Monday, November 19, 2018

Open Read - Dec. 12th

Writers can help uplift and inspire society. 

Photo Credit: flickr | Aberdeen Proving Ground Toastmasters

By reading our work aloud and receiving feedback, we help each other find our voice, and create pieces that have meaning and integrity. 


With California's natural disasters and politics, writers need to be heard and supported.

Sierra Writers Open Reads are intended to be a safe place for writers to experiment with craft, share vision, and develop voice. 

Guidelines:
  1. Bring a single copy of your piece, double-spaced, Times New Roman (or similar) font. Reading from electronic devices is not allowed.
  2. Limit your piece to 750 words (2 to 3 pages), double-spaced, or about 3 minutes, read aloud. If submitting poetry, no more than three short poems.
  3. Work should be anonymous. Please be sure author’s name or other identifying information is removed
  4. Work can be whole pieces or excerpts, poetry or prose. If it would help the group, please feel free to indicate the genre or tell us it is from a larger work. The piece will be critiqued on its own.
Please consider these suggestions for how to get the most out of the Open Read:
  • Be gentle, kind, and supportive.
  • Be an active listener. Take notes; be prepared to be specific with your comments.
  • Begin with a positive comment. In order to grow as a writer, it is important to be able to identify what is working in a piece, even if you don’t like the topic, have issues with the voice, etc. What is the author doing that is working well? Where is the energy? What images are potent and interesting?
  • Keep your criticism constructive. “I didn’t like it” is not helpful to a writer, but “I disagreed with the point the author was making, which made me lose interest in the piece. Maybe the author could look for a way to make it more accessible to people with diverse opinions.” Another example: “It was hard to follow” isn’t nearly as helpful as “The point of view moved from person to person very quickly, which I had a hard time following.” Follow up with specifics from your notes about where this happened in the piece, if possible.
  • Focus on the writing. Our goal is to give the author feedback on their writing. If you find you are talking more about yourself and your own experiences related to the topic in the piece, consider talking with the author about those after the Open Read is over. Give the writing and the writer the attention during the few minutes that are allotted to their work, and engage on a personal level afterward.






Sierra Writers Business Topics


Volunteers needed;




Monday, October 22, 2018

Kirsten Casey- Poetry & Borrowing Your Ghosts - Nov. 14th



 Kirsten Casey is a 25 year resident of Nevada City, which makes our town the place she has lived the longest, continuously, which also means she will always call it home. A California Poet in the Schools, Creative Writing teacher to kids ages 8-18, she has taught in the county for over 14 years. Currently, she is a coordinator of Dream A Difference, an international non-profit poetry exchange between Grizzly Hill School and Washington School students, with international refugee camp students, with the goal of fostering empathy, emphasizing similarity, and promoting not only the writing of poetry, but its therapeutic and unifying qualities. Her book of poetry, Ex Vivo: Out of the Living Body, was published by Hip Pocket Press in 2012. She is currently working on a new manuscript, with the working title, Borrowing Your Ghosts. She is still married to her first husband, a Nevada City native, and has three children over the age of twenty (at least two of which like poetry.) You can’t win them all.

"I equate poetry with borrowing. The poet borrows lines, words, emotions, and points of view. Still, it is what we do with the borrowing that makes the poems entirely singular. We can even borrow from our own memories, which often transform over a lifetime. Borrowing suggests that we will return what we take temporarily, but once a poem is written and put into the world, it is entirely the readers. This relationship is the purpose of the poem. The true goal of poetry is sharing, creating a connection between the written word and the reader. Together, through some writing exercises, we will explore ways to borrow from the world, and from our own memory, to discover something new," says Kirsten Casey

Sierra Writers meetings are free and open to the public.
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Open Book
671 Maltman Drive 
Grass Valley


Sierra Writers Business Topics

It's membership renewal time!
(Links to your website or blog will be added to the SW website as renewals are received.)

