Learn about the craft and business of writing at Writers Forum. These literary workshops feature a diverse group of presenters discussing a variety of topics.

Writers Forum meets the third Thursday, March through September.

We start promptly at 6:30 pm and end at 8:30 pm

Location: Copperfield's Books, 140 Kentucky St., Petaluma

Writers Forum is free and open to the public.

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


2018 Forum Presenters

March 15

Abigail Samoun

Abigail Samoun

Abigail Samoun

The Children’s Publishing Process Revealed

Abigail Samoun will discuss the various stages involved in getting a book acquired. She will talk us through one book’s journey in the publishing process: Catching an editor’s eye, developing a manuscript, describing the editor’s role in getting the book through the acquisition process, signing the contract, working with the editor on finalizing the manuscript, and sending it to press.

Abigail Samoun was an in-house children’s book editor for over ten years, working on a wide range of projects, from board books to young adult novels. Her books received such honors as the CCBC Charlotte Zolotow award, the New York Public Library Ezra Jack Keats award, and the Pura Belpre.

In 2011, Abigail made the transition from editing to agenting, co-founding Red Fox Literary with Karen Grencik. She is the author several children’s books, including What’s In Your Purse? (Chronicle Books, 2014), The Little Traveler series (Sterling Publishing, 2014), and Mind Afire, an illustrated biography of inventor Nikola Tesla.

Abigail lives in Sonoma, California, with her entomologist husband, two curious little boys, a chihuahua, and a gaggle of chickens. www.redfoxliterary.com 

April 19

Jean Hegland

Jean Hegland

Jean Hegland

Helping Ourselves to Write Our Best

There are only a few personal qualities and life circumstances that writers need to achieve their writing dreams. Jean will discuss some of the ways we can fan the spark, make the grit, keep the faith, create the community, and court the luck that will enable us to do our best work.

Jean Hegland's first novel, Into the Forest, has been adapted as a film and a graphic novel and translated into over a dozen languages; it was a best-seller in France in 2017. Her most recent book, Still Time, about a Shakespeare professor and his estranged daughter, is finding fans among Shakespeare scholars as well as readers with Shakespeare allergies.


May 17

Rebecca Rosenberg

Rebecca Rosenberg

The Devil is in The Details!

How do props and surroundings make the novel and characters “real” for the reader? Choose a scene from your work in process (wip) that you want to make stronger, or Rebecca will provide a scene. Be ready to explore how to make details speak for your characters and plot.

A California native, Rebecca Rosenberg lives on a lavender farm with her family in Sonoma, the Valley of the Moon, where Jack London wrote from his Beauty Ranch. Rebecca is a long-time student of Jack London’s works and an avid fan of his daring wife, Charmian London.

The Secret Life of Mrs. London (Lake Union, 1/30/18) is Rebecca’s debut novel, after her non-fiction, Lavender Fields of America. She is a graduate of Stanford Novel Writing Certificate Program.

June 21

July 19

August 16

Christine Falcon-Daigle

Christine Falcon-Daigle

Writing as a Tool for Transformation

Christine Falcon-Daigle has worked in film and radio, serving as associate producer for The Last Stand, an award-winning documentary that aired nationally on public television, and screened at more than two-dozen major film festivals worldwide.  She edited live interviews with authors for KRCB’s Word by Word, hosted by Jordan Rosenfeld.  She was a regular contributor to Tiny Lights – a publication devoted to the art of personal essay.

For more than two decades, she has attended writing retreats and conferences, and participated in a number of on-going writing workshops and groups in Marin and Sonoma Counties.
She has read her work at literary events including San Francisco’s Litquake, The Sonoma County Book Festival in Santa Rosa, BustOut Stories at the Downtown Art Center in San Rafael, Book Passage, Aqus Café’s Speakeasy Literary Saloon, LiveWire Literary Salon and more.  She earned her MFA at the California Institute of Integral Studies in SF, where she also contributed to and moderated a panel discussion for the school’s inter-arts journal, Mission at Tenth.  In 2007, her novel This Is What I Know was named as a finalist in the William Faulkner Wisdom Creative Writing Competition sponsored by The Pirates’ Alley Society in New Orleans.  In 2011 and again in 2017, Petaluma Readers’ Theater selected her work for live performance.  

She currently lives on an organic farm in Petaluma with her farmer husband and teenaged daughter.   

September 20

Jacqueline Yau

Lighting the path for reflection
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