Monica teaching U.C. Berkeley Extension, 9/2009

Monica teaching U.C. Berkeley Extension, 9/2009

Teaching History

Monica has taught creative writing at the University of California, Berkeley Extension, and around the Bay Area for over a decade. She also welcomes private students for classes in her home.  

Consistently praised by students for being both supportive and critical, her conference-style method of teaching promotes both close reading as well as learning through student interaction. She's proud of her many students who have gone on to publish and teach. She's equally proud of those who continue to write for personal pleasure. 

Upcoming classes

UC Berkeley Extension, "Developing the Memoir I" Ten week course, starting September 26. 

Stanford Continuing Studies, "Your Word Matters: Revision Clinic" One day, Saturday October 13. 

Left Margin Lit, "Read it Again: How to Write Picture Books That Children Will Love." Four Wednesday nights starting in January 2018.


Past Classes

  • "Read it Again: How to Write Picture Books That Children Will Love" at Left Margin Lit.
  • "Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, or Something in Between: Writing Workshop" at Stanford Continuing Studies.
  • Memoir I, Memoir II, Beginning and Intermediate Fiction (online and on the ground), Reading as a Writer/Writing as a Reader, Fear Into Fiction, and The Craft of Reading, at UC Berkeley Extension
  • "Lost and Found: Writing From Memory" at Book Passage, Corte Madera
  • "False Starts to True Stories," at Book Passage, Corte Madera
  • "The Art of Losing: Finding the Words for What's Gone" with Lindsey Crittenden at the SF Writers Grotto
  • "Love's Labor: A Workshop for Mothers Writing about Loss" at Liminal.

Student Testimonials

"As a student 'curious' about writing, I came to Monica's class with an open mind and some ambition. In the course of those few months my mind took on galaxies of fiction, as we discussed and understood craft, voice, style, tone and tension, and my ambition soared. To this day, because of Monica's instruction and inspiration, as long as I am reading, I am writing."

Laleh Khadivi, author of The Age of Orphans and The Walking

"I couldn't have found a better introduction to the craft of writing. Monica's warm personality, clear insightfulness and guidance, and firm insistence on the intimate connection between reading and writing was the perfect combination. The books we read and the pieces I wrote have grown with me in the years since taking her class. And I am grateful -- for the class, yes, but also for the way Monica introduced me to the possibility inherent in a committed writing life."

Paige Eve Chant, writer and blogger

"Monica is a wonderful teacher--involved, encouraging, and genuinely interested in helping her students to produce their best work." 

Jaqueline Luckett, author of Passing Love and Searching for Tina Turner

"Monica taught me to take risks in the development of my writing by experimenting with the structure of those stories I most admired."

Annemarie O'Brien, author of Lara's Gift  

"Her wit and warmth foster a stimulating classroom community, so we both have fun and learn!" 

Dr. Valerie Broin, Professor of Philsophy, CSU Stanislaus