Writing Classes, Workshops, and Events

The Monterey Bay Writers Studio
 is a resource for writers of all levels that supports the literary arts through a diverse offering of classes, workshops and events. Cultivating a vibrant literary culture in the Monterey Bay is the Studio's primary goal. Based in Santa Cruz, California, the MBWS serves the greater Central Coast and is committed to fostering a strong literary community through education and creative support.

Fresh Ink from the Writers Studio:

In October of 2009 the Monterey Bay Writers Studio was conceived out of a desire to provide the uniquely gifted and artistic population of the Central Coast with quality writing instruction and to foster a sense of literary community and dialogue. Since then, the MBWS has hosted four seasons of classes and held numerous workshops, readings, and events while receiving a great deal of encouragement and support from writers, both local and national. Thank you all for sharing your time and work with us, and for the warm welcome and inspiration. This is a remarkable community of writers, and we are thankful to have found it.

Having returned from a productive month at the Can Serrat International Art Center in El Bruc, Spain, we hope to carry that creative momentum into the next several months, continuing to devote time to our own writing projects. Currently there are no classes scheduled for spring, but as always, we would love to hear from you:
  • To share writing-related news—if you're part of a reading or spoken-word performance in the community, or if you've recently been published—please email us and we'll help to get the word out.
  • If you are currently looking for a critique group, email us with a description of what you're working on and what kind of group you're seeking, and we'll do our best to help connect you to one that's right for you.
  • Sign up for the MBWS mailing-list so as not to miss any future announcements for classes and events.
  • What do local writers need to know about? Our resources page is a work-in-progress, so let us know if we've missed anything.

Read about us in Good Times Santa Cruz

"Literary Landslide" (2/17/10)--There are plenty of writing groups in town, including famous poets, acclaimed novelists, steadfast journalists, and the like, but when was the last time they all got together and rebuilt that ‘scene?’ It now seems like a literary resurrection is playing out with two young writers, Lindsey Alexander and Ryan Matthews, at the helm...[full text]
"New Writing Group Set to Launch" (1/7/09)--Perhaps capitalizing on all those New Year's resolutions from all those would-be novelists, a new company called Monterey Bay Writers Studio is looking to unleash Santa Cruz County's half-finished novels by leading workshops for area writers...[full text]

The Monterey Bay Writers Studio will not be holding classes in 2014. Thanks for all your support and happy writing!

Critique and Book Group Directory

Summer has just about arrived in the Monterey Bay, meaning you've got long days, cool nights, and a whole coast of beautiful beaches and bustling boardwalks to look forward to. This summer, we're challenging you to connect with other writers and readers in your community, and we're even willing to play matchmaker, so you can avoid all those awkward blind dates. Take advantage of our critique group and book group matching services, a simple, free, and easy way to find a group that's right for you. There are two ways it works:

  • If you currently administrate a critique or book group that's looking for new members, send us the lowdown. Where do you meet, what do you read/critique, how often, and how can prospective members get in touch with you?
  • If you are seeking a critique or book group, send us a note about what kind of readers or writers you're hoping to connect with, where and how often you might want to meet, and your contact information. You might even include the last five books you've enjoyed to give folks a sense of your interests.
We are in the process of creating a directory of groups here on our website, but we're counting on you to help us build it.

Critique Groups Forming

Interested in writing plays or monologues? A local playwright is looking to form a critique group with others writing for the theater. Critique group members would meet weekly, exchange works in progress, and offer feedback and professional support. For more information, contact Steve at: firefly5sc@gmail.com

Levonne Gaddy is looking for serious writers (who are or wish to be published) to form either a Monterey/Santa Cruz County, California writers' critique group or a Skype writers' group. She's working on personal histories and memoir/essay. Call her at (520) 306-7329 or email her at levonnegaddy@hotmail.com if you are interested in this type of supportive group experience. If you wish to know more about Levonne, see her blog at http://levonnegaddy.com

(updated 6/1/11)

Publishing News

MBWS Co-Founder, Ryan D. Matthews, is a featured contributor in the latest issue of the Tottenville Review—a journal focusing on debuts and translations. Check out his review of Dalkey Archive’s Slovenian Literature Series!

Local author and teacher Becky Levine recently published The Writing and Critique Group Survival Guide (Writer's Digest, 2010). The book "presents the best way to create a respectful, productive critique group, discussing all the important details of finding a group, running a critique meeting, and building a group that will evolve with its members . . . Each chapter, whether discussing plot or character or voice, teaches the writer how to read for a critique, how to learn from criticism, how to organize and prioritize feedback, [and] how to revise based on the specific feedback they receive."

Local writer and MBWS student Mary Holland has a new piece of flash fiction up at Golden Visions magazine now. You can read her story, "Three Sisters," here.

Have you been published recently? Let us know!