Offerings from the Virtual Valley

Online Opportunities at the Community of Writers

Although we miss gathering again physically together this summer, we’re excited that the breadth of online options might allow us to come together in ways that are otherwise impossible to imagine. We’ve been hard at work putting together online offerings that allow isolated writers to come together for learning, camaraderie, and inspiration.

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Welcome. Here, you can find information about events that happen year-round in the Virtual Valley (online). For information about events that are presented as part of our Summer Workshops, please visit our Events in the Valley page.

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View Current and Past Events & Offerings Below:

 

A day-long gathering of writers in the virtual valley featuring craft talks, panels, fiction and nonfiction readings, poetry, music, and more.

SATURDAY, JULY 17
8:30 AM – 7:00 PM (PST)

This year’s online 51st annual Community of Writers Fiction Workshop presents a free, day-long online Festival on Saturday, July 17. Co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB), the Festival features craft talks, panels, readings, and  more.

We are delighted too present a special conversation between two internationally acclaimed alums, novelist Amy Tan, and dramatist-actress Anna Deavere Smith. Decades after attending the workshop as participants, the two are reunited in support of the West’s longest-running creative writing workshops.

Bestselling novelist Janet Fitch begins with her talk “Writing with the Senses.”  She is followed by a panel on how literary nonprofits overcame the challenges of this difficult year and worked together. Also featured are a celebration of the late screenwriter Gill Dennis’ legendary “Finding the Story” workshop, a talk by novelist Michelle Latiolais, panels examining fiction, nonfiction and screenwriting techniques, and staff readings from their own work. Tom Barbash will lead a “Deep Dive into a Short story” (to prepare, see details, below.*)  And a first for the Community of Writers: We will feature naturalist Will Richardson on a virtual nature walk in Paige Meadows. The festival will conclude with a special reading by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, and music by the CE Trio, as well as Louis B. Jones, Sands Hall, Caridwen Irvine-Spatz and Greg Spatz.

More Details

Join Us For An Extraordinary Evening of Poetry!

This year we are pleased to welcome seven extraordinary poets including three Pulitzer Prize winners, a recipient of the Griffin International Prize, a former U.S. Poet Laureate, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award winner, two National Book Critics Circle Award winners, and a recipient of the Pushcart Prize.

Thursday, June 24, 2021 via Zoom
5:30 p.m. Pacific Time

Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.

Suggested Donation $20

This gathering of the community—all staff poets from this year’s Community of Writers’ Summer Poetry Workshop in the Virtual Valley—will raise money for our scholarship fund.

Books by the poets will be available for purchase through bookshop.org before and after the reading.

Click on the author portraits to learn about these poets and their work. Or view their bios as a list here.

Kazim Ali  •  Blas Falconer  •  Forrest Gander  •  Robert Hass
Brenda Hillman  •  Sharon Olds •  Evie Shockley

This reading is presented in conjunction with our annual Poetry Program during which poets — participants and staff poets — write a new poem each day.  At this reading, you may hear a reading of a poem written this week!

Community of Writers Poetry Workshop alum Ananda Lima will emcee the event, and read some of her work.

The Community of Writers celebrates fifty years of our poetry week with an extraordinary collection by some of the country’s most prominent contemporary poets. Why To These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers includes over 140 poems inspired by or written in the High Sierra during the annual Poetry week.

At this reading some of these poets may read their anthology poem.

Reserve your ticket today!

Please join us as we partner with Beers Books and Random Lane Summer Poetry Reading Series for a poetry reading to celebrate our anthology Why to These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers.

Friday, June 11 @ 6:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST

This reading is dedicated to the memory of Al Young former California Poetry Laureate, and long-time CW Board Member and Workshop Leader.

Emcee, Lisa D. Alvarez, Editor
Hosted by former Sacramento Poet Laureate Bob Stanley

featuring readings from:
Noah Blaustein  •  Victoria Dalkey •  Blas Falconer
Cody Gates •  Brenda Hillman  •  Renato Rosaldo  •  Shelley Wong

with a special appearance by Al Young’s son Michael Young who will read Al’s poem from the Anthology.

More Details

A Weekend Intensive with Patricia K. Meyer & Megan Fay Raveneau

Friday, July 23 – Sunday, July 25. 3, 2-hour sessions.

