Events & Classes
Coming Up!
Over and Out

May, 2018

The Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA

The Sun magazine's

annual Into the Fire writing workshops

May, 2017

May, 2016

Wildacres, North Carolina

The Sun magazine's

annual Into the Fire writing workshops

July, 2016

July, 2015

Catamaran Writing Conference  

Pebble Beach, CA

July 31 through August 4, 2016


Workshops, craft lectures, readings, nightly poetry slams, field trips to Steinbeck country. 

Keynote speaker: Jonathan Franzen

Guest Poet: Dorianne Laux

Faculty: Molly Gloss, Frances Lefkowitz, Elizabeth McKenzie, Joseph Milar, Elizabeth Rosner, Zack Rogow, Margaret Niven

About the Workshops


     Frances leads writing workshops at bookstores, libraries, corporations, and retreat centers, including Omega Institute's Memoir Festival in New York (with Cheryl Strayed, Malachy McCourt, and Alphie McCourt); The Sun magazine’s writing retreats at Esalen Institute (CA) and at Wildacres (NC); Memoir Journal's Master Classes in Memoir; Catamaran Literary Reader's annual Catamaran Writing Conference; 

Catamaran Center for the Literary Arts; San Francisco Writers' Grotto; Berkeley Public Library; Copperfields Bookstores; and Book Passage.


Frances is known for her ingenuity and enthusiasm in bringing out the best of both beginning and advanced writers. Her workshops focus on topics and techniques in memoir, fiction, nonfiction, and professional writing, from sparking the creative process to editing the final draft. Workshops run from two hours to half-and full-days, to series lasting three to eight weeks, and she can create custom workshops focusing on particular issues or stages in the writing process.


Recent classes

  • Six-Week Memoir

  • Showing & Telling 

  • Recasting Family Stories

  • Flash Fiction Funshop

  • Micro-Memoir

  • Edit Yourself: Tools & Tactics for Revising Your Own Writing

  • How to Make a Scene

  • Writing About the Self Without Self-Indulgence

  • What's Your Money Story

  • Tapping Into Voice, Unraveling Story



What students are saying


"Frances is so ON; she has amazing energy and created a safe and comfortable place for us to write and tell our story. She met each of us at our comfort level, and teased out some great revelations and realizations."


"I have never had editing explained to me before; I had no idea there was a systematic approach to it."


"Frances is an amazing teacher, and I'm a career schoolteacher, so I don't say this lightly. She's flexible, organized, engaged, and engaging."


"Her classes have a good balance between rigor and fun."



Distinguished Writer Series

at Cal State East Bay

Reading and talk on memoir, both long form and micro-memoir

Free & open to the public