Volunteers needed;

Read, Write, Sell Event Coordinator(s) Needed for December  -  This event is for those who have recently published a first, second, or third book. Each author will get 15 minutes and the event will last a minimum of 1.5 hours and a maximum of 3. Sierra Writers will give up its Wednesday evening slot in December for this event, but the event coordinators could also choose to do a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Authors must be a paid-up member of Sierra Writers to participate. If you are interested please send an email to sierrawriters@gmail.com with "Author event" in the subject heading.


January Workshop:
The Joy of Writing

Writing can be fun, freeing, even exciting!
Sound impossible? It’s not…

In a safe environment and through creative, sensory exercises, you will unleash your inner writer

Saturday, January 12, 2019
9:30-4:30
$95

Diane Covington-Carter is an award-winning and best-selling writer and the author of three memoirs and a novel.

For more information, email dcovingtoncarter@gmail.com,
call (530)802-4224 or go to www.dianecovingtoncarter.com 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Will Staple - Poetry Reading & Workshop - Oct. 10th


Staple grew up in Oakland “in the shadow of the Beats,” and attended UC Berkeley during the Free Speech Movement. 

In his own words, “From 1970 to 1995, I published over 200 poems infused with the Grand Canyon and mountain forests, on the sassy, sexy side of spirituality, filled with a sly humor, condensed form, depth of content, detailing the culture that left the cities in the 1970s for a more archaic path with a heart.” 

Listen to Will Staple reading poetry on KVMR.



Sierra Writers meetings are free and open to the public.
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Open Book
671 Maltman Drive 
Grass Valley


Sierra Writers Business Topics

It's membership renewal time!
(Links to your website or blog will be added to the SW website as renewals are received.)

Volunteers needed;

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Open Read - September 12th



 .   

Enjoy an inspired evening of constructive and supportive feedback on your work (open to all genres) at 6:30pm on September 12th at the Open Book, 671 Maltman Drive in Grass Valley
Please review the following guidelines:
  1. Bring a single copy of your piece, double-spaced, Times New Roman (or similar) font. Reading from electronic devices is not allowed.
  2. Limit your piece to 750 words (2 to 3 pages), double-spaced, or about 3 minutes, read aloud. If submitting poetry, no more than three short poems.
  3. Work should be anonymous. Please be sure author’s name or other identifying information is removed
  4. Work can be whole pieces or excerpts, poetry or prose. If it would help the group, please feel free to indicate the genre or tell us it is from a larger work. The piece will be critiqued on its own.
Please consider these suggestions for how to get the most out of the Open Read:
  • Be an active listener. Take notes; be prepared to be specific with your comments.
  • Begin with a positive comment. In order to grow as a writer, it is important to be able to identify what is working in a piece, even if you don’t like the topic, have issues with the voice, etc. What is the author doing that is working well? Where is the energy? What images are potent and interesting?
  • Keep your criticism constructive. “I didn’t like it” is not helpful to a writer, but “I disagreed with the point the author was making, which made me lose interest in the piece. Maybe the author could look for a way to make it more accessible to people with diverse opinions.” Another example: “It was hard to follow” isn’t nearly as helpful as “The point of view moved from person to person very quickly, which I had a hard time following.” Follow up with specifics from your notes about where this happened in the piece, if possible.
  • Focus on the writing. Our goal is to give the author feedback on their writing. If you find you are talking more about yourself and your own experiences related to the topic in the piece, consider talking with the author about those after the Open Read is over. Give the writing and the writer the attention during the few minutes that are allotted to their work, and engage on a personal level afterward.
Writers often do the heavy work of lifting and inspiring a society. This is important work and needs to be supported. Through reading our work aloud and seeking feedback, we can help each other find our voices, and create pieces that have meaning and integrity. Sierra Writers’ Open Reads are intended to be a safe place for writers to experiment with their craft and share their vision and voices. Be gentle, kind, and supportive.
6:00 p.m. Organizing Meeting: To those interested in discussing the future of Sierra Writers, the need for volunteers, and programming.



