1. How Is Ripe Fruit different from other creative writing classes and workshops?

First of all, Ripe Fruit is not just classes. It is a life experience that benefits the student on many levels.

Students comparing Ripe Fruit with other classes have said the content is more engaging & challenging; the class more interactive; the structure tighter, more fun & creative; the teaching more passionate; the experience juicier & more inspiring; their individual voices more valued; and originality & risk-taking more encouraged.

Ripe Fruit offers a full creative writing curriculum, not just “a quick dip”. Although many classes teach metaphor, image & the basic elements of writing, students say that in Ripe Fruit “everything sparkles”, that the experience is both “exciting & enlightening”, that “something magic happens” in Ripe Fruit classes, workshops and retreats. See: What Makes Ripe Fruit Unique

2. What is the structure of your classes?

Most writers long for structure and Ripe Fruit provides it. Each class is a cumulative journey, every exercise building on the one preceding it. Each class has a syllabus and/or written lesson plans and homework assignments available as hand-outs to the students. All classes include hands-on in-class writing exercises and time to share writings outloud. All classes are instructional. All on-going classes have out-of-class assignments and require that a student commit to a reasonable amount of writing practice at home (2-4 hours/week) to maximize learning and individual development. Consistent & punctual attendance, in-class participation, and completion of assignments are all essential for building a bond of community and trust among class participants.

3. How much time will I need to spend to keep up with a 9-week class and get the most out of my investment?

Each class is three hours at the Greenhouse of the Imagination. RF I and Soulfood Memoir Writing require an average weekly at-home writing practice of 2-3 hours. RF II requires an average of 3 hours/week. RF III Poetry & Fiction require an average of 3-4 hours/week. RF IV works with on-going manuscripts and assumes participants can give themselves at least 4-5 hours/week to develop their manuscripts.

4. How do I know which course would be most appropriate for me?

See: Which class is the best for me? Be sure to read the overview of Course Descriptions where you also find links to more in-depth information for each class, workshop, and retreat. Take note of prerequisites and submission requirements. If questions remain, Leslie would be more than happy to help you evaluate where you are in your writing development and assist you to suggest a Ripe Fruit workshop that will meet your needs. If no RIPE FRUIT course seems appropriate, she will guide you to other resources in the Bay Area for writers. Call her at 415-337-4369 or email her at

5. What is the difference between a one-day intensive and an on-going class of the same name?

One-days are full courses on their own. Many people do not want or are unable to make the longer commitment of a 9-week class and choose, instead, to take only weekend workshops and to repeat them. One-days can also serve as introductory workshops to longer courses, giving students instruction, hands-on writing exercises, community, inspiration and a generous dose of the Ripe Fruit Experience.

6. Are the classes and workshops repeatable?

Yes. Most classes serve as a foundation for all future writing development in different areas such as voice, languaging, editing, memoir writing, poetry, and fiction and can be repeated. The qualities and skills being taught are endlessly valuable and take time to develop. Each time a student repeats a class, the student will engage with the material in a slightly different way, more competent and confident, committed to the path of maturing as a writer.

7. How many students are in each workshop?

There are 8-12 students in all classes and one-day workshops. There are 10-20 participants at weekend retreats.

8. Where are the classes held?

All classes and one-day workshops take place at The Greenhouse of the Imagination, in a turn-of-the-century Edwardian in Noe Valley, a pleasant, easily accessible neighborhood in San Francisco with convenient public transportation and parking. The Greenhouse consists of a large flat, including a cozy, comfortable livingroom, diningroom, kitchen with bowl of ripe fruit & tea, bathroom, deck with panoramic views, and resource library.

9. I would love to register but I can’t afford the full fee. What can I do?

Although payment in full before class begins is preferred, individual payment plans can be created to suit almost every need. Ripe Fuit is happy to negotiate a partial work exchange as well for students ripe to write and low on funds. Simply let us know your situation when you call or email to register.

10. Given that Ripe Fruit is designed as a curriculum with a clear path of advancement, can I skip a level if I want to or enter at a higher level than RF I?

Each case is treated individually. Leslie can help you determine which course is best for you by discussing your writing goals and evaluating samples of your work.

11. Does it make sense for me to do just one class, workshop or retreat rather then take sequential courses?

Absolutely it does. Each course is designed to give tools, momentum, and inspiration with lasting benefits for each student.

12. How will Ripe Fruit help me to get published?

The focus of Ripe Fruit is on becoming a better writer: the nitty-gritty skills of writing and the cultivation of the six qualities it takes to become a better writer: perception, imagination, love of language, courage, compassion, and commitment. As a result, when and if you wish to publish your work, or apply to an MFA writing program, your portfolio will be top quality. In addition, Ripe Fruit has some connections with literary agents and can direct those interested in publishing to the appropriate resources.