Identifying the dramatic structure of your story, whether it’s a memoir, novel, short story, or screenplay, is key.  A writer must know where the inciting incidents occur, lay out the crucial turning points that propel the character along their journey.  In this  course you will learn how a screenwriter builds a scaffold for character transformation and theme so that writers of all story forms can gain tools for developing their protagonist’s (and, also, antagonist’s) arc.   We will discuss how character drives story, creates the plot, not the other way around.  We will discuss the importance of form, not formula, as it applies to screenplay structure and enables the screenwriter to craft a moving, literally and figuratively, picture of any length.  These are approaches you can take back to your prose writing and use to create more tension and stakes for your characters and their journey.

This is an intensive workshop, with three, two-hour Zoom sessions led by experienced Screenwriters and teachers Patricia K. Meyer & Megan Fay Raveneau.

Screenwriter Patricia K. Meyer

Lecture, presentations, clips, in-class interactive exercises. Open to prose-writers and screenwriters of all levels.

Limited financial aid available.

Three, two-hour sessions:
Friday: 5:00-7:00 pm (Pacific).
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00- 12:00 noon  (Pacific)

Tuition:

  • Early-Bird Tuition: $200 (Register by June 1, 2021)
  • Regular Tuition: $250. (Register by 9:00 AM Thursday, July 22)

More details


A weekend Intensive with Janet Fitch

Friday, May 21 – Sunday, May 23. Five, 2-hour sessions.

This class is led by bestselling novelist, Janet Fitch.

As any agent or editor will tell you, it’s not enough to write beautifully. Have you ever read a novel that was

splendidly written and yet, you didn’t finish it?  Ever written a story and asked yourself, “What the heck was this about?”  How do you craft a story that’s compelling as well as beautiful? 

In this weekend workshop, we will explore the ground zero of storytelling—the essential dramatic and structural elements of scene and story.  We’ll discuss the elements of scene—the fundamental building block of story—with examples from literature both high and low. Then we’ll turn to the larger issue of story—learning what makes different kinds of narratives “tick”—before turning to the biggest question, the possibilities for structuring the novel.

This is an intensive workshop, with five, two-hour Zoom sessions designed to solve some of the grittiest problems of storytelling.

Lecture, discussion, in-class exercises and exercises between sessions. Open to writers of all levels.


June 19 – 26, 2021

The Poetry Program at the Community of Writers is founded on the belief that when poets gather in a community to write new poems, each poet may well break through old habits and write something stronger and truer than before. Although we can’t gather in person, nonetheless we will work together to create an atmosphere in which everyone might feel free to try anything. (See Daily Schedule, below.)

More Details & To Apply

July 11 – 17 , 2021 

These workshops assist serious writers by exploring the art and craft as well as the business of writing —all online. The week offers daily morning workshops, craft lectures, panel discussions on editing and publishing, staff readings, and brief individual conferences. The daily workshops are led by staff writer-teachers. Six separate morning workshops sections will meet daily.  In addition to workshop, participants may have the same manuscript read by a staff member who meets with them in individual conferences. Travel, self-help, how-to, or scholarly works will not be considered.

More Details

August 1 – 6 , 2021 in the Virtual Valley

These workshops are designed to assist serious writers by exploring the art and craft as well as the business of writing. The week includes daily morning workshops, craft lectures, panel discussions on editing and publishing, staff readings, and brief individual conferences. The morning workshops, led by staff writer-teachers, comprise tracks devoted to both memoir and narrative nonfiction. In addition to having a manuscript addressed in workshop, participants may have the same manuscript read by a staff member, discussed in individual conference. This is not the conference for travel, self-help, how-to, or scholarly works. If you are working on fiction, please see our Fiction Workshop.

Financial Aid Available.

More Details & To Apply

SkyLight Books Hosts a Group Reading to celebrate
Why To These Rocks:
50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers

Wednesday, April 21 | 6:30 PM (Pacific)

Virtual event on Crowdcast. Registrants will be sent a Crowdcast link upon registration.

The Community of Writers will join SkyLight Books online for a virtual poetry reading for Heyday’s release of Why to These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers. The evening will celebrate fifty years of poetry written during the Poetry Workshop in the High Sierra.

