Kind

We support, encourage, and inspire writers of all genres. We’ve helped many writers establish or reestablish a productive and creative mindset, fill their pages, and learn their craft through our creative writing workshops and private coaching. We don't believe in the tough-love approach. We believe in empowering writers to explore their craft.

Supportive

We only pick leaders who lead our writing workshops with love. We hire exceptional group leaders who are adept at engaging small groups of writers. We screen them for their expertise, their diplomacy, and their belief in positive reinforcement. We believe writers need a safe space to grow.

Personal

Our creative writing workshops are never about lectures with hundreds of people. Instead, our workshops are small and geared toward individual attention. We also offer one-on-one coaching for writers working on a first draft or editing for writers with a completed manuscript.

We’re expanding to San Diego!!

We are starting up our long-running Sunday Creative Writing Workshops in Carlsbad, CA in August 2019. See our San Diego Writing Workshops

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Current Creative Writing Workshops in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Online:

Get Writing Again, an email-based  workshopEmail Course: Our 15-day email-based writing workshop for those of you who want to get back to daily writing practice. Get an email every day with a writing prompt and a coaching step to help you get back on track. Learn more
Sunday Creative Writing Workshops in Los AngelesOnline: Get words on the page in our longest-running, generative, Sunday Creative Writing Workshop, where we use writing prompts designed to teach aspects of scene writing, create new, unexpected new works, or bring creativity back into writing. Join us online any Sunday you'd like, from anywhere! Learn more
Weekly Creative Writing Workshop in San DiegoSan Diego / Carlsbad, CA: Get words on the page in our longest-running, generative, Sunday Creative Writing Workshop, where we use writing prompts designed to teach aspects of scene writing, create new, unexpected new works, or bring creativity back into writing. Come any Sunday you'd like. Learn more
Writing Retreat on San Diego / Carlsbad, CAWriting Retreat in San Diego, CA / Carlsbad: Spend a weekend near the beach getting words on the page and learning to write better scenes. Writers of all genres welcome, but we will focus on writing better scenes for fiction and memoir writers. Learn more
First Draft Incubator, a Support Group for WritersThe First Draft Incubator combines group and private coaching for a low monthly fee — an affordable and less intensive option than one-on-one Private Coaching. The group meets online twice a month, and every member gets 2 hours of private coaching per month. An excellent choice for writers who want to make slow, steady progress, need check-ins, deadlines, motivation to keep on track, or can't afford private coaching. Learn more
Creative Writing Coach, Book coIntensive, one-on-one coaching for writers who are serious about completing a draft of a fiction or nonfiction book. Get help with your story structure and scene-writing tools. Includes in person or video conference meetings and feedback on your chapters as you write them. Learn more

Nicole understands that working with writers doesn't just involve talking about their project. She has the rare and brilliant skill of sensing what is really at the root of slowing a writer down and is more than willing to get into the messy and seemingly "unrelated" discussions that surround every writer's process. Working with her for these past three months has enabled me to minimize the confusion and frustration that always arises in the writing process and get back to making progress on my book faster. Instead of spending days of energy in emotional defeat, I spend an hour on the phone with Nicole and find my way back to the work at hand before evening time. She is a miracle worker, and her diagnostic skills are up there with rocket scientists. I'm not exaggerating. She's brilliant. Few people in the world have as much passion and grace when it comes to teaching the craft of writing. She also has an awe-inspiring ability to work with a widely diverse range of writers and personalities. Working with Nicole was the best investment in myself and my writing aspirations I could make.

Jess H.

"I had taken every writing class I could find both online and in-person for over three years, yet I was still floundering around with an unwritten novel in my head. Frustrated and skeptical, I went to yet another class and met Nicole Criona - and everything changed. First Draft Incubator was different. And her one-one-one personal attention was just what I needed. With her kindness and gentle encouragement, before I knew it I had an outline. She was so generous with her ideas and so sure of my ability and our way forward that I believed her. And it worked. Three months later, I had sixty written pages with a clear idea of where I was going. Every week, she helped me hurdle stumbling blocks and climb out of writing bogs that threatened to stop me in my tracks. Now, here I am, sixteen months later with a finished first draft. It is the single biggest personal accomplishment of my life and she is the reason I got here. The joy is real! I cannot thank her enough. Nicole, you were the flashlight in my darkest forest. We did it!!"

Carrie T. - Fledgling Author, soon to be hopefully be published.

It is always a pleasure to gather in this intimate setting with a few writers who want to read literature, together. In this sacred space, we go further and higher when we read out-loud and talk about what makes a particular piece so moving. Then, we can all come alive with inspiration!

F.M., Los Angeles

This is the best writing organization you will find!! I'm from Michigan and contacted Nicole about private coaching in 2015. Our first meeting/consultation was incredible. I felt like we had been friends in a past life. Nicole is genuine and is truly an expert in the craft.

We met via "Zoom" during our sessions, and she allowed me enough time to finish my edits and set up a meeting when I was ready. In terms of experience, she meets you where you are. She listens and edits carefully to fully understand what you need to do in order to move forward. In the sessions, we had a dialogue. She was not preaching to me or lecturing. Her unique ability to explain and teach helped me retain the information she gave me.

I was self-taught until I met Nicole. She helped transform my writing in ways I cannot describe. I am proud to say that in 2016 I published a chapter Nicole helped me edit from my upcoming novel for an impromptu reading. The feedback I received from the audience was magical. Word has spread, and friends are still asking for copies.

As writers, it is up to us to put our best foot forward and own our craft. Nicole helped me find that confidence and own it. Not only does she teach, she believes in you. And to me, that is greater than any lesson someone can offer.

I would recommend LA Writers Group to any writer serious about the art. (I brag about the organization every chance I get)

Nicole S.

Since I began working with Nicole, she's provided valuable coaching and feedback every time we've met. I came to Nicole with a few ideas scrawled into a Moleskine notebook, and six months later, I proudly printed out the first draft of my manuscript. With her guidance, I've been able to propel my story, characters, and prose to a level I could not have achieved on my own. I cannot recommend working with her highly enough!

Christian U.

I came to this course with 20-odd pages of tired material, a clichéd main character, and no idea how to map out my novel. Despite having two decades of experience as a magazine features writer, I was stumped on how to organize and sustain compelling long form fiction. Less than six weeks later, I have a complete outline and a solid second take on several important scenes.
If you’re serious about finishing your first draft, sign up for this class. Nicole will be a generous advocate for your work. She’ll honor your personal creative process and she will ask you all the hard questions at just the right time.

D.M.