WINTER 2018 – ALL CLASSES



CLASSES STILL AVAILABLE FOR WINTER


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Two-Day Online Seminar:
Getting to the Heart of Your Characters
(taught by Scott O'Connor)


Two Sundays
11:00 am to 1:00 pm (Pacific)

March 11 and March 18, 2018

Character is the heart of story, but how do we create characters that come alive on the page, resonating with readers and grabbing their attention? During this intensive two-day seminar, we’ll explore what it takes to create unforgettable characters. Engaging from a variety of directions—voice, point of view, backstory, and motivation—we’ll help new characters come alive on the page and turn existing (and potentially difficult) characters into compelling players in your story.


We’ll also read authors who have a particular genius for creating vibrant, authentic characters. We’ll discuss their work, analyze their techniques, and find ways to apply those techniques to our own character-building process. Through writing exercises, we’ll shake up our ways of thinking about character and test some of the strategies we’ve learned. During the second meeting, participants will have the opportunity to workshop a piece of writing. This seminar is open to students of all levels. 
 
Enrollment limit: 8 students
$150 course fee


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One-Day Los Angeles Seminar:
Making the Political Personal

(taught by Ismail Muhammad
in Glassell Park)


One Sunday
10:00 am to 2:00 pm

March 4, 2018

As second wave feminists taught us, the personal is political—but how do we acknowledge that tension in nonfiction without sacrificing political urgency or personal perspective? During this seminar, we will practice techniques for incorporating political critique into personal narrative, such as writing effective scenes and developing momentum. We will examine contemporary examples of politically inflected narratives and engage in writing exercises that blend creative and civic purposes. The goal of this seminar is to explore how writers can best express their personal and political ideas and identities in narrative nonfiction and memoir.

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
$130 for new students; $120 for returning students


SEMINARS


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Two-Day Online Seminar:
Improve Your Submission Game

(taught by Chris Daley)

SOLD OUT


Two Sundays
11:00 am to 1:00 pm (Pacific)

February 18 and February 25, 2018

It’s a new year and a new chance to up your submission game. By the time this seminar is over, you will have 1) increased knowledge of how, where, and whe to submit your fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, 2) an overview of the current literary publication landscape, 3) tips on writing effective cover letters, bios, pitches, and agent queries, and 4) a greater sense of confidence about sending your work out into the world. This seminar is geared toward students who have at least one finished piece of work. All genres welcome. Join us for two fun Sundays of publication preparation.

This seminar is open to students of all levels. 
 
Enrollment limit: 8 students
$150 course fee


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Two-Day Los Angeles Seminar:
Plot and Pacing

(taught by Ivy Pochoda in West Adams)

SOLD OUT


Two Saturdays
10:00 am to 1:00 pm

February 10 and February 17, 2018

Plot and pacing often bedevil first time novelists, memoirists, and short story writers. Is there enough happening in our narratives? Is there too much? Why do some stories require a ton of action while some manage to be exciting even when little or nothing happens? In this two day seminar, we will look at individual writers' short stories, scenes from novels and memoirs, and outlines to examine the balance of high and low events. In the first meeting, students will have an opportunity to share their works in progress and troubleshoot them with the group. The second meeting will be focused on revision—how students applied the suggestions of the first week.

This seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in West Adams 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 Los Angeles Seminar:
Storytelling & The Body—Writing Narratives of Health, Illness, & Healing

(taught by Elizabeth L. Silver in Picfair Village)

SOLD OUT


One Saturday
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
March 24, 2018

No topic is more universal than our health, and in the last several years, memoirs and novels exploring the beauty and danger of the medical establishment have offered insight and inspiration. In this seminar, we will explore texts that investigate the miracles, tragedies, pitfalls, and realities of living in a world of evolving medicine, as we make meaning of our lives on the page. What makes us embrace modern medicine? What terrifies us about it? What makes us marvel as we find ourselves in emergency rooms, delivery rooms, intensive care units, and even hospice? How do all of those questions find their way into creating a powerful narrative? During our four hours together, we will tackle the details of good storytelling and how it intersects with our health, learning how to use our bodies’ stories to explore greater topics of healing, injury, and wellness.

This seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in Picfair Village 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 Kim Young
at the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock)

SOLD OUT


Thursdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

February 15, 2018 to April 5, 2018

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 at the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock, 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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Poetry II
(taught by Elline Lipkin in Glendale)

SOLD OUT
 

Mondays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

February 12, 2018 to April 9, 2018 (with no class on March 12)

 

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 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.)


FICTION


You may be wondering which fiction class you should take. If you use the form below, 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 Scott O'Connor in Los Feliz)

SOLD OUT


Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

February 6, 2018 to March 27, 2018

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 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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Fiction I
(taught by Bernard Cooper in Silver Lake)

SOLD OUT


Thursdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

February 8, 2018 to April 5, 2018 (with no class on March 22)

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

SOLD OUT


Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

February 6, 2018 to April 3, 2018 (with no class on February 20)

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 Kate Maruyama in Glendale)

SOLD OUT


Thursdays
7:00 to 9:00 pm

February 8, 2018 to April 5, 2018 (with no class on March 8)

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 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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Novel II
(taught by Seth Fischer in Miracle Mile)

SOLD OUT


Wednesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

February 7, 2018 to April 4, 2018 (with no class on March 7)

This eight-week intermediate workshop is designed for writers who have already begun the process of drafting their novel 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 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 Francesca Lia Block in Culver City)

SOLD OUT


Wednesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

February 21, 2018 to April 11, 2018

This eight-week intermediate workshop is designed for writers who have already begun the process of drafting their novel 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 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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Weekend Mixed Levels Fiction
(taught by Neelanjana Banerjee in Boyle Heights)

SOLD OUT


Sundays
10:30 am to 12:30 pm

February 11, 2018 to April 8, 2018 (with no class on March 11)

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

February 20, 2018 to April 10, 2018

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

February 14, 2018 to April 4, 2018

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.)

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 below, 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 Zan Romanoff in Hancock Park)

SOLD OUT


Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

February 13, 2018 to April 10, 2018 (with no class on March 20)

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 Hancock Park, 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.)


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Nonfiction II
(taught by Melissa Chadburn in Atwater Village)

2 spots left!


Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

February 12, 2018 to April 2, 2018

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 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.)


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Mixed Levels Memoir
(taught by Margaret Wappler
in Mount Washington)

SOLD OUT


Wednesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

February 14, 2018 to April 4, 2018

In this eight-week mixed levels workshop, students will begin new memoirs and/or develop their memoirs in progress, from short-form personal essays to book-length manuscripts. 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 the students in the class based on their experience levels. 

This class will take place in Mount Washington, 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


Mondays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

February 12, 2018 to April 2, 2018


Alternative Workshops Featuring Essay Writing:
Nonfiction I, Nonfiction II, and Mixed Levels Memoir

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.)