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

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.

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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Weekly Memoir Workshop with Suzanne Sherman

You don’t have to be a seasoned writer to succeed at writing a memoir (a book about a theme or specific portion of your life), you only have to learn the essentials of the craft and put them into practice. I offer memoir workshops, online classes, and webinars to meet a variety of needs.

Learn the essentials of the craft and get guidance, support, and feedback as you write for personal pleasure or publication. You’ll learn to write engaging scenes, strong dialog, create believable characters, and much more. Story review is part of every class session, with 90 minutes divided among group members. Optional at-home writing exercises and writing topics given on request.

LOCATION: Sebastopol (Pleasant Hill Ave./Bodega Hwy)
WHEN: Mondays 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. | 8 weeks
April 1 – May 20
June 3 – July 22

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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Workshop at the Sitting Room with Dan Coshnear

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. We’ll be meeting Saturday mornings at The Sitting Room in Penngrove (www.sittingroom.org) from 9:30 to 12:30 on 4/6, 4/13, 4/20 & 4/27. 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.

If interested, or if you have questions, please email coshn@sonic.net or call me, Daniel Coshnear, at 707-869-0329.

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North Bay Letterpress Arts: Letterpress Poetry Printing

Saturday, April 13, 1:00-5:00 p.m.
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 necessary. At 925-D Gravenstein Hwy South Sebastopol. $75. Details and registration: www.northbayletterpressarts.org/event-calendar/letterpress-poetry-april2019

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Writers Forum—Presenter Iris Jamahl Dunkle

Thursday, April 18, 6:30 p.m.

Writers Forum presenter Iris Jamahl Dunkle will talk about research and the art of crossing genres. While researching Charmian Kittredge London, Dunkle discovered that encounters with these personal documents made her want to write poetry and so alongside her biography of Charmian, a manuscript of poems was produced. Dunkle will talk about how research can inspire both long biographical work and short lyric poems. Iris Jamahl Dunkle is the recent past Poet Laureate of Sonoma County.

Free. Copperfield’s, 140 Kentucky St. Petaluma.

Details: www.TheWriteSpot.us

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Crowdfunding: How to Connect with Funders and Your Fanbase

Redwood Writers Academy 2019
Saturday, April 20, 2019
9:30 a.m. – noon

John Sheehy will share tips and insights from his wildly successful Indiegogo campaign for his new book, On a River Winding Home: Stories and Visions of the Petaluma River Watershed. The campaign raised 40 percent of their goal, and the book has already sold out of its first printing!

Cost: $30 for members; $35 for non-members (discount for all three workshops $80/$90)
Details and registration: https://redwoodwriters.org/redwood-writers-academy-2019

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Navigate the Emotional Territory of Writing Memoir with Suzanne Sherman

Saturday, April 27, 3-hour workshop (10 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

Writing memoir can be an illuminating creative journey. It can sharpen your understanding of your experience. But writing memoir can also lead you into uncomfortable territory you prefer to avoid. That same territory you are avoiding may be essential material for your book, and you’re the only one who can write it. How do memoir authors do it? I’ll give you some good tips and share tested methods for navigating the emotional terrain so you can successfully add whatever material is essential for your book. I will address self-exposure and exposure of others, relevant legalities, and the pros and cons of publishing under a pen name. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn and grow in ways that will benefit your writing beyond what you might imagine.

LOCATION: Sebastopol (Pleasant Hill Ave./Bodega Hwy)
TO ENROLL: suzanne@suzannesherman.com, or visit https://suzannesherman.com/e-courses/writing-life-memoir-workshop/.

Free Webinar
This introductory 1-hour webinar is a special opportunity to get started if you can’t come to the April 27 workshop. After registering you’ll receive a confirmation email with simple instructions to join the Zoom call at the meeting time. The call can be made using a Smart phone or a computer with a camera and audio. You do not need a Zoom account to participate.

Contact suzanne@suzannesherman.com by May 21 to CLAIM YOUR PLACE and get a discount on the 4-week webinar in July.  See below under Ongoing Workshops.

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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Sunday Meditation Gathering

Sunday, April 28, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
by Donation

Come join other meditators and writers for our fourth Sunday group meditation in Santa Rosa. 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. Open to beginning and seasoned meditators. Bring your friends! Writers, come, quiet the mind. Allow your deeper voice to emerge. Email or call me to get address. I look forward to sitting with you. Clara Rosemarda, 707-567-7117, rosen@sonic.net

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North Bay Letterpress Arts: Letterpress Fundamentals

Sunday, April 28, 1:00-5:00 p.m.
With Katie Nealon (folding bones press)

A brief but intense lesson in typesetting, presswork, paper & ink handling…to produce cards with multiples for each student. At 925-D Gravenstein Hwy South Sebastopol. $75. Details and registration: www.northbayletterpressarts.org/event-calendar/letterpress-fundamentals-2

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Writer’s Workshop With Roy Parvin

The Cloverdale Arts Alliance announces a weekly Writer’s Workshop taught by Roy Parvin, beginning April 29. The class is modeled on the graduate-level workshops at the famed Iowa Writer’s Workshop and will focus on the presentation and critique of your work. The class is designed to help you hone your skills and elevate your work to the next level, whether you are working in fiction, creative nonfiction, or memoir. Various aspects of craft will be discussed, including storytelling, point of view, description, character development, and dialogue. Students should have at least one complete story or essay (or freestanding piece of a longer work), up to 20 double-spaced pages long, ready for critique by the start of the workshop.

