LOS FELIZ–Resident Eve La Salle Caram has been teaching creative writing for more than 40 years. Author of five published novels, Caram came to Southern California in 1982 to join the faculty of USC’s Master of Professional Writing program. Before long she had secured additional teaching positions at California State University Northridge, Los Angeles City College, and UCLA Extension where she earned the Outstanding Instructor of the Year award in 2006.
“For more than 20 years I taught five classes,” Caram said. “Then I taught three after I retired. Now it’s more like two, but it’s still a lot of teaching…I truly enjoy teaching.”
Two years ago, Caram decided she’d like to start a private class in Los Feliz. A regular customer at The Palace on Hillhurst Avenue she mentioned her idea to restaurant owner Tony Li, lamenting the fact that she didn’t have space for a class in her home.
“[Tony] said, ‘Why don’t you use my upstairs?’ It was just that simple,” Caram said. “Before I knew it…I had six [students] which, for the kind of class it is, is all I really wanted. So it was great. It’s been a wonderful experience.”
According to Caram, most of the students are published authors or teachers, so she considers it a master class. But whether she’s teaching experienced writers or beginners, Caram said she gives the same kind of feedback.
“I realize these people, many of them know as much as I do, or more,” Caram said, “but on their actual manuscripts I do exactly the same thing I do at UCLA Extension.”
One thing Caram is sure to do on every manuscript, she said, is to point out what’s working.
“Sometimes people, even very experienced people, don’t really know what’s working and they can just take that and run with it,” Caram said. “It’s really important to know what you do well. It’s not just to make you feel good.”
Her private class has been such a success that Caram is planning on starting an additional class, which will also meet at The Palace. For more information, Caram can be reached via her website at www.palhbooks.com/evecaram.
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