Work in Progress: Memoir
with Bernard Cooper in Silver Lake

Silver Lake
7:30 to 9:30 pm
May 8 to June 26, 2019


This memoir-focused workshop will help build and strengthen structure, voice, point of view, scene vs. exposition, and other crucial elements of long-form memoir writing. In addition to discussing memoir excerpts that exemplify these elements, the class will cover techniques for sticking to a long-term goal—how to continue to find inspiration and fresh ideas and how to keep sight of the forest while surrounded by trees. Most importantly, the members of this workshop will make significant strides in their work in progress. Over the course of this class, students will meet weekly word count requirements and have the opportunity to submit up to 30 pages of their own work for constructive feedback from peers and the instructor. This workshop will take place in Silver Lake, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.

Our Work in Progress classes are designed for writers who have started a first draft of a story, essay, or book-length project and who would like constructive criticism and astute readers as they continue to write. Writers can take multiple versions of our Work in Progress classes until their drafts are complete.

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

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Bernard Cooper is the author of memoir, My Avant-Garde Education, recently published by W.W. Norton. He is also the author of The Bill From My FatherMaps To AnywhereA Year of RhymesTruth Serum, and a collection of short stories, Guess Again. Cooper is the recipient of the PEN/USA Ernest Hemingway Award, the O. Henry Prize, a Guggenheim grant, and a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship in literature. His work has appeared in several anthologies, including The Best American Essays of 19881995, 1997, 2002, and 2008. His work has also appeared in magazines and literary reviews including Granta, Harper’s Magazine, The Paris Review, Story, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, and The New York Times Magazine. He has contributed to National Public Radio’s “This American Life” and for six years was the art critic for Los Angeles Magazine. Visit him online here.

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"Funny but not jokey, moral but not preachy, Bernard Cooper's stories [in Guess Again] reflect a great sense of humor and a bottomless reserve of humanity." —David Sedaris

"Wonderful . . . [Cooper's] delicate use of humor, sympathy, and humanity makes Guess Again a wonderful addition to the short-story canon." —Scott W. Helman, The Boston Globe

"Funny, compassionate, wistful . . . Cooper has a voice that is fluid and engaging." —Charles Wilson, The New York Times Book Review

"Gentle humor and wonder at the variety of directions life can go lurk in the crevices and secret corners of these stories." —Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times