  • Present up to three short stories for critique by the group.
  • Lectures on fundamental concepts
  • Writing exercises
  • One-on-one meeting with the instructor to discuss your work
  • Public reading and reception for all participants

Location: Cloverdale Arts Alliance, 204 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale

Dates and Time:
12 Monday evenings, April 29 to July 22. (No class on Memorial Day, May 27.)

Cost: $300
Participation is limited to 12 people

Roy Parvin is the award-winning author of two books of fiction, The Loneliest Road in America and In the Snow Forest. He has recently completed a memoir entitled My Year of Sleeping Dangerously and is also the author (under the nom de namaste of Yoga Matt) of Yoga for the Inflexible Male, forthcoming this fall from Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House. His work has been selected for inclusion in the Best American Short Stories series, has been nominated many times for the Pushcart Prize, and has been widely anthologized. He has also been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Bread Loaf Fellowship, the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in fiction, and a Ucross fellowship. Roy is an accomplished teacher, having taught in the MFA program at San Francisco State University and at numerous workshops around the country.

Sign-up sheets are available online at www.cloverdaleartsalliance or at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance during normal business hours. If you have questions about the course, contact Roy Parvin at rpwritersworkshop@gmail.com.

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Bog of Memories Writing Workshop with River (AKA Heidi) La Moreaux

Saturday, May 4, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

From River, SSU Professor Emerita: What do bogs and memories have in common? More than most people think (and I should know having published scientific research about peat bogs). Please join me for an Inner Geographies workshop where you will learn about peat bogs and brains do (and don’t) store information, use personal mapping as a gateway to memory exploration, create artwork (if desired) that explores your own Bog of Memories, and write creatively about place and memory using targeted prompts and exercises.
Cost: $25.00 Space is limited. To reserve your spot, please contact River at Riversteadt@gmail.com. A list of materials and some advanced readings will be given to registered participants. The Sitting Room, 2025 Curtis Drive, Penngrove.

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Alchemy of Memory: Creative Writing As Spiritual Practice

6 Friday Mornings begins May 10th, 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Fee $240 for 6 sessions ($225 if paid in advance)
For information or to register 707-567-7117 or rosen@sonic.net

Memory, for writers, is “money in the bank.” It feeds our writing and our sense of identity. Once you enter a memory it begins to reveal broader truths, a leap into the unknown. 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 writers of all skill levels and genres. SPACE IS LIMITED

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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North Bay Letterpress Arts: At the Case: Poems and Instabook

Saturday, May 11, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
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. Limited to 5 students. Paper, ink & aprons provided. At 925-D Gravenstein Hwy South Sebastopol. $100. Details and registration: www.northbayletterpressarts.org/event-calendar/at-the-case

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Writers Forum—Presenters Georgia James and Deborah Parrish

Thursday, May 16, 6:30 p.m.

Georgia James and Deborah Parrish, co-authors of Home Sweet Sonoma, will show how sensory detail make stories come to life and help readers have dimensional experiences that engage the senses.

Colleen Bingham, owner of Poppy Botanicals, will join us with her handmade organic products that will captivate your senses.

Free. Copperfield’s, 140 Kentucky St. Petaluma.

Details: www.TheWriteSpot.us

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North Bay Letterpress Arts: Letterpress Poetry Printing

Saturday, May 18, 1:00-5:00 p.m.
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 necessary. At 925-D Gravenstein Hwy South Sebastopol. $75. Details and registration: www.northbayletterpressarts.org/event-calendar/letterpress-fundamentals-3

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North Bay Letterpress Arts: The Coptic Book

Sunday, May 25, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
With Derek Bacchus

The Coptic book is a beautiful exposed-spine structure that has ancient historic beginnings. It is a non-adhesive book that features a chain-linked stitch, hard covers that allow it to open 360º like a carousel, lays flat when opened, and uses only paper, a single needle, thread and boards. This is the first book (codex) structure invented after the use of papyrus scrolls in Mediterranean antiquity. Beginners welcome, though this book structure requires more patience. At 925-D Gravenstein Hwy South Sebastopol. $100 + $20 materials fee. Details and registration: www.northbayletterpressarts.org/event-calendar/coptic-book

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Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wicked Good Prose

Redwood Writers Academy 2019
Saturday, June 15, 2019
9:30 a.m. – noon

Join Constance Hale as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of her best selling book of the same name. Laugh and learn how to craft stylish prose and make sentences sing with Connie Hale.

Details and registration: https://redwoodwriters.org/redwood-writers-academy-2019

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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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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: www.thewritespot.us/jumpstart.html

$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: www.thewritespot.us/marlenecullenblog

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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 www.susanhagen.com for dates and fees)
9:00–11:00 a.m. PST

Drop-In “Write to Heal” Fridays in Sebastopol
Friday mornings (see www.susanhagen.com 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 www.susanhagen.com 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
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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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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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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