Writing Workshops LA

Private creative writing school in Los Angeles for the brave, enthusiastic and talented.

Striving to be a resource for our student writers and non-student writers, we blog writing prompts, writing advice, writing job listings, and as much book porn as possible.
Recent Tweets @WritingLA
Posts I Like

As usual, our instructors  killed it this summer:

Seth Fischer interviewed Edan Lepucki about her new novel California for The Rumpus.

Edan Lepucki debuted at #3 on the New York Times Bestseller list for her novel California.

Elline Lipkin‘s nonfiction essay “Trying” will be published in the forthcoming anthology “My Other Ex” edited by Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger, out this September. Her essay ”The Books We Hold More Closely” will be included in the tribute issue to Eavan Boland of PN Review, which comes out in September as well. The Society Pages published her review of three books ”(M)Others: Good, Bad, Real on Girl w/Pen: Bridging Feminist Research and Popular Reality.”

Amelia Morris’s debut memoir, Bon AppetemptA Coming of Age Story (With Recipes!) was included on The Millions’ Most Anticipated Books List.

Margaret Wappler has written for Los Angeles Times and Bookforum.com. Yoko Ono retweeted Margaret’s DAME piece to her 4 million followers!

Our Fall class schedule is now available!  Take a look at all of our poetry, fiction, and nonfiction classes, as well as our two-day seminars.

If you’re interested in signing up for any of these courses, please email enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com.

SEMINARS

How to Give a Reading Without Boring Your Audience to Tears (with Rae Dubow in Pico Fairfax)

Two Saturdays, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
October 4 and 11, 2014

How many times have you been to a reading and found it wanting? The material may be terrific, but if the author’s delivery doesn’t rise to the occasion, the audience can’t appreciate it. The upshot? Writers need to learn how to deliver their work in public, to be comfortable when they share their words. In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to give a short reading and be coached on their performances. After the reading, one each during the two weeks, constructive tips will be offered on how to appear and feel more relaxed and confident. Participants will also be given direction on how to enhance communication and performance skills. In a literary culture that increasingly demands that writers also function as performers, that they engage with readers in a wide variety of ways, knowing how and what to deliver in front of an audience is essential. Together, we will work on presentation, reading, performance, and help you to hone and develop these necessary skills.

This two-day seminar is open to students of all levels.  It will be held in the Pico-Fairfax area, where coffee, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$155 for new students; $135 for returning students

If you’re interested in signing up, please email enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com.

***

Welcome to My World: Worldbuilding Across Genres (with Kate Maruyama at Incarnation Community Center in Glendale)

Two Saturdays, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
October 25 and November 1, 2014

Whether your story is based in realism, history, science fiction, horror, or urban fantasy, the world you build, with all of its elements, from rules to setting to character needs to be consistent and clear. Once you have your reader oriented, you can take them anywhere you want. Asking questions about each of these elements gives your story new energy and can open it up in interesting ways. This two-day intensive will look closely at techniques in world-building. We will be doing in-class exercises and working with your text to help you go back to your fictional world with a new view and the tools to enhance it. Students will be sharing two pages of their own work in class.

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

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$155 for new students; $135 for returning students

If you’re interested in signing up, please email enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com.

***

Writing About Place (with Darcy Vebber in Hancock Park)

Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
November 15 and 16, 2014

Every story has to happen somewhere in particular. In fiction, memoir, creative nonfiction, even essays, place generates story, suggests character and holds meaning. Alice Munro writes, “In your life there are a few places, or maybe only one place, where something has happened. And then there are the other places, which are just other places.” Writing that captures the place where something has happened or is happening right now is much more than description of physical location and the weather. In this seminar, we will read and discuss powerful uses of place in fiction, memoir and essays, do sensory writing exercises and write at least one real and one imagined place where things might happen.

This two-day 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.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$155 for new students; $135 for returning students

If you’re interested in signing up, please email enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com.

