Bay Area Writing Classes

workshops in fiction & memoir
Private Instruction

Would you like to meet one-on-one with Michelle to discuss your writing? You can book a one or two-hour session to discuss your writing and publishing questions and concerns. Meetings are held in Burlingame, California (20 miles south of San Francisco), or through Facetime or Skype. You may also submit a short story or partial novel manuscript to Michelle to discuss during your meeting. For the best value, purchase a four-hour block, which may be divided into two, three, or four sessions.

How it works: Purchase the desired number of hours using the paypal button below. Please note: if you would like for Michelle to read and critique your short story, essay, or a portion of your novel, please select the critique option. Once you have made your purchase, Michelle will contact you within 24 hours to schedule your first session.

Pricing is below:

    • 1- hour session: $115
    • 2- hour session: $195
    • 1-hour session, including Michelle’s critique of a manuscript of up to 20 double-spaced pages: $195
    • 2-hour session, including Michelle’s critique of a manuscript of up to 40 double-spaced pages: $299
    • A block of four hours that may be divided up as you wish (best value-$95/hour): $380
    • A block of four hours, plus critique of 80 manuscript pages: $580
Please select number of hours

Intermediate writing workshop

Designed for the serious fiction writer with some workshop experience, these classes focus on critique of completed short stories and novel/memoir chapters. Through intensive, detailed discussions, we work to find the heart of your story, identifying the elements that are engaging and pinpointing areas for further development. There is no prerequisite, but I do ask that you submit a writing sample if you would like to be considered for an advanced class. If you are considering an MFA program in writing, or if you have previously studied creative writing and are eager to reboot your writing practice, this class is for you. Class size: 8 maximum. Duration: 6 weeks. 3 hours per session. Location: Burlingame, CA. Tuition: $450


Flash Fiction Workshop

In China they’re called “smoke-longs,” because people read them on the bus or at work during cigarette breaks. In Japan they’re called “palm-of-the-hand stories.” In America, we refer to them as “sudden fiction,” “flash fiction,” or, simply, “the very short story.” The beauty of flash fiction is that it evokes a world, a situation, a series of scenes, or perhaps a complex relationship in very few words. Whereas a novel takes years to write, a very short story may materialize in a day. For the purposes of this class, we define flash fiction as 750 words or fewer. You’ll come away from this five-week workshop with five complete flash fictions–brief, beautiful narrative gems ready to be released into the world. The class meets in the instructor’s home on the Peninsula. Class size: 10 maximum.

Duration: 5 weeks. 3 hours per session. Location: Burlingame, CA. Tuition: $349


Memoir Writing Workshop

Has anyone ever told you, “You should write a book”? Is your head full of interesting stories that you’ve never committed to paper? Then my memoir workshop is for you. Using a series of short exercises, we will recall forgotten images, people, and places that will add life and variety to your writing. You’ll learn how to craft your personal experiences into compelling stories and how to use characterization, description, dialogue, and setting to draw readers into your world. Whether you’re writing to publish or simply saving your story for posterity, this memoir class will help you turn your life into art.

Duration: 6 weeks. 3 hours per session. Location: Burlingame, CA  Tuition: $450


Vanessa Hua

Featured writer

Award-winning journalist Vanessa Hua wrote her first published short story in Michelle’s workshop. It won the prestigious Cream City Review Fiction Contest, which Vanessa later went on to judge.

Vanessa on her breakthrough publication:

In my spare time, I wrote scenes, sketches, starts of stories that went nowhere.  When I re-read pieces I’d written in college, I felt conflicted: proud that the stories had merit, yet it felt like a stranger had penned them.  I didn’t remember how to write a story.

Eventually, I signed up for a fiction workshop where I produced the story that won the Cream City Review contest.

Read about Vanessa’s path to publication on Write Despite. Vanessa is currently a Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University. Visit her website.

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