Other Literary Events
~Rachel Howard's November Writing Class Now Enrolling! Meets Monday nights, beginning November 5th, 6:30-9pm. The Class meets at 204 W. Main St., Grass Valley. To register, email Rachel at rachel.howard@gmail.com Enrollment strictly limited to six participants. www.yubawritersworkshops.com

~Book Exchange: Please bring a book or two to donate at each meeting. These books will be available to anyone for a donation ($1 - $5). Donations will go to the Young Writers Competition.
~Sierra Writers Conference 2019: Save the date - January 26th and Coming soon. 2019 Sierra Writers Conference details. for conference detail postings.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Workshop - Bringing Empathy and Compassion to Your Memoir - Bill Drake - June13


How can you bring empathy to those characters that are hard to write about in your memoir? How do you soften the human tendency to present your personal story in terms of right and wrong? How do you decide how much difficult or controversial material to share about yourself and others? This presentation and workshop will explore these subjects. The focus will not be on writing style but rather on ways to broaden one’s perspective. There will be short exercises and group discussion.

Bill Drake was born in 1945 and grew up in the Jim Crow South, where blacks sat in the back of the bus. His ancestors included three generations of slave plantation owners and a Civil War hero, and he was raised to be a Southerner who believed in white supremacy. Bill is the author of Almost Hereditary: A White Southerner’s Journey Out of Racism, which is part memoir. His book deals with difficult aspects of both his family history and his personal history. Not all of his relatives were happy with it.


Sierra Writers Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month and are FREE and open to the public. [No meetings are held in July, August, and December.]

Wednesday, June 13th

6:30 - 8:00 p.m.


Open Book 671 Maltman Drive Grass Valley

530-273-4002

Nevada County Arts Council Public Meeting


 Sierra Storytelling Festival 2018




Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Winning Young Writers Presentation - May 9th

Congratulations 2018 Young Writers Competition winners!









Prizes will be awarded and students will read their entries on Wednesday, May 9th at 6:30 pm.

Awards & Categories

Middle School Fiction 1. Kiko Natsumi [Gloria Grant] 2. Obscura [Kinsey Heaton] 3. Boltis [Ben Redfern]
Middle School Nonfiction
1. Maya Angelou [Ana Sagebiel]

Middle School Poetry1. Joy [Sana Sagebiel] 2. Sleep well [Kendall Vanderwouw]


High School Fiction 1. Blind [Rebecca Trogdon] 2. Her Voice [John Protiva] 3. Prelude to the Dark [Sierra Whitney]



High School Nonfiction 1.  Anhedonia [Raini Remley] 2.  Ecotourism [Adriana Avila] 3. Change [Rachel Trogdon]

Special mention - Renaissance Woman [Victoria Maung, NJ] **From New Jersey!


High School Poetry

1. Mind [Rios Solomon] 2. From Books [Nikayla Mitchell] 3. Living Room [Adriana Avila]





Sierra Writers Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month and are FREE and open to the public.

Wednesday, April 9th

6:30 - 8:00 p.m.


Open Book

671 Maltman Drive, Grass Valley

671 Maltman Drive

Grass Valley, CA


530-273-4002


Friday, March 30, 2018

April 11 - Open Read with Angela Sells & Will Dane [4/8 submission deadline]

Sierra Writers Open Read

Writers often do the heavy work of lifting and inspiring a society. This is important work and needs to be supported. Through reading our work aloud and seeking feedback, we can help each other find our voices, and create pieces that have meaning and integrity.

Have your work read aloud and critiqued in a supportive, creative group environment. Work is read anonymously, by volunteer readers, and feedback is offered. The author will have the option to identify themselves after the piece has been discussed. We welcome all interested writers to attend, whether you are submitting work to be considered or not.

Submission guidelines:

  1. Bring a single copy of your piece, double-spaced, Times New Roman (or similar) font. Reading from electronic devices is not allowed.

  2. Limit your piece to 750 words (2 to 3 pages), double-spaced, or about 3 minutes, read aloud. If submitting poetry, no more than three short poems.

