Are you a writer based in LA?
Are you thinking about taking a writing workshop to help develop your skills?
Below we’ve featured 15 top writing classes in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Writers Group (LAWG) was founded in 2003 by Nicole Criona and Sanora Bartels with the express aim to provide writers with a community of support and feedback along their creative writing journey. LAWG offers several writing workshops, as well as private and group coaching for more intensive, personalized training. The team at LAWG offers both in-person and online workshops to help their writers learn and grow, regardless of location or time restrictions.
Their workshop, First-Drive Incubator 2.0, is led by Nicole Criona, who has over 15 years of experience assisting writers on novels, screenplays, short stories, poetry, essays, and memoirs. As a specialist in developmental editing and author coaching, Nicole is also a fellow writer and veteran of the publishing industry. This course that she offers includes 2 hours per month of private coaching, two monthly online meetings on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month, a 10% discount on private coaching, and a 20% discount on other workshops, retreats, and online writing challenges.
First-Draft Incubator 2.0 can help you set reasonable goals, finish your book, learn tools of the trade to assist with outlining, writing scenes, character development, and so much more. For those interested, but require no coaching, the class costs $255 monthly. For existing students or former coaching clients, the course costs $195 per month. If you’re a writer who’s interested in taking the online courses only, it costs $125 per month. For more information, you can contact the team at LAWG via email or call (323) 963-3180 during regular business hours.
Writing Workshops Los Angeles (WWLA) is undoubtedly a leading authority when it comes to helping writers broaden their horizons and sharpen their creative writing skills. Originally founded by Edan Lepucki, they offer a multitude of different classes from fiction writing, nonfiction writing, poetry workshops, and more. WWLA’s talented faculty have published titles like “The Education of Margot Sanchez" by Lilliam Rivera, “Grace and the Fever" by Zan Romanoff, and Neon Green" by Margaret Wappler.
They are currently offering a memoir writing workshop called Making a Scene: How to Craft the Most Powerful Scene in Your Memoir. This class is being taught by Elizabeth L. Silver, the author of memoir “The Tincture of Time: A Parent’s Memoir of (Medical) Uncertainty." The class takes place on March 30th, 2019 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. This class will help any aspiring memoirist to focus writing on important, high-impact scenes to really help bring your memories to life.
Enrollment to this class is limited to eight students only, so if you’re interested in taking part, be sure to sign up as soon as possible. Class enrollment for new students is $130, and only $120 for returning students of the WWLA. This particular writing class will be hosted in Encino, about a 25-minute drive from downtown LA. Light snacks, coffee, and sparkling water will be provided. For more information, you can contact the team at WWLA via email.
Writing Pad was founded by writers Marilyn Friedman and Jeff Bernstein in the hopes of helping writers gain the most of their writing experience. With several locations throughout Los Angeles, Writing Pad offers an assortment of different classes for different kinds of writers. Whether you’re interested in nonfiction writing, creative fiction, screenwriting, or TV writing, Writing Pad definitely has a class to offer you.
They are currently offering Short Story 1, a short story writing workshop taught by Abigail Ulman. Abigail is the author of “Hot Little Hands," and was recently a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University. In this class, she hopes to help you with the essential elements of fiction writing, including productive outlining, plot mapping, character, plot, change, and point out mistakes that are all too common amongst inexperienced writers.
Short Story 1 is a 5-week program being hosted May 22nd, May 29th, Jun 5th, June 12th, and June 19th from 7:30pm to 10:30pm at Writing Pad’s LA-East location. There are only four spots left, so it’s imperative that you sign up quickly before space runs out! The cost for this extensive 5-week course is $425 per person. One of the great things about Writing Pad is they also accept course payments in installments! For more information, you can contact the team at Writing Pad either via email or call (213) 325-6910.
The LA County Library is a great resource for aspiring authors looking to get a leg-up in their writing careers. The LA County Library offers free writing classes through Gale Courses, so if you’re a library card holder, this is definitely a service you should try and take advantage of! Gale Courses currently offers several creative writing classes, including Writing Fiction Like A Pro with Steve Alcorn.
Steve Alcorn is a published author of both fiction and nonfiction. Over the past 10 years, he has helped more than 300,000 students develop their ideas into full stories. Many of his former students have even gone on to write and publish their own novels. He has written titles like “A Matter of Justice," “Everything in Its Path" and the children’s storybook, “Molly Builds a Theme Park."
