Skip to Site Navigation | Skip to Local Navigation | Skip to Content
Cabrillo College - Home


students on campuscabrillo campus
writingwriting 1travelwriting

Literature and Writing

The Writer's Journey



Many of us hold a deep dream of wanting to write. We want to write so we can understand ourselves more deeply and so that we can be seen. We sense that there are stories living inside of us that need to be told, but in our busy lives, we have not been able to create the time, space or circumstances in which to do so. This one-day workshop will give you that time. During our day of writing together and reading aloud, you will tap into your creativity, explore your wild mind, and learn the basic tools you need to develop a rich, vital writing life.

The Writer’s Journey is rooted in writing practice, developed by Natalie Goldberg in her classic book, Writing Down the Bones. The class is appropriate for both beginning and experienced writers.

Students should bring a lunch.

Sun., March 25
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Room: Horticulture 5001
Register by Jan. 29: $78
Register after Jan. 29: $90

register online

Laura Davis is the author of 7 non-fiction books, including The Courage to Heal, Becoming the Parent You Want to Be and I Thought We’d Never Speak Again. She teaches weekly writing workshops and has been mentoring and supporting writers for the past 16 years.


Storytelling Basics – How to Write a Story Ready for Publication


Well written stories captivate and transport us in a seemingly effortless way. But under the surface is a well-oiled storytelling machine at work, inviting you into a world of the writer’s design, introducing you to characters they have invented, and guiding you to a well thought out conclusion.

In this class, we will take apart this machine to see how it works, then put it to work for you! Learn to write your own short story over the course of the class, ending with a story ready for submission to literary presses.

Learn the working elements of a story, how to bring characters to life, create story structure, build scenes, and ultimately complete a publishable story that readers will want to read and publishers will want to publish. You will leave class with a 500-1500 word story which will be ready for submission to literary presses.

4 Weds. March 7-28
6:30 - 8:30 pm
Room: 429
Register before Jan. 29: $85
Register after Jan. 29: $90


register online

Shelly King, see bio


So, You Want to Write a Novel?

novel writing

Have you always wanted to write a novel, but don't know where to start? Has your idea has been running through your head for a while now, but you’re not sure where to start? How do you turn your brilliant idea into a completed manuscript? Maybe you have started, and it’s not quite what you want it to be, or you’re not sure how to finish it. This workshop is designed to give participants the tools they need to plot out and complete the first draft of their novel.

During this workshop we’ll review popular and familiar stories from movies and books, then break down the components of the story into its essential elements, so students can see how the story is put together, piece by piece.

We'll cover character development, plot, the three-act structure, point-of-view, scene building, and dialog. We'll discuss the point of view (POV) you choose for your novel, how to write characters readers will fall in love with, the do’s and don’ts of dialog, and the plot, pacing, and structure that will have your readers turning the pages.

2 Sat., May 5 & 12
9 am – 12 pm
Room: 429
Register before Jan. 29: $78
Register after Jan. 29: $85


register online

Shelly King left a career as a nerd in the high tech world to write short stories and novels about nerds like her. After publishing many short stories in literary journals, her novel, The Moment of Everything, was published by Grand Central Publishing (Hachette) and has been translated to 15 languages around the world.


Writing Motherhood


Every mother has a story to tell. Whether you are a new mother or a grandmother, someone who writes regularly or someone who has never written before, discover how to find your stories in everyday moments of motherhood—the extremes, routines, and in-betweens. Learn how to throw away the rules that stifle your creativity as you give yourself the gift of time and space to write. Join a community of other mothers who want to chronicle and clarify their experiences. This supportive writing workshop promises to renew your spirit, awaken your memories, and ignite your pen.