Emcee: Lisa D. Alvarez, the project’s editor.

Join Francisco Aragón, Joan Baranow, Katie Ford, Jay A. Fernandez, Lester Graves Lennon, Michelle Brittan Rosado, Vickie Vértiz, Sholeh Wolpé, and Charles Harper Webb for another celebration of the publication of this extraordinary anthology, as they read and discuss poems first written during the Community of Writers Poetry Workshop.

More Details

Private Consultations about a poem-in progress.

Blas Falconer • Brenda Hillman • Gregory Pardlo

Friday, April 16, 2021
 
First-come first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick ten-minute consultations will be offered in the Virtual Valley (though Zoom) with some of our wonderful staff poets, Blas Falconer, Brenda Hillman and Gregory Pardlo.  We ask that you limit yourself to one specific question about your poem-in-progress. Your poem or poem excerpt should be less than one-page long, and will be read during the appointment. (Zoom’s share screen function.)
 

The Sierra Poetry Festival Hosts a Group Reading to celebrate
Why To These Rocks:
50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers

Sunday, April 11 | 11:30 AM (Pacific)

The Community of Writers will join the Sierra Poetry Festival online for a virtual poetry reading for Heyday’s release of Why to These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers.

More Details

Why To These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers

THURSDAY, April 1 | 5:30PM (Pacific)

Virtual event on Zoom. Registrants will be sent a Zoom link upon registration.

The Community of Writers and the Mechanics Institute, the venerable San Francisco institution, invite you to a virtual poetry reading for Heyday Books’ release of Why to These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers. The evening will celebrate fifty years of poetry written during the Poetry Workshop in the High Sierra.

Join  Heather Altfeld, Mónica de la Torre, Shangyang Fang, Ken Haas, Troy Jollimore and Margaret Rhee for another celebration of the publication of this extraordinary anthology, as they read and discuss poems first written during the Community of Writers’ Poetry Workshop.

More Details

Please join us as we partner with the Studio One and their

Poetry Reading Series
on Friday, March 19th @ 5:30 PM PST/8:30 PM EST
to celebrate our anthology Why to These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers

featuring readings from:
Kazim Ali  •  Arlene Biala •  Jennifer Swanton Brown  •  Blas Falconer
Molly Fisk •  Major Jackson •  Danusha Laméris  •  Robert Lipton

More Details


Why To These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers

THURSDAY, MARCH 11TH | 6:30PM

Virtual event on Zoom. Registrants will be sent a Zoom link upon registration.

REGISTER TO ATTEND LAUNCH EVENT 

The Community of Writers, the Marin Poetry Center and the Mill Valley Public Library invite you to a virtual book launch for Heyday Books’ release of Why to These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers. The evening will celebrate fifty years of poetry written during the Poetry Workshop in the High Sierra.

Join Cornelius EadyBrenda HillmanEvie Shockley (via recording) along with Pulitzer Prize winners Forrest GanderRobert Hass, Sharon Olds, and Gregory Pardlo, and others to celebrate the publication of this extraordinary anthology, as they read and discuss poems first written during the Community of Writers’ Poetry Workshop.

More Details

Join us for private online consultations: Fiction and Memoir First Aid!
Friday, February 26. Appointments available between 10 am and 5:30 p.m (Pacific)

Private 15-Minute Appointments     $30

First-come first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick fifteen-minute consultations will be offered on Zoom with some of our wonderful writer-teachers, including Sands Hall, Devi S. Laskar, Krys Lee, and Tom Lutz  Come with a question. Or come with a page. Having a thorny problem with a story? Worried about the end of your novel? Do you have issues about the writing life? This is the place to get fresh insight. The focus of your session is up to you.

More Details

Open Workshop 

A special workshop led by Sands Hall.

February 18  –  March 25 
Thursdays from 4 – 5:30 PM (Pacific). Note: There will be no session on Thursday, March 11
Six 90-minute sessions: $100
Register by Noon on February 17

Sands Hall leads the Open Workshop, which provides opportunity for alums to share their writing with their peers. The Open Workshop is a Writers Workshops favorite. This summer and fall, we are offering an online version of this spontaneous, productive, and fun workshop. Instead of Open Workshop’s usual lottery system, each participant is guaranteed at least two opportunities to read their work.

