FALL 2018 – FICTION
 

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You may be wondering which fiction class you should take. If you use the form above, we will be happy to advise you on the most appropriate class for your project and/or experience. Keep in mind that a class like Tools for Writing Fiction 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). The Art of the Short Story and Novel I are designed for students who wish to work on short stories or who are in the early stages of a novel project. Novel II is generally for writers who have taken Novel I and have advanced further into their projects. Mixed levels classes are customized for both level I and II students. If you prefer a class on the westside or on young adult fiction, we have those options as well. One- and two-day seminars look more closely at particular fiction techniques or explore craft questions.
 

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ONLINE CLASSES


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

Narrator as Cinematographer—Camera Shifts in the Third Person with Joshua Mohr

3 spots left!


Two Saturdays
11:00 am to 1:00 pm (Pacific)
October 20 and 27, 2018

Writers figuring out how to work in the third person point of view face a common challenge: How do I make the work more emotional, more intimate, more immediate? We know how to forge these bonds in the first person, and yet the third person can feel distant, obfuscating. This seminar will unpack our various options in the third person POV. We will ponder how style, diction, syntax, and ultimately, the protagonists' preoccupations can take work that feels unemotional and transition it into something nimble, vibrant, and vital. Writers ranging from Chris Offutt to Colson Whitehead to Susan Steinberg will supply techniques and examples that we'll examine and thoughtfully poach. The third person POV can read every bit as close as the first—it just takes some skill to manufacture that ever important camaraderie between the reader and main character. This class will meet online in real time using the Zoom platform. We will contact you with details.


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

Show & Tell with Seth Fischer


Online
Two Saturdays
11:00 am to 1:00 pm (Pacific)
November 10 and 17, 2018

When you first hear it, “show, don’t tell” sounds like good writerly advice, but have you ever wondered how you’re supposed to tell a story without actually telling anyone anything? Have you ever felt like you lacked the tools to draft and revise your own writing with this advice in mind? This seminar will explore how to move past that old writing class cliché to think of your writing in terms of summary, scene, and story. Using examples from James Baldwin to Cheryl Strayed, students will explore how other writers have created successful scenes using dialogue, description, and action. They will delve into how these authors have written strong summary—using tools like detail, voice, and precision—and how they wove summary and scene together to tell immersive, compelling stories.

Before the seminar, students will do two short readings and one brief writing assignment, which can be either fiction or creative nonfiction. In the first meeting of the seminar, we will explore the readings and define our terms and concepts. In the second meeting, students will use this new knowledge to experiment with scene and summary in their own writing through a series of exercises. This class will meet online in real time using the Zoom platform. We will contact you with details.
 


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

New Class! Websites for Writers with Chris Daley


Online
Two Saturdays
11:00 am to 1:00 pm (Pacific)
December 8 and 15, 2018

Publishing companies and small presses are increasingly asking authors to do more of their own publicity, and agents often consider platform as part of a query’s appeal. As a result, it is more important than ever for writers to have a well-designed website. However, a professional website by an experienced designer can cost over $1000 and easily much more, leaving the writer without knowledge as to how to update content.

This two-week online seminar will walk you through creating your own Squarespace site from scratch. In the first week, we will cover best practices for author websites, discuss the different considerations that go into choosing a template, and learn the basics of how to navigate Squarespace and create a site. Writers will then spend the week customizing their own websites. At the second meeting, we will reconvene to provide feedback on the sites and discuss any questions or issues that have come up. The second meeting will also offer a basic introduction to setting up a newsletter and social media, using CSS to code design workarounds, and how to use the Squarespace forum when in doubt.

The class will meet online in real time using the Zoom platform. We will contact you with details. Even if you’re not a writer, you’re welcome to come create a website with us.
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LOS ANGELES SEMINARS


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

May we recommend Narrator as Cinematographer, Show and Tell, or Shaping Your Story?

All Talk—Writing Dialogue
with Chris L. Terry in Hancock Park

SOLD OUT


One Sunday
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
November 4, 2018

Well-written dialogue brings characters to life and quickly moves a story forward. In this seminar for writers of fiction and nonfiction, we will study examples of great dialogue and complete writing exercises that help us get our characters’ authentic voices on the page. We will discuss a range of topics such as exposition, dialogue versus monologue, writing in dialect, use of dialogue with first and third person narrators, and the mechanics of attributing dialogue. And, yes, we will all take parts and read everyone’s in-class writing out loud. This seminar will be most helpful for writers who have a sense of the narrator or characters that they are writing or plan to write.

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


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

Shaping Your Story—How a Screenwriter’s Toolkit
Can Help You Finish (or Start) Your Book

with Christopher DeWan in Pasadena

1 spot left!


