Workshops

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 and Resources

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.
Christine Walker’s Self-paced Online CourseYouTube Channel and Read to Write Books blog are devoted to writing fiction and creative process. Details below under Ongoing Workshops.
Sit Down and Write Poetry. Here’s how to do it (six tips) plus a list of additional online resources for writing poetry.

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.

NEW, UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND CLASSES

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

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Short-Play Writing Workshop

Pegasus Theater is again offering a short-play writing workshop which will take place at the Russian River Senior Resource Center at 15010 Armstrong Woods Rd. in Guerneville from 10 a.m. to noon on February 15 and February 22 in the main dining room of the Senior Center. For more information or to reserve a seat, telephone Scott Kersnar at 707-869-0136 and leave a call-back number and an email address if you don’t reach him live.

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Introduction to Fiction Writing

Tuesday, February 18 and 25, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Instructor: Deb Carlen

Start or update your writing life with the fundamentals of fiction writing. Learn the components and how they blend to meaningful creative work. We’ll define the seven components of good fiction, write dialogue, develop plots, foil them, and choose science fiction, mystery, personal narrative, thriller, or any of a dozen other genres. Writing and laughing in class required. At Sonoma Community Center, 276 East Napa, Sonoma. $50 (members, $45). Details at: https://sonomacommunitycenter.org/introduction-fiction-writing

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Writers Forum presents: David Templeton

Thursday, February 20, 6:30 p.m.
Free. Copperfield’s, 140 Kentucky St. Petaluma

Topic: Going “Off-Script.” Insights Gained, Rules Broken, and Lessons Learned From a Life of Play-Watching and Playwriting

Are you writing a play? Do you have an idea but don’t know how to start? With over a decade-and-a-half spent attending plays on a weekly basis, and a lifetime (off and on) devoted to telling stories on the page and on the stage, playwright and journalist David Templeton breaks down several of the biggest lessons he’s learned about the craft of playwriting. Taking a highly personal approach to the topic, Templeton will offer helpful tips, tell a few colorful stories, drop a couple of hard-learned observations, and confess a big mistake or two. He’ll save time for audience questions, and possibly give a report and a tiny sneak-peek at his latest play, a robot-themed drama, which will have just started rehearsals.

David Templeton is a Bay Area playwright and award-winning arts journalist best known locally for his work with the Petaluma Argus-Courier and the North Bay Bohemian.

As a playwright, he’s won awards for his writing of Wretch Like Me, which has had runs at the San Francisco Fringe Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, in Scotland. In addition to Polar Bears, his other plays include Pinky, Drumming with Anubis, and Mary Shelley’s Body, adapted from his novella of the same name, published in the 2016 anthology Eternal FrankensteinDavid’s next play, Galatea, will have its world premiere at Spreckels Performing Arts Center in March of 2020.

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Sunday Meditation Gathering with Clara Rosemarda

Sunday, February 23, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. By donation.

Come join others for a group meditation. Find that still place within, that place fueled by your life force. I will lead the meditation and follow with a discussion period. Feel free to come with questions. I encourage writers to develop a practice that serves the creative process.

Open to beginning and seasoned meditators. Bring your friends!
Clara Rosemarda (707) 567-7117, rosen@sonic.net

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Private Consultations and Coaching Sessions for Writers: One-on-One sessions with Clara are available, in person or by phone. Please call or e-mail to set up an appointment. Feel free to ask any questions about the work I do. (707) 567-7117 or rosen@sonic.net

Clara Rosemarda is a poet, memoirist, counselor, coach and workshop leader who teaches creative writing as spiritual practice. She has worked with beginning as well as nationally known writers for 30 years. Clara has published essays and poems in literary journals. She is co-editor and author of Steeped: In the World of Tea (Interlink Publishing 2004). Her poetry chapbooks are Doing Laundry (a letterpress limited edition, Iota Press, 2013) and Naked Branches (WordTemple Press, Small Change Series, 2014).

