Sunday, May 19, 2019

Quick Read & Hock Celebration - June 12th

Half of June's meeting will be devoted to First Sentence Quick Reads.

Bring the beginning of a project; a book, chapter, or poem.

After the submission is read anonymously, the audience will be asked if the introduction was enough to inspire further reading.

This exercise is based on Peter Selgin's book Your First Page.

According to Selgin, “The choices we make in those first few sentences, paragraphs, and pages determine not only how what we’ve written gets read, but whether it will be read at all.”

His book is based on the premise that almost everything that can go right or wrong in a work of fiction or memoir goes wrong or right on the first page.

First Sentence Quick Read Participation:
Bring a piece of writing between 150 - 250 words.
Typed, double-spaced, in Times New Roman font with a size between 12-14.
Do not include your name.
*Depending on time constraints and number of entries, all submissions may not be read. 

A brief summary of the membership survey will be given.

Hock is stepping down as President of Sierra Writers.

The second half of the meeting will be social time celebrating Hock and his years of service supporting Nevada County writers of all ages.

Snacks and drinks will be provided.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Young Writers Competition
Student Readings & Award Presentations
May 8th

Enjoy an evening supporting Nevada County's young writers!
Competition winners (or an appoint a representative) will read their work on stage.

Sierra College English Professor, Chris Hall will host this special annual event.

High School


1-"In The Eye of the Beholder" by Kacie Harmon
2-"Liminal Spaces" by Maryn Miller
3-"An Old Woman's Memory" by Suraya Shelton


1-"Tortilla Sunrise" by Kacie Harmon
2-"The Magic of Horror" by Griffin Ellis
3-"Love's Simple Complexity" by Sol Rios


1-"To Angela" by Kacie Harmon
2-"The Walls" by JM
3-"Darkened are my Thoughts" by Sol Rios

I'm a senior at Ghidotti, and I'll be attending Smith College in Massachusetts next year. I'm going to study Spanish, education, and creative writing. I love creative writing, especially poetry, and have been writing for as long as I can remember. I also enjoy painting, backpacking, and stargazing.

Middle School


1-"Metamorphosis" by Zoe Ohana Myers
2-"Reality" by Hailey J. Robins
3- "No Skins" by Nicholet Duran


"Argo" by Hailey J. Robins | "Adventures" by Natalie Trogdon
Judges awarded a first prize split


"The End" by Natalie Trogdon | "Lights" by Hailey J. Robins
Judges awarded a first prize split

Hailey Robins is 12 years old and lives in Rough and Ready with her parents, a pony, a cat, and three annoying siblings. She enjoys all kinds of creative activities, including writing, drawing, acting, and animating. 

Sierra Writers is delighted to acknowledge the generosity of the 
Community Asian Theatre of the Sierras (CATS)
 for a grant of $500 toward the 
Young Writers Competition

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Will Staple - Poetry Workshop - April 10th - 6:30 p.m.

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.” 

He taught poetry in the area for over 40 years, and gave frequent readings, one last one with Gary Snyder;  Listen to Will Staple reading “Love Fest”  from his newest book Arrows Go Thru Hearts (paperback | Kindle). 

He once received an international award for four books published in the 90’s: Passing For Human, I hate the men you sleep with, The Only Way to Reduce Crime Is to Make Fewer Acts Illegal and Numinous Luminosity. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Read, Sign, Sell Event - March 13th - 6:30p.m.

Listed in Reading Order

Patricia Dove Miller: Bamboo Secrets
While living in Japan in 1993, Patricia Dove Miller’s dream of a year of exploration and personal growth is shattered when her husband is detained on drug charges. Miller struggles with a sense of betrayal upon learning her husband’s secrets and yet she stands by him, fighting to save both him and their marriage in the face of the terrifying uncertainties now confronting them.
To save herself, she seeks refuge in two Japanese traditional arts—ikebana and shakuhachi (bamboo flute)—which not only nourish and strengthen her,
but also lead her to finally discover, at age fifty-two, her life’s passion: to become a writer. Bamboo Secrets: One Woman’s Quest through the Shadows of Japan weaves together four strands: a mature woman in search of herself, a marriage in trouble, the dark side of Japan, and the beauty of Japanese art and culture.

