College Courses for Adults

Napa Valley College-St. Helena
Santa Rosa Junior College English Department
Santa Rosa Junior College Writing Scholarships and Awards

Santa Rosa Junior College Community Education Writing Courses

Sonoma State University Creative Writing Program

Sonoma State University Extended Education Program

Bay Area Writing Courses (non-college)

The Grotto, a San Francisco writing center and community workspace offers narrative arts workshops over several weeks or one day. Located in SOMA.

On-Line Writing Programs

University of California, Berkeley, Extension, Online Writing Certificates
Stanford University, Continuing Studies, Online Writers Certificates
Oxford University, Continued Education, short online courses
Online College Courses in Writing (database of free courses)
Visual Writers Workshops bring published authors together with writers for synergy and exchange one Sunday a month at 12 p.m. Eastern time, 9 a.m. Pacific time.

School-Based Programs for Youth

California Poets in Schools
Phyllis Meshulam, Area Coordinator
Sonoma State University EXCEL Program

Community Non-Credit Workshops

For a list of  Sonoma County writers offering workshops and consultations, check the Local Workshop Leaders and Writing Consultants page. Below you’ll find a list of upcoming workshops in chronological order and following that, ongoing (undated) workshops in alphabetical order by the workshop leader’s last name.


Upcoming workshops are in chronological order. See below for local ONGOING WORKSHOPS.


North Bay Letterpress Arts: Spring 2017 Classes

At the Iota Printshop in Sebastopol will run until June 11th. Workshops include basic letterpress craft and exploration of bindings and unusual printmaking methods. Location: 925-D Gravenstein Highway South, Sebastopol (

Saturday, April 22, 1:00-5:00 p.m. Drum Leaf Binding with Brooke Holve. Learn the Drum Leaf binding structure, a contemporary binding designed to display artwork in a book format. It is an adhesive-based structure (no sewing) that opens flat for full page spreads. Bring cutting board, Exacto knife with new blades, glue brush, metal ruler, bone folder, 2 small Irwin clamps, decorative paper for end sheets and cover. Cost: $75. Materials fee: $5.

Saturday, May 6, 1:00-5:00 p.m. Letterpress Poetry Printing with Eric Johnson. Print a poem–your own or another’s. Learn the basics of letterpress technique and how it can heighten the expressive qualities of poetry. Each student will print small broadside on fine paper using the metal type and printer’s ornaments. Fee: $75. Materials provided.

Sunday, May 7, 1:00-5:00 p.m. Letterpress Mother’s Day Cards with Katie Nealon of folding bones press. Use antique wood type to print letterpress custom Mother’s Day cards on a Vandercook printing press. Take home 15 cards & envelopes to send to the amazing mamas in your life. Cost: $65. Materials included.

Saturday, May 27, 1:00-5:00 p.m. Letterpress Fundamentals with Eric Johnson. A brief but intense lesson in typesetting, presswork, paper & ink handling…to produce cards with multiples for each student. Wit, politics or just Thank Yous. Good workshop for improvisers who can play & learn! Fee: $75. Materials provided.

Sunday, June 11, 1:00-5:00 p.m. Letterpress Father’s Day Cards with Katie Nealon of folding bones press. Use antique wood type to print letterpress custom Father’s Day cards on a Vandercook printing press. Take home 15 cards & envelopes to send to the amazing papas in your life. Cost: $65. Materials included.


Writing Workshops with Dan Coshnear

Dear Fellow Writers: I’m looking forward to another four-week workshop at The Sitting Room (in Penngrove). A chance for all to read and write and share impressions and receive useful critical impressions. We read and share stories, novel excerpts and personal essays/memoirs. We’ll meet on Saturdays in April from 9:30 to 12:30 on 4/8, 4/15, 4/22, 4/29.

Cost for four sessions is 120 bucks, which can be paid in whole or parts at your convenience. No one is turned away for lack of funds.

Please let me know if you are interested. Contact Dan Coshnear: or 707-869-0329


LifeLines — Memoir Writing Workshop with Suzanne Sherman

Our lives are filled with memorable experiences, important relationships, and transformative events. Here’s your chance to write about some of yours, for personal pleasure or publication.

You’ll learn useful memoir craft:

  • how to shape a story
  • how to bring your stories to life (show and tell)
  • how to write dimensional characters

You’ll get constructive feedback on writings done at home as you build a collection of short memoirs and grow your writing skills. There are occasional short writings from writing prompts. Limited to 10.