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Writing From Memory or Imagination at The Sitting Room with Nicole R. Zimmerman

Wednesdays, February 26 through April 1, 10 a.m. – noon

This six-week workshop series focuses on generative writing with the Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) method, which uses prompts and positive group reflection to bolster your writing practice. Participants will find a safe environment in which to experiment, learn craft, and develop each unique voice. All genres and experience levels welcome. Nicole is a 2019 recipient of Creative Sonoma’s Discovered Awards for Emerging Literary Artists. She has an MFA in Writing and is certified to lead AWA workshops.
$120.00 for the series; no drop-ins. Size is limited to 12.

The Sitting Room at 2025 Curtis Drive, Penngrove, CA
To find out more: https://www.nicolerzimmerman.com/workshops/

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Deep Inquiry: Creative Writing As Spiritual Practice with Clara Rosemarda

4 Friday Mornings, beginning February 28, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Fee: $160

For information or to register (707) 567-7117 or rosen@sonic.net

Once you start peeling away layers of memory, you not only access memories you thought you had forgotten but, as a writer, you discover broader truths than what you thought you knew. In this workshop you will write from the core. Through meditation, visualization and other exercises to quiet the mind and stimulate the imagination, you will discover and generate new material. Whether you’re starting out or trying to finish a project or a book, this is the place to do it. If you 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 all skill levels and genres. SPACE IS LIMITED.

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Writing Workshop With Patti Trimble

Saturdays, 2:00-5:00 p.m., March 7, April 4, May 2
How many conversations—personal, political, social—do we hold in our intelligent creative minds? How do our doubts and certainties, facts and fictions, lyric imaginations and deep concerns live, in reality, side by side? And when we write, how do we dignify the real relationship of things? In three free workshops we’ll address the complexity of writing today. And we’ll write together, merging genres and finding language to braid whatever: personal experience and expertise, uncertainty, imagination, world events, facts, fiction. With practices for thoughtful inquiry and for listening through for the power of personal revelation and wisdom. Join us for one or three. No charge and all levels welcome. At the Sitting Room, 2025 Curtis Drive, Penngrove (www.sittingroom.org/events.html)

Patti Trimble’s lyric poems, essays, and stories have appeared in journals and collections, recordings, museum catalogues, art performances, theater, science/literature/writing textbooks, and spoken-word performances in the US and Europe. She lives in Petaluma and Sicily and she’s facilitated writing workshops in universities and on hillsides. www.pattitrimble.com

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Writers Forum presents: Joan Gelfand, MFA, Author, Coach

Thursday, March 19, 6:30 p.m.
Free. Copperfield’s, 140 Kentucky St. Petaluma

Topic: The 4 C’s of Successful Authors

Not all writing careers are created equal. Why are some authors quickly catapulted to publishing success while other authors languish? Learn the secrets of how to become a successful author. 

What are the four C’s and how can you make them work for you? What are your writing challenges? What is a book proposal and who needs one? What is the difference between a non-fiction and a fiction proposal? We will also discuss cover letters, finding the right agent (or publisher) and how to sell once your book is published.

This workshop is based on You Can Be a Winning Writer: the 4 C’s of Successful Authors: Craft, Commitment, Community and Confidence, published by Mango Press, July 2018

Joan Gelfund, MFA, Author, Coach is the author of the #1 Amazon Best Seller, You Can Be a Winning Writer (Mango Press). Joan’s three volumes of poetry and chapbook of short fiction have garnered over twenty awards and commendations. Joan’s novel, Fear to Shred, set in a Silicon Valley startup, will be published by Mastodon/C&R Press in March, 2020.

Her key publications include Los Angeles Review, PANK!, Rattle, Huffington Post, Poetry Flash, Prairie Schooner, Kalliope, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and over 100 lit mags and journals.

