2020 Meetings

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and all the wonderful speakers and events.


Sunday, Jan. 12, 2019
Writing About Family: The Craft of Memoir
Dorothy Rice

Writing about family is a powerful source of inspiration for many authors, whether to enrich fiction, as a foundation for memoir or biography or to preserve fading personal histories for future generations. Memoirist Dorothy Rice will share her experiences writing about family and friends, including techniques and tools for navigating issues of confidentiality and trust, differing views on past events and the ramifications of exposing sensitive topics and history. She will talk about the drifting lines between fiction and nonfiction and the question of creative license and subjectivity in memoir, particularly when recreating distant events. She will also provide information on the various forms personal writing can take, identifying and pursuing markets for creative nonfiction, from flash to longer form, and her go-to tips for turning life experiences into page-turning true stories.

Dorothy Rice is the author of two published memoirs, Gray Is The New Black (Otis Books, June 2019) and The Reluctant Artist (Shanti Arts, 2015). Her personal essays and fiction have been published in dozens of journals and magazines, including The Rumpus, Brain, Child Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, Hippocampus and Brevity. An essay about her mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s was awarded second place in the 2018 Kalanithi Awards (honoring Paul Kalanithi, author of When Breath Becomes Air) and one of her flash fictions was nominated for a Pushcart and Best of the Net. After raising five children and retiring from a career managing statewide environmental protection programs, Rice earned an MFA in Creative Writing from UC Riverside, Palm Desert, at 60. She is a certified Amherst Writers & Artists Method creative writing workshop facilitator and, in addition to writing and mentoring other aspiring writers, she conducts youth writing workshops with literary nonprofit 916 Ink.

You can find Dorothy at dorothyriceauthor.com, and on twitter at @dorothyrowena.



Sunday, Feb. 9, 2019
Humor as a Writing Hook: A panel discussion led by Deborah Taylor-French

What's so funny?

Lots of things, as it turns out. We will explore various tools writers use in creating humor-hyperbole, irony, self-deprecation, quirky characters, and entertaining plot twists.

The panel discussion will explore a wide range of topics dealing with humor, such as:

  • What is humor?
  • How does it help us in the quality of our life?
  • What part does it play in different genres: plays, poetry, prose?
  • What can we learn about how other cultures treat humor?
  • What does it mean to lack a sense of humor?

Examples from literary works will be given to answer and discuss the above points.


Daniel Coshnear works at a group home and teaches through UC Berkeley Extension. He is author of two story collections: Jobs & Other Preoccupations (Helicon Nine 2001), Willa Cather Award winner, and Occupy & Other Love Stories (Kelly's Cove Press 2012). In 2015, he won the Novella Award from Fiction Fix (now Flock) for Homesick Redux. His newest story collection: Separation Anxiety will be published in 2021 by Unsolicited Press.

Deborah Walton is a Redwood Writers Board member, editor of the monthly newsletter, and the PR director. And she says she's retired. If that's not funny, then consider she bought two houses on the internet, sight unseen, and lives in both—not at the same time.

Jean Wong, author of Sleeping with the Gods and Hurtling Jade, and Other Tales of Personal Folly, is an award-winning poet, fiction, and memoir writer. Her work has been produced by the Petaluma Reader's Theater, Sixth Street Playhouse, Off the Page, and Lucky Penny Productions.


Deborah Taylor French will moderate the panel. She is author of Red Sky at Night: Dog Leader Mysteries and writes a blog under her book series title. She has been published in a number of Redwood Writers anthologies.