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  • Jay Fowler

Between the Lines: Writers workshops coming up

Published: Sunday, Mar. 17, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 8AANDE
Last Modified: Sunday, Mar. 17, 2013 - 7:44 am

One of the nation's most prestigious workshops for aspiring and established writers, screenwriters and poets is the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley.

The 43rd session is accepting applications and submissions for the summer poetry session June 22-29 and writing (fiction, nonfiction and memoir) and screenwriting sessions July 8-15. Deadline is April 2.

"Although we have applicants (and attendees) from all over the state and the country, we hope the Sacramento region will be represented," said executive director Brett Hall Jones. "Sacramento has a thriving literary scene and is our neighbor."

Attendees will participate in workshops, lectures, panel discussions, readings, critiques, guidance on the business side of writing, and much more.

The admission process is "competitive and subjective," said Jones, which means a committee will accept only about half the entries. One requirement: You must submit a sample of your work.

Among the guest lecturers and teachers will be Robert Haas, former poet laureate of the United States; Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford ("Canada"); novelists Amy Tan ("The Bonesetter's Daughter"), Karen Joy Fowler ("The Jane Austen Book Club"), Janet Fitch ("White Oleander") and Mark Childress ("Crazy in Alabama"); NPR book reviewer Alan Cheuse; and poet Sharon Olds ("Stag's Leap").

The tuition is $840 and includes evening meals; housing is not included.

Also, there will be a number of free events, such as readings, open to the public; that list will be finalized and posted on the website in coming weeks.

For more information: (530) 470-8440, www. Application forms are at the website.

On the same subject, the eighth annual Gold Rush Writers Conference will be May 3-5 at the historic Hotel Leger in Mokelumne Hill. Writers, poets and journalists will share their expertise in 17 interactive workshops, from which attendees can choose four.

This year's headliners will be novelist Amy Franklin-Willis and nonfiction writer Judith Horstman. The conference director is Antoinette May, who is finishing a novel based on the life of Mary "Frankenstein" Shelley.

The $145 fee includes three meals; the price rises to $175 after April 1. To register:, (209) 286-1320.

TrueStory seeks narratives

The Crocker Art Museum is launching a new nonfiction literary reading program called TrueStory, and is seeking "personal narratives" from local writers and poets on the theme "Remembering 1963 and Civil Rights." The program asks contributors to "share their experiences, memories and interpretations of this remarkable year in American history."

The stories will be the basis for an April 25 reading to link to the exhibit "Rebirth of a Nation: Thomas Somerville's 1963."

For details:

Page through book fair

Lovers of the printed word and all things related will get a chance to browse thousands of rare and collectible books, maps, photos, graphics, postcards, "ephemeral items" and more, on sale from 60 exhibitors at the 21st annual Spring Antiquarian Book Fair. Asking prices will range from $5 to $20,000. Free appraisals will be offered.

The fair will be from 9:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is $5. Information: (916) 849-9248.

Liquid assets

An integral part of St. Patrick's Day celebration is, well, the partaking of adult beverages. With that in mind (or in mouth), try these:

• "To Have and Have Another" by cocktail expert Philip Greene (Perigree, $24, 293 pages): This "Hemingway Cocktail Companion" serves as a literary bartender's guide to the drinks made famous by Ernest Hemingway – both in his life and in his books. Along with the history of certain liquors and the origins of many cocktails are anecdotes about the novelist.

• "Shaken Not Stirred" by Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown (William Morrow, $13.99, 224 pages): If you like martinis, you'll drink to this compilation of martini-centric recipes, lore, stories and tours of "martini lounges" around the world. Did you know the lemon drop martini was first concocted at Henry Africa's fern bar in San Francisco in the 1970s?

• "Drinking With Men" by Rosie Schaap (Riverhead, $26.95, 288 pages): In her memoir, the former bartender and writer of the New York Times' "Drink" column recalls her lifelong search for the ideal local tavern – one that "reflects bar culture at its best." A fun and informative romp.

New titles

While we're title-dropping, these are worth a look:

• "Wool" by Hugh Howey (Simon & Schuster, $15, 528 pages): In this sci-fi thriller, the Earth is a post-armaggedon ruin, but below ground is a community of survivors who live in silolike housing. A few malcontents who venture "outside" find big surprises.

• "Swimming at Night" by Lucy Clarke (Touchstone, $24.99, 384 pages): Katie won't believe that her footloose sister's plunge from a cliff was suicide, so – using Mia's travel journal as a guidebook – goes on a global trek to find the truth.

• "Encounters From a Kayak" by Nigel Foster (FalconGuides, $16.95, 264 pages): The author climbed into his ocean-going kayak to find adventures and oddities around the world. He succeeded.

• "The Heavy" by Dara-Lynn Weiss (Ballantine, $26, 256 pages): Weiss' 7-year-old daughter was obese, so Mom – with body-image issues of her own – set out to "fix" the problem.

• With "Oz the Great and Powerful" in theaters, now's the time to look at "Everything Oz" by Christine Leech and Hannah Read-Baldrey (Chicago Revies Press, $25, 143 pages). Its step-by-step crafts and recipes are straight from the Land of Oz. You and yours can make Over The Rainbow Cake, "I'm Melting" Witch Candles, Cyclone Cupcakes, Ruby Slippers and more. There are even doggie treats for Toto.


If you have information on author appearances or other book-related special events, email it to bookmarks at least two weeks before the event. To read the online calendar, go to

Call The Bee's Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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