Experienced as well as serious beginning writers of fiction, narrative nonfiction, and screenwriting invited. To apply for membership, post your first and last names and an ID-type photo at meetup.com/CreativeWritersBerkeley.
Wallace Stegner, the founder of Stanford University’s Creative Writing Program, used to advise: "The art of creative writing cannot be taught, but it can be learned." How? Learn to become a master self-editor. Our meet ups focus on sharing writing-craft takeaways by close reading brief examples of craft masterpieces to enhance self-editing skills.
On Writing First Drafts: *Ernest Hemingway: “The first draft of anything is shit. *Isaac Babel: My first drafts are so bad that I’d be ashamed to wrap fish in. *Raymond Carver said in a published interview that he’d never submitted any short story before revising it at least 4 times. *Tobias Wolff said in a published interview that his early drafts are so bad that he never leaves a copy on his hard drive so no one would ever see them.
On Revising Successive Drafts: Successful writers agree that revising creative writing is not simply making casual changes; successful revising requires applying the craft of self-editing in each successive draft.
Learning the Craft of Self-Editing
The focus of our meet-up is enhancing skills in self-editing to an MFA level by reverse-engineering fiction masterpieces. We meet weekly on Wednesdays to share our craft takeaways from masterpiece stories presented in Janet Burroway’s Writing Fiction, sixth edition. (See my detailed review of the current edition on amazon as to why the sixth: it's the best and a used copy costs much less.) After completing this book, we’ll advance to Sarah Stone and Ron Nyren’s Deepening Fiction: A Practical Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Writers. (See my amazon review of this unique book on craft.) We don’t do any "workshopping" of drafts at our meetings. If you feel the need to do so, we recommend enrolling in a Stanford University Continuing Education Online course.
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. My current projects: "Five Rivers, a novel" and humorous flash fictions. To write my MFA admission> story I learned the craft of self-editing from the early editions of Burroway's books. To begin writing my novel and screenplay, I have been studying John Truby's The Anatomy of Story. See my reviews of both books on amazon. (Earlier, I received a Ph.D. degree in Psychology at Stanford, specializing in Organizational Behavior.)