:00 pm

July 15, 2017 to August 26, 2017

The submission support group is back by popular demand! Participating writers will meet weekly to focus specifically on sending out their work for publication or other literary opportunities. There will be no written assignments beyond 1) prepare to submit, 2) submit, and 3) support the other people in the group as they submit. During our time together, we will pool our knowledge of literary journals and magazines, agents, small presses, contests, and other calls for submission. We will also discuss how to stand out in the slush pile and what makes for a successful query letter, book proposal, and residency application. The first two submission support groups have produced over a dozen acceptances or recognitions so far, including poetry, fiction, and photography publication, a nonfiction book contract, performance on a podcast, and honorable mention by Daniel Handler.

This group is open to writers of all genres and levels, as long as they are prepared to actively submit their work over the course of the term. We will meet for seven weeks in Los Feliz with a two-hour meeting on August 26 to wrap up before Labor Day. Coffee, sparkling water, and the occasional light snack will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$200 for new students; $175 for returning students


POETRY


Poetry I (two sections taught by Kim Young in Glassell Park and Elline Lipkin in Franklin Village) 

Section 1 with
Kim Young:

Thursdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm
August 3, 2017 to September 21, 2017 – SOLD OUT

Section 2 with Elline Lipkin:
Thursdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm
July 27, 2017 to September 21, 2017 (with no class on August 24) – 2 spots left!

Through original creative work, revision, reading, and discussion, this eight-week workshop will focus on making poems that are driven by a keen attention to language, image, and sound. Our task will be engaging with each other’s work and the weekly readings in order to explore the ways poetry can recover more complex imaginative and perceptive possibilities. As poet Mark Doty wisely asserts: “Our metaphors go on ahead of us; they know before we do.” We will be putting Doty’s assertion to the test with an emphasis on generative writing exercises that lead us into surprising and unexpected creative spaces.

This class is open to students of all levels, and it will take place in Glassell Park or Franklin Village, where wine, sparkling water, small snacks will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$390 for new students; $350 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)

Email us at enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com to join the waitlist for Section 1.


Poetry II (taught by Elline Lipkin in Eagle Rock) – SOLD OUT

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

July 25, 2017 to September 12, 2017

In this eight-week intermediate workshop, students will continue to study a variety of classic and newer poetic forms to figure out how they do what they do so well. Students will have assignments that offer the chance to learn through imitation and example, and they will be encouraged to apply the craft techniques studied to their own ongoing writing projects. Students will use the table of contents from different models to discuss how to structure a poetry project and how sections, themes, and images speak to one another. Consideration will be given to ordering each student's own manuscript in development and students will have the opportunity to workshop up to 20 pages of poetry. We will develop a sense of community as we share our discoveries and deepen our practice of this craft. Previous experience studying poetry and/or enrollment in Mixed Levels Poetry is recommended.

This class is open to students at all levels and will take place in Eagle Rock, where wine, sparkling water, small snacks will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$390 for new students; $350 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


FICTION


You may be wondering which fiction class you should take. If you use the form to the right, we will be happy to advise you on the most appropriate class for your project and/or experience. Keep in mind that Fiction I is generally for beginners who are not yet decided on whether they would like to write short stories or a novel (or some other fiction form). Fiction II is generally for writers who have taken Fiction I and are leaning toward short stories. Mixed Levels classes are designed for both Fiction I and Fiction II students. Novel I is for students who have decided they wish to write a novel and are in the early stages of their project. Novel II is generally for writers who have taken Novel I and have advanced further into their projects. If you prefer a class on the weekend, on the westside, or on young adult fiction, we have those options as well.


Fiction I (taught by Christopher DeWan in Los Feliz) – SOLD OUT

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

July 25, 2017 to September 12, 2017

In this eight-week workshop, beginning students will focus on the fundamental techniques of fiction writing: plot, characterization, conflict, scene, dialogue, setting, voice, and point of view. In class, students will discuss published fiction from a craft perspective, and they will complete writing exercises designed to tackle these particular techniques. Each week, students will also have the chance to discuss their work in a respectful and serious environment that prioritizes community, craft, and commitment to the practice of being a writer. The class is also open to more experienced writers who simply want to brush up on the basics.

This class will take place in Los Feliz, where wine, sparkling water, and small snacks will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$390 for new students; $350 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


The Art of the Short Story (taught by Chris Daley in Los Feliz) – SOLD OUT

Thursdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

July 20, 2017 to September 7, 2017

This eight-week workshop will focus on the art of writing short fiction. T.C. Boyle wrote, “A short story is like a toothache and you must drill it and fill it. A novel is more like bridgework.” According to Lorrie Moore, “A short story is a love affair; a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.” In this class, we will address the particular demands and delights of the short story. We will cover elements of fiction writing such as characterization, scene, voice, tense, dialogue, point of view, and creating stakes. Students will read the latest edition of Best American Short Stories, discuss published fiction from a craft perspective, and complete writing exercises designed to tackle specific techniques within their own work. For the last six weeks of the course, students will be workshopped in a serious environment meant to challenge and inspire every member of the class. While this workshop would be a natural sequel to Fiction I, enthusiastic beginners are also welcome.

