2022 Conference Workshops

This year's conference is our offering two workshops in the afternoon. The extended and interactive workshops are 90 minutes each, and they will be on the following topics: craft, genre, publishing, or marketing.

Click on a name or topic, below, to read more.





Les Bernstein's poems have appeared in journals, presses, and anthologies in the U.S. and internationally. Her chapbooks Borderland, Naked Little Creatures, and Amid the Din have been published by Finishing Line Press. Les is a winner of the 6th annual Nazim Hikmet Festival. She also was a Pushcart Prize Nominee for 2015. Les has been the editor of Redwood Writer's anthologies for the last five years and was also the editor of the Marin High School Anthology 2018. Les' full-length poetry book Loose Magic has been published by Finishing Line Press and is available on Amazon.

Fran Claggett


Fran Claggett-Holland is a teacher, poet, and sighthound-lover who loves to see others’ poetry dreams materialize. After a career in high school and university teaching, she traveled widely as an educational consultant. Fran has published four books of poetry and many books about teaching literature and writing. Her latest book, Under the Wings of the Crow, A Legacy of Poems, New and Selected, has just been released by RiskPress. Fran currently hosts poetry groups and thanks her poets for being patient when she slips into her teacher mode.

1:45 – 3:15 p.m.

Poetry Workshop with the Redwood Writers Annual Poetry Anthology Editors

Les and Fran will focus on what makes a memorable poem and also what doesn't during this interactive workshop. 

Participants are invited to bring a poem they are willing to work with; otherwise, there will be activities for those who choose not to bring their work. If attendees choose to do so, there may be an opportunity for workshop members to read their poems to the group, but sharing work is always optional.

3:30 – 5 p.m.

How to Masterfully Show Emotion in Your Characters

The emotional landscape of fiction is the greatest challenge for writers, yet it is perhaps the most important element because readers read to care. And they can’t care about characters unless writers effectively, evocatively, and masterfully show emotion in their characters. In this workshop, you will learn the three key ways to show emotion in your characters and which one is the most powerful, what the action-reaction cycle is all about and why you must understand it to be an emotional master, and how to find the perfect balance of showing and telling emotion in your characters.



C. S. Lakin is an award-winning author and blogger at Live Write Thrive. She has twenty novels and ten writing craft books published and works full-time as a copyeditor and writing coach. In addition to teaching and speaking at workshops, she offers online video courses and master classes for writers and editors at cslakin.teachable.com. Lakin is also the fiction track coordinator of the San Francisco Writers’ Conference. Check out her blogs and websites here: Live Write Thrive, The Self Publisher, and Critique My Manuscript.





An award-winning producer with a get-it-done (with a smile) attitude, Ralph Scott produces audiobooks, audio theatre, scripted entertainment, commercial spots, or pretty much anything within the live or recorded audio arena.

The characters Ralph creates on the spot (he lost count just north of 83) are only bested by the number of children’s verses he has written since he was handed a cocktail napkin on a dare back in 1993. (That would be just north of 1,700.) Give him three words and he’ll compose a witty poem for you in under five minutes.

Give him a studio and your manuscript and he’ll vibrantly breathe life into any character you craft.

Together with co-narrator Kendra Murray, Ralph turns the studio into a theatre for the ear. Be sure to grab a chair the next time you download a Murray and Scott audiobook production. And dim the lights. And don’t forget the popcorn.

You’ll swear you’re in a movie.

Kendra Murray began narrating audiobooks in 2019 and has 34 titles available on Audible, and several more in production. Kendra performs solo narrations and dual/duet narrations with her husband, Ralph Scott, of Squeaky Cheese Productions, and together they co-produce and direct author-narrated projects. (She also has titles under her pseudonym.)

Kendra hails from stage and radio theatre as an actor, director, and producer. She has received accolades for her work with The Petaluma Radio Players at the HEAR Now Festival’s Podcast Palooza.
She was named 2020 Best Supporting Actor for her role as Ulysses in Pendant Audio Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, was a Finalist for the 2021 Audiobook Adrenaline Awards in Suspense Narration for Where the Truth Hides by Liane Carmen, and she was nominated for 2021 Best Supporting Actor as Thaisa in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, produced by Pendant Shakespeare.

1:45 - 3:15 p.m.

