SUMMER 2017 – 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.


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

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)

One Sunday
10:00 am to 2:00 pm

August 6, 2017

As writers, we strive to capture the truth on the page. We 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 (taught by Neelanjana Banerjee at Other Books in Boyle Heights)– 3 spots left! 

One Saturday
10:30 am to 2:30 pm

August 19, 2017

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 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


Fiction I (taught by Christopher DeWan in Los Feliz) 

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 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.)


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

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) 

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 cannot attend a workshop during the week. This mixed levels workshop will meet eight times, and it is designed for both short story writers and novelists who cannot attend a workshop during the week. 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. The bookstore will not be open during the time the class meets.

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

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) – 3 spots left!

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 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.)