"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!"
“I am a high school teacher who prioritizes community building and equitable recognition of students. My values often leave me dissatisfied as a student. In contrast, in the submission seminar—an online class of all places—Chris Daley created a culture in which all of our questions were worthy and everyone was a source of insight. Even as a novice, I felt safe to reveal my needs, and I left assured in my path. I would recommend Chris to any writing student.”
“Taking workshops with Kate Maruyama has really jumpstarted my writing productivity. Kate's thoughtful and even-handed guidance creates a helpful and warm environment in which students are able to share their works in progress. Thanks to Kate's classes, I've been able to make headway into my writing on a regular and consistent basis. I can't recommend Kate enough!”
"Westside Fiction is an excellent class for beginners and old timers alike. Laura Warrell is a fabulous workshop host with a talent for inspiring insightful discussion that educates us both as writers and as readers."
“Ivy Pochoda is, hands down, the best writing teacher I’ve had the privilege to study with. She has a singular ability to foster meaningful discussion about each writer’s piece within the group, encouraging her students to engage with each other’s work on a deeper level than most writing seminars manage to reach. Beyond that, Ivy is excellent at pulling out the most important details of an individual passage, and placing them contextually within the larger narrative arc of the student’s work. Her intelligence, insight, compassion, and wicked sense of humor have all inspired me to become a more conscious writer. Plus, if you take her class, you get to hang out with some seriously adorable bunnies. I highly recommend Ivy’s classes to any curious writing student!”
“Even after taking two of Neela Banerjee‘s workshops, her instruction continues to surpass my expectations. In Fiction III, Neela’s insight (and expert facilitation of the workshop) allowed me to make big strides in a short story that I’d been editing in painful circles for over a year. In Novel I, Neela designed a class schedule that pushed us to produce 40 pages of new material (leaving time for everyone in the class to get this new material workshopped) while reading thought-provoking articles on craft. I’ve never been so productive. Neela does not hesitate to go beyond her role as workshop leader. She has been more than generous in providing me with advice for the future of my writing. I’d highly recommend Neela to anyone.”
"Elline Lipkin‘s workshop is as good as—if not better than—the workshops and craft classes I had during my poetry MFA.”
“Working with Edan Lepucki has revolutionized my writing. After taking several classes with her in the past year, the quality and consistency of my work has made a quantum leap because not only do I have a better grasp of how to draft my stories in the first place, I have received wonderful insight into the revising process. Edan’s critiques are challenging and inspiring. Our workshop discussions have given me priceless insight. I was incredibly nervous the night of my first workshop, but by the end of class I knew I’d found a true ally in the writing world. I’m deeply grateful to Edan for her kindness and hard work. She’s a phenomenal teacher. If it were socially acceptable, I would spend my days wearing a sandwich board that reads EDAN ROCKS at all times. I might do it anyway.”
“Finding an environment that is at once nurturing and challenging is almost as important to the writing process as actually sitting down in front of the computer. Writing is hard, finding inspiration is hard, honing your voice is hard, and doing it all on your own is lonely . . . but as it turns out, it doesn’t have to be. You may not think you need a class to write, but I guarantee the process will be far more enjoyable if you take the creative nonfiction class. You will discover so much more about yourself as a writer, especially with a teacher like Chris Daley pushing you to explore and play. She creates a safe place for us to try and fail, learn from it, and then try again and grow. Everyone has a natural voice, but a class like this, with a teacher like Chris, will help you not only sharpen what is best about your unique voice but also explore new styles that could potentially open you up to whole new worlds as a writer. Unless you’re illiterate, you probably don’t need a class to learn how to write, but you really should consider this class if you want to learn how to be a writer.”
“I’ve taken writing workshops with many talented and prestigious people. Seth Fischer ranks up there with the best of them. His funny, warm and self-effacing personality creates a relaxed creative atmosphere. Seth doesn’t merely critique our work, he pairs relevant readings with constructive and detailed methods we can use to improve it. By actually demonstrating these methods in class, Seth involves us all in the editing process and makes the prospect of revision a lot less lonely and daunting. I trust Seth as a teacher because he is both generous and rigorous. He’s always reading, writing and carefully studying texts to see how they work, and he brings that insight to his teaching. Highly recommended!”
"I've taken two classes with Scott O'Connor (Fiction I, Novel I) and I wouldn't be writing my current novel without them. Scott's prompts and assignments gave me the idea, the POV, and the voice of the novel. I'm now two hundred pages in and I would never have had the skills or the confidence to get this far if not for Scott's guidance. He is accepting of wherever we are in our manuscript while also helping us see where we need to go and providing the tools we need in order to get there. Scott is a supportive, insightful, and generous teacher. His classes have been invaluable to both my manuscript and my process as a writer. I’m very fortunate to have taken them."
