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2016 Sierra Writers Conference

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December Meeting – Open Mike & Pot-Luck

December 9, 6.30 p.m.

Community Room, Helling Library.


Open Mike will be limited to eight readers (preference to paid up members) and the readings should be under 1000 words each. Brief comments from audience will be appreciated. (Meredith will take sign-ups at the door.)

This evening will also be the occasion of a pot-luck party. Sierra Writers will provide paper plates, forks, napkins and bottled water. Please bring nibbles to share. Nothing alcoholic please.

Young Writers Competition Registration Opens


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Susan Gabrielle to Speak at Sierra Writers

November Meeting Speaker


But I Don’t Need an Editor!

Gabrielle photo

            Susan Gabrielle

November Meeting:

Wednesday, November 11

6:30-8:00 p.m.

Sierra Writers’ monthly meeting will feature editor, author, and educator Susan Gabrielle. She will cover the importance of hiring an editor, regardless of whether you plan to independently publish or find a professional publisher for your work. As well, Susan will offer tips for first-draft editing and answer questions related to writing and publishing.

Susan Gabrielle has been a freelance editor for nearly 15 years, and has enabled many writers to reach their publication goals. As a professor of English at Yuba College, she emphasizes the importance of clarity in writing in order to reach one’s audience of readers. Susan has been published in Capturing Shadows: Poetic Encounters Along the Path of Grief and Loss, The Christian Science Monitor, The Baltimore Review, Heyday, Ayris, San Francisco Peace and Hope, and Sugar Mule, among others; she was a winner in the CBWF Poetry Prize for Women. She will offer a workshop through Sierra College on dreams and interpretation in February, and hopes to publish her book Writing Your Way into Dreamland next year. You can find out more about her work at


Researching & Publishing Historical Fiction

Mark Wiederanders

Wednesday, October 14

Mark Wiederanders writes historical fiction about the private lives of famous authors.  His novel about Robert Louis Stevenson’s love affair with an American woman, Stevenson’s Treasure was published by Fireship Press in 2014, after placing as a Short List Finalist in the William Faulkner Society’s Novel-in-Progress competition.  His screenplay about William Shakespeare’s family, “Taming Judith” was a finalist in the Academy of Motion Pictures’ screenwriting competition and was optioned by a film company.  Mark has earned residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, the Martha’s Vineyard Writers’ Residency and the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center.  Mark is also a psychologist who did research on the criminally insane.  He lives in Sacramento, California where he is now working on a novel about Jack London.

Mark’s Website

“So . . . You want to Market Your Writing?”

June Meeting: Speaker, Meredith Cherry


On Wednesday, June 10th, from 6:30-8:00 PM at the Madelyn Helling Library, Sierra Writers monthly meeting will feature writer Meredith Cherry, who will be presenting, “So…you want to market your writing?”

Meredith Cherry, after discovering that she was spending more time marketing her first book than writing another, developed a smarter approach to marketing that didn’t take up all of her writing time, and even allowed her to use her marketing efforts as a writing tool. “Suddenly, marketing went from feeling like a waste of time to being a fun and creative process,” says Cherry. “I now sell more books in less time, and enjoy doing it!”
Meredith will discuss the basics of book marketing, including developing a short pitch, submitting to retail stores, building your web presence and social media marketing, getting an interview on TV or radio, and having the confidence and tools you need to sell your writing.
Meredith Cherry is the author of “Along the King’s Road: A Guide to Touring the California Missions by Bicycle,” and is a blogger for Peaceful Valley Farm Supply at Meredith also teaches workshops on essential oils, gardening, crafts and more in Grass Valley. Find her at, Facebook, Google+, or on twitter @meri_cherry.

Flex Your Writing Muscle at the May Sierra Writers Meetin


On Wednesday May 13, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Sierra Writers invites you to flex your writing muscle with local author and writer Jan Fishler. During 2014 Fishler challenged herself to post a new writing prompt each day. Last month she assembled all of the prompts into the book, Flex Your Writing Muscle: 365 Writing Prompts, a month-by-month guide designed to jump-start your writing.

Over the years, Fishler discovered that prompts helped get her creative juices flowing and often, became the seed for blog posts, articles, essays. Fishler says, “I begin each day by responding to some source of inspiration. It could be a quote, a line from a poem, a newspaper headline, a Tarot card, or something I’ve recently read about. I then write for five minutes and see where it takes me. Sometimes five minutes turns into four hours and a completed article. If the inspiration doesn’t come, I move on to something else.”

In addition to writing prompts, during the May meeting, Fishler will introduce several tools she uses to make writing easier, faster, and more fun. Participants can either bring something they are working on or pick a prompt from Fishler’s book.