More Details


Join us for private consultations: Fiction and Memoir First Aid!
Saturday, January 30, 2021.

Private 15-Minute Appointments     $30

First-come first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick fifteen-minute consultations will be offered on Zoom with some of our wonderful writer-teachers, including Janet Fitch, Rachel Howard, Victoria Patterson, Oscar Villalon.

Come with a question. Or come with a page (limit 250 words). Having a thorny problem with a story? Worried about the end of your novel? Do you have issues about the writing life? This is the place to get fresh insight. The focus of your session is up to you.

Sign up for a consultation today. 

More Details & Register

2020 Poem First Aid

Private Consultations about a poem-in progress.

Kazim Ali • Brenda Hillman • Evie Shockley

Friday, January 29, 2021
 
First-come first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick ten-minute consultations will be offered in the Virtual Valley (though Zoom) with some of our wonderful staff poets, Kazim Ali, Brenda Hillman, and Evie Shockley.  We ask that you limit yourself to one specific question about your poem-in-progress. Your poem or poem excerpt should be less than one-page long, and will be read during the appointment. (Zoom’s share screen function.)

A Weekend Intensive with Janet Fitch

January 22-24, 2021

Pablo Neruda once said, “Two things make a story. The net and the air that falls through the net.”

If the net is plot, character, scene and story, the air is language, what happens inside the sentence. In this weekend intensive workshop, we’ll look at the possibilities of prose: sentence structure, diction and point of view, the poetics of rhythm, sound, image. We’ll explore the sentences of the great prose stylists, see how they produced their effects, and use their examples as jumping off points to experiment with new ways of handling prose. This workshop will get you out of habitual patterns and heighten your awareness of the possibilities of prose style, not for its own sake, but so that you can write more powerfully, more beautifully, with control and understanding, and develop awareness of style in literary fiction.

The Art of the Sentence is led by bestselling novelist, Janet Fitch.

The format combines lecture and generative exercises, in-class discussion and experiential assignments. Suitable for fiction writers, memoirists, poets and anyone ready to reconnect with their artistic potential.

More Details & Register

Announcing two mid-winter Micro Workshops on Ecopoetics in the Virtual Valley:

This January and February, the Poetry Program of the Community of Writers is delighted to offer two micro workshops on Ecopoetics led by Brenda Hillman.

Join us in the Virtual Valley for two separate workshops in which we will explore the way nature and ecopoetics manifest in your poems. The workshop will focus on exploration of new work by participants.

Session I: Monday, January 25, 2021
Session II: Monday, February 8, 2021

This program is only open to alums of the Poetry Workshop of the Community of Writers.

More Details & Register

2020 Poem First Aid

Private Consultations about a poem-in-progress.

Camille DungyGregory Pardlo •  Matthew Zapruder

Friday, December 11, 2020

First-come first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick ten-minute consultations will be offered in the Virtual Valley (though Zoom) with two of our staff poets, Camille Dungy,  Gregory Pardlo, Matthew Zapruder.We ask that you limit yourself to one specific question about your poem-in-progress. Your poem or poem excerpt should be less than one-page long, and will be read during the appointment. (Zoom’s share screen function.)

A Poetry Elf will be on hand to help with all things technical, and as a time-keeper.

Private 10-Minute Appointments: $18.

This program is only open to alums of the Poetry Workshop of the Community of Writers.

More Details & Register

Join us for private consultations: Fiction and Memoir First Aid!

Saturday, December 5, 2020.

Private 15-Minute Appointments     $30

First-come first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick fifteen-minute consultations will be offered on Zoom with some of our wonderful writer-teachers, including Alex Espinoza, Janet Fitch, Sands Hall, and Dana Johnson.

Come with a question. Or come with a page (limit 250 words). Having a thorny problem with a story? Worried about the end of your novel? Do you have issues about the writing life? This is the place to get fresh insight. The focus of your session is up to you.

