Summer Writing Camps for Adults

Our series of Zoom writing classes is designed to rev up your writing practice. Dig deeper into your passion, or try something new. At the end of the week, you will depart with inspiration, momentum, and many solid pages written and ready for the next step.
Reminder: We will donate $25 of every enrollment fee to one of the following local organizations doing vital work for people of color and underserved communities in the East Bay:
Roots Community Health Center, which uplifts local citizens impacted by systemic inequities and poverty.
 
East Oakland Collective, a community organizing group invested in serving the communities of deep East Oakland by working towards racial and economic equity.

FICTION CAMP                      ENROLLMENT CLOSED

Opening Pages & Urgency  

Sindya Bhanoo

June 21-25

5:30-7pm

$325

In this workshop, we'll do a close study of one story per classfour short stories and one piece of literary journalismpaying close attention to opening pages.

 

These crucial pages teach us what a story will be about, what details we must pay attention to, and why we must keep reading. In each class, we'll have time to write based on prompts inspired by the readings.

You'll be expected to read the assigned story prior to class. You may also continue with your in-class writing at home. By the week’s end, you will have made significant progress on one story or started several. 

MEMOIR/NON-FICTION CAMP    FULL

Pick up Your Pen

Faith Adiele

July 12-16

5:30-7pm

$325

We are living an historic moment filled with beauty and pain that begs us to pick up the pen. Not only does writing help us process thoughts and emotions, but by documenting the stories, both big and small, in our bodies, our families, and our communities, we are participating in critical civic engagement.

This workshop will explore key elements of personal narrative (personal essay, memoir, epistolary, journals). Writing prompts will help us generate new material under conditions that make it hard to focus, while craft lessons, reading examples, peer sharing, and supportive discussion will demonstrate how to turn this messy reality into lyrical essays that touch others. All writing levels are welcome! 

POETRY CAMP                            Wait List Only

Reverse-Engineering Poetry

Jacques Rancourt

July 26-30

5:30-7pm

$325

In this generative workshop, we will take a close look at how poems are made. Whether you are new to poetry or have been reading and writing poems for years, the goal of this class is to help you expand your creative approach and to give you the tools and encouragement to generate new work. 

 

During this five-day workshop, we will discuss master poems and reverse-engineer how they work. Using these techniques as a launching pad, we will write new poems each day to bring to the following class for feedback. Whatever genre you write, participants in this class will expand their creative horizons, gain new perspectives of how to approach writing poems, and—perhaps most importantly—benefit from a supportive community of writers.  

Sindya Bhanoo’s debut short story collection, Seeking Fortune Elsewhere, is forthcoming in 2022 (Catapult). Her fiction has appeared in Granta, New England Review, Glimmer Train, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of an O. Henry Award, the Disquiet Literary Prize and scholarships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers conferences. A longtime newspaper reporter, Sindya has worked for The New York Times and The Washington Post. She is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers and UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. You can read more about Sindya's work here. 

Faith Adiele’s publications include A World of Calm (HBO-Max), Sleep Stories (Calm), The Nigerian-Nordic Girl’s Guide to Lady Problems, Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology, and Meeting Faith, her memoir about becoming Thailand’s first Black Buddhist nun that won the PEN Open Book Award. Named one of Marie Claire’s “Five Women to Learn From,” she teaches for California College of the Arts, Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA, the Writers Grotto and VONA, where she founded the nation’s first workshop for BIPOC travel writers. Read more about Faith's work here.

Jacques J. Rancourt is the author of two full-length collections, Brocken Spectre (Alice James Books, 2021) and Novena (Pleiades Press, 2017), as well as a chapbook, In the Time of PrEP (Beloit Poetry Journal, 2018). His work has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and Stanford University, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. Raised in Maine, he lives now in San Francisco. Read more about Jacques's work here.