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

The cost is so reasonable you could say it is unreasonable. Dan Coshnear

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

2015 Presenters

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.

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. Lynn specializes in everything from asking questions about plot, characters, and pacing to correcting mechanics.

Elaine Silver helps writers explore and uncover their true intent and translate it into magnificent works

Frances Lefkowitz is a former magazine editor whose work appears in The Sun, Good Housekeeping, and more. Author of the memoir To Have Not, she edits, coaches, and teaches.

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

Karen Hart is an award-winning writer, editor and novelist. She writes for NorthBay biz and The Press Democrat, and is passionate about developmental editing and capturing the magic in your writing. Contact her at karen.hart@earthlink.net.

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).

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.

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

Alison Luterman

 

 Writing From the Body, As A Body, In the Body

I was a reading addict as a kid, always with my nose in a book. I read constantly, even while walking outside.  More than once I bumped into telephone poles or stumbled over curbs because I could not put down my mesmerizing Nancy Drew mystery long enough to notice my surroundings. I would have read during dinner, only my cruel parents insisted that I put my book down and engage in conversation. At night I read under the covers with a flashlight.

Decades later, I have done a complete turnaround. It's now most important to me to connect with my environment and my body as I walk through this precious life moment by moment, day by day. I've also noticed how writing that is deeply steeped in the senses is appealing and alive, while writing that seems confined to the neck up doesn't breathe so much. In my classes I'm always encouraging students to remember to include the six senses---the five physical ones as well as the imagination.

In this experiential workshop, we'll try some different sensory awareness exercises; dancing, tasting, going outside, face-gazing, and exploring with our hands, noses, cheeks, lips, and hearts the world around us. I'll bring in some examples of embodied writing that I love, and of course we'll all get a chance to try it ourselves. This workshop is for anyone who has ever longed for more juice and joy in their own writing. Even if you feel shy or this description seems scary, come anyway; I promise there will be plenty of opportunities to quietly observe, if that's your comfort zone, as well as to jump in and play! 

 

Alison Luterman's books of poems include The Largest Possible Life (Cleveland State University press), See How We Almost Fly (Pearl Editions), and Desire Zoo (Tia Chucha Press). She has published poems in The Sun Magazine, Prairie Schooner, Nimrod, Rattle, The Atlanta Review, and many other journals and anthologies.  Two of her poems are included in Billy Collins Poetry 180 project at the Library of Congress.  

 Her personal essays have appeared in Salon, The Sun Magazine, The L.A. Review, The New York Times’ Modern Love, and elsewhere.  Five of her essays have been collected in the e-book Feral City, published at www.shebooks.net. She has also written half a dozen plays, including a musical about kidney transplantation.

She has taught and/or been poet-in-residence at New College in San Francisco, Holy Names College in Oakland, The Writing Salon in Berkeley, at Esalen and Omega Institutes, at the Great Mother Conference, and at various writing retreats all over the country.  Check out her website for more information.

September 17

Jennifer Lynn Alvarez

Photo by Karen Perez

World Building: How to Create Fiction That Feels Real

Jennifer Lynn Alvarez shares her tips for creating vibrant fictional worlds. These suggestions apply to contemporary and fantasy fiction. Whether describing Seattle in the summer or a city of your creation, you want your reader to feel, hear, taste, and smell it! Jennifer will show you how to create memorable scenes.

Jennifer Lynn Alvarez is the author of the new middle-grade book series, The Guardian Herd, published by HarperCollins Childrens books.

Praise for The Guardian Herd series, showcasing Jennifer's world-building skills:

"Chock-full of adventure and twists, making it difficult to put down." School Library Journal

"From page one, Jennifer Lynn Alvarez weaves an epic tale of a doomed black Pegasus foal named Star, whose race against time will lift the reader on the wings of destiny and danger, magic and hope. It’s a world I did not want to leave, and neither will you." Peter Lerangis, New York Times bestselling author in the 39 Clues series and of the Seven Wonders series

"Alvarez's world is lush with description and atmosphere, and her premise has much to offer." Publishers Weekly

"This epic adventure is richly developed. Compelling." Kirkus Reviews 

October 15

To be announced.

November

Writers Forum does not meet in November.

December

Writers Forum does not meet in December.