Sierra Writers

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Category: Community event (page 1 of 2)

Celebration of Teen and Tween Writers

2017 winners web
We warmly invite all participants in the competition and supporters of young writers to this event!
Wednesday,  May 10th
6.30 p.m. –  8 p.m.
Community Room of the Madelyn Helling Library.
Kim Culbertson has graciously agreed to make the presentations; she will also address both the writers and others present.

First-prize winners of the Young Writers Competition:

These winners will read their winning pieces.
High School Fiction, Owen Knight (“Cuban/Smoked”), Forest Charter
High School Poetry, Anjali Figueria (“Fluffiness”), Forest Charter
Middle School Fiction, Natalie Trogdon (“Kelly Fredericks”), Home School
Middle School Nonfiction, Rachel Trogdon (“Searching for home”), Home School
Middle School Poetry, Mary Rose Athas “Valentine”), Home School.
Second and third place prizes will also be awarded.

April 12th – Query Writing, the Elevator Speech & Writing Cover Copy – Wendy Hornsby

Wendy Hornsby photo

Wednesday, April 12th
6.30 p.m. –  8 p.m.
Community Room of the Madelyn Helling Library.

According to NPR, by day Edgar Allan Poe Award-winning author WENDY HORNSBY is a genteel Professor of History, but by night is the purveyor of fictional murder most foul. Published internationally, she writes the Maggie MacGowen and Kate and Tejeda mystery series, as well as many short stories.

In addition to the Edgar Award, her work has been awarded the Mystery Scene Reviewers Choice Award, the Romantic Times Best Contemporary Suspense Award, and nominated for the Anthony Award, le Grand Prix de littérature policiere (France), and le Prix Du Roman D’Adventures (France). Publishers Weekly selected her 77th Street Requiem as one of its five best mysteries of the year. Her short stories can be found in a variety of anthologies, including several annual editions of The Best American Mystery Stories. They are collected in Nine Sons and Other Mysteries (Crippen & Landru).

Disturbing the Dark jpg wbHer most recent mystery, Disturbing the Dark, (Perseverance Press. April 2016) finds filmmaker Maggie MacGowen in Normandy, France. In the spring, Maggie’s ninety-two-year-old grandmother planted carrots in a field at the family’s farm estate in Normandy.  In August, she harvests bones.  Publisher’s Weekly declared Disturbing the Dark to be “Captivating”. Carolyn Hart found it to be, “Tense. Taut. Terrific.”

A retired Professor of History, Wendy lives with her husband in the Gold Rush country of Northern California. For more about the author, go to


Open Read- March 8th – Hear Your Words & Listen to Feedback with Moderator Amy Rutten

Free & Open to the Public

  • Wednesday
  • March 8th
  • 6:30 p.m. 
  • Madelyn Helling Library, Community Room

Nevada City writer Amy Rutten is an author, architect, and librarian. A member of Sierra Writers, Rutten heads Alumni Relations and Development for the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley.

Sierra Writers’ Open Reads are intended to be a safe place for writers to experiment with their craft, share their vision and voices, in a gentle, kind, and supportive  environment.

Submitted writing will be read aloud by a group member. Considerate, brief, and tactful feedback will be given.

The author must be present at the reading, and may choose to identify themself after comments are given.

Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry Submission Guidelines:

  • word limit –  750 words (2-3 pages double spaced) – use Times New Roman 12 point font or similar
  • one prose piece per person, or three short poems
  • piece will be read blind–please do not include your name on the work

Please join us for this constructive and engaging process.

Guidelines and Details 

Writing with Hemingway – writing exercises & prompts – Cathy MacHold, Feb. 8

Writing with Hemingway: A Writer’s Exercise Book is a unique concept for writing exercises and prompts. Cathy MacHold believes aspiring writers can learn from the famous author’s life as they practice writing exercises to hone their own talents. She has led workshops and has taught adult school creative writing classes using the concepts found in her book, presenting her teaching ideas as a participant on the Teaching Hemingway day panel at the XVII Biennial International Ernest Hemingway Conference held in Oak Park, Illinois.

