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 August.

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

2019 Forum Presenters

March 21

Guy Biederman

Guy Biederman has taught creative writing at College of Marin, San Francisco State, Santa Rosa Junior College, The Sitting Room, and privately at many venues since 1991. 

His fiction and poetry have been internationally published in over fifty journals. His flash fiction and poetry have twice been winners of Exposition Review’s Flash 405 contest and his short fiction was nominated for Best of the Net Flash Fiction, 2018.  In addition, Guy’s one act plays have been produced at Dominican University and Occidental Center For The Arts. He is the author of three collections of short work, including Soundings & Fathoms, Finishing Line Press, 2018. Guy and his wife Phyllis live on a houseboat with two salty cats and walk the planks daily.

April 18

Iris Jamahl Dunkle

Iris Jamahl Dunkle is the recent past Poet Laureate of Sonoma County. Interrupted Geographies, published by Trio House Press, is her third collection of poetry.  It was featured as the Rumpus Poetry Book Club selection for July 2017.  Her debut poetry collection, Gold Passage, was selected by Ross Gay to win the 2012 Trio Award. Her second collection, There’s a Ghost in this Machine of Air was published in 2015.

Her work has been published in numerous publications: Fence, Calyx, Catamaran, Poet’s Market 2013, Women’s Studies and Chicago Quarterly Review.  

Dunkle teaches at Napa Valley College and is a Poetry Director of the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. 

May 16

Georgia James and Deborah Parrish

Georgia James
Georgia is a hopeless romantic and wine country enthusiast. Formerly, a senior executive in the entertainment industry, she turned to writing over a decade ago, and has never looked back. She splits her time between Sonoma, California, and Chicago, Illinois with her husband, two grown sons, one dog, and three cats. James holds a BA in Spanish literature. Home Sweet Sonoma is her first novel.

Deborah Parrish
Deborah began writing romance novels on her mother’s old green Smith Corona typewriter at the age of 11. Her heart's calling was put on hold to raise her daughter, who's become a successful business woman in her own right. After three decades of masquerading as a financial executive, Deborah’s lifelong dream was reawakened and realized with her first published novel, Home Sweet Sonoma. With her musician husband at her side, she lives in coastal West Marin surrounded by nature's bounty. When she’s not busy dreaming up a steamy love story, she's capturing joy-filled moments through her lens as a lifestyle photographer.

Deborah and Georgia had a blast writing this story, convinced they couldn’t have done it without each other's encouragement. Having been friends for 20 years, their passion for good love stories finally showed up on the page. Home Sweet Sonoma is really about their shared love affair with romance and the little things in life that truly matter, like small towns, wine and song, pies (lots of pie), sunsets, walks in the park, kissing and of course, the behind-the-curtain passion that is the juice of life.


June 20

Jacqueline Yau

July 18

Susan Bono

Susan Zahl Bono is a California-born mother, teacher, writer, and editor who’s lived more than half her life with the same man in the same house in Petaluma. She published Tiny Lights: A Journal of Personal Narrative for twenty years. She facilitates writing workshops, including Jumpstart with Marlene Cullen, and edits the Noyo River Review for the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference. Her own work has appeared online, on stage, in anthologies, newspapers, and on the radio. Her book, What Have We Here: Essays about Keeping House and Finding Home was published in 2014.


August 15

Susan Tillett

Susan began writing in her 50s when she was the Executive Director of Ragdale, an artist community near Chicago. What started out as a desire to understand what her writers-in-residence experienced during the creative process grew into a passion to find insights in her world and her life. Susan is the author of two books, The Ragdale House Speaks and What’s to Wear Beatrice Bird, as well as several articles, including “Trip to Mexico, Side Trip to Heaven,” published in She Can Find Her Way:  Women Travels at Their Best.

For the past twenty years, Susan has supported the work of writers and other artists. She is currently the Executive Director of the Mesa Refuge, a writing retreat in West Marin. She also teaches workshops designed to encourage the creativity in all people. She often co-teaches a workshop called The Artist’s Eye, the Writer’s Voice with Elizabeth Fishel in Northern California and Ghost Ranch, New Mexico. This course has featured visits to the studios of several different visual artists, including Susan Hall, Mimi Robinson and Tom Killion.

Lighting the path for reflection
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