826 Valencia

San Francisco

826 Valencia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting under-resourced students ages six to eighteen with their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

Parent Reviews

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Sometimes ATDP has good summer writing classes. We had good luck with 826 Valencia, in San Francisco. In high school, there is the State Summer School for the Arts, which is at Cal Arts. That was a wonderful program, where the teachers really understood how to create a space for young people to write. They are starting a writing workshop at the San Pablo Branch of the Contra Costa County library. There is also a student writing workshop at the Mill Valley Library. Ideally, you will find workshop/class led by a writer, rather than someone who wants to "teach" and focuses on the kind of goals that are necessary in school, but aren't helpful in creative writing.


826 Valencia, aka "The Pirate Shop." My daughter took many classes there which were taught by young writers -- they had a camp, but I can't remember the specifics.


If you are able to go to San Francisco, I'd recommend 826 Valencia. My daughter took some terrific workshops there, and they are led by writers which is a bit different than a workshops that are taught by teachers from the "everyone is a writer" perspective. My daughter also took a couple writing classes at ADTP and they were more like "classes" so I can see where your son is coming from. She had a better experience with the science and math programs at ADTP which seemed more oriented towards exploration.

826 Valencia has a branch in downtown Oakland now as well.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

June 2009

RE: Creative Writing Workshop for Teen Daughter

If you're mobile, you might check out 826 Valencia. Founded by Dave Eggers, this writing studio in San Francisco's Mission District really meets young people where they are and works with them to foster and build on their love of writing. My daughter has told me that she wishes she lived there; she has found a community of peer authors, support and challenge for her work, and a fun, respectful atmosphere. Workshops are free; donations are welcome. www.826valencia.org Author's Mom

April 2007

RE: Creative Writing Workshop for Teen Daughter

826 Valencia Street has excellent workshops -- they will be doing a one-month high school camp. They treat the students as writers, rather than kids who need to be cajoled into doing something good for them. I wish my daughter was old enough for the camp.