“I’m so grateful for Kate Maruyama’s novel writing workshops. I’ve found her to be especially helpful with process—everything from specific techniques, like index carding (to see how your novel is shaping up), to more abstract ideas, like how you don’t have to write every detail at once: you can go back in later drafts to ‘thread through’ the strands that are missing. Each term, we read and discussed a craft book as well as a novel and, of course, we workshopped. Kate knows how to create a supportive yet honest environment and she is so incredibly encouraging. I’d recommend her class to anyone who wants to really move their book forward.”
“After I finished a graduate program in creative writing, I could not find a writing workshop that was both affordable and catered to writers outside the screenwriting genre. What I found in this workshop was far more than that. I found a professional group of writers and an instructor who knew craft and also knew how to create a warm, supportive environment for giving feedback. Margaret Wappler‘s workshop was the highlight of my week and I always left there inspired! Also, one of the essays that I wrote in the workshop was recently published. The tools I received there stay with me and so does the warm feeling!”
“Christopher DeWan‘s workshop is fantastic. He’s so kind, knowledgable, smart, and really focuses on challenging us to write in new, innovative ways. He doesn’t have an overly lectured style, and I appreciate his own desire to really have us talk through things and write as opposed to tell us what is/isn’t writing. The prompts have been very diverse and challenging. And he is excellent at getting even the most quiet members of the group to tell their stories, all while pointing out what’s good and different about them. He’s created a safe, experimental space for me to write and so is meeting all my expectations and more.”
"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."
"I took Westside Fiction with Laura Warrell, and everything about our session was thought-provoking and deeply rewarding. I learned so much. We not only had wonderful writers in our group, but their reading expertise was incredible. Laura's notes were wonderful, thorough, and manageable."
“Poetry II was my first workshop at WWLA and my first time working with Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo. Xochitl's vision and direction for the class were right up my alley—as a teacher, she is open yet directed, stimulating and positive. I hope to take more classes with her at WWLA."
“Moving to Los Angeles can be a lonely experience. You are never sure where to go to find support and guidance in your art, especially writing. Writing itself is a lonely pursuit, however, by chance I found myself in Chris Daley‘s Nonfiction I class and I was forever uplifted. Not only did the environment of the class feel intimate and sincere, but constructive. Chris embodies what writing teachers should be: a balance of ease and drive. The class has the comfort to be yourself and be open, but also the drive and discipline to keep you on track and find your direction. I’m on my third class with Chris and now pursuing my first nonfiction book. She will be listed on my dedication page; it’s the least I can do to express my gratitude.”
"Lilliam Rivera's 'American Horror Story' seminar was the best fiction workshop I've taken in years! I came away from Lilliam's class so inspired that I had to pull off the freeway on the way home to write. After discussing all of the best in contemporary horror, both literary and genre, Lilliam offered one last prompt that helped me find a way into a story I had wanted to write for two years. In addition to fantastic readings and prompts, Lilliam's engagement with the subject matter was contagious. All students produced inspired writing in class without hesitation. As a former university professor, I can say that Lilliam's teaching style is top-notch. She was very organized but also left room to explore, encouraging each student to write according to her individual interests and treating everyone as equals. The creative process is often a difficult journey, but Lilliam Rivera's course left a lasting impression of its greatest pleasures."
“Ivy Pochoda’s novel writing workshop is a true gem in the WWLA treasure chest. Not only is Ivy a gifted novelist, she is a skilled instructor who understands that the novel writing process presents unique challenges to the aspiring writer. With that in mind, she guides her students towards achieving their long haul goal of completing a novel. Easier said than done. Ivy’s ability to see the “big picture” with her critiques allows her to inspire and encourage students to stay focused and move forward with their work. I have taken two of Ivy’s workshops, and would recommend her workshop to any writer serious about completing a lengthy manuscript.”
—Dee Kettler White
"I just wrapped up a fantastic Novel I class with Scott O'Connor and it helped me shape the framework of my entire book while creating possibilities and asking questions that I don’t have the answers to just yet. Writer friends, I highly recommend Scott O’Connor and Writing Workshops Los Angeles."
“I love Chris Daley and her class. She’s warm and highly intelligent, thoughtful and thought provoking. I started her class two sessions ago with no previous writing experience and only an idea. As I now enter my third session I am close to completing my first long form composition, a one man show. She helped to give form and guidance to my fledgling thoughts and motivated without judgment, all while fostering a supportive atmosphere that is often filled with laughter.”
