WINTER 2017 – ALL CLASSES

SEMINARS

One-Day Seminar: The Dueling 'I's in Memoir (taught by Joshua Mohr in Los Feliz) 

One Sunday,
10:00 am to 2:00 pm

January 22, 2017

There are two “I”s in a memoir: the character-I, who is going through the book's series of events, and the retrospective voice, the "I" who is actually telling the story from a perch of some remove. How do we handle these dueling “I”s?  How do we make sure we're creating a perfect symbiosis between these two perspectives to make the memoir compelling and unforgettable? In this one-day seminar, students will be introduced to techniques to maximize both of the “I”s and complete writing exercises to hone these principles in their own work. If we can create emotional stakes for both of these “I”s, we will have accomplished the ultimate goal: pulling the reader closer to the action and whispering straight into her heart.

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. The course fee includes a copy of Joshua Mohr’s forthcoming memoir Sirens.

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

 

Two-Day Seminar: Putting Together a Poetry Chapbook (taught by Kim Young in Glassell Park)

Two Saturdays
11:00 am to 2:00 pm

February 4 and February 11, 2017

A poetry chapbook can be a seed for a larger manuscript or a project focused on a single theme, a pressing artistic inquiry. This seminar is for students who might have a slate of poems saved on their computer or stuffed in a drawer and want to investigate how those individual poems might begin to fit together. Students will examine their own poems in order to locate and unearth the themes, images, and questions that are central to putting together a poetry chapbook. We’ll explore how order, arc, and epigraph can turn a group of poems into a larger narrative. We will also study other successful chapbooks, discuss individual projects, and generate new work that builds upon the themes we’ve unearthed. We’ll conclude our time together by discussing practical questions, such as the various publishers of poetry chapbooks, DIY publishing, and what students need to know about submitting their work.

This seminar will be held in Glassell Park, 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: Re-Vision—An Inside-Out Novel Revision Seminar (taught by Kate Maruyama in Glendale)

One Saturday
1:00 to 5:00 pm

February 25, 2017

In this intensive four-hour seminar, you will learn concrete revision techniques you can take away for your next rewrite. You will leave the class energized with an action plan for an intensive and results-oriented rewrite of your specific novel. During the class, we will roll up our sleeves, look at your plot and structure, and discuss how to rearrange your scenes to build tension. We will explore your character and plot progression, the progression of information given to your reader over the course of a book and, on a micro level, you will learn how to dismantle a scene and recreate it to create the most punch.

Students should bring an electronic or print version of their novel for reference as well as something to write with. Scissors, tape, and index cards will be provided. This seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in Glendale, where coffee, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served.

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

 

POETRY

Mixed Levels Poetry (taught by Elline Lipkin in Glendale)

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

January 24, 2017 to March 14, 2017

This eight-week workshop will focus on how to cultivate a practice of poetry as students integrate awareness, writing, and observation into their lives. Students will deepen their attention to language through use of metaphor, simile, or other poetic devices as they investigate and practice craft techniques. Writing exercises will focus on building an ongoing practice, creating poetic community, and new uses for poetry. Weekly workshopping of poems will help students to understand the mechanics of how a poem works and more about their own creative process. 

This class is open to students at all levels and will take place in Glendale, where wine and 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.)

 

FICTION

Fiction I (taught by Seth Fischer in Los Feliz) 

Thursdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

January 26, 2017 to March 16, 2017

n this eight-week course, beginning students will focus on the fundamental techniques of fiction writing: plot, characterization, scene, setting, dialogue, time, and point of view. In class, students will discuss published fiction from a craft perspective, and they will then do 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.)

 

Fiction II (taught by Kate Maruyama in Glendale) 

Wednesdays
7:00 to 9:00 pm

January 18, 2017 to March 15, 2017 (No class on February 8)

This eight-week intermediate level class is designed for both short story writers and novelists. The course will cover the tools of fiction writing such as characterization, scene, voice, tense, dialogue, point of view, and progression. In class, students will discuss published fiction from a craft perspective and do 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. Each student will have the opportunity to workshop at least 25 pages of short story or novel manuscript. There will be one short take-home assignment every week and students will be required to read their fellow students' work in advance.

Since the class is designed for more experienced writers, previous enrollment in WWLA’s Fiction I course is suggested, but not required. It will be held in Glendale, 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 Margaret Wappler in Mount Washington) 

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

January 24, 2017 to March 14, 2017

In this eight-week class, students will share and explore their ideas for a novel and begin or continue to develop their manuscripts. Students will read and discuss novel excerpts to examine the tools of the trade and complete writing exercises designed to bring projects into sharper focus. The class will address issues such as character, pacing, tension, progression, and voice. Every week there will be a five-page requirement to make sure students are writing and rewriting regularly. In the last few weeks of the course, students can workshop up to 40 pages of their manuscript. 

