SUMMER 2017 – NONFICTION


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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.


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

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: Organizing Your Writing with Scrivener (two sections taught by Neelanjana Banerjee at Other Books in Boyle Heights) – SOLD OUT

Section 1:
One Saturday
August 19, 2017
10:30 am to 2:30 pm 

Section 2: 
One Sunday
August 20, 2017
10:30 am to 2:30 pm 

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 one-day 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

If you would like to join the waitlist for Section 1, please email us at enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com.


Two-Day Seminar: Memoir 101—From Purge to Pitch (taught by Francesca Lia Block in Culver City) – SOLD OUT

Two Saturdays
1:00 to 4:00 pm

August 26 and
September 9, 2017

Memoir is one of today’s best-selling genres and its popularity only continues to grow.  However, memoir isn’t just an exploration of the self; it’s a way to help others by revealing truths about our own lives. But to get to that altruistic truth, we must first go deep inside and find the most potent story to share.

In this two-day seminar, students will have the opportunity to brainstorm and explore ideas for their memoir and then further develop these ideas into an opening chapter and outline. On the first day, students will workshop a chapter and very rough outline (both written in advance) and on the second day, students will read and discuss their revised work. Opening hooks, sympathetic “characters,” “story problem,” time and place, voice, and theme will be discussed, as well as the basics of pitching and selling your finished work.

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

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$170 for new students; $150 for returning students


Submission Support Group (led by Chris Daley in Los Feliz) – SOLD OUT

Saturdays
12:00 to 1:00 pm

July 15, 2017 to August 26, 2017

The submission support group is back by popular demand! Participating writers will meet weekly to focus specifically on sending out their work for publication or other literary opportunities. There will be no written assignments beyond 1) prepare to submit, 2) submit, and 3) support the other people in the group as they submit. During our time together, we will pool our knowledge of literary journals and magazines, agents, small presses, contests, and other calls for submission. We will also discuss how to stand out in the slush pile and what makes for a successful query letter, book proposal, and residency application. The first two submission support groups have produced over a dozen acceptances or recognitions so far, including poetry, fiction, and photography publication, a nonfiction book contract, performance on a podcast, and honorable mention by Daniel Handler.

This group is open to writers of all genres and levels, as long as they are prepared to actively submit their work over the course of the term. We will meet for seven weeks in Los Feliz with a two-hour meeting on August 26 to wrap up before Labor Day. Coffee, sparkling water, and the occasional light snack will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$200 for new students; $175 for returning students


Nonfiction I (taught by Zan Romanoff in Hancock Park) – SOLD OUT

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

July 18, 2017 to September 12, 2017 (with no class on August 22)



In this eight-week course for beginners, students will read craft essays and models as an introduction to the nonfiction genres. The class will help determine what kind of nonfiction would 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 Hancock 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.)


Nonfiction II (taught by Bernard Cooper in Silver Lake) – SOLD OUT

Thursdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

July 6, 2017 to August 24, 2017
 

 

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 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 III (taught by Chris Daley in Los Feliz) – SOLD OUT

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

July 18, 2017 to September 5, 2017

In this eight-week advanced workshop, students will develop, write, and/or revise their short- and long-form nonfiction. The focus of the class will be shaping stand-alone essays or sections of longer projects through a process of drafting, feedback, and revision. Students will read and discuss published models to examine and incorporate helpful techniques, and they will complete writing exercises designed to 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 Nonfiction II, Memoir I, or Memoir II strongly recommended. Click the button to the left to receive application instructions. 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.)


Memoir I (taught by Elizabeth L. Silver in North Hollywood) – 1 spot left

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

July 11, 2017 to August 29, 2017

 

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 North 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.)


Memoir II (taught by Seth Fischer in Miracle Mile) – SOLD OUT

Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm

July 18, 2017 to September 5, 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 class will take place in Miracle Mile, 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 Ivy Pochoda in West Adams) – 1 spot left!

Wednesdays
7:45 to 9:45 pm

July 19, 2017 to September 20, 2017 (with no class on August 16 and 23)

 

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 that subject involves politics, the arts, science, current events, family, travel, etc. 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 read various types of essays from writers such as John Jeremiah Sullivan, David Foster Wallace, Meghan Daum, Jo Ann Beard, Jonathan Lethem, James Wood, John McPhee, and Zadie Smith. We will also participate in a rigorous discussion of student work in an atmosphere that prioritizes community, craft, and commitment to the practice of being a writer.

This class will take place in West Adams, 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.)