The workshop will be held in Los Feliz, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet cheese will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$390 for new students; $350 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


Novel I (taught by Scott O’Connor in East Hollywood) – SOLD OUT

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

July 25, 2017 to September 12, 2017

You believe you have it in you—that novel you’ve always dreamed you’d write. Maybe you’ve already started, but ended up hitting a wall. Maybe you’ve written an entire draft, but aren’t sure how to find the novel’s story or shape. Or maybe you haven’t yet begun, and you're looking for the support and motivation to take the plunge. In this eight-week class, we’ll explore the art and craft of long-form narrative, diving deep into character, setting, structure, scene, point of view, and what it takes to write (and rewrite) your novel. We’ll read and discuss examples from masters of the form, and you’ll have ample opportunity to create, workshop, and revise material for the novel you’ve always wanted to write.

This class will take place in East Hollywood, where wine and sparkling water—and the occasional gourmet cheese—will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$390 for new students; $350 for returning students (Payment plans available to returning students.)
 


Weekend Mixed Levels Fiction (taught by Darcy Vebber in Hancock Park)

Sundays
10:30 am to 12:30 pm

July 23, 2017 to September 17, 2017 (with no class on September 3)

 

This eight-week mixed levels class is designed for both short story writers and novelists who prefer a class on the weekend. For the first four classes, students will complete in-class writing exercises and discuss published short fiction and novel excerpts from a craft perspective. The course will cover such topics as characterization, pacing, point of view, structure, voice, and scene. Every week, there will be a five-page requirement to make sure students are writing and rewriting regularly. For the final four weeks of the course, students will be workshopped in a serious environment meant to challenge and inspire every member of the class. Each student will have the opportunity to workshop either one short story manuscript or one novel excerpt (maximum 25 pages).

This class will take place in Hancock Park, where coffee and sparkling water—and the occasional snack—will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$390 for new students; $350 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


Westside Mixed Levels Fiction (taught by Laura Warrell in Culver City) – 3 spots left!

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

August 1, 2017 to September 19, 2017

This eight-week mixed levels class is designed for both short story writers and novelists. For the first three to four weeks, students will complete in-class writing exercises and discuss published short fiction and excerpted novels from a craft perspective. During the last four to five weeks, students will be invited to bring in their own work to receive feedback from their instructor and peers. The class will cover such topics as characterization, pacing, point of view, structure, voice, and theme, and there will be short take-home writing assignments designed to help students explore different topics and story ideas. Students will have the chance to workshop their writing in a serious environment meant to challenge and inspire each member of the class.

This class will take place in Culver City, where wine and sparkling water—and the occasional gourmet cheese—will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$390 for new students; $350 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


Young Adult Fiction (taught by Diana Wagman in Echo Park) – SOLD OUT

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

July 25, 2017 to September 19, 2017 (with no class on August 22)

Writing young adult fiction should be easy, right? We’ve been young. We’ve had dysfunctional families, unhealthy friends, and embarrassing moments in the school bathroom. Maybe we've had compelling childhood fantasies of dystopian fairylands or alien creatures to chase across the galaxy. But it is every bit as complex to write a YA or middle grade story as it is to write one for adults. This workshop will explore YA’s unique parameters and how to get back in touch with your younger self—while concentrating on the traditional elements of all good storytelling: character, setting, plot, style, language, and narrative voice. There will be readings and in-class exercises to help you develop your YA novel or short story.

This class will take place in Echo Park, where coffee, tea, and delicious baked goods will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$390 for new students; $350 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


NONFICTION


You may be wondering which nonfiction class you should take. If you use the form to the right, we will be happy to advise you on the most appropriate class for your project and experience level. Keep in mind that Nonfiction I is generally for beginners who are interested in exploring personal narrative (memoir in short or long form) and/or non-personal narrative (creative nonfiction, journalism, art criticism, science writing, etc.). Nonfiction II is generally for writers who have taken Nonfiction I and would like to keep the freedom to write either form of narrative. Memoir I is for students who have decided they wish to write personal narrative (memoir or personal essay). Memoir II is generally for writers who have taken Memoir I and are in the early stages of a project (a memoir or collection of personal essays). Essay Writing is designed to produce inquisitive essays in which the primary focus is not personal experience. Mixed Levels classes are designed for both Level I and II students in the genre offered.


Nonfiction I (taught by Zan Romanoff in Hancock Park) – 1 spot left!