We will begin with “Becoming a Writing Mother” and end with “Holding On and Letting Go.” In between, we will explore such universal topics as “Birth Stories and Other Beginnings,” “Names and Nicknames,” “Mothers Don’t Get Mad and Other Myths,” and “Mothering Our Mothers.” We will use scents, props, and storytelling to warm up for writing, and impromptu “writing starts” to give us a clear set of footprints onto the blank page. For inspiration, we will read published essays and poems by well-loved Writing Mothers including Anne Lamott, Joan Didion, and Sharon Olds. By the end of six weeks, you will have in hand your first Mother's Notebook, written in just 15 minutes a day and filled with stories to preserve, post, or pass down.

Lisa has taught Writing Motherhood for over 15 years in New York City. She is offering the class for the first time on the west coast at Cabrillo.

Your materials fee will include the book Writing Motherhood.

6 Thu., Feb. 1 – Mar. 8
10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Room: 2100B
Register before Jan. 29: $138

Register after Jan 29: $145
Plus materials fee of $25 paid at registration


register online

Lisa Garrigues, MA, see bio


Writing Womanhood for Women of All Ages and Writers at All Stages

writing woman

Women live their lives in chapters—from girlhood to grand-parenting. Learn how to write from the text of your own life in this inspirational and experiential writing workshop for women of all ages and writers at all stages. As your guide and muse, Lisa will inspire you to get started and empower you to keep going. She will show you how to enrich your life by integrating the practice of writing—and the persona of writer—into your daily rhythms.

Each week we will explore a different “chapter” in our lives: “The Story of My Life,” “Writing from Home: Map Stories,” “Family Album: Photo Stories,” “Friends and Lovers: Love Stories,” “Lost and Found: Odes to Common Things,” and, finally, “Changing Chapters: Transitions, Decisions, Turning Points.” We will use sketches, objects, and storytelling to warm up for writing, and impromptu “writing starts” to give us a clear set of footprints onto the blank page. Our focus is not on product but rather on the practice of writing in a notebook every day—two pages or 15 minutes. As we mine our memories—and the moment—for material to write about, we will throw away the rules that bind our imagination, silence the critical inner voices that stifle our creativity, and discover how to carve out the time and space for writing. For inspiration, we will read published essays and poems by such revered writers as Anne Lamott, Vivian Gornick, and Elizabeth Gilbert.

By the end of six weeks, you will have in hand the beginnings of several chapters from your own story of womanhood. And you will know the wisdom that comes from exchanging stories with women at different chapters in their lives.

6 Thu., April 12 – May 17
10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Room: 2100B
Register before Mar. 26: $138
Register after Mar. 26: $145


register online

Lisa Garrigues, MA, is an award-winning writer, educator, and speaker. A fellow of Hedgebrook and the MacDowell Colony, she has published, taught classes, and led workshops on creative writing for nearly 20 years


Memoir Writing: Exploring Memories & Meaning




In this workshop you will explore some of the poignant memories and stories that have shaped your life.

With innovative exercises for eliciting memories and writing memoirs, you will discover stories that may surprise you with their power for self-discovery. As you reflect upon the events that make up your life, you will notice the continuous thread that weaves through your experiences, deepening an understanding of who you are, and offering a sense of clarity, meaning, and purpose for your life.

Sat., March 10
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Room: Horticulture 5005

Register by Jan. 29: $78
Register after Jan. 29: $85

Plus a $5 materials fee payable in class

register online

Lauren Mari-Navarro, is a trained facilitator of the Soul Collage® Method encouraging creativity and self-discovery. She has a private practice in the Santa Cruz community.


Travel Writing - Wonder and Wanderlust

writing 1

Much like taking, saving and sharing photos of our journeys, writing about travel is a great way to re-live, share or publish the stories of our travels. Turn your adventures into keepsakes to share with family and friends, or essays, articles, blogs, and even novels. From story idea to final revision, you will transform your journeys-near and forays-far into nifty narratives that celebrate the joys of travel. In an atmosphere of support and camaraderie, we will explore the art and soul of travel, share the fun of new, if not foreign horizons, discover why the journey is often more exciting than the destination, and, by class end, have a finished travel story ready either to pitch for publication or tuck away with your family albums.

