Writing Pad was founded by freelance writers Marilyn Friedman (NY Times #1, NY Times #2, San Francisco Chronicle, Salon) and Jeff Bernstein (NPR’s Unfictional) with the express purpose of providing students access to top a tier MFA level education at a more affordable price.
When Marilyn Friedman first tried in vain to find a great writing class, she drove from Silverlake to Simi Valley in LA. She braved lackluster writing prompts, unfriendly, competitive workshops and heavily medicated instructors who weren’t interested in sharing their craft secrets.
From this, Writing Pad was born. We removed all the things that make a writing class unproductive, and built on all the things we loved: teachers who are working writers at the top of their field, are passionate about mentoring students and helping them get hired and published, curriculums that lead to a professional level product, and a nurturing, inspiring environment that helps you build your writing community and get your stories on the page.
16 years, hundreds of classes and four locations later we’ve built a community of amazing, supportive, and talented writers. We hope you’ll join us at the Pad.
Call or Text
(213) 325 – 6910
We currently offer live, online writing classes and some in-person classes outside (socially distanced) in Los Angeles (proof of vaccination required).
We have traditionally offered writing classes in three locations in Los Angeles, but most of our in-person classes are on hold. You can attend our online classes from anywhere in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
Writing Pad classes aren’t stuffy. They’re inspiring, enlightening and lively. At each class you can expect:
- Top-notch instructors who are experienced, successful writers with a passion for teaching.
- Classes to help you exercise feedback skills in a respectful, professional writer’s room setting.
- A safe environment to help you fearlessly channel your creativity.
- Small classes (12 students max) where you will get personalized attention on your work.
- A fun, intellectual but supportive vibe.
We believe that studying with current, working writers at the top of their field who are interested in sharing their trade secrets and connections sets the stage for you successfully reaching your writing goals no matter what they are–whether it’s getting staffed as a professional TV writer, screenwriter, copywriter or journalist, publishing an essay, article, short story or book, or just getting your stories on the page. Our instructors understand what’s required to craft a professional level sample now because they have written on a big TV show or sold work recently and can teach you how to shape your work into something that is worthy.
Also, a writing class shouldn’t be boring, meandering or annihilate your ego! We believe that classes should be inspiring, focused and moderated by the teacher. Our classes are handcrafted to give you the knowledge and feedback you need to successfully complete a polished work. If a student brings in writing or an idea that he’s worked on outside of class, he’ll receive balanced feedback. We believe in creating a safe, supportive, productive space for our students.
Every class has a different balance of craft talks and workshopping. The TV Spec and Pilot (TV 1, 2, 3) classes are run like a professional writer’s room to help you practice giving feedback in a respectful, professional setting and also help you benefit from the idea pitches of the instructor and your classmates. In these television classes, the instructor acts as the showrunner and the students practice acting as staff writers. Some short story and memoir classes include in-class writing exercises. Classes typically run for three hours and include brief breaks.
One or more of the following applies to you:
- You like to write.
- You want to become a writer professionally or publish a book, essay, or story.
- You’ve always wanted to write or write more often.
- You’re struggling with writer’s block.
- You want to take your writing to the next level.
Experienced and beginning writers of all genres are welcome: TV writing, fiction, screenplays, personal essays, memoir, creative nonfiction, journalism, etc.
All sales are final and there are no refunds. Credit may be offered based on class availability. If you can’t come to class, call or email us as far in advance as possible. We will do everything we can to fill your spot, but we can’t make any guarantees. Credit eligibility is not based upon your reason for being unable to attend a class; it is based upon the timing of your credit request and our ability to fill your spot. If we find someone to take your place, you will receive class credit minus a $25 processing fee for 1 day classes and $50 processing fee for long classes. In that case, your class credit will be good for a year from the original sign up date and will expire after that. Otherwise, you will forfeit your payment/payments. To use class credits, you need to sign up for class in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 213.325.6910. If the class is being paid for as part of a payment plan, regardless of whether the student stops attending class, the payment plan must be paid in full by the end of the class. Failure to do so will result in the student’s account being turned over to collections.
Web conferencing and class recording are only available if pre-approved with Writing Pad prior to sign-up. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate classroom conferencing or recording requests that were not pre-approved. Each class meeting that is conferenced or recorded will cost the student an extra $50. For in-person classes, you must purchase conferencing for each class meeting you want recorded, bringing the total of each recorded class meeting to $100.
You are responsible for printing any materials required by the instructor, including homework. Printing cannot be done in the classroom.