Guest Post: Charles Kruger Teaches Jack Grapes’ Method Writing

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Guest Post: Charles Kruger Teaches Jack Grapes’ Method Writing


Beginning on Saturday morning, March 26, Vallejo writer Charles Kruger (columnist for The Rumpus and LitSeen, theatre and book reviewer, and published poet) will be debuting an online class in “Jack Grapes’ Method Writing.” Kruger’s work has received recognition in the New York Times, on “Harriet the Blog” (published by the Poetry Foundation), Berkeley’s NPR public radio affiliate, and the SF Weekly among other places.

Kruger began his studies with the much-admired writing teacher, Jack Grapes (founder of the Los Angeles Poets and Writers Collective) back in 2001 and is now hanging out his shingle (with Grapes’ blessing) as a teacher of Grapes “Method Writing” approach, which Grapes has been polishing for half a century of teaching. 

Although always a writer, Grapes began his professional creative career training as an actor. And before that, he had youthful success as an athlete.

Grapes had noted that his athletic and acting coaches had a more systematic approach to training than his writing treachers. He began to consider whether developing (or experienced) writers could be guided to break down their writing process into concrete, specific drills, not unlike the way a golfer might practice a swing, or an actor might analyze a scene.

In time he developed a curriculum that:

  • eliminates reliance on inspiration – no more writer’s block!
  • focuses on tonal dynamics and the writer’s deep voice
  • systematically trains writers to create cinematic scenes
  • reliably guides writers to their own themes
  • teaches writers to allow story to emerge from an exploration of themes rather than artificial construction

Method Writing techniques are applicable to all genres of writing: poetry, memoir, fiction, essays and opinion pieces, book reviews, theatre reviews, TV and cinema, plays, even recipes.


  • creative individuals who have dreamed of “being a writer” but
    need help in developing a consistent practice
  • anybody who has to create written product as part of their job
  • visual and performing artists who would like to expand their creative practice
  • experienced writers who wish to deepen their practice
  • hobbyists looking for a creative outlet
  • writing instructors who wish to expand their instruction repertoire
  • younger writers just starting to explore their creativity (Teens are welcome!)

In the Level One Introductory class to Method Writing students learn an approach that can reliably help them to:

  • eliminate, forever, the bugaboo of so-called “writer’s block”
  • quickly, and efficiently, activate the “deep voice”—the intimate tone that forms a relationship with the reader, as if they were whispering in the readers’ ear
  • construct cinematic moments that build suspense and engage the readers’ interests
  • generate images and metaphors that surprise and delight

If you are looking for a writing class to revisit some basics, jumpstart the doldrums, or start writing after dreaming of it too long, this one might be worth your consideration.

No class can turn you into a writer. But this one can give you the tools to practice and gradually become the writer you long to be or enrich the work of the writer you already are.

By the end of the eight week class in Method Writing, every student will have produced enough material to publish a chapbook (instructions on the process will be part of the curriculum).

There will also be guidance on how to develop a systematic approach to submitting work and getting published.

Method Writing students are all automatically invited to be members of the Grapes-founded “Los Angeles Poets and Writers Collective” (many members of which are not actually in Los Angeles), which provides multiple opportunities for publication in collectively published anthologies. There are no dues for membership in the collective. Anthology publications are funded through the modest contributions of the membership.

For further details about the class, click here. 

Vallejo Poetry Society was founded in 2018 by Erika Snyder, Daniel Badiali, and D.L. Lang to serve as a resource for local poets. We encourage you to join our mailing list and follow us on social media for the most up to date event announcements, networking with other poets, and publication opportunities.
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