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Success: Susan Oren Publishes in HuffingtonPost

Online student Susan Oren recently published her personal essay, “Liberal, Well-Meaning Mom Blows it When Her Son Comes Out–Then She Feels Blessed” in the Huffington Post’s Gay Voices. As she puts it, “We’ve all heard the right-wing and/or religious parents’ reactions; the intent of this essay is to present something different.” In the piece, which […]

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Success: Certificate Graduate Wins Silver Prize in Hollywood Screenplay Contest

Sonja Adema (who we’ve featured before here and here), a graduate of the Certificate Programs in Feature Film Writing and Television Writing, has won the Silver Prize in the Television Spec Script category of this year’s Hollywood Screenplay Contest for her Modern Family spec script “Kissing Cousins.” She was also named a finalist in the […]

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Success: Suzanne Lummis Publishes in The New Yorker!

Revered Los Angeles poet and Writers’ Program instructor of two decades, Suzanne Lummis has just published her poem “How I Didn’t Get Myself to a Nunnery” in The New Yorker! In addition, Poets & Writers recently featured the video of her reading her hilarious poem “Ways to Make Money” at the Publication Party this summer. […]

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Success: Anna Maria Hong Awarded 2014 Clarissa Dalloway Prize

Online poetry instructor Anna Maria Hong, Visiting Creative Writer at Ursinus College and 2010-11 Bunting Fellow in Poetry at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, is the winner of A Room of Her Own Foundation’s inaugural Clarissa Dalloway “everything but poetry” Book Prize for her novella “H & G,” a fantastical re-imagining of the story of […]

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Success: Ana Maria Montoya a Contender for 2015 Sundance Screenwriters Lab

Ana Maria Montoya, a graduate of the Certificate Program in Feature Film Writing, is currently in the second round of consideration for the 2015 Sundance Screenwriters Lab with her screenplay 40 Winks–which she workshopped at the 2014 Writers Studio with instructor Michael Weiss. She is a former Nicholl Semifinalist and a second place winner of […]

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Success: Former Writers’ Program Students Land NBC’s “Writers On the Verge” Fellowship

Alisha Cowan and David Ngo have both been named 2014 – 2015 NBC Writers on the Verge. The 12-week program, which focuses on “polishing writers and readying them for a staff writer position on a television series” received more than 2000 applicants, and awarded 8. We’re very excited that former Writers’ Program students snagged two […]

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Success: Television Writing Competition Winner Signed By CAA and Echo Lake Management

Aaron Rollins, who won first place in the 2013 Television Writing Competition/TV Pilots category for his one-hour drama Ordnung, was recently signed by CAA and Echo Lake Management! Aaron credits the Writers’ Program for not only providing him essential skills, but also exposure as a result of the competition. “I would highly recommend the UCLA […]

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Success: Certificate Student a Creative World Awards Finalist

Anthony Moschetto, a student in the Feature Film Writing Certificate Program, was named a finalist in the Television (Existing Sit-com) category in this year’s Creative World Awards writing contest for his “The Big Bang Theory” spec script. Anthony is thrilled with his recent success AND his decision to join the Writers’ Program. “I’m really glad […]

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Success: Nonfiction Student Barbara Lodge Publishes Widely

Barbara Lodge, who has studied with Barbara Abercrombie for over 10 years, has published widely in a very short time. In the past few years her work has been included in the Los Angeles Times LA Affairs column, the New York Times Motherlode Blog, The Examined Life Journal (University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine), […]

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Success: Lee Wilson Publishes Rebel on Pointe

Student Lee Wilson has just published a memoir, Rebel on Pointe: a Memoir of Ballet and Broadway (University Press of Florida), about her professional dance career, which took her from “the stifling suburbs of 1950s Delaware into the opera houses of Europe and onto the Broadway stage.” Lee began writing her memoir in Jennie Nash’s course, and […]

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Success: Certificate Student Pens Russian Miniseries

Liza Neniouc, an online student in the Certificate Program in Feature Film Writing, will have her four-episode TV miniseries produced by Russia’s largest TV network, Channel One. Liza is the writer of the original screenplay, a modern dramedy, which is set to begin production in October 2014. Liza says the certificate program transformed her life. “Not […]

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Success: Scholarship Recipient Begins MFA Program this Fall

2013-2014 Writers’ Program Scholarship recipient Laura Picklesimer has been accepted to the MFA Program in Creative Writing at California State University, Long Beach, where she will begin her studies this fall. During her program, she will focus on fiction and, in particular, finishing her first novel Kill for Love. Laura says her Writers’ Program instructors […]

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Success: Writers’ Program Student Lands HUGE Viking Book Deal

Former student J. Ryan Stradal just sold his novel, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, to Viking, scheduled for hardcover release in summer of 2015. Foreign rights for the novel have already been sold to the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Holland. J. Ryan, who won second place in the 2008 Kirkwood Awards, says that his […]

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Success: Poetry Student Publishes and Pursues MFA

Writers’ Program student Tanya Muzumdar has published three poems, which she wrote in her Writers’ Program courses, in the literary journals Dunes Review, Storm Cellar, and Gigantic Sequins. Tanya studied poetry online with Anna Maria Hong and is now on her way to an MFA in poetry at Pacific University. Along with dozens of others, […]

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Success: Kirkwood Winner Accepted to MFA Program at CSULB

Margaret Spilman, who won the 2013 James Kirkwood Literary Prize for her short story “Muscle Memory,”has been accepted to the MFA Creative Writing Program at California State University, Long Beach where she plans to write a book. “I owe a lot to the Writers’ Program since that was the first place I really came to […]

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Success: NPR Praises Alyx Dellamonica’s Latest Novel

Online instructor Alyx Dellamonica’s latest fantasy novel, Child of a Hidden Sea, has already gotten rave reviews from NPR. In his review, Amal El-Mohtar calls Alyx’s third fantasy novel, about a twenty-something adventurer who is transported to Erinth, the world of her birth parents, “rare and refreshing.” Congratulations are in order to Alyx, who teaches […]

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Success: Writers’ Program Alum a Finalist for Prestigious Keene Prize

Former Writers’ Program student Rachel Kondo, who received a James A. Michener Fellowship to pursue her MFA at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, is one of four finalists for the 2014 Keene Prize for her short story “Beverly.” Rachel wrote the story in two of her Writers’ Program […]

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Success: Canadian Student Successfully Pitches Game Idea

Online screenwriting student Linda Feuerhelm took Robert Bryant’s winter Writing for Video Games (Online) course and has already had some of her ideas accepted by A Thinking Ape Technologies. Some of Linda’s ideas will be included in a yet-to-be-revealed social mobile game, still in development. Writing for Video Games not only helped Linda learn to […]

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Success: Santa Sierra Pens Film for Amazon Studios

Writers’ Program student Santa Sierra, who is repped by agent Bryan Brucks and was included in The Tracking Board’s 2013 “Top 100 Writers on the Verge,” has been hired to write Chico Grande for Amazon Studios. The film is about a young boy in 1960s rural Mexico who is obsessed with the Lone Ranger. Santa […]

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Edan Lepucki

Colbert Shout-out Leads to “Insta-fame” for Instructor Edan Lepucki

Writers’ Program instructor Edan Lepucki’s debut novel, California, has quickly become one of the most preordered debut titles from Hachette Book Group and is the #1 bestseller on Powell’s Books bestseller list. California, about a couple who flees a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles for a life of survivalism in the wilderness, rose to the top of […]

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Success: Ana Reyes Accepted to Louisiana State University’s MFA Program

Novelist Ana Reyes has been accepted to the MFA program at Louisiana State University. Ana applied using a novel excerpt that she wrote in Mark Sarvas’s workshop. “I’m very thankful to Mark for his support and feedback on some of my earliest pages,” she explains. “Two years later, I still think back to his wonderfully […]

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Success: Online Student Publishes Picture Book

Writers’ Program student Julie Dillemuth just published her first picture book about a young raccoon who gets lost one night.  Lucy in the City (Magination Press, May 2015) “promotes spatial thinking skills in kids, namely retracing one’s steps and using landmarks to navigate,” says Julie. Julie wrote the book in Terry Pierce’s fabulous Introduction to […]

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Success: Online Student Publishes Memoir

Roberta King recently published a memoir entitled He Plays a Harp (Principia Media, May 2014), “about the life of our son Noah and the emotional aftermath of his death.”  Roberta worked on the memoir in her Writers’ Program courses and said the experience was instrumental to the book’s creation.  Says Roberta, “Victoria Zackheim, Gordon Grice, […]

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Success: Student Publishes Anthology and Gets Optioned Too!

