A variety of speakers share information about the craft and business of writing.



We welcome and encourage all writers.

3rd Thursday --- February through October

6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Petaluma Community Center, 320 No. McDowell Blvd. Petaluma

$15 at the door.

Join us! Bring a friend!


I have always considered Writers Forum one of the best things about Petaluma.  Jane Merryman

Writers Forum has been pivotal in getting me motivated, focused, and published. Thank you for supporting writers and providing such a wonderful venue!  D. Zelenakova

I have found Writers Forum to be professional with lots of information.  Many of the speakers have been outstanding presenters.  Jane Person

2015 Presenters

March 19

Amanda McTigue


No doubt about it: we writers love to write, hate to sell. How could it be otherwise? We’re the oddballs who’d rather spend vast quantities of time alone in our imaginations. And yet these days, we’re told not only must we craft (and sometimes publish) our works, but also find readers to read them: a daunting challenge compounded by our own dread. What’s a writer to do?

On the heels of her brainstorming session at the Aqus Written Word Mixer in Petaluma last October, we’ve asked Amanda McTigue to share more of her out-of-the-box thinking on one of our least favorite challenges. Promising a swap-meet of ideas, Amanda’s interactive session will offer insights, resources and creative calisthenics to help us connect to readers.

Author, playwright, stage director and storyteller, Amanda McTigue has also worked for decades as a creative marketing consultant for such clients as Walt Disney Entertainment, Paramount Entertainment and design firms such as Thinkwell and The Hettema Group in Los Angeles. Her novel, “Going to Solace,” was cited by public radio KRCB’s “Word by Word” as a Best Read of 2012. She also makes regular appearances at Petaluma’s “West Side Stories” and “Get Lit.” She’s busy completing short stories and a second novel.

April 16

Brooke Warner

What Next? What Authors Need to Know about What Happens After They're Done Writing Their Book

Today's publishing world is a brave new frontier. The barriers to traditional publishing are so high that many aspiring authors have begun to lose hope about getting a traditional deal. Self-publishing has lots of success stories, but it's truly the Wild West. Then there are a whole slew of new in-between models: hybrid, partnership, author-assisted. What's a new author to do? How can you make sense of what's out there and do what's best for you (while avoiding pitfalls and getting taken advantage of)? These are important business questions for authors seeking publishing answers. Brooke Warner, publisher, coach, and industry expert, will give you the true lay of the new land, explaining each of the models that exist—from traditional to self and everything in between. This conversation (questions are welcome!) will help any author, whether they've published before or not, make sense of what's happening in the industry and leave understanding how to navigate these complicated waters. If you feel daunted by what happens after you finish your book, this evening will be just what you're looking for to help you feel equipped for the publishing journey ahead.  

Brooke Warner is publisher of She Writes Press, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of What's Your Book? and How to Sell Your Memoir. Brooke’s expertise is in traditional and new publishing, and she is an equal advocate for publishing with a traditional house and self-publishing. She sits on the board of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and the National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW).  Her website was selected by The Write Life as one of the Top 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2014. She lives and works in Berkeley, California.

May 21

Looking for an editor?

A panel of editors discuss their editing styles. Meet the editors, then gather in small groups to find the right editor for you.

Mark Burstein is a freelance editor of both nonfiction and fiction. His clients include Chronicle Books, Insight Editions, Harry N. Abrams, and Welcome Books, as well as many authors.

B. Lynn Goodwin, owner of Writer Advice, author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers and Talent, a forthcoming YA, and is the editor at Writer Advice’s Manuscript Consultation Service. She specializes in everything from asking questions about plot, characters, and pacing to correcting mechanics.  

Karen Hart:  Award-winning writer, editor and novelist, Karen Hart, has served as the editor for two corporate magazines and a newsletter and continues to be slightly obsessive-compulsive about all writing endeavors.