Just in time to prepare for your summer travel, come share with others your trips, treks and other adventures, past or planned, and let your wonder and wanderlust find voice. Classes will consist of discussion, readings, and writing "adventures" (not exercises). Lots of laughter, included!

4 Tues. April 3 – 24
6:30-8:30 pm
Room: 429
Register before March 26: $98
Register after March 26: $110
Plus $5 materials fee paid at registration

register online

Colette, O’Connor, holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is a professional travel writer. Her lifestyle features and travel essays have appeared in publications ranging from the Los Angeles Times to The Best Women’s Travel Writing.


Retire Early and Travel for Free!


If you’re near retirement, retired, re-tooling or changing careers, or if you like the idea of making additional income to support your travel dream, this class is for you. Learn over 200 ways to travel for free, including volunteering, fun work-vacations & paid travel opportunities. These tricks and tools will help you use your skills and hobbies to pay for your travel, create the time & money to travel as much as you want, and keep your retirement money in the bank! We’ll go over how to earn free airline tickets, hotel nights, cruises, tours, car rentals, meals, and more in the USA  and worldwide!
Your materials fee will cover the 100-page book, Retire Early & Travel Free, which helps you plan a trip, make it free, and achieve your travel goals!

Thu., May 24
6:00 – 9:30 pm
Room: 1605
Register before Mar. 26: $58
Register after Mar. 26: $65
Plus a $15 materials fee paid in class

register online

Gina Henry, holds master’s in International Management, is a travel expert, writer, and professional speaker, and owner of Go Global, Inc., a company she founded to help people find affordable ways to support their travel habit. She has been traveling for free for over twenty-five years and has traveled to 93 countries & all 50 states.


SoulCollage®: For the Love of Images and the Changes They Bring

soul 2

Give expression to your life story in all its beauty and complexity! SoulCollage® is a flexible and profound expressive arts method through which you make your own unique cards for personal reading. Anyone who has a love of images and is looking for an intuitive process for change and growth will find this process meaningful. Your cards give voice to all of who you are and even offer expression to the qualities you want to bring into your life!

In its 13th year offered at Cabrillo Extension, SoulCollage® originated right here in Santa Cruz County by local author Seena Frost and is now in 39 countries around the world! Come experience for yourself what has inspired thousands: a method deeply personal, incredibly fun, and perfect for the quiet individualist as well as the one who loves community. As simple as the ingredients of cut images, a pair of scissors, and some glue, this process is considered by many to be transformational and vitally expressive, even with zero art experience!

This is a course for beginners as well as those already familiar with SoulCollage® who will enjoy having time to review concepts and create several new cards in a relaxing and lovely environment. Participants will be able to immediately apply what they learn during this creative day together. Anyone can make SoulCollage® cards!

Sat., March 24
10 am - 4 pm
Room: Horticulture 5005

Register by Jan. 29: $78
Register after Jan. 29: $88
plus $20 materials fee payable to instructor in class

Follow this link to our Class Resources page, which includes materials lists and other important information about classes.

register online


Lauren Mari-Navarro is a trained facilitator of the SoulCollage® Method encouraging creativity and self-discovery. Lauren has her own private counseling practice in Santa Cruz County.


Writing Workshop w/ Deena Metzger: The Literature of Restoration


In this day-long workshop, renowned elder Deena Metzger will teach about the cutting edge of language and the creative process from her fifty years of writing and publishing.  Deena’s many books include poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction. She is a master writing teacher who challenges and supports participants to enter new territory in their writing. Her exceptional workshops in Topanga Canyon are always full.

According to Deena, everyone has a story which calls to be known and written – a heart story that can guide us, comprised of many other interlocking stories rising from the imagination. The story is revealed through the writing experience, like a council that holds all the voices, including our ancestors and descendants.

