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 Creative Nonfiction with Becca Lawton

Saturday, June 3, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Presented by Redwood Writers Club
Flamingo Hotel, 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa
Members: $25; Non-members: $35

Creative nonfiction as a genre is both young and misunderstood. Careers have been built on the telling of true-life adventures but lost again when the line was crossed between fact and fiction. What, then, is the definition of this young genre? How can writers come to understand it? Does it include getting creative with writing memoir? In this workshop, we’ll look at breathtaking examples of creative nonfiction, discuss how to approach it, and learn its rules and how to honor them. We’ll write and share, explore how to turn real-life adventures into gripping accounts and dare to tell the truth.

Rebecca Lawton is a writer, geologist, and former Colorado River guide who has published in Aeon, Brevity, Hakai, More, Orion, Shenandoah, Sierra, THEMA, Undark, and many other journals. She is the author and co-author of seven books, including the creative nonfiction collection Reading Water: Lessons from the River, a San Francisco Chronicle Bay Area Bestseller and ForeWord Nature Book of the Year finalist. Her writing honors include a Fulbright Scholarship, Ellen Meloy Award for Desert Writers, WILLA for original softcover fiction, Waterston Desert Writing Prize, three Pushcart nominations, Best American Science and Nature Writing nomination, and residencies at Hedgebrook, The Island Institute, and Playa Fellowship Program. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Mills College and a B.S. in Earth Sciences from U.C. Santa Cruz, and she has taught writing workshops at the Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference, North Coast Redwood Writer’s Conference, Women Writing the West Conference, and many other venues.

To register for the workshop, click here:


Creative Writing Class in Bodega Bay

Wednesday, June 7, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

Participate in writing exercises that help one write creatively with engaging freshness, power, authenticity, and clarity. You are welcome to bring a short piece for encouraging suggestions, if desired. We will do some spontaneous writing, exercises on writing metaphors and similes and avoiding cliches.There will be excellent handouts on helpful tips for writing and revising. My goal is to facilitate creativity, one’s own voice, and clear writing that brings insights and/or enjoyment to listeners, readers, and oneself. I love how writing and the sharing of it can enhance a sense of connection with others and with our own wisdom and truths.

All writers welcome: poetry, fiction, memoir, short story, novel, etc.

Email (Sher Christian) to register. Meeting place shared at confirmation.
$10 donation per class.


Clara Rosemarda—WRITEMIND™ WORKSHOPS: Writing from the Core

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

A MIDSUMMER’S WRITE: A Day of Writing & Meditation
Sunday, June 25, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Santa Rosa, fee $95 – $135
Contact Clara at 707-579-2081 or

  • Come to this yearly event!
  • Celebrate yourself and summer.
  • Quiet the mind
  • Write from a deep creative, intuitive core
  • Enjoy a non-judgmental day of mindfulness in a supportive environment. Whether you want to deepen or jump-start your writing, you will generate new material and boost your writing practice. We will write and listen to how the writer’s mind works, and write some more. The only requirement is your desire to be inspired and to put pen to paper. Some partial scholarships available. For writers of all skill levels. SPACE IS LIMITED.


DEEP INQUIRY: Memoir Writing as Spiritual Practice
6 Thursday mornings begin June 29, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
(no classes week of July 4th)
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.

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).


A Study of Character Through the Enneagram of Personality for Writers & NonWriter
Saturday, July 22, 11:00 am–5:00 p.m.
Santa Rosa, fee $135
Contact Clara 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, New Mexico and New York, for 35 years.


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 (

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.


Writers Forum: Presenter Skye Blaine

June 15, 2017
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Copperfield’s Books, 140 Kentucky St, Petaluma

Writers Forum presenter, Skye Blaine, will talk about: Excavating Memories, Revealing Yourself to Yourself

Memoir: The price of telling the truth; the need to dig deep to reach a place of not blaming or shaming others; contacting people in your memoir prior to publishing; having your truth be public.



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.


Women’s Writing and Intention Circle with Susan Hagen

Saturday, June 17, 1:00–4:30 p.m.

In the busy-ness of the day-to-day world, it’s easy to drift away from the conscious intentions we make for the wholeness of our lives. It usually takes a mindful decision to slow down and pay attention to how we are growing ourselves. And it helps to have a mirror in the faces of supportive, like-hearted women to remind us of who we are. This is a great place to check in with yourself, connect with others, and continue the process of illuminating, exploring, and deepening your intentions for this lifetime. The more you come back, the more you’ll recognize the power of your intentions as you write, share, and celebrate your life. Beginning, experienced, and exploring writers of all genres are welcome. Sebastopol. $67.


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:


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

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



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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