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Summer Writing Camps! (For Adults)

Our series of virtual summer classes (conducted on Zoom) 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.
Days: Monday through Friday (see dates below)
Time: 5:30-7 pm
Ages: Adult 
Price: $300 per week
Reminder: We will donate $50 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.


Building Compelling Characters 

Melanie Abrams

July 6-10


All writers want their characters to jump fully formed off the page, but how do we get them there?


In this workshop, we’ll use Janet Burroway’s four methods of character presentation to guide our time together. Each class session will revolve around one of the four methods: appearance, action, dialogue, and thought. We’ll look at stories by expert character builders, discuss the nuts and bolts of these four methods, then work on crafting three-dimensional people who are complex, believable, and compelling. Come to class with a character in process or spend the week creating one from scratch!


Melanie Abrams is the author of Playing (Grove Atlantic) and Meadowlark (Little A). She teaches creative writing at UC Berkeley and is also an editor and photographer.


Courting Your Muse

Rachel Richardson

July 6-10


In our disorienting moment of global emergency, this 5-day generative workshop lets us immerse ourselves in the quiet, vibrant craft of poetry. You'll be asked to write a new poem each evening for workshop the following afternoon. We'll experiment with poetic devices and prompts in class and then read and discuss your newborn drafts, considering craft elements to support your writing.


You'll depart each day with a bounty of materials and methods to help launch the next poem. After our week together, you'll have four new poems and the momentum to push further into your craft. 


Rachel Richardson is the author of two books of poems, Hundred-Year Wave and Copperhead. She has taught at Stanford and USF’s MFA in Writing program and has been awarded NEA and Wallace Stegner Fellowships. Her poems have been published in the New York Times, Slate, and elsewhere.


Pick up Your Pen

Faith Adiele

July 20-24


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! 

Faith Adiele.jpg

Faith Adiele is an author, speaker, storyteller and one of Marie Claire’s “Five Women to Learn From.” Meeting Faith, her memoir about becoming Thailand’s first black Buddhist nun, won the PEN Open Book Award. The PBS documentary My Journey Home follows her search to find her Nigerian father and siblings. Other books include The Nigerian-Nordic Girl’s Guide to Lady Problems and Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology. She teaches for California College of the Arts, Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA, Anam Cara Writing Quest, San Francisco Writers Grotto and VONA, where she founded the nation’s first workshop for BIPOC travel writers. She lives in East Oakland and hosts African Book Club at the Museum of the African Diaspora. 

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