Marlene Cullen hosts the Writers Forum Zoom Series where writers share their writing journeys and offer tips about the craft and business of writing. Sometimes we’ll enjoy relaxation exercises and then write together. There will be time for questions and answers and chatting about writing.

Online Access


Zoom URL will be posted soon.

 

Writers Forum is brought to you by Aqus Community Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring people together. 

Please join us for these free events.

Note: The Forums are on different days and at different times.

The February 2021 Writers Forums will be based on the anthology, Story Power, an engaging and lively guide to the art of storytelling.

2021 Forum Schedule


February 10, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm: Kate Farrell, Lisa Alpine, & Mary Mackey

Storytelling for the Armchair Traveler

Story Power editor Kate Farrell in conversation with Story Power contributors Lisa Alpine and Mary Mackey (who share exciting and hilarious adventure travel stories in Story Power).

Learn how to share your adventures with friends and family through well-crafted stories, better than a slide show. Interactive session, with prompts, writing, and storytelling.

 

Kate Farrell

Kate Farrell is a storyteller, author, librarian, and founder of the Word Weaving Storytelling Project. She has published numerous educational materials on storytelling. She has contributed to and edited award-winning anthologies of personal narrative.

SF Senior Beat article about Kate's adventures as a teacher/storyteller in San Francisco and how her word weaving project began.

Keep up with Kate and her many events to promote storytelling on her website.

Learn more about storytelling and the many facets of the oral tradition on her blog.  

Lisa Alpine is a renowned dance teacher, travel writer, and author of Dance Life: Movin’ & Groovin’ Around the Globe, Wild Life: Travel Adventures of a Worldly Woman and Exotic Life: Travel Tales of an Adventurous Woman.

Her award-winning, dynamically delicious stories grace the pages of many anthologies, including Travelers’ Tales Best Travel Writing.

When not wrestling with words, exploring the ecstatic realms of dance, swimming with sea creatures, or waiting for a flight, Lisa divides her time between Mill Valley, California and the Big Island of Hawai’i, where Pele’s lava licks at the edges of her writing retreat. Read her timely posts about travel, dance, writing, culture, and inspiration.

 

Lisa Alpine

 

Mary Mackey

Mary Mackey became a writer by running high fevers, tramping through tropical jungles, dodging machine gun fire, being swarmed by army ants, making catastrophic decisions about men, and reading.


Her published works consist of fourteen novels including The Village of Bones, which won a 2018 CIIS Women’s Spirituality Book Award from the Department of Diversity and Inclusion; The Year The Horses Came; and A Grand Passion, which was translated into 12 foreign languages and made The New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle best seller lists. She is also the author of eight collections of poetry including Sugar Zone, which won the 2012 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award; and The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams, which won the 2019 Eric Hoffer Award for the Best Book Published by a Small Press.


Her work has been praised by Wendell Berry, Pat Conroy, Jane Hirshfield, D. Nurkse, Al Young, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Marge Piercy for its beauty, precision, originality, and extraordinary range.


Professor Emeritus and Former Writer in Residence at California State University, Sacramento, she received her B.A. from Harvard and her PhD from the University of Michigan.


Mary presently lives in northern California with her husband Angus Wright. Follow Mary on Twitter @MMackeyAuthor. To be the first to know when she publishes a new novel or collection of poems you can subscribe to her quarterly newsletter.

 


February 18, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm: Kate Farrell, Waights Taylor, Jr., and Bev Scott

Family Storytelling

Kate Farrell (Story Power editor) in conversation with Waights Taylor, Jr., and Bev Scott (Waights and Bev are contributors to Story Power, sharing family stories). Family folklore, legacy stories, the Patchwork quilt. Learn to share your family stories with friends and family through well-crafted stories. Interactive session, with prompts, writing, and storytelling.

Kate Farrell is a storyteller, author, librarian, and founder of the Word Weaving Storytelling Project. She has published numerous educational materials on storytelling. She has contributed to and edited award-winning anthologies of personal narrative.

SF Senior Beat article about Kate's adventures as a teacher/storyteller in San Francicso and how her word weaving project began.

Keep up with Kate and her many events to promote storytelling on her website.

Learn more about storytelling and the many facets of the oral tradition on her blog.  