Writers’ Program student Leonora Epstein recently published X vs. Y: A Culture War, a Love Story (Harry N. Abrams, March 2014) with her sister Eve. The anthology, Leonora explains, chronicles the experiences of the sisters, fourteen years apart in age, “through essays, lists, infographics, IM conversations, and illustrations.”  To make things even more exciting, X vs. Y […]

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Success: Student Starts a Health Movement and Publishes How-To-Guide

Congratulations are in order for student Linda Fondren. Linda’s story is an inspiring one of personal and community empowerment. “After having transformed my life from poverty and disempowerment to success, I went back to my hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and created a movement that helped the people there shed a collective 15,000 pounds.” If that […]

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Success: Kate Kaplan publishes in Roanoke Review

Writers’ Program student Kate Kaplan’s short story, “Every Dog Gets to Bite,” will be published in the 2013-2014 issue of Roanoke Review, due out mid-September. She is currently taking Lou Mathews’ The Art of the Short Story: Advanced Workshop for the second time. “I started thinking about the ways in which people encounter–and really become […]

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Pablo Unda

Success: Student Creates and Executive Produces Chilean Sitcom

Pablo Unda, who teaches television writing at the Universidad de Chile Film and TV School, was awarded a scholarship from the Chilean state to study at UCLA Extension, and it’s already paying off big time. Three weeks ago, the show that Pablo created and executive produces, “Centro de Alumnos” (“Student Council”), premiered in Chile. Pablo […]

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Success: Online Student Wins English Prize

Alexandra Greene, who studied online with Rachel Kann and Kimberly Burwick, has just won the Queen’s University (Ontario, Canada) McIlquham Foundation Prize In English, which is awarded for an original poem, short story, or play. Alexandra submitted several poems, some of which she wrote in workshops with Rachel and Kimberly. “I want to extend a […]

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Success: Ann Lewis Hamilton Publishes Expecting

A former student of Dan Jaffe, Ann Lewis Hamilton has sold her first novel to Sourcebooks Landmark, to be published July 2014. Expecting, about a young couple who get pregnant through IUI only to find out the fertility clinic switched sperm samples, began as a short story in Dan’s class, which Ann then turned into […]

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Success: Student Accepted to Sarah Lawrence MFA Program

John Mitchell Morris, who studied novel writing with Reyna Grande and Deborah Reed, will be heading to New York this fall to begin the MFA Program in Writing at Sarah Lawrence College.  A former actor and currently a civil litigator in Los Angeles, John is at work on his first novel, Flight From Mount Holyoke […]

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Success: Student Novella Featured as Amazon Kindle Single

Martin Munroe’s Novella, The Last Black Man, has been published by Kindle Singles and featured on the Kindle Singles homepage on the Amazon UK site. A former certificate student in feature film writing, Martin says the lessons he learned in his screenwriting courses translate well to fiction writing. “What I learned about plot and character […]

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Success: Mariya Taher Accepted to MFA Programs + Scholarship

Writers’ Program student Mariya Taher, who we’ve written about before here and here for her short story publications, will begin her MFA program at Lesley University starting in June. She is the recipient of a School of Arts and Social Sciences Creative Writing Merit Scholarship. Like most of the other schools Mariya applied to, Lesley […]

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Success: Enduring Success for Screenwriting Student

Former Writers’ Program student Tobias Iaconis recently landed on the much coveted Blacklist (2013) for his screenplay Elsewhere (co-written with Mikki Daughtry). In the years since he was a student, Tobias has been a working screenwriter, penning scripts for Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, and Vincent Newman Entertainment. Like thousands of other entertainment industry […]

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Success: Darri Farr Lands Prestigious James A. Michener Fellowship

Darri Farr, Writers’ Program student and second place winner at last year’s Kirkwood Awards, has been awarded the James A. Michener Fellowship to pursue her MFA at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. The highly competitive fellowships are awarded to only twelve students out of the nearly 1000 applications […]

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Success: Nicholas Anthony Wins Best Original Half-Hour TV Pilot in Final Draft Contest

“The Writers’ Program was an amazing opportunity for me to not only sharpen my writing skills, but also meet and eventually work with professionals in the TV writing world,” says student Nicholas Anthony. He would know, having just won Best Original Half-Hour TV Pilot in the 2013 Final Draft, Inc. Big Break Contest for his […]

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Success: Online Student Publishes Picture Book in India

Sushree Mishra, who studied children’s book writing online with Terry Pierce, just published her first picture book with leading Indian publisher Karadi Tales. The Night Monster, to be published in early 2015, deals sensitively with a young child’s fear of the night and also depicts a beautiful sibling relationship. “I was a storyteller but I […]

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Success: Online Student Accepted into Djerassi Writers’ Retreat

Judith Duncan of Sydney, Australia, has been accepted into a writing workshop at The Djerassi Writer’s Retreat in June 2014 to work on her in-progress novel.  A long-time Writers’ Program student, Judith has taken both screenwriting and creative writing classes. She began her novel as a writing exercise in Alyx Dellamonica’s science fiction writing course, […]

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Success: Student NYT Article Goes Viral + Book Deal!

Sam Polk’s writing career has exploded in a matter of months! First, a piece he began in Victoria Zackheim’s online Writing and Publishing the Personal Essay: Advanced Workshop called “Yuppies Watching Documentaries” was published in the HuffingtonPost. Then, another essay he started in that class, “For the Love of Money,” was featured on the front […]

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Success: HUGE Success for Writers’ Program Student!

Writers’ Program student Barbara Stepansky first caught our attention when she entered the UCLA Extension Feature Film Competition. Her script, “Sugar in My Veins,” which she rewrote in Billy Mernit’s Master Class in Feature Film Writing, set itself apart with its provocative logline: A fourteen year old female prodigy finds companionship for the first time […]

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Success: Suzanne Lummis Wins the Blue Lynx Prize!

Longtime Writers’ Program instructor and Los Angeles poet Suzanne Lummis has won the Blue Lynx Prize for her book Open 24 Hours, which will be published by Lynx House Press in September.  Her work is also featured in the special Noir Issue of Australian Magazine Contrappasso. Congratulations, Suzanne! Don’t miss out on Suzanne’s spring course […]

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Success: Samuel Gailey Publishes Deep Winter with Penguin!

Student Samuel W. Gailey, who studied with Leslie Lehr, just published his first novel, Deep Winter, with Penguin Books/Blue Rider Press (available February 20th). Samuel is also a screenwriter who has written and developed shows for Showtime and Fox. Esquire calls Samuel’s debut small town thriller “enthralling and suspenseful, like a Michael Connelly novel, but […]

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Success: Deepa Swamy Publishes in Deccan Herald

Online certificate student Deepa Swamy has won third prize in the Deccan Herald Sunday Herald Short Story Competition ’13, for her story “Spices to Go.”  The Herald, a leading daily newspaper in Bangalore, India, says that Deepa’s story, “captures the local flavours beautifully.” “Working on my craft with the talented instructors at the UCLA Extension […]

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Success: Personal Essay Students Develop Popular Blog

Kathleen Guthrie Woods and Lisa Manterfield met in Barbara Abercrombie’s Writing the Personal Essay class and, upon discovering they had fertility issues in common, decided to launch a blog about their shared experiences.  Called, the successful blog has been read by more than half a million people to date.  Recently, Lisa and Kathleen compiled […]

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Success: Hannah Dennison Publishes New Mystery Series + More

Writers’ Program instructor and former student Hannah Dennison has been publishing like crazy.  Her new mystery series will launch in 2014 with Murder at Honeychurch Hall (US release in May and UK release in November); the second book in the series will be published in May 2015. The fifth installment of her popular Vicky Hill […]

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Success: Online Student Hits NYT Bestseller List!

Rob Reid, online mentorship student of Lynn Hightower, recently hit the New York Times E-books Bestseller List for his science fiction novel Year Zero, about a low-level entertainment lawyer who must save the world after pop music obsessed aliens accidently commit the biggest copyright infringement in history. Rob credits Lynn and the Writers’ Program with helping him […]

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Success: April Halprin Wayland’s Poetry Featured on

Children’s book author and Writers’ Program instructor April Halprin Wayland’s poetry was recently featured on United States Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt’s website,  The poem, “When Mom Plays Just for Me,” was originally published in Myra Cohn Livingston’s book, Poems for Mothers. “After taking my first class at the Writers’ Program in the early […]

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Success: Feature in Production for Screenwriting Competition Winner

Elissa Matsueda won the Writers’ Program Screenwriting Competition in 2010, and now her first feature, La Vida Robot, is in production! Elissa wrote the script based on a Wired magazine article by Joshua Davis, about four undocumented Mexican-American high school students who take on the MIT team at the National Robotics Competition. The film stars […]

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Success: Hank Nelken Sells Sister Whipped to CBS

Screenwriting instructor Hank Nelken (Saving Silverman), recently sold his comedy project Sister Whipped to CBS.  The project is based on Hank’s own life experience being raised by women. “I love teaching in the Writers’ Program.  The students are so passionate and eager to learn.  It’s very rewarding to help them bring their vision to life.” […]

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Success: Kate Milliken Wins 2013 John Simmons Short Fiction Award!

