Marni not only nurtured and cared for my writing, she also supported me as the writer and pushed me toward bigger and better things. Her attention to detail and and eye for a good storyline is what makes me come back to her week after week, year after year with my work. Shiloh S.
I have been with Marni Freedman for about a year and I am very pleased with the professional help she has given me. She is in the process of helping me market a novel I’ve just finished and she’s giving me her expertise in writing my next novel. The word ‘professional’ describes Marni perfectly. I know I’m in good hands with Marni and I heartily recommend her to anyone wishing to improve their writing and their writing career. Sharon Hawes, Author of The Sitter
“Marni is an amazingly empowering, perceptive, and inspiring teacher. She not only has tremendous insight and is a gifted editor, but she also is able to draw the best out of people. Before I met Marni i was discouraged and close to giving up writing. I’ve worked one on one with her and also have been in her critique group for two years and she’s helped me improve my writing tremendously — without her help I’m sure I would have never finished my novel. Her positive attitude makes working with her a pleasure. I am extremely thankful to have gotten to know Marni and am lucky to have had her as a coach and mentor.” — Tanya J
The writer in me, which previously escaped in the form of freelance travel essays for newspapers and magazines, has been brewing between the pages of my journals for the last fifteen years. When I decided last January to write a memoir about my spiritual journey covering that same period, I knew I needed help not only in baring my soul and reliving some difficult moments, but also in taking my writing skills from their 1500-word essay comfort level to a 75,000-word manuscript. The way I think of it, Grace stepped in and offered warm-hearted writing coach/therapist, Marni, to my door. From the very first moment I met and sat with her, I felt that I could trust her both emotionally and professionally. With her, I felt safe being vulnerable and honest in writing my story—necessary elements for good memoir—and challenged to become a better writer—to tell my story in a way that would engage and interest my readers. Without ever putting too much of herself in the process, she showed me how to craft each scene as well as my overall story. She taught me the importance of thinking about memoir structure and necessary plot spots, how to experiment with different grabbers and how to allow some of the story to be revealed out of chronological order. I most appreciated that she never backed down. If Marni thought I could further improve a section or the overall structure, or if she sensed I was holding back on the emotional impact of a scene, she gently but firmly encouraged me to try again until my finished product delivered the impact and reflected the story I wanted to tell. Marni has been invaluable to me and I am filled with gratitude at my good fortune in meeting and working with her. — Mariah McKenzie, author of “More . . . journey to mystical union through the sacred and the profane.”
Marni has an extraordinary gift for divining what the writer is missing and getting to the core of things. In a one-hour session she helped me to find the arc and plot points of my story that I could have sworn weren’t there to be found. Now I have the structure I need to move forward with confidence. — Janey W.
Marni is simply the best! Her approach as a writing coach is one of patience, compassion, and complete professionalism. This, combined with her wealth of knowledge about the writing process, has reenergized my creativity and given me the perfect amount of structure to keep my pen moving. Not only am I thrilled with what I am creating, but I am having so much fun telling my story! I am so grateful to her! — Steph W.
Marni’s guidance is invaluable. Not only does she provide useful insights to better your writing, she also provides unwavering encouragement to keep you going. — Lisa F.
” I have thrived as a writer since working with Marni. She has helped me find my voice and she has encouraged me to trust my instincts. The support she provides throughout the creative process is one of the most nurturing experiences I have had as a writer. She understands the vulnerability of the writing process and has created a safe haven in The Writer’s Circle for writers to experiment, explore, and hone their craft while gently nudging all of us to produce more pages. Not only does Marni provide a toolbox of creative inspiration, but she also has an intuitive ability to help you find “the story” while at the same time never letting you lose sight of the one thing us creative folks dread – structure. — Angela B
“As a first time screenwriter, I couldn’t be more pleased with Marni’s depth of knowledge and understanding of the screenwriting writing process that she brings to her writing group. Her style is to listen to your words, ask insightful questions, suggest options for improvement, inspire new ideas, and encourage you to completion. I no longer feel alone when I face the blank page. Marni is there and she knows what I’m going through. The best part of my week is spent in her writer’s group where I find the strength and courage to keep writing” — Rick B
“Marni Freedman really brings it as a writing workshop leader. Combining warmth, candor, and humor with writing and industry chops, she creates an environment in which participants feel energized, involved, and inspired to share their unique voice. With an astute eye for character and structure, she can pinpoint writing problems, yet facilitate a discussion so that a writer feels supported rather than lambasted. With her knowledge and experience with screenwriting and other forms, she serves as a great guide for those seeking a pathway into the writing profession.” —Lex L.
