Sierra Writers

Writers helping each other

Category: Member event

Read / Sign / Sell Event – August 26th

Book Promotion Event
August 26, 2017
1 to 4 p.m.
Open Book

 Enjoy a cool, literary afternoon with local authors, snacks, and books!


Check out the scheduled Author / Readers.
Click on the image to visit their book pages.
Cherry 1 pm
Horning 1 pm-3Linda Horning is reading from Buhari, A Family Odyssey in Nepal
 Powers 3Matt Powers is reading from Ghosts of Manor House


Harris 2 pm-zKen Harris is reading from How Throckmorton Quattlebottom
Became King of North San Juan (A Read Aloud Book)

 buck3Shelley will be reading from East: A woman on the Road to Kathmandu as well as from her upcoming book.
Redfern 3 mp
Lisa Redfern is reading from Phases of Gage, After the Accident Years

*A few author reading time slots are still available. If you are a Sierra Writers member (or would like to be), and you are interested in participating in this event, send an email to sierrawriters@gmail-dot-com and specify “Author Event” in the subject line.


Event Specifics for Authors:
Bring books for display and sales.
Book sales are handled through Open Book.
Make arrangements with the facility manager to include your books in inventory after the event.
Bring a snack tray to share.
If you are not a member of Sierra Writers – join now for $25.
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Story Arc Workshop: How to Apply it to Your Work – with Carolyn M. Crane

Wednesday,  June 14th
6.30 p.m. –  8 p.m.
Community Room of the Madelyn Helling Library
Free to the Public

Whether writers intuit the story arc or embed it explicitly, it is a fundamental structure that every person equates with a good story–a story that works for the reader.

  • We’ll analyze a story’s arc.  Story arc exercise sheet
  • Apply theory to your own work.
  • Be ready to share your work with others.

*Bring the completed exercise with you as well as a piece of narrative or drama you are currently working on. 

carolyn crane rtCarolyn M. Crane is a produced playwright and published essayist and poet. She has taught creative writing privately through her website and at The University of Phoenix online. She will be teaching a five-week creative writing class in Grass Valley through Sierra College extension this fall. 20170614a

group story arc exercises

group story arc exercises

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.


“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.

Sierra Writers Presents a Panel Discussion on Book and Self-Promotion


April Meeting:

On Wednesday, April 9 from 6:30-8:00 PM, Sierra Writers monthly meeting will feature a panel discussion on book and self-promotion. Join authors Ron Cherry, Larry Gold, Doug Greene, and Maxima Kahn, and discover tips and strategies for building your author platform and promoting your books.

Ron Cherry writes a bi-weekly column in The Union on classic cars and street rods.  His short stories have been in several online magazines, including The Dan O’Brien Project, Devilfish Review, Writing Raw, and Ineffective Ink.  He currently has two books on Amazon, Christmas Cracker and Foul Shot.

Larry Gold is a physician who has written ten novels, six in the Brier Hospital Series, that reflect his experiences in practicing medicine. He published his first non-fiction book, I Love MY Doctor, But…, a lighthearted look at a serious subject—the relationship between patients and their physicians.

Doug Greene is the author of the award-winning book From Grief to Grace – his story about almost going blind from glaucoma.  In “print media” he’s been a magazine editor, newspaper photo editor, commercial photographer and freelance writer. His work has appeared in Ski, Outside, New York Times, L.A. Times, American Filmmaker, and other publications

MaxbyJerianneMaxima Kahn’s writing has appeared in Westview, Eclipse, Borderlands, The Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Poem, Rattlesnake Review, Hardpan, Leftview, and Spillway, the Nevada County Poetry Series Anthology. She has taught creative writing at the University of California, Davis Extension and in private classes and workshops.
The panel will be moderated by Jan Fishler, author of “Searching for Jane, Finding Myself, An Adopton Memoir.

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 at 6:30 on the second Wednesday of every month except July and August at the Madelyn Helling Library Community Room, offering at least six speakers or events per year. Membership is $25 per year ($10 for high school and college students). More information can be found at

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)

Sierra Writers’ Member Claudine Chalmers, Dec. 21

Nevada County author, and Sierra Writers’ member, Claudine Chalmers will present her most recent book Chronicling the West for Harper’s  at 1 PM on Saturday 21 December at Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters/Tomes, 671 Maltman Drive in Grass Valley, phone 273-4002.
She will also have copies of her earlier books Mill Valley, Grass Valley and French San Francisco, all in Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series, and Paul Frenzeny’s Chinatown Sketches, published by the Book Club of California.
This is the event originally scheduled for Saturday 7 December, which was postponed because of heavy snow.

© 2017 Sierra Writers

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