Learn to tell your tale at this Sacramento writers conference

Ginger Rutland is keynote speaker at Our Life Stories Writers Conference.
Ginger Rutland is keynote speaker at Our Life Stories Writers Conference.

Everyone has a first-person story to tell, but the problem is how to start and where to go from there.

Find guidance and inspiration at the ninth annual cross-generational Our Life Stories Writers Conference, where workshops and presentations will cover the basics of genealogical research, how to write creative nonfiction, poetry as a tool to re-create memories, telling your family story via blog, and interview strategies.

Journalist-commentator-playwright Ginger Rutland will be the keynote speaker, joining a panel of veteran writers and editors, and genealogy specialist Beth Daugherty from the Sacramento Public Library.

The seminar is sponsored by the Hart Senior Center, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at Cosumnes River College, 8401 Center Parkway, Sacramento. The $40 fee includes morning refreshments, lunch and materials. To register: Information: 916-808-5462, or email

Ginger Rutland discusses her mother's memoir about middle-class black family life in Sacramento in the 1950s. Video by Janet Vitt

SPCA sells used books

The annual Sacramento SPCA Used Book Sale is ready for a jump-start. Find thousands of gently used titles in all genres at bargain prices. It will be inside the former Anna’s Linens store, 3430 El Camino Ave., Sacramento.

The sale will be Saturday, April 23, through Sunday, May 1; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Information: 916-504-2842, or email

CapRadio Reads

Capital Public Radio’s book club, CapRadio Reads, will host a meeting for fans to discuss “At the Water’s Edge” by Sara Gruen (Spiegel & Grau, $16, 416 pages), author of the best-selling “Water For Elephants.” The conversations will be at 2 and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12, in the radio station’s Community Room, 7055 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento. The event is free, but registration is required at

Author events

Celeste Leon for the memoir “Luck Is Just the Beginning” (CreateSpace, $20, 350 pages), 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, at the Sactown Union Brewery, 1210 66th St., Sacramento. Seating is limited. RSVP to 916-532-2652. Leon was named among the “Ten Latina Authors to Watch and Read” by the Latina Book Club of New York.

Jack Parker for “The Valley of Tranquility” and his four-title “Adventure” series, 1 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at the Orvis store in the Fountains center, 1017 Galleria Blvd., Roseville, 916-783-9400.