Details: https://www.thewritespot.us/forum.php

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North Bay Letterpress Arts Spring Workshops

Letterpress Poetry Printing
Saturday, March 28, 2020
1:00-5:00 p.m.
North Bay Letterpress Arts, 925 Gravenstein Highway South, Sebastopol
With Eric Johnson (Iota Press)

Typeset a short poem or quotation and we’ll print it on a platen press. A chance to explore some of the refinements of type design and the mechanical delights of the vintage presses. Touching on the history of typographic treatments of poetry.

No previous experience needed.$75
Register: www.northbayletterpressarts.org/event-calendar/letterpress-poetry-mar28

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Single-Section Bookbinding: A Ten-Suite Introduction!
Sunday, April 26, 2020
1:00-5:00 p.m.
North Bay Letterpress Arts, 925 Gravenstein Highway South, Sebastopol
with Derek Bacchus (Bookbinding with Bacchus)

The single-section book is the most fundamental of book structures, and an introduction to many of the processes of bookbinding. There are many creative ways to make these simple books a personal expression of your artistic or literary desires.

We will make ten(!) books beginning with 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-hole variations, followed by the multi-hole teardrop stitch, the string-of-pearls stitch, and two triple-twist variations…one looped, and one running stitch. Afterward, you will be able to scale up in many different ways on your own — size, complexity, inventiveness of materials selection and finishing techniques.

Cost: $120. Materials Fee: $15 —- please bring to class!
Register: www.northbayletterpressarts.org/event-calendar/single-section-bookbinding

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At The Case: Poems & Instabook
Saturday, May 16, 2020
10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
North Bay Letterpress Arts, 925 Gravenstein Highway South, Sebastopol
with Katie Nealon (folding bones press)

In this one-day workshop we will compose poems spontaneously, at the case. Learn the basics of typesetting, share your poetry with other students, and then work collaboratively at the Vandercook SP15 cylinder press to create an instant-chapbook — with poems printed on a single sheet of paper and folded into a book. Each student with take home copies of the insta-book to share with friends and family.

Limited to 4 students.$100
Paper, ink, & aprons provided.
Register: www.northbayletterpressarts.org/event-calendar/at-the-case-nov24-2n4j9

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Dreams: A Source for Poetry & Prose
Salon and Workshop With Meredith Sabini

Saturday, May 16, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Ever considered writing a poem or short story based on a dream? Would you enjoy hearing “dream poems”? We’ll begin by listening to examples from women poets like Louise Bogan, Jane Hirschfield, Marie Howe, Maxine Kumin, Mary Oliver, Linda Pastan, Liz Rosner, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, as well as the presenter’s. Then we’ll experiment writing dreams into various poetic and prose. You’ll discover that in the House of Creativity, dreams and poetry live down the hall from one another. Bring several dreams—fresh or old, long or short—and a notebook. At the Sitting Room, 2025 Curtis Drive, Penngrove (www.sittingroom.org/events.html)

Meredith Sabini is a widely published author of poetry, essays, and professional articles. RSVP to J.J. Wilson, boxcar@sonic.net or 707-795-9028. Sliding scale: $15-$45. (No one will be turned away for lack of funds)

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ONGOING WORKSHOPS

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

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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.

15-Adult
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

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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) 484-7437 or email Margaret at harlmarg@sonic.net. The website for Sonoma County Writing Practice is www.handwritingonline.net. 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.

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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 voiceartistry@hughes.net for information. www.lusciouspoetry.typepad.com

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. voiceartistry@hughes.net, Star Kissed Shadows and CD Sweet Tongue available at www.lusciouspoetry.typepad.com

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Flash Friday

Fridays, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Instructor: Deb Carlen

a weekly walk-in, one-hour class with a different topic every week about writing. A quick way to gain in-depth information about the elements of writing, genres, marketing, publishing and more. At Sonoma Community Center, 276 East Napa, Sonoma. Drop-ins, $10; members, $9. Details at: https://sonomacommunitycenter.org/flash-friday/

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Jumpstart Writing Workshops

A safe place to write and explore, using a variety of prompts to kindle imagination and inspire writing. You are free to write whatever you want: truth, fiction, memoir. Freewrites are a way of writing freely, letting words tumble and fall however they land with no concerns about the outcome. Prompts will generate new words, new work, new ideas. Open to all who want to experience writing, whether just exploring or with years of practice.