More Details & to Register

Join us for private consultations: Fiction and Memoir First Aid!
November 20, 2020, between 10 am and 5 p.m (Pacific)

Private 15-Minute Appointments     $30

First-come first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick fifteen-minute consultations will be offered on Zoom with some of our wonderful writer-teachers, including Natalie Baszile, Janet Fitch, Glen David Gold, and Michael Jaime Becerra.

More Details and to Register
 

Join us for private consultations: 2020 Poem First Aid

Private Consultations about a poem-in-progress.

Blas FalconerBrenda Hillman

Friday, November 13, 2020

First-come first-served: appointments are limited.
 
Quick ten-minute consultations will be offered in the Virtual Valley (though Zoom) with two of our staff poets, Blas Falconer and Brenda Hillman.  We ask that you limit yourself to one specific question about your poem-in-progress. Your poem or poem excerpt should be less than one-page long, and will be read during the appointment. (Zoom’s share screen function.)
More Details and to Register
 

 

Join us for private consultations: Fiction and Memoir First Aid!
October 23, 2020, between 10 am and 5 p.m (Pacific)

Private 15-Minute Appointments     $25

First-come first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick fifteen-minute consultations will be offered on Zoom with some of our wonderful writer-teachers, including Janet Fitch, Vanessa Hua, Dylan Landis, and Tom Lutz  Come with a question. Or come with a page. Having a thorny problem with a story? Worried about the end of your novel? Do you have issues about the writing life? This is the place to get fresh insight. The focus of your session is up to you.

Sign up for a consultation today. You will be paired with one of these generous and talented writer-teachers. (You may request your top two choices of staff member, subject to availability. ) If there is a time of day (between 10 AM – 3 PM Pacific) that doesn’t work for you, please let us know.

Come with a question: Issues about dialogue, prose style, characterization? Come to the session prepared with a question or more than one! The time is yours.

Or come with a page: Need help with dialogue or prose style? Submit one page, double spaced (limit 250 words), and a staff member will respond to what’s on the page and beyond.

To read a bio, click on the image below, or view them all as a list.

Registration open now, and closes Friday, July 25 at 8:00 AM (Pacific).

REGISTER

Once you register, we will be in touch with your appointment details.

Please make sure you’ve downloaded and installed the most recent version of Zoom and have good audio and video available.

(Cancellations for full refunds, to be considered, must be requested before 8 am on Friday.)

*Thanks to Sharon Olds who originally coined this term for the Poetry Workshop’s “Poem First Aid.”


2020 Alumni Reading Series

Each summer, recently published alumni are invited to return to the Valley to read from their books and talk about their journey from unpublished writers to published authors. This year we’ve decided to hold the reading online in the Virtual Valley! 

The Community of Writers is delighted to celebrate the success of these writers and to present them to the participants, staff, and the public.

Please join us! The event is free and will be presented on Zoom.

2020 Alumni Readers

Click on the portraits to learn about these authors and their work.  View as a List

Our Emcee for the evening is Jimin Han.

Alumni who have been part of this reading series include Anita Amirrezvani, Eddy Ancinas, Michael AndreasonRamona Ausubel, David Bajo, Aimee Bender, Mauro Cardenas, Jade ChangDavid Corbett, Charmaine Craig, Frances Dinkelspiel, Heather Donahue, Laurie Ann DoyleCai Emmons, Alex Espinoza, Carole Firstman,  Joshua Ferris, Amy Franklin-Willis, Jamie Ford, Vicki Forman, Alison Singh Gee, Tanya Egan Gibson, Alan Grostephan, Glen David Gold, Jimin HanJudith Hendricks, Susan Henderson, Sara J. Henry, Vanessa HuaRhoda Huffey, Michael Jaime-Becerra, Alma Katsu, Stephanie KeganMary KurylaKrys Lee, Paulette Livers, Regina Louise, Michael David Lukas, Peyton Marshall, Marisa Matarazzo, Mark Maynard, Christina Meldrum, Nayomi Munaweera, Janis Cooke Newman, Jessica O’Dwyer, Aline Ohanesian, Marian Palaia, Victoria Patterson, Ismet Prcic, Frederick Reiken, Andrew Roe, Robin Romm, Brian Rogers,  Elizabeth Rosner, Adrienne Sharp, Alice Sebold, Julia Flynn Siler, Jordan Fisher Smith, Scott Sparling, Ellen Sussman, Kimball TaylorLisa Tucker,  Juan Alvarado Valdivia, Brenda Rickman Vantrease, Mary Volmer, Dora Calott Wang, M.D., Heather Young, Andrew Winer, Alia Yunis, and Désirée Zamorano among others.