  3. Work should be anonymous. Please be sure author’s name or other identifying information is removed.

  4. Work can be whole pieces or excerpts, poetry or prose. If it would help the group, please feel free to indicate the genre or tell us it is from a larger work. The piece will be critiqued on its own

If you have an excerpt ready to be constructively critiqued and you would like to share it before our April meeting to give the group ample time for feedback, please submit via email to will@theopenbookgv.com or angela@theopenbookgv.com or drop off a hard-copy at The Open Book (that will then be scanned) no later than Sunday, April 8th to then be distributed amongst the group.

Please consider these suggestions for how to get the most out of the Open Read:

  • Be an active listener. Take notes; be prepared to be specific with your comments.

  • Begin with a positive comment. In order to grow as a writer, it is important to be able to identify what is working in a piece, even if you don’t like the topic, have issues with the voice, etc. What is the author doing that is working well? Where is the energy? What images are potent and interesting?

  • Keep your criticism constructive. “I didn’t like it” is not helpful to a writer, but “I disagreed with the point the author was making, which made me lose interest in the piece. Maybe the author could look for a way to make it more accessible to people with diverse opinions.” Another example: “It was hard to follow” isn’t nearly as helpful as “The point of view moved from person to person very quickly, which I had a hard time following.” Follow up with specifics from your notes about where this happened in the piece, if possible.

  • Focus on the writing. Our goal is to give the author feedback on their writing. If you find you are talking more about yourself and your own experiences related to the topic in the piece, consider talking with the author about those after the Open Read
  • is over. Give the writing and the writer the attention during the few minutes that are allotted to their work, and engage on a personal level afterward.

Sierra Writers’ Open Reads are intended to be a safe place for writers to experiment with their craft and share their vision and voices. Be gentle, kind, and supportive.


Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month and are FREE and open to the public.

Wednesday, April 11th

6:30 - 8:00 p.m.


Open Book

671 Maltman Drive, Grass Valley

671 Maltman Drive

Grass Valley, CA

530-273-4002


Angela Sells, PhD, completed her doctorate in comparative mythology (with an emphasis in women’s narrative) and currently teaches women’s studies and mythology at Sierra College and Meridian University. She is a book reviewer for the Journal of Popular Culture as well as co-manager of The Open Book, and co-founder of the Open Book Press. Her book, Sabina Spielrein: The Woman and the Myth, was published this year by SUNY Press. She was recently chosen to be writer-in-residence at Hypatia-in-the-Woods in Washington. Information about her upcoming classes, lectures, and writing may be found at msangelasells.wordpress.com.
Testimonial for Sabina Spielrein: The Woman and the Myth: “This book is a major, perhaps a definitive, contribution to the literature. Angela Sells documents both the demonization of a great psychoanalytic theorist —mainly because she was a woman and worse still, was once Carl Jung’s patient. The book’s greatest strength is its power to enlighten and inform and in so doing, to arouse indignation and amazement at Spielrein’s brilliance and tenacity.” — Phyllis Chesler, author of Women and Madness

Will Dane minored in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona, and earned an MA in Professional Writing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He teaches short fiction workshops through OLLI at Sierra College in Grass Valley. His writing, so far, has appeared in Temper and Sierra Musings. He is the owner of the Open Book and co-founder of the Open Book Press.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Elements of Short Fiction Workshop with Will Dane - March 14th at 6:30

Wednesday March 14, 6:30pm
Will Dane


 

Enjoy an inspiring, instructional evening and Q&A with local author Will Dane at 6:30pm on March 14th at the Open Book, 671 Maltman Drive in Grass Valley

Elements of Short Fiction Workshop: We will discuss a bit of theory, focus our writer lenses on a classic short story, and begin a fun writing exercise leading to a new complete draft. There will be ample opportunity to review and discuss each other's work in possible subsequent meetings (see below). All participants are further invited to join The Open Book’s ongoing in-person fiction group, every other Thursday at 10:30 a.m (the next being March 22).

Will Dane minored in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona, and earned an MA in Professional Writing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He teaches short fiction workshops through OLLI at Sierra College in Grass Valley. His writing, so far, has appeared in Temper and Sierra Musings. He
 is the owner of the Open Book and co-founder of the Open Book Press