Andrea A. Firth

Writer, Editor, Educator

Co-Founder, Diablo Writers' Workshop

Essay Class
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Andrea A. Firth is a writer, editor, and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is cofounder of Diablo Writers’ Workshop where she teaches creative writing, provides editorial consulting, and supports a vibrant writing community. Andrea received her MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Saint Mary’s College of California where she also teaches design thinking and life design. She was a longtime contributor to Oakland Magazine and has published hundreds of articles in news outlets, magazines, and literary journals. Most recently her focus has been personal essay, and in 2021 she was a finalist for the Missouri Review's Perkoff Prize in nonfiction. Inspired by a handful of old family photos, Andrea is working on a collection of essays, which explore what's real, what's imagined and what lies in between. Examples of her recently published work are listed with links below.

New Class Enrolling Now

Let's Get Personal

The Art & Craft of the Personal Essay
Wednesdays, 9:30 -11:00 am, February 16 - March 16

Join the  Waitlist

"I want to be an honest man and a  good writer," said American essayist and activist James Baldwin. What lies at the core of the personal essay is the idea that there is a certain unity to the human experience, and the discovery of one's own truth is central to the form. We will read contemporary essays by writers like Baldwin, Joan Didion, Jo Ann Beard, and others. We will experience a range of essay types and together explore and uncover the art, craft, and joy of the genre. Freewrites and prompts will inspire your writing and you will have the opportunity to workshop an essay or other writing of your choice. Enrollment will max at 8 writers.

Selected Essays and Journalism

Capturing the Final Moments of Pregnancy in a Picture 
Motherwell, August, 2021


A Coyote in the Midst
The Coachella Review, Winter 2020

Old John
eMerge Magazine, Summer 2020

The Pandemic's Quiet Victim: Our Planet
The Bold Italic, July 2020


Aging as the Next Social Revolution
Oakland Magazine, June 2019

Is Video Gaming A New Addiction?
Oakland Magazine, October 2018


Craft Essays

Seven Drafts, an Interview with Allison K Williams

Catapult, December 1, 2021

What Do I Call This? How to Title a Personal Essay
Brevity Nonfiction Blog, September, 2021

Tomato Ready: Publishing, Patience and Pleasant Surprises
Brevity Nonfiction Blog, June, 2021