***

Using Fiction Techniques in Memoir (with Chris Daley in Los Feliz)

Two Saturdays, 10 am to 1 pm
December 6 and December 13, 2014

Of all the subgenres in creative nonfiction, memoir can benefit most by incorporating fiction techniques. In fact, thinking of your memoir this way can make your story more relevant to more readers. Developing point of view, character motivation, and narrative voice can help construct an engaging persona to tell your story. Effective plot structure, scene building, and dialogue can add shape and a rhythmic tension to your life events. In this two-day seminar, we will also explore other techniques generally considered to “belong” to fiction, such as the use of subplot, suspense, setting, and figurative language. A few readings will be discussed in the first meeting, and a short writing assignment will be due in the second.

This two-day 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.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$155 for new students; $135 for returning students

If you’re interested in signing up, please email enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com.

***

POETRY

Mixed Levels Poetry Workshop (with Elline Lipkin in Glendale)
Tuesdays, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
September 30, 2014 to November 18, 2014

This  eight-week workshop will focus on how to cultivate a practice of poetry — on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis as students further integrate awareness, writing, and observation into their lives.  The instructor will introduce poems that celebrate the everyday and deepen attention through use of metaphor or simile, and students will investigate and practice other useful craft techniques.  Writing exercises will focus on building an ongoing practice, building poetic community, and new uses for poetry.  Weekly workshopping of new poems will help students to understand the mechanics of how a poem works and what their own creative process.

This course will take place in Glendale, 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.)

If you’re interested in signing up, please email enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com.

***

FICTION

Fiction I (taught by Diana Wagman in Echo Park)

Tuesdays, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
October 7, 2014 to December 2, 2014 (No meeting on November 25)

This 8-week course will introduce beginning writers to the basic techniques of fiction writing such as characterization, dramatization, dialogue, point of view, and so on. In class, students will discuss published fiction from a craft perspective and do writing exercises designed to tackle particular techniques. Each week students will have short writing assignments to do outside of class, which will be turned in for feedback from the instructor. As this course is designed for beginning writers, there won’t be any formal workshopping. The class is also open to more experienced writers who simply want to brush up on the basics.

This class will take place in Echo 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.)

If you’re interested in signing up, please email enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com.

***

Fiction II (taught by Margaret Wappler at Pop-Hop Books in Highland Park)

Thursdays, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
October 2, 2014 to November 20, 2014

This 8-week intermediate-level class is designed for both short story writers and novelists. For the first four weeks, students will do in-class writing exercises and discuss published short fiction and novel excerpts from a craft perspective. The class will cover such topics as characterization, pacing, point of view, structure, voice, and scene, and there will be short take-home writing assignments designed to help students progress with their manuscripts. For the final four weeks of the course, students will be workshopped in a serious environment meant to challenge and inspire every member of the class. Each student will have the opportunity to workshop either one short story manuscript or one novel excerpt (maximum 25 pages).

This class will take place at Pop-Hop Books in Highland 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.)

If you’re interested in signing up, please email enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com.

***

Fiction–Mixed Levels (taught by Clarissa Romano in Santa Monica)

Wednesdays, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
October 1, 2014 to November 19, 2014

This 8-week mixed-levels class is designed for both short story writers and novelists. For the first four weeks, you will do in-class writing exercises and discuss published short fiction and novel excerpts from a craft perspective. You will cover such topics as characterization, pacing, point of view, structure, voice, and scene, and there will be short take-home writing assignments designed to help you progress with your manuscript.  In the final four weeks of the course, you will be expected to turn in either a short story manuscript or a novel excerpt (maximum 25 pages), to be critiqued by the instructor.  Students will also share excerpts and works-in-progress with the group in a workshop environment designed to inspire and challenge every member of the class.

This class will take place in Santa Monica, 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.)

If you’re interested in signing up, please email enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com.

***

Fiction–Mixed Levels (taught by Caeli Widger at The Writers Junction in Santa Monica)

Saturdays, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
October 4, 2014 to November 22, 2014

This 8-week mixed-levels class is designed for both short story writers and novelists. For the first four weeks, students will do in-class writing exercises and discuss published short fiction and novel excerpts from a craft perspective. The class will cover such topics as characterization, pacing, point of view, structure, voice, and scene, and there will be a few short take-home writing assignments.  For the final four weeks of the course, students will be workshopped in a serious environment meant to challenge and inspire every member of the class. Each student will have the opportunity to workshop either one short story manuscript or one novel excerpt (maximum 25 pages).