Buys books from these authors on Bookshop.org.

Reserve Ticket Now

(You will be eventually be asked to register for this event at Zoom.)

 Writing from the Senses: A Weekend Intensive with Janet Fitch

Oct. 9-11, 2020, five two-hour sessions

The weekend intensive class combines lecture and generative exercises, in-class discussion and experiential assignments. Suitable for fiction writers, memoirists, poets and anyone ready to reconnect with the artistic potential of sensual reality. This class is led by bestselling novelist, Janet Fitch and will be held entirely on Zoom.

Discounted tuition ($280) before October 1. After that, the Regular tuition is $330.

This program is open to alums of the Community of Writers as well as members of the public. 

More Details

 

Recent Events:

Fiction (and Memoir) First Aid: Private Consultations by Appointment:

September 25, 2020, between 10 am and 5 p.m (Pacific)


First-come first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick fifteen-minute consultations will be offered on Zoom with some of our wonderful writer-teachers, including Janet FitchSands HallKrys Lee, and Margaret Wilkson Sexton  Come with a question. Or come with a page! Having a thorny problem with a story? Worried about the end of your novel? Do you have issues about the writing life? This is the place to get fresh insight. The focus of your session is up to you. Sands Hall will work with Memoir and Fiction.

Private 15-Minute Appointments     $25

This program is open to alums of the Community of Writers as well as members of the public. 

More Details

Please join us for these Public Events at the Community of Writers during Memoir Week in the Virtual Valley. These events are on Zoom and are free. (Please consider a donation.)

Monday, 8/3, 4:00 PM (Pacific): “Effective Strategies for Memoir & Nonfiction,” featuring:
Debra Gwartney • Elizabeth Rosner • Grace Talusan
moderated by Sands Hall

Tuesday, 8/4, 4:00 PM: “Who Am I This Time? Revisioning Memoir,” featuring:
Alex Espinoza • Christine Hemp • Sands Hall • Amy Tan
moderated by Debra Gwartney

RESERVE TICKET

Ticket reservations will close one hour before the event. Reserve early


Our Memoir staff talk about and read from their memoirs:

Tuesday, 8/4, 5:30 PM:
Debra Gwartney • Sands Hall •  Grace Talusan

Thursday 8/6, 5:30 PM:
Alex Espinoza • Christine Hemp • Elizabeth Rosner

RESERVE TICKET

Ticket reservations will close one hour before the event. Reserve early


Join us for private consultations: Fiction First Aid*

July 31, 2020, between 10 am and 5 p.m (Pacific)

Quick fifteen-minute consultations will be offered on Zoom with some of our finest writer-teachers, including Alex Espinoza, Janet Fitch, Glen David Gold, Sands Hall, Dylan Landis and Krys Lee. Come with a question. Or come with a page! Having a thorny problem with a story? Worried about the end of your novel? Do you have issues about the writing life? This is the place to get fresh insight. The focus of your session is up to you.

Private 15-Minute Appointments     $25

First-come first-served: appointments are limited. Sign up before 5:00 PM on Thursday, 7/30.

View as a list

♦   This session offered only to alums of the Writers Workshops ♦

Below are the Times When the Writers Are Scheduled
(Subject to availability)

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon
Alex Espinoza
Janet Fitch

1:00 – 3:00 PM
Glen David Gold
Sands Hall

3:00 – 5:00 PM
Dylan Landis
Krys Lee

Come with a question: Issues about dialogue, prose style, characterization? Come to the session prepared with a question or more than one! The time is yours.

Or come with a page: Need help with dialogue or prose style? Submit one page, double spaced (limit 250 words), and a staff member will respond to what’s on the page and beyond.

Sign Ups open  12:00 Noon Monday, July 27,
and close 5:00 Noon on Thursday, July 30. (Pacific)

SIGN UP

You may request time range and staff members. Appointments subject to availability. Once you register, we will be in touch with your appointment details.