Mondays, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Sebastopol Center for the Arts
Mondays, 1:00–3:00 p.m. Sebastopol Center for the Arts

$325 new members; $295 continuing members

May 1- June 26 (no meeting Memorial Day)
July 10-August 28

Contact Suzanne directly to enroll: 707.478.3819 or

Suzanne Sherman has taught memoir since 1996. She is a professional editor, memoir coach and publishing consultant. Her newest book is Girlhood in America: Personal Stories 1910–2010 ( For info about her online writing classes and more, get her free newsletter at


Writing the Watershed: Poetry and Prose

Workshop with Elizabeth Herron
Saturday, May 6, 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Location: Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$85. Pre-registration required:

Whether you consider yourself a writer or simply enjoy putting words down in a journal or naturalist’s notebook, if you are interested in a deeper connection to our Sonoma County landscape, this writing workshop is open to you. We will start with a centering exercise and end with a closing circle. In between, Elizabeth will talk about the craft of writing, there will be writing exercises, time outside in the paradise of the Laguna in spring, and time to share our writing with each other. Participants will strengthen their engagement with the watershed and practice grounding their writing in the details of the natural world. Whether you write prose or poetry, this workshop will give you a more intimate experience of the Laguna de Santa Rosa and an opportunity to improve your writing skills.

Elizabeth Carothers Herron spent her childhood rambling woods, fields and shorelines, and grew up loving the outdoors. When the Dunsmuir Spill was reported in 1991, she felt called to witness the disaster. (“It wasn’t the Exxon Valdez or the Cuyahoga River, it was our river, right here.”) She walked the banks of the Sacramento River where 19,000 gallons of metam sodium had seared the riparian corridor and killed everything in the water from Cantara Loop to Lake Shasta. For the next ten years, her writing centered almost entirely on ecological subjects; and she developed and taught, Ecological Identity, the first Arts & Humanities GE course in ecology at SSU. Elizabeth is the author of four poetry chapbooks, a book of short fiction, and articles on art and ecology. Her poems appear most recently in over a dozen literary magazines, including Arroyo, West Marin Review, Lindenwood, Free State Review and Reflections. Her prose has been published in Ions, Orion, Parabola, Jung Journal and currently Center for Humans & Nature’s “Questions for a Resilient Future.” She lives on the hem of the Atascadero in the Russian River watershed.


Susan Starbird — No Idea Is Too Small

Sunday May 7, 9:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

Let loose your imagination during a day of experimental creativity with Susan Starbird. “No Idea Is Too Small” is a low-tech, high-intensity, fast-paced pen-and-paper workshop requiring no prior drawing, writing, or other creative ability or talent. Break away for a day from your ongoing projects, take a vacation from your inner critic, dive into your subconscious, and amaze yourself with new ideas in a nonjudgmental atmosphere of total encouragement. Discover how the smallest idea can evolve into an intriguing narrative as you write and sketch your way from one surprising expression to the next. Registration deadline: April 25 (no onsite, day of event registration). $75 for the day includes materials and lunch. Sebastopol Center for the Arts: or


Writers Forum Presenter Elizabeth Stark

Battling Demons and Chasing Whims: How to Build a Meaningful, Inspired Writing Practice
Thursday, May 18, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Copperfield’s Books, 140 Kentucky St, Petaluma.

Even for those of us passionate about writing, it can be such a challenge to build a consistent, productive writing practice. This workshop will help you find your own organic path to integrating writing into your daily life in a pleasurable, inspiring way, and showing up on the page with courage and curiosity.

Elizabeth Stark is the author of a novel, Shy Girl (FSG/ Seal Press), writer/ director of two films distributed by Frameline, and cohost of a podcast, She teaches and mentors writers at


Shake, Rattle and Write with Sharon Bard

Saturday June 17, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Another exciting movement and writing workshop. In this half-day event we will explore the vibrations that live in us from cradle to grave. Whether utter trepidation, sheer excitement, or something in between, this pulse can be felt as a heartbeat or lie undetected as a neurological firing. It’s the “juice” which moves us, both physically and mentally. Let’s drink this elixir of tremble and thunder, engaging in gentle creative movements and literary expressions. All levels welcome. Sharon is a local writer and a certified yoga instructor. Contact her at to register or for more information. Suggested donation: $20 -$40, proceeds to benefit the Sitting Room.


Wordwise Instruction with Amanda Yskamp

Now enrolling students ages 8-18 for summer session, June 19-July 31. Courses all taught online and at students’ convenience. Offerings include Creative Nonfiction, Creative Writing, Reader Response (intro to literary analysis) Essay Excellence (with strategies for timed essays on standardized tests), Classic Science Fiction, Nature Through the Eyes of American Writers, and Approaching Poetry. Amanda Yskamp has taught gifted students through such programs as Johns Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth and Northwestern’s Gifted Learning Links. She offers individualized instruction for both children and adults. These classes are designed to help students of all levels and interests become better readers and writers. She also coaches students through the college application process. More information at:



These listings are alphabetical, either by name of organization or last name of facilitator.

Book Arts: Sonoma County Book Arts Guild

If you make books, alter books, want to learn to make books please join us at the Sebastapol Center for the Arts. The intent is to create a group to share work, teach techniques, take field trips, invite guest artists to teach, and have a show.