Chris Hall: Poetry Chris was transplanted from the Bitterroot Valley of Montana to the Yuba-Sierra bioregion in 1977. He was raised in Nevada County and educated at Sierra College and at Humboldt State University where he majored in creative writing and teaching of writing. After learning and teaching in Humboldt County for nearly a decade, he returned to Nevada County and currently teaches English and creative writing at Sierra College.
His most noteworthy publication credit to date is a work of reflective environmental writing published in The Pacific Crest Trailside Reader (2011). He has published several poems in such markets as Toyon, Inscape, and the Sierra Journal. He has also published genre fiction.
Tonight, Chris will read two short poems in honor of his departed parents and a brief prose poem in the traditional Japanese Haibun form in reverence for our fallen animal kin, whom we seldom honor. The latter is forthcoming in the Sierra Journal. He sincerely hopes his writing will help others find hope in the midst of the planet’s sixth mass extinction.

Patricia Minch:The Luckiest Guerrilla, A True Tale of Love, War and the Army
 “Surrender? Damned if I will!” Art Murphy not only survived three years behind Japanese lines in the mountainous headhunter country of North Luzon during World War II, he helped create a guerrilla army that killed 50,000 of the enemy and aided General Douglas MacArthur in retaking the Philippines.

Kenneth Harris: Malakoff School (With Feather Pens and Berry Juice)
In the fall of 1982 Ken Harris found himself in the living room of an abandoned ranger station near North Bloomfield, California. He was teaching fourth- through eighth-grades. There were six students. After that, things got a little weird. He has written this book this year and the five years following.

Shelley Buck: India Bound: The Making of a Woman Journalist
In 1972, Shelley Buck left California alone to travel across Asia by land to India and Nepal. This first journey led to a second. Follow Shelley in India Bound as she sets off from Europe to cross Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan on her way to India. She carries camera, lenses, and a blue-green Olivetti typewriter in her backpack, for she is determined to become a journalist.

Hock Tjoa: The Chinese Spymaster
Hock has written adaptions of a couple of classics (The Battle of Chibi, Agamemnon Must Die) and some contemporary fiction. He will read two 'fight scenes' from his spy novel, The Chinese Spymaster.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Rachel Teferet - Publishing Process Workshop - February 13th


A Hands-On Workshop That Breaks Down the Publishing Process

So you're a writer and you can't seem to stop churning out short stories or poems or both—and now, your work is piled ceiling high on scraps of paper and napkins just cluttering your desk. Never fear! Publishing does not have to be scary. Join Rachel Teferet, Writer and Editor, for an evening of info, tools, and skills. Let's make a plan and share your beautiful work with the world!

What you'll learn:
  • Duotrope 101: How to use this incredible database to find publishers and stay organized
  • Tools and tricks for creating a workflow, so you can move seamlessly from writing, workshopping, editing, and submitting
  • How to be professional when submitting your work so you're more likely to get accepted
  • Where to find solid support for your writing and publishing journey
  • Hands-on skills you can use to get your work into good literary markets
Some things we'll cover:
  • How to scout out literary markets
  • How to write a cover letter
  • How to make your publishing plan
  • Tools and free resources


Rachel Teferet has published over twenty-five poems and stories. She graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in Fine Arts and a penchant for photoshopping the world with her eyes. She is an artist, graphic and web designer, writer, blogger, and editor. Her work has been published by Subprimal Poetry Art, The Tishman Review (pending), Page & Spine, Black Rabbit Quarterly, Slink Chunk Press, Manawaker Podcast, Sierra College Literary Magazine as the winner of the 2016 Flash Fiction Contest, and more. Her play “The Necromancer’s Daughter” has been performed at Synthetic Unlimited in Nevada City, California. She has over 3,500 followers on her blog, and over 3,000 followers on Twitter as @art4earthlings.

Free and open to the public,
Sierra Writers meetings are held
the 2nd Wednesday of the month

January through June.

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Open Book, 671 Maltman Drive, Grass Valley

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Don't Miss the Writers Conference!

 Purchase your ticket!

Saturday, January 26th!

Walk-in tickets available at the door.
Cash or check only!

Parking is FREE

Featured Article: 

What Critique Groups do for Your Writing Life

by Ingrid Keriotis, author of It Started with Wild Horses