Jumpstarts are now in Marin! Jumpstart San Rafael meets Wednesday evenings, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., at Copperfield’s Books, 850 Fourth St, San Rafael, CA.  Join us in the lovely adjacent Marin Kombucha Café to freewrite to innovative prompts that will generate new words, new work, new ideas. Open to all who want to experience writing, whether just exploring or with years of practice.  No critquing, just writing freely, allowing the words to lead the way to wherever they go. This is a fun place to delve into memoir, fiction, poetry. Led by Lakin Willard Khan. Visit Copperfields Books in San Rafael. Marlene Cullen’s Jumpstart page or Lakin’s blogspot: Rhymes With Bacon

Jumpstart facilitators: Marlene Cullen, Susan Bono, Lakin Khan

$15 per workshop

Locations:
Copperfield’s Books, 140 Kentucky St, Petaluma
Copperfield’s Books, 850 4th Street, San Rafael, Kombucha Café

Mondays: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Petaluma)
Tuesdays: 10:00 to 11:45 a.m. (Petaluma)
Wednesdays, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. (San Rafael)

Details: www.thewritespot.us/jumpstart.html

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Susan Hagen’s Writing Circles and Retreats

Our Women’s Writing Community is a safe place for women to write, connect, heal, and grow. Whether you’re seeking tools for self-discovery, support for writing a book, or simply a place to connect with other women on a spiritual path, you’re sure to find something that’s right for you. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, you’ll benefit from the healing power of telling your stories and having them witnessed by others. There is no judgement here. We honor each voice as equal, and we write and speak from the heart. Beginning, experienced, and exploring writers are always welcome.

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

Sebastopol Drop-In Writing as a Healing Practice
Selected Thursday mornings (see www.susanhagen.com for dates)

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Contact Susan for location: 707-888-0849 / suzhagen@sonic.net
Suggested donation $25-$45

One-Day Writing Workshops for Women
Susan offers monthly writing circles for women on alternating topics.
Visit www.susanhagen.com for ongoing writing practice and upcoming events.

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
suzhagen@sonic.net
www.susanhagen.com

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Lawrence Hart Poetry Seminar

The Lawrence Hart Seminar, the region’s longest-running intensive poetry workshop (with roots going back to the 1930s), meets monthly in San Rafael, second Saturdays, 1-4 (no meeting in August). All levels welcome; visitors encouraged (no obligation, but please contact first). $125 for five sessions thereafter. Contact John Hart, staff@lawrencehart.org, 415-507-9230. Next meeting March 10.

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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
nsasha@earthlink.net cell: 707-338-2489

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Clara Rosemarda offers on-going six-week writer’s workshops

WRITEMIND™ WORKSHOPS: Writing from the Core as well as Classes on the Enneagram of Personality, Private Coaching and Consutations. Clara can be reached to answer questions about her work or to sign up for classes and consultations at: 707-579-2081 or rosen@sonic.net.

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Shut Up & Write!™ Wine Country: FREE writing sessions

Join us for an hour of writing! We’ve discovered that it’s strikingly helpful to write with other writers. See if it’s true for you. No one will see what you’ve written or give you unsolicited advice. Instead of just thinking about writing, come and get some real writing done.

Tuesdays, 8:30 AM at JavAmore Cafe in Penngrove
Tuesdays, 5:30 PM at the Union Hotel in East Santa Rosa
2nd Sunday of the month, 9:00 AM at Cafe Noto in Windsor

Register at Meetup: www.meetup.com/shutupandwritewinecountry/
Added on 12/4/2019.

