Welcome!

LA Writers Group has facilitated creative writing workshops in Los Angeles since 2003, and as of August 2019, we also offer writing retreats in San Diego (Carlsbad - North County). We also offer many online workshops via live video conference (Zoom), email-based writing challenges, and coaching programs for writers who are ready to finish their first draft.

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.

Books by Nicole's Clients

Fiction, Nonfiction, Traditionally Published, & Self-Published

Beware the MermaidsThe Devil and Max LargentIt's not a Rumour
KickingHitchin
Stay Sober and Save the World the Cave Woman Way

Recent Short Stories and Essays by Nicole's Clients

Take Fountain: Finding Home Amongst LA's Historic Buildings by Anne Sawyier, published in Slag Glass City.
Vigil by Katlyn Minard, published in Ligeia Magazine
Death in a Hollywood Edit Bay by Katlyn Minard, published in print by Train River. Read her interview online.
Séance by Katlyn Minard, published by Train River Capulet Mag
Golden Gate, a full-length stage play by Lindsey Kirchoff, endorsed by Terri Cheney, New York Times bestseller. Featured in Playwrights' Center of San Francisco 2022 Spring Reading Series, winner of 2021 Durango PlayFest
The Sea Witch by Lindsey Kirchoff - Shortlisted in 2021 Fractured Lit $3,000 Fairy Tale contest judged by author Kevin Brockmeir and quarter-finalist for Ruminate Magazine 2022 Fiction Contest
Story Eater by Lindsey Kirchoff - Quarter-finalist for Ruminate Magazine 2022 Fiction Contest


News.

Update about Coronavirus & Online Opportunities

We will remain working online until it is safe to meet indoors in a small space, unmasked. We anticipate moving back to in-person workshops eventually, but we will also continue offering online workshops. Stay tuned for news of future writing retreats as well.

Gift Certificates

You can purchase a gift for yourself or for the writer in your life. View available gift certificates.


Schedule a Free Consultation.

I believe if we are meant to work together, we will, and because of that, I don't believe in high-pressure sales tactics. My consultations are all about getting to know if we are right for each other, understanding your needs, and finding out how I can help you.

Consultations are for those who have a project and are considering coaching. Please do not schedule a consultation about workshops; please email instead.


About Nicole.

Nicole Criona - Book Coach
Nicole co-founded Los Angeles Writers Group in 2003. She authored the successful Get Writing Again in 15 Days and the 100 Days of Writing email-based daily writing challenges.
While Nicole focuses mostly on editing and coaching writers, her writing credits include both poetry and fiction (Hissquarterly.com, Strongverse.org, Six Sentences, and Narrative Magazine, placed amongst others). She has also worked as a freelance and content writer, and has been hired to rewrite screenplays.
Coaching Stats:Specialties:
—Two clients—so far!—got an agent and a book deal (both fiction and nonfiction)—see success stories
—Many clients have self-published
—Many clients have had short stories / essays published
—Thanked in seven books
—Three clients are currently seeking representation
Developmental editing and first-draft coaching for both short and full-length fiction, memoir, nonfiction, & screenplays (not television)
—Creativity coaching
—Productivity coaching
—Scene Improvement
—Structure
—Writer’s block

It was a great experience and one that needed. I haven’t picked up a “pen” in a creative writing journey in many months. The 15 days motivated me to write and I’m glad to report that it’s only wet my appetite. I fell in love with the creative process again. Nicole, you’re awesome. I liked all of the prompts and the feedback from Nicole and others in this challenge. Also, getting to read others writing touched me too. So much talent out there. Thank you, thank you.

Jacqueline K.

"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.

Nicole, I want to thank you for your thought provoking and active participation as the facilitator of this incredible 15-Day experience! I began this workshop with lots of apprehension which was similar to how I tackled my writing, unfortunately. But, with your energy and tenacious daily prompts and up-to-the minute feedback, I was able to defeat the writers block that I often found myself in! I’ve been writing everyday since your workshop and I’m happy to say that I have actually completed two articles that I am preparing to submit for publication! I am incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm, professionalism, and mindful energy that you brought to this 15-Day challenge! I’m actually considering doing it a second time!

Deb G.

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.

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

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.