(Cancellations for full refunds, to be considered, must be requested before 5 pm on Thursday, July 30.)

*Thanks to Sharon Olds who originally coined this term for the Poetry Workshop’s “Poem First Aid.”


The Community of Writers is made possible with substantial support of these organizations. Thank you !


Recents Events:

The Community of Writers Fiction Workshop in the Virtual Valley is proud to present

“Short Takes” Fiction Readings

These readings are presented to the public as part of our first-ever Fiction workshop held entirely online.
These readings are free to attend. Donations needed and welcome.

Tuesday, July 21st • 5:30 PM Pacific

Tom BarbashDevi S. LaskarKrys Lee •  Kirstin Valdez QuadeGregory Spatz
Emcee: Tom Lutz

Thursday, July 23rd • 5:30 PM Pacific

Janet FitchMichael Jaime-Becerra • Dana JohnsonTom LutzMargaret Wilkerson Sexton
Emcee: Oscar Villalon

Register Now!

An Extraordinary Evening of Poetry

Click on the author portraits to learn about these poets and their work. Or view their bios as a list here.

Camille Dungy  •  Robert Hass  •  Brenda Hillman
Major Jackson  •  Ada Limón •  Matthew Zapruder

This year we are pleased to welcome six extraordinary poets including one Pulitzer Prize winner, a recipient of the Griffin International Prize, a former U.S. Poet Laureate, two National Book Critics Circle Award winners, and a recipient of the Pushcart Prize.

Thursday, June 25, 2020 via Zoom
5:30 p.m. Pacific Time

Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.

Reserve your space today!

This gathering of the community—all staff poets from this year’s Community of Writers’ Summer Poetry Workshop in Squaw Valley—will raise money for our scholarship fund, and we are delighted to announce that a portion of the proceeds raised during the reading will also benefit our friends at Cave Canem and their scholarship program. Books by the poets will be available for purchase online before and after the reading. 

Community of Writers beloved and longtime poetry staff member Sharon Olds will welcome the audience to the event, and Community of Writers Poetry Workshop alum Diannely Antigua will emcee.


A 50th Anniversary Event:
An Evening at Bo’s in Manhattan with #YeahYouWrite

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Unfortunately, as concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic have grown, we are increasingly aware of the importance of limiting gatherings. We believe it’s critical that we are cautious and consider the possible risks. Thus, we are postponing the #YeahYouWrite event. 

#YeahYouWrite, a standout-out reading series in Manhattan, will partner with Community of Writers for an inaugural event, the first of many across the country, to celebrate our 50th Anniversary!

The evening will feature the CW alum authors Dylan Landis, Shobha Rao, Lev Grossman, Cynthia Robinson, as well as C.W.’s own Sands Hall, who, following the readings, will host a mini-version of a COW tradition—a “Follies” talent show. #YYW Follies! All are welcome. Think five minutes. Perform flamenco, sing a song, tell a joke—anything goes!

More information about #YeahYouWrite.


A 50th Anniversary Event:
The Best of the West: The Community of Writers comes to the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Join Us on April 16, 2020 at The Annenberg Community Beach House for an evening of readings to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Community of Writers.
 
For fifty years the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley has assembled in the California Sierra Nevada led by writers, agents, and publishers and has encouraged the careers of hundreds of writers of fiction, nonfiction and poetry.  In this 50th anniversary celebration, local So Cal writers read on behalf of this legendary experiment in collaboration and sustenance of the art and craft of writing and the imagination.
 
Our extraordinary readers this evening once attended the Community of Writers as participants.
Click on the photo to view bio. Or view as a List
 
Poet and novelist Kazim Ali
Novelist and short story writer Aimee Bender
Novelist and short story writer Dylan Landis
Poet and memoirist Marcello Castillo Hernandez
 
         
Emcees:  Dana Johnson and Janet Fitch
 
FREE (More on tickets coming soon.)
 
6:30 – 8 PM

After-Party:
Alums and staff: we hope you will also join us for a private fundraiser/reunion after this public event.
We will all walk down the beach to Back on the Beach for a festive reunion.
The after-party will run from about 8 – 9:30 pm.
 

TO VIEW OUR PAST PUBLIC EVENTS