“Marni is insightful, warm, and full of incredibly useful/ usable information on the craft of screen writing. From tightening structure, to more subtle tips for those elusive moments of character development that make a movie magical, her workshops are a treasure trove for those serious about taking their work to the next level. I can’t recommend her highly enough.” — Daisy S
“Marni’s enthusiasm for writing is contagious. She invites you to discover what you’re passionate about and keeps you on track to bring it to the page. Marni keeps you writing. She helps you create a relationship with your creative process that is as nurturing and supportive as she is with you.” –Carolyn B., San Diego
“Bryan, whose brilliant prose had garnered San Diego writers’ awards and rocked the theater with laughter at his latest reading, suggested that I visit Marni’s Memoir Class. Bryan’s writing was well-timed and flawless. Why did he need a writing coach?
“She’s great. Give her a try.” was his reply.
So, I found myself sitting in her writing class. Her responses to other writers in the class
warmed my heart. Each student clearly needed a specific type of nudge, and I could watch Marni provide that push
in the direction of relevance, of clarity or of imagery. Whatever was needed next, Marni could
see it and suggest it. So, I signed up with Marni, and not surprisingly, I am now sitting in my Writer’s Room, fully
equipped with willingness to write, and an enjoyment of the process. What made the difference between myself as stuck wanna-be writer and the happy, fluid composer that you now see before your very eyes? In short, Marni’s magic. Marni is a licensed psychotherapist. So, instead of telling me yet another trick (you’ve heard them all: you must write in the morning . . . try writing in the evening, have a glass of wine, be sure to have a ritual . . . . the list goes on) Marni asked me questions that were specific to my stuckness. After meeting with Marni for five private sessions, I’ve now completed five of the nine chapters of a book that I’ve been attempting to conquer for over ten years. I’ve had the wonderful guidance of very good teachers, of published authors, of superb editors. They’ve all contributed enormously, but Marni has released the genie from the bottle. Marni manages to speak to the heart of what is wanted in the writer’s life. She’s great. Give her a try.” Phyllis E
Feedback From Workshops:
“Marni is an excellent teacher and is able to present a complex concept in an easy, understandable format.”
“At the end of her class I felt like I walked away with a wealth of tools for writing. I will use her teachings for the rest of my writing days.”
“She pushed us every week and designed the course to be interactive among the students.”
“She provided beautiful notes for every aspect of the class. I will always be able to go back and review what I learned in her class. That’s important to me. Beautiful”
“Instructor provided many of her own resources, which were extremely helpful.”
“The instructor was enthusiastic, charming, and encouraging. She met each participant at his/her level and provided valuable feedback.”
“Fantastic course. Marni is an excellent teacher. She makes each student feel valued and therefore comfortable in reading their work to the rest of the class. This could be a tough course with a different instructor because the students are submitting content that is 100% from their souls. It’s not like getting tested on information from a book. It’s information from ourselves. So if the instructor doesn’t handle the critique and instruction with appropriate care – the student will probably never pick up a pen again. I think everyone left this class feeling like they couldn’t wait to get home and keep writing. Marni has the perfect temperament and approach for this class. And she’s the leading ace in the field, so, good job UCSD!”
“I’ve taken many writing classes at UCSD extension, while they were all excellent, this class came at the right time for me. I feel fulfilled and I will take her courses again.”
“She had the ability to answer questions and took the time to patiently explain.”
“Instructor was excellent. Marni showed a genuine interest in tailoring course content and feedback to each student’s individual writing goals. The resources she provided will be extremely valuable references for students’ future writing endeavors.”
“She knew where she was going when she talked. Every class started off with a new challenge. Great handouts.”
“Marni is an expert in the field. I know of no other in SD who comes close to her experience & knowledge.”
“She always knew the answers to my questions and took the time to explain.”
“She was very generous with explanations. I like the fact that she remembered everyones progress.”
“She is sharp. It is difficult to teach a class with student at varying levels of skill. I don’t know how she did it.”
“Marni is great. She is committed to her students and to getting them the lesson.”
“I would love to take an ongoing class from her.”
“Fun, positive and honest! I felt comfortable enough to take risks!”
“Marni is awesome, encouraging and knowledgeable. I’d definitely take another class with her.”
“Before the class I felt stale. Now I feel rejuvinated.”
“I would even take it again.”
“This was a great workshop. Very encouraging and inspiring.”
“Marni is a fantastic instructor who is very knowledgeable and really cares about her students.”