In her work on The Literature of Restoration, Deena writes, “Language embodies a culture’s perception of the nature of the world. This is communicated to us when we are children learning the basic meanings, implicit and explicit, of each word.  As we mature, we learn that words are resonant with complex associations and allusions – undertones and overtones.  When we are born into a particular language and culture, we absorb values, possibilities and restrictions inherent within the language structure we are given. For those writing in English, the language carries invisible assumptions about the nature of the world which constrict and confine our thinking.

“With the fate of the Earth and all of life at stake, we are called to open up our writing so that language and literature can be peacemakers.  We hope to restore and piece together the broken, burned shards of once-vital histories, to dare to know what we know, to see and understand with our hands and feet what is irrefutable, to listen to the ancestors and the future, to the dreams and the signs, old syllables and unborn orations, birdsong, whale song and howl, the glorious and tormented recitations of wind, water, light and earth, to bring together a luminous grammar of connection so that through such shared conversations and our own emergent literature and culture, we make ourselves places to live that will outlive and help us move beyond these times."


Please bring your writing materials. 

Tea, fruit, bagels, cheese spreads, gluten-free crackers and healthy snacks will be available all day.

We will break for lunch and dinner. There are affordable places nearby to eat, or you can bring brown bag food. 
Refrigeration will be available. 

The Cabrillo Horticultural Center is a lovely venue with sweeping views of the Santa Cruz County coastline.

9:30 am - 8 pm
Room: Horticulture 5005

Fee: $165

register online


Deena Metzger is most recently the author of A Rain of Night Birds, and writer of twenty influential books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. She is a radical thinker on behalf of the natural world and planetary survival, a teacher of writing and healing practices for 50 years, and a writer and activist profoundly concerned with peacemaking, restoration, and sanctuary for a beleaguered world. Her work examines the tragic failure of contemporary culture and provides guidance for personal, political, environmental and spiritual healing. Her novel La Negra y Blanca won the 2012 Oakland Pen Award for Literature. Metzger is most recognized for her image in Hella Hamid’s photograph in 1977 sometimes referred to as “The Warrior,” in which Metzger stands naked, post-mastectomy, in a celebratory pose.


The Radical Poetic Imagination



One need not be a poet to enjoy the experience of setting your imagination free! This two- week- end workshop focuses on the expression of the expanded imagination through poetry. It is ideal for anyone of any age who is interested in expanding the scope of their imagination.

Students will participate in generative exercises at each stage of exploration. We will seek to answer some questions, and discuss the historical development of the Radical Poetic Imagination, including the historical and cultural context, groundbreaking work of poets through history, and the development of modern, free poetic expression. The imaginative journey then moves on to French Avant-Garde, Dada and continental Surrealism. We will culminate the exploration of the liberated imagination in the Spanish poets of the Civil War, 20th Century Latin American Poetry, the Beat Movement and the best of contemporary, innovative work, incorporating painting, photography, film, performance art, theatre, and advertising.

Anyone with an interest in expanded vision through all mediums, including dream and reverie, will find The Radical Imagination exhilarating.

Students should bring a journal or notebook, a favorite pen, dress comfortably, and bring a lunch and a drink. No experience writing or performing is necessary.

10 am - 2 pm
Room: 313

Register by June 5: $180
Register after June 5: $195

register online

Janet Hamill is the author of seven books of poetry and short fiction, and has been nominated for the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Prize. She is a strong advocate for the spoken word and has read at Bumbershoot Festival, The Andy Warhol Museum, and many other US and international venues. She is the founder and co-director of Megaphone, a monthly literary series.



    Was this page helpful?    
Ask Cabrillo WebAdvisor Cabrillo Library Cabrillo Bookstore  Canvas icon  Facebook Icon Twitter Icon YouTube

© 2013 Cabrillo Community College District

Campus Safety | Accessibility | Title IX

Main Campus, 6500 Soquel Drive Aptos CA 95003, 831.479.6100