The Art and Craft of Creative Writing

No charge.   Beginning as well as experienced writers of fiction, narrative nonfiction, poetry, and screenplays invited. For membership, access MeetUp/CreativeWritersBerkeley.

Novelist and environmentalist Wallace Stegner, the founder of the Creative Writing Program at Stanford University, used to advise: "The art of writing cannot be taught, but it can be learned" --  by studying the craft in supportive writing workshops.

At 7:00 p.m., we'll briefly share our reader-responses to an example from the widely acclaimed book "Imaginative Writing, fourth edition,” by Janet Burroway. Next, we'll write individually on our works-in-progress for 60 minutes, and (optional) share excerpts.

Organizer: A recent MFA in Creative Writing, I've published humorous stories in literary magazines such as San Francisco's ZYZZYVA, The Berkeley Fiction Review, Ishmael Reed's Konch. (See file of my published stories at this website, right panel, scroll till you see the file for Sample Stories.) Works-in-progress: projects: "Seven Rivers, a novel" and, concurrently, “Seven Rivers, a screenplay.” I started by studying the first edition of Burroway's "Imaginative Writing” at UC Berkeley, and, for screenplay writing, John Truby’s “The Anatomy of Story” in my MFA program at Mills College. See my reviews of both books on

 (Earlier, I received a Ph.D. degree in Psychology at Stanford, specializing in Organizational Behavior.) --  C. J. Singh <[masked]>

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  • C. J. S.

    At the 30 June meeting five members attended. We began with a brief discussion of David Sedaris's hilarious creative nonfiction "Standing By" and Jamaica Kincaid's much anthologized short story "Girl." At 7:30, we began writing on our works-in-progress.
    At 8:30, David read his creative nonfiction excerpt of a plane journey and Wattie read an excerpt from his memoir-in-progress. Both readings received positive comments from the other members. The members attending voted to discuss Billy Collins's poem "Snow Day" (page 41) and Jane Martin's hilarious drama "French Fries (pages 44- 45) of Burroway's IMAGINATIVE WRITING, FOURTH EDITION.

    June 30, 2014

  • C. J. S.

    At the 23 June meeting, five members and one guest attended. We began with sharing reader-responses to Tobias Wollf's much anthologized short story "Bullet in the Brain." At 7:30 we began writing on our individual works-in-progress projects. David Weinstein read a scene from his screenplay-in-progress. Two members read their drafts of “Try This” exercises from the Burroway book. C J read his 100-word flash fiction and emailed it to a literary magazine for publication.
    The members attending voted on the next craft-masterpiece to discuss (30 June meeting): DAVID SEDARIS's "Standing By" and JAMAICA KINCAID's"Girl" in Burroway’s “Imginative Writing, fourth edition."

    June 26, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I really enjoyed and appreciated the last meeting, and am sorry to have to miss the next one. I'll be out of town, but plan to do the reading and to attend the following week. Wishing you the best!

    June 24, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great group to share time with. Always look forward. See ya there.

    June 15, 2014

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  • C. J. S.
    Event Host
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

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We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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