We'll be announcing the 2018 winter schedule around January 3 and enrollment will open at that time. 
The workshops will start in February. You can sign up for the newsletter here to find out as soon as classes are available.


FALL 2017 – ALL CLASSES



SEMINARS


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One-Day Seminar: Backstory—
Moving Forward, Looking Back

(taught by Natashia Deón in Los Feliz)
SOLD OUT


One Saturday
10:00 am to 2:00 pm

December 2, 2017

Backstory helps to create the world of your novel, memoir, or short fiction. It tells us what’s driving your protagonist (and antagonist) to take action to attain a goal, and what your protagonist feels about passionately and why. Layering characterization with these histories shows us who the characters are today, and backstory will also help you to avoid writing stereotypes.

The aim of this workshop is to address backstory and get you writing scenes where the past affects the present. We will explore how relevant historical details affect dialogue, point of view, and the attitudes of your characters. These details, when woven successfully into pertinent places in your story, will give it added meaning. 

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. Please note: This second section is being offered in addition to the sold out section on October 28.

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


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Two-Day Seminar: Anatomy of a Scene
(taught by Edan Lepucki in Glassell Park)
SOLD OUT


Two Sundays
10:00 am to 1:00 pm

October 15 and 22, 2017

What is a scene and what makes one successful? In this seminar, we will answer these questions and more by analyzing various methods of dramatization in fiction. Suspense, the treatment of time in fiction, and exposition will also be discussed. In the first meeting, we will explore scenes in contemporary fiction and complete a few writing exercises to get us thinking deeply about what scenes can do for our plots and characters. In the second meeting, students will workshop scenes they've written. 

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

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$190 for new students; $170 for returning students


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One-Day Seminar: Flash! Writing and Publishing Prose Under 1000 Words (taught by Chris Daley in Los Feliz)
SOLD OUT


One Saturday
10:00 am to 2:00 pm

December 16, 2017

One benefit of our internet-shortened attention spans has been the growth of the flash genre, which we’ll define for our purposes here as prose under 1000 words. Fiction and nonfiction writers alike are crafting brief narratives that capture character, setting, and plot in fewer words than a short story or essay, but with just as much (if not more) intensity. In this one-day seminar, we will discuss how to write compelling and substantive flash prose and where to best submit your writing when it’s complete. Recent calls and literary contests have specified 100, 250, 405, and 750-word limits for their flash submissions, so we’ll explore ways to trim and shape your writing to achieve the greatest impact with however many words you’re allowed. The seminar will focus on generating new flash writing and preparing existing work for submission.

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


POETRY


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Poetry I (taught by Elline Lipkin in Glendale) 
SOLD OUT


(Mostly) Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm
October 17, 2017 to December 12, 2017 (with no class on October 31 or November 21)

(Plus) Wednesday
7:30 to 9:30 pm
November 1, 2017

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 to engage 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 will take place in Glendale, where wine, sparkling water, small snacks will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 for new students; $380 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)
 


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Poetry II (taught by Kim Young in Eagle Rock)
SOLD OUT


Thursdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

October 19, 2017 to December 14, 2017 (with no class on November 23)

In this eight-week intermediate workshop, students will practice what Cole Swenson calls an “applied poetics,” where we investigate the ultimate aims of certain poetic modes and study the craft strategies that can lead a poem there. Students will be given assignments and writing exercises that emphasize poetic form and craft, leading them into unexpected creative terrain. Students will have an opportunity to workshop up to 20 pages of poetry, and we will explore the ways collections of poems work to create a complex and more sustained narrative arc. The course will invite students to develop a sense of community as we share our discoveries and deepen our practice. Previous experience studying poetry and/or enrollment in Poetry I or Mixed Levels Poetry is recommended.

This class is open to students at all levels and will take place in Glassell Park, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 for new students; $380 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 customized 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.


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Fiction I (taught by Kate Maruyama in Glendale)
SOLD OUT


Thursdays
7:00 to 9:00 pm

October 19, 2017 to December 14, 2017 (no class on November 23)

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 want to brush up on the basics.

This class will take place in Glendale, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 for new students; $380 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


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The Art of the Short Story
(taught by Christopher DeWan in Pasadena)
SOLD OUT


Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

October 17, 2017 to December 12, 2017 (with no class on November 21)

Lorrie Moore said, “A short story is a love affair; a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.” This eight-week workshop is all about love affairs and photographs: We'll read and write short stories, we'll explore the elements that make up the genre, and we'll experiment with different ways to craft our writing. In addition to weekly exercises and prompts, each student will write a short story to workshop with the group. The class is open to experienced writers and enthusiastic, serious beginners.

