What I treasure about Method Writing is that it is a brilliant lesson in connecting and staying true to one’s voice. From that place, the writer can go anywhere. It is the core teaching that has made me passionate about acting as well.

Laura Dern

Dear Jack, this January will mark the beginning of my fifth year of Method Writing, and I cannot praise it enough. But I will give it a try. Method Writing has opened up frequencies and channels in my brain I did not know existed. It has set my words free through the understanding that it is not about acquiring a certain style or tone or being able to write a certain story; it is about acquiring all the styles and tonal dynamics to enable me to write in whatever voice that speaks in me right now. It is letting go of the urge to wrestle it into submission and steer it in a particular direction or make it tell a specific story and instead wait for the stories to bubble up and reveal themselves in their own voices and without judgment. I am merely the vessel, and let me tell ya, that’s a load off my back. And in addition to a well-outfitted HUSKY toolbox of tricks, the lessons in reading, listening, and providing feedback to the awestriking writers in the room are invaluable (and so worth it) as well as useful and applicable in the non-method-writing parts of my existence. I couldn’t have made this up myself. So once again: THANK YOU! 

Regitze Ladekarl

I have never come across a book on the craft of writing this perceptive, inspiring and concrete. Jack Grapes has a technique and vocabulary for breaking down what writing is that is all his own. He presents tools that deepen and expand on what is being written about, and that make way for surprises through instinct and the unconscious mind, opening the writer up to his or her own unexpected, original voice. His tools are truly usable, meaningful, specific, and fun. His methodology of trusting the in-the-moment process of writing over an end-product you see in your head is very freeing.It is an amazing technique that he has seemingly whittled and culled out of the ether, as well as from an encyclopedic knowledge of the written word through the centuries, as well as from his own inexplicable grasp of the secret content in the structures of expression, as well as from his mind-boggling perceptiveness of what the artist–struggling or acknowledged–is really trying to say with his or her words. He can make the invisible bridge to your destination visible, and for this I could not be more grateful. He is one of a kind, and one in a million.

Rebecca De Mornay on METHOD WRITING

Jack, just got an email from another journal accepting three more poems for their Fall publication. I’m a writer. And no film or TV gig I ever got as an actress has made me happier than I am right now, because this is mine in a way that acting never could be. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. Your Method Writing approach to process has given me back my childhood’s faith. You are the teacher of a lifetime.

Mia Sara, actress: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, etc.

Jack’s Method Writing demystified the writing I enjoy with a familiar secret I have used as an actor — process. Starting with finding my voice, my deep voice, all his exercises further train my writing as if it were an instrument to be stretched, disciplined, challenged, focused, and given flight.

Mark Valley: The Human Target, Boston Legal

I am still relishing class last night, not only to hear people’s efforts unfolding so beautifully, but to feel part of a community of writers, the frailty and tenacity of it all, the courage. It is not only provocative but insanely comforting, the relief of stopping there awhile, among other strugglers. Something very beautiful is happening in these classes you have created, nothing short of transformative. I am proud and relieved to know you.

Melinda McGraw, actress: West Wing, Mad Men, Law & Order

Jack’s Method Writing system breaks down the very daunting process of creative writing into bite-sized chunks that are actually fun and easy. If you follow his directions you will be amazed at what you are able to put down on paper. I wish that the mechanics of craft were as well laid out when I was taught “method” acting. Jack’s techniques are an incredible series of shortcuts that lead you down a wonderful path of your own making.

Hank Azaria, actor, voice of Simpsons, many TV shows, series, and movies

In the interest of getting out and about and creating a life for myself down here in San Diego, I went to the Solana Beach library this week and asked the very nice librarian about writing groups, writing teachers, etc. I told her I’d been attending classes in L.A., and I missed my teacher and the writing community. She asked me questions. Is it a professor? What school did you go to? How does he teach? And, Jack, you’re impossible to describe. I knew that to try to describe something like the “transformation line” and the “dreaded association exercise” was going to overwhelm her. I did the best I could. At one point I almost laughed out loud. You’re just impossible to describe to someone who is thinking of something more conventional. I’ve been chuckling all week at the near impossibility of describing you or your teaching methods. Keep being indescribable. That’s what makes you you. And I’m ever so grateful that I had the opportunity for as long as I did to learn from you.