Two Sundays
10:00 am to 1:00 pm
November 11 and 18, 2018

Nobody wants a formulaic novel or a memoir that feels like it's painted by numbers—but understanding basic principles of story structure can unlock your narrative in ways that are both surprising and satisfying. Borrowing techniques from screenwriting, we'll examine the structures inherent in your book-in-progress and experiment with ways you can use those structures to make your story more powerful.

In our first session, we’ll explore loglines and how they can be used to clarify the arc of your story. Then we’ll introduce the archetypal three-act hero’s journey as a tool—not for hammering your story into a prescribed or predictable shape, but as a way to help you focus your character’s (and reader’s) emotional transformation. During our one-week break, you’ll create a beat sheet outline to define the key moments of your story, mapping your book to the hero’s journey paradigm, and in our second class, we’ll share these outlines and offer feedback to strengthen the arc and the structure of your book. We’ll also discuss other alternative structures and what to do with books that don’t seem to fit the archetypal models.

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


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

Family Ties—Mining the Personal for Tension-Filled Fiction
with Lilliam Rivera in Los Feliz

3 spots left!


One Sunday
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
December 16, 2018

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.
 

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LOS ANGELES WORKSHOPS


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

Tools for Writing Fiction
with Christopher DeWan in Pasadena

1 spot left!


Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm
October 16, 2018 to December 11, 2018
(with no class on November 6)

This eight-week workshop will use readings, exercises, and writing prompts to explore some of the tools of narrative storytelling. The class will cover using stakes, suspense, conflict, and backstory to develop a stronger narrative arc, the benefits and drawbacks of various points of view, what fiction writers mean by style, voice, and rhythm, and how to balance scene and summary.

We'll discuss published fiction from a craft perspective and do in-class and at-home writing to generate new work and experiment with new techniques. Students will also develop one longer piece for workshop with the group. The class is open to enthusiastic, serious beginners and also experienced writers who want to broaden and deepen their craft.

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


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

The Art of the Short Story (Section 2)
with Bernard Cooper in Silver Lake


Mondays
7:30 to 9:30 pm
October 29, 2018 to December 17, 2018

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, explore the elements that make up the genre, and experiment with different ways to craft our writing. The class is open to experienced writers and enthusiastic, serious beginners, and each student will write a short story to workshop with the group.

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

To join the waitlist for Section 1 on Thursday evenings starting October 18, please email us at info@writingworkshopsla.com.


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

Revising Your Manuscript
with Diana Wagman in Echo Park

1 spot left!


Sundays
10:30 am to 12:30 pm
October 14, 2018 to December 9, 2018
(with no class on November 25)

Roald Dahl believed, “Good writing is essentially rewriting.” Ernest Hemingway claimed, “The only kind of writing is rewriting.” Michael Crichton said, “Books aren’t written—they’re rewritten.” Spontaneous eloquence rarely happens. Whether you've completed a first draft of a novel or memoir, it's now time to get down to the business of serious revision. This eight-week workshop is for writers who have completed a full draft of a manuscript.

We will begin by reading outlines of each book and together discuss ways to help each story move forward so the plot is best served. We will then look at complete chapters from each participant, starting with the first, and talk about introducing your protagonist and conflict as well as your use of language and appropriate style techniques. Finally, you will be able to choose any chapter and share that with the group. By that time, we will have a good introduction to your work and your intended outcome and we will be able to help you see how to edit, rework, and polish that chapter. You should leave the workshop with a good basis for continuing to work on your rewrite on your own, chapter by chapter.

Each participant will share an outline of their entire book and at least two complete chapters. The class will take place in Echo Park, where coffee, tea, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.


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

May we recommend Family Ties or Shaping Your Story?

Novel I with Scott O’Connor in Los Feliz

SOLD OUT


Wednesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm
October 17, 2018 to December 19, 2018
(with no class on October 31 and November 21)

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 is open to experienced writers and enthusiastic, serious beginners. The workshop will take place in Los Feliz, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.


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

May we recommend Narrator as Cinematographer— Camera Shifts in the Third Person or Show and Tell?

Westside Mixed Levels Fiction with Laura Warrell in Culver City

SOLD OUT


Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm
October 16, 2018 to December 11, 2018
(with no class on November 20)

This eight-week mixed levels workshop 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 the instructor and their 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 new; $380 returning
(Payment plans available for returning students.)

Young Adult Fiction with Zan Romanoff in Hancock Park


Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm
October 16, 2018 to December 11, 2018
(with no class on November 6)

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, how to get back in touch with your younger self, and 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. In the second half of class, students will have the opportunity to workshop a piece of writing they're interested in revising and expanding. 

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