The workshop will be held in Pasadena, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 for new students; $380 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


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Novel I (taught by Seth Fischer in Miracle Mile)
SOLD OUT


Thursdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

October 19, 2017 to December 14, 2017 (with no class on November 23)

Maybe you’ve already started your novel, 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 are 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 Miracle Mile, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 for new students; $380 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)
 


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


Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

October 17, 2017 to December 19, 2017 (with no class on October 31 or November 21)

This eight-week intermediate workshop is designed for writers who have at least sixty pages of a novel drafted and who need constructive criticism and astute readers. In the course of the class, we will troubleshoot various aspects of each writer's work, tackling issues such as plot, pace, and character. Each week, a different aspect of the novel will be addressed and we will workshop student excerpts. 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 class will take place in East Hollywood, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 for new students; $380 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


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Intensive Novel Manuscript Workshop
(taught by Diana Wagman in Echo Park)
SOLD OUT


Sundays
10:30 am to 12:30 pm

October 15, 2017 to March 11, 2017 (meeting every three weeks)

Congratulations, you have completed the first draft of your novel . . . but now what? This advanced course is designed for the experienced writer who has recently finished (or almost finished) the first draft of a novel and now needs readers and revision. We will read one entire manuscript, start to finish, every three weeks and then we’ll meet to discuss only that book. Each student will be expected to hand in a written critique of the manuscript and discussions will involve structure, character development, narrative voice, and all the elements that make a good novel.

This workshop is open to experienced writers only via application. Previous enrollment in Novel I or II recommended. Please contact us via the button to the left to receive application instructions.

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

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$550 for new students; $500 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


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Weekend Mixed Levels Fiction
(taught by Neelanjana Banerjee in Boyle Heights)
SOLD OUT


Sundays
10:30 am to 12:30 pm

October 22, 2017 to December 17, 2017 (with no class on November 26)

This eight-week mixed levels workshop is designed for both short story writers and novelists who prefer a weekend class. 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 at Other Books in Boyle Heights, where coffee and sparkling water—and the occasional snack—will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 for new students; $380 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


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Westside Mixed Levels Fiction
(taught by Laura Warrell in Culver City)
SOLD OUT


Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

October 17, 2017 to December 12, 2017 (with no class on November 21)

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, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 for new students; $380 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


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


Wednesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

October 18, 2017 to December 13, 2017 (with no class on November 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 wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 for new students; $380 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 welcome both Level I and II students in the genre offered.


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Nonfiction I
(taught by Melissa Chadburn in Atwater Village)
SOLD OUT


Wednesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

October 18, 2017 to December 13, 2017 (with no class on November 22)

In this eight-week course, students will read craft essays and explore the various shapes and forms of nonfiction, such as reported journalistic work, hybrid/experimental texts, the braided narrative, and the lyric essay. We will discuss overarching issues such as memory and truth as well as techniques such as perspective, transitions, how to build a narrative arc, and the use of sensory detail. 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 Atwater Village, where tea, coffee, and sparking water—and the occasional charcuterie—will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 for new students; $380 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


Weekend/Westside Mixed Levels Nonfiction
(taught by Francesca Lia Block in Culver City)


Sundays
2:00 to 4:00 pm

October 8, 2017 to November 26, 2017

This eight-week mixed levels class is designed for personal essayists, memoirists, and those writing nonfiction more broadly. The class will cover such topics as structure, voice, setting, and theme, and there will be short take-home or in-class writing assignments designed to help students explore different topics. Students will have the chance to workshop 20 new or revised pages of their writing in a collaborative environment meant to challenge and inspire each member of the class. This workshop offers an opportunity to both experiment and to refine your nonfiction writing. Suitable for writers in the early stages of developing a project or those willing to try new techniques for existing material. 

This class will take place in Culver City, where tea and sparkling water—and the occasional snack—will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 for new students; $380 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


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Memoir I (taught by Bernard Cooper in Silver Lake) 
SOLD OUT


Thursdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

October 19, 2017 to December 14, 2017 (no class on November 23)

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 Silver Lake, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 for new students; $380 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


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Mixed Levels Memoir
(taught by Elizabeth Silver in Los Feliz)
SOLD OUT


Mondays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

October 23, 2017 to December 11, 2017

In this eight-week mixed levels workshop, students will 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. Mixed levels workshops are customized to meet the needs of all students in the class based on their experience levels. 

This class will take place in Los Feliz, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 for new students; $380 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)


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Essay Writing (taught by Summer Block in Burbank)
SOLD OUT


Wednesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

October 18, 2017 to December 13, 2017 (with no class on November 22)

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 politics, the arts, science, current events, family, travel, or something else entirely. 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 participate in a rigorous discussion of published essays and student work in an atmosphere that prioritizes community, craft, and commitment to the practice of being a writer.

This class will take place in Burbank, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 for new students; $380 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)