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Love the structure of a writing workshop, but can’t afford or commit to a $500 UCLA Extension class — let alone an MFA program? If you’re in the LA area, consider yourself lucky. As a resident you can take legendary creative writing teacher Jim Krusoe’s 16-week workshop at Santa Monica College for less than $200.

Jim’s a well-known name in the LA literary community. Not only did he found SMC’s literary journal Santa Monica Review (which published some of Aimee Bender’s earliest work), Jim writes novels (The Sleep Garden, Girl Factory, Toward You), reviews books for the New York Times, and teaches in the graduate writing program at Antioch University. Of course, getting into his workshops there means entering an MFA program.

In contrast, Jim’s SMC classes — voted Best Writing Class by LA Weekly in 2012 — are open to all, at least until they fill up. Fall classes begin August 29, and Jim’s teaching two classes, beginning fiction workshop on Mondays, and advanced one on Thursdays. Both meet from 6:45 to 9:50 pm on SMC’s main campus.

Signing up is a tad complicated. You first need to register as an SMC student to get a student ID number, then use that number to log on to SMC’s enrollment system called Corsair Connect. Once you’re logged in, you can add the classes (beginner is Eng 30A, section 4182, advanced is Eng 30B, 4185). The beginning class is a prerequisite for the advanced class, though you can get a waiver into the advanced by contacting the English department chair.

SMC does also offer creative writing workshops from other instructors; I’m just less familiar with their work. Enjoy the class and happy writing —

Jim Krusoe’s writing workshops at Santa Monica College. 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. 310.434.4000.