Online instructor Kate Milliken has won the prestigious John Simmons Short Fiction Award for her story collection If I’d Known You Were Coming (University Of Iowa Press, October 2013).  Before teaching for the Writers’ Program, Kate was a Wp’ student, went on to pursue her MFA, began teaching for us, and became a student again. […]

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Success: Kerry Fisher Lands Two-book Deal

Online student Kerry Fisher just sold her novel, The School Gate Survival Guide, to the Avon imprint of HarperCollins UK as part of a two-book deal.  The first book will be published in August 2014, and her second novel, The Divorce Domino, is scheduled for August 2015 publication. Kerry is represented by Clare Wallace at […]

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Success: Amy Friedman Co-authors One Soufflé at a Time

Longtime Writers’ Program instructor Amy Friedman has co-authored Anne Willan’s One Soufflé at a Time, a story of one of the food-world greats and author of more than 30 cookbooks. Like her friends Julia Child, James Beard, and others, Anne changed how the world eats and made cooking fun. In this memoir (with 50 recipes), she writes about how […]

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Success: Student Writes Huffington Post Column

In early October, the Huffington Post published student Elana Miller’s piece “Mindfulness and Psychiatry: The Next Fad or a New Revolution?,” and based on that article, asked her to be a regular columnist.  An MD, Elana writes about psychiatry, psychology, spirituality, meditation, and the integration of eastern philosophy into western medicine. You can read all […]

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Success: Rochelle Jewel Shapiro Publishes Far and Wide

Online instructor Rochelle Jewel Shapiro has had a big year.  Last December, she published her second novel, Kaylee’s Ghost, about a psychic grandmother caught between her modern, matter-of-fact daughter, and her granddaughter who just might be psychic. Kirkus called it “an intriguing mix of family drama and contemporary fantasy,” and it was a finalist in […]

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Success: Brandy French Publishes in Literary Journals

Student Brandy French has recently published in Riverlit (for the second time), Constellations, Able Muse, Anterior Review and Specs.  Four of her short stories will be featured in “Choking on the Bone,” presented by the New Short Fiction Series at The Federal Bar in North Hollywood on November 10th. “This is my sixth ‘tour of […]

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Success: Student Publishes Personal Essay in Brain, Child Magazine

Online certificate student Roberta King recently published her personal essay, “The Orders” in Brain, Child Magazine online.  Roberta wrote the piece in Victoria Zackheim’s Writing and Publishing the Personal Essay: Advanced Workshop (Online).  Victoria calls the piece “A poignant, honest, and very moving account of the one decision no parent should ever have to make.” […]

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Success: Online Student Crowd-Funds Indie Film

Eric Boadella’s film Toastmaster, about the fine art of the “toast” at Armenian dinners, recently premiered at the 27th Wine Country Film Festival and the 5th Oakland Underground Film Festival.  Eric worked on the script in Tom Lazarus’s Advanced Rewriting Workshop. After crowd-funding the production through Indiegogo, he cut a trailer and used the trailer […]

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Success: Lit Crawl LA featuring Writers’ Program Students and Instructors

On Wednesday, October 23rd, swarms of authors and readers will hit the streets of the North Hollywood Arts District for the free Lit Crawl L.A., an evening featuring readings at 11 locations, plus a pop-up bookstore and an after-party.  The event features Writers’ Program instructors Laurel Ann Bogen, Jim Gavin, and Lou Mathews, former students […]

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Success: Laurel Ann Bogen Publishes Far and Wide

Longtime Writers’ Program instructor Laurel Ann Bogen recently published her poem, “The Pleasures of the Mind,” in the first issue of Miramar.  Two of her poems, “The Day I Had the Terrible Fear” and “The Door for Love and Death,” also appear in the anthology Ekphrastia Gone Wild, alongside Nobel Prize winning poet Wislawa Szymborska and our […]

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Success: Michelle Markel Wins 2013 PEN/Steven Kroll Award

Writers’ Program instructor Michelle Markel has won the 2013 PEN/Steven Kroll Award for picture book writing for The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau.  As the judges put it, “Markel’s spare prose perfectly recreates Rousseau’s calling to paint, affinity for nature, creative process and determination even in the face of complete public rejection.” Michelle instills this […]

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Success: Student Publishes New Lit Journal Six Three Whiskey

Writers’ Program student Chris Le Gras has founded and edited a new literary journal, Six Three Whiskey, which includes stories from fellow student Rob Roman and instructor Lou Mathews.  The first issue also includes William Faulkner’s first published story, “Landing in Luck.” Says Chris, “Six Three Whiskey exists in large part because of the people […]

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Success: Jennifer J. Chow Publishes The 228 Legacy

Writers’ Program student Jennifer J. Chow made it to the second round of the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for her debut novel, The 228 Legacy, which was then picked up by Martin Sisters Publishing. Inspired by real events, The 228 Legacy explores the effects of a decades-long cultural secret on a Taiwanese-American family. The […]

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Success: Tanya Ward Goodman Publishes Memoir

Writers’ Program student Tanya Ward Goodman’s memoir, Leaving Tinkertown, was recently published by the University of New Mexico Press.  In her memoir, Tanya tells the story of her experiences coping with her artist father’s early-onset dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  She began her memoir in class with Samantha Dunn.  “I can quite honestly say that without […]

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Success: Student Publishes in Instructor-Edited Anthology

Instructor Shawna Kenney’s forthcoming anthology, Book Lovers (Seal Press, Spring 2014), will include an essay by student Chelsey Drysdale.  Chelsey was a student in Shawna’s winter Writing the Personal Essay course, and attributes her success to her Writers’ Program class: “Taking a UCLA Extension writing class was one of the best decisions I’ve made in […]

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Success: Student Hired by Manchester City Football Club

Darryl Webster was recently hired as a contributing writer by the Manchester City Football Club for their upcoming season. He’ll write and publish one piece per month on their homepage between August and May.  The MCFC has over 6 million followers via social media, so this is a huge opportunity for Darryl to have his […]

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Success: Writers’ Program Student and Instructors Featured in LA Weekly Contest

Recently, LA Weekly held a tournament to name the Best L.A. Novel Ever.  As a part of that challenge, they asked 18 Los Angeles literary figures to pick their favorite L.A. novels to add to the running.  Those literary figures include Writers’ Program instructors Suzanne Lummis (who picked Day of the Locust by Nathaniel West) […]

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Success: Prism Review

Mariya Taher, who we’ve written about before for her publication in Pulse Literary Journal, just published her short story “American Daughters” in Prism Review.  Mariya submitted the story while in David Borofka’s The Art of the Short Story: Advanced Workshop (Online).  “As a course requirement, we were asked to submit one of our stories to […]

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Success: Creative Writing Exercise Leads to Screenwriting Success

Several years ago, Writers’ Program student Akeba Gaddis took courses with Judith Prager and Harry Youtt.  In one of the classes, Judith and Harry assigned an exercise in which students were to write about two people having an awkward meeting.  Akeba took her short story based on this exercise, developed it into a longer story, […]

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Success: Student Publishes Memoir Excerpt

Angela Featherstone just published her memoir excerpt, “God Said No,” in Gargoyle Magazine’s summer 2014 issue.  Angela began her memoir in Shawna Kenney’s winter Writing the Personal Essay course, and workshopped the excerpt in her spring Intermediate Memoir Writing course. “Shawna’s guidance, wisdom and incredible support has made all of this possible. She is truly […]

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Success: Enduring Success For Poetry Student

Robert Peake, who studied with Suzanne Lummis, has had incredible success in the years since taking Writers’ Program classes.  He has published in North American Review, Poetry International, Rattle, Iota, Long Poem Magazine and Magma Poetry; received commendation in the Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Competition and the Indiana Review Prize; completed his MFA at Pacific […]

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Success: Student Lands Two-Book Deal with HarperCollins

Nora Ericson recently sold her first picture book, Dill and Bizzy: An Odd Duck and a Strange Bird to HarperCollins in a two-book deal.  Nora completed her manuscript in Terry Pierce’s fall Introduction to Writing Easy Readers (Online) class.  “I greatly enjoyed Terry’s class, learned so much, and am obviously thrilled with the outcome. I […]

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Success: Student Wins at International Latino Book Awards

Writers’ Program student Sandra Ramos O’Briant has won First Place for Best Historical Fiction and Best First Book at the 2013 International Latino Book Awards for her novel The Sandoval Sisters’ Secret of Old Blood.  A work of historical fiction, Sandra’s novel takes place in Santa Fe during the Mexican-American War.   Writing her novel was […]

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Success: Student Natashia Deon Named One of LA’s Most Interesting People

Writers’ Program student Natashia Deon was recently included in LA Weekly’s People 2013 list, alongside LA icons like George Takei and Poet Laureate Eloise Klein Healy. After quitting her job as an insurance defense attorney, Natashia took Writers’ Program classes, was awarded a 2010 PEN USA Emerging Voices fellowship, and participated in the Bread Loaf […]

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Success: Student Publishes in Boston Poetry Magazine

Writers’ Program student Marilyn Robertson recently published “How They Treat Brooklyn Umbrellas” in the online Boston Poetry Magazine.   Marilyn has also published in instructor Suzanne Lummis’ online journal and in the anthology Chopin with Cherries (Moonrise Press). Marilyn praises the Writers’ Program and Suzanne for helping her along her writing journey.  “I have taken […]

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Success: Daniel Stern Publishes Swingland

Writers’ Program student Daniel Stern has published his first memoir, Swingland: Between the Sheets of the Secret, Sometimes Messy, but Always Adventurous Swinging Lifestyle, forthcoming from Touchstone Books (October 1, 2013). Daniel credits the Writers’ Program  with helping him get published.  “I sought a group of serious, creative, and dedicated writers.  What I got, in […]

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Jacqueline C. Kelley

Success: Student Publishes in Connotation Press

Certificate student Jacqueline C. Kelley recently published her story “Abe” in Connotation Press: An Online Artifact. You can read her story online here. “Writers’ Program instructors liz gonzalez (Writer as Witness to Life) and Gordon Grice (The Art of Creative Nonfiction) were very helpful as I made revisions to my story. Their perceptive feedback was […]

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Success: Student Publishes Six-Word Memoirs

Chelsey Drysdale, who took Shawna Kenney‘s winter Writing the Personal Essay course, recently had four of her micro memoirs published in Smith Magazine’s Six-Word Memoirs.  Two have been published as “Six-Word Memoir of the Day” and two were included in the magazine’s “featured” list.  The two chosen for the top spot were “Elevating limbo to […]

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Success: Longtime Student Wins Award and Publishes!

Erica Jamieson has had a great year.  In 2012 she was awarded the Gypsy Sachet Award in Letters and Biography from Fiction Fix, and her winning cover letter will be published in the fall 2013 issue.  Then, her story “Coffee Riders” was accepted for publication in Spittoon (March 1 issue).  If that wasn’t exciting enough, […]

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Success: Student Lands YA Deal with Random House

Elizabeth Ross has taken a number of Writers’ Program fiction and youth market courses over the years, and now all that hard work has paid off!  Delacorte Press, a division of Random House Children’s Books, will publish her YA novel, Belle Epoque, in June 2013. Set in bohemian Paris, Belle is the story of Maude Pichon, […]

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Success: Lindy DeKoven Publishes Primetime Princess

Writers’ Program student Lindy DeKoven will publish her first novel, Primetime Princess, in May 2013.  Her novel follows Alexa Ross, vice president of comedy at a broadcast network, who competes with her obnoxious ex-boss for the top job.  Lindy describes it as “Devil Wears Prada at a TV network.” Lindy credits the UCLA Extension Writers’ […]

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Success: Instructor Leslie Lehr’s LA Book Tour

Leslie Lehr, who has taught novel writing for the Writers’ Program for over ten years, is embarking on a book tour to promote her latest novel, What a Mother Knows.  Leslie will kick off her tour with a 30 minute interview with Hope Edelman on BookTalk Nation Radio on May 1st, followed by events at […]

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Success: Writers’ Program Students Take over NY Times Book Review

For the first time (to our knowledge), the New York Times has published a Sunday Book Review both written by, and featuring, former Writers’ Program students.  In her review, Marisa Silver–author of five books—profiles Jim Gavin, whose debut story collection, Middle Men, has been garnering rave reviews far and wide.  Marisa’s review is no different. […]

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Success: Former Student is Executive Story Editor on Game of Thrones

Bryan Cogman, who studied with instructor Bonnie MacBird, is now the Executive Story Editor on Game of Thrones.  A screenwriter for the massively popular HBO fantasy show, he has penned several episodes and was recently interviewed by Rolling Stone.  Click here to read his interview and get the inside scoop on how the writers approach […]

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Success: Tara Ellison Publishes First Novel

Longtime Writers’ Program student Tara Ellison will be publishing her first novel with The Writer’s Coffee Shop, the original Australian indie publisher of 50 Shades of Grey. Synchronized Breathing tells the story of Scarlett Spencer, a 35-year old single mom of a toddler who is forced to move back in with her over-sexed mother, CeCe, […]

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Success: Student Publishes Short Fiction

Writers’ Program student Silas Matthies has recently published in literary magazine The Iconoclast, Issue 109. His story, “The Queen of MacArthur Park,” is about a homeless woman living in L.A. who is physically confronted by a security guard. Silas took his first Writers’ Program course with instructor Eve La Salle Caram in the winter of […]

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Success: Student Publishes in Poetry Anthology

Tina Yang recently published in It’s Animal But Merciful, an anthology released by New York indie press Great Weather for MEDIA. “Taking Writers’ Program courses was a life-altering experience. Before, I was pretty lost about what I wanted to do in my life, with my story. The Writers’ Program provided me with a community of […]

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Success: Certificate Student Sells Two Screenplays!

Verena Bird, a bilingual writer in German and English, recently sold two screenplays, which she wrote and workshopped in Michael Weiss’s feature film writing course. After years of honing her craft and writing for a German children’s television show, Verena finally feels like all that hard work paid off. “Despite English not being my first […]

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Success: Student Places 3rd in Flash Fiction Contest

Elizabeth Maggio has won 3rd place in the WOW! Women on Writing Fall 2012 Flash Fiction Contest for her story “Extant, Not Extinct.” You can read her story online here. “I owe a great debt to the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, which has given me a solid foundation to my second-life career in fiction. I’m […]

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Success: Student Publishes The Adobo Road Cookbook

Marvin Gapultos just published his first cookbook, The Adobo Road Cookbook: A Filipino Food Journey (Tuttle Publishing, April 2013), which he worked on in Norman Kolpas’ The Taste of Success: A Cookbook Writing Workshop. “The insight I gained from Norman Kolpas was invaluable in getting my cookbook published. Not only did Norman help me crystallize […]

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Where the Peacocks Sing

Success: Instructor’s Memoir Named Book of the Month

Writers’ Program instructor Alison Singh Gee‘s memoir, Where the Peacock Sings (St. Martins, Feb 2013), was just named a National Geographic Traveler’s Book of the Month! Don George of Nat Geo Traveler calls the memoir, about Alison’s journey from Hong Kong to rural India, “a revealing triumph.” Alison began her Writers’ Program life 10 years […]

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Success: Brandy French Publishes Again!

Student Brandy French has three new publications in fiction journals: “For Better or Worse” in The Avalon Literary Review, “Bathing Beauty” in The Nassau Review, and “Death Car Girl” in Thrice Fiction. Currently, Brandy is taking her fourth advanced workshop in the Writers’ Program: “I find with each new workshop that my awareness of what […]

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Success: Online Student Lands Agent!

Writers’ Program student and novelist Kerry Fisher recently landed an agent–Teresa Chris of the Teresa Chris Literary Agency–who is working with Kerry to get one of her novels (which she started in Jessica Barksdale Inclan‘s online class) published. “I took my first course in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program in 2007. I took eight online […]

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Success: Student Publishes Poetry in Amarillo Bay

Poet Elya Braden recently published two pieces in Amarillo Bay, an online literary magazine. “One of these poems, Play Me, I wrote while taking Michelle Bitting’s class in the fall of 2010. Play Me was inspired by our assignment of listening to Jazz music and reading the Beat poets.  I wrote the other poem, What […]

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Success: Stephen Cooper Pens Online Exhibit

Longtime Writers’ Program instructor and John Fante biographer Stephen Cooper has penned the text for the online exhibit John Fante: A Life in the Works.  Developed for Special Collections at the UCLA Library, the exhibit provides a written and visual account of Fante’s life, from his childhood in Colorado through his years as a Southern […]

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Lisa Sanchez

Success: Student a Finalist in Narrative Magazine Contest

Creative Writing student Lisa Sanchez was selected as a finalist for Narrative Magazine‘s Fall 2012 Story Contest for her short story “The Medic’s Girlfriend.” Narrative, “dedicated to advancing literary arts in the digital age by supporting the finest writing talent and encouraging readership across generations, in schools, and around the globe,” is now accepting applications […]

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Success: Instructor Publishes The Marriage Act

Novelist and personal essayist Liza Monroy just sold her memoir to Skyhorse Publishing.  The Marriage Act is about Liza’s green-card marriage to her Middle Eastern gay best friend while her mother worked for the State Department preventing immigration fraud.  The book will be out in fall 2013 and we can’t wait to read it! Don’t […]

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Michelle Meyering

Success: Faces to Watch in 2013: Two of Our Own!

Instructor Michelle Meyering and former student Jim Gavin both appear on the LA Times “Faces to Watch in 2013″ list!  The Times calls Meyering “a lynch pin of PEN Center USA and a vibrant, creative force on Los Angeles’ literary landscape” and says that Gavin’s writing “aspires to do what ambitious fiction has always done: […]

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Suzanne Lummis

Success: A Very Good Year for Suzanne Lummis

Longtime poetry instructor Suzanne Lummis had numerous successes in 2012.   In January, she was one of seven presenters invited to CSU Fresno to speak at a celebration honoring Philip Levine’s appointment as the 18th U.S. Poet Laureate.  In August, she reviewed John Banville’s The Untouchable for Bookmark This!, the Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ recommended […]

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Success: Poetry Student Publishes Poetry Collection

Shivani Mehta, who studied with instructor Rick Bursky for several years, just published her first poetry collection.  Her book, Useful Information for the Soon-to-be Beheaded, is forthcoming from Press53 in early spring 2013. “In 2009 I stumbled into a poetry workshop with Rick Bursky. It felt as though something clicked in my head. I knew […]

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Success: Amy Friedman to Appear on Katie

Our own Amy Friedman will be interviewed by Katie Couric on the January 22nd episode of Katie.  Amy will be discussing her memoir, Desperado’s Wife.  Says Amy, “Desperado’s Wife is the story of my seven-year marriage to the man I met when I was working as a newspaper columnist and walked into a federal penitentiary […]

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Success: Student Publishes in Anthology and Lit Journal!

Brandy French’s story “Mauschwitz” will be included in the Bete Noir anthology Seven Deadly Sins.  A second story, “Falling Off the Turnip Truck,” will be published in Calliope Literary Journal in 2013. “All my short story courses at UCLA Extension have so far been with Lou Mathews, who is an extraordinarily dedicated and generous teacher. […]

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Success: “Words of Wisdom” Equal Publishing Success

Student Magdalena Edwards recently published her essay, “Playing Telephone with Emily Dickinson and Paul Legault” in online literary magazine The Millions.  In the piece, Magdalena explores Paul Legault’s translations of Emily Dickinson’s poems into contemporary English. “My experience taking Writers’ Program courses with Barbara Abercrombie has been phenomenal. I keep her words of wisdom close, […]

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Success: Master Class Student Publishes

Catherine Emerson Cottles, a student in Lisa Cron’s 2011-2012 Master Class in Novel Writing, just published her short story “Choupique” in the latest edition of Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies. “Lisa is a powerful and supportive instructor. In her class I gained a keen understanding of narrative structure and the principles of engaging […]

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Success: Certificate Student Publishes

Mariya Taher has published her first story, “American Daughters,” which she wrote in The Art of the Short Story:  Advanced Workshop (Online) with David Borofka.  She credits the Writers’ Program with helping her get published.   “I began taking courses through the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program in 2008 and have never stopped. In summer 2012, I […]

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Success: Student Places in Creative World Awards

Writers’ Program student Sonja Adema’s 30 Rock spec “” placed as a finalist in the 2012 Creative World Awards Screenwriting Contest. Sonja wrote “” in screenwriting instructor Lisa Rosenthal’s course Writing the Half-Hour Comedy. Sonja says, “Lisa’s knowledge and experience combined with a supportive writers’ room environment, has been of great value to the script. […]

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Success: Student Publishes in The Toronto Star

Former creative writing student Darryl Webster published his first article in a major publication, The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper, thanks to his time at the Writers’ Program as a student of Norman Kolpas in Writing Nonfiction for Publication. Darryl shares: “None of this, from the pitch to the finished piece would have been possible […]

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Success: Instructor Publishes Latest Picture Book

Onsite youth market instructor Michelle Markel’s latest publication is The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau, a picture book account of the famous self-taught artist.  It received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, which called the writing “jaunty, confiding and affectionate” and praised the artwork of illustrator Amanda Hall. The book was also selected by the […]

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Success: Instructor’s Collection Nominated for Award

Onsite creative writing instructor Cecilia Manguerra Brainard’s third collection of short stories, Vigan and Other Stories, is a Finalist of the 31st National Book Awards of the Philippines.  Ceclia’s stories bridge time and place and center on a school girl, an older woman, a love-struck boy, a stolen child, and an underground revolutionary. She shares […]

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Success: Instructor Publishes New Novel

Writers’ Program instructor Les Plesko recently had a new novel published. Who I Was  “is the intimate story of a college girl’s LA romance, a beachside aquarium, her girlhood in a treehouse, and the old secret Russia of her mind,” Les describes. Les has taught novel writing courses onsite for the Wp’ since the 90’s.  […]

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Success: Instructor’s Play Opens

Writers’ Program instructor Sonia Levitin has a new play opening this month in LA, Surviving Mama. Sonia describes, “Mama, who has overcome many crises in her life, now battles her daughters who want to put her into a ‘home.’ Courageous, street smart and fiercely independent, Mama impacts everyone who knows her. While Mama’s fate is […]

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Success: Successful Instructor = Successful Students!

Jerrilyn Farmer, a seasoned mystery writer who’s teaching a course in story and plot this quarter, has an excellent track record for helping her students get published.  Check out this recent run of successes by her students: Rochelle Staab’s mystery, Bruja Brouhaha, was recently released, and Hex on the Ex is forthcoming in 2013. Rochelle […]

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Success: Instructor’s Documentary Airs on PBS

Where Birds Never Sang, a documentary written by Writers’ Program instructor Victoria Zackheim, is airing on PBS this month. Says Victoria, “North of Berlin in a pastoral setting sits Ravensbrück, the only concentration camp built by the Third Reich specifically for women, and one that was both a labor camp…and a brothel. Not far away, […]

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Success: Student Publishes with Random House

Writers’ Program student Rob Reid’s novel, Year Zero,  was recently published by Random House. Year Zero, as Rob describes, is the story of a “vast alien society that’s so into American pop music that it accidentally commits the biggest copyright infringement since the Big Bang, thereby bankrupting the entire universe.” Rob says, “Year Zero was […]

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Success: Student’s Second Mystery Novel Published

Writers’ Program student Bob Baty’s second novel, The Girl in the MGA,  was published recently by R.J. Buckley. “MGA” is the second in Baty’s Vintage Connor series, a classic car-themed mystery thriller series. In “MGA,” Baty describes, returning main character Ray Connor “gets more than he bargained for. A mobster hires him to find a […]

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Success: Student Publishes (More) Short Fiction

Former onsite creative writing student Guy Prevost keeps the publications coming!  “Vermont Rocks,” a story of love, friendship, and lost illusions set in Hollywood in the mid-80’s recently appeared in The North Atlantic Review.  “Intervention,” a speculative science fiction piece about a time-traveling alien on a mission to assassinate Hitler and Stalin in 1913 Vienna, […]

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Success: Student’s Short Story is Performed

Writers’ Program student Kelly Samuels’ short story, “Rubberbirds,” was performed August 12 by the New Short Fictions Series in North Hollywood and published by Barnes & Noble for e-readers.  “Rubberbirds,” Kelly describes, “is about a young woman who kills her boyfriend in self-defense and hits the road with his body in the trunk of his […]

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Success: Instructor Publishes New Screenwriting Book

Writers’ Program instructor Tom Lazarus has a new book out entitled The Last Word – Definitive Answers to All Your Screenwriting Questions. Hailed as “A stellar read…recommended for every screenwriter’s bookshelf” by Emmy-winning producer and Wp’ instructor Bonnie MacBird, The Last Word is a comprehensible resource of over a hundred chapters. It aims to raise […]

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Success: Student Publishes First Novel with Random House

Creative writing student Emily Colin’s first book is soon to be released on August 21st!  The Memory Thief (Ballantine Books/Random House) is about Madeleine Kimble, who gets the devastating news that her mountaineer husband, Aidan, has died in an avalanche, leaving her to care for their son—a small boy with a very big secret.  The […]

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Success: PEN EV Fellow Signs with Agent

Creative writing student and former Pen Emerging Voice Fellow Jennifer Givhan’s novel, In the Time of Jubilee, is now agented!  She credits this next step in her work largely to her recent mentorship with online novel writing instructor, Lynn Hightower.  She says, “Lynn helped me light a fire under my story’s structure.  Before I began […]

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Success: Student Publishes Three Times

Writers’ Program student Melissa Yancy has had a very successful 2012, with three stories recently published. “Firstborn,” about a trip to Paris, got its start in fall 2011 in David Borofka’s Art of the Short Story: Advanced Workshop (Online). It appears in the summer 2012 issue (#86) of Prairie Schooner. “Boolean Napoleons,” the story of […]

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Success: Instructor’s New Book is Amazon Bestseller

Writers’ Program instructor Lisa Cron’s recently published book, Wired for Story, topped’s Movers and Shakers list, and is currently  breaking the top 100 bestseller list! Wired for Story digs into recent breakthroughs in neuroscience and relates them to storytelling: what the brain craves from every tale it encounters, what fuels the success of any […]

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Success: Student accepted into PGA Workshop

Writers’ Program student Lisa Kors was accepted into The Producer’s Guild of America’s Diversity Workshop on the strength of her script, Little Miss Fix-it. Little Miss Fix-It is described as a “multi-cam half-hour family comedy about the struggles of a handywoman on Martha’s Vineyard who must work alongside the people who annoy her the most […]

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Success: Former Wp’ Staff Member Publishes

Congratulations to Writers’ Program staff alumna, Kate Reeves (formerly Kate Sipples), for her recent acceptance into The Rattling Wall, Issue 3! The issue will be released this fall and includes Kate’s short story, “Obligation,” about an ex-South African policeman who moves his family to San Diego for a new life only to find his past […]

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Success: Beth Ann Bauman Publishes Latest Novel

Online fiction writing instructor Beth Ann Bauman’s latest YA novel, Jersey Angel, was recently released.  The New York Times Book Review said this about the book:  “An intimate coming-of-age story…. creates a delicate and very real story about the way a teenage girl grows up… It’s refreshing to read about an adolescent girl who follows […]

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Success: From Class to Publication

Student Lynne Marshall’s novel, Courting his Favorite Nurse, was recently published by a Harlequin Special Edition and received a 4-star review from Romantic Times Magazine.  Lynne originally worked on her novel’s main character in Lisa Lieberman Doctor’s course, Deepening Characters: A Writing Workshop. She shares, “I wanted to thank Lisa for helping me discover and […]

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Success: Student Publishes (and Signs up for Certificate!)

Student Mark Bizzell’s article, “When the Laughter Stopped: Remembering Television’s Halcyon Days,” was recently published in Highbrow Magazine.  He workshopped the piece in the course Writing Short-Form Nonfiction for Publication with instructor Norman Kolpas. Mark shares, “Norman’s method of teaching has been invaluable—critiquing students’ work by emphasizing the strong points and discussing how to improve […]

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Success: Student Publishes Food Essay

Online student Darlene West’s essay, “Cherry Season,” was published online in Leite’s Culinaria and was also a recent finalist for an International Association of Culinary Professionals food writing award.  The piece, which takes place partly in a cherry tree, is about baking a clafouti.  Darlene initially worked on the essay as an assignment in Gordon […]

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Abercrombie's A Year of Writing Dangerously

Success: Barbara Abercrombie Publishes New Writing Book

Congratulations to creative writing instructor Barbara Abercrombie whose new book, A Year of Writing Dangerously, 365 Days of Inspiration & Encouragement (New World Library), will be released this month.  The book offers loads of motivation for both aspiring and published writers alike. In putting together this latest work Barbara says, “So much of this book […]

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Success: Instructor Sells Pilot

Screenwriting instructor Alan Kirschenbaum’spilot, “Friend Me” was picked up by CBS!  The series focuses on twenty-something best friends who move from Bloomington, Indiana to Los Angeles to begin their exciting new lives working at Groupon.  The leads will be Super Bad co-star Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Nicholas Braun. Alan shares this about his latest work: “The […]

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Success: Student Accepted by Snowy Egret

Wp’ student Jess Alfaro recently had four poems accepted by Snowy Egret, the oldest independent U.S. journal of nature writing. Two poems, “Rhythms of the Flooded Forest” and “The Search for Pristine Forest,” are about Jess’ recent field expedition to the Brazilian Amazon. Her other two poems, “Terms of Faith” and “Miracles Accumulate By Mistake,” […]

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Success: Student Publishes in The Rattling Wall

Wp’ student Natashia Deon’s piece “A Touch Like Water” was published in Issue 2 of The Rattling Wall in winter 2012. Published side-by-side with Pulitzer Prize winning writer, Yousef Komunyakaa, and several other authors, “A Touch Like Water” was originally an excerpt from Natashia’s historical novel in progress which she then took out of its […]

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Success: Student Publishes Five Times

Wp’ student Tanya Jacob has had not one, not two, but five stories accepted by publishers! “That Longcase Clock at the End of the Hall,” a surreal coming of age story, will be published in The Raleigh Review. “Yarn Hair,” a horror/comedy about a woman with a strange gift, will appear on the website for […]

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Success: Student Interviews Instructor for Magazine

Online creative writing student Robin Garland’s experience in the Writers’ Program proved to be very inspirational after she had the opportunity to study with and get to know instructor and novelist Caroline Leavitt.  Robin ended up interviewing Caroline for a feature article in the March issue of The Writer Magazine, a publication featuring advice and […]

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Success: Creative Writing Skills Leads to Business Award

Creative Writing student Marcie Geffner won, as part of a team, the Best in Business Award from the Society of American Business Writers and Editors.  The award recognizes excellence in business and financial journalism.  Marcie shares this about her UCLA Extension Writers’ Program experience: “The award was for business journalism, not fiction, but I would […]

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Notes to the Beloved by Michelle Bitting

Success: Poetry Instructor’s Latest Collection

Instructor Michelle Bitting’s latest book of poetry, Notes to the Beloved, was recently released.  Matthew Dickman reviewed the book in Tin House and described it as, “Full of the physical world, illuminated by a dynamic narrative sensibility, a vision of down-to-earth love, an active yearning to understand the world, and plenty of kick ass images, […]

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Success: Student Published by Macmillan

Writers’ Program student Nancy Pine’s book Educating Young Giants: What Kids Learn (And Don’t Learn) in China and America is being published by Macmillan. Drawing from her years of experience in schools in China and the United States and conversations with students, teachers, and parents, Educating Young Giants shows how the two countries need to […]

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Success: Student Publishes Book in Spanish

Wp’ student and “Success Story” veteran Mariana Dietl recently published a short story collection. Written in Spanish, Era, y otros cuentos (Ediciones del Dragón, Buenos Aires, 2011), is composed of 13 short stories that focus on the themes of desire, doubt, ambiguity, illusion, and disillusion. Mariana says, “Every Writers’ Program class gave me something: in some I […]

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Success: Short Story Student Publishes Multiple Stories

Former creative writing student Guy Prevost has recently published his short stories, including “The Canadian Sergeant”  in The North Atlantic Review and “How’s David?” in Lively Arts. Guy took short fiction workshops with instructor Paul Mandelbaum and says, “Paul was invaluable to my development as a writer. He opened my eyes to a whole new […]

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Success: Student Signed to CAA

Wp’ screenwriting student Melissa Osborne was recently signed to Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Her script, Losing It, is currently being packaged at CAA. Losing It is about a teen rock star that goes back to finish high school. Melissa wrote and revised the original draft for the script in a course with Wp’ instructor Dan […]

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Success: Instructor Publishes in Green Mountains Review

Online poetry instructor Anna Maria Hong recently published several poems including “Winter Wide” and “Doubles – Plainest Hymn” in the latest issue of Green Mountains Review. When Anna Maria was asked what advice she has for poetry students who are also trying to get their work noticed, she shared this: “Send to journals that you […]

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Madonna & ME

Success: Nonfiction Student Publishes in Madonna Anthology

 Marisela Huerta’s story, “Immaterial Girl,” will be published in the book Madonna & ME, an anthology of stories and personal essays by women writers who were influenced by the iconic singer, which will be released this month.  Publishers Weekly says of the compilation:  “These memoirs reveal that Madonna’s mix of spirituality and raw sensuality had […]

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Anna Lefler

Success: Student Publishes Humorous Dictionary

Writers’ Program student Anna Lefler’s nonfiction book The CHICKtionary:  From A-Line to Z-Snap, the Words Every Woman Should Know was recently published by Adams Media. A humorous dictionary of more than 450 words and phrases women use, both familiar (such as “uterus”) and not so familiar (such as “residual girlfriend”), it defines each from the […]

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David Elliott and Lynn Casella

Success: Two Students’ Pages Requested by Agents

Recent graduates of the Wp’ certificate program, David Elliott and Lynn Casella, attended a ThrillerFest AgentFest in New York City last year, and pitched their completed fiction manuscripts to some of the more than 65 agents present. Both received several requests for pages, and Lynn is currently sending out anywhere from 10 to 100 pages […]

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Margaret Chen

Success: Student Makes Top 25 in Glimmer Train

Wp’ certificate student Margaret Chen’s story “The Zhangs and The Zumans” placed in the Top 25 of the September 2011 Glimmer Train Fiction Open. “Zumans” was also nominated for the 2011 James Kirkwood Literary Prize. “I workshopped this story in two Advanced Short Story classes last year — Lisa Cron’s Spring class and David Borofka’s Fall […]

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Shahan's Ice Island

Success: Sherry Shahan’s Latest MG Novel

Online creative writing instructor Sherry Shahan’s latest middle grade novel is Ice Island, which was recently published by Random House.  The book was inspired when Sherry visited a remote island in Alaska after the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.  Sherry was startled by the sight of polar bear hides drying on racks, and amused by […]

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Success: Kirkwood Finalist Publishes in Zyzzyva

2011 Kirkwood Award finalist Josh DuBose’s short story, “The Bull,” was recently published in Zyzzyva’s Winter 2011 issue.  “The Bull” is the story of a boozy honeymoon in Mexico that results in a timely separation and an unlikely spiritual awakening; it’s a story in the short story collection that Josh is currently working on. He […]

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H. Lee Kagan

Success: Student Published in NY Times Magazine

Wp’ student H. Lee Kagan’s personal essay, “E.R.:Port-au-Prince,” was published in New York Times Magazine this month. “E.R.: Port-au-Prince” is about Lee’s experience caring for a rape victim while he was a volunteer physician in Haiti last year. Dissatisfied with the way the rape patient was handled by the local Haitian nurse, and disappointed by […]

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Melinda Palacio's novel Ocotillo Dreams

Success: Master Class Alum Debuts Novel

Former Master Class student Melinda Palacio, who took Wp’ courses as a PEN EV Fellow, recently published her novel Ocotillo Dreams (Arizona State University Bilingual Press).  Publishers Weekly says about the book, “Accomplished poet Palacio seamlessly transitions to fiction in her debut novel about identity, stereotypes, and prejudice in a Phoenix suburb.” Melinda shares this […]

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Success: Instructor Daniel M. Jaffe’s Latest Book

Seasoned creative writing instructor Daniel M. Jaffe’s book, Jewish Gentle and Other Stories of Gay-Jewish Living, is hot off the presses!  The collection features 24 stories that explore various aspects of gay-Jewish life including relationships, parenting, faith, dealing with old age, and the adult joys and heartbreaks of dating. The book’s introduction by Andrew Ramer […]

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Jacqui Lipton

Success: Student Sees Three Times the Success

Jacqui Lipton’s piece The End, a flash fiction story about a family coping with the imminent death of a terminally ill mother, won the October 2011 Flash Fiction award. First Kiss, Jacqui’s flash fiction story about a young mother’s relationship with her newborn daughter, is soon to be published in The Daily Flash: 366 […]

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Conor Teevan

Success: Student Publishes in Potomac Review

Creative Writing student Conor Teevan’s short story, “They Sit Like This,” was recently accepted for publication by Potomac Review.  It’s about a family who goes out to eat the night before Mom goes into the hospital for an experimental bone marrow transplant. Conor has taken a variety of fiction courses and says, “I’ve studied with […]

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Carol Tanzman

Success: Student Signs Two-Book Deal

Writers’ Program student Carol Tanzman has signed a two book deal with Harlequin Teen!  Dancergirl, a young adult thriller, was published in November this year, and the second book, Circle of Silence, will be released in August 2012. Carol worked on Dancergirl in Claire Carmichael’s advanced novel class. Dancergirl tells the story of Ali, a […]

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Wp' Student Erin Granat

Success: Wp’ Student Gets Representation

Writers’ Program student Erin Granat has reason to celebrate! Based on a revision of her manuscript originally written in the Writers’ Program course “Write a Novel in a Month as Part of ‘National Novel Writing Month’” with Ian Wilson, she now has an agent and is taking her story to the market! Erin’s work, Delusions […]

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Wp' student April Dammann at book launch

Success: Student Publishes Book on Earl Stendahl

Writers’ Program student April Dammann’s first book was published this year by Angel City Press. Exhibitionist: Earl Stendahl, Art Dealer as Impresario, is the story of April’s husband’s grandfather, who introduced modern art to the West Coast and brought Pre-Columbian art to a worldwide audience. One hundred years later, the Stendahl Gallery still operates in […]

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Wp' instructor Gordon Grice's Deadly Animals

Success: Gordon Grice’s Book Released

Online instructor Gordon Grice’s book, The Book of Deadly Animals (Viking/Penguin), was recently released in the UK and will be released in the US on January 31st.  In Gordon’s signature dark comic style, the book gives readers a fascinating look into the world of animals, chock full of facts and photos about the Earth’s great […]

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Wp' student David Rocklin

Success: Master Class Student Publishes Novel

David Rocklin’s debut novel, The Luminist, was recently released.  The book is set in colonial India and follows a Victorian woman and her young Tamil Indian servant, and features a forward by author Jacqueline Mitchard.  Publisher’s Weekly states, “Rocklin’s debut novel… is beautifully written, especially the scenes where Eligius works with Catherine in her experiments… […]

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WP student Magdalena Edwards

Success: Student Published Twice in one Year

 Writers’ Program student Magdalena Edwards has a couple exciting developments in her writing career. Her essay “Anniversaries, Anesthesia, and Elizabeth Bishop” was published by the online magazine The Millions in August this year; and her essay “Unmentionables: On Norman Rush’s Domestic Disturbances” was published in the Los Angeles Review of Books in October. “Anniversaries” is […]

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Student Timothy Tau

Success: Student Wins Hyphen Magazine Contest

Student Timothy Tau won the 2011 Hyphen Asian American Short Story Contest for “The Understudy” which will be published in Hyphen Magazine’s November issue.  “The courses I took included Creative Writing: Short Story with Stephen Cooper — an initial draft of ‘The Understudy’ was born in that class.  I also took a science fiction writing course […]

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Student Aline Ohanesian

Student a Glimmer Train Finalist

The first chapter of Aline Ohanesian’s novel, An Axe in the Forest, was recently a finalist for the Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers.  Aline has taken fiction writing courses in our program, as well as our literary agent workshop. Aline shares: “I worked on this and other chapters in Novel Writing III […]

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Christine Dorian Richard

Sucess: Videogame Success for WP Student

Writers’ Program student Christine Dorian Richard has been hired by social games publisher Kabam as a game writing consultant for a not-yet-announced online game project. Christine had previous experience as a scriptwriter and blogger, but finished a Creative Writing Certificate to focus on character development, dialogue, dramatic structure and game writing. Christine says: “The program […]

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Kerry Fisher

Success: Student Wins at York Festival

Writers’ Program student Kerry Fisher’s current work in progress, The Divorce Domino, won first prize for the beginning of a novel at the Writers’ Workshop York Festival of Writing this year. Kerry started writing “Domino” while taking Novel Writing II and III with online instructor Jessica Barksdale Inclan. It’s the story of how one woman’s […]

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Sonja Adema

Success: Certificate Student Places in Scriptapalooza

Screenwriting student Sonja Adema’s 30 Rock spec, “,” placed as a Semifinalist in the 2011 Scriptapalooza TV Writing Competition! The script was developed in Lisa Rosenthal’s online course, Writing the Half-Hour Comedy. “Lisa created a supportive writer’s room environment and encouraged us to be the best we could be. I’m thrilled with the result,” Sonja […]

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Terry Stevenson

Success: Student Publishes Noir Poetry

Poetry student Terry Stevenson’s “Noir Fragments” was recently published by NoirCon 2010.  The poem was originally a “suite” of four poems that he first wrote in Suzanne Lummis’s course, Poetry Goes to the Movies: The Poem Noir.  The poems attempt to capture the atmosphere of film noir, and two of them reference the films Double […]

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Beverly Smith Dawson

Student’s Play Featured in AZ Centennial Project

Writers’ Program student Beverly Smith-Dawson was named one of six finalists of the AZ Centennial Plays, a part of the Arizona Centennial Project’s New Works Series.  As a finalist, Beverly received $100 and a full production of her one-act play, “One Summer,” during the 2011-12 MainStage Season. In honor of the 100th anniversary of Arizona’s […]

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Sarah Morgan

Success: Costa Rica-based Student Publishes

Writers’ Program student Sarah Morgan’s nonfiction essay “Kingfisher” was published in Bluestem magazine’s online quarterly. Sarah, who publishes under the name SC Morgan, is a freelance writer who lives and works in Costa Rica. Her essays have appeared in Notre Dame Magazine and Real Travel Adventures, among others.  She blogs at “Kingfisher,” set in […]

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Laurel Ann Bogen

Success: Poetry Instructor in New Book

Prolific poet and seasoned instructor, Laurel Ann Bogen, has a poem called “Untitled L.A. Poem” that will be published in the forthcoming book, Los Angeles Speaks for Itself: Rise of a Poetry Scene 1950-1990 (Otis Books/Seismicity Editions, 2012).  The book also features a documentary DVD called Innerscapes, which includes original interviews with ten Los Angeles […]

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Jacqueline C. Kelley

Success: Online Student Publishes in Online Journal

Creative Writing student Jacqueline C. Kelley shared some great news—her story, “Pushing on the Boardwalk,” was recently published in the online literary magazine,  She says, “I developed this story in Writing the Fine Line of Trauma (Online) which was taught by the very supportive and amazing Naomi Benaron.” She also added, “I enjoy taking […]

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Success: Book News!

Online fiction writing instructor Valerie Fioravanti has some exciting news to announce—her collection of short stories, Garbage Night at the Opera, won the G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction!  The prize is publication in fall 2012 by BkMk Press. The contest’s final judge was best-selling author Jacquelyn Mitchard, who said about Valerie’s work: “These […]

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Katherine Easer

Success: Former Student Publishes Novel with Bloomsbury

Vicious Little Darlings, a YA novel by Katherine Easer, was recently released by Bloomsbury.  It revolves around Sarah Weaver, a jaded seventeen-year-old from a broken home, who leaves California to attend an all-women’s college in Massachusetts.  Sarah befriends a mysterious pair of legacy students and learns a shocking secret that could lead to murder. Katherine […]

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A camera-shy Josh Denslow

Success: Former Kirkwood Nominee Publishes

Student Josh Denslow’s short story, “Proximity,” which was a semi-finalist for the 2009 Writers’ Program Kirkwood Literary Prize, will be published in A cappella Zoo.  The story follows Neil Brigman, an unambitious man who doesn’t have a job, lives over the garage at his mom’s house, and hates his mom’s new boyfriend.  His special strength?  […]

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Love at Absolute Zero

Success: Christopher Meeks Publishes New Novel

Creative Writing instructor Christopher Meeks’ novel was recently published.  Love At Absolute Zero is the story of Gunnar Gunderson, a 32-year-old physicist at the University of Wisconsin who is given tenure. When thoughts of finding a wife pervade, Gunnar’s research falters.  He gives himself three days to meet his soul mate using a scientific method—to […]

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Cecile Callan

Success: Student Wins Fish Publishing Honorable Mention

Writers’ Program student Cecile Callan won an Honorable Mention in the Fish Publishing Poetry Competition for her poem, “Mama Kettle.” The poem will be included in the 2011 Fish Anthology, and Cecile will travel to Ireland this summer for the book launch in Bantry.  Cecile wrote “Mama Kettle” in WP instructor Laurel Ann Bogen’s Intermediate […]

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Anna Alves

Success: Great News All Around for CW Student!

Longtime student, Anna Alves, has two great pieces of news to share:  acceptance into an MFA program and a recent publication!  Anna, a former PEN Rosenthal Emerging Voices Fellow, will be studying creative writing at Rutgers University, and her story, “The Loves of Marcado Mercado,” will be published in the fall issue of Kartika Review. […]

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Rochelle Staab

Success: WP Student Publishes Mystery Novel

Writers’ Program student Rochelle Staub debuts a new mystery novel in November 2011 on Berkeley Prime Crime. Featuring tarot cards, a cursed spell book, and a best friend falsely accused, Rochelle’s mystery, Who Do, Voodoo? follows Los Angeles psychologist Liz Cooper in an unlikely partnership with a religious philosophy professor in order to track down […]

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Victoria Zackheim

Success: Instructor Publishes Women’s Nonfiction Collection

Writers’ Program instructor Victoria Zackheim recently released a new publication, He Said What?! Women Write About Moments When Everything Changed. Edited by Victoria, the collection includes contributions by Writers’ Program authors Barbara Abercrombie, Caroline Leavitt and Clea Simon. He Said What?! features twenty-six stories from an all-female writing cast. Each story focuses on a few […]

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Amy Schulz

Success: Student Publishes Poetry Online

Amy Schulz recently had her poetry published in the online literary magazine Global Grafitti.  The work she submitted was first drafted in Suzanne Lummis’s popular class, Poetry Goes to the Movies: The Poem Noir. In total, Amy has taken eleven courses with Suzanne from Creative Writing: Poetry, to Advanced Poetry Workshop and says this of […]

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Jessica Goodheart

Success: Poetry Student Published

Student Jessica Goodheart’s book of poetry, Earthquake Season, was recently published by Word Press, which describes the book as tracing the faultlines of everyday experience, searching for the seam that can shake us out of our complacent world into a new, enlarged awareness. Jessica shares this about her former poetry instructor Suzanne Lummis: “The joy […]

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Success: Screenwriting Student Awarded Fellowship

Lynn Beck was awarded a fellowship from the Writers Boot Camp to further study her craft–and with a possible development deal upon completion.  She applied with a script called Life in 2D, which she developed in Bill Grundfest’s advanced workshop, Writing the Half-Hour Spec Pilot.  The script revolves around a forty year-old cartoonist who is […]

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Success: Longtime Student Publishes Nonfiction Book

Joanna Poppink’s book, Healing Your Hungry Heart, a Guide to Eating Disorder Recovery, will be published in August by Conari Press.  The book is her personal story of living with bulimia and her entry into recovery.  Joanna is a longtime student who has taken a wide variety of classes in fiction and nonfiction since the […]

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Science of BSG

Success: WP Student Publishes book on Battlestar Galactica

Writers’ Program student Kevin Grazier’s book The Science of Battlestar Galactica was recently published by Wiley publications. Kevin co-authored the book along with Patrick Di Justo. “Science” tackles the real science behind the highly popular science-fiction television series Battlestar Galactica. The editorial review on says, “While the re-imagined BSG may not be packed with […]

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Success: Buy a Book; Feed an Animal

Writers’ Program instructor Barbara Abercrombie’s new book, Cherished: 21 Writers on Animals They Have Loved & Lost, was published by New World Library on April 11th.  Royalties from the book will be donated to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, a rescue sanctuary in Utah. “Cherished” is a collection of essays dedicated to the memories of animals […]

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Beth Ruscio (top) and Ro Gunetilleke (bottom)

Success: Students Publish Poetry

Two longtime Writers’ Program poetry and fiction students, Ro Gunetilleke and Beth Ruscio, recently published their work in Malpais Review. Ro’s poem is called “Tonto was a Tamil,” and is his attempt to reach back to the days of innocence when Ro thought he had all the answers. He shares, “I was very fortunate to […]

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Blood Brothers by Lisa DeLong

Success: Memoir Success for Student Lisa DeLong

Student Lisa DeLong recently published her book, Blood Brothers: A Memoir of Faith and Loss while Raising Two Sons with Cancer (Tate Publishing).  The book recounts Lisa’s story of raising two sons with leukemia, as she struggled with her faith, all while searching for ways to keep her marriage, family, and own sanity together. Lisa […]

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actor Jeremy Piven

Success: Novel Adaptation Debuts at Tribecca Film Festival

Fiction writing instructor Leslie Schwartz has exciting news—her novel, Angels Crest, was made into a movie starting Jeremy Piven, Kate Walsh, Elizabeth McGovern, and Mira Sorvino, and it recently debuted at the Tribecca Film Festival.  The movie centers on the working-class Rocky Mountain town of Angels Crest, where young father Ethan is doing his best […]

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Janet Osborn

Success: Kirkwood-winning Student Wins Inkwell Prize

Former Writers’ Program student and 2008 James Kirkwood Literary Prize winner Janet Osborn is enjoying continuing success with her Kirkwood-winning entry, “Easter, 1954,” and new success with her short story “Jesus Permit.” “Jesus Permit” was awarded first place in Inkwell magazine’s Thirteenth Annual Fiction Contest, and will be printed in the upcoming spring edition.  It […]

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Madeline Sharples

Success: Student Memoir Launches on Mother’s Day

Creative writing student Madeline Sharples’ memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide, will be released by Lucky Press LLC, this Mother’s Day.  The memoir, interspersed with poems, is about dealing with loss and finding peace and balance during her son Paul’s 7-year […]

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Don Webb

Success: Online Instructor Don Webb publishes 15th Book

The stranger the crime, the stranger the punishment in online creative writing instructor Don Webb’s 15th published book, Do the Weird Crime, Serve the Weird Time: Tales of the Bizarre, which blends crime writing, horror fiction and surrealism.  The collection includes stories about a man who terrifies women for fun (and the entire population of […]

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Ron Darian

Success: The Publications Keep Coming for Longtime Student

Student Ron Darian, who earned his Certificate in Creative Writing, had a string of recent publications including work in Fiction International, Dos Passos Review, Argestes, The MacGuffin, Paddlefish, and Lullwater Review.  His forthcoming stories include “On the List of Historic Places” in Inkwell and”Village Zaghoor” in Verdad. Ron has taken a variety of fiction, short […]

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Cece Peri

Success: Former Poetry Student Flies!

Former Writers’ Program student Cece Peri recently had her poem, “The Automat,” published in Noircon by Busted Flush Press.  The poem was developed in Suzanne Lummis’ class Poetry Goes to the Movies: The Poem Noir. Last year, Cece was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her poem, “The White Chicken Gives a First-Hand Account,” which […]

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Brendan Constantine

Success: Poetry Student Publishes with Red Hen Press

Brendan Constantine’s collection, Letters to Guns, was recently published by Red Hen Press.  The book examines the para-physical natures of love and history, at times re-imagining both. As the poems progress, eight letters arrive written by non-human addressees (a nightgown, a grove of trees, a wooden spoon, others) at random points over the last 2,200 […]

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Debra Ann Pawlak

Success: Speaking of the Oscars…

Former online student Debra Ann Pawlak just published a new book, Bringing Up Oscar: The Story of the Men and Women Who Founded the Academy. The book, published in January by Pegasus, details the lives of the 36 founders of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Debra, a Michigan native, earned her Certificate […]

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Success: Juicy Deal for Former Screenwriting Student!

Austen Earl and his writing partner won $25,000, a pilot deal at Fox, and representation at CAA, with a script developed in a Writers’ Program course and subsequently entered into the Fox pilot contest at the NY Television Festival.  The script, Red Delicious, is about an overweight Philadelphia kid who decides it’s time to escape […]

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Ted Chiles

Success: Student Nominated for Pushcart for Flash Fiction

Online student Ted Chiles was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by the staff of Vestal Review for his flash fiction piece “A Recursive Love Affair.” Published in the winter 2010 issue, the piece is a modern take on Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Tis’ better to have loved and lost/ Than never to have loved at all.” […]

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Strange Cargo

Success: Emerging Voices Anthology is a Group Effort

The index for PEN Center USA’s Strange Cargo: An Emerging Voices Anthology 1997-2010 reads like a Writers’ Program yearbook.  Creative writing instructor and former student Eduardo Santiago is included in the anthology along with twenty two other Writers’ Program students, and the foreword to the book, which includes stories, poems, and nonfiction pieces, was written […]

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Mat Nguyen

Success: Mat Nguyen wins “Battle of the Pitches”

A top 10 semi-finalist from our 2010 UCLA Extension Screenplay Competition for Allegiance, Mat Nguyen recently took the script to the “Battle of the Pitches,” a contest sponsored by FOX Diversity and hosted by The ID Film Festival, a new Asian Pacific American Film Festival.  Each contestant pitched their screenplay in a timed, 2-minute presentation […]

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Lisa Manterfield

Success: Lisa Manterfield Publishes Memoir!

I’m Taking My Eggs and Going Home: How One Woman Dared to Say No to Motherhood by Writers’ Program alum Lisa Manterfield, was recently published by Steel Rose Press and is available on  Lisa’s memoir chronicles her decision to remain childless and her struggle to maintain her identity in a mom-centric society.  Lisa has […]

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Success: Former WP Student Adapts News Article into Novel

Tomas Mournian, who has taken screenwriting courses as well as Writing the Young Adult Novel, will have his first book, hidden, published by Kensington Books on January 25th. A launch party will take place on Feb. 5th. A freelance journalist, Tomas has published in Los Angeles Magazine, OUT, and In Style.  hidden, which follows a […]

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Linda Palmer

Success: Novel Writing Instructor Publishes Again

Instructor Linda Palmer’s 8th mystery novel for Berkley Prime Crime (Pie a la Murder, written under her pen name, “Melinda Wells”) will be published on July 5 of next year, and her 9th book, Seven Layer Death, is scheduled for publication in early 2012.  Linda is the winner of the UCLA Extension Department of the […]

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What is a Girl? What is a Boy?

Success: Instructor’s Book now on Amazon

Writers’ Program instructor Stephanie Waxman’s  book, What is a Girl? What is a Boy? is now available in paperback only on The title, which was published over 30 years ago in the United States, has come under fire over the years for its open approach to sexuality education, even making the “banned books” list […]

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Voice from the Planet, Published by Harvard Square Editions

Success: Writers’ Program Students Collaborate on Fiction

A new publication from Harvard Square Editions, Voice of the Planet: An Anthology of Living Fiction, features writers from around the globe and includes the work of three Writers’ Program students.  Editor and contributor Charles Degelman took both screenwriting and novel writing courses, and was a finalist in the 1991 Diane Thomas Screenplay Competition; Dan […]

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The Last Time I Saw Paris, by Lynn Sheene

Success: Writers Studio Participant Publishes First Novel!

Lynn Sheene attended Jessica Barksdale Inclan’s Writing the First Novel course at the 2007 Writers Studio and went on to take Novel Writing III and IV online with Lynn Hightower.  Now she’s reaping the rewards of her hard work: Berkley Trade is publishing her first novel, The Last Time I Saw Paris, and it will […]

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