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Andrea A. Firth

Writer, Editor, Educator

Co-Founder, Diablo Writers' Workshop

Editor at the Brevity Blog

Join me for the
Wednesday Co-Write
9:00-10:15 am PST
FREE on Zoom
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 Essay Classes Full
Stay tuned for news for Fall offerings
Summer Dates for Submit-it-Now coming soon
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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. She is also an Editor for the Brevity Blog. Andrea received her MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Saint Mary’s College of California where she also teaches. Her writing focus is personal essay, and in 2021 she was a finalist for the Missouri Review's Perkoff Prize. She was a longtime contributor to Oakland Magazine and has published hundreds of articles in news outlets and magazines. Inspired by a handful of old family photos, Andrea is working on a collection of essays, Examples of her recently published work are listed with links below.

New Classes

Here's how it works:​

  • Over eight lessons, I take you on a deep dive into what makes a personal essay work. We cover ideas, memory, structure, dialogue, point of view, meaning making, craft, revision and more.

  • You will  also work through a six-step prompt that will guide you to get all of the key parts of your essay on the page in a single sitting.

  • With your essay well underway, we'll look for the heartbeat–what it’s about and how it connects—and learn how to finetune the storytelling with good writing craft.

  • Self-paced. Take on the lessons when it works for you. And at a very affordable price.

The Essay Workshop--on Zoom

May 7, 14 and 21 & June 4, 11 and 18 

6 Tuesdays, 9:30-11:30 AM PST 


6 Wednesdays, 3:00-5:00 pm PST


This generative course is designed to move your personal essay from a nascent idea to a smooth (yup, not rough) draft.

  • Generate and develop new essay ideas.

  • Write a complete draft of your essay following an in-class prompt.

  • Learn how to refine your writing--moving your draft from rough to smooth. 

  • Participate in a fun, supportive and constructive workshop.

  • Receive written feedback and line edits from me.

  • Review published essays for craft. Note that this course is focused more on writing than reading, and giving and getting good feedback.

  • Ideal for writers both new to the form and those who have written personal essay. Workshop experience is helpful. Max 9 writers.

Wednesday Co-Writing
Inspiration. Motivation. Community

9:00 am - 10:15 am PST

FREE. On Zoom

 Every Wednesday thru May, 2024

on hiatus thru August

Spend an hour writing in community. I alternate co-hosting with my colleague Janine Noel. After a brief check in, you'll get down to writing (audio muted, camera on or off). Generate new work or revise a work-in- progress. We will provide a prompt each week for those looking for a start, but this time and space is for you to write what you choose. No need to register in advance. 

Submit It Now!
Time and support to help you get your work out to lit mags

No session in June
Stay tuned for summer dates

3:00 - 4:30 pm PST
FREE. On Zoom

Gather with other writers and dedicate an hour to submitting your writing to lit mags. After a brief check-in, I will introduce you to a great tool or resource to make the submission process easier and more fun. From there you will get to work and I will be available for questions. At the close we’ll see how the hour went and celebrate hitting SUBMIT. No advance registration needed. 


FREE Meet Ups on Zoom

Selected Essays and Journalism

Secret Words

Dorothy Parker's Ashes, January 2024


Broken Glass

Dorothy Parker's Ashes, January 2023


Unpacking Mom

Allium, A Journal of Poetry & Prose, Fall 2022

Fear of Infinity

Please See Me, April 22, 2022

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

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

Journalism, Craft and the Writing Life

Chasing Narrative Arc--One Writer's Path to Totality

Brevity Blog, April 24, 2024

What Columbo Taught Me About Writing Essays

Brevity Blog, March 27, 2024

The Future of CNF Writing, Editing and Publishing

in a World with AI, Interview w/Sil Hamilton

Brevity Blog, Part 1, August 21, 2023

Brevity Blog, Part 2, August 24, 2023

Crónica: The Platypus of Prose

An Interview w/Javier Sinay

Brevity Blog, September 11, 2023

The Hard as F--- List and Breakfast Sandwich

The Sub Club Newsletter, June 24, 2023

Watch Out for the Unexpected

Brevity Blog, October 14, 2022

Exploring the Possibilities of Artificial

Intelligence in Creative Nonfiction Writing

Brevity Blog, February 1, 2023


Winning at Battleship and Lit Mags--It's a Process

Write or Die Magazine, March 23, 2023

Flash: The Art and Craft of Writing Short

A Q&A with Grant Faulkner

Brevity Blog, February 15, 2023

How the Literary Journal Landscape Is

and Isn't Changing

Jane Friedman's Blog, April 26, 2022

You Always Remember Your First

Brevity Blog, April, 2022


Seven Drafts, an Interview with Allison K Williams

Catapult, December 1, 2021

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

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

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