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

July 18, 2017 to September 12, 2017 (with no class on August 22)



In this eight-week course for beginners, students will read craft essays and models as an introduction to the nonfiction genres. The class will help determine what kind of nonfiction would be the best vehicle to express your ideas. We will discuss overarching issues such as persona, audience, ethics, memory, and truth as well as specific techniques such transitions, dialogue, use of sensory detail, etc. The first four weeks of the course will be devoted to exploring various types of nonfiction through generative (homework and in-class) writing exercises. In the second half of the class, students will have the chance to workshop their writing in a serious, respectful, and community-oriented environment meant to challenge and inspire each member of the class. 

Nonfiction I is also open to more experienced writers who want to brush up on the basics or try their hand at a new nonfiction form. This class will take place in Hancock Park, where wine and sparkling water—and the occasional gourmet cheese—will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$390 for new students; $350 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


Nonfiction II (taught by Bernard Cooper in Silver Lake) – SOLD OUT

Thursdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

July 6, 2017 to August 24, 2017
 

 

This eight-week intermediate level course is designed for writers who have a clear idea of the persona, audience, and purpose driving their work, whether personal essay, memoir, or other forms of creative nonfiction. Our main goal will be to bring projects toward completion through a process of drafting, feedback, and revision in a challenging but supportive environment. There will be assigned craft readings and suggested exercises that will help students develop their projects. Writers will have the opportunity to submit work for feedback from the instructor and other students twice. 

This class will take place Silver Lake, where wine and sparkling water—and the occasional gourmet cheese—will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$390 for new students; $350 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


Nonfiction III (taught by Chris Daley in Los Feliz) – SOLD OUT

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

July 18, 2017 to September 5, 2017

In this eight-week advanced workshop, students will develop, write, and/or revise their short- and long-form nonfiction. The focus of the class will be shaping stand-alone essays or sections of longer projects through a process of drafting, feedback, and revision. Students will read and discuss published models to examine and incorporate helpful techniques, and they will complete writing exercises designed to bring their projects into sharper focus. The class will address issues such as persona, audience, story, description, memory and truth, and ethical considerations specific to the genre. Students will have the chance to workshop their writing in a serious environment meant to challenge and inspire each member of the class. 

This workshop is open to experienced writers via application only because seats are limited due to returning students. Previous enrollment in Nonfiction II, Memoir I, or Memoir II strongly recommended. Click the button to the left to receive application instructions. The workshop will be held in Los Feliz, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet cheese will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$390 for new students; $350 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


Memoir I (taught by Elizabeth L. Silver in North Hollywood) – 1 spot left!

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

July 11, 2017 to August 29, 2017

 

This eight-week workshop will introduce writers to the essentials of the memoir, both short- and long-form. We will explore all the fictional techniques that bring memoir to life—dialogue, setting, characterization—as well as those aspects of recollection and reflection that make it such an engaging and moving genre. Assigned readings will demonstrate how effective memoir writers have made personal experience vivid and unforgettable, but the class will emphasize rigorous discussion of student work with the aim of fully realizing autobiographical prose. This class is also open to more experienced memoirists who are in the ongoing process of honing their craft.

This class will take place in North Hollywood, where wine and sparkling water—and the occasional gourmet cheese—will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$390 for new students; $350 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


Memoir II (taught by Seth Fischer in Miracle Mile) – SOLD OUT

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

July 18, 2017 to September 5, 2017



In this eight-week advanced workshop, students will continue to develop, write, and/or revise their memoirs in progress. Students will read and discuss published memoir excerpts to examine the tools of the genre in order to edit manuscripts and bring their projects into sharper focus. The class will address issues such as persona, audience, story, description, memory and truth, and ethical considerations specific to the genre. Students will have the chance to workshop their writing in a serious environment meant to challenge and inspire each member of the class.

This class will take place in Miracle Mile, where wine and sparkling water—and the occasional gourmet cheese—will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$390 for new students; $350 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


Essay Writing (taught by Ivy Pochoda in West Adams) – 1 spot left!

Wednesdays
7:45 to 9:45 pm

July 19, 2017 to September 20, 2017 (with no class on August 16 and 23)

 

The essay is one of the most durable and varied forms of literature, ranging from lyric prose and creative nonfiction to arts criticism and immersive journalism. Unlike other classes focused on short memoir and personal essay, this workshop is designed to produce inquisitive essays in which the primary focus is not personal experience and the work of memory. However, the essay genre invites writers to explore the world around them and to discover what they think about a particular subject, whether that subject involves politics, the arts, science, current events, family, travel, etc. A well-crafted essay is an act of engagement that leaves the writer, as well as the reader, changed. During these eight weeks, students will read various types of essays from writers such as John Jeremiah Sullivan, David Foster Wallace, Meghan Daum, Jo Ann Beard, Jonathan Lethem, James Wood, John McPhee, and Zadie Smith. We will also participate in a rigorous discussion of student work in an atmosphere that prioritizes community, craft, and commitment to the practice of being a writer.

This class will take place in West Adams, where wine and sparkling water—and the occasional gourmet cheese—will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$390 for new students; $350 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)