Waights Taylor Jr., born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama and has lived in Sonoma County for twenty-three years. When his professional career was coming to an end, he turned to writing and publishing. His first book was the non-fiction, award-winning Our Southern Home: Scottsboro to Montgomery to Birmingham—The Transformation of the South in the Twentieth Century (October 2011). His next book and first novel, also an award winner, was the first book in a murder mystery trilogy entitled Kiss of Salvation (August 2014). The second book in the trilogy was Touch of Redemption (March 2016). The final book in the trilogy was Heed the Apocalypse (November 2017), also an award winner. His next book was a young adult novel, Henry Tuttle: The Boy Who Loved to Run. (April 2019). He is working on his sixth novel, tentatively titled Nevermore. It is set in Alabama in the years 1949 and 2001. Taylor’s publishing company is McCaa Books. The company’s website features Taylor’s five books, and twenty-five other books he has published for local authors.

Bev Scott specialized in serving executives and managers as a leadership coach and organizational consultant for over thirty-seven years. She taught organization psychology and founded The 3rd Act, a program whose mission supports positive aging. As she moved into her own third act, she wanted more time to pursue other interests. She began a genealogical journey to uncover the details of her paternal grandparents’ lives and explore the rumored family secret’s. She concluded that the story needed to be told as fiction using the known facts as her framework.


Sarah’s Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness, Bev’s debut novel, is the culmination of her long-held desire to tell this family story with the rumored secrets about her grandfather.


Bev previously published non-fiction work, including the second edition of “Consulting on the Inside,” which she co-authored with Kim Barnes, in 2011. She has written numerous professional articles and contributed to “70 Things to Do When You Turn 70,” edited by Ronnie Sellers and Mark Chimsky. Bev blogs on several sites, including her own, “The Writing Life.”


Bev enjoys traveling, visiting with friends, volunteering, reading and spending time with her grandsons. She lives with her spouse in San Francisco.  Now during Covid 19, her joys are limited to what can be done inside, socially distanced or on Zoom.


Saturday, March 20 at 10 am and March 27 at 10 am

Christine Walker

Writing Resilient

Masterful Ways to Transform Our Stories: The ones we’re writing, the ones we’re living

Where do you stand at the beginning of 2021? Bouncing back from a broken year? Grieving and healing from tragedy and loss? Determined to reclaim your joy? I answer a vulnerable “yes” to those questions and ask these: Do we rely on writing as a comfort, distraction, therapist, good friend? Is writing now, more than ever, the wise and trusted counselor who helps us aspire to and discover the best in ourselves, individually and collectively? How do we renew belief in creative potential and purpose? What can be gained and shared through greater mastery of our craft and creative processes?

We’re all experts and learners with moments of mastery to discover.
When designing workshops, I keep in mind “writers who read, readers who write, and book lovers who want to read like a writer,” whether you are a published author, aspire to be, or prefer not to be. The two sessions are interrelated, but have distinct focuses, so that you may attend one or both.

Part I. Nonfiction (memoir, narrative)
Saturday, March 20, 10AM Pacific Time
Uncovering truths and shaping intentions for writing vivid, meaningful memoir and narrative nonfiction. Focus: Ways into the Story, Narrative Arcs, Presence of Place. (Also applicable to fiction.)

Part II. Fiction
Saturday, March 27, 10AM Pacific Time

Elevating fiction with truths and shaping intentions for writing believable, memorable novels and stories. Focus: Whole-body Characters, Love and Other Emotions, Image and the Senses. (Also applicable to nonfiction.)

Christine Walker

Christine Walker is a visual artist, writer, strategic visioning facilitator, and teacher whose guiding principle for fruitful creative process is: “Artful vision. Heartfelt action.” She has an MFA in Writing and Literature in Fiction from Bennington Writing Seminars and an MA in Creative Arts Interdisciplinary from San Francisco State. She is the author and artist of “A Painter’s Garden: Cultivating the Creative Life,” a memoir on creative process illustrated by her paintings, and the co-author and illustrator of “Wooleycat’s Musical Theater,” a children’s book with song CD. She writes novels and short stories and teaches writing through her frameworks “Writing Fiction: 9 Ways to Mastery” and “Read to Write Books,” which are inspired by careful reading of masterful authors.

Find out more about Christine at her Artist & Author website

Christine's Online course, Writing Fiction: 9 Ways to Mastery

YouTube channel: Moments of Mastery videos on writing and creativity

Christine’s Blog, Read to Write Books Christine Walker Explores Fiction Craft


March 2021


April 2021

Thursday, April 8, 6:30 pm. Iris Jamahl Dunkle. Details soon.


May 2021


June 2021


July 2021


August 2021


September 2021


October 2021

Lighting the path for reflection
The Write Spot Blog