Wednesday, March 13, 2013

We've moved!

Well with our new site design came a built-in blog, so we will now be blogging over at   Please click on over there to follow us where we will be blogging much more frequently.

Monday, January 07, 2013

How to Create Suspense

Not only is this article on how to create suspense enormously helpful, he employs the very technique he is teaching you within the article itself. Brilliant.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

An Interview with Sanora Bartels, our Poetry Workshop Leader

As many of you know, Sanora Bartels will be leading a one-day poetry workshop on Sunday (tomorrow!).  This is a special treat for us because she doesn't do this very often.  I had the chance to speak with her about the importance of the poetry workshop experience and how it can help elevate your writing.

Why do you feel that poetry workshops can help improve a writers work as opposed to taking a regular class?

"You, as a writer, get to devote an entire day to your art and really go deep with your writing in order to clear any blocks you might not even know about! The same thing can happen with a weekly group but since you aren't spending the same amount of uninterrupted time writing, it may take longer..."

How else can a writer benefit from a one-day intensive workshop?

"The one-day intensive is a great way to jump-start your creativity and get in touch with your muse with a number of writing prompts instead of the normal three we do in about an hour of writing time every week."

Obviously poetry is a deep passion for you as well as for many other writers.  What's the motivation behind the passion?

"Poetry works the same way an excellent movie does.  It gives you images with which to relate and then either pulls back to give you the bigger picture or telescopes in to the tightest focus and allows you to see a truth that had previously escaped your notice."

What really hits home with you when you write poetry?

"The thing I love about poetry is the economy of language and its ability to really change your point of view with a powerful image."

Any word of advice to aspiring writers reading this?

"Write.  Sit down and write.  Your creative muse is shy and will not come to you unless you are still. The muse reminds me of my cats.  If I'm distracted or moving, they want nothing to do with me.  If I sit in peace and turn my attention to the page or the computer, suddenly I have a cat on my lap. That's how I know my muse must be in the room as well."

Here is the information about our poetry workshop tomorrow if you are interested in participating:

Poetry Workshop
Sunday, December 9th
10:00am - 4:00pm
Glassell Park, CA

Join our mailing list for first notification of upcoming poetry and creative writing workshops

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday night creative writing workshop in Glendale - Glassell Park

Sanora's doing a rarely offered Tuesday night writers group / creative writing workshop! It starts next week - Oct 2nd.  Sign up by Friday and get early registration discount.   These workshops are open to all creative writers, any level, any genre.

About Sanora Bartels

Sanora has been running writers groups for nearly 8 years and in 2006 graduated with a Master of Professional Writing degree from University of Southern California. She has studied with various poetry mentors, including Cathy Colman (Borrowed Dress), Ron Koertge (Making Love to Roget’s Wife), and Holly Prado (from one to the next). At USC, she studied screenplay writing with Syd Field (Screenplay) and has since completed a full-length screenplay titled “Straying Home” which made it to the Semi Finals of NexTv’s 2010 Writing and Pitch Competition. Her poetry has been published in Wordwrights! magazine and New Millennium Writings. Her full-length poetry manuscript is titled The Order of Things. Sanora is a teacher of Vedic Meditation and has written several pieces on Vedic philosophy and has had over 20 articles published. You can find her meditation schedule on Sanora is a co-editor on the Meditation page of

What will you get out of our groups?

  • Get constructive, supportive critique on your current writing project in a safe environment from a qualified moderator and your fellow group members, regardless of the type or genre of the project
  • Leave the group with a notebook filled with new stories and story ideas
  • Reignite your passion for writing
  • Connect with other writers in your area
  • Create new stories; generate new ideas every week through improvisational creative writing exercises
  • Elevate your writing
  • Experiment with different voices, different genres

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Valencia writers group scheduled

We've scheduled a new 4-week writing workshop in Santa Clarita.  This is a great and inexpensive way to test out our groups, all while creating new material via creative writing prompts, and getting feedback on projects you are currently working on.  Our groups are open to all creative writers of all levels, no matter what you write.

Date:  Tuesday evenings beginning October 23rd.  Meeting dates:  10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13

Time:  7:00pm - 9:30pm

Group Leader:  Kirby Timmons

Sunday, September 09, 2012

How to write a web series screenwriting workshop in Fairfax beginning October 18th, 2012 (Thursday evenings)

Arrive with an idea.  Leave with a series.

Web Series are the new frontier in entertainment. The best thing about a web series is anyone can write one. The other awesome thing about webisodes is that anyone can make one. When you write a web series, it’s like you’ll be writing your own TV series. “The Walking Dead” on AMC and “Web Therapy” on Showtime both started out as web series.

You will learn how long your scripts needs to be, what a script looks like on the page and how to write for an inexpensive budget. Whatever idea you bring to the class will be the idea we develop. If you aren’t sure about your idea, or you have more than one idea, within the first two sessions of class you’ll have the support and time to decide what direction you want to take. Once you decide on your web series idea, we will outline your six episodes and you will write your scripts.

In this workshop you will learn about genres from comedy to thrillers and how long a webisode script should be within your chosen genre. You will be writing web series with six completed episodes. You will learn how to create a story arc for your six webisodes so your final product will be the first season of your web series. You will also get tips about production and how to produce a webisode while writing one (as they go hand in hand). When the group is in the script writing phase, it will be fun to read your scripts out loud. Workshop members are welcome to bring in their own actors to read for the group too. There are no networks or studios to tell you what to do when you create a web series. In this workshop you will emerge with a web series package. Bring as much imagination as you can, because you’re going to have the creative freedom you need – it’s going to be a blast!

Dates: 10/18, 10/25, 11/1, 11/8, 11/15, no meeting 11/22, resume meeting on 11/29, 12/6, 12/13 

Time: 7:00pm - 10:00pm

New Members: $475 (register before 10/5 and pay only $450)

Returning Members: $450 (register before 10/5 and pay only $425)

Group leader's home in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles

Exact address TBA upon registration for privacy reasons

Los Angeles, CA 90038 

Instructor - Shawn Schepps

Shawn is a Los Angeles native. She began her career as a child actress in such shows as, "The Brady Bunch." As she got older she appeared in, "The Terminator," "Racing with the Moon," and "The Golden Girls."

Shawn started writing plays and musicals. Her first play, "The Steven Weed Show" was performed in Edinburgh and New York. Her play "Group" was performed in New York, at The Montreal Comedy Festival, and The Aspen Comedy Festival.

While writing and producing theater, Shawn wrote, "Encino Man." Thus began her writing and producing career with films like, "Son-In-Law," "Drumline," "Lip Service" and recently, "You and I" directed by Roland Joffe.

Shawn's television writer/producer credits include, "Drop Dead Diva," "Inconceivable," and "Weeds" which she spent two years writing, producing and acting in. Shawn has worked for every major studio like, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Disney. She has been on shows and written pilots for major networks like, ABC, NBC, FOX, CBW and CBS. She has sold and developed to cable outlets like HBO, Lifetime, Showtime and more.

Shawn has taught writing all over the country.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Our July 2012 Book Club Selection: Writing Subtext

Our July 2012 book club selection for our books on writing club is Writing Subtext: What Lies Beneath by Dr. Linda Seger.   Come join our meetup group to participate in the discussion either online or in person.

writing subtext by dr linda seger our book club selection