Linda Jay is a book manuscript copyeditor with decades of experience who works with authors in the U.S. and other countries; genres she specializes in are: business, novels, memoirs, spirituality, women's issues, academic topics and fantasy (vampires, zombies).

Frances Lefkowitz is the Good Housekeeping book reviewer, a freelance writer and editor, who teaches at the Sun Magazine’s writing workshops and the Writer workshops in West Marin program. 

Jane Merryman specializes in copy editing: correcting grammar, spelling, punctuation, usage, and, as we say in the profession, infelicities.

Elaine Silver helps you realize the greatest potential of your writing by discovering your true intent and translating it to the pages of your book.   

June 18

Susan Audrey

Learn How to Access Your Infinite Creative Flow Through Dreamwork

Bestselling author and dreamwork expert Robert Moss says: “The most important book you’ll ever read is your own dream journal.”

That’s because your nighttime dreams hold the keys to unlocking your truest self, your most authentic voice, and the infinite stream of creativity inside you.  

Every night you receive guidance ­­through the images, symbols, and feelings that emerge in your dreams. And if you explore what these messages from your soul (the truest part of yourself) are trying to say, you lift the veils of your ego (its fears, self-criticism, and perceived inadequacies) to better see yourself, your life, and the world.

In this playful writing workshop led by dreamwork guide and writer Susan Audrey, you will learn how to use the wisdom of your dreams as a fascinating portal to creativity.

You’ll explore your dream images, symbols that emerge during the workshop, even the fresh insights of your fellow writers, to illuminate the wisdom they hold and then share what you discover through writing. You’ll have fun, get to know yourself a little better, and go home with new ways to tap into your most authentic and potent creative self.

Susan Audrey is a multi-disciplined dreamwork practitioner, an artist, and a staff writer for The Shift Network, headquartered at The Institute for Noetic Sciences in Petaluma.

Through her dreamwork practice, she specializes in guiding individuals and groups in the fascinating and transformative journey of discovering the wisdom of their dreams.  She has studied dreamwork with Robert Moss, world-renowned author and dreamwork expert; Dream Tending™ with Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara; dreamwork and intuition with Jeremy Taylor, renowned dreamwork facilitator and author; and gestalt dreamwork with Randal Churchill, master hypnotherapy instructor and author of Become the Dream.

Susan is currently writing her thesis –– inspired and informed by dreams and synchronicities ­­–– as completion of her Master's Degree in Jungian Psychology. Click here to learn more about dreamwork and Susan Audrey.

July 16

Tina Folsom

All you ever wanted to know about Self-Publishing and didn't dare to ask

After uploading their books to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other retailers, most newly self-published authors sit back, waiting for the sales to accumulate. When those sales don’t instantly happen in large numbers, they are disappointed and ready to give up on self-publishing.

This workshop explores what actions a self-published author has to take after uploading his/her books.  The session addresses issues like metadata, Amazon searches and tags, retailer’s specific preferences and no-no’s, how to make it easy for reader to click ‘buy’, how to promote an entire series, when to change covers and other branding issues. How to effectively engage your readers to promote for you is also discussed.

This session also addresses how to make the most of one book by exploring other formats, such as audio, print-on-demand, as well as foreign editions.

With the practical advice delivered in this session, a self-published author can go back and apply the lessons learned and make he/his books more attractive, appealing, and searchable.

Tina Folsom is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author. She’s always been self-published and has found tremendous success with her paranormal series, Scanguards Vampires, Venice Vampyr, and Out of Olympus, selling more than 1.5 million copies of her 50 titles (which includes titles in German, French, and Spanish) in almost 4 years. Tina is a one-women-enterprise. She writes constantly, translates her own books into German, her native language, and manages all aspects of her publishing empire. Her books are available in ebook format, as paperbacks, as audio books, and in foreign languages.

August 20

To be announced.

September 17

To be announced.

October 15

To be announced.


Writers Forum does not meet in November.


Writers Forum does not meet in December.