where the writers are
May writing class on essay and memoir in San Francisco
03 Mar 2009 12:31 pm


This course will meet ten Monday evenings at my house starting May 11 and going until July 5. Leave the following Monday evening open too, in case we take a week off).
$675 (limited to 12). Class will be at my house in San Francisco, 97 Scott Street, from 6:45 to 9:45. Parking is pretty easy. I will accept the first 12 qualified applicants who apply for each course, plus a waiting list. Within a week of accepting you, I’ll need a $100 nonrefundable deposit to hold your place, the rest payable before or at first meeting. If you haven't been in my class before, please email me writing sample—2 or 3 pages of anything at all, as long as it's first-person writing. I can hold your place for a week or so, pending the writing sample if you ask me to.
adair.lara@gmail.com T: 415 626 9157 c: 415 722-6697–
97 Scott Street san Francisco ca 94117

Jacqueline Winspear, author of the Maisie Dobbs series:
When I took Adair’s classes, which I did over and over again, her enthusiasm and understanding of the process of writing led me to make that quantum leap to being a published author. Now - at last – the depth and breadth of her experience as writer and editor are distilled into this one great book on writing. Every writer should have a copy on their bookshelf.
When I first met Adair, I wasn’t at all sure where I ultimately wanted to go as a writer – although I did, and still do, harbor a deep wish to be an Adair Lara. Joining her personal essay workshops opened so many avenues of possibility, although Adair kept suggesting I try my hand at fiction. Eventually, I took the leap, sharing the first chapter of my novel, Maisie Dobbs with Adair, who pushed me to continue. Without her insightful guidance and encouragement, Maisie Dobbs might be just a couple of chapters collecting dust in a drawer.”

Elaine Petrocelli, owner of Book Passage, a large independent bookstore in Marin County and San Francisco:
Adair Lara is one of our best selling authors. Her books are wise, witty and wonderful. We love to put them in our customers’ hands, but it isn’t hard because customers tell each other about her books.
Adair teaches writing classes at Book Passage and the only problem we have is dealing with the disappointed people who can’t get in—her classes sell out.
This is an author who understands humanity. Reading Adair Lara is a pleasure, but not a guilty one, because we come away knowing not only about Adair, her friends and family, but especially more about ourselves. This woman makes us think!

Tracy Johnston, author of Shooting the Boh:
Your insights are terrific and so is your voice:
funny and self-deprecating, ballsy and enthusiastic.

Janis Newman, author of Mary.
This is a really wonderful book. One of the best (and most
helpful) books on writing I’ve read. And unlike most practical
guides, never pedantic or boring.

John Leland, professor
WOW! You’ve got a treasure chest here that’s just brimming with jewels!

Mary Patrick, author of Family Plots:
Adair's keen editorial eye and sharp sense of story arc helped me pare a 500- page manuscript into a tighter, plot driven read. Her coaching and enthusiasm opened doors to locating an agent that had previously been bolted.

Ruth Chambers, author of The Chinaberry Album:
Thanks SO much for sending the latest copy of Naked, Drunk and Writing. I WANT A COPY OF THIS BOOK. It's wonderful. I've printed out pages and pages, copied portions in pen, but I want to hold its whole thick self and start underlining, highlighting, tagging pages . . . What a gift to writers everywhere. I'm struck by your conversational voice. I feel that I'm there in the room with you, watching you fold and unfold your glasses as you share your experiences and wisdom with us. Your material is never dry, is interesting, funny, instructive, and memorable. Just wish I could open the top of my head and pour all this good stuff inside.

Amy Treadwell, a freelance editor at Chronicle Books:
I really love this book and if I saw this in the
bookstore, I would probably buy it. The text
is engaging and I love your use of
examples from many sources. After reading it, I wanted
to take your workshop several times and start writing myself (and believe me, I'm usually trying to avoid
writing . . . )

On Tue, May 27, 2008 at 5:28 PM, wrote:


What a momentous meeting. That was the best $200 I ever spent. I love the path you put me on;
my vision is so much clearer. I'm so inspired to get back to work.



On Sat, May 17, 2008 at 3:49 PM, Peggy Kennedy wrote:

Hey Adair: Hope you got my gushing call the other day. I jLOVE what you've done for my book in too many ways to mention, but I'll name just a few:

Father Hecht approached our circle "as though afraid we mght rise like a flock of startled birds and fly against the walls and windows"

The title for the chapter including my green Volkswagon and Sue's having the RR waiting for Paul and me at our wedding (love the way you tied the whole thing together!)

Joan as the little Who driving Miss Scarlet and nabbing a handsome boy (can't find the phrase, but it made me laugh hard) Also makes the Chapter title "Who's Zoomin Who" much more fun

The fact that you somehow knew that Mom smoked Benson & Hedges

The image you added of Joan and Mom feeding babies pablum in side-by-side high chairs

Simplifying everything down to what it needed to be

Keeping all the good stuff and weeding out the rest


my house
San Francisco