Write Fiction Like A Pro will go over story structure, dramatic elements, the development of character, story ideas, outlining, plotting, and more. This is a six-week program that has several different starting dates: March 13th, April 17th, May 15th, and June 12th. There are no requirements to enter this program, although you should at least have a working PC or Mac device you can use with an up-to-date writing software. As mentioned before, this course is free to all LA County Library patrons, so be sure to enroll now!
Jonathan Blum is the author of “Last Word" and “The Usual Uncertainties." After having graduated from UCLA and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Jonathan resettled in Los Angeles and now offers an assortment of writing classes. He is currently offering a six-week long fiction writing workshop with a limited class size of 10 students. In this course, he helps his students workshop short stories and novel excerpts up to 20 pages to help in structure, characterization, and language.
This course runs twice a year, once in the spring between March 31st to May 5th, and once in the fall between September 22nd to October 27th. All classes take place on Sundays between 5:00pm to 7:00pm. The course fee is $575 per person. Alternatively, Jonathan offers a two-month intensive workshop for writers that not only assists with a 20-page story workshop, but case studies of select published fiction. This course goes for $720 per person, and the class is again limited to 10 students. For more information, you can contact Jonathan directly through his website’s online contact form.
WriteGirl is a program honored by First Lady Michelle Obama and the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. This fantastic program offers young girls the opportunity to explore the realm of creative writing and hopefully nurture their imagination and self-confidence. This Los Angeles-based organization offers dozens of writing workshops, panel discussions, and special events. Their up coming panel, Lights, America, WriteGirl! features speakers like Lauren Graham, Seth Rogan, Stephanie Katherine Grant, and Keiko Agena.
WriteGirl offers writing workshops from September all the way through June to cover topics about poetry, songwriting, journalism, screenwriting, creative nonfiction, and fiction. They just recently wrapped up their Character & Dialogue Workshop at the Linwood Dunn Theater at The Academy, Hollywood. For a full list of their upcoming events, click here. If you’re a young writer interested in this program, simply contact the team at WriteGirl via email or call (213) 253-2655 to see about getting involved.
Writopia Lab is another great resource for young writers hoping to develop their writing skills. Writopia Lab offers a wide range of writing classes in the hopes of promoting literacy and critical thinking in children and teens. They currently offer half-day creative writing workshops in the Los Angeles Metro area. They offer creative writing workshops, classes for screenwriting, memoirs, narrative therapy, language play, graphic novels, and so much more!
You’re strongly encouraged to check out their class availability to check out the time, date, and age group for each class. Fees for half-day writing classes start at $595 per attendant. They also offer full-day writing camps during summer break and school-year breaks, with fees starting at $880 for one whole week. For more information, you can contact the team at Writopia Lab via email or call (323) 761-0453.
The Writers Guild Foundation offers a unique writing class intended specifically for veterans. Their Veterans Writing Project helps individuals with military backgrounds to nurture and develop a passion for writing that can help them transition from their life of service. This is a year-long project that offers a weekend-long writing retreat, and a monthly follow-up with workshops and other special events.
The program’s application window to apply for the 2019-2020 year is now closed, but you’re strongly encouraged to subscribe to the Writer Guild Foundation’s email list to receive updates and to learn when the application window reopens. This program is completely free and accepts up to 50 veterans every year to participate. For more information, you can contact the Writers Guild Foundation via email or call (323) 782-4692.
Fiction and nonfiction writing aren’t the only avenues authors can explore when it comes to their literary creativity. Corey Mandell is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who has worked on projects with Ridley Scott, Harrison Ford, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, John Travolta, the Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Pictures, and more! He offers both author coaching and script consultations to interested writers.
Corey currently offers a Professional Screenwriting and Television Writing workshop for writers living in Los Angeles. His class is also offered through multi-video conference technology, so it’s actually available to students around the world. The class costs $595 per person and spans a total of 8 weeks. The course goes over narrative intensity, organic escalations, clarity, efficiency, high-impact pacing, and more. For more information, you can contact Corey directly via email.
The best comedians know that the best rib-ticklers come about thanks to a great sense of improvisation and a keen storytelling ability. The Improve Space is a Los Angeles-based performance school that offers a wide range of workshops to help comedy writers focus on building industry relationships, help with character development, and storytelling skills. This non-profit organization is located near UCLA and offers a safe place for actors and writers alike to nurture their imagination.
They have a long list of classes that are coming soon, including Sketch Level 1 Intensive: Intro to Sketch Writing led by Anna Cecilia. Anna herself is a sketch comedy writer, performer, and director who graduated from Harvard University. The class itself offers four intensive classes and a table read to showcase your brilliant work. Enrollment is now open, and only costs $199 per person. If you’re interested in this class, you can contact The Improv Space through their website’s online contact form to apply or request more information.
