Online student Shannon Barton-Wren, who has taken novel writing, short story writing, and flash fiction courses through the Writers’ Program, won first prize in the 2009 Press 53 Open Awards Flash Fiction category for her story “San Diego, 1978.” The story, about a young Vietnamese refugee struggling with a sense of dislocation, is in Shannon’s words, “about what most stories are about: the grievous loss of childhood and the lifetime search for that ephemeral place so plainly called home.”

“The Writers’ Program online classes provide access to instructors and fellow writers who are dedicated to excellence and respectful of students at every level of expertise. I took my first class when I was living in Tokyo and since I wasn’t fluent in Japanese, the UCLA Extension classes were my only access to creative writing instruction. They have had a profound effect on my writing as well as my ability to provide useful feedback to others. The classes are truly safe places in which to try new things or polish our abilities to do old ones.”

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