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. Students attend San Francisco writing classes at their scheduled times via Zoom (with or without cameras enabled). 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 share their written exercise electroncially. Exercises are 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.

For more information, please contact Gail Ford at (510) 406-0520 or [email protected].

"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

Darien Torbert

Darien (he/him) is a writer, theater artist, and library worker from Tacoma, Washington. He works to make creative arts accessible and relatable to traditionally excluded communities. His work focuses on building community through storytelling mediums, particularly emphasizing cooperative storytelling. He is currently co-authoring a collection of poetry.

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