Victoria Melekian

Your class was one of the most incredible classes I’ve ever taken.

Kari Walters

Not only did I learn from you, but I couldn’t help reflecting how you stayed present for all of us, being completely giving and encouraging and supportive and loving. You made us all seem less invisible. You’ve created a safe and inspirational place for artists and dreamers, and your method is pure genius.

Kristen Mackall

I’m proud to be part of this group of people. I’ve been in many acting classes over the years. And throughout all those years I’ve made one lifelong friend from those classes not including the actresses. That is not to say I don’t like actors. I have some very close friends that are actors. I guess what i am saying is that I have met so many wonderful people from these past two classes—people that will remain friends. Thank you for creating such a wonderfully supportive, nurturing and creative environment. 

Todd Feder

When I was leaving your Saturday class, I said to one of your advanced students (the one who read the dream about her mother drowning), “How does it get any better than this?” She looked down at me for a long minute and slowly said, “You have no idea.” Can’t wait for the summer class.

Fran Vogel, Long Beach

I’ve been meaning to write to you since I left for Harvard in 1994. Your beginning writing course unlocked me enough to write my application to Harvard and earn two Masters’ degrees. Much gratitude for your vision, skill, and dedication. Is there any way for me to keep refreshed while living in Cambridge?

Alison LaMonde

I want you to know what your guidance has meant to me, even though I’m still percolating on the richness of it. I feel I was part of something special, something living, something that was greater than the sum total of all the souls collected in your living room for those nine weeks. You have such a gift for leading, for inspiring and knowing how to make that knowledge accessible and something that I feel I can hold onto. That you are continuously building a community of writers in Los Angeles is no less important than that you are continuously nourishing individuals. It’s so freeing to have the focus be on the individual voice and responsibility to clarity of uniqueness.

Leslie Erganian

I wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I appreciate you and what you do and how it has enriched my life. Yesterday I received “Without a Net” the chapbook by Lee Williams, who just finished your basic class. It made me cry tears of joy. So I thank you for that manifestation I knew it would be such a rich connection. I also want you to know that everything I have learned about the process, the method that you have distilled and shared, is the gift that keeps on giving. I keep finding deeper ways to use the wonderful tools that you offer. I also am so grateful to have the products that I created in class, that serve me in so many ways. I continue to write, and look forward to the next class.

Mary Holmes

I am so grateful for your life and genius, your open heart and generosity at facilitating miracles. I’m a few weeks away from the final cut on my first film DENSE that germinated in the hallowed space that is your class. It so gratifying to have accomplished this feat (with the help of some amazingly talented people working both sides of the camera). But the fact that it started in the safe space that you create when you nurture writers to give our gifts and cultivate our best selves makes it even more mind blowing. Even when you were telling us what could become of our chapbooks I didn’t see this coming (though something deep inside me tingled with recognition). 

Vanessa Williams

I want you to know that you’ve already helped me to open up a door into my writing that was closed, locked, bolted, and welded shut for the last thirty years (I wrote beautifully and often until I was 12). No small accomplishment in just two weeks of your class. Thanks 

Bryan Unger

I want to thank you for the vast new worlds you have given me through this class. Trying to say just how much richer my writing life has become in the past few weeks — words simply escape me. I’m exhilarated by all the handouts, poems, and bios by and about poets I knew or had never heard of, and by your readings, energy, and the handouts on craft. You have truly changed my way of writing, of thinking about words, and I know my writing and my approach to it have changed incomparably. You’ve changed my life, that’s probably enough.

Barbara Sax

I really loved seeing so many writers blossom under your guidance. I believe your class—or something like it—should be requisite for all creative writing programs. What you teach is so important, and so basic (though I’m not saying it’s easy).

Terry Anne Kannofsky

I sent some of the work I wrote in your class to various publications, & got 2 poems accepted. Thanks for pushing me to take chances.

Sharon Duncan

There’s something magical that happens each class. Time and again our writing changes, but more important, you change people’s lives! Because we begin to see more clearly who we are & we find a way to say it from that simple, truthful place we all can remember if we allow ourselves to go there. Like we get to be the kid again & you’re the nurturing dad we never had. Without a doubt, this is the best class I have ever taken. I was mesmerized by your ability to teach us as a group and at the same time, tune into who we were, what we needed, and guide us to where we were going. Just as writing is personal and universal at the same time, so is the way you teach. And it’s all done from a place of love.

