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