“Taking Margaret Wappler‘s fiction workshop was a great experience. She does an amazing job of initiating discussion while never dominating or dictating any particular point of view, as a less skilled instructor might. Her feedback on my writing was always concise, thoughtful, and constructive, and seemed tailored to address my particular strengths and weaknesses as a writer. I’ve taken a lot of workshops and writing classes over the years, but none have helped me improve my writing more than my time spent working with Margaret.”
“I’m immensely pleased with Chris DeWan‘s teaching. I love the short stories he has selected for our study. The assignments (both reading and writing) are helpful. Chris’s demeanor with the students is confident, nurturing, and positive.”
"WWLA is one of the best things I experienced after moving to LA. I lucked into the final spot in one of Neela Banerjee's Novel II workshops. We had a great mix of writers and skill levels. The goal was to complete and workshop 40 pages, a mark I didn't believe I could meet. Neela's weekly page requirement, expert guidance, feedback, and facilitation of our group of aspiring novelists helped me to exceed that goal. I was often awestruck by my classmates' writing and delighted to be moved to tears or laughter. Neela helped me understand, at last, what a scene consists of, which resulted in some of my best writing to date. I can't recommend WWLA highly enough."
“Chris Daley knows what is going on. After taking several classes at UCLA, I was fed up with the epic commute and the exorbitant prices. I was thrilled to find WWLA and specifically Chris Daley. I had the good fortune of taking a creative nonfiction class with her. The readings she assigned were instrumental in forming a new and deeper understanding of the craft. Her critiques of work in class are honest and thoughtful and she delivers them with kid gloves. I am looking forward to taking more classes with Chris and trying out other teachers at WWLA. I am so happy I found this incredible resource for writers in Los Angeles.”
“I’ve taken several fiction workshops in college and other settings and I don’t hesitate to say that the WWLA fiction class I took was the single most interesting and most valuable fiction class I have taken. You will be inspired to try new techniques, intrigued by discussions on the subtleties of craft, motivated to get the work done, and made welcome to share your work. The assigned reading was very well chosen, and included theoretical material and sample stories from both established and lesser known writers. The in-class writing assignments were unique and provocative. Class discussions were chosen based on the students’ interests, not a generic fiction curriculum. Edan Lepucki‘s teaching style is relaxed and personable, and yet she keeps discussions focused, stays on agenda, and respects the value of time. I was most impressed by the structure of the in-class critiques each writer receives for a story they submit. I don’t want to disclose Edan’s method in any detail, but suffice it to say that our critiques were amazingly well structured around the twin goals of sensitivity to writer’s ego and the need for candid feedback. If you want to hone your craft, meet new writers, or you simply need a push to get yourself writing again, you’d be silly not to sign up with WWLA.”
“I’ve been the biggest novice in Seth Fischer‘s workshops but I keep coming back because of the encouraging environment he creates. We all have a story to tell, Seth helps you tell it.”
“I entered Chris Daley‘s Nonfiction I class knowing that I wanted to work on a memoir I’d been thinking about for a long time, but feeling at a bit of a loss about where to start. The reading assignments Chris selected were incredibly helpful—just learning about how other writers have approached the genre was enough to get me started. By the end of the eight weeks, I had a good sense of my strengths and areas of focus for improving my work, thanks to Chris’s instruction and feedback. I also met some great people and had fun discussing writerly things with other writerly types. I’m looking forward to the next workshop.”
“Joshua Mohr was a very positive and motivating instructor, and his 'Narrator as Cinematographer' online seminar encouraged me to think about the boundaries of point of view—and then to find ways to move beyond those boundaries (in fiction as well as nonfiction).”
“I’ve attended two consecutive WWLA poetry classes taught by Elline Lipkin and I will return again. Elline is a wonderfully knowledgeable teacher and working poet. She brings fresh content to each class and presents a curriculum designed to stretch her students’ skills. Additionally, and very importantly, Elline is a great champion of her students’ work.”
“Margaret Wappler‘s fiction classes at WWLA have been nothing short of absolutely fantastic for me. I say classes because I’ve re-enrolled twice in a row now, and I’ve got nothing but good things to say about her and WWLA as a whole. Margaret is well read, she’s got a great sense of humor, and she knows what makes a writing workshop really tick. Being able to navigate the space between criticism and consideration in a workshop setting is no small task, but she knows how to pull it all off gracefully. When I expressed an interest in taking a flash fiction class (and sort of begged Margaret to teach it), she was receptive and communicated with Edan about the possibility. To my delight, the two collaborated and designed a flash fiction seminar with Margaret set to teach, and I’m now working happily away in that actual class! How’s that for responsiveness? It’s not a surprise to me that both these great ladies have connected through WWLA. I’m just glad I found them, and I’ll happily sing their praises to anyone willing to listen.”