Cathy will focus on the “hooks” that Hemingway inspires at the Sierra Writers meeting on Wednesday, February 8, at 6.30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Madelyn Helling Library.

A graduate of Sacramento State University, Cathy wrote training manuals for several corporations in the food industry and published Gourmet Nights in 1998. She looks forward to making her second dinner club book, The Vintage Feast, available as an eBook in 2017.


Sierra Writers’ Conference 2017

Learn ~ Share ~ Grow ~ Be Inspired

Saturday January 21, 2017

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Sierra College, Nevada County Campus
Building N-12

Building N-12

Hock at 2016

Hock Tjoa, President of Sierra Writers welcomes attendees to Sierra Writers Conference 2016. —Photo Credit; Catharine Bramkamp, Instagram.

Conference Tracks

The Craft of Writing
Marketing & Publishing
Guided Critique
The Road to Success
sierra college map showing N-12
Jones 2016 tweet2
Tweets from 
Sierra Writers’ Conference


2016 Sierra Writers Conference

Order Your Tickets Now!

Form Below “Evite”

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Young Writers Competition Registration Opens


Open the full PDF file to print


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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.

So You Want to Write a Novel? In a Month!

October 8     6:30 – 8:00

On Wednesday, October 8, from 6:30-8:00 PM at the Madelyn Helling Library, Sierra Writers monthly meeting will feature National Novel Writing Month veterans Richard S. Crawford and Katrina Templeton. Their presentation, “So You Want to Write a Novel? In a Month!” will explain how to write 50,000 words in thirty days without quitting your day job or losing your mind by participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) According to their website, NaNoWriMo is “a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.”

Richard S. Crawford is a writer and web developer who lives in an appropriately ancient and drafty house in Sacramento, California. According to Tangent Online, “Crawford writes with a certain ease, showing a world where the strange is considered normal…” From horror to comedy, Richard S. Crawford sends ordinary people into extraordinary situations just to see what happens, and thinks you will be pleased with the results. Richard, who holds a degree in Philisophy from UC Davis, and isn’t afraid to use it, has been participating in National Novel Writing Month since 2001, and has won every year that he has participated. To learn more about Crawford, visit his website at

Since 2007, Katrina Templeton has been one of two National Novel Writing Month’s Municipal Liaisons for the Sacramento region. Her job involves keeping the message board curated, organizing get-togethers, kick-offs, and write-ins, and generally keeping the novelling torch in Sacramento lit. During the day she works as a Systems Analyst for Natoma Technologies, Inc.

With humor and encouragement, the presentation will explain the NaNoWriMo concept, including how writing 50, 000 words in thirty days is possible, and why on earth you would want to do it. The duo will also provide strategies for completing your book as well as resources to help you succeed.

So You Want To Be Published In A Magazine?

September Meeting

So You Want to Be Published in a Magazine?

Wednesday – September 10, 2014
Madelyn Helling Library

On Wednesday, September 10, from 6:30-8:00 PM at the Madelyn Helling Library, Sierra Writers kicks off the new season with Grover Cleveland, a photographer who writes and blogs about travels in the west. The topic of his presentation is, “So You Want to Be Published in a Magazine?”
Cleveland’s most recent work has emphasized the Lincoln Highway in the Great Basin, a place he often frequents with Mr. Beasley, his trusty canine companion. Recently, he has been featured in Nevada Magazine, and he is, “forever working on [his] book about the Lincoln Highway.” Cleveland also writes for some specialty magazines and has two article proposals accepted for his upcoming trip to India.

During the presentation, Cleveland will talk about his experiences producing the work for Nevada Magazine and the travel and thought behind the process. According to Cleveland, “Magazine writing is a great opportunity to learn about proposals, marketing, and about discipline. Working with editors will drive you nuts and delight you at the same time. Bending to others’ requirements will teach you humility. Deadlines will strengthen you. Seeing the article in print will embolden you to write more.”

Born in England during World War II, Cleveland discovered photography in high school. He completed an MFA at Claremont Graduate School in California in 1974, and taught various classes in photography and photojournalism for many years, shaping his mainly editorial approach to images and writing. Cleveland also worked as a technical and marketing writer.

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