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UCLA Extension Memoir and Personal Essay, February 11 and 12, 2023

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"Amy is a gift for anyone burdened with a passion for writing. As an editor she has helped me punch up, accelerate and sharpen my descriptions, dialogues and plots. Her approach to editing focuses on what I've come to believe is the most important element of storytelling: clarity.  Her notes focus on  exposing and celebrating the truth of the tale being told.  She has a special talent for seeing what one's story is, even when it is not clear to the author, and this is a skill of immeasurable value. But beyond all of that, Amy is passionate and caring, and makes every writer believe that they have a story worth telling -- and if they didn't before, after working with Amy they will." ~ Damien Belliveau, TV editor and director at Bunim-Murray Productions, founder of The PartBlack Project, author.

 "Amy Friedman is more than just a creative writing teacher. She is an inspiration and role model for all her students. Her teaching technique takes her student out of the world of writing exercises and places them in their own world of creativity. When I was taught by Amy, I had one story in mind but through her course I realized I had many stories to bring to the table and all were taken and critiqued with sensitivity and construction. Her class was so good that I actually became a published author three months after her class for that one small short story. Like I said, Amy is not just a teacher but an inspiration." ~ Priya Balachandran, Brand and Content Producer, Tastemade

"Amy helped me to discover that a genuine writer did live inside of me and allowed me to grow and develop in an atmosphere truly free of judgment." ~ Ken Bank, professional photographer, Los Angeles

"Amy is an amazing writing instructor. She's an extraordinary writer, too, but not all great writers make good writing teachers. Amy has an almost visceral understanding of the writing process and rare instincts about what makes writing better. She's enthusiastic, empathetic and inspiring, and she's generous in sharing her love and understanding of writing with her students. I have felt fortunate to take several of her classes, and I would like to take more because she guides me toward being the writer I want to become." ~ Mary Daily, senior editor, Director Executive Communications, UCLA

"Amy is a fantastic and inspirational writing teacher. She doesn't critique as much as she engages, getting everyone to asks questions of each other and of themselves. After years of classes and grad school, Amy was the one to get me to push myself to the next level and get published. I cannot recommend her highly enough. Do yourself a favor and take a class from Ms. Friedman." ~  Sharon Bordas, writer, producer, creative executive, President, Mindshow

"Aside from being a brilliant writer, Amy is an excellent teacher and editor. She is knowledgeable, warm, generous with her time and talents, and keeps the class engaged and inspired. I took an eight-week workshop with her -- loved every minute of it, and came away from it with the beginnings of a new book. I recommend Amy's classes and workshops to all my writer friends." ~ Hollye Dexter, author and singer/songwriter

"Amy is the most amazing writing teacher I've ever studied with. She is not only very perceptive and has developed great techniques that she passes on, but she is extraordinarily generous with her time and talent. I've taken two courses with her and am quite certain I will take another down the road. Anyone who has the opportunity to study with Amy is doing themselves a big favor. " ~ Elaine Bernstein Partnow, editor and writing coach

"One of the best teachers I've ever had. And I've had lots of them. Amy inspired me, encouraged me, and taught me not only about writing, but about what it means to call myself a writer. I wish I could take 100 classes with her." ~ Clint Piatelli, producer, Metaphysical Media

"My most effective athletic coaches were those who succinctly pointed out the flaws in my performance and how to correct them in order to achieve excellence, and that's what Amy does as a writing coach." ~ Donna G., grade school teacher

 Amy is an acutely intelligent reader. You can’t fool her with insincere writing or an imitative style. She taught me to better critique myself, to catch myself when slipping into clichés and easy writing traps. In need of inspiration? She will instantly get you over your blocks. The other day I joked to her that I had nothing to write about because I had become a boring person. She immediately countered, telling me to go home and write about boredom. But the best thing about Amy is that she is always exceptionally warm, generous, open-minded, ego-free, drama-free, and simply great company. Not to forget, extremely well-connected. ~ Christine Hauser, hotel manager, economist and writer, Beirut, Lebanon

Amy brings body and soul to the work of teaching and has, over the years, honed her own unique and remarkably effective methodology, including a structured way of giving and receiving feedback -- as a class -- that opens things up rather than closing them down. Writers of essay and memoir will, in particular, benefit from her mastery of the craft and the wisdom of her heart. ~ Sylvia Sukop, freelance writer and PEN Emerging Voices Fellow 2009

I was amazed at Amy’s ability to get the best out of everybody in the class I took at UCLA Extension.  Why amazed? The class contained an enormous variety of students, from the experienced to the first-timers, from the confident to the bewildered, and Amy helped each one of us to get the very best out of ourselves  -- and each other. ~ Alan Murgatroyd, Liverpool, England

 "Like an urban gardener, clearing off needles and broken bottles from rich soil, Amy Friedman finds the story behind the story.  As an editor, she has the rare ability to nurture, clarify, and enhance the creative process in others, without letting her experience drown out still burgeoning voices.  Amy is there from bud to blossom." ~ Lauren Marks, author, A Stitch of Time: Portrait of a Mind in Construction and PEN USA Emerging Voices Fellow 2011

"It's rare to meet a teacher and editor like Amy. She is a caring, intelligent, witty teacher and editor who has guided me time and again.  She has improved my writing and continues to be a driving force in my career.  Amy gives insightful, rich feedback without ever making judgments,   She is constantly curious and passionate and I always feel inspired after working with her.  She helps you to dig deep, to stay honest and to be true to yourself.  If you have a chance to work with her - do yourself a favor and dive in head first!" ~  Shannon Noel, actor/writer

 "Amy Friedman -- as an instructor and as an individual -- is that rare combination of talent and temperance.  She has a good ear and great eye for what rings true in a person and in their storytelling.  Amy's ability to coach a writer into greater realization of his or her work's vision is uncanny.  She is an experience I will never forget, one that I've continued to count on over the years." ~ Susan O'Meara, writer, Kenya

Amy has magical powers. She sees around the corners and through the walls of a story and unearths something you haven't yet seen or known. And no matter how often I've seen her do it, I'm amazed every time. ~ Melissa Roth, writer, New York City