Jan Fishler is the author of Searching for Jane, Finding Myself (An Adoption memoir). She writes the bi-monthly “Healthy Options” column for The Union newspaper and regularly offers a variety of writing workshops. You can learn more about Fishler at Fishler’s new book is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

April Meeting

So You Want to Publish a Short Story
Wednesday, April 8 from 6:30-8:00 PM

The topic for Sierra Writers monthly meeting, will be “So You Want to Publish a Short Story.” The meeting will feature local and Sacramento writers, Bill Pieper, Dave Boles, and Sue Staats. The public is invited and questions are encouraged.

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Sue Staats’s fiction and poetry have been published, or is forthcoming, in The Los Angeles Review, Graze Magazine, Farallon Review, Tule Review, Late Peaches: Poems by Sacramento Poets, Sacramento Voices, and others. She earned an MFA from Pacific University, and was a recent finalist for the Gulf Coast Prize in Fiction and the Nisqually Prize in Fiction. Her stories have been performed at the Sacramento reading series “Stories on Stage” and at the SF Bay-Area reading series “Why There Are Words.” She’s currently working on a collection of linked short stories, and for the past year has served as the Director of Stories on Stage in Sacramento.

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Bill Pieper lives and writes in Sacramento and Nevada City, California, and is listed as a notable alumnus of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Two of his stories have received Pushcart Prize nominations and a third won a national award from Scratch Writer magazine. His work, including most of the stories in his new collection Forgive Me, Father (2014, Cold River Press), has appeared in The Farallon Review, Red Fez, Convergence, Primal Urge, Fiction 365, and The Blue Lake Review among others. In addition to short fiction, he has two small press novels in print, Belonging (2006, Comstock Bonanza Press) and What You Wish For (2011, Pacific Slope Press). Links to all his published work can be found at:

dave boles (bodhi), who prefers his name be written without caps, has worked as an itinerant Publisher, Writer and Designer since 1981. Founder of the magazine Primal Urge, he also created The Sacramento Free Press, Cruisin’ Magazine, Foothill Focus, Neural Impulse Publications, Cold River Press and Bodhidharma Publishing. He has published, designed, edited or written numerous books, magazines, articles, ads and periodicals both nationally and internationally. His publications, editorials, writing, graphic design and artwork have won him numerous awards in an over thirty-year career.

February Speaker: Shawn Thomas Odyssey

Magical Mystery Author, Shawn Thomas Odyssey

February Speaker

February 11



On Wednesday, February 11 from 6:30-8:00p.m., Edgar and Agatha Award nominated author Shawn Thomas Odyssey will be speaking about his journey as a published author. Odyssey has been living in Nevada County for the past seven years, writing his magical mystery series The Oona Crate Mysteries. Geared toward Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes fans, the series is written for young readers ages seven through fourteen…but has found appeal with all ages of mystery buffs.

The first two books in the series—The Wizard Of Dark Street and The Magician’s Tower—tell the story of twelve-year-old Oona Crate, an intrepid and precocious heroine with natural magical powers who prefers to use logic and facts to solve various crimes on the enchanted Dark Street. The first book was nominated for both an Edgar and Agatha Award (two of the most prestigious mystery writing awards in the country). The Wizard of Dark Street was also selected as a top ten New Voices novel by the American Booksellers Association, and has been translated into multiple languages.


The third book in the series, The Magician’s Dream, is set for national release in June of 2015. In addition to the Oona Crate Mysteries, Odyssey is currently working on a new young reader series about three friends who seek out legendary creatures in the outskirts of their foothill community. And the best part? The series takes place right here in Nevada County, allowing Odyssey to delve into the rich landscape and history of our local community.

An accomplished musician and music composer, Odyssey is also known for his musical scores for film and TV, including HBO’s Deadwood, Blood and Chocolate, and Kung Fu Panda the Video Game, among others. His new album Something In My Head is available on iTunes. More about Odyssey can be found at: and

January Speaker: Suzie Daggett

On Wednesday, Sierra Writers monthly meeting will feature writer Suzie Daggett, who will lead an interactive presentation entitled, “So … you want to publish and e-book or POD?”


Daggett, who recently published both an e-book and a POD (Print On Demand) book though Amazon, will guide attendees through the process in an interactive, sharing format. She will cover writing and editing, the cover, publishing options, the Kindle dashboard and a bit of marketing during the presentation, which runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Madelyn Helling Library.

Those who have published an e-book or POD, please feel free to share your knowledge with the group. For those new to the process, come with questions.

Daggett is the author of “PEARLS ~ 52 Contemplative Insights,” published as an e-book and paperback. She is a speaker, writer and business/life consultant. She loves to share stories about everyday soul — human interactions and the Intuitive Process to elevate and enliven our life experiences, according to her bio.


Learn more at:

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