• How does landscape influence plot and character?

    Can it be a character itself?


    Whether it's the desert or the mountains or an interior landscape such as the inside of a car, this five-week workshop will explore these questions, drawing from writers such as Joyce Carol Oates, Barry Lopez, Rick Bass, the author's own work, and others.


    You'll develop a piece of writing as the workshop progresses, coming away with enhanced powers of description and a firmer grasp on nonfiction fundamentals.


    Class is open to six writers.


    Deanne Stillman is the author of four books, including Mustang, Desert Reckoning, and Blood Brothers. Mustang was a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. Desert Reckoning, based on a Rolling Stone piece, won the Spur and LA Press Club Awards, was a Southwest Book of the Year and an Amazon editors pick. Hunter S. Thompson called her cult classic, the bestselling Twentynine Palms :“A strange and brilliant story by an important American writer.” Deanne taught creative writing for more than a decade in the MFA program at the University of California-Riverside's Palm Desert campus.

    Students Talk About Deanne 


    "Deanne Stillman was an indispensable piece of my education as a writer. She taught me to trust my artistic instincts, strengthen my structure, and connect my prose to the deeper themes I wanted to write." -

    Trey Burnette, MFA, UCR-Palm Desert; essays in the LA Times, NBC News, LA Review of Books


    "It's hard to imagine I would be where I am as a writer without Deanne's generous mentoring. She also happens to be one of the most talented travel writers around." 

    Tiffany Hawk, author of Love Me Anyway (St. Martin's Press)


    "Deanne Stillman has an uncanny ability to understand and connect with places. She helps students discover and explore the places—geographical and emotional—they aim to inhabit in their writing. It's a true gift to be in the space of Deanne Stillman's writing workshop."

    Lizi Silver, graduate of UCR-Palm Desert Low Residency MFA Creative Writing Program


    Mark Lamonica photo
    Gayle Brandeis, Los Angeles Review of Books, on Desert Reckoning

    "One of the greatest gifts of this book is how Deanne Stillman is able to open our hearts to people we might otherwise judge or dismiss...One can’t help but be filled with gratitude and awe toward Deanne Stillman — her clear eye, the depth of her research, her brave and compassionate imagination. She takes us on a journey as full of desolation and grandeur as the desert itself."


    Want more information about the class? Email us.

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    Power of Place

    Power of Place

    Writing Workshop: The Power of Place

    Five workshop sessions on Zoom

    Saturdays 2-5 p.m.

    August 6, 13, 20, 27, September 10
    Coming soon
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