Jim Krusoe at Santa Monica College offers a special brand of “class critique” to inspire people to write that novel or short story they've long had in their heads. Former students have produced more than 30 novels and countless magazine and literary-journal pieces. There are no class assignments. No textbook. Krusoe awards a B to everyone. All you need is a desire to write better. Each student submits a short story, or a chapter from their novel, for Krusoe's penciled assessment. The writer considers Krusoe's directions, and after a rewrite reads it in class. The class picks it apart, suggesting ways to improve it. At less than $200 (covers class and student fees) for a 16-week class, it's a terrific deal. The New York Times Book Review says of Krusoe's book, Parsifal, “Krusoe's sure and subtle imaginings of such characters … place him among the foremost creators of surreal Americana.” The Los Angeles Times wrote, “Jim Krusoe is … like an alien presence with a new language that sounds enough like our own to make us strain to uncover its meaning.” 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 434-4000, www.smc.edu.
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