This class will take place in Mount Washington, 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.)

 

Novel II (taught by Diana Wagman in Echo Park) 

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

January 24, 2017 to March 14, 2017

This eight-week advanced workshop is designed for writers who are well into a draft of a novel and need constructive criticism and astute readers. We will read 50 to 100 pages of two writers' novels each week and spend one hour on each, discussing the details of character, voice, point of view, and larger story and plot issues. In addition, we’ll talk about techniques for sticking to a long-term goal, continuing to find inspiration and fresh ideas, and how to keep sight of the forest while surrounded by trees.

This workshop is open to experienced writers via application only because seats are limited due to returning students. Previous enrollment in Novel I or Novel II strongly recommended. Click the button to the right to receive application instructions. This class will take place in Echo 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.)

 

Experimental Fiction (taught by Christopher DeWan in Pasadena) 

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

January 24, 2017 to March 14, 2017

Can you write a story without characters? Without plot? Without an ending? Can you write a story in a classified ad? In a recipe? In a single sentence? Can you write a story in a form we’ve never seen? Over this eight-week workshop, we’ll use readings, exercises, and prompts to consider what makes a story a story. Each week, we’ll explore a different element—voice, point of view, form, genre, etc.—and we’ll subvert it. The goal isn’t cleverness for the sake of cleverness, but rather to help you discover and unlock the fiction you want to write. This workshop will help you find shapes for your stories that are new, surprising, and poignant.

Writers of all levels are welcome, but please bring your sense of play. The class will be hosted in Pasadena, where wine, sparkling water, and occasional snacks 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 Neelanjana Banerjee in South Pasadena)

Sundays
10:30 am to 12:30 pm

January 22, 2017 to March 12, 2017

This eight-week mixed-levels class is designed for both short story writers and novelists who cannot attend a workshop during the week. For the first four classes, students will do 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 South Pasadena, 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) 

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

January 24, 2017 to March 14, 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 do 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)

Sundays
10:30 am to 12:30 pm

January 29, 2017 to March 19, 2017

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

Nonfiction I (taught by Bernard Cooper in Silver Lake)

Thursdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

January 26, 2017 to March 16, 2017

In this eight-week course for beginners, students will read craft essays and models as an introduction to the nonfiction genres. The class will address the particular concerns of nonfiction writers and how to determine what kind of nonfiction will 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 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 II (taught by Chris Daley in Los Feliz) 

Thursdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

January 26, 2017 to March 16, 201

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. Each week, there will be assigned craft readings and one-page homework 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 workshop is open to intermediate writers via application only because seats are limited due to returning students. Since the class is designed for more experienced writers, previous enrollment in WWLA’s Nonfiction I or Nonfiction II course is suggested, but not required. Click the button to the right to receive application instructions. This class will take place Los Feliz, 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 I (taught by Margaret Wappler in Mount Washington)

Thursdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

January 26, 2017 to March 16, 201

This eight-week workshop will introduce writers to the essentials of the memoir. 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 Mount Washington, 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 Bernard Cooper in Silver Lake) 

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

January 24, 2017 to March 14, 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 workshop is open to experienced writers via application only because seats are limited due to returning students. Previous enrollment in Memoir I or Memoir II strongly recommended. Click the button to the right to receive application instructions. This class will take place in 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.)

 

Essay Writing (taught by Seth Fischer in Miracle Mile/Ivy Pochoda in West Adams)

Section 1 (taught by Seth Fischer in Miracle Mile)

Wednesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm
January 25, 2017 to March 15, 2017

Section 2 (taught by Ivy Pochoda in West Adams)

Wednesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm
February 22, 2017 to April 12, 2017

When essay writing is taught in school, it is often taught using the driest of academic formulas: find a thesis statement, develop support for it, and repeat. This course aims to be that formula’s antithesis. Instead, students will read and write essay forms less likely to have been seen in school, such as lyric and hybrid, and attempt other essay genres, such as narrative nonfiction and immersive journalism. The class will cover issues of style, structure, audience, scope, narrative distance, and research. Through working with various types of essays, students will explore how this sort of writing can build empathy, alter fixed perspectives, and foster clearer emotional communication in readers and writers alike. Each week, students will discuss their work and the readings in an atmosphere that prioritizes community, craft, and commitment to the practice of being a writer.

This class will take place in Miracle Mile, where wine and sparkling water—and the occasional gourmet cheese—will be served. ugh the bulk of the class will be devoted to a rigorous discussion of student work.

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