Find your voice. Make a scene. Write for emotional impact, and blow your audience away. Make them weep and move them. As writers in their dark rooms will tell you, all of this is easier said than done. We all know what makes a good story great, what writing engages us, but when it’s our turn to create, we may need a little help. Sometimes more than a little.

We as writers need a supportive community to encourage and inspire us. That’s where the Writers’ Program comes in: this February the Writers’ Program offers its annual Writers Studio, an intimate four-day workshop in which writers work with the same classmates and expert instructor from 10am-6pm four days in a row.

Mark your calendar: the next Studio will be February 4-7, 2010 in Westwood Village.

Studio courses— in nonfiction, fiction, and screenwriting— already are filling. Enroll by our early bird deadline of December 4, and save $75 off the course fee. (After December 4, Studio workshops are $775 each.)

Is the Writers Studio intense? Yes. Is it exhausting? Yes. Is it completely invigorating and energizing, leading you to look at your writing in a different way, and even better, see yourself differently (as a productive, working writer)? Yes.

Times are tough, so why spend the money? Because you want to jumpstart that writing motor again. You want to learn from professionals who do what you want to do— all our distinguished Writers Studio teachers publish and produce. You realize it’s time to put your writing first again.

If those aren’t enough reasons, here are several more:

INSPIRATION, INTENSITY & FOCUS

“I act as if a hurricane is coming,” Barbara Abercrombie, teaching Writing the Personal Essay this February, says. “I fill up my gas tank, I get food in for the next four days… I get all the mundane aspects of my life in order so I don’t have to think about anything during the four days of the Studio but teaching. And my hope is that my students do the same so all they have to think about is their writing.”

Billy Mernit is teaching Writing the Romantic Comedy in 2010. He says, “The Studio is a non-stop intensity for four days running. You can really feel the group come together and the individual revelations combust in a kind of hyper-speed, maximal, in-the-present-moment way.”

COMMUNITY

Instructor Samantha Dunn, who is teaching Life Story into Art: Writing the Memoir this February, reflects: “For me, it’s four days to really sink into the work, to clarify why you’re writing and what you’re writing about. I love the sense of community that develops among the workshop participants, and I am always awed by the breakthroughs so many of them experience in the course of really digging deep for four days. Their sense of discovery and passion always reignites my own, and I too come away feeling energized, as well as feeling recommitted to the importance of the memoir form, and reverent of its power to transform experience into art. It’s like summer camp for writers–by the end, everybody has been through a lot, but feel sad to have it end!”

BREAKTHROUGHS & RESULTS

Screenwriter Hiroko Hagino is one of many students who has found writing success, in part due to the Studio. She has flown to Los Angeles for the Writers Studio four times already, and her focus is paying off: her script TOKYO DREAMERS recently won Best Foreign Screenplay at the Cinema City Film Festival. Why did she originally choose to fly thousands of miles to the Studio? “Because the UCLA Extension Writers Studio has excellent instructors who have written Hollywood movies,” she says. “I thought the courses there would best suit my goals. The February intensive workshop schedule has been convenient for me (since it’s held during my university winter vacation period; it’s a nice way to get away from cold Tokyo and spend holidays in sunny and warm Los Angeles).”

What other reasons do you need? Be the early bird and catch that worm—enroll in the Writers Studio by December 4 for the special enrollment discount, and join the community.

See you in February!

Corey Campbell is the Program Representative for Creative Writing (Online).

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