The University of California Los Angeles’ Extension offers a fantastic writer’s program for those determined to refine their skills and prepare for a long and successful career in the industry. Widely regarded as one of the best writing programs Los Angeles has to offer, UCLA Extension offers classes for the basics of writing, fiction (for beginner, intermediate, and advanced writers), creative nonfiction (for beginner, intermediate, and advanced writers), writing for young readers, poetry, and editing and publishing courses. They also offer classes for screenwriting (both TV and film).
They are currently offering a Master Class in Novel Writing taught by Alyx Dellamonica, author of the award-winning “The Town on Blighted Sea." This class is just one of many that you can apply for, and has a registration fee of $3860 payable upon program acceptance. It is a 30 week master-level course limited to 8 students only. Not only does it include a guaranteed entry into the James Kirkwood Literary Awards competition, but your work during the course will be considered by a literary agent upon course completion.
There are several ways to enroll into the Writer’s Program, the primary methods being either online, by phone (call 1-800-825-9971), or in person (visit the UCLA Extension Temporary Registration Office on the 1st floor at Gayley Center at 1145 Gayley Avenue). An estimated breakdown for the program’s tuition comes to roughly $5400. You’re strongly encouraged to check out the program’s information section here.
The Second City is an organization that was founded in 1959 by Bernie Sahlins, Howard Alk, and Paul Sills with the aim to make big waves in the entertainment industry. Among other things, Second City offers writing workshops at their Hollywood location like their Satirical Writing Intensive and their One Person Show Workshop, currently led by Anne Marie Scheffler.
Anne Marie Scheffler is a critically acclaimed solo performer who has won several credits and awards for her writing and acting. Through this workshop, she hopes to help you take advantage of your unique voice and put it to work. One Person Show Workshop 1 is offered in a 2-day intensive starting at $200, or a 5-day course with a 1-day showcase performance for $585. Classes are available between April 8th to April 12th, Monday to Friday from 11:00am to 4:00pm. If you’re interested in this writing class, you can enroll here.
The LA Writer’s Lab was founded by Alan Watt, the author of “The 90-Day Novel" and “The 90-Day Screenplay." Alan founded LA Writer’s Lab back in 2002 to provide a place for writers to better develop their craft and ability to tell a story. Alan himself has worked as the writer and director of the award-winning film Interior Night, so he definitely can teach aspiring writers a thing or two about how to apply their skills to their unique stories.
Alan is currently offering a Master Class in writing intended for writers hoping to complete their projects for publication or production. The class takes place over 12 weeks and costs a total of $1150 ($575 upon registration, and $575 upon the 5th class). This class is limited to 8 students per semester and takes place on Saturdays between 10:15am to 1:15PM. Due to the small class sizes, you’re strongly encouraged to register as soon as possible to reserve your spot.
Writing your story is one thing, but learning how to organize your ideas effectively is another. WWLA offers a class called Organizing Your Writing with Scrivener, hosted by Neelanjana Banerjee. The class takes place April 6th and April 20th between 11:00am to 1:00pm. The best part? It takes place online! For writers based in Los Angeles, or anywhere beyond, this means you can take part in a memorable and helpful learning experience regardless of your location.
Neelanjana is a successful author of short stories, poetry, and essays, which have been featured in Prairie Schooner, PANK, The Liner, and World Literature Today. Through this class, she hopes to help authors through their drafting stages and to help organize their notes through the well-known and industry-wide used tool Scrivener. The class is limited to 8 students only and costs $130 for new students, $120 for returning WWLA students. For more information, you can contact the team at WWLA via email.
Another fantastic class offered by Writing Pad includes Memorable Memoir Workshop with Wendy Lawless. The class takes place for seven Saturdays (June 1st, June 8th, June 15th, June 22nd, July 13th, July 20th, and July 27th ) between 11:00am to 1:00pm. There are only two spots left in this course, so be sure to apply if you’re interested! The class itself costs $425 per person.
Wendy Lawless is a two-time New York Times bestselling author who specializes in memoirs. She’s written “Chanel Bonfire" and “Heart of Glass," both critically acclaimed memoirs! Through this class, Wendy hopes to teach her students about how to craft an emotional journey that’s both vivid in detail and compelling for your readers. You can even bring in up to 1200 words to every other class to receive helpful feedback from both Wendy and your classmates. For more information, you can call the team at Writing Pad at (213) 325-6910 or send them an email.
Are you aware of any other writing classes in Los Angeles? Please tell us about them in the comments box below!
K. Z. Kwan is a freelance writer based out of Halifax, Canada.