Adair Lara Photo

Events, Appearances and Classes


September 2nd to November 4th

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!!Contact Adair today to reserve/order your summer course!!

"Half the people I know seem to have taken classes and workshops with San Francisco’s legendary writer and teacher Adair Lara. She is very savvy and smart and hugely entertaining. I admire her greatly." -- Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird


Write a lot, finish pieces you’ve already started, get published.

10 Wednesday evening meetings at Adair’s house in San Francisco



September 2--November 4

In this class, you will learn:
• How to decide which stories to tell
• How to shape your story so that it makes a universal point
• How to use "ordinary" details and events to create extraordinary insights
• How to find the resonance in everyday events
• How to use the techniques of fiction (dialogue, characterization, scene-setting, suspense) to tell a true tale
• How to find the right markets for your essays/memoirs
• How to pitch your personal essays or memoirs to editors

Students who have taken this class have been published in:
The New York Times, the Smithsonian, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Self, Runner's World, the San Francisco Chronicle, More Magazine, Vanity Fair, and many more. Many have published books,and many are now teaching writing themselves.

Each class introduces a new element of writing, from using detail and image, to the structure of the narrative essay, to angle, tone, humor, scene, revision, and publishing. Lots of in-class readings and some exercises. The 4-5 weekly assignments will pull a lot of great pieces out of you and stretch your notions of what you can do. (You are always free to substitute ideas or projects of your own.)You will exchange email exercises with different assigned partners every week—a practice that has led over the years to the many close friendships formed in these classes. I will read five pieces from each writer, in addition to class readings, and I am available for private conferences before class. Most students publish within a year of taking the class. It is gratifyingly rare for anyone to drop for reasons other than illness, gratifyingly common for people to take the course again and again.

For more about who I am, comments from students, etc, check out

$675 (limited to 13). Class will be at my house in San Francisco at 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. I will need a $100 nonrefundable deposit to hold your place, the rest payable before or at the first meeting. (The fall course fills fast—just FYI).

If you haven't been in my class before, please email me a 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 arrival of the writing sample, if you ask me to. t: 415 626-9157 c: 415 722-6697

97 Scott Street San Francisco, California 94117

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.
--Jacqueline Winspear, author of the Maisie Dobbs series

Adair, I want to thank you so much for your excellent class. You created a welcoming, encouraging atmosphere, nurturing all of us on our individual paths and at the same time giving us wonderful, insightful content drawn from your observations and experience. We benefited from those years of writing and editing! I have taken a fair number of classes in writing of various kinds over the years, and you gave the best class I have ever had. Really GREAT!! (There must be a more expressive and nuanced way to say this!) Thank you. Thank you. The group was fabulous too. What fine writers! I will really miss our coming together.
--Liz Dossa student Nov 2008

Adair Lara could teach a rock to write.
--Lee Anna Hedges 2009

The class was fabulous, ranks among the all time great learning experiences for me. I probably learned more about writing from you, Adair, than I learned from all the writing teachers, workshops, classes etc. I’ve taken combined. You are really gifted in distilling the essence of the writing process, and not only doing it yourself, but communicating it to others. I also really enjoyed the people in the class. They were much more serious and skilled writers than I’d found in other classes I’d taken.
--Katherine Olivetti




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