Sue Gaetzman

You probably hear this a lot, but. . . your class has changed my life! Taking your classes and being a part of this experience has re-ignited a long smoldering desire to go back and finish my degree at UCLA and pursue the creative writing program. I have been a music video and commercial line producer for almost 18 years, always supporting the creative process but never allowing my own voice to be heard. It has been a great career but for the past few years I have been searching for what is next for me. I am ridiculously busy producing six commercials through July, but I plan to take the class again. Thanks again for everything! All the best 

Jessica Cooper Carlson

Just another quick thanks. I, too, felt the many facets of a sparkling diamond. Last night’s class reading book ended the class wonderfully. I got to speak to everyone individually and take those relationships up a notch. The Collective is working. I felt it last night as continuing education with you, a short film potential and the various relationships that developed outside your room were all milling about the chatter. Terrific. I do look forward to working with you again. Thanks for the tremendous support and encouragement; you make us feel able.

Ari Macht

I have to tell you that studying with you has been the most amazing experience on so many levels. Just the idea of taking some of my old emotional issues and channeling them into a positive creative process has been a revelation. Learning how to write from all of this and making a book…I will consider that gravy. Thank you for being there and for doing this…and for changing the very core of my life in the process. You just gather all of us up in your living room and give yourself away with joy…and I don’t know that you fully realize the massive impact your gift has on some of us. I feel so blessed to know you.

Doreen Ringer Ross

You probably have too many of these to answer, but I want to say thank you for this class. I’ve never EVER been in a writing group situation that doesn’t foster competition and envy amongst its members, or where the teacher isn’t on some self flattering campaign for supremacy. Hearing all the wonderful work read in your class, I’m really really just glad and excited and encouraged by the process and the constant, heartbreaking and heartmending reminders that art matters and that it’s worth blood and guts to do my part. So, thanks.

Lynn Cohen

Thank you soooo much for such a great class last night. The exercises that you had Scott and Valerie work through were especially. helpful. I think I’m really getting it now, and it feels great to have and understand these tools you’re giving us. Also, that sense of community you talked about in your email is part of the reason I decided to take “a class,” and I’m really beginning to feel that sense of community with our group. That’s what the Collective is all about. SO thanks for that too; for being such a great teacher and orchestrator. I love these people and love hearing what they have to say.

Tracy Quigley

Thank you for an incredible experience. I’ve taken many writing workshops in my life, but I’ve learned techniques from you and gained confidence in ways I never dreamed possible. Now my curiosity is whetted for the next class in the fall and I am thrilled to see that so many other people are also planning to take again. The connection I made with fellow writers was also a hugely valuable part of my experience.

Kathryn Stern

Hi Jack, I’m enjoying this class. I’m blown away by the talent. Do you always collect so much talent on one setting in such a short period of time? I met some amazing people in that class. You really have a gift of bringing people together then stepping back and letting the synergy flow. It’s truly a gift, Jack.

Caren Macdonald

Thanks for the encouragement. I am still on cloud nine. I owe it almost all to you and the classes. I was scared to death that first time I read in your living room, now here I am at a mic in a blues club. Amazing! I am so appreciative of your classes and your teaching. You just don’t know. I don’t know whether you’ve given any more thought to a show, but I was thinking, if so, you should also consider making a documentary. Here is this guy, Jack Grapes, who loves poetry, quotes the classics going back to the ancients, and he is trying to teach the stuff to a group of LA folks, many of whom, like me, are clueless. He’s got writers looking for a kick start, entertainers, composers, actors, porno actresses, grandmas, business guys, lawyers, film directors, etc. All this going on in the Mecca of the anti culture. He’s quoting Quintus Hotatius Flaccus and we’re like, Say what? But he inspires a group who loves words just for their literary quality. Could they attract an audience on short pieces based purely on literary values and speaking from the soul? That’s the start. Who knows where it ends?

Doug Shuit

What magic you possess and give to each of your students—students of life and art.