The Audiobook Explosion: How to Take your Prose to a Movie for the Ears

Award-winning Producers/Narrators Kendra Murray and Ralph Scott bring characters to life every month for their indie author clientele. In this presentation, they will teach you everything you need to know to jump into the audiobook phenomenon that has energized companies like SPOTIFY and AUDIBLE to plow millions of dollars into audiobook and audio-drama production. Only it doesn't cost the average indie author millions to take a fiction or nonfiction book into the audiobook retail arena. Ralph and Kendra will use real audio to demonstrate the difference between Solo, Duet, Dual, and the latest craze, Dual-hybrid narration, and how to produce high-production value audiobooks that engage.

3:30 – 5 p.m.

Powerful Plotting: Causality, Believability and Escalation

Do you struggle to finish your story or get stuck in the middle? Do you ever feel like you can’t figure out what should happen next in your story, or how you’ll get your protagonist to the end goal? These kinds of plot problems and others can thwart your progress unnecessarily. Getting down the bones or architecture of plot is one of the most important parts of writing a compelling story. Whether you consider yourself a “pantser” or a “plotter,” understanding three key aspects of plot: causality, believability, and escalation, will dramatically improve your story.

Jordan Rosenfeld


Jordan Rosenfeld is the author of the novels Women in Red and Forged in Grace and six books on writing craft, most recently How to Write a Page-Turner and the bestselling Make a Scene. Her freelance articles and essays have appeared in hundreds of national publications such as The Atlantic, Mental Floss, and the New York Times. She is a freelance manuscript editor and writing teacher. JordanRosenfeld.net.



1:45 – 3:15 p.m.

Writing a Great Short Story

Drawing from his experience as the author of two dozen short stories including prize winning stories, ten published novels, two business books, poetry, and two preformed short plays, Roger will discuss the seven elements essential to any story with a focus on what makes short stories unique. Participants will consider examples from a list of the fifty best short stories, and in a series of exercises, Roger will help participants craft a great short story with the goal of writing an award-winning published short story.



Roger Lubeck, Ph.D., is vice president of the California Writers Club, and past president of the Redwood Branch of the California Writers Club. He served as CWC vice president and is a past president of Redwood Writers and the membership chair. He was editor and publisher of three anthologies written by members of the Redwood Writers, and a memoir, Every Book Counts: The Stories of My Life, by Samuel C. Chandler. 

Roger’s short story “Squeakers” appeared in the California Writers Club 2018 Literary Review. Other short stories have appeared in several Redwood Writers anthologies: Sunset Sunrise (2020), Endeavor (2019), Redemption (2018), No Contest (2017), Sonoma (2017), Journeys (2015), and Water (2014). His poetry has appeared in And Yet (2020), Crow, (2019), Phoenix (2018), Stolen Light (2017), and Sonoma (2017). You can read more of his writing at his daily blog, RogerInBlue.com.

Roger is a psychologist with 22 years in university teaching and 25 years as a business and leadership consultant. Roger is the president and publisher of It Is What It Is Press.



Matthew Félix is an author, a speaker, and the producer and host of multiple podcasts, including his eponymous Matthew Félix on Air and the San Francisco Writers Conference Podcast. He has interviewed New York Times bestselling authors, leaders of organizations such as LitQuake, the Mill Valley Film Festival, and the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, and other notable figures in fields as diverse as travel, health, and the environment. Matthew has also been on the other side of the mic, as interviewee on podcasts, nationally syndicated radio shows, and web series. Matthew regularly speaks about subjects ranging from creativity to podcasting to marketing for authors and more. Publishers Weekly’s BookLife Prize called Matthew's debut novel, A Voice Beyond Reason, “(a) highly crafted gem;” his travel collection, With Open Arms, won numerous Solas Awards and has topped Amazon's Morocco category four times; and his latest book, Porcelain Travels, won Gold for Humor in the Readers’ Favorite Awards, received a gold Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition award, and was a Foreword INDIES Humor Book of the Year Award finalist.

3:30 – 5 p.m.

Podcasting for Writers: Making Podcasting Essential to Your Platform

Whether you’re curious about the ins and outs of being a guest or everything you need to know to start your own podcast, this workshop takes you behind the scenes with former San Francisco Writers Conference Program Podcast Director and Host Matthew Félix. Matthew shares what he and other hosts look for in guests, and he dispels the myth that producing a podcast requires advanced technical expertise and cost-prohibitive equipment. He demystifies podcasting and shows you how and why you can—and should—leverage this dynamic, expanding medium to build and boost your author platform.



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