What would it take for you to make progress on your next writing project? Or get that screenplay into shape? With so many daily obligations, how do you find the time and focus for your writing?

The UCLA Extension Writers Studio allows you to carve out four days to fully concentrate on your work. And, you’ll get to share the journey with a strong community of writers.

In the Writers Studio, held February 4-7, 2010 in Westwood Village, students choose from one of nine 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 their overall mastery of their profession.

But, you’re no doubt tired of us telling you how inspiring and amazing the Writers Studio can be. That’s why we spoke with student Aaron Lerner, a 2009 Writers Studio participant who valued his experience so much that he signed up for the Studio again this year.

Writers’ Program: What do you think the four-day intensive format offers students that they couldn’t get in other workshops? What are you looking forward to most?

Aaron Lerner: You definitely have more time to cover the subject matter in detail versus a one- or two-day workshop. Four day immersion provides a much deeper focus than the other workshops. I am looking forward to improving the story that I am currently working on. I am also excited about taking a course with Karl Iglesias. I have heard him speak before and have read one of his books. He has the passion to inspire!

WP: How did your last Writers Studio workshop improve your writing (either in general, or specific to a project)?

AL: Last year, I took Character Archetypes: Five Key Figures to Help Shape Your Story’s Characters workshop with Scott Myers, which gave me a new perspective in building my stories. It definitely improved my writing and I continually use it as a framework for validating my characters and story line.

WP: What would you tell a writer considering enrolling in the Writers Studio?

AL: I think it’s a great idea if they can block out four days from their schedule. It’s equivalent to a full-length course in terms of content, and I feel it might even stick longer in the memory when taught this way. It’s also a great way to meet new people who share the same interests. Over four full days, you will definitely make new friends.

Do you want this to be your break-out year? Then why not make up your mind to do it? Join us in the UCLA Extension Writers Studio! Enrollment is underway. Courses close at 18 students, so reserve your spot now by calling (310) 825-9971.

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Gabrielle Stephens is the Program Representative for Screenwriting (Onsite). Follow the Writers’ Program on its Twitter page at Twitter.com/WritersProgram.

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