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Online Memoir Class with Suzanne Sherman

Learn the essentials and get a chance to practice them in my info-packed online memoir course. The course gives you structure for getting the writing done, a sense of accountability, and guidance as you create new material. By the end of the course you can have a book planned and a portion of your first draft written.

Week 1: Building the Foundation: Theme, Narrative Arc
Week 2: Convincing Characters
Week 3: Engaging Prose
Week 4: Writing Scenes
Week 5: Dialog
Week 6: Telling the Truth

Contact me to enroll: suzanne@suzannesherman.com, or visit https://suzannesherman.com/e-courses/writing-life-memoir-workshop/

Suzanne Sherman is a published author, book editor, and writing/publishing coach and consultant. She has taught memoir in the Bay Area and online since 1996. www.suzannesherman.com.

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Time for Your Stories Writing Circle with Jean Stumpf

Second Tuesday of the month at 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Novato Copperfield’s New Writing Group starts in July! Facilitated by Jean Stumpf (Time4yourstories@gmail.com).

The “Time For Your Stories” Writer’s Circle is a writer’s group which provides a space to inspire and support beginning and seasoned writers. We use timed prompts to help you to get your ideas flowing and your pen moving. The prompt could be a word, a phrase, a poem, an excerpt from a book, an object, or a picture. When writing in this free-style manner, you can write whatever you want: truth, fiction, or memoir. This process helps you explore your first thoughts, and then put them into words on the page. We write for 15-20 minutes on each prompt. The emphasis is writing down your first thoughts and, on the story you want to tell. This is not a class about the technical aspects or craft of writing. It is about generating ideas and getting started on your stories. Writers are given the opportunity to read one freewrite aloud to the group. Reading aloud enriches your writing experience. In order to maintain a nonjudgmental space for everyone, there is no feedback in this group except for clapping. $10 per session.

Registration:www.copperfieldsbooks.com/event/%E2%80%9Ctime-your-stories%E2%80%9D-writing-circle-0

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Christine Walker’s Online Writing Courses and YouTube Videos

Writing Fiction: 9 Ways to Mastery is a self-paced, online course designed for writers who read, readers who write, and book lovers who want to read like a writer. Produced by author and artist Christine Walker, MFA, MA, the course contains videos and writing activities. It features Christine’s useful framework, Master Craft Juggling, for gaining greater ability and agility with the elements of fiction. The course will help you: (1) Develop masterful skills by learning valuable lessons that authors give readers on the page. (2) Improve your writing practice for success with strategies and tools for setting goals, taking on challenges, and fulfilling your intentions. (3) Find ongoing inspiration for your writing and book projects, while deepening reading enjoyment. For a free trial visit the course site at https://courses.christinewalker.net

Christine Walker’s YouTube Channel features short “Moments of Mastery” videos to inspire and inform your writing practice for greater enjoyment, productivity, and success. All writers start with a blank page every time. No matter the previous success, we all find ourselves again on the way to mastery. The videos, designed for fiction writers, memoirists, and other creative writers, focus not only on the “how” of writing, but also the “why.” Christine has an MFA in Writing and Literature in Fiction, an MA in Creative Arts Interdisciplinary, and is a published author. She posts new videos every Friday. Visit the channel at www.youtube.com/channel/UCXwbDiJWBHm0QOfnEEsZpYg

Read to Write Books blog: Christine Walker Explores Fiction Craft This blog distills “lessons” that masterful authors give us on the page. It supports Christine’s courses and is a useful resource for fiction writers, memoirists, books groups, and all writers who read, readers who write, and book lovers who want to read like a writer. She started the blog to supplement the workshops she taught at Copperfield’s several years ago and will be newly updating the blog to supplement her online course, Writing Fiction: 9 Ways to Mastery. Visit the blog at https://readtowritebooks.com

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