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.


Writing Workshop Series with Dan Coshnear

Beginning Saturday, August 12, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Once again I’m beating the bushes, in search not of game, but who’s game, who’s feeling the desire and has the time to read and write and share in a group of keen-eyed, keen-eared, kind, supportive and adventurous reader/writers. We’ll be sharing short fiction or excerpts from longer works, memoir, personal essay, first draft or fifteenth, anything which might benefit from careful, imaginative critical reading and response. Typically we read a sample of published work and discuss style, structure, voice, whatever moves us, then begin workshop of your pieces. We often cover four or five per class meeting, and typically each writer can submit at least two writings within the four week session, sometimes three, depending upon number enrolled. The cost for four sessions is 120 bucks, a percentage of which goes to Sitting Room. No one is turned away for inability to pay. Payment can be in parts, at your convenience.

We’ll be meeting Saturday mornings at The Sitting Room in Penngrove ( from 9:30 to 12:30 on 8/12, 8/19, 8/26 and either 9/2 or 9/9 (depending upon the group’s availability on Labor Day weekend).

If interested, or if you have questions, please email or call me, Dan Coshnear, at 707-869-0329.


Creative Life II: Bones & Bridges

Writing for Artists, Drawing for Writers — Workshop with J. Ruth Gendler, Berkeley Writer and Artist

Tuesday, August 22, noon to 2:30 p.m.
Healdsburg Center for the Arts, 130 Plaza Street, Healdsburg

Tuition: $40 payable online—or by cash/check/credit card the day of the workshop.
Workshop Series does not need to be attended consecutively. Please plan to join us in this second workshop and receive the benefit of Ruth Gendler’s facilitating and the pleasure of creating among other artists and writers.

Writer and Artist J. Ruth Gendler: “Bones for me is always deep structure. Bridges are everywhere, breath is a bridge, and language, and the eye that sees outward and inward.”

Rooted in the qualities of curiosity, clarity, courage, creativity and courtesy, Gendler’s workshop will introduce some new ways to look, listen, and make.

Open to everyone: the experienced artist/writer; the person who hasn’t drawn since third grade; the person actively pursuing a current creative project.

Collage, drawing, writing—lists, questions, dialogues, dreams, metaphors—are all part of our tool kit.

Contact: 707.696.1111, Cynthia Helen Beecher,
Registration: Online at


Write That Story!
Instructor: Bridget Burke

Want to write a book? A short story? A memoir? Come join this six-week writing course that explores the mechanics of story: plot/structure, character/point of view, description, dialogue, setting, and theme. Through lecture and writing exercises, you will develop your story toward the goal of completing a first draft!

6 Mondays, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
September 11-October 16
Fireside Room, Sebastapol Center for the Arts, 282 S. High Street, Sebastopol
$200 member/$205 non-member

Register online with SCA (


Clara Rosemarda—WRITEMIND™ WORKSHOPS: Writing from the Core

Classes § Workshops § Retreats § Enneagram of Personality §
Private Coaching & Consultations § Emotional Release Energy Healing


DEEP INQUIRY: Creative Writing as Spiritual Practice
6 Wednesday evenings begin September 20, 7:00–9:30 p.m.
6 Thursday mornings begin September 21, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Santa Rosa. Fee $240 for 6 sessions ($225 if paid in advance)
(Drop-in for continuing students: 4 sessions for $180 to be used anytime during this six-week session)
Contact Clara Rosemarda at 707-579-2081 or

This is where you write from the core! Through meditation, visualizations and other exercises to quiet the mind and stimulate the imagination, we will discover and generate new material. Your inquiry into the stories you know will reveal the hidden stories. Whether you’re starting out or trying to finish a project or book, this is the place to do it. If you just want to find out what you think and feel, this is the place to do it. As an intuition counselor and coach I provide individual feedback for each writer in my workshops. A safe environment is provided for the writer to emerge. Open to writers of all skill levels and genres. SPACE IS LIMITED.


Enneagram of Personality: A Study of Character for Writers & NonWriters
Saturday September 30, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Santa Rosa, fee $135
Contact Clara Rosemarda at 707-579-2081 or

If you are a writer who wants to learn how to flesh out your characters—fictional or not—this system will give you the tools and more. If you want to learn about the Enneagram to improve your own life and your relationship to others, this is the workshop for you. Clara has been teaching the Enneagram of Personality in the narrative tradition in California and nationally for 35 years. Her knowledge of the system takes participants into a deep, poignant dive with ease and laughter.

Clara Rosemarda, MA, is an evocative writing teacher, memoirist, and poet whose work has been published in literary journals and anthologies. She works with beginning as well as mainstream writers to start and complete projects. In private practice in Santa Rosa as a counselor for thirty-five years, Clara is co-author and co-editor of the literary anthology, STEEPED: In the World of Tea. Her letterpress chapbook Doing Laundry was set and printed at Iota Press 2013. Her most recent poetry chapbook Naked Branches was published 2014 (Small Change Series, WordTemple Press).


Writers Forum Presenter Teri Sloat

Thursday, September 21, 2017
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Copperfield’s Books, 140 Kentucky St., Petaluma

The Evolution of a Story: Allowing it to go through many forms

Teri Sloat’s talk about published works includes an insider’s view of a novel in progress, discussing the stages a novel goes through from beginning to end. She will use her work-in-progress as an example of how to fictionalize personal memories.

Teri Sloat has always been an artist and writer, interspersed with wonderful years of teaching and bilingual work. Teri and her husband began their lives together in the Alaskan Bush, living in small Yup’ik villages on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The culture on the delta is a culture of subsistence and a culture of story. The oral stories were often about the thin veil between the worlds of animals and people, the need for sharing and the power of nature. The environment, the culture, and the open expanse of the tundra was an invitation to create her own stories.

She was the illustrator for the first bilingual program in Alaska, providing years of experience working with folklore. This rich environment, without the addiction of television, allowed time to create her own images.

Teri has over 25 trade books published with Dutton, Holt, Little Brown, Putnam and others and have been fortunate to win awards from ABA, NY Times, Ben Franklin Committee, Bank Street, and Sesame Street.

She is also a creative artist of fine art. Storytelling, the editing and rearranging is revealed in her landscapes as well as her folk art. Teri’s goal as a storyteller is to paint pictures with words. Her goal as an artist is to create a story the viewer imagines while looking at her art.

“It is my hope that the images I create, and words in my stories share my se nse of wonder and my often whimsical view of the world around us.” — Teri Sloat



Fall Poetry Workshop: Let’s Write Now
Instructor: Ellery Akers

Jumpstart your poetry in this playful, supportive workshop. We’ll do a lot of breakthrough exercises— childhood memories, surrealism, persona—and have fun coming up with pages of new material. We’ll also explore craft, language, voice, rhythm, and repetition.

4 Sundays, 2:00-4:30 p.m.
October 29-December 3 (No class November 19 & 26)
$200 member/$205 non-member
Fireside Room, Sebastapol Center for the Arts, 282 S. High Street, Sebastopol

Register online with SCA (



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 to 8:30 p.m. Copperfield’s, Petaluma.
Tuesdays: 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Copperfield’s Books, Petaluma

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


Sonoma County Literary Update logo

%d bloggers like this: