By Corey Campbell

What would it take for you to finish your novel or memoir? Or get that screenplay into shape? With so many daily obligations, how do you find the time and focus to put your writing first?

Let us help you. The UCLA Extension Writers Studio lets you carve out four days to concentrate on your work and provides a strong community of writers to share the journey with you.

In the Writers Studio, held February 7-10, 2008 in Westwood Village, students choose from one of ten focused workshops in screenwriting, nonfiction writing, or creative writing. Participants work closely with a professional writer in courses limited to no more than eighteen students. Instructors are hand-picked each year for their dedication to teaching and overall mastery in their courses and profession.

“From the first morning’s kick-off session to the farewell party four days later, you are totally immersed in the world of writing—you NEVER leave it,” said 2007 participant Owen Duke (Bethesda, MD). “You even think about it at dinner, breakfast, lunch— writing on your brain for 24 hours a day.”

Ask most past Writers Studio participants, and they’ll tell you what they appreciated most was the intimacy. Ask them what they took home from the experience, and most will say the commitment to take their writing seriously.

“The intense focus of four days re-energized my writing and I left feeling like a writer not a pretender,” said 2007 participant Jill Marshall Larson (Los Angeles, CA). “I believe we all exceeded our expectations and grew in ways you would not think possible in such a short time. It is wonderful to be in an atmosphere where writing in a supportive atmosphere is the only focus.”

What sets the Writers Studio apart from so many other writing conferences? The constant instruction and feedback from published and produced writers and the chance to write and workshop in an intimate setting for four days.

Screenwriter Debbie Chesebro said, “[Our instructor] Chrys Balis provided a fun, safe, constructive environment in which to present work. She also fostered open discussion, which was useful as our class was a wonderful collection of personalities, each of which had an intelligent and unique perspective to add.”

Since 1997, the Writers Studio has drawn hundreds of students from as close as Hollywood to as far as Lebanon, Switzerland, and Japan. 2007 participant Julie Sorci (Rocklin, CA) said, “Writers of all ranges and walks of life assemble to share and learn their craft in this community atmosphere.”

THE WORK

We know the Writers Studio will help you feel like a writer, but how has it improved the work?

2007 participant Njeri Njuhigu (Woodland Hills, CA) said, “For years I’ve attempted to understand some fundamental things about structuring story and presenting story through the use of loglines and synopsis. During the Writers Studio I finally had a breakthrough.”

Novelist Elizabeth Maggio (Clifton, VA) had a similar experience: “I was finally able to move my ailing novel along. I made major strides with plot development, painted specific scenes, created powerful visuals, and most important, uncovered a convincing motivating force behind my story.”

Screenwriter John Dellaporta (Lake George, NY) had his own breakthrough: “I had studied screenwriting before but this is the first time I felt I understood everything, and I attribute that to the class being taught by a working professional. Keith [Giglio] helped me find and solve problems with my script that I always sensed were there but couldn’t articulate, let alone fix.”

Do you want this to be your break-out year? Make up your mind to do it. Join us this February in Writers Studio 2008! Enrollment is underway. Courses close at 18 students, so reserve your spot now.

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