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How Laguna Writers Workshops Work

I named my workshops Laguna Writers because they really began in a tiny apartment on Laguna Street in San Francisco. I call them workshops, not classes, because there is no homework and no supplies are necessary. You only need to bring a pen and a pad of paper, or whatever it is you like to write on. I have extras if you forget these, so all you really have to bring is yourself. I supply snacks, tea and coffee.

Not manuscript driven. My writing workshops differ from traditional writing groups because they are not manuscript driven and they are multi-genre. Most writer's groups require that someone--or several people in the group--present manuscripts each week for critical feedback. My workshop is based on a different method: the Amherst Writers and Artist method.

Inspiration provided. I provide everyone with exercises that loosen us up, make us remember, and help us create characters, utilize sensory detail, write dialogue, and sometimes even create poems. We set aside 15-20 minutes to write several times during the evening, and then if you choose to, you can read your work out loud. No one has to read out loud; anyone may pass at anytime.

Positive feedback only. If you do read your work out loud, we only respond with what we like and what we remember. No critical feedback. My opinion is that these writings are fresh, first drafts, and do not benefit from criticism. If the writer knows what's working, he or she can work on that manuscript later and present it to the group at a later date--if he or she chooses to do so. That is the only time the writer will receive critical feedback, balanced with praise. In my experience, this builds trust and self confidence, and I have seen writers grow immensely from this. It works.

(Click here to read the Guidelines)


Workshop times and size. The workshops are limited to ten participants and the sessions are either eight or nine weeks long (this varies due to holidays: see posted schedule in right-hand column). They are held on Tuesday or Thursday nights from 7:30-10:00 p.m. in my apartment in Twin Peaks.

I also have two Saturday mini-retreats every summer, which are focused on craft. Click here to read about the mini-retreats.

Fees and Deposit Information

International Retreats and Hawaii


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