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Marilee Zdenek

The Right-Brain Experience

This is an experiential workshop to free the powers of your imagination. 

Monday - Friday
9:00-11:30 AM
RM 177

Each right-brain workshop focuses on seven techniques that can make you a more powerful writer.   Every class deals with ways to stimulate your imagination and let the story find you.  This is for those who are mentally adventurous and those who want to be.   Is it right for you? 

During the first half-hour of class, I’ll explain the techniques you can use to reach a deeper understanding of your characters, to create complexity in your story, and to stimulate your creativity.  I’ll share some things I learned from Ray Bradbury and Charles Schulz and Steve Allen, when I interviewed them for  my book, The Right-Brain Experience.

After the teaching comes the experimenting.  I’ll be your tour guide on a guided imagery experience.  You can enter a dreamlike state and watch your characters in motion.  You can even discover things you never knew about them.  You are always the one in charge of how deeply into the dream you want to go and how much of it you want to experience.

 Then, still in slightly altered consciousness, you begin to write in class.   You may be surprised by what this experience reveals about your story, your characters, and sometimes, even your life.  If you want to, you can share what you wrote with the class.  Or not.  After a short break, you are invited to read from the pages you brought to the conference.  Then other writers will give you feedback.  We can all learn to be better writers as we listen with an open mind and evaluate the comments.

 You are welcome to come to all, or some, or even just one of the sessions.

This is your conference.  Enjoy!

Message to Students

If it’s your first time to SBWC, remember to breathe. You can’t do it all.There’s no one way to experience this conference any more than there’s only one way to write your book. Have fun.Talk with writers. Listen. Share. Everyone’s here to help you.


Marilee Zdenek is the author of seven books and is a pioneer in exploring how right-brain stimulation can enhance the creative process.   She has lectured at major universities in the US, and for conferences in Germany, Switzerland , and  Sweden. Marilee also presented five programs at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  And it all started with a class she taught at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference in 1981!

In Her Own Words 

I mailed my first submission to a magazine when I was nine and heard my mother say,“Now you know, Marilee, they don’t allow you to be a writer until you’ve collected many rejection slips.” When the inevitable happened, I was so proud that I had my very first one. I don’t celebrate rejection now, but I don’t let it draw blood either.

Literary (and other) Heroes

Much as I love literary classics, I like to read contemporary authors, fiction and nonfiction. Anna Quindlen and Donna Tartt are high on the list. Most of all, I enjoy reading my friends’ books and especially the published works of my students.