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Build Your Author Toolkit begins May 17th!

Do you know how to create a literary CV, author bio, artist statement, and "About Me" statements? When conference directors, funding panels, and residency committees meet around a table to discuss your application, are these tools of the trade hobbling you or helping you? In this month-long seminar, learn how to create professional documents that, regardless of your experience level, broadcast that you are a serious, committed writer worthy of genuine consideration

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Gain The Edge: Professional Development for Writers starts April 13th

Students gathered around a seminar table

This intensive hands-on workshop will provide you with the career savvy you need to stand out from the crowd of writers who, though they may be talented, lack the marketplace acumen they need to boost their opportunities from good to great. Learn a comprehensive set of professional practices that translate your talent into actionable, real-world skills for escalating your literary career. Learn how to increase your chances of earning grants, landing residencies, and getting published. Over the course of this workshop, you will acquire the practices and strategies you need to reveal and take advantage of scores of opportunities for your work–skills you can put into immediate effect! Many students have garnered their first literary grant, writing conference invitation, or publication credit after completing this course.

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For Writers of Color: Ace Your MFA Application starts May 15

Have you thought about enrolling in a Creative Writing MFA program, but feel intimidated by the application process? Do you fret about how to make your application rise to the top in a stack of fierce competitors? What are the most common pitfalls, and how can you avoid them? How can you navigate and make the most of a program in which you— and the topics about which you write—are in the minority? You probably know how competitive these programs are and how exacting the admissions requirements can be. Learn to present each aspect of your application in the strongest light, and avoid both the blunders and the omissions that many of your fellow applicants will make. During this class, you will complete several drafts of the dreaded "tell us about yourself" statement, compile your literary CV, understand the differences and (often surprising) variations among MFA programs, and consider which program model may be the best fit for you. This workshop is geared for writers of color who are thinking about or planning to apply to an MFA program in Creative Writing.

Practical Strategies to Launch Your Creative Writing Career, 7/24 & 7/31

This interactive two-session class is designed for creative writers who feel ready to take the essential steps necessary to advance their literary careers. In this class you'll learn the importance of maintaining a polished, professional presence--online and offline--that gets you noticed by the right readers, publishers, and gatekeepers; how to create a literary calendar that forms the foundation of an upward career trajectory; how to locate and pursue reliable opportunity resources, and leverage them to increase your chances of getting noticed; why you must have an artist statement, and how to write one (they aren't just for visual artists any more); how to apply the seven tools of highly effective creative writers. This class is a hands-on, learning opportunity to engage in research, writing, partner exercises, and online profile work; we'll have screen breaks for lunch, and as needed, ten minutes in the AM and again in the PM.


Class includes an emailed pre-work assignment that participants are expected to complete before the first class meeting, and students will complete homework between the first and second meetings. Participants should be comfortable navigating websites. Reserve your spot before seats run out!

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Professional Submission Strategies, Tools, & Tips for Writers of Color begins August 12th

Photo of Lyzette teaching a seminar

In a safe, supportive community catering to writers of color, learn how to plan a submissions strategy, create a plan of attack for your work, research markets, and locate the ones that are the best fits for your writing.


It's time to set aside the bevy of excuses about why you're not sending your work out to journals, newspapers, magazines, and contests. In this boot camp-style workshop, you'll learn how to plan a submissions strategy create a plan of attack for your work, and learn how to research markets and locate the ones that are the best fits for your writing. Then we will focus on submitting short stories, articles, poems, essays, novel excerpts, and/or creative nonfiction pieces to over 15 markets. In a safe, supportive community, you'll begin by learning proper submission etiquette and protocol, avoiding pitfalls that mark you as an amateur and get your submission tossed onto the "No" pile—before editors have even read it.


*Learn where to locate legitimate, respectable markets
*Become proficient in navigating the publication landscape
*Get practical tips on formatting submissions that look professional
*Find out what the most popular submission platforms are and how they make your life easier
*Write your author bio
*Create a Research Collection Sheet to identify individualized markets
*Submit short stories, articles, poems, essays, novel excerpts, and/or creative nonfiction pieces to over 15 markets.


Enrollment is limited for this class. 

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Writing Sudden Fiction starts 1/26/21

In this workshop students will read, write, and revise a sudden fiction story. We will read many examples over the course of the workshop, and students will shepherd their story from genesis to completion. Homework will consist of revisions and a few exercises to help ensure that your piece is as polished and economically written as possible. Prior fiction or nonfiction writing is required. Through Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes for students age 50+. Register at https://www.campusce.net/sfsu/course/course.aspx?C=691&pc=61&mc=&sc=

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Flash Fiction Open Mic 8/20/2020

Join me as I moderate this timely and topical open mic. What we are facing in this country and worldwide is unprecedented as far as contemporary generations are concerned. The effects of the pandemic on social inequality, urban life, and industry have been both radical and sweeping. In this virtual open mic event, eight writers will share their flash fiction examining the truths and the lies we're uncovering amid this global pandemic.


Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwijFbQ-YcM

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For Diverse Writers: Getting Invited to Read at Literary Conferences. Starts 3/2/21

Photo of the workshop flyer
Flyer: Susan Ito  Photo: Adrienne Mathiowetz

This workshop offers information, guidance, and support to underserved indigenous writers and writers of color who are applying to have their work accepted at a writers' conference or convention, whether virtual or in-person. In a safe and supportive environment, we will explore how to:


  • choose the right writers' conference for you
  • prepare a polished submission
  • make a professional impression from submission to attendance
  • create a conference plan
  • get financial support to attend
  • navigate concerns that arise for us as attendees of color
  • avoid common, costly mistakes in your CV and bio that mark you as an amateur

This workshop is open to writers of color of all levels who feel prepared to present their work at a professional writers' conference. Learn more info and register at https://www.sfgrotto.org/events/for-diverse-writers-getting-invited-to-read-at-literary-conferences-with-lyzette-wanzer-mar-2/?

Funding Your Creative Writing Project. Starts 1/7/21

Photo of a group of professional development workshop students!
Professional development workshop students!

This six-week workshop is open to writers who are considering applications for—or wish to learn about—creative writing grants, fellowships, and residencies. This workshop will cover:


  • The best places to locate opportunities.
  • The dreaded Project Statement, Work Plan, or Goals and Objectives question.
  • How to demonstrate a rising trajectory (remembering that most people who are awarded grants are on their way up, not already there).
  • Using headings and "buckets" to make your statement navigable.
  • How to craft clear, concise personal or artist statements. (You'll leave this class with a completed first draft in hand!)
  • Why the marketing angle is so important.
  • Creating an effective literary resume. (You'll have a nice new one at the end of class!)

Learn more information and reserve your seat at https://www.sfgrotto.org/events/funding-your-creative-writing-project-with-lyzette-wanzer-jan-7/?