This class will take place at The Writers Junction in Santa Monica, where beverages 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.)

If you’re interested in signing up, please email enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com.

***

8-Week Fiction Writing Group

Section 1 (taught by Clarissa Romano in Silverlake)
Tuesdays, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
September 30, 2014 to November 18, 2014

Section 2 (taught by Amelia Morris in Echo Park)
Sundays, 10 am to 12 pm
October 5, 2014 to November 23, 2014

In this course, students will have the opportunity to be a part of a fiction writers’ group facilitated by a published writer. Within a supportive environment, students will share new and in-process work, write from prompts, take home ideas for new stories, talk about writing, and ask questions about craft, creation and process. We will form our own writing community, giving and receiving feedback from one another, all the while having a good time. This is not a lecture class, nor will there be class assignments.

Section 1 of this group will take in Silverlake, and section 2 will take place in Echo Park. In both groups, beverages and the occasional snack will be served.

Enrollment Limit: 8 students
Price: $260 for all students

If you’re interested in signing up, please email enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com.

***

Intensive Novel Workshop (taught by Ivy Pochoda in West Adams)

Wednesdays, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
October 1, 2014 to November 19, 2014

This advanced course is designed for writers who have finished or who are close to finishing the first draft of a novel and seek help revising it. The class will meet eight times over a two-month period to discuss and critique student work. By the end of the class, each student will have received feedback from his or her classmates and instructor on 100 pages of a novel in progress. The emphasis over the course of two months will be solely on workshopping existing work. While students are allowed to revise and resubmit, no formal writing assignments will be given. This class requires a serious commitment from students: on each week, students should be prepared to workshop 60 pages from their classmates.

This class will take place in West Adams, where wine and sparkling water—and the occasional gourmet cheese—will be served.

Enrollment limit: 6 students by application only
Course fee: $475 (Payment plans available to returning students.)

This class is open to experienced writers only. To apply for entry, please email enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com.

***

NONFICTION

Nonfiction I (taught by Seth Fischer in Silverlake)

Thursdays, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
October 16, 2014 to December 11, 2014 (No meeting on November 27)

In this 8-week course, students will read, discuss, and write essays (or chapters) that will explore the genre(s) of personal narrative and memoir. The readings will be selected to stimulate thinking, exemplify different techniques and styles, and suggest techniques for engaging personal and creative expression. There will be in-class and homework exercises that address topics 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 Silverlake, 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.)

If you’re interested in signing up, please email enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com.

***

Nonfiction II (taught by Margaret Wappler in Mt. Washington)

Tuesdays, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
September 30, 2014 to November 18, 2014

This 8-week intermediate course is designed for writers who are looking to continue their exploration of the memoir or personal essay genre. The students will have some familiarity with at least a few of the generic concerns of personal narrative, such as hybridity of form, dramatization, retrospective versus immediate point of view, ethics, and so on. There will be some assigned readings, but the class will focus on bringing projects toward completion through a process of drafting, feedback, and revision in a challenging but supportive environment. Weekly in-class and homework exercises will help students develop their craft, and a series of in-depth workshops in the latter half of the course will allow students to apply critical reading skills to their own writing.  Aside from receiving one formal workshop for a longer piece, students will have the opportunity to submit short work for review every other week.

Since this course is designed for more experienced writers, previous enrollment in WWLA’s Nonfiction I course is suggested but not required.

This class will take place in Mt. Washington, 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.)

If you’re interested in signing up, please email enrollment@writingworkshopsla.com.

We are excited to announce three new instructors are joining WWLA this Fall!  Rae Dubow, Kate Maruyama and Diana Wagman’s classes will be announced with all the others in late September, and those of you who loved their popular sessions at WWLA: The Conference might want to keep a look out.

