Another February has come and gone, which means another Writers Studio has blown through Westwood, leaving behind a trail of newly-inspired writers. At this year’s Studio, we had nearly 150 students from places as far away as Lithuania, Germany and France, to name a few. Nationally, students came from all over the country, including Georgia, Arizona, and Virginia, and of course, a healthy number from right here in Los Angeles. I loved hearing all the different accents come through the Writers Studio office in Room 418, where my Writers’ Program Events Team cohort, Katy Flaherty, and I were stationed all four days.
Many of the students felt like the experience of having a four-day intensive workshop brought about a camaraderie among students and instructors alike, and some are even a bit sad that it’s all over, as Studio instructor Gayle Brandeis noted: “I’ve been meaning to write to say what an amazing experience I had at the Studio. It was truly one of the best teaching experiences of my life. Many of my students have written to me to say they’re going through withdrawals.”
After seeing everyone come in to the Studio office daily to grab a cookie, fill up their Writers’ Program mugs with coffee, or try to answer the trivia question du jour on the board to win a free copy of Zeitoun, I also felt like I got to know several students. You all have a lot of personality!
So what was the Writers Studio experience like? And would the Studio students do it all over again, with a bit of rest and tea, of course?
I asked a few good students that very question. Eldon Tucker, who took Lisa Cron‘s course Inside Story: Creating Powerful Narratives, came in to the office often to say hello and tell me about his day. He had this to say about Lisa’s class:
“Lisa took us on the time-honored path of the storyteller, revealing the secrets of what makes a great tale. She brought the point home in her class exercises as she deftly taught us the difference between things ‘just happening’ and making a compelling story. This class provided the missing ingredient to perfecting our writing. Every writing student should take it.”
Another student, David Tedesco, attended Writing the First Novel with Gayle Brandeis. “I took the Writing the First Novel course and thought the class was terrific,” he says. “Our instructor did a great job!”
Christine Tagawa, who took Writing the R-rated Comedy with Keith Giglio and Juliet Giglio, felt energized by the four-day intensive format: “I tell all fellow writers about the magic of the Writers Studio and how supercharged it is, and I encourage them to get their butts to any of the UCLA Extension writing classes. I make sure they know that they are getting their money’s worth by choosing UCLA Extension over any other classes that are out there.”
Supercharged! Great word, Christine. While we only offer the Writers Studio once a year, rest assured it will be back next year, February 9 – 12, 2012. In the meantime, don’t forget that we offer more than 500 other courses throughout the year.
Of course, you can always call us, but you knew that, right? 310-825-9415!
Sara Bond is the Program Assistant for Creative Writing (Online) and Events.