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

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 your 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.

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


Echo Park
7:30 to 9:30 pm
May 1, 2018 to June 19, 2018

Diana Wagman is the author of five novels, most recently Life #6. Her second, Spontaneous, won the 2001 PEN West Award for Fiction. Her fourth, The Care & Feeding of Exotic Pets, was chosen as a Barnes & Noble Discover Pick. Her screenplay, Delivering Milo, was produced starring Albert Finney and Bridget Fonda.  She has had short stories and essays published, most recently in Conjunctions and The Colorado Review, and she is an occasional contributor to the Los Angeles Times.


"I am so happy to have found Diana Wagman's YA class. For starters, the very fact that Writing Workshops Los Angeles offers small, affordable classes with accomplished, published, critically lauded authors such as Diana is a small miracle all by itself. Thank you, Writing Workshops Los Angeles!  Specifically, sitting in Diana’s cozy space high in the wooded hills of Echo Park feels like attending a weekly writer’s retreat. Diana treats everyone as a peer and leads a warm and insightful workshop where the class thoroughly analyzes each student’s work. As issues arise within the work, Diana weaves in lessons on craft—tips on dialogue, voice, pacing, etc. She lets you know when something isn’t working, but does it in the nicest possible way. At the end of each discussion, Diana gives the student a marked up copy with her personal notes. My fellow workshoppers were wonderful, intelligent, creative people writing great things. The eight-week course definitely took my work to a higher level. Thanks for being here!" —Maria Speidel

"Taking Diana Wagman's class gives you the series of 'aha moments' that you need, even at times when you didn't know you needed them. She supports the class, encourages everyone even when they're ready to just bang their head against the wall, and is especially adept at involving everyone in the discussion. Her notes are spot-on and often encourage many other good ideas to surface. I've always left her class feeling inspired and ready to get back to work. Wherever you are in your writing process, taking her class will definitely move you forward, get you thinking about your project in new ways, and motivate you to write, write, write. Also, she makes delicious baked goods." —Kelley Coleman


The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets tilts on Winnie’s strength. In her, Wagman has constructed a magnetic figure who is easy to root for . . .The book also benefits from breathless pace and a dialogue-heavy structure that hints at Wagman’s screenwriting experience and keeps the pages turning.” —Los Angeles Times

"Wonderfully outrageous . . . [Spontaneous] reads like a Mary Gaitskill story adapted for the screen by David Lynch . . . explosively satisfying." —Publishers' Weekly

Life #6 intrigued and delighted me from the first paragraph, and for two days I read it everywhere: at meals, in the bath, in line, while driving, you name it. I loved the wit and despair of its heroine, and the way the past―with all its attendant desires and trauma―wouldn't let her go. I love this book!" ―Edan Lepucki, California