Rae Dubow is the director of Talking Out Loud. She believes that everyone can be trained to communicate more effectively. Using techniques that she has taught for many years, she has developed a system for public speaking that will help you create a dialogue with your audience. A former actress, Rae received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She has coached and directed actors since the late 1990s and has worked with many writers on their public presentations. She has taught in private schools and at universities including Woodbury University, Antioch University, and the University of California, Riverside. She is available for private or group consultations and seminars.

Kate Maruyama is the author of Harrowgate, a new novel from 47North. Her short work has appeared in Stoneboat, Arcadia Magazine, and Controlled Burn as well as on SalonThe Rumpus, and The Citron Review. She co-founded AnnotationNation.com, a website that looks at fiction in terms of craft. She writes, teaches, cooks, and eats in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband and two children.

Diana Wagman is the author of four novels. Her second, Spontaneous, won the 2001 PEN West Award for Fiction. Her latest, 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 is an occasional contributor to the Los Angeles Times.

The Liner is an independent magazine of epistolary writing and art. The writing is focused on the art of correspondence, both imagined and real. They’re accepting submissions for their third issue and they want to feature more LA-based writers.

Guidelines: The Liner is looking for works of poetry or fiction made up of correspondences or nonfiction real correspondences, anything from letters, postcards, journals, emails, etc.  If you can scan the actual pieces, even better (300 dpi, 6 inches wide).  They are especially interested in works involving humor.

Deadline: August 9.

Come hear WWLA instructor Neelanjana Banerjee’s fiction students read their work as part of the Writ Large Press DTLAB series of 90 Literary Events in 90 days! This Saturday July 19th at 8 p.m. at the Traxx Bar in Union Station (800 N Alameda Street LA CA 90012). 

We are so pleased to announce that non-fiction instructor and all-around awesome individual Chris Daley is WWLA’s new Co-Director. She will be helping Edan with class scheduling, enrollment, and publicity.

Chris’s students have published personal essays in venues such as SalonThe RumpusEclecticaWriters Tribe Review, and Slice Magazine. They have been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony and 360 Xochi Quetzal and attended the Bread Loaf and Squaw Valley writers’ conferences. Memoirs workshopped in her classes have won their authors a PEN Emerging Voices fellowship, the New Southerner annual literary contest, and an award from the Los Angeles Book Festival. Chris has worked as a writing instructor for several universities in New York and Los Angeles, including the California Institute of Technology, Brooklyn College (CUNY), and Loyola Marymount University. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles TimesLos Angeles Review of Books, and The Collagist. She works as a professional editor and received her Ph.D. in English from the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Your enthusiastic WWLA Social Media Coordinator (me) will be spending the week at the Squaw Valley Fiction Conference.  As much as possible, I’ll be tweeting interesting tidbits and cool info from the writing conference, so click the link above if you want to follow my journey into the Heart of Writing.

There are a few days left to sign up for fiction and poetry classes before the summer session begins!  Click above for details and email writingworkshopsla@gmail.com to enroll!

TWO DAYS LEFT TO ENROLL!

For this weekend’s WWLA: The Conference, we have a killer keynote lined up for you guys.  Our speaker Michelle Huneven has four novels under her belt, including the upcoming Off Course. Her first two books Round Rock and Jamesland were both New York Times notable books and also finalists for theLA Times Book Award. Her third novel, Blame, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and also a finalist for the LA Times Book Award.
And the topic of her conversation: The Trouble with Writing. 
We’re so. so. pumped.
You can still click here to enroll, if you, also, are pumped. 

For this weekend’s WWLA: The Conference, we have a killer keynote lined up for you guys.  Our speaker Michelle Huneven has four novels under her belt, including the upcoming Off Course. Her first two books Round Rock and Jamesland were both New York Times notable books and also finalists for theLA Times Book Award. Her third novel, Blame, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and also a finalist for the LA Times Book Award.

And the topic of her conversation: The Trouble with Writing. 

We’re so. so. pumped.

You can still click here to enroll, if you, also, are pumped.