Kathleen Griffin

I came home and had a book bath with everyone’s chapbooks. I got in my bed cheesing at everyone’s masterpiece and I started soaking it all up. I think you should have an additional class after the books come out so we can all gush on each other. I’ve been gushing by phone. I guess the advanced class kinda serves that purpose. Well, see you in January. I am transformed and soooooooo empowered by this experience. My classmates’ work inspired new entries for me, this stuff is endless Thank you again for your gift, Jack. Though I know it’s about the process, the product is so rewarding. It’s more fulfilling than the best job, acting or otherwise, that I’ve ever had. I feel so empowered by this work. New stories are busting thru. I sit down to write one thing, then out pops this whole rather bleak story about a wife-beater. This process has given me permission to tell all my stories, even the ones I didn’t know I was trying to tell. One more thing. One of my stories from SHINE is going to be published in Essence magazine. “Vestibule” is slated to come out in the April issue in the section called Interiors. Of course, I’m thrilled and affirmed. Thank you, Jack, for facilitating these miracles and blessing in my life. I’m so grateful to know you as my teacher. 

Vanessa Williams

I find this class completely humbling and inspiring at the same time. What an incredible environment you’ve created and how lucky am I.

Pam Putch

You are an amazing teacher. I wanted you to know how seamlessly you seemed to assist in eliciting such deeply personal work from everyone! For me the biggest revelation has been—that once the door to creativity is nudged open and if I/we can just let it flow unimpeded (like water), there is an endless outpouring—vs. holding on to something until it feels perfect and ready to put out in the world. Something has dramatically freed up for me, actually, in many different areas. So, thanks again for being the guy who gave such permission. There is some potent medicine that gets stirred in everyone reading and being witnessed. The chapbooks are all such gems. I’m always amazed how different we all are and so much the same.

Georgianne Cowan

There were so many powerful pieces read tonight. We have many good writers in our class. And speaking of writing par excellence; you are a deep and visual writer. I love to read your work. I was reading your book of poetry, Breaking Down the Surface of the World again, earlier tonight. I think the people that are the best writers are the ones willing to be real with themselves. You are an amazing and beautiful being and teacher. Not to mention a very good writer yourself. You aren’t afraid to speak your truth when you write. Even when it was less than desirable to look at or accept. As I said in the first class of beginning writing (this second time around): I am a fan. And I mean that with complete respect and honor. With you nudging your flock of students through the yellow brick path of “process.” You inspire me. You share your courage just by willing to be ‘with yourself’ (whatever that may mean at any given moment). As the Latin cultural would see it: Baby, you’ve got balls. And don’t we both know, that’s what it TAKES to move through Life as opposed to being one of the walking dead. It’s worth repeating: Bravo, I say. Bravo and jolly good job.

Lisa DuPree

Count me in for the evening session of the advanced class. Thanks so much for everything, Jack, you have made a huge difference in my life, my writing and my acting. I am very grateful, and I look forward to more! 

Joannah Portman

I just recommended your class to a head hunter/job coach I met . . . It seemed a lot of his clients want to brush up on writing or get to the heart of it. Couldn’t think of anyone more perfect than you!!!

Gabrielle Kelley

Thank You for teaching me how to play with my shadows and reclaim them as my own. I dove into my darkness and found my treasure chest; and slowly, I’m discovering my jewels. My voice, my truth, my self, my genius. And the best part of it is that this is just the beginning. Actually, the bestest 🙂 part of this is discovering that “just being” is more than enough. Who knew living in between my light and my dark could be so joyful. I am filled w/abundance and gratitude. It was you who showed me that risking is a shameless act, regardless of the outcome. I closed my eyes and stepped forward—and you kept me from falling, like you promised you would. I retrieved my soul AND claimed my artist self. I am a better actor, writer, dancer, spirit from knowing you.

Diahann Reyes

This is the first creative writing class I’ve ever taken and it was worth the wait. For the first time in my life, I see myself as a writer (this comes and goes, but at least it comes). I can’t tell you how exciting it is to see how everyone in class has grown into their voices. Even the terrifying reading aloud has helped me take some pride in my work. I still dread it, but I always feel empowered afterwards because I got through it and because it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. That’s the feeling I hope stays with me when the class ends, that if I get through the procrastination and fear, then there will be a sense of satisfaction and pride on the other side. I hate going to the gym, but I always feel better afterwards.

