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2017 & 2018 Dates for Manuscript Workshop with David Ulin

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 by in Upcoming Salons |


hjertebogWhile we call it a 200-page manuscript workshop, this means UP TO 200 pages, with a minimum of 100. We’ll even take fewer if you show you’ve got perseverance. Few other workshops invite authors to submit so many pages-this is a great opportunity to have an astute set of eyes see the larger framework of your book and thus provide more comprehensive feedback.

Have you been struggling with seeing the vision for your book come to life on the page? Working on a novel or memoir and desperately need a few readers and some critical feedback? At the Ulin Workshop, an exclusive group of your peers, led by professional critic and author, David Ulin, will spend up to two hours diving deep into the core of your project and help you brainstorm around ideas, solving problems, and most importantly, unearthing the potential in your book.

Here are a few things we will focus on as well as some key reasons to attend:

  • Close attention and lengthy discussion around your manuscript not only as it stands today but also your intentions for the direction of the story
  • Input on how to get those intentions into motion on the page
  • Characters and their motivations. You have a great character but what is their story and how do you best tell it?
  • Plot – what elements does your story need?
  • Structure – how do you sequence those elements? How might you re-arrange or re-order events to tell a better story?
  • Deadlines get things done. Signing up for the workshop is a great motivator to make some real progress on your project.
  • The value in reading other author manuscripts and organizing your feedback around their work. This can help you see and solve problems in your own work.

So far, we’ve had two attendees who have been published in major publishing houses, three who have found top New York agents. All count our workshop as the key to those successes.

David L. Ulin is the author of Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles, shortlisted for the 2016 PEN Literary Award. He’s authored eight previous books, including The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time and the Library of America’s Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, which won a California Book Award. A 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, he is former book critic and book editor of the Los Angeles Times. Unknown

Each day of the two-weekend workshop will include discussion of two manuscripts, this means every participant will have half a day of discussion devoted entirely to their own work. The discussion is in depth, honest critique delivered with the authors’ creative intentions in mind. Because of the intensity and personal focus, the workshop is strictly limited to 8 participants. Attendees will be expected to have read the other manuscripts. See below for comments from previous attendees.

Coffee and snacks are served throughout the day. On Saturdays, lunch is provided, usually savory pie or soup; Sundays, lunch is on your own. Ivy Salon is located the historic South Park area of San Diego, 3 blocks from a variety of restaurants. If you are coming from out of town, I can suggest a comfortable hotel in nearby Little Italy, or B&Bs within walking distance. Or, Airbnb has been a great option for previous participants with many options within a block.

This workshop is by acceptance and referral only. If you are interested in attending, please email me for instructions: The workshop fills fast, so check with me sooner, rather than later.

How many chances are there to have a book critic review your manuscript before you submit it to an agent or editor?

Cost: $1800 for four-day intensive workshop in a comfortable setting (no cold metal folding chairs, just comfy couches).


Two consecutive weekends:

Fall 2017: October 7 & 8 and 14 & 15

Spring 2018: February 3 & 4 and 10 & 11

Upcoming deadlines:

August 1, 2017 Enrollment ends. Sign soon as the workshop fills FAST! 50% deposit due upon acceptance.

September 5, 2017 manuscript due. Final Payment due.

Due to logistics and advanced preparation, all deposits and payments are non-refundable, except in the rare case that David or I must cancel and are unable to reschedule.

Limited to 8. By acceptance only and referral only. Email me for further information


images-2We have numerous repeat students. This is a sign that something’s working! Here’s what others are saying about the workshop:

“It was intense and critical…I took volumes of notes because I wanted to remember everything [David] said. He has a remarkably good heart in tandem with his humongous brain. [Amy] is especially good at seeing the core, what a book is really about. I realized that for me writing is not so much about writing as uncovering secrets and lies I tell myself.” Lawrence Spann attended October 2015

“David was brilliant, insightful and gentle. He’s not only a master of craft, he masterfully runs a workshop. Best experience ever!” Rachel Groves attended May 2014 and January 2015

“David’s comments and written notes are worth the trip alone. A supportive and small (no name tags or sign-up sheets!) group of smart, fun writers. Generous, safe workshop – with pie.” Tudy Woolfe attended January & October 2013, May 2014 and October 2015 (4 times!)

“I signed up for this workshop for the chance to work with some of the most brilliant minds in literature. I was stuck and sheepish about showing my novel-in-progress with all its flaws and broken plot lines. What sets this workshop apart from others, besides the chance to have a critique of 200 pages of work, is the comfortable atmosphere: a comfy living room, pets, homemade pies, and laughter. My fear disappeared. I left the workshop feeling confident and inspired, with specific ways to transform my manuscript into something so much better.This workshop will do miraculous things to your work in progress.”Susan Henderson attended May 2014 and October 2015, her book will be published Spring 2018