The Path of Growth: Full Program Course Descriptions

For men and women of all ages.

What makes the Ripe Fruit Writing program unique?

Whether you are a seasoned writer, a sprout, or a fertile seed, the greenhouse of the imagination will provide you the loam, the essential nutrients, the savvy shaft of light. Here, you put down your roots and grow. You grow as you alone must, connected to your passion for life and for language. You build an unshakeable foundation for everything that will follow.

Ripe Fruit School of Creative Writing offers a progressive, step-by-step series of workshops and classes so that you can gain the tools, experience, confidence, and competence to take on any writing project. Workshops take place in a cozy turn-of-the-century Victorian in San Francisco with easy public transportation & parking. Each workshop brings together a community of 8-12 students.


One-Day intensives are comprehensive, hands-on workshops in which the teacher challenges students in relation to their individual needs and voices in a safe and intimate environment. Intensives are motivating, inspiring, instructional, and almost euphoric in their cultivation of community. One-days are given throughout the year and focus on different topics such as: Discovering Your Voice (THE WRITING FAITH), Memoir (SOULFOOD), Poetry, & Publishing.
(See the following 9-week course descriptions for details on specific topics.)
No previous writing experience is necessary.

RIPE FRUIT I: The Art of Languaging
Finding & Expanding Your Voice

a fundamental course in perception, imagination, compassion & commitment. Learn the six qualities it takes to be a great writer and put them into immediate practice; be trained to know what a poet knows about language as a foundation for all of your writing; excavate your wild mind and cultivate your own inimitable voice. This workshop culminates with a public celebration and reading of your work.
No previous writing experience is necessary.

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Soulfood Memoir Writing

a dynamic process of creative expression and self-integration. Our lives are abundant with incident, image, and event. Memory is one of the writer’s most powerful tools. Discover where memory and imagination intersect. Learn how to re-enter your life and locate the stories that must be told. Develop techniques for finding the heart of a story and for shaping each memory into an unforgettable tale.
No previous writing experience is necessary. RF I one-day intensive or 9-week class(Level I) is recommended.

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RIPE FRUIT II: Prose Poetry & the Art of Editing

a fundamental course in balance, density, and composition. Deepen your art of languaging training until it irrevocably takes root. Emphasis is on the poetry of the sentence and the compositional skills required for longer pieces of writing: focus, unity, and inner structure. You will self-publish a chapbook (sold on consignment at City Lights Bookstore) and participate in a public reading at Modern Times Bookstore.
Level I class or experience required.

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RIPE FRUIT III: Growing the Short Story

Learn the principles central to the craft of writing fiction while continuing to develop your skills in creating rich and exciting language. You will discover how to transform resonant personal experience into powerful story. Emphasis is on character, voice, point of view, story line, and final meaning.
Level I & II or experience required.

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RIPE FRUIT III: Alchemy of Poetry

You will develop your understanding of poetics and poetic forms, become more innovative with language, deepen your sense of line, develop your ear for rhythm & sound texture in language, and ripen to a new level of sophistication in the writing and editing of your poems.
Level I & II or experience required.

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RIPE FRUIT IV: Prose Critique

Fiction, Memoir, & Prose Poetry
You will strengthen your understanding of building story, refine your style, achieve more believability and flexibility of voice, and focus on revision and completion for publication through extensive high level critique.
Requires Levels I-III or submission of a manuscript or work-in- progress.

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RIPE FRUIT IV: Poetry Critique

You will expand your personal area of subject matter, strengthen your poetic voice, and refine your revision skills with the goal of publication.
Requires Levels I-III or submission of manuscript.

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RIPE FRUIT Weekend Writing Retreats
These are quarterly retreats: literary & spiritual celebrations of each season. Described by students as “transformative, intense, healing, liberating & playful”, these weekends in the Sonoma countryside give you a chance to rejuvenate and re-commit. Locate your words where heart, mind, & earth intersect. Enjoy unforgettable experiences of communion with other writers. Give yourself the time and compassionate guidance to inhabit your own extraordinary inner world.
For beginning and experienced writers.

“A cosmic gift!”