The President’s Corner

October’s Open Read
Our twice-a-year Open Reads continue to amaze me. It may surprise some members to realize that most of our members join SW as a result of their experience on these nights. I’ve been on the organizing end, arriving at the library to set up the chairs and tables, wondering if anyone else will come. Sometimes we’ve had 4 stories, other times 12. For some, it is the first time they’ve shared their work with anyone else. Most of us seldom hear our work read and are thrilled and challenged by the experience. Although it is not about the “quality” of the work that is offered for critique, I have to say that these open reads affirm that we have many extremely talented writers in the community. And I hope that one of the ways in which we can best serve both our members and non-member authors is to give constructive criticism and encourage their passion for their work. I’m proud to say that Open Reads are one of the things we seem to do very well.

Thank You, Eunice

One other aspect of service is the volunteer board that maintains both our membership and our program. Each of the roles is critical to Sierra Writers, but one in particular is our Publicity Chair. The listings we are able to have with The Union, KVMR, KNCO and Yuba Net News are all vitally important. This job has been done very professionally by Eunice Banks for the last two years. The good news is that she is spending full time with the release of her new book, The Trouble With Tom. The sad news for SW is that we are losing her expertise. But she has prepared detailed notes for the next person to fill her shoes. Practicing the tools of journalism and PR are good for all writers. And SW would very much like to have the input of a new member of our board.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact me:

December Meeting
Our December “Meeting” is our annual members only party. We will not be hosting our monthly speaker at the library.

From the Editor

Sierra Writers is pleased to announce the Sands Hall Writers’ Workshop on January 8. Although the workshop has reached the maximum number of participants, don’t despair. Sands has generously offered to conduct a second workshop. If you sent in your check, we will contact you. The first 12 participants will have priority over choosing their preferred time slot. Please be patient while we work out the details.
Our next meeting will be useful to all members of Sierra Writers. Jan Fishler will speak on Marketing and Public Relations Tips for Authors. She is a good speaker and has direct experience with promotion after the recent publication of her book, Searching for Jane, Finding Myself.

A number of Sierra Writers members have expressed interest in starting a poetry group. If you are interested in this, please send me an email and I will try to help you get started.

Hope to see you at our next meeting.

Sierra Writers: Jan Fishler speaking on Marketing and Public Relations Tips for Authors
Wednesday, November 10, 6:30PM
Madelyn Helling Library Community Room
980 Helling Way, Nevada City
Open to the Public
Jan Fishler is the producer of the DVD writing series, The Path to Publication, distributed by Films for the Humanities and Sciences, and the co-author of a series of articles on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder published by Vietnow Magazine, available online at Recently, she completed a memoir about being adopted, Searching for Jane, Finding Myself, which is available on Amazon and on her blog, For twenty years, Jan was a corporate scriptwriter and video producer, as well as a marketing and public relations consultant.

News for Members of Sierra Writers

“You learn to write by writing.” William Zinsser, On Writing Well

Writers Workshop with Sands Hall

Sierra Writers presents a writers workshop led by Sands Hall, author of Tools of the Writer’s Craft, and of the novel, Catching Heaven, a Random House Reader’s Circle selection and a Willa Award Finalist, Best Contemporary Fiction.

Workshop Details:
Date:     Saturday, January 8, 2011
Time:     12:30 – 4:30 PM (Subject to change based on enrollment)
Place:     To be announced (Grass Valley/ Nevada City location)
Workshop Title: To be announced (Open and suitable for fiction and nonfiction writers)
Limit:     12 participants – Initially open only to members of Sierra Writers until November 15, 2010; open to the public on November
Cost:     Special offer to members of Sierra Writers – Now through Nov. 14 – $35
Nov. 15 – $40 for Sierra Writers members; $50 for non-members
Watch for updates

This will fill up quickly and is open to the first 12 members who register and are current on their Sierra Writers dues.
Bring checks* to Sierra Writers meeting or mail them to:
Sierra Writers
PO Box 1595
Grass Valley, CA 95945
*Indicate on the checks that this is the Sands Hall workshop. Be sure you include current contact information with email. You will receive email confirmation and updates.

SANDS HALL is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and holds a second MFA in Theatre Arts; her experience as director, actor, and playwright gives her a unique perspective on the writing process. She is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In addition, she facilitates private workshops, is on the staff of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, and has taught for the last nineteen years for the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Her work with the University of California, Davis, Extension Programs earned her an Excellence in Teaching and Outstanding Service Award. She is the author of a book of writing essays and exercises, Tools of the Writer’s Craft, and of the novel, Catching Heaven, a Random House Reader’s Circle selection and a Willa Award Finalist, Best Contemporary Fiction. Recent stories and nonfiction have been published by Iowa Review, Green Mountains Review, and Tahoe Quarterly.

Get involved. Sierra Writers is looking for help with publicity the website, newsletter, and special events. If you are interested in helping, contact Babette Donaldson or Lucinda Porter

Dues Reminders: If you have not paid your dues, bring a $25 check to the next meeting or mail it to Sierra Writers, P. O. Box 1595, Grass Valley, CA 95945
This year we offer a student rate of $10 for students in high school or college. Questions can be directed to Shirley Zeff, Membership Coordinator

The Sierra Writers website is constantly changing. Members may have their own web pages, which they may use in a variety of ways. Members may use their page to introduce themselves, to link users to information on how to purchase their books, or to link back to their own website. Check it out at

A new feature of the Sierra Writers website is a page listing links to our members’ blogs. Check to see if yours is listed. If it isn’t, send a link to

Thank you Staples Office Supplies for generously supporting Sierra Writers by donating two gift cards.

Critique groups are open to members of Sierra Writers For information about the fiction critique group, contact Ron Cherry (530) 478-5616;
For information about the nonfiction critique group, contact Jan Westmore (530) 265-0718;

Sierra Writers members may use this newsletter to promote their book, classes, or other workshops. Send information to

Calendar of Events

Sierra Writers: Jan Fishler speaking on Marketing and Public Relations Tips for Authors
Wednesday, November 10, 6:30PM
Madelyn Helling Library Community Room
980 Helling Way, Nevada City

Speak It Here Poetry Series
The first Wednesday of every month
Copper Top Lounge in Downtown Grass Valley
For more information, call Jean Varda 210-6010

December: Sierra Writers Holiday Party
No monthly meeting at the library
Details will be announced
Open to Members and “a date” (spouses, significant others, partners, or whomever you want to accompany you to this event.)

Members of Sierra Writers and organizations that serve the writing community of Nevada County may submit announcements to upcoming event. Send information to