Julie Durk

I just wanted to thank you so much for the last nine weeks. Before I started the class i was struggling, really struggling with the idea that I could be a writer even though I spend more hours of the day raising my son than I do pounding the keyboard and struggling with the idea that I was entitled to pursue this dream of writing at all. I feel like you must have touched me with some kind of magical fairy dust because those psychological struggles seem so remote only nine weeks later. you inspired me to take the process seriously. I worked really hard and at the end of it, I’ve found a new sense of confidence and peace about pursuing this writer’s journey.

Rachel Iverson

At our first meeting, lo those many weeks ago, you (and Rikka and Laurel) said that taking your class would be a life changing experience. And it was. One thing I didn’t get to say to you is that I hope you can find a way to make your class available on a DVD. While a lot of the class depends on your very precise and personalized feedback, it is a shame that more people can’t have the experience of learning from you. There are so many wonderful new technologies already available that I’d bet there is something that would allow you to bring your teaching to a wider group of students. It’s a thought. So anyway, thank you, Jack, for your wonderful class, for your wonderful process and, most of all, for sharing the gift of you.

Keta Hodgson

The truth of the matter is: there would be no door for which I could be a wizard, there would be no stage for which I could be a bright light if it wasn’t for your generosity and commitment to people. The success of all of us is an outstanding example of what happens when someone (like you) gives.

Marianne Franco

Wanted to let you know that I got accepted into a bunch of Grad schools for my MFA in fiction. So I want to thank you. Had I not taken your class, my writing would still be confined to scrap paper and random inspiration. You set the ball rolling and now I am running after it. Thank you

Joannah Portman

Just want to tell you how much I love Method Writing and it’s a blessing beyond belief in my life and development as a writer. I wish I could be in there everyday, I really do. Like at least two hours a day would be great. Thank you for everything.

Nicole Arlyn 

Even though I have not been able to write on a regular basis I have learned so much within the past few weeks, and I want to continue on when you start up again. I know this will likely sound strange to you – but there is a cathedral quality in that ZOOMING platform, all of us gathered together/apart. I feel like I main-line creativity every class. It’s like we had discussed on the second night: We are all “in the room, all in this together.” The energy is pretty heady, and you are an amazing instructor with great stories and insights. Of course, part of it is because it is just so damn much fun! I am definitely a participant when fun is to be had. I’ve enjoyed watching my fellows open up and blossom. It has been exquisitely sweet. Thank you so much for making this so at a time when all of us artists and writers need a sense of community. This class had been a tremendous gift for my spirit.

Donna Fletcher

This class has been as meaningful, if not more meaningful, than any therapy I have been in as a patient, or as a therapist, because I work with groups of cancer patients where the guts and truth of life is in the room. I have felt in your class the same kind of power. There is a feeling of safety in the class, and the group with your leadership provides that. No judgement. The group is part of the magic. This probably doesn’t even begin to explain what I saw and felt. I can’t wait to take the next class.

Lynne Silbert

Thanks for giving me the tools to write. I thought it was impossible and that only people who’ve written their whole life have that talent. I’m starting to write a little bit outside of class and am enjoying it. Wow. Never thought that would happen! Thanks for the gift you give that is impossible to describe, measure, add a price to.

Adrienne Foon

I just returned from doing several book signings in the desert. I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed doing the Big Dice exercise. After each session and learning so much I feel such gratitude for your classes and all your wisdom that you share with us. The class reading in Venice is always so inspiring. So to be honest with you, I’d have to say really, I mean it, no one teaches or writes like you. You’re a unique and generous teacher, the universe saying yes, yes, yes to writers: “Yes, your work has a place in the world.” This is funny, but have you ever thought of making the class a reality show like on Bravo? I could so totally see it!

Linda Pyle

I just returned yesterday from my first 10 day residency at Antioch’s MFA in creative writing program. I used so much of your craft teachings while I was there. During our workshops, we were constantly asked, “What is the writer doing here in this passage?” And, since I took your classes, I could respond confidently. I know I wouldn’t have gotten in to Antioch if I hadn’t taken your classes and participated in the Festival of Books and Beyond Baroque. Thank you for creating a complete program. I am so grateful. Your classes have grounded me, given me confidence, put me in my best place of learning, and given me lots of knowledge of craft. I will enjoy the MFA program because I took your classes first.

Sherilynn Lee

Jack, I’ve meant to tell you that your class is truly one of the most engaging and satisfying creative experiences.

Richard Piscuskas