UPDATE: Students will attend San Francisco writing classes at their scheduled times via Zoom (with or without cameras enabled). Your exercises will be shared electronically, and the format of the live class will be the same as when you attend class in person, with students and teachers responding to your work and discussing the next week’s exercise.

The Writers Studio San Francisco Workshop, the first of our four levels, is designed for students at all levels who are new to the Writers Studio method. This Workshop is open to both beginning and experienced writers eager to learn the elements of craft, including first- and third-person narrators, tone and mood. An important goal of the workshop is to help writers understand that a narrative voice is born out of conscious creation and not merely the voice we use when speaking or keeping a journal. We encourage students to turn autobiographical fragments into publishable work by using different narrative personas to tell their story in fiction and poetry.

Through exercises, students experiment with narrative and poetic techniques. Our exercises are designed to stimulate students’ imaginations while also teaching a lot of nuts-and-bolts narrative strategies. Our assignments focus on both fiction and poetry, and use published examples of both genres as models.

Each week we assign a brief reading combined with an exercise, and the teacher explains the technique that makes the piece effective. The following week students bring their written exercise to class, where it is read aloud. Classmates offer feedback, and then the teacher, who has been trained for three years in The Writers Studio method, gives the final supportive critique. Three of the ten weeks are spent revising and deepening exercises written during the term.

The Writers Studio San Francisco classes meet once a week for 8 weeks at The Mechanics Institute Building, #702, at 57 Post Street. For more information, please contact Gail Ford: 510 406-0520 or gail@writerstudio.com.

"Every week, I presented a new story. Finally something did click, the very thing that’s their specialty at The Writers Studio, emotional content. Before, my work was dead. When I brought in my breakthrough story, I felt I was carrying a weird animal in my bag. It was the first story I sold."

Jennifer Egan, former Writers Studio student, Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction


Writers Studio Teacher

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd's work has been published in Columbia Journal (Online), Fjords Review, Meridian, The Rumpus, and SAND. She was awarded Meridian's 2020 Editor's Prize in Prose, was a semifinalist for American Short Fiction's 2021 Halifax Ranch Fiction Prize, and received an honorable mention in Glimmer Train's 2019 Short Story Award for New Writers contest. She lives in San Francisco with her partner and son.

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