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About Us

Diablo Writers’ Workshop was established in 2017 by Janine Noel and Andrea A. Firth, both alumni of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s College of California. Hiking the hills in the East Bay together with our dogs leading the way and Mount Diablo as the backdrop, the vision for Diablo Writers’ Workshop became clear. We are committed to making professional writing classes accessible and to helping you make writing a part of your life. We offer a stimulating and supportive environment where you will grow as both a reader and a writer. Our classes include a wide range of readings; analysis and craft discussion; prompts, free writes and sharing; and workshop. Whether you’re drawn to fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, essay, flash or poetry, our workshop method creates a safe and encouraging space for you to take risks and generate powerful work. You will surprise yourself! Plus, we provide a detailed analysis, written and oral, of each student’s workshop submission. Most importantly we honor the rigor and joy of the creative process by working hard but not taking ourselves too seriously.


We hold live classes at our local independent bookstore, Orinda Books, and online via Zoom. 


-Andrea and Janine


Andrea A. Firth

Janine Noel

P.O. Box 621

Lafayette, CA 94549

P.O. Box 621

Lafayette, CA 94549

Andrea A. Firth has been a freelance writer and journalist for over twenty-five years and has taught writing in both the college and community settings. ​She is also an Editor for the Brevity Blog.

Andrea believes that we all have interesting stories to tell—finding those stories and how best to frame them, through memoir, personal essay, fiction, or poetry is what excites her about teaching. She helps writers learn how to “read as a writer,” craft their stories, and edit their work too. 

Andrea has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Saint Mary’s College of California. She was a finalist for the Missouri Review's 2021 Perkoff Prize in nonfiction. Inspired by a handful of old family photos, Andrea is working on a collection of essays. You can read a few of her recently published essays herehere, here, and here.    

Janine Noel holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary’s College of California. With experience teaching English at the college level, she is passionate about helping writers express themselves through both creative nonfiction and fiction.

She is particularly interested in autobiographical storytelling and how writing about our personal experiences can speak to universal themes, reaching readers of all backgrounds.

A graduate of Dartmouth College with a degree in drama, Janine brings a love for the performing arts to her creative writing process. She cares deeply about developing strong characters and exciting scenes set against cinematic backgrounds. She is currently working on a memoir about the pursuit of art and following dreams, which may break us and save us.

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