For more information or to register for any one of our writing workshops and/or arts & crafts classes, please call Customer Service at (626) 449-5320.
All classes will take place in the Vroman's Meeting Room, Suite 120 located next door to Vroman's Main Store in the Atrium at 709 E. Colorado Blvd. Suite 120.
If for any reason you cannot attend a class you have signed up for, we require 24 hour notice of your cancelation in order to receive a refund. Refunds will NOT be issued on the same day of class or after the class has already occured.
Discovering Your Story: A Writing Workshop
(This is an ongoing workshop, with dates constantly being added.
New participants welcome. You can sign up for one or mulitple!)
July 13, 2019 (THIS CLASS IS NOW FULL)
August 24, 2019
November 16, 2019
9am – noon
Cost: $70.00 per class
Whether you have a manuscript in progress or simply a vague idea of a story you’d like to write, you’re invited to join this ongoing, once a month three hour workshop to discover the possibilities of your story. Writing exercises from Barbara’s book, 'Kicking in the Wall’ will help silence your inner critic and get you writing immediately, and you'll also have the opportunity to read your work aloud for feedback. Fiction as well as memoir and personal essay will be explored. Enrollment is limited.
About the Instructor: Barbara Abercrombie has published novels, children’s picture books, including the award winning Charlie Anderson, and books of non-fiction. Her personal essays have appeared in national publications as well as in many anthologies. Her most recent books are Cherished: 21 Writers on Animals They’ve Loved & Lost and A Year of Writing Dangerously, which was chosen by Poets & Writers Magazine as one of the best books for writers. (http://www.pw.org/best-books-for-writers. ) and her fifteenth book, Kicking In The Wall published by New World Library. She received the Outstanding Instructor award and the Distinguished Instructor Award at UCLA Extension where she teaches creative writing. She also conducts private writing retreats and writes two weekly blogs: at www.BarbaraAbercrombie.com and www.TheIntimidatedCook.com .She lives in Los Angeles and Lake Arrowhead, California.
With Laurie Viera Rigler
Thursdays: May 30, June 6, June 13, June 20, June 27, July 11 (skipping July 4th)
Cost: $275 per person
(This is a 6 week course, and you will be enrolling in all six weeks.)
Writing a compelling story is about revealing the world of your protagonist in a way that keeps the reader engaged and eager to know what happens next. In this class, we will explore how to “show, don’t tell” and breathe life into the page. Open to writers whose work is in an early stage as well as those who are working on more advanced drafts. Principles and techniques to be covered include:
• Establishing character goals and desires.
• Revealing internal and external conflict (obstacles to achieving those goals).
• Choosing a point of view (first-person, third-person, or omniscient) that best serves your story.
• Unfolding events in immediate scene and narrative summary.
• Maintaining suspense and tension.
• Engaging the senses.
• Evoking emotions.
• Using metaphors and similes judiciously.
• Writing effective and engaging dialogue.
• Getting into and out of flashbacks.
There will be writing exercises as well as the opportunity to have the instructor read and comment on your pieces, privately or in class.
About the Instructor: Laurie Viera Rigler is a best-selling novelist and nonfiction author whose novels and short fiction have been translated into four languages. Having spent several years writing her first novel and enduring “helpful” warnings about how aspiring novelists were more likely to win the lottery than ever get published, Laurie is passionate about being of service to authors and helping them realize their dreams. She channels that passion into her work as an independent book editor and writing coach and is thrilled about teaching at Vroman’s again. Having re-secured the film and TV rights to her Jane Austen Addict series of novels, Laurie has also adapted three of her novels into a TV pilot and show bible, which has resulted in partnerships with award-winning producers. The process of bringing these works to the screen continues to unfold. If you have any advance questions about her classes, please feel free to get in touch via her sites, janeaustenaddict.com or freelancebookeditor.com.
Publish Your Book
With Ann Hamer
Saturday, June 22th
Cost: $45 per person
(plus a $25 materials fee paid to Ann directly the day of the class)
You can sell your book in the international marketplace and reach a world of readers, and this workshop will show you how.
Join us and learn how to self-publish your book. You will learn how to edit and prepare your manuscript, find a publisher, manage the jacket and interior design of your book, the merits of producing print vs. electronic versions of your book, copyright protection, and how to market your final product. Self-publishing can be expensive, and you will be given numerous tips and advice to save you money.
Any writer will find the information provided in this workshop interesting and helpful, even if you are not yet ready to self-publish. Join us for encouragement, helpful hints, and fun sharing with other writers.
Here's what a former participant said about this class: "Ann gave out excellent information and was very knowledgeable. She was also very open to answering questions and had a fun and engaging style. She was organized and smart and delivered exactly what she promised, plus more. She even hand wrote me a thank you note for coming. Wow!"
Your instructor, Ann Hamer, is the author of the self-published book, Writing Your Life: The Ultimate Guide to Telling Your Story. Ann leads support groups for writers and teaches classes in memoir writing and self-publishing. She earned degrees at Oregon State University, Loyola Law School and the University of Oxford. Visit Ann's website here.
Elements of Poetry
With Thelma T. Reyna, Ph.D.