Painting/Drawing Studio

Last Saturday of each month, 10 am-12 pm

Fee: $2-$5 donation to cover facility use

Location: Sebastopol Center for the Arts
Contact Dena Bliss 829-1732


Margaret Caminsky-Shapiro’s Sonoma County Writing Practice

Margaret Caminsky-Shapiro teaches seasonally based eight-week long writing semesters out of her Santa Rosa downtown office. Four different class times are offered each week; Monday at 2.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. and Tuesday at 9.15 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. Margaret uses poetry and meditation for inspiration and writers are encouraged to read their work in a supportive atmosphere. The memoir is a valuable form for dropping deeper into the self allowing memories to come forth. This process allows space for self-knowledge to occur. Margaret was born and raised in South Africa and her love of memoir comes from her African storytelling background. For more information or to receive a flyer call (707) 575-8820 or email Margaret at The website for Sonoma County Writing Practice is Margaret Caminsky-Shapiro and Sonoma County Writing Practice have published their 2nd Anthology, FOOT NOTES, which showcases the writing of 51 of Margaret’s students. Details on Sonoma County in Print (2014) page.


Sher Christian’s Workshops and Intuitive Coaching

Mini workshops for your group and family: The Power of Poetry and Writing to Connect with Joy, Wisdom, and Healing. Sher Lianne Christian, author of Star Kissed Shadows, Divining Poetry. Email for information.

Sher Christian offers intuitive coaching for writers, plus proofing, & editing. For books on audio: voiceover, recording, organ/accordion/keyboard tracks. Demos available. Sher Lianne Christian., Star Kissed Shadows and CD Sweet Tongue available at


Marlene Cullen: Jumpstart Writing Workshops

Jumpstart: a workshop where creative prompts inspire writing. Bring a notebook and a fast-moving pen. We will travel on a journey of exploration and deep writing through inspirational prompts. Details:

$15 per workshop

Mondays: 6:30 pm to 8:30 p.m. Copperfield’s, Petaluma.
Tuesdays: 9:30 am to 11:30 a.m. Petaluma Community Center.

Need inspiration to write? Over 300 writing prompts on The Write Spot Blog:


Susan Hagen’s Writing Circles and Retreats

  • Learn simple techniques for effortless writing.
  • Challenge, explore, and deepen your craft.
  • Share your stories in a supportive circle.

Susan combines meditation and nature-based practices to help set aside the thinking mind and clear a path to the deeper writing life. Each gentle day of exploration includes  writing, reading aloud (if you wish), deep listening, and positive reflection in a small, safe, supportive circle of women. Beginning, experienced and exploring writers of all genres are welcome. Diversity of our women’s writing community and a growing pool of participants make each gathering distinctive and fresh. You’ll be amazed by what you write in circle and inspired by the gift of deep listening you’ll receive from others.

VIRTUAL Telephone Writing Circle for Women
Selected Saturday Mornings
(See website for dates and fees)
9:00–11:00 a.m. PST

Drop-In “Write to Heal” Fridays in Sebastopol
Friday mornings (see for dates)
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
DROP-IN whenever you like; no reservations necessary
Suggested donation $20-$40
Sonoma County Healing Academy (SoCoHA)
6741 Sebastopol Ave, Suite 120
across the parking lot from Coffee Catz patio
Sponsored by Peace in Medicine

One-Day Writing Workshops for Women
Susan offers monthly writing workshops for women on alternating topics:

  • Women Writing through Transition and Change
  • Women Writing Around the Medicine Wheel
  • Help! I’ve Got a Book in Me and I Wanna Get it Out!
  • Writing Workshop for Heart-Centered Women

(See for dates and fees)

Susan Hagen is an award-winning nonfiction writer, Vision Quest guide, and co-author of Women at Ground Zero: Stories of Courage and Compassion. She is a former news reporter, organizational journalist, firefighter and emergency medical technician. Her writing programs are inspired by the vision quest, a personal journey into the wilderness that clarifies and informs her life and work.

Mobile: 707-888-0849
Office: 707-874-9223
PO Box 443, Graton, CA 95444


Nancy Long: One-Person Shows

Dream of performing a one-person show of your writing or stories of your life?
Let experienced Bay Area Director and Producer, Nancy Long, edit, shape and produce that dream for you!

Services include:

  • Editing of script (which you can read or memorize for stage).
  • Four sessions of rehearsals with direction, props and music.
  • Actual performance (15-30 minutes in length) set-up with lights, wireless microphones and staging at Aqus Café in Petaluma (or venue of choice).
  • Publicity.

Fee: $250.00
Beginner and seasoned writers welcomed!

For more information and bio background:
Nancy Long, Producer of Petaluma Readers Theatre cell: 707-338-2489


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