“Diana Wagman has a wonderful way of keeping the Revising Your Manuscript workshop positive, focused, and constructive. Although everyone in the class was writing in a different genre, we all got the kind of advice we needed to push our manuscripts to the next level. Diana's editorial advice is also very astute and I appreciated her feedback on my manuscript. I highly recommend Diana's workshop to anyone looking for a warm, supportive, and constructive class.”
“Creative nonfiction classes taught by Chris Daley continue to inspire, inform and challenge me—I love her classes. I raised a son after enjoying a career in the music business, and I have long wanted to document some of my experiences. Writing Workshops LA has given me a safe environment to explore and develop any writing skills I may have.”
—Christy Hill Ellis
“Seth Fischer has been a really valuable part of my growth as a writer. His familiarity with contemporary memoirs enables him to choose readings that help me to see the various ways I can tell my story. He’s generous, funny and his criticism of my work is always done in a nurturing and supportive manner with notes that give me the tools to fix it. Seth has instilled in me the belief that it really is possible for me to see my work in print one day, that’s amazing. Thank you, Seth!”
—Candace Wilson Culp
“Elline Lipkin was a kind, generous, and encouraging teacher with a wealth of knowledge about poetry. She created a workshop environment where each student could bring their voice to the table, no matter how different our poetic styles were. She thoughtfully considered everyone’s comments during discussions, had helpful recommendations about our work, and was very responsive to requests to talk about our poetry outside of class. It was a pleasure to spend my evenings with Elline and our workshop group!”
“I have been studying with Chris Daley for the past half year and have just re-upped for another class. Her creative nonfiction class (essays/memoirs) has been instrumental in pushing my work further. Chris creates an environment that feels both safe and challenging. One of my pet peeves is when a class is “soft” and everything turned in gets met with unconditional praise. I always feel like I’ve wasted my money and could have simply asked my mom to read the piece! That said, I’m not a glutton for punishment either. Chris’s style is honest and supportive. You get real feedback and the inspiration to take it to the next level. This class is a hidden gem.”
“I recently finished Seth Fischer‘s Nonfiction II class and had a completely positive experience. Seth has an amazing eye for structure and a gift for identifying how to improve a story regardless of the writing level of the author at hand—which is no small feat. I am not exaggerating when I say that he is the editor I have been waiting to meet for years. I will definitely take another of his classes. As for the workshop structure, of course there will be some variation depending on who signs up for your particular class; our group was great.”
"Taking Margaret Wappler's Novel I class has finally made me think and behave like a writer. I'm always thinking about my novel, its characters and place. When I read other work, I am now conscious of the structure and artistry of the novelist and eager to apply my newfound skills to my own work. Margaret is an excellent instructor. She's focused and in control of the room. She is a generous and thoughtfully constructive listener. I can't think of a better way to spend $350."
“Kim Young is a generous guide. She demonstrates that every poem we encounter can teach us about the practice of writing—in terms of potential or mastery. In her workshops, the realms of enchantment are available to anyone with an open heart. Close reading, risk taking, and moral support are valued. I have made lasting friendships in these classes precisely because the atmosphere flourishes with laughter and appreciation.”
—Sara Ellen Fowler
“Elline Lipkin‘s teaching approach is well balanced. We spent about equal time examining a wealth of poetry from an eclectic variety of noted poets, and the poetry of fellow class members. We studied a broad range of poetry types and styles, making sure to spend sufficient time on the more difficult aspects in order to dig deep enough to gain a more thorough understanding. Her criticism is gentle and supportive, but also very enlightening in helping each poet develop his strengths and eliminate his weaknesses. Having the class in someone’s home also added to the experience. It was very fun and informal and I believe helped everyone to be more open with their poetry and critiques.”
“Chris DeWan has been amazing. The class is really well structured, his assigned readings are super helpful, and the writing assignments are both challenging and fun. This is the first fiction class I’ve taken since early college and it’s been both challenging and encouraging. Really, I think his approach to teaching is fantastic.”
“I drove three hours from Riverside County to Manhattan Beach every week for eight weeks, risking certain death on the 91 Freeway, to work with Scott Cheshire. That’s how fucking amazing he is.”
“I wouldn’t change a thing about Dawn Dorland's nonfiction course. Very positive environment. Very safe, but honest.”
—Martha Rose Shulman
“Edan Lepucki’s one-on-one critique of my 450-page manuscript was the single most valuable writing instruction I’ve ever received—and I say that after at least $150,000 worth of undergrad and post-grad writing instruction! If you’re looking for trusted guidance and thorough, honest, and effective feedback, a critique with Edan is second to none.”