Saturday, July 20th
Cost: $70 per person
Plus a $15 materials fee to be paid directly to Thelma the day of the class
This workshop presents vital elements that make poetry “poetic”: figurative language, different forms of rhyme, imagery, voice (especially in “persona poems”), structure (e.g., haiku, sonnets, haibun, Tanka), rhythm, length, subject matter, and Prose Poems. For all elements, published poems will be used as examples and springboards to discussions. Attendees will be guided in writing, or at least beginning, a poem exemplifying different elements, and these first drafts will be shared if possible.
The author’s award-winning book—Rising, Falling, All of Us—is included in the materials fee and will be a resource, along with sample works from varied American poets.
See the class syllabus below:
Goal 1: To explore the different elements that make poetry “poetic”:
• Word choices (“figurative language”), such as alliteration, metaphor, simile, metonymy, personification, oxymoron, etc.
• Different forms of rhyme: half/slant, internal, accidental, exact rhymes • Imagery, or creating memorable pictures with poetic language
• Voice, especially in persona poems • Structure/format, including classics like haiku and sonnets, plus lesser-known formats such as Haibun, Prose Poem, Tanka, free verse
• Other qualities: rhythm, length, subject matter
Goal 2: To read and discuss compelling published poems as examples
Goal 3: To write (or at least begin) a poem that is a first-time effort regarding the particular structure/format; and/or includes elements of poetry discussed in this workshop that the writer had not tried before.
Goal 4: If time permits: Share our new poems!
• Bring a hard copy of 2 published poems you absolutely love, hopefully in different styles or noticeably distinct from one another.
• Materials fee covers photocopied poems by ethnically diverse prominent poets, as well as a copy of the author's book Rising, Falling, All of Us.
About the Instructor: Thelma T. Reyna, Ph.D.
Thelma’s books have collectively won 14 national literary awards. She has written 5 books: a short story collection, 2 poetry chapbooks, and 2 full-length poetry collections, including her latest release, Reading Tea Leaves After Trump (2018), which won 6 national book awards in 2018 and was selected as a "2018 Book of the Year." Her fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in literary journals, anthologies, textbooks, blogs, and regional media for over 25 years. As Poet Laureate in Altadena, 2014-2016, she edited the Altadena Poetry Review Anthology in 2015 and 2016. She was a Pushcart Prize Nominee in Poetry in 2017.
Stress less, Achieve More:
3 Keys to Gaining Calm, Clarity and Results with Mindfulness
With Elizabeth Prather
Saturday, August 10th
Cost: $50 per person
Are you feeling pressured and overwhelmed with your responsibilities – both at work and home? Are you finding yourself constantly distracted and unable to focus? Would you like to make better use of the precious time you have each and every day?
If any of that resonates with you, join Elizabeth for this workshop on mindfulness, a scientifically validated and practical way to bring more focus, clarity, patience and calm into your life. Mindfulness meditation helps us be more present with those around us while learning to respond to all situations with insight and wisdom. In this three hour workshop, you’ll walk away with:
- *An understanding of the benefits of mindfulness and the neuroscience behind it
- *Instructions on mindfulness meditation (guided practices together) and a 10 minute practice you can use every day,
- *Lots of tips on bringing mindfulness into your daily life,
- *Techniques on using mindfulness to improve your performance at work,
- *An understanding of why ‘multi-tasking’ doesn’t work and what to do instead,
- *Handouts and resources to help guide you, and
- *You’ll learn how to get out of the ‘doing-trance’ so you can be more present and effective in everything you do.
Research has shown that mindfulness meditation is associated with increases in happiness, self-acceptance and life satisfaction as well as reduced feelings of stress, anxiety and depression.
This workshop is fun and interactive and please come with all your questions – including everything you wanted to know about meditation!
Let Elizabeth help you find some space for YOU, so that you can be the best version of yourself for others.
About the Instructor:
Elizabeth has been training and practicing mindfulness and meditation for the past 20 years. She is a certified mindfulness trainer and leads workshops and programs for the public and businesses. She has used mindfulness to help her in her former corporate career and taught meditation at various community centers. Elizabeth is passionate about helping people find tools and practices to help navigate this fast paced, technological world in which we are living.
With Swan Huntley
Saturday August 31st
Cost: $70 per person
This class will focus on how to move through the difficult moments in the writing process. Designed for writers at all levels, participants will discuss the many forms of getting stuck (Having difficulty starting, having difficulty finishing, unsure what comes next in the narrative in progress, etc.) and learn tips on how to push forward and continue writing.
From the Instructor:
Through discussions and readings about the process of writing, this course aims to give you tools to help you improve your relationship to your practice. We’ll discuss practical tips for you to use in your day-to-day life, and we’ll also ask ourselves some very basic questions about why we started writing in the first place, and how that corresponds with our feelings on writing now. Are we enjoying ourselves? Do we feel a sense of playfulness around writing? When we write, what are we getting out of it?
By the end of this course, my hope is that you’ll have a renewed sense of energy around your writing practice and will be better equipped to move through the tough moments with ease.
About the Instructor:
Swan Huntley is the author of The Goddesses (2017) and We Could Be Beautiful (2016). She earned her MFA at Columbia University and has received fellowships from MacDowell and Yaddo. Her writings have appeared on Salon, The Rumpus and McSweeney's Internet Tendency, among others. She lives in Los Angeles.