A Bouquet of Spring (and Summer) Local Writing Conferences 2015


Spring is definitely in the air! The birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing en masse around my baby Indio mandarinquat and Mexican lime trees and their buds, and the days are lengthening, filling me with energy to write! I hope you, too, are feeling the call of your own words.

There are so many wonderful opportunities to connect with other writers this spring. Here is a sampling of the best writing conferences in our area in the next few months. The first two are in April–so get your calendars ready! (I am pleased to be a featured speaker at the Sacramento Poetry Conference and I hope to see you there!)

Also: Though the conference is in October, the scholarship deadline for Writing by Writers Workshop @ Tomales Bay is May 1. The lineup of workshop leaders this year is insanely good–Dorothy Allison, Steve Almond, Mark Doty, Joy Harjo, Pam Houston and Lidia Yuknavitch…having worked to support Dorothy, Mark, Joy and Pam in the past (when UC Davis offered the conference at Tomales), I can tell you, these are amazing writers and generous-spirited people. I’d recommend applying for the workshop–and for a scholarship, if the price tag is tough for you.

Happy writing!



Our Life Stories Conference ~ Saturday, April 18, 8:30-4:30

See the wonderful conference schedule and speaker bios here!
Saturday, April 12, 2014
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Cosumnes River College
8401 Center Parkway, Sacramento, CA

Conference Fee – $35.00 (Includes morning refreshments, lunch, workshops, and materials)
Registration Deadline: April 3, 2014. Space is limited.
Late Registration Fees (After April 4): $40


Sacramento Poetry Center Annual Spring Conference ~ Saturday, April 25, 8:30 – 4:00

See the fabulous workshop leader lineup (including yours truly!) and the day’s schedule at sacramentopoetrycenter.org!

I am pleased to announce that I have been asked to present, and will be offering my Lectio Divina: Reading into Writing Workshop again! If you missed this opportunity in March, do join us! The drafts that come out of this process are fantastic. (Even if you did come in March, join me again–the readings will be different!)

Sacramento Poetry Center at 1719 25th Street
All events $40 (Includes access to all three sessions for talks AND all readings AND lunch)
Pay at the door or send check to: SPC 1719 25th Street Sacramento, CA 95816


Gold Rush Writers Conference ~ May 1-3

Come join the ninth annual Gold Rush Writers Conference, May 1, 2, & 3, at the historic Leger Hotel in picturesque Mokelumne Hill where writing professionals will guide you to a publishing bonanza through a series of panels, specialty talks, workshops and celebrity lectures. Go one-on-one with successful poets, novelists, biographers, memoirists and short story writers.
The conference includes a picnic supper in a Victorian garden Friday evening, as well sa Saturday dinner and Sunday brunch.

$160 (early) or $180. For schedule and speaker information, head to goldrushwriters.com.


SummerWords: The American River College Creative Writing Colloquium ~ May 28-31

$95 ~ View program presenter bios and schedule, and buy your tickets here!

Join American River College’s vibrant and accomplished creative writing faculty for three days and nights of workshops, panels, and readings featuring a keynote reading by nationally acclaimed poet Carolyn Forché.  Click the links at the left for more information or click below to purchase tickets. Sponsored by The Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation and the American River College Foundation.


Annual Conference on Creative Writing at University of the Pacific ~ May 29-31

An information packed three-day conference at the University of the Pacific’s beautiful main campus May 29-31, 2015. Details and registration here. Various pricing options available.



Interactive workshops and presentations will cover all aspects and genres of creative writing, from brainstorming techniques to submitting work for publication, writing creative nonfiction articles for publication to writing children’s books, murder mysteries, science fiction, and westerns.


Amherst Writers and Artists Festival of Writing ~ July 11

9:30am – 6:00pm
Pacific School of Religion
1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley

Register and view schedule and workshop leaders/offerings here.

Come write with other writers in a supportive environment. The all-day event will feature writing workshops, a reception, and a talk with Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) founder Pat Schneider, author of Writing Alone and With Others and How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice.

With the insight that “everyone is born with creative genius,” Schneider created the AWA method more than thirty years ago to provide a safe, encouraging environment for writing.

The Festival is open to all – no experience necessary. Morning and afternoon writing workshops will be led by experienced AWA method-trained workshop facilitators.

Take advantage of many nearby options during the lunch hour, or bring your own lunch and eat on the beautiful PSR campus.

A late afternoon reception with Pat Schneider will offer an opportunity for participants to meet and talk. The Festival will culminate in a keynote speech by Schneider in Pacific School of Religion’s Bade Museum.

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