Sierra Writers

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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
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Sierra Writers’ Conference


2016 Sierra Writers Conference

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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.

Jerri Glover – June Speaker

“Self-Motivation and Goal-Setting for Writers”

Wednesday, June 11        6:30-8:00

Madelyn Helling Library Community Room


Jerri Glover-head shot
Sierra Writers invites the community to hear KNCO radio personality and Toastmaster, Jerri Glover, kick off the summer break with the lively. informative, and interactive presentation, “Self-Motivation and Goal-Setting for Writers.”  Using examples and practice exercises, Glover’s sixty-minute talk will cover the 10 habits of highly prolific writers as well as provide specific tips and strategies for reaching writing objectives and staying on track. According to Glover, “Whether you’re a writer or an entrepreneur, setting realistic, measurable, and attainable goals is the key to a successful outcome.”

In addition to being an experienced Toastmaster, Glover is the owner of Workshop Wrangler, a business event planning service that handles all the details for business events including workshops, seminars, cross promotional events and power partnering. She is also the co-owner and inspiration behind Nevada County Makes (–an online community and marketplace for artists, artisans, crafters and makers in Nevada County California. She also hosts a monthly meeting where goal setting, motivation, and other topics related to business development are discussed. And, she is married to a writer, so she “gets it.”

Local Authors Winery Book Signing

DATE  —  Saturday, May 10, 2014
TIME   —  12:00 pm – 6:00 pm PDT
WHERE  —  Nevada City Winery, 321 Spring St, Nevada City, CA 95959
PRICE    Free

Ten local authors from the Sierra Writers will be at the Nevada City Winery on Spring Street in Nevada City for a book signing on May 10th. There will be a wide variety of fiction, non-fiction books and children’s books. The signing has no admission fee and light snacks will be served. Book topics will vary from children’s books to mysteries and thrillers to memoirs and expose’s to travel guides and self help. It is a great opportunity to find a good book and chat with the author.

Participating authors:

  • Meri Cherry —  Along The Kings Road: A Guide To Touring California Missions By Bicycle
  • Janet Ann CollinsThe Peril of the Sinister Scientist, Secret Service Saint, Signs of Trouble, Slime & All, Book Places, I Can’t Believe My Dog Did That
  • Babette DonaldsonThe Emma Lea Books (Series), Everything Healthy Tea, Fun With Tea
  • Bill Drake — Almost Hereditary: A White Southerner’s Journey Out of Racism
  • David Finch — Kill The Drug Trade: Ending The War On Drugs In a System of Toleration, Counseling and Control
  • Larry GoldFirst, Do No Harm, For The Love of God, No Cure For Murder, The Sixth Sense, Rage, Tortured Memory, The Plague Within, Deadly Passage, A Simple Cure, Trapped, Hybrid, I Love My Doctor, But  . . . .
  • Zoe St. Clair — Travel Size Mandala Coloring Journal
  • Hock TjoaThe Chinese Spymaster, The Ingenious Judge Dee

March “Open Read”

Sierra Writers will host a free Open Read on Wednesday, March 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the Madelyn Helling Library Community Room.

This is an opportunity for writers of all ages and abilities to have their anonymously-submitted story, poem, memoir, essay or excerpt read aloud by members of Sierra Writers, then receive brief, considerate, and supportive feedback from participants.  Entries must be 750 words or less (2-3 double-spaced pages, size 12 font).  State whether piece is beginning, middle, end or entire piece (such as a poem). Do not include author’s name, but author must be present. All community writers are invited to participate.

Sierra Writers provides a venue for writers of all types to meet, share and learn, with a range of experience and expertise.  Meetings are held the second Wednesday of every month at 980 Helling Way, Nevada City.  For more information, log on to or call 205-5068.

Patricia Dove Miller’s Creative Writing Classes for March, April, May, June



patricia.jpb copyBirdsong Writing Practice Group.

Teaches basic “Writing Practice” (based on Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones), a cumulative series of short exercises. Quiet your inner critic, delve into your unconscious, go deeper into your writing, and increase your creativity. Helps you learn how to write, to improve your writing, or to overcome writers’ block.  For all levels of writers.
Wednesday mornings, 10:30 to noon. March 19, March 26 (skip April 2), April 9, April 16.
Deadline to register: March 5. Fee: $50.  (A second 4-week series will run from April 23 to May 14.)

The Art and Craft of Creative Writing. 

Learn the specific craft techniques you need in order to begin writing or improve your writing. We’ll do many inspiring exercises to generate material for your stories. Receive gentle, optional feedback. For both beginning and intermediate writers.
Wednesday evenings, 630 pm to 830 pm. March 19, March 26, (skip April 2), April 9, April 16, April 23, April 30. Deadline to register: March 5. Fee: $120.

Joyous Expression

A Day of Meditation and Writing Practice. Mt. Stream Meditation Center Daylong Retreat. Saturday, March 29, from 10 am to 4:30 pm, at the Mercy Center in Auburn. “Writing Practice” will be integrated with sitting meditation and walking meditation. Will be held mostly in gentle silence, except when reading our work or discussing writing issues. For all levels of writers and meditators. Limited to twenty writers.  To register:  call or email Mary Helen at 530-887-9400 or (See ONLY ONE SPOT LEFT, AND A WAITING LIST.

Half-moon Workshop

Join us once a month to do Writing Practice integrated with sitting meditation and walking meditation. Saturdays, 10 am to 1 pm. April 26, May 31, and June 28. Fee: $45 per session. Come to one session, two sessions, or all three.

Women’s Weekend Writing Retreat

Experience a peaceful weekend focused on your writing with a small group of women. Will include craft talks, exercises, feedback, discussion, readings, and time to write on your own. For intermediate and advanced writers. Limited to ten writers.
May 16-18 at a retreat center in Nevada County. Will let you know exact location and price very soon.

Advanced Critique Workshop. This ongoing class is currently full. There may be some openings in April.

 Private lessons. To meet your individual needs: coaching, editing, or manuscript consultation. Available any time.

If you have questions or want to register for any of these classes, please call or write me as soon as possible.

Patricia Dove Miller
530-265-5165 (home); 619-300-1265 (cell)

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