• California Writing Resources

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments 3 comments

    CaliforniaNext in our series of State Writing Resources is California, third largest U.S. state in area, first in population, and first to have a Terminator for a Governor. (Are we sick of Arnold jokes yet? Yes. Yes yes yes.)

    The Golden State has a rich writing history, as you would imagine. With that many damned people, one would hope so. Among them are WBN friend Dagoberto Gilb, WBN coach/consultant Kirstin Chen, and so many others that you may as well just go to this page and scan them for yourself.

    Later this week we’ll be running a special side post on San Francisco writing centers and bookstores. Consider it California Writing Week here at WBN.

    Without further folderol, presented here in no particular order are ten California writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you live in Cally/Cali or are planning a move there, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at.

    1) California Writers Club

    1,600 members and 19 branches throughout the state, “all joined together for the common goal of educating ourselves and the community on the craft of writing and the realities of getting our work published.”

    2) Community of Writers at Squaw Valley

    Every summer for over 40 years, the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley has brought together poets, prose writers and screenwriters for separate weeks of workshops, individual conferences, lectures, panels, readings, and discussions of the craft and the business of writing.

    3) San Francisco Writers Conference

    An annual four-day conference boasting over 50 panel discussions, parties, pitch sessions, readings and much more.

    4) UCLA Extension Writers’ Program

    The largest and most comprehensive continuing education writing program worldwide, it offers more than 450 annual open-enrollment courses onsite and online in novel writing, short fiction, personal essay, memoir, poetry, playwriting, and more.

    5) The Writing Salon

    A school of creative writing for adults (beginners to advanced) in San Francisco. Offers small classes held in comfortable, cozy settings. Classes include fiction, poetry, personal essays, memoirs, screenwriting, and more.

    6) Southern California Writers Assocation

    An organization of diverse writers working with articles, essays, web content, children’s writing, short stories, novels of all genres, plays, screenwriting, and poetry. Meetings are held in the O.C. (“Don’t call it that.”)

    7) Independent Writers of Southern California

    Provides writers of the greater Los Angeles area with several opportunities to get together with other writers each month, through casual get-togethers in various areas. Offers seminars, meetings, panel discussions, and more.

    8) Sacramento Poetry Center

    While maintaining close ties with the area’s universities and colleges, the SPC affords associated artists the opportunity to explore poetry unrestricted, empowering literary artists to improve their work and performance. Offers workshops, contests, and more.

    9) 826 L.A.

    826LA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

    10) The Grotto

    Since 1994, the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto has pioneered a unique concept: an office for the creative, self-employed people who by definition don’t need to punch a clock.

    Help us add to this list, Californians! Do you run a local writing group or a lit journal we should be aware of? Feel free to share info and links in the comments section below.


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    Laura Roberts

    Hey guys! I have another resource to add to the list from SoCal: San Diego Writers, Ink. is a nonprofit that offers low-cost writing workshops as well as a writing space (similar to the Austin setup of WBN) where members can drop in and write separately or collectively. They host lots of open mic events, readings and other programming as well, and seem like a cool group. Here’s a link to their website, in case you want to check them out: http://www.sandiegowriters.org

    Laura Roberts

    Oh, and there’s also the Southern California Writers Conference, which actually meets in two different locations – one in San Diego in February and the second near LA (Huntington Beach) in September. They host a unique “NovelCram” track, where you can work on developing your novel over the course of the weekend. I’m thinking of attending one of these, since they’re right in my backyard. Here’s the link: http://writersconference.com/sd/

    Justine Tal Goldberg

    Awesome additions, Laura! Thanks a million for weighing in.

    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x