Looking For Help With Writing a Novel? Our Foundations Program is a Great Choice!

The Foundations program at the Studio enables new writers to learn the culture, the shared language, and the overall philosophy of Blackbird. We are here to help good writers become great and the Foundations sets you up for success with ten weeks of study in Bones and five in Scene vs. Exposition.

A few common questions: How much work will be expected of me in this class? If I’m a beginner, will it be over my head? If I’m advanced, will it be below me?

Watch this video and have those questions answered!

Take a free class to check it out. Click here.

See you in class, Jennifer

Fall Classes Open For Registration:

Tues AM: Bones 11:30-1:30 p.m. PST – Oct. 24 to Jan. 23

Wed PM: Bones 5:30-7:30 p.m. PST – Oct. 25 to Jan. 24

The cost is $455.00 for ten weeks of study on your story.

We hope to see you in class, click here to sign up.



Q: if I take the live debrief class, are we listening to you present each class or are we listening to your videos of the classes?

A: You are part of a group given instructions each week to do the following (as you noticed at the end of the first class). You are to watch the class, do the homework, and then attend the live debrief. In this live session (and there are ten of them), you will meet your fellow writers and we, as a group and in pairs, will talk about project in relation to the teaching/homework, your questions on the materials in the first video lecture, and deepen the teachings based on what arises. All discussions are based on your project and are targeting that way.

Finally, the live session is recorded and you get a copy so if new and wonderful insights arise, you have those, too.

Q: you refer to “paring” and also some “group conversation/feedback” – can you describe those two things to me: Are we paired while in the live debrief class?

A: There are times you are paired up within the live debrief with another writer for a more immersive sharing about your particular project in relationship to the materials being taught. For instance, you would be paired with a fellow writer (and put into “break out” room via Zoom) to share what plot you think your book fits and why, or to share your “What-if” questions.

Q: Are we paired for buddy feedback outside of the live debrief class?

A: No. I don’t have you meet outside the live debrief, but some writers do forge such great relationships, they make those arrangements themselves.

Q: Are the group conversations in the live debrief class, or outside of class?

A: In. But but some groups forge a great bond and create groups.

Q: Is there feedback from you in the live debrief class?

A: Yes, and this is along the lines of my asking questions and making suggestions over the first few classes, but I’m different than other teachers in that I’m about building relationships with writers and being there for them over the long haul. People who study with me at Blackbird stay between three and ten years (or I end up hiring them as assistants, peer advisors, and teachers). I believe that relationship requires a certain congeniality, kindness, mutuality, and trust. The first part of trust building is this careful, respectful approach. Yes, I have a lot of experience but creative writing (good creative writing) is about your psyche, your soul, your heart, and how that connects to all of humanity. This art form is too complex and too mysterious for anyone to claim they know what you should or shouldn’t do within a few minutes. I refuse to barge into your creative process like some know it all and so, this Foundations Program of Bones and then Scene vs. Exposition + Progressions, is a way to listen and suss out more information from what I’m hearing.

If things go well in this first class, and we connect, I’ll invite you into more in-depth meetings with me to dig deeper, and I make that available as we progress. Or the next class in the series which is Scene vs. Exposition + Progressions.

Q: finally, you also mention the second (4-5 wk) session on scenes – does that follow this? Do you have any date range for that? What is the cost?

A: Scene vs. Exposition + Progressions doesn’t have an assigned date yet but will start either Jan. 30 or 31st as either it’s own six week class that is formatted as Bones is with a video you watch, then come in and debrief and last, with a workshop session where you share you own work and receive feedback. The cost is $350.00 OR, I merge it into a 15 week workshop class which is on a scale between $950-$1250 (but don’t hold me to that, prices have shifted this year) and you are workshopping multiple times. Note: I don’t make a decision on this series until I see how things progress in the Bones class. If the group is particularly engaged, cohesive and they want to hop right into workshopping.

You can take that class on your own for $255.00: Click here

Q: you mention we can order the books through you and the notebook through you – can you provide more info on those options – cost, benefit, etc. I would assume I’d just order mine separately, but would like to know what you offer.

A: The binder is a heavy duty three ring with all the handouts (and there are a lot of them) printed and placed into heavy duty sleeves. All the materials are ready to go for you. And the books are sent to you as well. The cost for all of that is $250.00: Click here. The binder alone is $150.00: Click here.

Q: if I buy the lectures I assume there would be none of the in person time whether with you or with writing partners and no specific feedback from you on our work. Is that correct?

That is correct. You are listening and taking the information in, then launching on your own. But, you are more than welcome to book a consult with me to talk about your project, share your ideas (like that final report you pull together), and so on. I’m always here.